Skip to Content

Education Abroad Office

Institute for American Universities (IAU)

Area: Global Direct
Location: Madrid
Country: Spain
Term: Spring, Fall, Academic Year

IAU offers semester, summer and January term programs in the lively and beautiful city of Madrid, Spain. IAU’s campus in Madrid is centrally located at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in close proximity to many of Madrid's famed attractions. IAU Madrid employs a student affairs and academic affairs staff to advise, place, house, and otherwise support incoming students for full semester, year-long, and summer programs.

Madrid is regarded as an important economic, artistic, and educational center, home to the Spanish Parliament (las Cortes), the Spanish Stock Exchange (la Bolsa), as well as a number of world renowned cultural and historical sites. Students studying in Madrid will have access to a wide variety of activities, including visiting the Museo Nacional del Prado and the Parque del Buen Retiro, to catching a fútbol (or soccer) match at The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, to flamenco dancing, and sampling local cuisines such as tapas, bocadillo de calamares, and churros con chocolate.  

Cost: IAU tuition rates + in-country costs

Requirements: minimum 3.0 GPA

Students will pay IAU directly for the program fee. This program fee will include tuition, housing, daily breakfast/dinner (homestays only), activity fee, textbook rental, orientation, health, liability and repatriation insurance, excursions, and scheduled cultural activities. Additional student costs include round-trip airfare, lunches, and personal expenses. There are many IAU scholarships that you can apply for to help offset these costs. 

UofSC students will receive the following automatic discounts for IAU programs:

  • SEMESTER PROGRAMS: 22% off tuition (except Tangier, Morocco program: 10% off tuition) 
  • SUMMER PROGRAMS: 15% off tuition 
  • VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES/INTERNSHIPS: 20% off tuition (semester, summer) 

UofSC students who receive Federal Pell Grants will receive the following automatic discounts:

  • PELL GRANT MATCH PROGRAM - This is intended for students who participate in a semester or year-long program (must be in-person; excludes virtual experiences). IAU will match student’s Pell award up to the maximum semester equivalent. The minimum award that a student can receive is equal to 25% of tuition. Students who receive the full Pell semester award will receive an exact match from IAU in the form of a grant. 
  • GO BEYOND GRANT - This grant is intended for Pell-eligible students participating in a short-term program (summer, January Term) or virtual experience (semester, summer). The awards are as follows:
    • SUMMER PROGRAMS: 25% off tuition 
    • JANUARY TERM PROGRAMS: 25% off tuition 
    • VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES (semester, summer): 25% off tuition


To complete the course curriculum, IAU hosts a plethora of guest speakers and lecturers from a wide breadth of disciplines including journalists, musicians, and political activists. Students who participate in this program will develop a deeper understanding of the Spanish language and its historical, economical and cultural importance in Europe. 

Semester courses can be found HERE.

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

Students will engage in daily classes which are enhanced by local field studies tours around Madrid. More information on excursions and study tours will be available at the start of the semester.

Per university policy, all UofSC students will be charged emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance for their time abroad. Contact the Education Abroad Office for more details.

Students in Spain have the option to be housed in either shared homestays or in shared apartments.  Students who select the homestay option will live with Spanish families (who may also house other international students), which includes daily breakfast and dinner.  Students in shared apartments will be responsible for their own meals and may share an apartment with other international students.  Students may request roommates on the housing application form and IAU will do its best to accommodate such requests.  

IAU's semester dates line up with UofSC's academic calendar so the Fall term runs from late August to mid-December, and the Spring semester runs from mid January to early May. 

There will be a mandatory two day orientation for all students after your arrival date and before classes officially begin. Orientation dates are listed on the calendar for each semester.

Semester and academic-year students will need a Student Visa to study in Spain. All visa processes go through the Spanish Consulate. To find out which consulate you will visit to apply for your visa, please refer to the Spanish embassy website. IAU will provide the necessary documentation needed to prove you will be a student abroad, but the remaining application and materials are the responsibility of the student.

Students are required to obtain a Spanish visa if you are studying abroad for more than 3 months. Students must appear in person at the Spanish consulate or embassy. The Spanish consulate in Miami, FL is the closest consulate to South Carolina. Planning ahead is vital. Please contact the Education Abroad Office for information on the Spanish visa process.

 Apply Now

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.