Welcome to the European Council’s Madrid, Spain program page! While the European Council serves all of the University System of Georgia, Valdosta State University serves as the central office/headquarters for these programs. 

About the Program | Program Information & Course Structure

Payment & Refund Schedule | Deadlines & Late Fee Schedule

Course Descriptions | How to Apply to the Program

Insurance & Passport Information | What Students Have to Say | Contact Us

Find your Campus Representative  | Program Flyer

About the Program

Consider studying during the summer in Madrid, the geographic center of Spain and the historic center of the entire Hispanic world. The city of four million is a modern European hub with state-of-the-art transportation and cyber cafes, but its Old World charm shines through in its long afternoon siestas, its warm and friendly people, and its majestic monuments of Spain's glorious past. Students will have the opportunity to visit flamenco clubs, the bullfight, tapas bars, and world-class museums, as well as to participate in Madrid's seemingly endless nightlife, as the streets overflow with people having a glass of sangria, talking to neighbors, and in general, enjoying life in this vibrant city.

Group in the streets of Barcelona

Dates: June 30 to August 5

Cost: $5,500

The package cost of $5,500 for the five week program includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare between Atlanta and Madrid
  • Round-trip transportation from the airport to the dorms on a private bus
  • Accommodations at Colegio Mayor Padre Poveda
  • 30 day metro and bus pass for Madrid
  • 14 meals per week
  • Tours of Madrid and Toledo
  • Welcome and Farewell Fiestas
  • Optional excursions - in the past they've included the South of Spain, North of Spain, Barcelona, or Portugal
  • A primary health insurance policy providing coverage for medical expenses

The package cost does not include tuition, textbooks, extra meals, entrance fees, and weekend travel expenses, passport and related expenses, spending money, ground transport to and from the U.S. airport through which flights will be scheduled, or any other costs beyond those listed above. 

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Program Information & Course Structure

All classes are held at the Colegio Mayor de Padre Poveda, where the program is housed. Students are required to take two three-hour courses. Courses will meet in the classroom on Mondays and Thursdays and students will take required field trips on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On three of the five weekends during the program, students will have three days to travel within Spain or to other destinations. 

The Spain program also organizes optional weekend excursions for an additional cost. Excursions change every year but students in the past have visited South of Spain, North of Spain, Portugal, and Barcelona, to name a few.



The Colegio Mayor Padre Poveda is one of many student residences in the ciudad universitaria, or the University City, on the western side of Madrid.  The area reflects the presence of the almost one hundred thousand students who live and study there. Nearby, subway and bus stops connect students to downtown Madrid as well as all the major points of air, rail, and bus travel. Students may choose between a single room and a double room (shared with a roommate). Towels and bed linens are furnished. There is Wi-Fi throughout the Colegio.

You can visit the Colegio’s website at

Dorms Dorms 2

Breakfast is provided every day, lunch on Monday through Thursday, and dinner on Monday through Wednesday in the dining hall at Padre Poveda. The program will try to meet individual dietary preferences, but students must understand that the lunch and dinner in the Colegio is provided in a cafeteria setting and choices are limited. It is not like many cafeterias in the US that allow students to choose from different cuisines and options. Also, traditional Spanish cuisine such as that provided by the Colegio relies heavily on meat, fish, and eggs: vegetarianism is not as common in Spain as it is in the US and the Colegio does not as a matter of course provide a vegetarian option.  Therefore, as with most issues involving foreign travel, students must be flexible and creative when it comes to meals.

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Courses in the 2016 Madrid Study Abroad Program are part of the regular offerings of member institutions; therefore, students may apply for loans or grants for which they would normally be eligible. Students should apply for financial aid at the campus where they are registering for courses. Campus representatives will assist students in obtaining information about financial aid. Students must meet all campus requirements in applying for financial aid.

Students should plan to budget a minimum of $1,200-1,500 for extra meals, entrance tickets, evening entertainment, travel, and shopping.

All costs are subject to change because of unanticipated increases in airfares or other program elements or fluctuations in monetary exchange rates. The European Council will make every effort to keep program costs as advertised and will inform prospective participants of any changes as they occur.

Run over by bull

Payment Schedule:


March 9, 2016

Application form and $300 non-refundable application fee due

March 9, 2016

First payment of $2600 due

April 7, 2016

Final payment of $2600 due



Application fees and other payments are applied toward required advances, purchase of airline tickets and other costs related to the program. Note that the $300 application fee is non-refundable and covers processing and reservation fees; the application fee can not be used in a subsequent year.

Participants who withdraw from a program after the application deadline receive a refund according to the schedule below. Please note that all withdrawals must be emailed to the EC Coordinator, Beverly Vantine, at AND to the student’s campus representative at the home institution. 

Withdrawal before March 3

All but $300 will be refunded

Withdrawal between March 4 and March 18

all but $500 will be refunded

Withdrawal between March 19 and April 1

all but $850 will be refunded

Withdrawal between April 2 and April 30

all but $2,000 will be refunded

Withdrawal after April 30

No money will be refunded

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Important Deadlines

  • March 9th-  Application 
    deadline (spaces 
  • Small group at lunchare available on first come, first serve basis and students are strongly encouraged to apply early)
  • March 9th - First Payment  
  • April 7th - Final Payment 
  • April 14th- Two passport photo due (late fees apply, see below for details) if they're not received IN OFFICE by 5pm on this date. Photos MUST be passport photos that adhere to the passport agency’s rules and regulations for photos. Photos that are submitted that do not comply with these rules will be denied and late fees will still apply. Please visit the Department of State’s website for detailed passport information. 

  • April 14th - An electronic copy of your passport is due. Passports should be scanned and emailed to the European Council coordinator; faxed and mailed copies are not accepted. Passport copies must be in color and at least 300 dpi in quality. Late fees apply, see below for details.  
  • April 7th- Deadline for separate airfare waiver or flight deviation; see below for details.

royal palace

  • May 14th- There is an all-day*Mandatory* student orientation in Macon at Middle Georgia State College. This meeting starts at 9am and is over at 4pm. Students who fail to attend will be penalized by dropping  the final grades for study abroad courses by an entire letter; if you receive an “A” in the course, the grade of “B” will be submitted to your home institution as your final grade.

Late Fees for Passports & Photo

Items received between Apr 15- Apr 24

$25 late fee

Items received between Apr 25 – May 4

$50 late fee

Items received between May 5 – May 11

$75 late fee

Items received on May 12th or after

Will be charged the $75 late fee and an additional $5/day.

Flight Deviation/Separate Airfare

Airfare is included in the price of the program. However, if you wish to arrive to Europe sooner, or stay later, there is a *possibility* that you can do this at an additional expense to you. Students are also allowed to do 100% of their own airfare however in order to keep our group rate only a certain number of students may do this and must receive authorization from the EC coordinator. If you are given permission to do your own airfare, there will be a deduction in your SECOND payment. All deviation and separate airfare request must be submitted by April 7th and these opportunities are provided on a first come first serve basis. All requests submitted after April 7th will be denied.

Group with Tuno

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Course Descriptions

All courses are 3 credit hours and students should check with campus representatives to determine course equivalencies at the home institution. Students are required to take two classes- one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

LD-Lower Division Course

UD-Upper Division Course


(Choose only one morning class)

Comparative Political Conflict: Terrorism & Insurgency (UD)

Dr. Srobana Bhattacharya (Georgia Southern University)

What is political conflict? Why do people kill each other in the name of nation, language, and religion?  "Comparative Political Conflict" introduces you to new and old forms of political conflict and reveals the political processes associated with violence. It also shows how power and politics interact by examining civil war, ethno-nationalist conflict, and terrorism in Spain and by comparing them to the general trends of political conflict in other parts of the world. For instance, the Basque conflict in Spain, which continued for forty three years, provides a unique opportunity to compare the different phases of conflict and to identify patterns of political and military conflict within the same insurgency movement. By comparing different conflict patterns in Spain, this course urges you to analyze how political conflict affects the ordinary lives of people and their cultures.  This course will also provide you with insights for understanding, comparing, and identifying different forms of conflict and types of terrorism around the world. 

Expatriate Writers in Spain (UD)

Dr. Bradley Edwards (Georgia Southern University)

Spain has long charmed both English and American writers, many of whom wrote significant literary works based on their experiences in Spain.  ENGL 5090s, "Expatriate Writers in Spain," will take students on a tour of Spanish history and culture from the mid-1800s to the twentieth century through the eyes of such notable writers as Washington Irving, John Dos Passos, George Orwell, and Ernest Hemingway, all of whom spent considerable time in Spain and felt its lasting effects. This course will help students to think and write intelligently about the culture of Madrid and Spain by reading some of the most important literary monuments by these expatriate writers.  

Everyone in front of dorms

Introduction to Sociology (LD)

Dr. Natalie Johnson (Dalton State College)

This course will take a comparative institutional approach to understanding Spanish culture and society. That is, we will be comparing social institutions in Spain (i.e. government, marriage/families, media, religion, sport, etc.) with our knowledge and understanding of those institutions in the U.S. Other topics to be examined comparatively are sexuality, gender, deviance/criminality, and even the culture of food. We will use our sociological imagination in a new land to understand those social phenomena which are normally difficult to uncover due to their “everyday” nature. Our modes of investigation will include first-hand experience, class reading, lecture, and discussion, and field trips.

Living Walls: Sustainable Architecture in Madrid (LD)

Dr. Pegah Zamani (Kennesaw State University)

This interdisciplinary and collaborative course unfolds the fundamental elements of sustainable living in relation to the built environment. In Madrid, students will investigate in class and in field trips the innovative design, form, and function of ecologically responsive spaces. The course establishes an interdisciplinary platform of discussion and design ideas about sustainable spaces that meet the needs of present without compromising the needs of future generations. Through our study in Madrid, students will identify, conceptualize, and analyze how creating our everyday environment involves complex systems of cultural meaning and climatic responses.

Intermediate Spanish II, Spanish 2002 (LD)

Prof. Anisio Dos Santos (Georgia College & State University)

Intermediate Spanish II consists of an interactive, proficiency-oriented approach to learning Spanish during the summer semester in Madrid.  The student will experience a comprehensive review of all the major grammar points, covered in three previous semesters, essential for linguistic competency. Among some of the unique advantages of taking this course abroad are the following: interactive aural, oral, reading and writing exercises that carefully recycle major grammatical structures and ensure ample practice of key grammatical components essential for effective communication; personally guided field trips in Madrid that allow students to experience Spanish in an entertaining but culturally authentic environment.

Intermediate Spanish I, Spanish 2001 (LD)

Dr. Bobby Nixon (Columbus State University)

This course will allow participants to expand their current Spanish language skills with classroom activities that mimic realistic everyday situations that they may encounter in Spain. At the intermediate level students improve their accuracy in reading, writing, listening, and speaking through constant communication and activities in the classroom that introduce more complex grammatical structures. The course will likewise focus on the importance of making connections with Spanish-speaking cultures in the 21st century. The course will utilize weekly field trips to extend cultural knowledge and provide content for written and oral activities in the classroom.

World Civilization II (Since 1500)

Dr. Charles Lipp (University of West GA)

This survey explores crucial moments in world history between 1500 and the present, such as European Exploration, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the Age of Revolutions, and the rise of totalitarian states in the 20th Century and the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.  Spain has played an important role in many of these events and, so, besides lectures, readings, and online resources, we will also use the many resources of Madrid and its surroundings, which include some of the world’s greatest museums and a number of lavish royal palaces.  This class satisfies USG core requirements.


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(Choose only one afternoon course)

Introduction to International Studies (LD)

Dr. Srobana Bhattacharya (Georgia Southern University)

What does it mean to live in a globalized world? Introduction to International Studies will allow you to gain an understanding of how different political processes, cultures, histories, economies interact with each other. How do local cultures become global? How do international communities operate? Is today’s global world only about inspiring innovations of technology of is it about creating a dialogue between differences. Introduction to International Studies will give you a foundation of knowing how the world works and allow you to compare cultures, histories, politics, and society and urge you to expand your horizons. 

World Literature I (LD)

Dr. Bradley Edwards (Georgia Southern University)

Taking World Literature I in Madrid is a great way to learn about Spain while reading some of the most important literature ever written. As much as possible we will focus on literature with direct or indirect bearing on Spain—beginning with Homer's Odyssey, the cornerstone of Western Civilization, continuing on to the Roman and Moorish eras, when “Hispania” was part of the Roman and Arab Empires, and ending in the 17th Century, Spain’s Golden Age, when Spain itself ruled an empire. Fortunately, Spain’s connections to Asia and the Islamic world as well as the New World, both North and South America, afford us the opportunity to globalize our syllabus and still capitalize on the Spanish perspective that being in Madrid affords.  This course will help you to think and write intelligently about Spain and World Literature by reading some of the important literary monuments connected to Spain and its intersection with the world.

Comparative Criminology (UD)

Dr. Natalie Johnson (Dalton State College)

Criminology is an interdisciplinary profession built around the scientific study of crime and criminal behavior, including their forms, causes, legal aspects, and control. Comparative Criminology introduces students to crime, criminal behavior, and social control around the globe, with a specific emphasis on comparing Spain to the United States. Differences in levels and nature of crime will be examined through a selection of criminological theoretical perspectives. Additionally, a description of national differences in the legal foundations of social control will be examined, followed by a discussion of some examples of how these major legal traditions shape the organization and functioning of criminal justice administration and enforcement.


Third Skin: Ecological Design in Madrid (UD)

Dr. Pegah Zamani (Kennesaw State University)

This interdisciplinary course focuses on the environmentally responsive building "envelope" or the Third Skin—a term coined by S. Drake to depict and characterize the building facade. The Third Skin ought to perform a multitude of functions in relation to its ecological properties, and respond to various climatic conditions including: daylight, heat, airflow, water, and sound. In Madrid, the students will visit, research, and analyze traditional and contemporary built envelopes including their social impact, cultural connotation, ecological and climatic condition, material capability, systems selection, and energy performance. The course offers a deeper and multilayered understanding of sustainable building envelopes in relation to their ecological conditions and inhabitants. 


Cultures of Spain: Spanish 30XX (UD)

Dr. Bobby Nixon (Columbus State University)

This course provides students with a broad understanding of the different civilizations and religious groups that led to the formation of Spain in 1492. Through an examination of cultural identity and the concept of nation, participants will analyze how the idea of "Spanishness" has changed over time and what it means in the present. Students will get to know Spanish culture more closely through weekly field trips, contact with Literature, News Articles, and Cinema. Through an active engagement with the materials students will react through oral presentations, classroom discussion and debate, written argumentative essays, reflections, and research, thus leading to a greater cultural awareness and increased vocabulary and grammar acquisition. (Course is taught in Spanish)

The Spanish Civil War: Fascists, Communists, Anarchists

Dr. Charles Lipp (University of West GA)

Some say World War II’s first battles were fought in Spain where a military uprising led by Francisco Franco in 1936 resulted in a bloody civil war that also became an ideological conflict between fascism, communism, and anarchism.  The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) involved a huge cast of characters from around the world, including dictators such as Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, the painter Pablo Picasso, and writers like Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell.  The events in Spain shaped the rest of the 20th century, helping set the stage for World War II and the subsequent Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.  This class explores that pivotal Spanish conflict through lectures, readings, art, film, and visits to some of the places in and around Madrid where history was made.

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Apply to the Program

Directions on how to apply: 

  1. Download and complete the European Council application
  2. Turn the application to your campus representative. If you do not know who your representative is click here
  3. After you submit your application to your campus rep, please pay the $300 non-refundable application fee.

*Campus representatives forward completed applications to the program office at Valdosta State University.  Applications will not be processed by the EC office until both the application form (approved by the campus representative) and the $300 application fee are received.

** Spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis according to the date of receipt of the application and application fee. Students are encouraged to apply well in advance of the application deadline to assure them of a place in the program as some programs will fill as early as November. Once a program is full, students will be placed on the waitlist. Please do not be discouraged if you’re placed on the waitlist as we always anticipate a 15% drop.

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  1. Any full-time or part-time student is eligible to participate in the program as long as the student will be 18 years of age by the time of departure. 
  2. Students must be in good academic standing in order to be admitted to the program. Completion of an application form does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Note also that individual campuses may require letters of reference or other information beyond that required by the European Council. 
  3. Students from institutions that are not part of the University System of Georgia must become a transient student at Valdosta State University. Click here for information on becoming a transient at Valdosta State University. 

Health Matters and Insurance

Participants are provided with health-care from CISI insurance (Cultural Insurance Services International) that covers them while they are abroad. Information about local doctors and medical facilities will be available from the program director. 

Students with special medical problems may be required to provide a physician's assurance of their ability to undertake foreign travel and study. It is not possible for the European Council to guarantee accessible facilities abroad for students with special needs.

Dress UP

Participants should bring medications they regularly depend upon and should have copies of prescriptions in generic form in case they need to acquire additional medications.  

No special immunizations are needed to enter Spain, and the International Immunization Certificate is not required.

Passports and Visas

Everyone who travels to Spain must have a valid passport. Participants with expired passports should have them renewed. Participants who have never had a passport should begin the process of obtaining one immediately as it can take more than 3 months to get a passport and sometimes require an appointment made well in advance. Inquire at your local post office for instructions on obtaining a passport.

Valley of the Fallen

Holders of U.S. passports do not need visas to enter Spain for summer study. Participants traveling on passports of other countries should contact their campus representative for assistance in determining whether they need a visa.

Some countries require that your passport be valid at least three (3) months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.

Please visit the Department of State’s website for more information on how to apply for a passport. Students are required to turn in a copy of their passport by April 14th, 2016 to avoid late fees, please see "Deadlines" for details.

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What Previous Students Have To Say

  • Pace yourself. Get good sleep. Plan out your days.
  • Pack light so that you have room to expand.
  • Be friendly and don’t get caught up in a clique.
  • Keep an open mind—this isn’t the USA.
  • Take at least one weekend to explore Madrid.
  • Go on the optional weekend trips. So worth the money!
  • Learn some Spanish (so helpful) and talk to someone who came on the trip before.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Get ready for the time of your life.

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Contact Us

SomewhereBeverly Vantine

European Council Coordinator


Dr. Robert Costomiris

Spain Program Director