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Madrid skyline
Berkeley Summer Abroad

Madrid, Spain: Spanish Language and Culture

  • Summary

    *** Join an info session: March 7, 12-1 p.m. ***

    Sharpen your Spanish language skills and settle into the Spanish pace of life in Madrid, the stunning cosmopolitan capital of Spain. In this program, students will immerse themselves in the day-to-day life of a Madrileño/a.

    • Live with other students in central Madrid near the Royal Palace, the Gran Via, and Plaza Mayor.
    • Walk through Madrid's historic neighborhoods and visit important landmarks such as the Royal Palace, the Royal Theatre, and the Buen Retiro Park.
    • Tour premier art museums, including the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
    • Take exciting excursions to cities like Segovia and Toledo, which was declared a World Heritage Site for its extensive cultural and architectural history.

    For a look at the program through the eyes of previous participants, see our video


    Course Combinations (3 tracks):

    • SPANISH N3: Intermediate Spanish (5 units) + SPANISH 16: Contemporary Culture (1 unit)
    • SPANISH N4: Intermediate Spanish (5 units) + SPANISH 16: Contemporary Culture (1 unit)
    • Spanish N102C: Composition - Breaking News: The Present and Past as Told by the Press (3 units) + Spanish 122: Spanish Culture and Civilization (3 units)

    Dates: June 12 - July 16, 2022

    All dates are subject to change.

    This program is being planned to be in-person for 2022. Berkeley Study Abroad is actively monitoring COVID-19 on the ground for all in-country programs. 

    Units: 6 units

    Language of Instruction: Spanish




    • Students will live in a student dormitory in the heart of Madrid in a converted palace.
    • Students will be provided with three meals a day at the residence.
    • Students will share rooms with other program participants in doubles. Bathrooms are shared with 1 - 2 other rooms, all next to each other. Singles can be requested for an extra cost (availability not guaranteed). Please note, due to in-country policies, students will be paired with roommates based on the gender listed on their passports. If you have clarifying questions, please feel free to reach out to the program staff.




    • At least one year of college coursework completed by the start of the program
    • 2.0 GPA or higher
    • Must have one year of beginning college-level Spanish by the start of the program to enroll in the Sp 3 track
    • Must have taken the equivalent of Sp. 3 to enroll in the Sp 4 Track
    • Must have taken the equivalent of Sp. 4 to enroll in the upper-division track. For questions, or language evaluations please contact the professor Victoria Robertson




    • Application opens February 1, 2022
    • Space is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
    • Deadline to apply is March 15, 2022
  • Courses

    Please note that all classes offered in Madrid are equivalent to the classes taught on Berkeley’s campus and are accepted for major/minor requirements that they fulfill. The upper division classes require at least five semesters of college Spanish (or equivalent), including Spanish 25. For any questions regarding placement or program content, please contact Victoria Robertson at

    During the program, you will take two on-site courses for a total of 6 Berkeley units.

    Possible Course Combinations


    • Spanish N3 (5 units) + Spanish 16 (1 unit) = 6 units
    • Spanish N4 (5 units) + Spanish 16 (1 unit) = 6 units
    • Spanish N102C (3 units) + Spanish 122 (3 units) = 6 units


    Course: Spanish N3

    Title: Intermediate Spanish

    Instructor: Victoria Robertson, Ph.D.

    Units: 5 units

    Prerequisites: Applicants must have one year of beginning college-level Spanish or equivalent by the start of the program

    The primary goal of SPANISH N3 is for you to develop written and oral skills beyond the level attained in SPANISH 2 to fully prepare you for the requirements of higher-level Spanish courses. In beginning-intermediate Spanish, you will gain and deepen your formal knowledge of grammatical structures, as well as increase your active vocabulary and site recognition so that you can function at a more sophisticated and complex level both orally and in writing. You will also increase your ability to read critically by analyzing both literary and non-literary prose. Conversation in Spanish is highly encouraged both inside and outside of the classroom; your daily environment in Madrid gives you excellent opportunities for constant reinforcement.

    Course: Spanish N4

    Title: Intermediate Spanish

    Instructor: Victoria Robertson, Ph.D.

    Units: 5 units

    Prerequisites: Applicants must have completed SPANISH 3 or the equivalent by the start of the program

    SPANISH N4 combines a review of grammar with the learning of new vocabulary and expressions and the practice of conversation and writing. Throughout the summer, you will experience the language with the comprehension of lectures, and we will also be reading and analyzing some examples of Spanish literature. This is the next step in the learning process and an expansion of what has been studied in SPANISH 3. We will briefly speak about the history and Spanish civilizations—we are going to try to improve all aspects of your use of the language, learn more about Spanish culture, and feel more of a citizen of the global world.

    Course: Spanish 16

    Title: Contemporary Culture

    Instructor: Victoria Robertson, Ph.D.

    Units: 1 unit

    Prerequisites: Applicants must take SPANISH 16 with either SPANISH N3 or N4

    Spanish 16 is offered in conjunction with one of the language classes offered simultaneously in Madrid (Spanish 3 or Spanish 4). It´s offered as P/NP only. This part of the course provides hands-on experience with the Spanish culture through excursions and interactions with the native Spaniards. It consists of five full-day excursions and a Flamenco show.

    Another component of the course is a group project centered on the exploration of various neighborhoods in Madrid. Students are divided in groups of 3-4 in the very beginning of the course and throughout the five weeks of their stay in Madrid they collaborate in research of the particular area of the city. They meet artists, musicians and other professionals to augment their total experience. Their project is presented to the class on the last day of the program.

    Consult with your college/major advisor to see which degree requirements this course may fulfill.

    Course: Spanish N102C

    Title: Advanced Composition - Breaking News: The Present and Past as Told by the Press

    Instructor: Soledad Luque Delgado

    Units: 3 units

    Prerequisites: Applicants must have completed SPANISH 25 or the equivalent by the start of the program

    This course is geared toward the improvement of students' reading and writing skills by reinforcing the real-life application of their foreign language knowledge and abilities in Madrid. They will participate in the academic discourse on contemporary news topics by interacting with televised or written texts, as well as conducting interviews with Madrid's citizens, and traveling to locations where news is happening. These activities will culminate in the production of critical essays using workshops, revisions, and presentations to the class. Oral skills will be reinforced, as well as the improvement of reading and writing skills.

    Consult with your college/major advisor to see which degree requirements this course may fulfill.

    Course: Spanish 122

    Title: Spanish Culture and Civilization

    Instructor: María del Mar Vega, Ph.D.

    Units: 3 units

    Prerequisites: Applicants must have completed SPANISH 25 or the equivalent by the start of the program

    This course combines lectures and readings about Spain's history, focusing on the 20th century with contemporary views of Madrid. There will be readings and visits to the contemporary art museum and the University of Carlos III. There will also be interviews with Spanish students. Additionally, students will be required to keep a journal of three entries per week.

    Consult with your college/major advisor to see which degree requirements this course may fulfill.

    You can fulfill the L&S International Studies breadth requirement by full participation in a Berkeley Summer Abroad program. All of the required courses must be completed with a C-/P or better.

    Summer Abroad staff will enroll you in courses after your acceptance to the program. Please make sure there are no active blocks on your student account that may impact your course enrollment.

  • Costs



    Tuition and Program Fee

    The fees to participate in this program are broken down into 1) tuition and 2) program fees, which are applied to your student billing account as follows:

    2022 Fees

    UC Students

    Visiting Students

    Tuition (6 units)



    Program Fee



    Total Cost



    Fees are subject to change. All non-UC Berkeley students must pay an additional Document Management Fee of $63.

    Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses


    In addition to the fees outlined above, Berkeley Study Abroad has estimated costs for out-of-pocket expenses. These amounts are used to calculate financial aid packages for eligible students. Actual expenses will vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

    2022 Estimated Expenses


    International Airfare and Transportation




    Personal Expenses (i.e., phone, passport, visas, etc.)


    Total Estimated Out-Of-Pocket Expenses



    Financial Aid

    Financial aid is available for Berkeley students who are enrolled in at least 6 units during the summer.

    ​​Financial aid estimates for 2022 Berkeley Summer Abroad programs are now available in the Summer Financial Aid Estimator in your Cal Central account.

    Please FIRST obtain your estimate in the Summer Aid Estimator, then write to if you have any questions about the estimate you receive. Your estimate will include a Berkeley Study Abroad Scholarship if you qualify for one based on financial need.

    How to locate the Estimator:

    1) Log into Cal Central
    2) Navigate to the My Finances Tab, and find the "Financial Resources" card
    3) Scroll to the bottom of the Financial Resources card and click on Summer Sessions
    4) From the Summer Sessions menu, click on Summer Cost and Aid Estimator

    Make sure to adjust the number of units in the estimator if your program offers a choice of course selection. If your program only offers one combination or one course for 6 total units units, you do not need to update the units in the estimator.​

    All other students should contact the financial aid office at their home institution for more information.


    Explanation of Fees

    Tuition is based on a per unit cost:

    • The UC undergraduate student rate is $419 per unit
    • The visiting student rate for all non-UC participants is $570 per unit


    The program fee includes* the following items:

    • Student housing in a residence/hostel for the duration of the program with 3 meals/day

    • Excursions to Toledo and Segovia, several museums in Madrid, a flamenco dance performance, etc.

    • On-site orientation activities including an introduction to Madrid and Spain, etc.

    • Travel insurance to cover accident/sickness medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, security extraction, and other travel assistance services

    • Other program-related costs including fees for group transportation, guest lecturers, museum admissions, etc.

    The $400 deposit. If accepted to the program, the $400 deposit is non-refundable and will be applied towards your program fee. If you are waitlisted or denied admission to the program, your deposit will be refunded. If you request to withdraw your application prior to an admission decision being issued, or cancel your participation after being accepted to the program, the deposit remains non-refundable


    *Please note that the list of items included in the program fee is not all-inclusive and is subject to change.

    The following items are excluded from the program fee and included in the Out of Pocket expenses estimate:

    • International airfare

    • Personal expenses (souvenirs, routine medical expenses, toiletries, etc.)

    • Course materials (textbooks and readers)

    • Other travel expenses (passport, visa, etc.)

    • Additional meals

    • Commuting costs for daily travel to and from classes


  • Timeline

    Application opens

    February 1, 2022
    Application closes March 15, 2022
    Applicants notified of selection March 25, 2022
    Deadline to confirm participation or cancel for a refund of all program-related fees, minus $400 deposit April 8, 2022
    Attend pre-departure orientation* Late April-May
    Arrive in Madrid June 12, 2022
    Last day of program July 16, 2022

    * These events take place on the Berkeley campus. If you are not on campus during this time, we will schedule a meeting via phone or Skype.

    † Students are expected to check into program housing in Madrid on June 12, 2022, and are expected to check out of program housing in Madrid on July 16, 2022. Students who arrive in-country early or depart after the last day may do so, but they are responsible for arranging their own accommodations outside of the program dates.

    All dates are subject to change.

  • Instructors

    Program Director: Victoria Robertson, Ph.D.


    Victoria Robertson was born to a Russian mother and a Spanish father. She lived long periods in Russia and Spain and is fluent in Russian and Spanish, as well as in English. Victoria holds a Ph.D. degree in Spanish literature from the University of Washington. She has taught Spanish language, literature, and civilization in several universities and community colleges in Idaho, Washington, and California. She is an expert on contemporary Spanish theater and is a published author. 2022 will be Victoria's ninth time to lead the Language and Culture program in Madrid (Spain) offered through Study Abroad at UCB.


    Program Director: María del Mar Vega Fernández

    María del Mar Vega Fernández. PhD en 1997 de la University of Berkeley (California, USA) con una tesis doctoral titulada The Catalan Holdings of the Library of Fernando Colón, 16th century. Ha investigado y escrito sobre bibliotecas y lectura en el siglo XVI. En 2004 presentó su segundo doctorado, esta vez en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid con una tesis sobre la poesía de los pliegos sueltos catalanes de los siglos XV-XVI. En los últimos años su atención se ha desplazado al teatro lírico español y forma parte del grupo de investigación del ICCMU. Ha trabajado como profesora en NYU-Madrid así como en los cursos de verano de U.C. Berkeley en Madrid desde que se iniciaron en 2014 impartiendo clases en torno a Cultural History of Spain.


    Program Assistant: Soledad Luque Delgado

    Licenciada en Filología Española por la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Diploma de Estudios Avanzados por la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia. Profesora y formadora de profesorado de ELE. Especialista en el tratamiento interdisciplinar de la corrección articulatoria. Imparte docencia en la Fundación Ortega-Marañón; en las universidades de Middlebury y Duke; en la Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo en Santander y en la universidad de Berkeley en Madrid durante los cursos de verano; y en diferentes programas de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Ha participado en diversos Proyectos de Investigación relacionados con el desarrollo de la lengua española. Ha dirigido varias tesinas y Memorias Final de Máster. Ha participado como ponente en Jornadas, Encuentros y Congresos nacionales e internacionales sobre la adquisición y aprendizaje de la lengua española y su enseñanza. Tiene varias publicaciones sobre la enseñanza de la Fonética en la clase de ELE.

  • COVID-19 Details

    Summary of Recommendations to Student Travelers to Spain:

    Berkeley Study Abroad is actively monitoring COVID-19 on the ground for all in-country programs. All programs that are running have gone through a screening for COVID-19 safety. That said, the global pandemic is an ever-evolving situation, and programs may need to be postponed (and in some cases, cancelled) in the event of an increased risk of COVID-19. To prepare for this, Berkeley Study Abroad recommends the following:

    • Vaccinations are strongly encouraged and recommended to participate in Berkeley Study Abroad programs. If students have a vaccination exemption, we cannot guarantee that they will be able to travel, re-enter the U.S. upon return, live in program housing, take public transportation, or participate in program activities. You may also be subject to a mandatory quarantine period upon arrival, which would be your financial responsibility. If you are a student with a vaccination exemption and wish to study abroad, we highly recommend you reach out for an advising appointment to discuss if there would be a program that would meet your needs.
    • Purchase refundable or changeable airline tickets in case the on-the-ground situation changes
    • Research entry and exit requirements and restrictions for all countries you plan on traveling to (including paying attention to any travel prior to your arrival in-country for your program)
    • Budget for entry and exit related expenses related to COVID-19 that are not covered by UC travel insurance policy. Details about the student travel insurance policy, and to find out what is covered, click here.
    • Regarding vaccination status: All students must comply with the UC Berkeley UHS and UC policy on reporting requirements, proof of vaccination, or exemption. For students with vaccination exemptions, please research entry requirements for the program location. It is each student’s responsibility to plan and budget for necessary quarantines/additional testing, etc.
    • Please take the time to familiarize yourself with any and all COVID-19 safety protocols in-country, and take extra precautions to keep yourself and others safe. Especially in these times, it is important to consider how our actions can have an impact on local communities while we travel in study abroad programs.


    Additional Links and Resources for travel to Spain:


    Traveling Responsibly:

    On July 15th 2021, the University of California Office of the President announced a system-wide vaccine mandate that will require all students, staff, and faculty be immunized against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Summer 2022 program participants must comply with this mandate prior to their program start date. It is imperative to plan ahead as several COVID-19 vaccines require a 6-week period to achieve effectiveness. All students must comply with the UC Berkeley policy on reporting requirements, proof of vaccination, or exemption.

    Please also take note of the COVID-19 related travel entry requirements for the country in which your program is taking place. These entry requirements may vary depending on which national passport you are traveling with. Note that some locations require proof of vaccination for entry, and that any costs associated with quarantining for non-medical related reasons will be the responsibility of the student. Please also pay close consideration to the route you are planning to take to enter the country, as some locations may have additional travel restrictions from places outside the US.

    Lastly, while traveling to and living in your program country, we urge you to consider not only your own safety, but also the safety of others. As students representing the UC Berkeley community, especially in these times, it is important to consider how our actions can have an impact on local communities while we travel in Study Abroad programs. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with any and all COVID-19 safety protocols in-country, and take extra precautions to keep yourself and others safe.