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Education Abroad Office

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Area: Exchange Program
Location: Madrid
Country: Spain
Term: Fall, Spring, Academic Year

USC's exchange program at the Universidad Carlos III in Madrid (UC3M) is designed to expose American students to Spanish life and culture and international engineering practices. The UC3M School of Engineering is consistently ranked highly among Engineering programs in Spain and five areas of engineering are accredited by EUR-ACE (European Accreditation of Engineering Programmes). The Engineering Global Exchange Program with UC3M is located at the Leganés campus. Leganés is a city just south of the Madrid metropolitan area, approximately 40 minutes by subway to downtown Madrid.

Cost: USC resident tuition rates + in-country costs

Requirements: Engineering and Computing major, minimum 3.0 GPA, 1 or more 300-level (or higher) courses in Spanish, or demonstrate evidence of equivalent capability, required for coursework in Spanish.

Students partaking in programs only taught in English are not required to have Spanish language, however must seek out courses listed soley as "English". Only students studying Engineering or Computing are eligibile for this exchange program. If you are a student outside of these majors looking to study abroad in Spain, you are encouraged to meet with an education abroad advisor to discuss your options. 


Students on exchange pay in-state tuition directly to USC and do not pay tuition to UC3M. All housing, food, and personal expenses are paid by the student in Madrid. UC3M suggests that students budget approximately €800-€1,400 per month for housing and living expenses. The actual cost can differ depending on the student’s lifestyle. To get an idea of​ ​life on site, you will find on the numbeo website indications on the cost of living in Spain compared to other countries in the world.

Students at UC3M may take up to 30 ECTS credit hours, or the equivalent of 15 USC credits. All undergraduate courses are open to exchange students, although course registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Courses are offered in both English and Spanish * and are more rigorous than at USC. Courses offered in fall will NOT be offered in spring. Students will request courses prior to arrival and should pay close attention to the registration process.

It is recommended that students choose courses from one Bachelor program, and within one year of that program to avoid classes overlapping. Students may choose their own courses; however, students are not admitted to courses until after a positive assessment of their academic profile.


*note: students looking to take courses only in English must look for programs that are titled "English" on the UC3M website. Courses listed as "bilingual" do not guarantee student's placement into an English taught course and therefore cannot pursue such programs.  Only students who have completed 1 or more 300-level (or higher) courses in Spanish, or demonstrate evidence of equivalent capability, will be eligible to participate in the bilingual and Spanish programs. 


Language training is available through UC3M's University Language Center. Students can take an
intensive course prior to the start of the semester or throughout the semester. These courses are not part of the regular university academic offer and do cost additional fees. 

To see courses UofSC students have taken at this university, please reference the Registrar's Course Equivalency Table

During January and February, ESN (Erasmus Student Network) organizes a wide range of welcome activities, such as trips, guided visits, parties, sports activities. UC3M also offers a variety of activities and student groups outside of ESN for students to get more involved in the local culture. Students can also choose to participate in the Buddy Program offered through UC3M to gain connections before and during their time abroad. This service is free of charge and students looking to participate in the Buddy Program must be invested in activley participating with their local buddy. 

Per university policy, all USC students will be charged for  emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance of  for their time abroad. Students will be enrolled in this insurance by the education abroad office prior to their departure. Contact the Education Abroad Office for more details.

 UC3M partners with a number of housing agencies that can help you find accommodation suitable for your needs, and they provide resources if you would like to arrange a homestay. Most international students search for housing near the center of Madrid or near the university. The cost of accommodation is generally more expensive in the center of Madrid compared to accomodation near campus.

The fall semester at UC3M takes places from early September to mid December*. The spring semester takes place from late January to late May/early June.

*Students looking to study only in the fall semester must be mindful that exams may run into January. Students should be careful in course selection if attending the Fall semester only if they do not wish to take exams in Janurary. 

UC3M hosts a mandatory Welcome Event at the start of each semester for new international exchange students. Students receive information about administrative procedures, UC3M facilities and services, and also have the opportunity to meet other international exchange students. 

Students who attend UC3M for a semester or academic year are required to obtain a Spanish visa. Students must obtain their visa within 90 days prior to departure at the consulate in their home juristidiction, therefore planning ahead is vital. Students whose home state is South Carolina must travel to Miami to turn in their documents in person. Please contact the Education Abroad Office for information on the Spanish visa process.


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