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The Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Madrid is a two-semester program located on the campus of the Universidad Carlos III. Through direct enrollment options at the Carlos III and at the Universidad Complutense (also in Madrid), the program offers a full array of courses in all disciplines. The breadth of this curriculum allows students from a wide variety of academic majors to make normal progress toward the completion of their degrees, within their individual courses of study, while perfecting their Spanish and learning about Madrid, Spain, and Europe.


Information about housing, travel arrangements, fees, schedules, and program policies is provided at a pre-departure orientation meeting in April (for fall participants) and November (for spring participants), held on campus at both Vassar and Wesleyan. In Spain, the program begins each semester with a two-week intensive language and civilization program in Santiago de Compostela (August) for the fall and in Granada (January) for the spring term. A week-long orientation to Madrid and life at the Universidad Carlos III is organized by the Curso de Estudios Hispánicos at the beginning of both semesters. Students register for courses during this week.

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

The Universidad Carlos III is located in the suburb of Getafe, 15 minutes by train or bus from downtown Madrid. Founded in 1989, the Carlos III is, by European standards, a relatively small (ca. 14,000 students) public university with many of the amenities and advantages associated with private liberal arts colleges. Its excellent faculty/student ratio favors relatively small classes and greater attention to the students’ needs. It offers a wide range of courses in all fields, especially in the humanities and social sciences, and its faculty is one of the most distinguished in Europe. Because of its academic reputation, the Carlos III attracts students from countries around the world and therefore has a cosmopolitan air. Its campus is modern and exquisitely designed, with state-of-the-art libraries, computer labs, and sports facilities. The dynamic and well-organized network of student organizations on the campus of the Carlos III contributes greatly to the social integration of the Program in Madrid participant.

For these and many other reasons, the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Madrid at the Universidad Carlos III offers an ideal opportunity for students who wish to perfect their Spanish and increase their cross-cultural awareness through a total immersion experience in an urban, cosmopolitan environment, while making normal progress toward the completion of their undergraduate education.

¡Aquí se habla español!

Linguistic fluency, sensitivity to Spanish customs, and a fuller understanding of Spanish culture and history are the primary objectives of the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Madrid. The program helps students achieve these goals by housing students in private homes, through its varied curriculum, through the intensive language and civilization sessions in Santiago de Compostela (fall) and Granada (spring), by locating the program in the culturally dynamic capital, Madrid, and by means of a rich program of cultural events and field trips aimed at introducing students to Spanish culture in all its complexity. Understanding that students themselves have an obligation in this regard, the program asks students to sign a pledge before leaving the United States guaranteeing the following:

  1. The exclusive use of Spanish while participating in the program.
  2. Active participation in all program-sponsored academic and cultural activities, which may include field trips, lectures, concerts, and plays.
  3. Daily attendance in class and full compliance with all academic requirements and regulations.

All students reside in private homes in central Madrid during their first semester, within easy commuting distance of the Carlos III campus. The program’s housing coordinator, a permanent member of the staff, carefully screens the homes and places students according to their needs and interests. This policy is devised to facilitate full cultural assimilation into Spanish society by providing a congenial Spanish-speaking living environment for each student. During their second semester in the program, year-long participants may either stay in a home provided by the program or make their own living arrangements. The housing coordinator counsels students throughout the year on all matters concerning their cultural assimilation and homestays.

All participants must submit proof of health insurance coverage. The student sickness and accident insurance policies of Vassar and Wesleyan provide coverage for students studying abroad, and can be purchased by those students whose family coverage will not serve their needs. In addition, students are enrolled in a mandatory On-Call International Insurance which gives coverage for Medical Evacuation, Repatriation of Remains, 24-hour Nurseline, Worldwide Emergency Travel Assistance, Political Evacuation and Natural Disaster Evacuation. Students are required to purchase the International Student Identity Card, which carries additional travel and health insurance coverage.

Students who do not have a passport or whose passport will expire within six months of the end of the program must apply for a new one immediately. Passport numbers must be included on the application form before it is sent to the Madrid office. Student visas, granted by the Spanish consulates, are required. It may take several months to receive a student visa, so early application is strongly advised. Information about visa applications will be provided at the time of acceptance to the program and at the pre-departure orientation.

Enrollment is limited to 45 students per semester. Applications for fall and full year must be received by March 1, and applications for the spring by October 1.

The program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good standing who have completed the equivalent of 5 courses of Spanish at the college level with a grade of B or higher. No student who has an outstanding grade of incomplete in any course at his or her home institution may participate. All acceptances are subject to the approval of the director. Preference will be given to applicants from Vassar and Wesleyan, but students from other institutions are very welcome.

For further information, students from Vassar College and Wesleyan University should contact a program representative on their home campus. Outside applicants should contact Vassar College for 2020–2021, Wesleyan University for 2021–2022.

Wesleyan and outside students applications must be received by March 1 for fall semester and full year, by October 1 for spring semester. Vassar students must check with the Office of International Programs for specific deadlines in early December.

Wesleyan students must also complete the Permission to Study Abroad application.

The comprehensive program fee covers tuition, room and board, round-trip airfare from New York, a local transportation supplement, and the cultural excursions organized by the program. Students are responsible for additional expenses, such as books, personal expenses, and travel while abroad. For a breakdown of fees, please contact Emily Gorlewski at Wesleyan at (860) 685-3007">(860) 685-3007.

Financial Aid

While abroad, Vassar and Wesleyan students continue to receive their financial aid under the guidelines of their home institutions. These students must contact their respective financial aid offices to arrange payment procedures. Work-study funds are not available in Madrid. Outside applicants should consult with their own financial aid advisor before applying to the program. The program does not offer scholarships, loans, or campus jobs. Applicants receiving any form of financial aid should verify that such funds will be transferable to the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Madrid.

Schedule of Payments

Students from Vassar and Wesleyan will be billed by the Office of Student Accounts of their respective institutions, according to the normal tuition payment schedules. For other participants, a nonrefundable fee of $250 is due on May 1 for fall and November 1 for spring, and is credited to the relevant semester’s program fee. The balance of the semester fee is due August 15 for fall, and January 1 for spring. The program arranges trans-Atlantic transportation from New York. Students who make their own travel arrangements are not billed for the program’s round-trip plane fare.

Refund Policy

Tuition refunds are calculated based on the date of the student’s withdrawal from the program. Additional refunds will be based on any recoverable portion of the room and board expenditures.

Contact at Wesleyan

Emily Gorlewski, Ed.D.
Associate Director, Study Abroad
Fries Center for Global Studies

Wesleyan University 
201A Fisk Hall, 262. High St.
Middletown, CT 06459
Tel: 1-(860) 685-3007

Kerry Stamp
Director of International Programs

Vassar College
Office of International Programs
124 Raymond Avenue Box 730
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604-0730
Tel: (845) 437-5260

Professor Eva Woods
Department of Hispanic Studies