About Madrid

Located in the heart of Spain and boasting a population of over 3 million, Madrid serves as the nation's capital and center of political power. The city is known for its vibrant social scene and rich cultural life and is home to a number of world-class museums and art galleries, including the Museo del Prado. Given its central location, Madrid is ideally suited for students to explore Spain's diverse regions as well as Portugal, its neighbor on the Iberian Peninsula.

The Program

The Madrid program is based at Suffolk University's Madrid campus, where students will take four courses taught in Spanish. The curriculum is designed to develop the student's linguistic skills as well as to introduce them to the literature and culture of Spain.


Students in this program take four courses (Note: students are encouraged to take all courses in Spanish, but may select one course offered in English if needed to fulfill major or minor requirements). All students will take two courses offered by the HWS Faculty Director:

Spanish Cinema
In this course, students will examine the production of the major Spanish filmmakers from Buñuel to Almodóvar. In order to benefit from the site, the course will also include a segment on directors whose films will be playing in Madrid during the semester. Through film screenings, class discussions, and readings on film theory and film history, class participants will trace the evolution of Spanish cinema through Franco's military dictatorship and under the new democratic system. Themes of exile and censorship, gender and sexuality, religion and sin, love and death, among others, will be explored in the context of Spanish society and in relation to other artistic manifestations of Spanish culture.

Seminar: Contemporary Spain
This course aims to provide students with an intellectual space to read, speak, and write about the events and the issues that make up the cultural fabric of contemporary Spain. Through analysis of text, and the media's coverage of current events, students will gain a deeper understanding of the place that will be their "home" for a semester. An overview of the civil war and the Franco period will serve as an introduction to the principal focus of the course: Spain since 1975. The meaning of key events of the transition to democracy, such as Tejero's coup in 1981, will be analyzed in the context of Spain's pathway to modernity. Major themes that will be discussed are: the role of religion and the Catholic Church; family values and the sexual revolution; racial configurations in contemporary society; and Spanish changing traditions in the context of "globalization." Topics such as the monarchy; the sequels of Franco's regime; gypsies, ethnicity and immigration; linguistic diversity and national identity, among others, will be coordinated with the calendar of excursions included in the program. Students will keep a journal which will include academic writing as well as personal reflections on the off-campus experience. The class will consist of lectures and group discussions that will be designed with an understanding of the students' different linguistic abilities. Class projects, such as interviewing Spaniards on current issues, will be designed to make use of the site and to foster a more intimate connection between the program participants and their environment.

Two additional courses will be selected from a list of offerings from Suffolk faculty members (one of which may be a language course). Courses that previously have been offered include:

  • Intermediate Spanish I
  • Translation Practicum
  • Spanish Cultural Studies
  • Cervantes and the Golden Age of Spain
  • Art History I
  • Art of Baroque and Rococo
  • Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition
  • Masterpieces of the Spanish Theater
  • Nineteenth Century Spanish Novel
  • Independent Study - Velazquez
  • Latin American Short Narrative

Academic Focus

The Madrid program is of particular interest to students majoring or minoring in Spanish and Hispanic Studies, or students who wish to further enhance their Spanish language skills.


This program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors in good social and academic standing who have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students must have completed 5 semesters of college-level Spanish (or the equivalent), including at least 1 course at Level II, or must receive permission from the program director. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.


Students are placed in homestays in order to provide the most intensive language-immersion experience possible. The Faculty Director and Suffolk staff members keep in close contact with participants and are available for assistance as needed.


A variety of excursions linked to courses will be organized. On previous programs, excursions were organized to Andalucia, Barcelona, Segovia, and Toledo. There are opportunities to visit historic sites and participate in cultural activities in and around Madrid, including theater, concerts, and museums.

Going Abroad With the CGE

Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and room fees, a 2/3 board fee, and a $550 administrative fee. This will cover credit for a four-credit semester, course-related excursions, and homestay with partial board. Stu- dents should bring the remaining 1/3 board to cover meals not included. Additional expenses not covered include airfare, visa, books and other course related materials, and personal expenses (entertainment, some local ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $700-$800 from the East Coast, visa at $150 and books and course-related materials at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of per- sonal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1,500 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.


  • This program is offered fall semesters in odd years.
  • Applications are available at the Center for Global Education.
  • Applications are due at the CGE office at a selected date in October.
  • For specific date contact the CGE.

NOTE: The information contained in this brochure is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.



Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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