Orientation for Study Abroad students is focused on welcoming them to CIS and Madrid. It is done together with the orientation for international students. In the mornings there are workshops on “Spanish Culture”, “Spain Today”, “Travelling through Europe”, “What to do in Madrid” and academic admission. In the afternoons there are organized informal activities such as city tours and group meals. This helps to break the ice from the very beginning among students from different countries and new friends are made. The CIS program in Madrid centers on creating a spirit of integration within the university that breaks down barriers between students from different cultures.

Madrid, as any Capital city, can at first be overwhelming though, once one gets used to it (transportation system, neighborhoods…), it may seem small. Tours of the city help the students get oriented at the same time they learn about the city’s history.

These activities include:

  • Walking tours of Madrid and of the Retiro Park
  • Tours on a bus and some cultural visits
  • Tapas lunch

Cultural Orientation.

During the morning sessions, students are given a cultural orientation to Spain to help them adapt to their new lives in Madrid. This includes examples of day to day life, Spanish customs, social life, survival Spanish and travelling through Spain.

There are also workshops on practical things they need to know to live in Madrid, such as the public transport system, communications, safety, emergencies, etc.

Tapas lunch.

A large part of Spanish social life turns around going out for CAÑAS (draft beer) and TAPAS. So that students familiarize themselves with the myriad Tapas variations, we organize tasting sessions at the university so they can try some of the main Spanish products and mingle with other CIS students.

Socializing in Madrid.

Another way to encourage relationships among Spanish, American and other international students, is to inform them about  organized activities like  ice skating and bicycling around Madrid Rio or the Retiro Park, the Leisure Game Day with students in the CIS,or exchange conversation with Spanish people in bars and cafés of Madrid.

Public Transport and Cell Phones.

The Study Abroad department helps students obtain their own transport cards for bus and Metro, and guide them during their first days in Madrid. It is important that CIS be able to contact students at all times for emergency and/or security reasons. Upon their arrival students are guided as to which is the best way to adapt their phones to the Spanish system via a local sim card which we help them obtain.


Madrid is famous for its world renowned museums, such as The Prado: (12th – 19thC European Art) The Reina Sofia (20thC Modern Art), The Archeological Museum, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Royal Palace.

And lots more!

We are always looking for new opportunities to offer our students in Madrid.  Activities will vary from year to year.