Skip to Content

Education Abroad Office

Institute for American Universities (IAU)

Area: Global Direct
Location: Madrid
Country: Spain
Term: Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer
Website: IAU Madrid Direct Program

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 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. 

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

  • SEMESTER PROGRAMS: 22% off tuition (except IAU's Florence, Italy program: 28% off tuition) 
  • SUMMER PROGRAMS: 15% off tuition 
  • VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES/INTERNSHIPS: 20% off tuition (semester, summer) 

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

  • Pell Grant Plus Program – In an effort to encourage socioeconomic diversity in study abroad and expose more undergraduate students to international academic experiences, IAU will award a $3,000 grant to Federal Pell Grant recipients to be used for any of its on-site semester programs and a $650 grant to Federal Pell Grant recipients to be used for any of its on-site short-term programs (summer and January term).
  • Please submit the following form to the Office of Admissions in order to confirm your eligibility in the Pell Grant Plus Program. Students must have full-time student status at IAU, partake in demi-pension housing, and be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program to be eligible. Kindly note that students would not be eligible for other IAU scholarships or grants by receiving the Pell Grant Plus.


Students can take a plethora of courses offered through IAU in subjects such as: History, Spanish Language, Business, and Political Science. To complete the course curriculum, IAU hosts a variety 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.

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

*note that all IAU courses are listed under France as the host country, not Spain, as France is the location of IAU headquarters. This will not affect how the courses transfer back. . 

Students will engage in daily classes which are enhanced by local field studies tours around Madrid. Class excursions in the past have included vists to local museums, businesses, and cultural sites in Madrid.  Students also have the option to participate in day and weekend trips organized through IAU. More information on excursions and study tours will be available at the start of the semester. 

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.

Students in Spain have the option to be housed in either shared homestays or in residence halls.  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 residence halls will be responsible for their own meals and may share common areas 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 USC'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 be required to obtain a Student Visa prior to their departure 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. Planning ahead is vital as many consluates require students to drop off and/or pick up their visa materials in person. Please contact the Education Abroad Office for information on the Spanish visa process.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.