Spain: Semester in Madrid with UC3M

In addition to being the geographical center of Spain, Madrid is also a major financial, political, and social capital of the country. With excellent public transportation, students can easily access all the incredible historical, architectural, cultural and artistic activities this great city has to offer. Madrid is a major cultural hub and is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations and proves to be a great city to study abroad in.

UC3M has two primary campuses, Getafe and Leganes, with a wide range of curricular options. Most GV students study on the Getafe campus. There are limited courses available in English, so this program is most suitable for students who have a proficiency in Spanish and can take courses in either English or Spanish. Students who do not have a proficiency in Spanish are expected to be very flexible with regards to the course selection. UC3M does its best to accommodate each student's needs, but they do have limitations on the number of available spaces in the English taught classes. Additionally, most of the administrative necessities will be conducted in Spanish. International students comprise about 25% of the total student population (approx. 600 students from EU, 200 students from other parts of the world). Students who are taking courses taught in English will take classes primarily with other international students. This program requires students to exercise a high degree of flexibility. 

UC3M does offer a Spanish Language Center for students interested in taking courses in Spanish language. The program offered by the Spanish Language Center is not part of our regular exchange with UC3M. Students interested in the Spanish Language Center should contact Becca Morrissey at [email protected] to learn more about this option.

Host University Website

UC3M Exchange Student Website

GVUS's partner universities are largely independent programs; prospective participants should carefully consider if this form of study abroad suits their needs before registering. These partnerships allow students to experience a more independent international study abroad, but also require students to have a high level of flexibility and the ability to navigate much of the program independently. Those who prefer additional support may wish to consider other study abroad options such as external study abroad providers and our faculty-led options.

Image 1 of 4 Spain
2.5 GPA Required
Spanish Language Requirement
Issue Friendly

Program Dates and Application Deadline

Academic Year 2022 (Fall 2022-Winter 2023)

Estimated Program Dates: September 2022 - May 2023
Application Deadline: February 1, 2022 (Closed)

Winter 2023

Estimated Program Dates: January 2023 - May 2023
Application Deadline: September 1, 2022 (Closed)

Academic Year 2023 (Fall 2023-Winter 2024)

Estimated Program Dates: September 2023 - December 2023
Application Deadline: February 1, 2023 (Closed)

Academic Year 2023 (Fall 2023-Winter 2024)

Estimated Program Dates: September 2023 - May 2024
Application Deadline: February 1, 2023 (Closed)

Winter 2024

Estimated Program Dates: January 2024 - May 2024
Application Deadline: September 1, 2023

Fall semester ends in January; however, students needing to return to GVSU for the Winter semester are allowed to take final exams the week before the holiday break in December.

UC3M Academic Calendar



Courses available at UC3M

While many courses are offered in English, it is recommended that students have a strong proficiency in Spanish prior to participating in this program (300-level). Students will need to apply for a transport card, and take care of several administrative formalities that are often conducted in Spanish. 

Students must be aware that final registration takes place on-site. It is common for courses to fill quickly. Students may not get their first choice of classes. This program is most suitable for students who are extremely flexible with regards to the courses they take. THIS PROGRAM IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE A STRICT LIST OF COURSES THEY MUST COMPLETE DURING THEIR SEMESTER ABROAD.

Students studying abroad for the Fall semester can request to take final exams early to return to GVSU for January classes. Typically, the fall semester ends in January. Students who participate in the Winter semester (UC3M's spring) will be expected to stay until the end of final exams. UC3M does offer students an opportunity to re-take an exam if they do not do well on the final. Students must be present in-country to re-take a final exam. UC3M will not make accommodations to allow students to take the exam early or back at GVSU. The re-take must be in-person at UC3M.

Course Options Use this button to search all available course options and descriptions.

Pre-Approved Courses Note: This course list indicates courses that have been previously approved. It is not a list of available courses on this program.

Course Approval Process Students registering for courses that have not been pre-approved will need to follow the course approval instructions. 

Students interested in satisfying general education courses abroad can find more information on our General Education page.

Students interested in engineering courses will take courses at the Leganes Campus. All other disciplines are offered on the Getafe Campus. It is unlikely that a student would take courses on both campuses. If a student does choose courses that are offered on different campuses, they would need to take public transportation to get from one to the other. 

Students will register for classes online a couple of weeks prior to the start of the semester.

Spanish Language Center - (not part of the GVSU-UC3M exchange)

Students can choose to participate only in the Spanish Language Center; however, this is not part of the exchange program arranged between GVSU and UC3M. The budget and program administration will be handled differently. Students must contact Becca Morrissey at [email protected] if they are interested in this academic program.



Students will have access to several online housing placement agencies that help to match students with available accommodation in Madrid. PIC strongly recommends that students look for housing in Getafe and past study abroad students have indicated that this is a good option. In Getafe, students will be within walking distance to campus and be immersed in a vibrant neighborhood with direct access to the city center through public transit. Students can expect to pay between 350-550 Euro per month, but this will vary based on the location you choose and the amenities. Visit the UC3M website for more information.


Cost and Scholarships


Cost Breakdown

NOTE: "Other Expenses" listed in the Cost Breakdown are general cost estimates. Due to COVID-19, costs may increase for basic goods and housing. These estimates are provided as a guide to help students in their planning, but they are subject to change.

Questions? Contact [email protected] or 616-331-3898 

Additional Scholarships

How will I pay for this?

Financial Aid FAQ's



Students must be degree-seeking, have attended at least one semester at GVSU, and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 at the time of application. A background in Spanish language is recommended, but not required.

No Covid Restrictions for entry

Additional Information

Host University Website


When studying abroad, it is important to learn about the culture of your host country.

For information on music, food, language, news & more, view Cultural Information

Campus Info / Campus Life

Students will have an orientation upon arrival to cover necessary information on getting settled at UC3M. Past participants strongly recommend students connect with the Erasmus Student Network at UC3M for information on group trips, student activities, and tips on getting settled in Getafe and Madrid. Also, a variety of campus events are organized each semester including intramural sports, weekend trips to cities such as Sevilla, after exams party, and more.

In addition to the UC3M orientation and welcome, students will also receive an orientation from ISA. 

Students can connect with the Erasmus Student Network through the website:  The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) organizes a variety of trips, events, and cultural activities for all of the international students. An example of an on-going activity arranged by the ESN is a weekly language exchange in a local restaurant with local students, and other international students. Additionally, students have found Disfruta Madrid Mas as a very helpful resource to learn about activities and resources for international students studying in Madrid.

Campus Life

Google Map

Already Applied

Visa Requirements

Students should prepare for the visa application process well in advance. We recommend students review the visa requirements a minimum of 3-4 months prior to departure. Students will be required to make an appointment to submit visa application materials to the Spanish Consulate in Chicago or the Consulate that has jurisdiction over their permanent residence. The student visa guide provides details on the application process and required documents. Please note that the appropriate consulate or embassy must be consulted for the most up-to-date visa information. 

UC3M offers additional information for incoming international students.

CDC Report

CDC Report

US State Department Information

US State Department Country Information (Spain)

US State Department - Students Abroad

US Embassy in Spain

Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Report - Crime and Safety Report (Spain)


Application Timeline

Exchange Student Information

UC3M Grading System

UC3M Fact Sheet 

TRANSCRIPT - please be aware that UC3M ONLY sends transcripts via email. 

Resources for Emergency Situations

Health and Safety Resources

Reporting an Incident

PIC Emergency Procedures

Contact Information

Padnos International Center
130 Lake Ontario Hall
[email protected]

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