Is this program right for you?
This program is an option for AU students who are majoring in Spanish language. It is for students who are seeking a very independent study option in Madrid with all classes conducted in Spanish. Students directly enroll alongside local students at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas within the Facultad de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences). Students hoping to participate in this program should have very advanced Spanish language skills and a high level of flexibility.
Students who are successful on this program will be looking for a challenge, be comfortable with a high level of ambiguity and understand the challenges of making new friends in a foreign environment.
Although students in the Comillas program will exist independently and take classes at the Cantoblanco campus of Comillas, they will still have access to the AU Center in Madrid which administers our other AU Madrid programs, and have the benefit of some support by the Director and staff of the AU Center.
The Universidad Pontificia Comillas, founded in 1890, is a premier institution located in the capital of Spain. With several campus sites located throughout Madrid, the political, economic and cultural heart of Spain, it offers an excellent opportunity for academic, professional and personal development. The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences coursework take place at the Cantoblanco campus which is located north of city of Madrid, accessible via the cercanía commuter train.
- Students are required to have taken a topics level course at AU (completion of SPAN 355 or the equivalent) prior to attending the program. Translations courses do not fulfill this pre-requisite.
- Students must be a Spanish major.
- Students must have taken a Spanish course within 1-2 semesters from the time they intend to be abroad. For example, a student applying to go on this program for the Spring 2019 term must have taken a Spanish course at the 355 level or above during the previous Fall 2018, Summer 2018, or Spring 2018 terms.
- Students must have completed their sophomore year of college prior to attending program.
- 3.0 GPA
Students earn a full semester of American University (AU) undergraduate credit while studying at Universidad Pontificia Comillas. Students directly enroll at Comillas. For more information about what is means to directly enroll in a foreign university, please view our Direct Enrollment page. The Cantoblanco campus, where the Humanities faculty is located, is in the northeast section of Madrid, accessible via the Cercania train network.
In this program, students with advanced Spanish language skills take classes with Spanish students and other international students. The Faculty offers courses taught in Spanish as well as a select few in English. However, AU students are *not* allowed to take courses in English in this program. Students in this program should take all of their courses in the Spanish language. Courses taken in English will NOT receive AU credit.
Subject areas on offer at this campus include: Spanish language, Spanish Studies, Translation, Interpretation, Education, International Studies, Psychology, Philosophy, and several other modern languages. Spanish as a foreign language coursework is available at the advanced levels, as are courses in Spanish literature and culture.
See the attached excel document below from a previous semester which displays current projections of courses to be on offer. **Keep in mind that courses are not guaranteed, and students should have a high level of flexibility in which courses they take at Comillas; course schedules will be finalized upon arrival in Madrid - not before. Students cannot take "anual" courses unless they plan to be in Madrid for the full academic year. Also pay attention to which "semester" the course is offered. "1º Semestre" refers to the Fall semester and "2º Semestre" refers to the Spring semester.
View the Course Equivalency Database to find out which courses on this program 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.
Only in Madrid can you stroll through the lovely Retiro Park and enjoy the jugglers and mimes, treat yourself to "tapas" while taking in the exquisite design of the old Plaza Mayor, or view the paintings of Goya, Velasquez, and El Greco at the Prado Museum. Also Madrid's fabulous public transportation system makes conquering this exciting city easy!
Madrid truly lives up to its title as the city that never sleeps. Night-owls delight in Madrid as you are expected to eat and dance the night away, whether you're twenty years old or fifty years old. There is always something to do in Madrid no matter what time it is.
Housing and Meals
Full integration happens in the home, as well as the classroom. During your semester in Madrid you will live in a Spanish home coordinated by the AU Center in Spain. Your homestay allows you to experience the warmth and hospitality of Spain while improving your language skills. Once you have completed AU Abroad on-line pre-departure forms, the AU Abroad Madrid on-site Coordinator will organize your living arrangements before you arrive. Students may be in single or double rooms. In the homestay, students enjoy breakfast, lunch, evening meals and, in most cases, weekly laundry.
For Spring 2019 only: AU Abroad has 5 housing spots available in a Spanish student residence (RESA) as an alternative to the homestay. Students who are accepted for this option will apply for it and pay RESA directly for housing and meals (housing and partial meal plan is approximately $6,650; housing and a full meal plan is approximately $7,230) and then pay AU Abroad a reduced program fee of $1,404 instead of the $6,300 AU Abroad fee listed on the budget sheet. Please read Housing at RESA.pdf to learn the procedures to sign up for this housing option.
Upon acceptance, the international coordinators at Comillas 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. Students should apply for their visa with plenty of time.
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!