English Semester Program

The Madrid English Program offers JHU students a unique opportunity of studying in the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Madrid while taking courses in English in a variety of fields at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). This program, offered in the fall or spring semester, combines academic rigor, cultural immersion and practical experiences to introduce students to the richness and diversity of Spain.

What do I need to apply?

  • No Spanish language background required
  • 3.0 Term GPA

Academic Offering

JHU Madrid’s partner university, UC3M, offers a wide range of bachelor’s degrees and courses in English in different disciplines, from Social Sciences to STEM fields.  All students are required to take 18 credits during the semester which include a Spanish language class and a culture class titled “Reflections on Contemporary Spain”. If a student is eligible and interested in taking any courses taught in Spanish, please refer to the Spanish Program.


The semester starts with a two-week Intensive Language and Culture course before arriving in Madrid (the program takes place in the city of Salamanca in the fall, and the city of Cuenca in the spring). The cultural events and activities of this intensive program have been designed in collaboration with Spanish universities (in Salamanca and Cuenca), local institutions, and artists to facilitate immersion into the Spanish culture and language. The aim of this program is to provide the student with academically significant experiences while practicing Spanish beyond the classroom. After completion of the course, students will be ready to take classes at UC3M, a different academic environment, with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Spanish language, culture and traditions.


During orientation week at UC3M, students will be able to register for classes. Course selection must be pre-approved by academic departments at Homewood and supervised by Resident Director, Dr. Manuel Colás. For specific direct enrollment courses, please visit uc3m website. Before applying, students need to make sure that their pre-approved courses are offered during the semester of their study abroad (Semester 1| Fall; Semester 2| Spring).


The course “Reflections on Contemporary Spain” combines the information learned during program field trips and activities, mandatory readings, and the student´s personal experience and own reflections on the history and traditions of Spain, and its contemporary culture and society. The student´s thoughts and experiences are articulated in a journal that is submitted during the semester in three different entries. The final grade of this course is based on the journal efforts, the results in the intensive language course in Salamanca/ Cuenca and the student´s attendance and participation in all the program activities.


The grade for this course will factor into the Hopkins GPA and appear on the JHU


Sample syllabus

Students from the Whiting School of Engineering in any major can direct enroll in a variety of courses that UC3M offers. This options allows students to integrate into the Spanish public education system and meet Spaniards and other international. The UC3M School of Engineering is located at its Leganés campus. 


Language Key: 

English Course offered in English only

Spanish Course offered in Spanish only

English Spanish Course divided into two groups: Spanish or English

For more information about the research labs and research groups available at UC3M, visit their website.


  • Biomedical & Aerospace Engineering
  • Materials Science and Engineeering/Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanic Engineering
  • Telematics Engineering
  • Systems Engineering and Automation
  • Mechanics of Continuous Media and Theory of Structures
  • Electronic Technology
  • Signal Theory and Communications
  • Thermal and Fluid Engineering


Grades for the language course at UC3M and the Reflections on Contemporary Spain course will be factored into the Hopkins GPA. Grades for all other courses will be taken S/U. In order to receive transfer credit towards a Hopkins degree, students must obtain a final grade equivalent to a C or better. 


Intensive Spanish Language & Culture Course

In the fall student spend two weeks in Salamanca, where JHU Madrid conducts a culture and language “boot camp” at the Cursos Internacionales de la Universidad de Salamanca, which consists of fifty hours of classroom time, preparation for what is to come in Madrid. At the same time, students attend orientation meetings about life in Spain, academics and security and safety, etc. Each morning students review grammar, and practice their composition and conversation skills, essential for a successful experience at Universidad Carlos III. In the afternoons, students have practical sessions in which they are introduced to several aspects of Spanish culture and traditions, such as ceramics and cooking classes, sculpture and art workshops and guided tours of the city to learn about the history of Salamanca and its university, one of the eldest in Europe. 


In spring, just like in the fall semester, students spend two weeks in Cuenca, a small town in Castilla-La Mancha, enrolled in Intensive Spanish Language courses. In addition, JHU Madrid, with the collaboration of the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha ESPACU (Español en Cuenca), organizes guided cultural activities, including an excursion to the Land of Don Quixote and a hiking trip to Cuenca’s Natural Park. 


In both cities, students are exposed to local varieties of the Spanish language and culture based on their interactions with local professors, artists, and guides.

Housing: Full Room & Board

Students have the opportunity to live with a Spanish family during their stay in Madrid. Engaging with the family is a fundamental part of the experience and allows students to immerse themselves into the culture. All homes are located in the center of Madrid, close to public transport to reach both Getafe and Leganés campuses. 



All meals are included. From Monday to Thursday, families will pack a sack lunch for students to take to campus. 



For more information, visit our Homestay Experience section. 

Important Dates

Dates are subject to change. MCAT examinations should be taken before date of arrival to Spain. 


Fall 2023

  • March 1: Deadline to apply
  • August 13: Arrive in Madrid
  • August 14-26: Intensive Spanish Language & Culture Course in Salamanca
  • September 4: First day of classes at UC3M
  • TBD: Last day of classes for Hispanic Studies courses
  • TBD: Last day of classes for direct enrollment courses
  • TBD: Exam week for Hispanic Studies courses
  • TBD: Exam week for direct enrollment courses
  • December 22: Return to the U.S.

Spring 2024

  • October 1: Deadline to apply
  • January 7: Arrive in Madrid
  • January 8-19: Intensive Spanish Language & Culture Course in Cuenca
  • January 29: First day of classes at UC3M
  • TBD: Last day of classes for Hispanic Studies courses
  • TBD: Last day of classes for direct enrollment courses
  • TBD: Exam week for Hispanic Studies courses
  • TBD: Exam week for direct enrollment courses
  • June 1: Return to the U.S.

Student Testimonials

Hear what past JHU Madrid have said about the program! Check out the testimonial section of our website.


If you are a past student and  would like to become a Student Ambassador at the Homewood Campus, reach out to us at


Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @jhumadrid for more student perspectives.