Approx. Time Difference
March–Add 9 hours
This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances, and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants
section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
“More than just traveling, UCEAP offers the opportunity to live and study in the host country on their terms while still making real progress toward a UC degree. I changed my major from biology to Spanish literature because of my experiences in Mexico and Spain. I went far away to learn about other cultures and nations and people, and I learned more about my own country, my own culture, and above all, myself. Once I finally did change my major, I received higher grades than I ever had. This I owe to my understanding of what was important to me, something I would never possess to the same extent that I do now were it not for UCEAP.”
~ Lenore De Asis, UC Irvine
Click a heading below to see section content.
Study Centers Abroad
UC faculty and staff administer UCEAP programs in Spain. Every program in Spain has a corresponding UCEAP office that is staffed to assist program participants with academic, logistical, and personal concerns. The UC Faculty Director, who is responsible for all UCEAP Spain programs, will maintain an office at the Madrid Study Center.
Carlos III Office
Rocío Navas, Sr. Admin Coordinator
Centro de Estudios de la Universidad de California
Edificio López Aranguren, Despacho 15.1.55
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Calle Madrid, 126
UCEAP Spain Study Center Director
Prof. Stephen Small
Centro de Estudios de la Universidad de California
Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociología
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Despacho Nº 1601
28223 Madrid, Spain
Phone: (+34) 91-352-2402
The Hispanic Studies program takes place at the Getafe campus of Carlos III University, located ten kilometers from the center of Madrid. This program is designed to improve your Spanish language skills and deepen your knowledge of Spain’s history, culture, and contemporary society within the context of the rest of Europe.
You will be grouped with other UCEAP students for language study according to the results of the written and oral placement tests you will take just after arrival. All other Hispanic Studies courses are open to you and all courses are taught in Spanish by Carlos III faculty.
You are welcome to enroll in mini-cursos conducted by public figures from all walks of life, and if your schedule permits, you may also enroll in regular Carlos III courses.
For Hispanic Studies participants, the daily experience involves attending classes with your UCEAP peers. Past students report that classes are engaging and offer interesting insights into contemporary Spain (although students of different language levels have different experiences as far as the intensity of instruction).
The availability of mini-cursos—short courses in the humanities open to both Hispanic Studies and immersion students—allows you to spend time in classrooms with Spanish students and focus on subjects of particular interest for parts of the semester. The option of adding a couple of mini-cursos into the core program enables you to adjust your academic pursuits and immersion into the Spanish university to the level at which you are comfortable.
Hispanic Studies students may also find it possible to add a regular Carlos III course to their program, though you should pay close attention to the fact that the class schedules, and date of the final in particular, differ from the Hispanic Studies courses.
Explore the UCEAP website for additional course information (including important details and restrictions), links to host institution websites, and program
Students are encouraged to prepare by searching for courses early on and making tentative lists. More information regarding online registration will come directly from the Systemwide Office prior to the start of the program.
The UCEAP Study Center assists with official enrollment in Hispanic Studies courses, mini-cursos, and regular Carlos III courses. They also are available to answer questions regarding your MyEAP registration.
UCEAP requires you enroll in a minimum of 21 UC quarter units on this program, which is equivalent to four or five courses.
- Hispanic Studies students can meet the minimum unit requirement by taking either five Hispanic Studies courses (worth 4.5 UC units each), or a combination of Hispanic studies courses and regular Carlos III courses (including mini-cursos).
Descriptions of the Hispanic Studies courses can be found in the MyEAP Catalog
(look for courses that indicate "Hispanic Studies" in the "P Department" column), as well as the Carlos III Hispanic Studies Course Catalog
. To find regular course offerings (Titulaciones de Grado
), you will need to follow the link to a particular degree, then click through "Programa" to see the courses available.
Be aware that some of these courses have conflicting schedules and you may need to consider alternative classes that might fit your needs. While Hispanic Studies participants can choose to take a regular Carlos III course, this option is more feasible during the spring term, when UC and Carlos III academic calendars better coincide. The Hispanic Studies fall semester ends in December, whereas the finals for the regular courses take place in mid-January. Final exams for regular courses in the spring also take place about one month after the end of the program.
The humanities mini-cursos are much easier to schedule since they are more likely to require intense activity for short periods of time rather than a semester-long commitment. The program of mini-cursos is always exciting because politicians, artists, philosophers, scientists, professors, and other figures of note offer lecture series, conferences, or intensive short courses that are worth one or two UC quarter units. You may consider taking a combination of these short courses to replace one Hispanic Studies course, or you may add them to a full Hispanic Studies course list.
require some flexibility since their schedule will not likely be ready until after you arrive in Spain and final grades may take longer to report than the Hispanic Studies grades. As soon as the schedule of classes for the mini-cursos
is available, it will be posted at the Cursos de Humanidades
page of the Carlos III website. (On the website, Primer Cuatrimestre
refers to the fall schedule, and Segundo Cuatrimestre
refers to the spring schedule.)
- Full-time course of study: 21 UC quarter units
- Five courses: Spanish 114, Spanish 118, or Spanish 128, depending on placement, for 4.5 UC quarter units (intermediate students take two: Spanish 107 and Spanish 108)
- Four other Hispanic Studies courses for 4.5 UC quarter units each (or substitute one regular Carlos III course)
- Class attendance is mandatory. Poor attendance and lack of participation will have a negative impact on your final grade.
- You may not approach professors to request early exams. Early departures are not allowed.
Be aware that grades for regular Carlos III courses (including the mini-cursos) may be delayed by the host university and may be posted later than grades for the Hispanic Studies courses.
Fall grades are usually available in late January or early February. Spring grades are usually available in late June or early July.
You will receive an automatic e-mail notification when your grades are transmitted to the UC Registrar. Although you will need to wait a while longer for grades to be posted to your official UC transcript, you will be able to view your grades through MyEAP at that time.
For detailed information about grades, see the Academic Information
chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad
Extending UCEAP Participation
UCEAP offers rich opportunities for combining different programs and extending your time abroad. As with most rewarding experiences, doing so requires an exceptional level of organization and maturity. You must be able to plan in advance and prepare for the second program while completing the first.
It is possible to extend from the Carlos III Hispanic Studies fall program to the Carlos III spring immersion program (taking regular university courses).
Academic Requirements for Extension
If you are extending to the Carlos III immersion program (spring), you are also required to take a minimum load of 21 UC quarter units in order to meet minimum UC progress. Since regular Carlos III courses are usually worth 6 units each, you may meet the unit requirement by taking three regular courses plus a Hispanic Studies course or mini-curso, or by taking four regular Carlos III courses.
If you are extending, you can search for regular Carlos III courses through your MyEAP study list portal for the spring term. You may be able to see the schedule of classes, which is posted on the Undergraduate Programs
page of the Carlos III website.
If you do not receive a year-long visa, you will have to return to the U.S. between semesters to apply for a new visa.
Time Between Programs
Fall classes at Carlos III end in mid-December. The Carlos III spring program does not begin until mid-January. It is important that you plan for this gap in time between the end of the fall program and the beginning of the spring program. Some participants decide to return to the U.S. during this period (you may have to in order to renew your student visa). If you remain in Spain between programs, you will be responsible for all costs associated with daily living, travel, insurance, housing, etc., until the start of the Carlos III spring program.
Improve Your Language Skills
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Travel to Your Host Country
You are responsible for reserving and purchasing your tickets (even if you are on full financial aid). Your Financial Aid Office is not responsible for purchasing tickets. You are strongly urged to purchase a changeable airline ticket. Standby tickets are not appropriate for EAP.
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Meals in Arranged Homestays
Participating in extracurricular cultural and social activities while on UCEAP is an excellent way to meet people, improve your language skills, and integrate more fully into the community.
Join sports, musical, theater, or arts groups; volunteer at local organizations; attend lectures and receptions held in academic and community circles; and get the most out of your time abroad.
Students with Disabilities
Students attending Carlos III University should not make plans to travel until they have arrived and received the program schedule at orientation. The Hispanic Studies program includes mandatory excursions, and you will need to plan your travel around those dates.
In addition to arranging your own travel, Carlos III University also plans various viajes culturales throughout Spain. These 2 day excursions explore the roots, traditions, and cultures of various Spanish cities, in both the north and south. This is a great opportunity to meet students from across the facultades
and campus community, and to explore the Spanish landscape. Past trips include: Sevilla, Salamanca, Valencia, and Bilbao. For more information on these opportunities, visit the Carlos III Espacio Estudiantes
As a UCEAP participant you are automatically covered by UCEAP insurance anywhere in the world (not only while in Madrid) 14 days before the official start of the program and up to 31 days after the official end of the program.
Europ Assistance/USA (UC's assistance providers) has made direct billing arrangements with a local medical service, HOSPIQUALITY in Madrid, which is provided through the Hospital Universitario de Madrid
If you go to Hospital Universitario de Madrid, you do not have to call ahead or pay for your visit up front and then file an insurance claim. Europ Assistance/USA (EA/USA) will place a guarantee of payment after Hospiquality calls them. EA/USA will cover the cost directly. UCEAP students at Hospiquality are considered priority clients. IMPORTANT: If you require emergency medical care, go to Hospiquality-Hospital Universitario de Madrid directly.
Hospital Universitario de Madrid (HOSPIQUALITY)
Plaza Conde del Valle Suchil 16.
Metro: San Bernardo o Quevedo (Lineas 2 y 4)
For a regular consulation, make an appointment with Hospiquality, Hospital Universitario de Madrid
Phone: 629 824 020 (24/7).
Identify yourself as a University of California-Education Abroad Program student.
Hospiquality, a private hospital group, provides the following services:
- 24/7 emergency care
- Outpatient visits by specialists (all specializations)
- Radiology (diagnostic imaging), laboratory services, hospitalization, specialized health care services
- On site interpreter every day (also weekend), from 09:00 a.m. to 09:00 p.m.
- 24/7 ambulance service with English-speaking staff.
You can choose to go to Unidad Medica Angloamericana but you must call Europ Assistance/USA (see below for contact information) well before going so they can place a guarantee of payment on your behalf. Otherwise, you will have to pay up front.
Unidad Medica Angloamericana.
- Make an appointment with Unidad Medica; Phones: 91 435 1823; 91 5755134; 649 870068. Identify yourself as a University of California-Education Abroad program student (Policy number: ADDN 04834823).
- Place an international collect call to Europ Assistance/USA to let them know when you have your appointment so they can place a guarantee of payment. Call through AT&T 900 99 00 11 for a collect-call (in English); Europe Assistance phone: 1-202- 828-5896 (collect calls outside the U.S.)
- Go to Unidad Medica on the day of your appointment. Monday through Friday they have uninterrupted hours from 9:00h until 20:00h and on Saturdays from 10:00h to 13:00h. All staff, doctors, nurses and administration speak English.
More info: http://www.unidadmedica.com/
C/Conde de Aranda 1, 1º izquierda Madrid 28001
Metro: Serrano (line 4); Retiro (Line 2)
Demonstrations & Protests
Traffic & Transportation Safety
UCEAP Contingency Planning
Forest fires occur frequently in Spain during the summer months, especially in southern areas of the country.
The University of California, in accordance with applicable
Federal and State law and University policy, does not
discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion,
sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical
condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status,
citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era
veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also
prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy
covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs
and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s
student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to
the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical
conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.