Carnegie Mellon University

Study Abroad in Spain

The Department of Languages, Cultures & Applied Linguistics is pleased to offer an exciting four, six, or eight-week summer study abroad program at Estudio Sampere in Madrid, with additional opportunities in Alicante or Salamanca. 

CMU in Spain takes place at Estudio Sampere in Madrid and either Alicante or Salamanca.  

Students may choose a four, six, or eight-week program. The four-week program takes place in Madrid and begins in either early June or early July. The six-week or eight-week programs start in early June, and after four weeks in Madrid, students transfer to a second Sampere site: either Alicante (on the Mediterranean coast, south of Valencia) or Salamanca (northwest of Madrid).

City Information

At the very center of Spain, Madrid is a bustling city, a city of "mucha movida,” or much activity. It is easy to navigate by metro, bus, or foot. Students who study at Estudio Sampere will live in or near the Barrio de Salamanca, an older, centrally located residential section of the city, close to many of the key sights and attractions: Retiro Park, the Prado Museum (as well as many other of the some hundred museums of the city), the center of the city at the Puerta del Sol and the Plaza Mayor, the "terrazas" or outdoor cafes of the Castellana (a main thoroughfare that divides the city vertically), and shopping and entertainment districts. The Madrileños, or citizens of Madrid, are also known as "los gatos," or cats, because they greatly enjoy a nightlife that begins late and ends late. There is a wide selection of movies, theaters, concerts, bars, cafeterias, nightclubs, and restaurants in a variety of neighborhoods. Madrid is an exciting place to explore, a vibrant city rich in culture and history.

A popular tourist destination on the Costa Blanca, with miles of sandy beaches, Alicante has been described as the pearl of the Mediterranean. Well-inhabited well before the Romans, Alicante plays a vital role in the modern Spanish economy. Alicante is a medium-sized city of roughly 340,000 inhabitants, with a cultural life and a young and dynamic university. Century-old traditions like the San Juan Festivities are celebrated in Alicante.

Salamanca is home to Spain's oldest university. Hundreds of young Spaniards study here from October to June. Salamanca life centers on the Plaza Mayor. Surrounded by bars, restaurants, and shops, Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor is one of the most beautiful squares in Spain, and is known as the living room of the Salamantinos. Virtually everything in this small city is within walking distance: beautiful churches, ancient streets, bars, restaurants and much more. Segovia, Burgos, Santiago de Compostela, Leon, and Madrid are all within easy reach. The climate is continental, with chilly winters and sunny summers.

Program Dates:

  • 4-week program: June 3 - 28, 2024
  • 6-week program: June 3 - July 12, 2024
  • 8-week program: June 3 - July 26, 2024

Students may choose a four, six or eight-week program. The four-week program takes place in Madrid. For the six or eight-week programs, after four weeks in Madrid, students transfer to a second Sampere site: either Alicante (on the Mediterranean coast, south of Valencia) or Salamanca (northwest of Madrid).

Depending on the courses taken, students completing the Madrid program may receive 18 units of transfer credit, and an additional 6 or 9 units for the Alicante or Salamanca segment, depending on length of program.

As part of their academic experience, all students participate in museum visits in Madrid and full-day excursions to sites near Madrid (for example, Toledo, Segovia, El Escorial, and Valle de los Caídos). All students will take a Spanish class, after an initial placement test upon arrival, and one additional course. Advanced level classes may include Business Spanish; Spanish for the Professions; Contemporary Spain: Civilization and Culture; Introduction to Spanish Literature; Introduction to Translation. Advanced level classes include Readings in Literary Genres, Commercial and Technical Spanish, Survey of Spanish Literature, Spanish Film, Advanced Grammar and Composition, and Advanced Conversation and Writing. Some advanced courses may be contigent upon minimum enrollment.

Extracurricular activities include:

  • Additional visits to museums, historical sites and monuments in Madrid
  • Walking tours within the city
  • Cooking class
  • Flamenco

There are no prerequisites for this program.

Students may enroll in courses at beginner, intermediate or advanced levels. They should consult with the program advisor to discuss placement and course selection. To ensure proper placement, students take a placement exam on their first day of class in Madrid.

Total program costs:

  • 4-week program: $4,500
  • 6-week program: $6,100
  • 8-week program $7,500
Prices are subject to change based on Euro-Dollar rates

Fees include tuition, room and board, and required cultural activities and excursions. 

Not covered: airfare to and from Madrid; incidental expenses of a personal nature.

Visit our Payment Page to learn about payment options for LCAL study abroad programs.

Study Abroad Scholarships

Our department, along with the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, offers study abroad scholarships for students to study for a semester, full-year, or summer overseas. All LCAL declared majors, and Arabic Studies minors, are guaranteed a departmental scholarship if they are in good academic standing with CMU. Scholarships can be put towards tuition, room and board, airfare and/or book expenses when participating in any accredited study abroad program. Students are encouraged to talk to program director to look for additional scholarships. Learn more about scholarships.


Participants have the added advantage of being placed with Spanish families during their course of study. Housing assignments are located within walking distance or easy metro rides to Sampere. Estudio Sampere in Madrid is very centrally located, in the Barrio de Salamanca, an older, residential section of the city a few blocks from Retiro Park and the Prado Museum. For the final two or four weeks, if students participate in the six or eight-week programs, they will live with new host families in either Alicante or Salamanca, and will resume their studies at the point where they stopped in Madrid.

"Being part of the study abroad in Spain program allowed me to find myself immersed in the language and a culture that is notably different to the ones I know and am exposed to, granting me the opportunity to greatly improve my understanding of Hispanic studies, all while making unforgettable memories and friends." — Laura Gallegos