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Support and Safety

UCEAP students are supported by a network of people throughout the world. Your study abroad experience will be guided by trained staff that are there to support you as you prepare to study abroad, when you arrive, and throughout the program.

On-site support

The UC Center Madrid has offices at the Carlos III University of Madrid and the Complutense University of Madrid. The center at the Carlos III University of Madrid is on the Getafe campus, inside the International School. It is located 9 miles south of Madrid’s city center and easily reachable through public transport. The study center at the Complutense University of Madrid is on the Moncloa campus, right in the city. Each center maintains a library with books donated by previous students.  

Talk to study center staff about

  • Academics and course registration 
  • Day-to-day life in Madrid 
  • Health and safety support 
  • Mental health support 
  • Paperwork assistance  

Study center activities may include

  • Farewell or Thanksgiving dinner, depending on the semester of participation 
  • Group trips and excursions when health and safety conditions allow  

A staff member is available 24/7 by telephone, text, or WhatsApp message for assistance in case of medical or legal emergencies. Contact information is provided at orientation. 

Rocío Navas - MADRID SC

Rocío Navas (she/her)

Program Manager, UCEAP office at Carlos III International School in Madrid, Spain

Rocío helps students learn the course registration process, always assisting with compassion. She recommends taking proactive steps to get out of your comfort zones and observe, interpret, and evaluate new situations with an open mind.

She says, “I enjoy seeing students overcome challenges, witnessing their immersion into Spanish culture, and hearing them use colloquial Spanish language and madrileño slang.”

Rocío hopes students will grow into interculturally competent individuals through their interactions with locals.

Sara Tavares - MADRID SC

Sara Tavares (she/her)

Program Assistant, Madrid Study Center in Madrid, Spain

Sara helps students with day-to-day matters, health and wellness, and assists with academics so they can maximize their experience abroad. She recommends arriving with an open mind, ready to fully immerse into Spanish culture.

She says, “Try to practice Spanish every day so that, when you return to the US, you know the value of more than one language and can keep in touch with the people you meet in Spain.”

Sara hopes students will become more independent and aware of other cultures to become true citizens of the world. She says it will positively impact your life forever!


To help navigate the transition of leaving home and going abroad, you’ll attend in-person and online events. At these events, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and meet the staff who will be supporting you while you study abroad. You’ll learn things like:

  • What student services are available at your host location
  • Where to find local health care
  • How and when to register for classes
  • What to do and who to contact in an emergency
  • How to travel to and from where you live to classes
  • How to handle money matters like opening a bank account
  • How to use technology, including your phone, and get access to the Internet

Most on-site orientations include a tour of the campus and local sites. You will also meet other students on your program and local students who will be part of your experience.

Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities can and do study abroad. A successful experience is dependent upon careful planning, coordination, and communication.

Focus on programs that best fit your interests, academic goals, and career aspirations. You'll work with the staff at the disability services and study abroad offices on your UC campus. They can help you identify strategies to remain flexible and think creatively about accessibility and realities abroad as some international locations can be different than what you are typically accustomed to in the US. They can also help you get the necessary paperwork you'll need to apply.

After you apply, your UCEAP program specialist will coordinate with the institution abroad and connect you with those who can arrange for an accessible experience. If your needs cannot be accommodated at any point in the process, your advisors will help you choose another program. You will not be alone in this decision.