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About Spain
Country Handbook

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

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Program Snapshot

With history dating back to the 13th century, Universidad Complutense de Madrid is one of the oldest and best known universities in the world. UCM is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in Spain, and is well known in the areas of Philosophy, Fine Arts, Law and Humanities. The university is located in the Moncloa neighborhood of Madrid and is easily accessibly by bus and metro.

While the campuses accommodate a city-sized student population, the setting is very pleasant with broad, attractive open spaces that separate classrooms and residence halls. Buses and two subway lines connect the campuses with downtown Madrid.

Europe's highest capital city at 646 meters above sea level, Madrid is the capital of Spain. The main north-south artery, Paseo de la Castellana connects the city's two main train stations, Chamartin and Atocha. The oldest quarters of the city are squeezed in between Paseo del Prado (where you'll find the city's great art galleries) and the Palacio Real. The barrio southeast of Puerta del Sol leads to the working-class district of Lavapies, filled with restaurants, bars and cafes.

ISEP Exchange: undergraduate programs available for an academic year or semester.

ISEP-Exchange for US students.

Chance of Placement
ISEP Exchange chance of placement for US students is generally Very Limited.
For the most current chances of placement, see the Sites Open for Applications for US Students

Program Dates
Academic Year: October to June; SM1: October to February; SM2 February to June.

Fast Facts
Madrid, Spain (pop. 4 million)
Student Enrollment: 135,000
Language of instruction: Spanish
University Home Page
Course Information
International Relations Office
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Faculties of Biology; Chemistry; Economics and Management (Accounting, Economics, Finance, Insurance, International Economic Organizations, Statistics); Education; Fine Arts; Geography and History (Ancient History, Archaeology, Archaeology & History of the Americas, Art History, Geography, History); Geology; Computer Sciences; Information Science; Law; Mathematics; Optics; Pharmacy; Philology (Language & Literature [Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Spanish]); Philosophy; Physics; Political Science and Sociology (Law, Finance, Human Ecology, International Law, Political Science, Sociology); Psychology; Social Work; Veterinary Medicine; Schools of Business Administration; Teacher Training; Statistics; Library Science and Documentation.

Academic Notes
Complutense is strong in Law, Philology, Geography, History, Archeology, philosophy, and fine arts. Other suitable fields are Education, Economics, Literature and Political Science. Co-op programs in connection with the Institute of Educational Science are also open to ISEP students. Since the faculties operate independently and are not located together in the same area of the city, it is advisable to choose courses from only one or two faculties.

Students generally enroll in 30 ECTS per semester (five to six courses), and spend 20 hours a week in class. Semesters are 20 weeks in length.

Transcripts are generally released in April for Semester 1 and in August for Semester 2 and Full Year. Transcripts are sent to ISEP and then immediately released to the student’s home institution if there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Language Notes
Language Notes: A minimum of 6 semesters of university-level Spanish or the equivalent must be completed prior to program. Students must have an advanced level of Spanish and previous experience in a Spanish-language country is preferred.
Language Courese: Spanish language courses are offered in addition to regular classes during the academic year and semester for all levels, for an additional fee.
Pre-Session: A 3-week pre-session, intensive Spanish language course is offered in September before the fall (SM1) semester for an additional fee (for room and board, tuition is included in ISEP benefits) for the Intermediate level. Contact hours per day: 3. A 2-week pre-session, intensive Spanish language course is offered in February before the spring (SM2) semester for an additional fee (for room and board, tuition is included in ISEP benefits) for the Intermediate level. Contact hours per day: 4

Don’t meet the language requirement? Need to brush up on your language skills before enrolling in regular university courses in Spanish? Consider enrolling in the ISEP Direct Bridge Program before your ISEP Exchange. Students may participate in this program and gain the necessary language skills before their ISEP Exchange programs. Click the link above for more info!

Additional Information: For more information on courses and language options, see the:
ISEP Spanish Language Advising Guide for US Students
ISEP Spanish Language Advising Guide for I-to-I Students

Note: The host institution ultimately determines your proficiency level and course eligibility.

Special Academic Conditions
The level of studies requires that students be especially well-prepared, motivated, and fluent in Spanish. Candidates must have at least junior-year status. First-year courses are oversubscribed and, therefore, closed to ISEP participants. Enrollment in Fine Arts and Computer Sciences is limited. The Faculty of Medicine is closed to ISEP participants.

Special ISEP Application Instructions
Students must have a minimum 3.5 G.P.A. to apply. Due to housing restrictions ISEP strongly prefers full year candidates.

Hints for Researching Courses
1.Click on the Course Information link.
2. Click the Curso (Academic Year) and you will get a list of degree programs offered. Then click on a degree program and you will be directed to the website for that degree program.
3. To the right you will see several icons. Click on the Calendar icon for a list of courses, and the year of the degree they correspond to.
4. Click on a course you are interested in for a detailed course description including information on scheduling.

Housing and Meals
Students will be housed in a residence hall and receive a meal plan.

Personal Expenses per month (including books) are estimated at 350-400 euros, with slightly higher expenses the first month, approximately 500 euros. This will vary by personal spending and consumption habits.

The Office of International Relations will organize a mandatory orientation for ISEP students that will cover university life, life in Madrid, campus facilities and campus life.

The university will provide arrival directions with the acceptance packet.

Student Activities
Students can participate in several clubs, including the Erasmus Student Network's chapter at UCM. The Erasmus Student Network organizes low cost excursions throughtout Spain, and activities in Madrid. Students can also participate in a number of cultural activities and sports through the university, for more information click here.

Community Engagement (Internships, Service-Learning, Volunteering, etc.)
Volunteer opportunites are available through the UCM Solidarios program. Students with advanced Spanish skills may be able to participate in unpaid internships. These may be credit bearing at an additional cost. For more information about these programs, contact your ISEP Coordinator upon arrival.

The Universidad Complutense de Madrid, founded in 1293, has a great historical past and has already celebrated its seventh centenary. Complutense is a public institution; campus buildings include institutes, private centers, hospitals, offices, sports facilities and computer centers. Sports facilities include 61 clubs, among them football, handball, volleyball, tennis, basketball, judo, and gymnastics. There are two campuses: Moncloa and Somosaguas. Total enrollment: 135,000 (5,000 foreign, regular and visiting students).