Penn-in-Madrid, Spain

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Immerse yourself in Spanish language, history, and culture during this six-week intensive program in Spain's cultural and political capital.

All courses in this program offer University of Pennsylvania credits and are taught in Spanish. Students live with a local family in Madrid, and enjoy the benefits of a total linguistic immersion experience. Because of Madrid's central location, the program will also include excursions to Segovia, Toledo, and Seville - cities that highlight Spain's Roman, Semitic, and medieval past.

Program Calendar 2014

    Depart the U.S. for Madrid Tuesday, May 20, 2014
    Arrive in Madrid Wednesday, May 21, 2014
    On-site Orientation   Thursday, May 22 and Friday, May 23, 2014
    Classes Start Monday, May 26, 2014
    Classes End Friday, June 27, 2014
    Depart Madrid Saturday, June 28, 2014 (by noon)

Course Information

All students register for a total of two course units (CUs). Course offerings are subject to change.

Course registration is completed by the Penn Summer Abroad office for students who confirm their intent to enroll and submit the required pre-departure documents.

Note for Visiting Students: One course unit (CU) is generally considered to be equivalent to three semester hours when Penn coursework is transferred to another institution.


    Accelerated Intermediate Spanish
    SPANISH 134 (2CUs)
    Fulfills the Language Requirement in Spanish. Prerequisite: Spanish 120 or 121 at Penn or equivalent (1 year college Spanish)

    Spanish 134 is an intensive intermediate-level language course that covers the equivalent of Spanish 130 and Spanish 140 at Penn.  The course emphasizes the development of functional language skills within a culturally based context.  Class time will focus on communicative activities that combine grammatical concepts, relevant vocabulary, and cultural themes.  Major course goals include: the acquisition of intermediate-level vocabulary, the controlled use of the past tense and major uses of the subjunctive, and the development of writing skills.

    Advanced Spanish Syntax
    SPANISH 212 (1 CU)
    Prerequisite: 2 years college Spanish or equivalent

    This is a rigorous advanced grammar course that emphasizes the acquisition of a solid knowledge of all important points of Spanish grammar, plus rules governing colloquial usage. The course is required of all majors and minors. It is also useful for non-majors who wish to improve their language skills before beginning advanced courses on culture, or for those who want a practical working knowledge of Spanish for career work. Class work consists mostly of discussion and correction of assigned exercises.

    Spanish Culture and Civilization
    SPANISH 226 (1 CU)
    Fulfills General Education Requirement: Cross-Cultural Analysis. Prerequisite for 226: 2 years college Spanish or equivalent. 

    A general introduction to the study of Spanish culture. This course is designed to help students understand the historical foundations of contemporary Spanish society, its values and its institutions. The focus is on the principal events of Spanish history and the development of political and social institutions from the Middle Ages to the present, with special emphasis on the major artistic and literary milestones that have marked the Spanish cultural legacy. Through this historical overview, students will also refine their knowledge of the physical and cultural geography of Spain.

    History of the Spanish Language
    SPANISH 319 (1 CU)
    Prerequisite for 319: SPAN 219 at Penn or equivalent.

    A survey treatment of the development of Latin to modern Spanish, with emphasis on relations between external history and the development of grammatical structure and vocabulary, and major sound shifts. Lectures and discussions of reading.

    Contemporary Spain (from 1868 to the present)
    SPANISH 227/327 (1 CU)
    Fulfills General Education Requirement: Cross-Cultural Analysis. Prerequisite for 227: 2 years college Spanish or equivalent.  Prerequisite for 327: SPAN 219 at Penn or equivalent.

    In this course we study the main events, periods and policies that formed contemporary Spain. In the first half of the course we will study the historical conditions, including a review of the constitutional monarchy (1875-1923) and its dissolution in Primo’s dictatorship (1923-1931), followed by the second Republic and the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). At this stage we will pay special attention to the international pressures that resulted in the defeat of the Republic followed by the advent of Franco’s dictatorship. The second part of the course concentrates on the study of Franco’s regime (1939-1975) and the transition to democracy (1979) as well as the consolidation of the monarchy and Spain’s integration into Europe.


    Students live with Spanish families in order to experience full linguistic and cultural immersion. Housing is prearranged by a local coordinator, and all students will be asked to complete a host family accommodation form to list any special dietary needs or allergies. Breakfast and dinner are included.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fees are subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and may change without notice.

  • Tuition for Summer 2014: $7,228 ($3,614 per CU)
  • Program Fee for Madrid 2014: $2,700
    Includes home stay with breakfast, dinner, and laundry, group excursions and cultural activities, and administrative costs.
  • Click here to view the the Penn-in-Madrid 2014 Estimated Cost Sheet.

Information Sessions

Information sessions for Penn Summer Abroad 2015 will be scheduled shortly. Please contact the Penn Summer Abroad office with any program-related questions at


The application for Penn Summer Abroad 2015 will be opening later this year.

Contact Information

    Program Director
    for details about the program, courses, or location including academic advising, travel dates, housing and orientation

    Professor Ignacio J. Lopez (profile)
    Department of Romance Languages
    University of Pennsylvania
    Tel: 215-898-6313

    Penn Summer Abroad Office
    for assistance with application, financial questions, pre-departure, or other general information

    Penn Summer Abroad
    College of Liberal & Professional Studies (LPS)
    University of Pennsylvania
    3440 Market Street, Suite 100
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335
    Tel: 215-746-7075
    Fax: 215-573-2053