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Field of Study: Humanities

Study Spanish in Spain—why not? In just seven weeks, you’ll receive accelerated first-year Spanish language training while encountering the cultural riches of Spain. It’s a fast-track for beginners and a fantastic way to build language qualifications for UC foreign language degree requirements and compete in today's’ job market. This program also opens prospects for even more study abroad experiences in Spanish-speaking countries.

Unique study opportunities

  • Learn Spanish alongside UC students from across California.
  • Take a culture course that includes tours of Madrid’s world-class museums, a weekend excursion to Galicia, and other educational trips in and around the city.
  • Achieve language proficiency on this program to qualify for an adjacent fall or year program in Spain.


Language of Instruction: Spanish

Spanish Language Study: Required

In addition to a Spanish language course, you’ll take a culture course. The culture course is typically taught in English, although one section may be taught in Spanish depending on the interest and size of the student group. 

Language Placement

Before you leave California, you’ll complete a short survey and placement test to establish your placement level. Placement results are final. In rare, exceptional cases, it may be possible to switch placement levels after arrival. You’d need to demonstrate that you took Spanish coursework during the winter or spring quarters—or the spring semester—prior to participation and complete a secondary evaluation. 

Many students have similar questions after the initial placements on these topics: 

  • Exam time: Results are not influenced by the amount of time it takes to complete the exam.
  • Retaking the exam: The placement exam may not be taken twice before departure. A separate exam may be available in Spain if you feel you’ve been placed incorrectly.
  • Campus requirements and equivalencies: Major/minor/GE or foreign language requirements and course equivalencies are all determined differently at each campus. Discuss these questions with your UC academic advisor.
  • Prior language background: Despite previous language knowledge or study, placements reflect a combined analytic and holistic assessment of your exam results. The placement exam evaluates reading, grammar/vocabulary, and writing skills as of the date the exam was taken.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program: 

  • Take a full-time course of study: Two courses for a total of 13 quarter/8.7 semester UC units.
  • You must take language courses for a letter grade.
  • You may opt to take the culture course pass/no pass.

Current Program Courses

Spanish Language (10 UC quarter units, lower division) is offered at various levels depending on your placement:

Spanish Civilization (3 UC quarter units, lower division): Visits to many of Madrid’s world-class museums are included as part of the culture course. A weekend excursion to Galicia provides an additional perspective on Spanish culture and offers contrast to the many outings in and around Madrid:


Research and independent study are typically not available.

Catalogs and resources

  • UCEAP Course Catalog: See a list of courses UC students have taken on this program.
  • Campus Credit Abroad: Learn the types of credit (major, minor, general education, elective) students from your campus received at this location

Academic culture

Classes are planned with activities and excursions outside of the classroom to enhance the four skills of listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each activity is coordinated and works together with the curriculum. Whenever possible, elements of the madrileño surroundings are incorporated to lend authenticity to class instruction. In effect, you’ll have intense instruction within the classroom and will be using Madrid as your “language lab.”

The intensity of this program requires active participation in order to maintain the pace. To avoid falling behind and to succeed up to the final weeks of the program, attend all classes and complete all assignments. Given that there is ample time allowed for more informal experiences of Spain, your academic studies should have your full attention during the short span of the program.

Regular classes are typically held Monday through Thursday until 4 pm. Additional activities are scheduled on some weekends.


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Grades for this program are usually available in late August, about a month after the program ends. They may not arrive in time to accommodate the summer degree verification deadline.