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: July 2 to August 7

Cost: $5,495

The package cost of $5,495 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 Collegio Mayor Padre Poveda
  • 30 day metro and bus pass for Madrid
  • 14 meals per week
  • Guided tour of Madrid
  • Guided tour of Toledo
  • Tapas restaurant experience
  • Optional excursions to South of Spain, North of Spain, and Barcelona
  • 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 & Wednesdays and students will participate in required field trips on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students will have three day weekends to travel in Spain or other European countries. 

On the first weekend, the program organizes group excursions, but all weekends thereafter are free so that students may explore Madrid or other parts of Spain, Europe, and Africa. 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. The front desk is staffed twenty-four hours a day and all rooms have internet access for those who bring laptops.

You can visit the Colegio’s website at

Dorms Dorms 2

All meals will be provided Monday through Wednesday in the dining hall at Padre Poveda; on Thursdays through Sunday, breakfast only is provided. 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 2015 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 $2,000 for extra meals, entrance tickets, evening entertainment, travel, and shopping. Some course excursions might involve additional fees; course instructors will inform students if such fees apply at the mandatory student orientation on May 16.

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 2, 2015

Application form and $300 non-refundable application fee due

March 9, 2015 

First payment of $2597.50 due

April 7, 2015

Final payment of $2597.50 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 9

All but $300 will be refunded

Withdrawal between March 10 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

Small group at lunch


  • March 2nd-  Application deadline (spaces are 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. Late fees apply, see below for details.  
  • April 14th- Deadline for separate airfare waiver or flight deviation; see below for details.

royal palace

  • May 16th- 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

$50 late fee

Items received between Apr 25 – May 4

$75 late fee

Items received between May 5 – May 11

$100 late fee

Items received on May 12th or after

Will be charged the $100 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 14th and these opportunities are provided on a first come first serve basis. All requests submitted after April 14th 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)

Languages & Cultures of Spain (UD)

Dr. Heidi Altman (Georgia Southern)

Did you know that Spanish (Castilian) is not the only language of Spain? Galician, Basque, Aranese, and Catalan are all co-official languages with Spanish in regions of Spain, and there are dozens of other less well-known languages indigenous to Spain.  In addition, there are dozens of immigrant communities in Spain with their own languages.  Each language signals a living culture with its own separate traditions, practices, beliefs, foods, and art.  In this course students will explore the cultures of Spain by visiting sites that reflect its diversity and by learning about the languages that mark the different ethnic communities in Spain.  The vibrant food culture(s), museums, historic sites and native speakers will be our resources in learning about the richness of Spain.

Spanish Composition (UD)

Dr. Bobby Nixon (Columbus)

You will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in contemporary Spanish culture and get to know classmates through peer responses to reflective and creative writings with the goal of improving grammatical accuracy, developing conversational skills, and building vocabulary. Weekly excursions and daily experiences in Spain, as well as authentic literary and cultural texts will form the basis of classroom discussion and writing topics

Everyone in front of dorms

Intermediate Spanish II, Spanish 2002 (LD)

Dr. Yvonne Fuentes (West Georgia)

This is an intermediate course for students who have completed three semesters of Spanish or the equivalent requirements. The syllabus is designed to offer an intensive but focused grammar review and to continue to develop conversational and writing skills as well as reading skills using literary and extra-literary texts (cinema, architecture, paintings, landscapes, etc.)  Don’t just satisfy a requirement, make yourself more culturally conscious, internationally informed, globally marketable, and in the process read, see and talk about some great art, architecture, movies and literature, in Spanish. 

Beginning Spanish II, Spanish 1002 (LD)

Dr. Anisio Martins dos Santos (Georgia College & State)

Spanish 1002 is the second part in the first year introductory sequence to the Spanish language and the cultures that speak it. This course employs a multifaceted, communicative approach to adult second language acquisition that foments the development of the four essential skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. These goals are best achieved through using Spanish as the primary language of communication in the classroom, consistent attendance, daily pre-class preparation, and active in-class participation.  In order to acquire Spanish, you must be engaged intensively in its use, and Madrid offers the perfect setting to put into practice every day what you learn in class. 

Art Appreciation (LD)

Prof. Sandra Trujillo (Georgia College & State)

In Madrid, you will be just a few metro stops away from some of the most famous museums and monuments in Western Europe and be able to experience art directly.  You will have access to collections of art and crafts that span centuries and learn some basic tools to discuss what you are seeing and experiencing.  You will read, write, discuss and draw what you see and also learn about many artists and their working methods.  Through the exploration and discovery of two & three-dimensional art forms during your studies in Spain, my hope is that you will begin to consider diverse aspects of seeing and also develop a lifelong interest in art.

Flamenco & Zarzuela (UD)

Dr. Kyle Hancock (Georgia Southern)

Zarzuela and especially Flamenco are two art forms that are closely and deeply associated with Spanish culture. Most people have a superficial acquaintance with Flamenco but are unaware of the symbolism and complexity of its music and dance. Zarzuela, while less familiar, provides nonetheless a clear look into Spanish cultural mores and folkways. Students taking this course will gain a deeper understanding of Spanish culture both cultivated and vernacular.


World Religions (LD)

Dr. Cristobal Serran-Pagan y Fuentes (Valdosta State)

Knock out your Gen. Ed. or Core Curriculum requirement in World Religions while you spend 5 weeks in Spain! The Madrid Program offers a great opportunity for students to study world's religious traditions in the European continent. Students will learn firsthand about religious diversity in Spain by visiting churches, cathedrals, mosques, synagogues, modern temples, ecumenical and interfaith centers, and museums. Students will have plenty of time to travel around the Iberian Peninsula and to experience firsthand the Spanish culture through visits to Toledo, Ávila, Segovia, El Escorial and Madrid.  Get immersed in the Madrid program. ¡Olé!

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(Choose only one afternoon course)

Music Appreciation (LD)

Dr. Kyle Hancock (Georgia Southern)

This is Music Appreciation with a twist!  In most courses of this sort, the music of Spain is given little attention.  This course will cover all of the usual bases but will add a Spanish element to each topic.  Field trips to a guitar maker, to the Palacio de le Zarzuela, and to a live performance are planned.  Join us for this musical tour in the cultural heart of Spain--Madrid!

Introduction to Anthropology (LD)

Dr. Heidi Altman (Georgia Southern)

Anthropology provides students with valuable tools for understanding the diversity of humans across all time by teaching what makes us all human. Studying anthropology in Spain will provide a wealth of opportunities to observe firsthand the artifacts, cultures and languages that demonstrate all the aspects of what it means to be human. Spain's wealth of museums, music, language, art, food, family and social structures are all aspects of being human that we will study and for which you will find dynamic connections in the communities we visit. 

Intermediate Spanish I, Spanish 2001 (LD)

Dr. Bobby Nixon (Columbus)

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 important of making connections with Spanish-speaking cultures in the 21st century.


Hispanic Writers (UD)

Dr. Yvonne Fuentes (West Georgia)

Read the texts, see the places, know the how, and enjoy the where. This course will introduce students to a number of seminal Spanish texts and authors within their historical and cultural contexts. Texts may include selections and excerpts from Don Quixote, dramas of the Spanish Golden Age, picaresque novels, sainetes (one-act farces) of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, or any of the Lorca, Valle Inclán or Jacinto Benavente plays.  In addition to reading the texts, these will be complemented with relevant visits and field trips to actual localities and locations in order to feel, touch, smell, and see the source and setting of many of the Spanish literary masterpieces. THIS COURSE IS TAUGHT IN SPANISH.

Spanish Mysticism (UD)

Dr. Cristobal Serran-Pagan y Fuentes (Valdosta State)

Did you know that Spain has a long history of Jews, Muslims and Christians living together in a peaceful way for centuries? Even though there were some tensions and conflicts among different ethnic and religious groups the so-called period of "convivencia" (or coexistence) has shown an alternative to Hungtinton's model of "a clash of civilizations." The Spanish mystics understood that one cannot solve human problems by using the sword alone. Rather these mystics showed us an alternative path, that of following God's Will, by using their pen and their words. These mystics of action built a more just, compassionate and everlasting peace in the midst of suffering.   


Sketchbook Drawing (UD)

Prof. Sandra Trujillo (Georgia College & State)

How can we learn from art? In what way do historical works of art resonate within the culture or in us?  These are a few questions that we will explore as we experiment with the drawn line while living and studying in Spain this summer.  With practice, experimentation and observation you learn to develop drawings that consider aspects of seeing: line, value, shape, form, space, and texture. The drawing course will be a hands-on studio course that will focus on developing your skills in direct observation, media exploration and art in Madrid. The goal of this study abroad course is to allow the act of drawing to become a meaningful artistic experience in your academic studies. Absolute beginners are welcome, as well as students who want to develop their portfolio for advanced studies.

World Literature I (LD)

Prof. Robert Costomiris

Taking World Literature I in Madrid is a great way to learn about Spain while reading some of the most important texts ever written. Reading Virgil’s Aeneid in the same country that the Romans ruled as "Hispania" will capitalize on your firsthand experience of the power and extent of Roman culture in Spain.  In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Spain continued to be a cultural crossroad and intellectual powerhouse.  Muslim, Christian, and Jewish traditions coexisted until the fifteenth century and their sometimes violent confluence is apparent in literary monuments such as the Song of Roland, and El Cid, both set is northern Spain.  Finally, Spain's region called "La Mancha," just to the south of Madrid, was home to one of the greatest creations in all of literature, Cervantes' Don Quixote, a story about a man whose literary adventures will be a fitting counterpart to your own.

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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, 2015 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