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Spain: Madrid Business Program
Madrid, Spain (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Program Dates &
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Restrictions: AU- applicants only
Budget Sheets Fall,
Fact Sheet:
Housing: Homestay Language Pre-requisite: none
Language of Instruction: English, Spanish Language Courses Offered: Yes
Non-AU Students Accepted by AU:
No Internship: Yes
Advisor: Brita Doyle Minimum GPA: 3
Class Level Required for Admission: Junior standing
Program Type:
Partial Direct Enrollment
Program Description:

Is this program right for you?

This program is designed for business and economics majors and minors who are looking for a study abroad experience in a Spanish-speaking county, but perhaps do not have advanced Spanish language skills.  This program provides the best of both worlds with support and language and culture courses at AU's study center in Madrid alongside business courses taught in English or Spanish at a premiere business program in Madrid at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas - ICADE Business School. 


Bull stadiumStudents earn a full semester of AU credit by combining courses at AU's Study Center in Madrid with business courses offered at a local university, Universidad Pontificia Comillas.  Students will take a Spanish language course at their appropriate level and one or two additional courses offered in English (Fall and Spring) or Spanish (spring only) at the AU study Center.  The Spanish language courses are available for the fall term are worth 4 credits at the beginning and intermediate and advanced levels.  Intensive Spanish language courses are available in the spring term for 4 or 8 credits at the beginning and intermediate and advanced levels. 

Students will then take 1, 2, or 3 business courses in English or Spanish at Universidad Pontificia Comillas within their business school, Instituto Católico de Administración y Dirección de Empresas. It is known as ICADE for short and it is the School of Economics and Business Administration within Comillas. This department was founded in 1956 and today is one of the premiere programs of its kind in Europe. There are 15-20 business courses in English, and many more business courses in Spanish for students with advanced Spanish language skills.  

The Universidad Pontificia Comillas, founded in 1890, is a premier Jesuit institution located in the capital of Spain. Nestled in downtown Madrid, the political, economic and cultural heart of Spain, it offers an excellent opportunity for academic, professional and personal development.

Business courses taught in English often* include:

- International Economics (ECON 370)
- Economics of European Union (ECON 458)
- Corporate Finance (FIN 365)
- Financial Management (FIN 365)
- International Business (IBUS 300)
- International Marketing (IBUS 301)
- Business Negotiations in a Global Marketplace (IBUS 3xx)
- Operations Management (ITEC 355)
- Leadership (MGMT 3xx)
- Organizational Behavior (MGMT 353)
- Human Resource Management (MGMT 381)
- Introduction to Marketing (MKTG 300)
- Marketing Management (MKTG 300)
- Marketing Research (MKTG 302)
- Consumer Behavior (MKTG 301)

*Please note courses are not guaranteed to be on offer every semester.  The final schedule of classes given to us by ICADE will identify each semester's course offerings.

*** AU students can take ICADE courses in Spanish and/or in English depending on language ability.***

See the List of Subjects by Departament to get more information on courses generally offered at ICADE.  Keep in mind that students in this program can only take courses from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (ICADE).  Courses in other faculties listed in this linked document (like the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, etc) are not available to students on this program.

Here is a list of classes offered in  Fall 2014.xlsx and in Spring 15.xlsx

Click here to find out which courses at ICADE have already been equated to AU courses. Please note that you are NOT limited to just these courses. Students will need to request equivalency for courses which have not been previously reviewed. Read more about the course equivalency process and how AU counts study abroad credits on our Courses and Credits page. 

AU CenterCourses offered at the AU study center

To complement the 1-3 business courses that students will take at the Spanish university, students will take the remainder of their courses at the AU Center in Madrid.  This robust center houses all of AU's others study abroad programs in Madrid, and offers differing courses in the Fall and Spring semester. Madrid Business Program students will take these courses with the other AU students studying abroad in Madrid.  

In the Fall semester, courses are focused around the theme of the Mediterranean region.  The Spring semester courses focus more specifically on Spain and its unique culture, history, economy, politics, and society.  Unlike the courses above at ICADE which need course equivalency, the AU Center classes all exist in the AU course catalog already and have AU course numbers attached to them. The following courses are on offer at the AU Center:

*FALL* Courses: (All Fall classes in the AU center are taught in English)
  • Mediterranean Politics -(SISA-383-004S) Fall, instructed in English.  This course reviews the Mediterranean region's role in European politics through patterns of conflict and resolution. It covers politics of the Arab world and bilateral relations between countries, with a focus on conflicts in Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, and the Balkans. The course examines the strategic importance of the Maghreb, which combined with southern Europe plays an important role in the decision-making process of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and the United States. The course also addresses strategic interests, security concerns, defense policies, migration pressure, and risks of nuclear and missile proliferation.

  • Mediterranean Literature- (LIT 365-001S) Fall, instructed in English.  This course offers a review of the major Mediterranean world literary accomplishments of antiquity, the Renaissance, and the baroque, as well as contemporary Arab literature. Students become familiar with intrinsically Mediterranean topics such as epic travel, exile, and cross-fertilization among cultures, the works of Homer, Dante, and Cervantes and their trail of influence in modern literature and culture, as well as reading the work s of major authors of Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, and Morocco.

  • Mediterranean Art History (ARTH 250; 3 credits) Fall, Instructed in English
    An introduction to Mediterranean history and art, centered chronologically on art movements with emphasis on the differences between Spanish art and its Mediterranean counterparts. The course is an in-depth study of painting, sculpture, and architecture that includes stylistic as well as thematic manifestations, examining art in the Mediterranean from cave paintings to the twentieth century from a variety of cultures and geographic regions, and introducing students to stylistic periods, major works and artists, and the traditional methods of art history.

  • Cross Cultural Cinema (LIT 379-001S) Fall, instructed in English.  Featuring a series of films, mostly produced in Mediterranean countries, which are a rich source for the study of inter cultural relations, this course studies the cinematic medium, not only as a data source, but as a language in itself. Different film traditions are analyzed in order to discover the type of stylistic conventions that vary from culture to culture, as well as cinema's potential for inter cultural communication.

  • Contemporary Mediterranean Cultures (SISA-363) Fall, instructed in English.  The Mediterranean has been a crucible of human cultures since the beginning of recorded history. This interdisciplinary survey course will explore the distinct “ways of living” that have developed around the shores of mare nostrum: their similarities and differences; conflicts and solutions; and the contemporary social problems facing the people of the Mediterranean region. Each of the thematic issues covered in this course—including gender and sexuality; social inequality; society and the environment; violence and extremism; and religion in society—will be addressed at both the regional and local level through specific case studies from around the region.

  • Spain's Soccer Obsession: Managing and Marketing Soccer Clubs in Spain (KSB-350) Offered in Fall and Spring; Instructed in English. This course will provide students with an understanding of the dynamic and growing field of soccer as a business. Topics addressed include: league formation; team and player promotion; sponsorships and events; media; soccer tourism; and soccer goods and brands. Special emphasis will be placed on the soccer fan/consumer in order to understand various consumer-related issues such as participants versus spectators, research, behavior, segmentation, brand association and loyalty, customer relationship management, and globalization.  Theoretical and practical cases and visits to Spanish soccer clubs and organizations will expose students to the techniques and strategies applicable to the business of soccer.  Taught in English.  Students who actively play soccer and wish to play while in Madrid will have the ability to play on several different soccer teams at various levels. 

*SPRING* Courses: (most Spring courses at the AU Center are conducted in Spanish.  There are usually two courses offered in English in the Spring). 

  • Spain & Latin America: The Immigrant Experience (SISA-363) Spring, instructed in either English or Spanish. This course will review the different migratory waves as well as the social, political and economic impacts in both the sending and the receiving societies. It will include comparative case studies related to demographic, sociological, economic, and policy interests.  This course will attempt to examine the exile as a crucial channel of intercommunication among societies by highlighting the importance of the support and solidarity shown in times of social upheaval, economic failure, and/or political instability. Spain and Latin America have significantly changed their position in the world migration system. The study of this shift would allow students to get a better knowledge of both the evolution of Latin American economies and societies and the close interaction between migratory flows and the world economy, as well as the nature of societies engaged in transatlantic contact and the characteristics of both voluntary and involuntary migration.

  • Spanish and European Art History (ARTH-250) Spring, instructed in English - This course examines the European and Spanish Art from the Middle Ages until the beginnings of the 20th century. Main trends and individual styles will be made clear by analyzing the art pieces and masters of the different periods under study. Classroom teaching combines lectures with visits to important museums in Madrid: Prado Museum and the Thyssem-Bornemisza Museum.

  • International Relations: Spain & the European Union (SISA-383) Spring, instructed in Spanish.  The EU has been a successful integration process in the international scene. It is very difficult to classify the outcome of this integration, that despite its scope and influence remains far away from the ordinary citizen. An economic giant but a political dwarf? This course will introduce the key features to understand why there is such a project, how it works, its nature and the main debates revolving around its present and its future.Objectives of the course: To understand the integration process of the EU; To analyze its main institutions and its decision-making process; To consider the main ongoing debates on its structure and functioning; To investigate EU´s main policies; To explore the effects of this integration process on member states and third countries.

  • Contemporary Spain & Latin America through Literature and Film (LIT-347-001S) Spring, instructed in Spanish.  This course aims to establish the purpose and limits of the relationship between literature and other aesthetic systems like film.  Specially, the course will look at Spanish socio-cultural environment in literature and film produced in Spain during the last third of twentieth century. We will View both full-length movies as well as fragments to help us help in understanding the literature and its context.
  • Security Issues in Basque Country (SISA-313) Spring, instructed in Spanish. This course takes a look at the phenomenon of political violence in Western Europe and more specifically in Spain and the Basque Country. Against the traditional interpretation of terrorism in the United States as a violent strategy used by outside groups in an attempt to influence the government's foreign policy, in Europe there have been numerous domestic terrorist groups that were seeking, through the use of violence, to transform their political regimes or get the secession of any part of the country.  This course first outlines what we identify as 'terrorism', understood here as coercive violence used by insurgent groups, given the strength of the state they face, and thus they are forced to resort to this tactic violent. The course proposes, secondly, a classification of terrorist organizations, based on the goals of the organization, if they want to change the political regime or seek independence from any region. Various aspects of terrorism as factors that explain its emergence, or the pattern of selection of victims of the terrorist organizations are also analyzed. The second part of the course is devoted entirely to the study of ETA, a terrorist organization seeks the secession of the Basque region of Spain. Effectively using a comparative perspective, the class examines the emergence of ETA (compared to the absence of violence in Catalonia), the dynamics of terrorist violence in the Basque Country and Spain (as opposed to terrorist violence in Northern Ireland and Corsica), and possible solutions to domestic conflicts that have produced a large number of victims of terrorism.
  • Soccer GameSpain's Soccer Obsession: Managing and Marketing Soccer Clubs in Spain  (KSB-350) Offered in Fall and Spring; Instructed in English. This course will provide students with an understanding of the dynamic and growing field of soccer as a business. Topics addressed include: league formation; team and player promotion; sponsorships and events; media; soccer tourism; and soccer goods and brands. Special emphasis will be placed on the soccer fan/consumer in order to understand various consumer-related issues such as participants versus spectators, research, behavior, segmentation, brand association and loyalty, customer relationship management, and globalization.  Theoretical and practical cases and visits to Spanish soccer clubs and organizations will expose students to the techniques and strategies applicable to the business of soccer.  Taught in English.  Students who actively play soccer and wish to play while in Madrid will have the ability to play on several different soccer teams at various levels. 


Internships of two days per week provide a unique opportunity to work and interact with Spaniards outside the academic context, while at the same time including academic requirements such as projects and papers. Internships are an option for students with advanced Spanish language skills. Language ability will be tested on-site.   Students who wish receive credits towards a Spanish Major or Minor for the internship course must take this course on a pass/fail basis!  The internship is an option for students who take fewer than 2 courses at Comillas.  Course number: SABD-391.

Student Life

Old Post Office in MadridSimply put, Spain is one of the most incredible places on earth. Its constantly modernizing infrastructure, majestic culture, rich gastronomy, booming nightlife, security and renowned hospitality....all this combines to make Spain an incomparable destination for your study abroad experience.

Housing and Meals

Full cultural integration happens in the home, as well as the classroom. While you are studying in Madrid, you live in a Spanish home. Your homestay allows you to experience the warmth and hospitality of Spain while improving your language skills.

In the homestay, students enjoy breakfast, and evening meals and, in most cases, weekly laundry. Students may be in single or double rooms. Students commute approx. 30 min from their homestays to the program offices in the center of Madrid. Once you have completed AU Abroad on-line pre-departure forms, an on-site Housing Coordinator will organize your living arrangements before you arrive.

Visa Information

ICADE logo Upon acceptance, the international coordinators at Comillas and AU Abroad will provide students with a visa letter. AU Abroad will distribute the letters to students. Students are responsible for contacting the Spanish Embassy or Consulate to find out which additional documents are needed to obtain a student visa.


Connect with Spain!

AU students are lucky to live in the DC area near the Spanish Embassy and DC Consulate.  The Embassy and Consulate is located near George Washington University in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of DC.  There is also a cultural center near 16th and Fuller St., NW where many events are held.  The Embassy often holds events related to Spanish culture that will be of great interest to AU students before and after a study abroad semester in Spain.  Visit their website to learn more information and to read about the visa process!  SPAIN arts & culture is another great site that features events and exhibits of the most cutting-edge works of international renowned Spanish artists in fields such as design, urban culture, architecture, visual arts, film, performing arts, literature and music.  Take advantage of your DC location by participating in events and soaking up some Spanish culture stateside!

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Academic Year 2015-2016 02/25/2015
Varies by program TBA TBA
Fall 2015 03/06/2015
Varies by program 08/22/2015 12/19/2015
Spring 2016 09/01/2015 ** Varies by program TBA TBA

** The time it takes to receive an admissions decision varies greatly by program; it can take as little as two weeks or as long as several months. Contact AU Abroad for further details on your program's admissions timeline.

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