The program is open to qualified sophomores, juniors, and seniors from Vassar and Wesleyan, as well as other colleges and universities. Recent program participants have come from Barnard, Brown, Bucknell, Columbia, and Harvard, among others.
Enrollment is limited to 34 students per semester.
The program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good standing who have completed the equivalent of at least five semesters of Spanish at the college level with a grade of B or higher recently. That means at least HISP 216 at Vassar or SPAN 221 at Wesleyan. Students are expected but not required to take a course in Spanish the semester before their term abroad, no matter their level. The idea is that you arrive with that proficiency, ensuring you can participate fully in our immersion program without struggling. If you must skip terms of Spanish before study abroad, try to do so before the previous term. That will enable you to do the necessary catching up in the first two months of your course in the US rather than during the precious first half of your program experience in Madrid. That will also mean you can make the most of the widest range of courses and extracurricular activities in Madrid. Because we want to make sure your brief study abroad experience goes as smoothly and is as fulfilling and authentic as possible, students who have skipped two or more semesters of formal Spanish before their prospective term abroad might well be asked to take another course in Spanish and apply again the following semester: proficiency after a year or more away from formal instruction will almost inevitably be lower than the level we require for our direct-enrollment program. We will accept students with four semesters (two years) of college Spanish under special circumstances. At Wesleyan, special circumstances refer to students who have taken Spanish continually since their first term and yet will have completed only four semesters of college Spanish before they must go abroad, usually because they have a documented constraint such as a varsity-sport commitment or a theater production in the spring term of their junior year. For the sake both of student applicants and the group dynamics of a program distinctive for its emphasis on immersion, it is in students’ interest to take a formal Spanish course the semester before they go abroad no matter how advanced their language preparation: the more proficient students are, the more quickly they adapt, the more doors are open to them, and the greater the strides they make once in Madrid. Students must be in academic good standing and may not have outstanding incompletes in any course at their home campus.
Interested students from Vassar College and Wesleyan University should contact a program representative on their home campus. Outside applicants should contact Wesleyan’s Office of Study Abroad in the Fries Global Studies Center.
Wesleyan and outside students applications must be received by 22 February for fall semester and full year, by 1 October for the spring semester. Wesleyan students should check with the Wesleyan Office of Study Abroad for the exact date in each semester. Vassar students must check with the Office of International Programs for specific deadlines in early December.