Duke in Madrid

Advanced Spanish Language and Culture

Study at Universidad Carlos III

Apply Now

The Duke in Madrid (DIM) program was founded in 1989 and is sponsored by the Department of Romance Studies and the Global Education Office for Undergraduates of Duke University. Committed to a cultural studies perspective, the program aims at improving participants’ Spanish fluency and deepening their understanding of Spain and its many cultures within a global context.


Location: Madrid, Spain

Term: Fall, Spring, or Academic Year

Dates: August 28, 2019 - December 21, 2019 (Fall); January 14, 2019 - June 5, 2019 (Spring)

Application Deadline: March 1 (Fall and Academic Year), October 15 (Spring)

Academic Theme(s): Spanish language and culture

Credit Type: Hybrid Credit Structure

Eligibility: Priority will be given to applicants who have completed at least one Spanish course at the advanced level (Duke SPANISH 300 level) or have equivalent proficiency, and have a GPA of 3.0 or above. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Language of Instruction: Spanish, English

Duke Affiliation: Co-sponsored by the Duke Department of Romance Studies

Housing: Homestay with Spanish families

GEO Advisor: Abigail Hall Grubbs

  • Students after a tour of the Palacio Real de Madrid

  • Enjoying traditional tapas while on excursion to Seville

  • A rooftop view of Madrid

  • Trying traditional Gallego clothing during a Folklore Workshop in Galicia

  • Students live with host families in Madrid

  • Universidad Carlos III offers activities for international students, like this Spanish cooking workshop

  • Posing in the wind on Garita de Herbeira during an excursion to Galicia

  • A beautiful fall day in Segovia

  • Students take flamenco dance lessons during an excursion to Seville


The Duke in Madrid program is designed with a hybrid credit structure. Students will enroll in two Duke in Madrid Signature Courses and two electives at the host university.

  • Duke in Madrid Signature Courses (two courses): Courses will be counted as full Duke credits with Duke numbers, full curricular code eligibility, and final grades that count in the GPA.
  • Electives at Host University (two courses): All courses offered by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) will convey to the Duke transcript as transfer credits, provided the U.S. equivalent of a C- or higher is earned in the course. For these courses only, letter grades will not appear on the Duke transcript and will not count in the Duke GPA.




Host University

Duke in Madrid's primary host university is the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). UC3M is known for its teaching, innovation, and social commitment. In 2009, it was one of five Spanish universities chosen to be a "Campus of International Excellence" by the European Union based on its high quality students, faculty, and staff. 

Academic Policies

The following program policies exist with regards to courses and course loads:

  • Students must enroll in four full courses. No underloads and no overloads are permitted.
  • All courses must be taken for graded credit.
  • All courses must be taught in Spanish; students may take up to two engineering or computer science courses taught in English, if desired.

Course Registration

Duke in Madrid Signature Courses – GEO staff will register you for the signature courses you select after your arrival in Madrid. You will not be able to register for Duke in Madrid courses on DukeHub during registration on the Duke campus prior to departure for Spain.

UC3M Transfer Credit Courses – Actual course registration will take place in Madrid at the beginning of the semester. Duke in Madrid staff can help you register for courses and assist you with getting courses approved for transfer credit back to Duke.

Be prepared to be flexible: Please note that Duke University has no control over the course offerings at UC3M in a given semester, so you should not arrive in Madrid absolutely determined to take a specific course. There is no guarantee that a given course will be offered by UC3M or that it will fit into your course schedule.

Spanish Majors and Minors

Duke Spanish majors: All courses may be counted toward the major, provided they meet departmental criteria for the major. Credit distribution may vary according to students' needs, with a maximum of three courses counting toward the core course requirement (must have designated Spanish number) and remaining course(s) counting as related courses. Courses must be eligible for Spanish/related credit in order to count toward the major. For students remaining a second semester, two additional courses may be counted as core courses; the rest may be counted as related courses.

Duke Spanish minors: A maximum of two courses with designated Spanish numbers may be counted, provided they meet departmental criteria for the Spanish minor.

Please see the Duke University Undergraduate Bulletin for details on the Spanish major and minor or talk to the Director of Undergraduate Studies of the Department of Romance Studies to clarify if courses will count towards the major or minor.

Non-Duke Student Transcripts

To assist non-Duke students studying with Duke in Madrid with credit transfer, Duke will make available at semester's end a Duke transcript with Duke and transfer credits listed, a transcript from the UC3M with Spanish grades listed, and, by request, a Duke conversion of the Spanish grades listed on the UC3M transcript.


Duke in Madrid Signature Courses

Students will select two signature courses from the following options. These courses will be taught at the Duke in Madrid downtown center. Signature courses are for Duke credit with Duke numbers, full curricular code eligibility, and final grades that count in the GPA. 

De la Transición a la Indignación: Movimientos Sociales en España (1977-2013)
From Transición To Indignación: Social Movements In Spain (1977-2013)
(SS, CCI, EI, FL), 1.0 credit

SPANISH 414A / VMS 414A 
Ficciones Urbanas e Imaginarios Colectivos: Madrid a través de la Literatura y el Cine
Urban Fiction and Collective Imagination: Madrid Through Literature and Film
(CCI, CZ, FL, ALP), 1.0 credit

SPANISH 419A / AMI 419A 
Sacar Los Cuervos, Dar Los Ojos: Spanish Cinema from the Transition to the Present
(ALP, CCI, FL), 1.0 credit

SPANISH 420A / LIT 420A 
Thinking Language: Poetics from Here and There
(ALP, FL), 1.0 credit

El Retorno de lo Colectivo (Aproximación Psico-Social a la España Contemporánea): Teatro, Cultura e Identidad
The Return of the Collective (Psychosocial Approach To Contemporary Spain): Theatre, Culture, and Identity
(ALP, FL), 1.0 credit

Decentering Spanish Otherness: Visual Culture and Coloniality in Contemporary Spain
(ALP, CZ, CCI, FL), 1.0 credit

Cultural Lab: Walk, Think, Experiment Now
(ALP, FL), 1.0 credit

Movilidad, Salud, y Sistemas Sanitarios
Mobility, Health, and Healthcare Systems
(SS, FL), 1.0 credit

La España Ecológica
The Ecological Side of Spain: How Climate, Biology and Territory Define Our Society
(SS, FL), 1.0 credit


UC3M Elective Courses

All courses offered by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) will convey to the Duke transcript as transfer credits, provided the U.S. equivalent of a C- or higher is earned in the course. For these courses only, letter grades will not appear on the Duke transcript and will not count in the Duke GPA. 

  • Cursos de Estudios Hispanicos (CEH): Duke in Madrid students may enroll in only one Cursos de Estudios Hispánicos (CEH) - (Hispanic studies) course at UC3M unless electing to take two Grado courses. The CEH courses include other U.S. and international students and are all taught on the Getafe Campus
  • Grado Courses: All Duke in Madrid students will be required to take at least one, ideally two, Grado courses (regular university courses) at UC3M. Students may take two engineering or computer science courses in English if desired, otherwise all Grado courses must be taken in Spanish.

With the exception of engineering courses, UC3M Grado courses are taught on the Getafe Campus. Engineering courses are taught on the UC3M Leganés Campus, about a 20-minute bus ride from the UC3M Getafe campus. Grado courses include Spanish students.

View Courses

This list of UC3M courses is not meant to be a definitive list of course offerings, but it can give you a good idea of what may be offered, as well as how courses normally count at Duke. Actual course offerings are announced at the beginning of the semester. The list shows the Duke equivalent department(s) and number(s) for each course approved. Curricular codes are also included.

If a course is not listed, it is important that you follow these steps to get courses approved by the Duke departments for transfer credit. This information must be officially recorded by the GEO in the GEO Approved Course Database in order for proper credit to be awarded. Please make sure any course approvals by Duke departments are forwarded to the GEO.

Duke University has no control over the course offerings at the UC3M in a given semester, so students should not arrive in Madrid absolutely determined to take a specific course mentioned on the approved list. Availability of the course is subject to UC3M's final course offerings for the semester. 


U3CM Courses

The list of approved UC3M courses for transfer credit can also be found in the GEO Approved Course Database. If a course cannot be approved at Duke in a certain department, you will find that information in the database as well.


Each semester, program participants enjoy a full complement of excursions, both day trips and extended trips, all included in the cost of the program. Excursions include transportation, guided tours, most meals, and lodging for overnight trips. Below are some possible group excursions with Duke in Madrid. Excursion destinations are subject to change each semester.

  • Northern Spain


Andalucia: Sevilla and Granada

The group spends four days/three nights traveling across the south of Spain, including guided visits to the Cathedral and Giralda in Sevilla and the Cathedral and Alhambra in Granada. Travel will be by bus and train. Students have the option to extend their return transportation by two days in order to explore more of Andalucia at their own expense. Most students choose to stay and explore surrounding cities such as Córdoba and Cádiz.



The field trip to Barcelona consists of 2 days/1 night and includes guided tours of various monuments and museums, such as Museo Picasso, the Gothic Neighborhood (El Barrio Gótico) , the Casal Mila (Gaudí), and the interior of La Sagrada Familia (Gaudí). Students have the option of extending the program-paid return flight by one day to spend extra time in Barcelona at their own expense. Most students choose to extend their stay to explore not only Barcelona, but the surrounding area.


Galicia: Rural homestay and Santiago de Compostela

(Fall only) The group spends three days/two nights in Galicia visiting rural areas and the cities of A Coruña, Pontevedra, and Santiago de Compostela. Transportation to Galicia will be by plane and local transportation by bus.

Northern Spain

Northern Spain/Basque Country

(Spring Only) The field trip to Northern Spain consists of 3 days/2 nights and includes guided tours of the cities of Santander, Bilbao (Guggenheim museum), and San Sebastian and the countryside of Cantabria, visiting the Altamira Museum and the beautiful village of Santillana del Mar. The program participants stay at a rural homestay in Cantabria and a downtown hotel in San Sebastian.



The group will spend the day on guided tours of Segovia's highlights, including the Aqueduct and Alcazar. Transportation will be by bus from Madrid.



The group will spend the day in the hilltop city of Toledo where it will tour sites related to the three religions that once coexisted in Spain. Transportation will be by bus from Madrid.


Duke in Madrid (DIM) students are able to participate in a variety of activities while in Madrid, ranging from cultural events to sports clubs, municipal cultural events, and classes held at museums. The program publishes a weekly newsletter which advertises both program-sponsored cultural events, university news, and information about potential activities in Madrid and beyond. 

In order to explore in-depth the wide variety of cultural activities available in Madrid, the program sponsors the Cultural Passport as a requirement for all participants. Students will choose among several activities organized on a weekly basis selecting those ones of their interest. Program staff will select events performed at some of Madrid’s avant-garde cultural venues to expose students to the most vibrant cultural and intellectual life.

    • Program Sponsored
    • University Sponsored

    Program Sponsored

    Program-sponsored activities 

    Examples of DIM-sponsored activities available each semester include the following:

    • City tours and walking tours to Madrid’s neighbourhoods
    • Museum visits to Museo del Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
    • Guided tours to Institutions such as the Cámara del Senado (Senate Chambers), Congreso de los Diputados (Congress), or the Madrid stock exchange (La Bolsa)
    • Visits to avant-garde cultural spaces such as Casa Encendida, Matadero, Circulo de Bellas Artes, CaixaForum
    • Academic conferences and cultural workshops
    • Spanish films, theater outings, Flamenco show
    • Culinary events
    • Conversation exchange with university students

    University Sponsored

    University-sponsored activities 

    The Universidad Carlos III Madrid has a very active campus life and DIM students are encouraged to participate as much as possible in order to get immersed in Spanish society and to improve their Spanish skills.

    In addition to many cultural activities, volunteer opportunities, lectures, and concerts, UC3M boasts an impressive sports complex with pools, gym equipment, various sports fields, and tennis and handball courts.

    Read more about UC3M's campus life and sports activities



    Students live with Spanish families who are carefully selected by the administrative director. Living with a family fully immerses students into the Spanish lifestyle, language, and culture, providing access to the city in ways that campus life cannot provide. Students will either live in single or double rooms and will have their own bed, desk, and closet. They may share a bathroom with other family members. Duke in Madrid host family homes have wireless internet access.

    Housing Form

    Students must submit a completed housing form at the time of application. Please share as much information as possible about your preferences and needs so that you will be placed with a host family that matches your lifestyle.


    Host families provide three meals per day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Most meals are provided during program excursions.

    Non-program Housing

    In extraordinary circumstances, students may be allowed to arrange for their own housing. These arrangements must be confirmed and approved three months prior to departure for Spain by Duke in Madrid administrators at Duke. If approval is granted, such students are entitled to request a housing reimbursement from the Durham office.

    Note: In the spring semester only, non-program housing is an automatic option for students continuing with Duke in Madrid from fall to spring. In the past, second semester DIM students have arranged on their own to rent apartments.

    For more information about the non-program housing policy for Duke in Madrid, please contact a Global Education Office representative listed below.


    These costs are estimated based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change.

    Fall 2019 or Spring 2020

      Duke Students Non-Duke Students
    Tuition $27,940 $27,940
    Program Fee $3,300 $3,300
    Transcript Fee N/A $40
    Other Costs

    Other Costs-Fall

    Other Costs-Spring

    Other Costs-Fall 

    Other Costs-Spring

    TOTAL (Estimated) $36,670 - Fall
    $36,970 - Spring
    $36,710 - Fall
    $37,010 - Spring

    Cost FAQs

    Financial Aid

    Duke students receiving institutional need-based grant aid are eligible for aid for this program; work-study funds are converted to grants. Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.

    Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.


    All dates are tentative and may change with the administrative calendar of the Universidad Carlos III. Final dates will be confirmed at orientations for Duke in Madrid students in early April (for Fall Term/full year students) and in early November (for Spring Term students). Specific dates for events in a particular semester, including holidays and excursions, will be sent to applicants as soon as they are available.

    • Fall 2019
    • Spring 2019

    Fall 2019

    Fall 2019

    • Arrival: August 28, 2019
    • Departure: December 21, 2019

    *See the DIM calendar in your student portal for important details regarding the program departure date.


    You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. You are expected to arrive on the arrival date cited above, which usually means departing the U.S. one day prior.

    All students must stay for scheduled final exams. Students may not request an early exam date, and all papers must be turned into instructors and a copy left at the Duke in Madrid office before the student's departure from Spain.

    Once you have a flight itinerary, log in to MyGlobalEd to update your travel registry.

    Housing Before/After

    You will need to make your own housing arrangements if you will be arriving before the program start date or leaving later than the program end date.

    Spring 2019

    Spring 2019

    • Arrival: January 14, 2019
    • Departure: June 5, 2019*

    *The departure date is driven by the final exam schedule, which you will receive during orientation.


    You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. You are expected to arrive on the arrival date cited above, which usually means departing the U.S. one day prior.

    All students must stay for scheduled final exams. Students may not request an early exam date, and all papers must be turned into instructors and a copy left at the Duke in Madrid office before the student's departure from Spain.

    Once you have a flight itinerary, log in to MyGlobalEd to update your travel registry.

    Housing Before/After

    You will need to make your own housing arrangements if you will be arriving before the program start date or leaving later than the program end date.


    1. How do I get a Spanish visa?

    Duke's Global Education Office for Undergraduates will send you basic information regarding the Spanish student visa in your acceptance packet. It will be your responsibility to follow up on instructions and requirements with the Spanish consulate assigned to your home jurisdiction. In recent semesters, we have had problems with students beginning the visa process too close to their departure date for Madrid so we encourage all students to be in possession of valid passports and to begin the visa process as early as allowed by their individual consulates. If you do not obtain a Spanish student visa prior to departure for Spain, we cannot guarantee your participation in the program in Madrid.

    2. Can I work in Madrid?

    Spanish labor laws prohibit you from working in Spain without a work permit. You will be in Spain on a student visa, not a work permit.

    3. Can I room with a friend?

    During the fall semester, the size of the group will limit the number of single-student situations available with our host families. You are able to list your roommate preference on the housing form submitted along with your Duke in Madrid application. Roommate requests must be mutual, so please talk to your intended roommate beforehand. Roommate requests will be honored if possible. In the spring semester, students are encouraged to live in single-student situations in their Spanish households to encourage greater language practice. However, roommate situations are still possible; and the same mutual request rule applies as described above.

    4. What’s the best way to access money abroad?

    Accessing your home country accounts via an automated teller machine (ATM) in Spain is, by far, the easiest way to secure cash. The banks in major cities provide 24-hour ATM access and cash is dispersed in local currency. Access to a credit card is also highly recommended.

    5. How do I register for my next semester classes while abroad?

    Duke students will receive an e-mail with PIN and registration instructions from the registrar prior to the registration period. ACES is available through internet access in Spain. Registration may also be done via fax or e-mail if the internet proves unreliable.

    6. Will there be an interview in the application process?

    There is no interview required for admission to the Duke in Madrid program, although the academic director may contact you if more information is needed about your background or qualifications.

    7. Should I invest in a cell phone when I arrive?

    Almost all students acquire a cell phone in Madrid although it is not required by the program. Information about cell phone purchases and usage will be covered in the orientation in Madrid.

    8. I’m a non-Duke student. How do I get a Duke transcript after I finish the program?

    Transcripts will NOT be sent automatically—you will need to request them. Transcripts can be requested in writing by contacting the Duke University Office of the Registrar.

    9. Should I bring my laptop to Madrid?

    The DIM program makes every effort to ensure that students have access to WiFi in their homestays, so a laptop is considered highly desirable to essential by most students. Computer labs at the university are limited to university business hours. There are internet cafes available around the city for a fee.

    10. Do I need any special immunizations for Spain?

    There are no required immunizations for Spain, although several basic immunizations are recommended. You will receive a list of health recommendations in your acceptance packet.

    11. Is there an application fee?

    There is no application fee for Duke in Madrid; however, upon acceptance, you will be required to reserve your place in the program by paying a $1,000 non-refundable deposit.

    12. When do I register for my classes in Madrid?

    You will register for Madrid classes during orientation in Madrid. You will be asked to submit a pre-registration form as part of your pre-departure materials, but you will not be bound to the registration as we will not have a complete course list available at that time.



    Returning to Spain

    Students often ask us about opportunities that would allow them to return to Madrid after their study abroad experience. Below is a list of opportunities that we've collected through the years. We can't vouch for the quality of the opportunities (although we've tried to be discerning!), but welcome your suggestions and feedback on these and other options you may encounter.

    For those wishing to return, best wishes, and we hope to see you in Madrid! (NOTE: All of the links below are external links. We do not endorse and cannot vouch for the reputation or intent of any of the agencies listed below.)

    APUNE (Asociación de Programas Norteamericanos en España) website with return opportunities.

    Here are additional sites:

    Language Certification for Employment Purposes

    Sometimes your Duke degree listing a Spanish major or minor is not enough to have your language abilities recognized in Spain. If additional certification in the language is needed, you may consider Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE), which accredits Spanish language fluency on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport of Spain. Test dates, locations, and fees are listed on the website.


    In Madrid 

    The Duke in Madrid academic center located in downtown features classrooms, a library and student workspace, a conference room, and staff offices.

    The resident director is available year-round for academic or personal assistance. The administrative director and assistant coordinator place participants with families in Madrid and help students resolve everyday problems. Contact information for the staff will be provided upon acceptance.

    Marcos Canteli Vigón

    Duke in Madrid Resident Director

    Nuria García

    Duke in Madrid Admin. Director

    Eva Barroso

    Duke in Madrid Asst. Coordinator

    Katie Lorentson

    Duke in Madrid Program Assistant

    At Duke

    Richard Rosa

    Associate Professor of Romance Studies

    Soraya Campbell

    GEO Asst. Director & Regional Manager

    Joy Searles

    GEO Senior Staff Assistant for Programs


    Deadline: March 1, 2018 (Fall semester and Academic Year) or October 15, 2018 (Spring semester)

    This program has rolling admission. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until the program fills; after that, qualified students are added to a waitlist and notified of openings. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered.

    Eligibility: Applicants must have completed at least one Spanish course at the advanced level (Duke SPANISH 300 level) or have equivalent proficiency. By exception, applications will be considered from students who have completed Spanish 204 (four semesters) with high marks.

    Priority: Spanish major and minors, students applying for the full year, and early applicants who meet the pre-requisites will be given priority.

    Minimum GPA: Priority will be given to students with high academic standing (normally with at least a 3.0 GPA). The minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) required for Duke students wishing to study away during the semester is 2.7 (3.0 for Pratt students) on a scale of 4.0. 

    Non-Duke students: Non-Duke students are welcome to apply for this program. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.

    Late applicants: After published deadlines, qualified applicants will be considered on a space-available basis.


    Start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.

    Submit the following items using MyGlobalEd:

    1. On-line application.
    2. Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended.  First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted before submitting their transcript.
    3. Personal statement, written in Spanish, explaining your interest and goals for studying in Spain on the Duke in Madrid program.
    4. Two academic letters of recommendation, one of which should be from a Spanish instructor.*

    *If you have not taken Spanish at Duke, but believe you have the required Spanish proficiency, please email Lillian Wright lillian.wright@duke.edu to schedule an interview with the Academic Director of the program, Richard Rosa. Recommendation letters from high school teachers will not be accepted. 


    Katherine on Duke in Madrid: A Family Away From Home

    “To be honest, I did not miss the U.S. at all – perhaps in part because there was an election going on – kidding! But really, I did not miss it. I could message or Skype with my friends/family if I needed to, and I think I wrote over 100 postcards while away."

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