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Contemporary Spain, UC Center Madrid

Study Abroad Program Overview

​UCEAP’s Contemporary Spain Program offers the opportunity to learn about modern Spain from a variety of contemporary perspectives. The UC Center is located in the charming neighborhood of Chamberí, and features newly remodeled classrooms, a small library of travel literature and wi-fi connectivity. In addition, this program provides students an opportunity to step outside the classroom to take part in course-related excursions around the city of Madrid.
All courses are enhanced with visits to a variety of world class museums, governmental offices, NGOs, neighborhood associations, and architectural tours.  In these varied settings, you will discover that Madrid combines elements of the imperial past, the current capital, a cultural exuberance, and an organizational presence that is particularly dense and overlaps in such a way that you will gain a holistic understanding of contemporary Spain and the ways in which immigration, iconic identity, sex and gender, government policy, and environmental factors all impinge on one another.
Students attend classes with UC students only.

Language of Instruction


Language Study

​The program requires beginning and intermediate level Spanish courses to students at those levels.


Go to the Participants section to see current or past calendars.​
Fall :  
late August to mid-December









​You have the option to live in a student residence hall or homestay located in Madrid. Housing is prearranged by the staff of ACCENT Madrid, who strive to match your preferences with lodging situations. Homestay accommodations provide the opportunity to live with Spanish families, observe firsthand how the Spanish live, and be more engaged in the language and culture of Spain. Many UCEAP participants recommend a homestay over a student residence hall as a way to reinforce language learning.

The homestay option includes two meals per day and the residence hall option includes all meals.

Extracurricular Activities

​In addition to course-related excursions around the city of Madrid, you will have the opportunity to explore Spanish music or cinema, enjoy the city’s lively nightlife, relax in the shady Parque del Retiro, or stroll through the busy streets in your free time. No matter where you go, there will be plenty to do and see.

On-site Support

UCEAP students are supported by UC’s network of EAP offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. UCEAP programs in Spain are administered by a UC faculty member who serves as UC Faculty Director of programs in Spain. The local staff in collaboration with ACCENT International will help you integrate into Spanish culture and provide assistance with academics, safety, and other issues.​ 

​See the UCEAP Program Guide for program-specific details about host institutions, program structure, and courses; academic culture and conduct; units, exams, and grades; orientation; housing; and health and safety.

Course Opportunities

The Contemporary Spain program offers interdisciplinary courses in the social sciences and humanities that take advantage of the urban setting of Madrid and current social and political affairs in Spain to explore social issues relevant to contemporary Iberia.
All elective courses are taught in English, and depending on the topic of study, will incorporate site visits to various locations in Madrid which may include: social and cultural institutes, governmental agencies, world-class art museums, neighborhoods known for their immigrant or Roma communities, and Canal De Isabel II, the public company that manages Madrid water supplies.
During the semester you take Spanish language and select three out of five upper division electives. All courses are worth 6 UC quarter units.
Lower Division
Upper Division
Use the following resources to learn about courses on UCEAP:
  • MyEAP Course Catalog lists courses previously taken by UC students. Courses that have not yet been taken for credit will not appear in the Course Catalog. Additional courses may be available at the host university and not all courses cataloged may be offered each term.
  • Academic Information in the Program Guide


You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad. 24 quarter/16 semester UC units are required; four courses.

Internships, Research, and Independent Study

Internships for academic credit are not possible on this program.

UC Center Madrid

ACCENT Classroom 
The UCEAP Study Center in Madrid oversees the academic aspects of this program and shares space with ACCENT International in their Madrid Center. Located in the agreeable neighborhood of Chamberí in central Madrid, the UCEAP/ACCENT Center offers modern classroom spaces, a small library, and a computer lab with both broadband and wireless Internet access. ACCENT International coordinates all logistical services of the program.​​
Participation in UCEAP is a great value! The cost of studying abroad on UCEAP programs is typically less than that of non-UC study abroad programs. The dollar figures listed in the chart below represent an estimate of: 1) the UCEAP fees for the current year, and 2) the additional amount needed to cover your living expenses in this location. Estimates for personal travel, entertainment and Non-Resident (out of state) Fees are not included.
Keep in mind that on UCEAP you take your financial aid with you. The amount of your financial aid package will take into account the total estimated costs of this experience. One advantage of selecting UCEAP for study abroad is that we facilitate the process by working with your UC Financial Aid Office (FAO), informing them of your UCEAP participation and providing them with your UCEAP budget. Just like your UC Campus billing office, we receive your financial aid and scholarships from your FAO, apply it to cover the UCEAP program fees, and disburse any remaining aid on a set schedule.

Estimated EAP Costs *

OptionWeeksUnits (Qtr)Units (Sem)UCEAP Fees 1Additional Costs 2
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.

1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.

2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.

All fees are subject to change without notice.

These expenses are estimated. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. For a more detailed breakdown of payment information, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Estimates do not include Non Resident Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non Resident Fees on UCEAP.
Here’s what is included in the estimate:
  • Predeparture expenses (visa, etc.)
  • Round-trip transportation from California
  • UC fees
  • Tuition at partner institution
  • On-site orientation
  • Room and board
  • Program excursions and activities
  • Books and other incidental expenses
  • Automatic transfer of credits and grades to your UC transcript
While on UCEAP, you are covered by UC’s accident and medical insurance, including non-medical benefits, and 24/7 travel assistance anywhere in the world.​


UCEAP scholarships are available. Please visit our scholarships overview page for general information and details regarding eligibility requirements and application deadlines.​

Language Requirements 

Which UCEAP Spanish Language Requirements Apply to Me?

  • Students studying Spanish as a second language are required to complete a minimum of no Spanish language instruction and a maximum of the 5th quarter or 3rd semester of Spanish language courses at the university level, or provide proof of equivalent via AP exam, IB exam, SAT II exam, UC language placement exam, or UC language evaluation.
  • Native/Heritage Spanish speakers with no formal study of Spanish are not required to meet the language prerequisites listed below. In this program, you will enroll in a Spanish course specifically designed for Native/Heritage Speakers.
  • This program is not suitable for Native/Heritage Spanish speakers with formal study of Spanish.


Class Level:

Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Language Prerequisites:

- The University-level language requirement is: minimum 0 quarters / 0 semesters and maximum 5 quarters / 3 semesters.


2.50 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.

All applicants must also have:

  • Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
  • Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
  • A willingness to abide by program regulations.
  • Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements and be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

Application Information and Deadlines

Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.

Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.

For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.

These are minimum requirements. Your Campus EAP Office determines selection and final admission.  

Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: