About the Program

Tufts-Skidmore SPAIN

Tufts-Skidmore Spain is run by Tufts University in conjunction with Skidmore College. The program is designed for students from diverse disciplines who meet the Spanish language requirements of the home institution, or who are native or heritage speakers, and who meet general academic requirements for study abroad. The program is particularly attractive to students interested in intellectual inquiry centered on gender, identity and social justice, and for those who seek top-rated global internships.

Program Mission

Inclusive Excellence & Global Education

A leader in Global and Intercultural Education, Tufts-Skidmore’s mission is to promote among our student body global intelligence based on critical thinking, active learning, and the development of intercultural/global attitudes, skills and knowledge, while at the same time providing formal and informal linguistic support for their increasing oral and written proficiency in the Spanish language. The overall design of the program promotes academic and intellectual achievement at the highest level within the framework of diversity, justice and human rights, and seeks to inspire in students an awareness of and a concern for the experience and well-being of human beings across the globe. 

The program’s hybrid academic structure features courses designed specifically for Tufts-Skidmore students and taught at our Madrid campus, and direct enrollment at our partner institution: the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. This flexible academic structure affords students a customized, integrative academic experience that meets their individual profiles while supporting the program’s overall mission of critical learning and active citizenship.

Tufts-Skidmore offers courses, internships, and intercultural education and mentoring in order to direct our students’ attention to global and local issues that require scrutiny and wise response. The program takes living abroad itself as an object of study and inquiry, with the intention of helping our students to increase self-awareness and culture-awareness, as well as cross-cultural empathy and compassion, transferrable skills that our students can apply in any academic, cultural or professional context and that they can continue to develop across a lifetime.

Program Design

Designed to increase intercultural agency and understanding, and to achieve inclusive excellence

  • Broad linguistic support for their increasing oral and written proficiency in the Spanish language.
  • Curricular and extracurricular focus on identity and social justice in Spain to help students acquire an inclusive, critical perspective on Spanish society and the world.
  • Focus on identity and justice includes examining how Spanish society impacts students on the basis of their social identities and thus helps students to understand how global oppressions manifest in Spain, e.g. racism, sexism, homoantagonism, and so on.
  • Perspectives Lectures – One-hour presentations on contemporary Spanish society by faculty and guest speakers. Focus on diversity and social justice.

Academic Excellence

Program Courses

Tufts-Skidmore courses and faculty provide an academic experience for our students that allows them to study Spain critically and respectfully as a complex, dynamic, heterogeneous society and culture in transition. Program classes offer students the possibility of studying the most pressing sociopolitical issues of the day, issues that are manifest on the streets of Madrid, at the dinner table with their Spanish hosts, on television and the internet, in newspapers, and in the air they breathe here.

All of our program classes in one way or another study the quest for Historical Memory in Spain, the intersectionality of minority identities (gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, migratory status, social class), and their expression in art, literature, architecture, politics and social institutions.

The program grounds academic excellence in intellectual diversity, providing students with the information and intellectual tools they need to analyze the complex and diverse realities of modern and contemporary Spain, and to situate themselves within it as critical thinkers.


Universidad Complutense de Madrid

The Complutense University of Madrid, a public university founded in 1822 (but first established in the 13th century in Alcalá de Henares as a studium generale), is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in Spain and in the Spanish-speaking world. In International and European league tables and surveys, the UCM consistently ranks among the top five universities in Spain. The university’s notable alumni include seven Nobel Prize recipients, several Prime Ministers of Spain, European Commissioners, Presidents of the EU Parliament, European Council Secretary General, Spanish royalty, and Heads of State. For more than 700 years, the University Complutense of Madrid has provided notable contributions in political leadership, arts, letters and the sciences. Alumni include the renowned philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, writers Federico García Lorca, Antonio de Nebrija, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, scientists Santiago Ramón y Cajal y Severo Ochoa, and historians Juan de Mariana, Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda.

The UCM has two campuses: the Somosaguas campus and the Moncloa campus. The Moncloa campus is the main campus of the university and is located in the heart of the city, in close proximity to the Tufts-Skidmore program center.

Students choose classes in the school of their choice, or in the Reunidas Program, a consortium of North American university programs that offers a special curriculum taught by Complutense faculty.

Student Mentoring & Support

Tufts-Skidmore challenges students to continually and progressively observe and negotiate the borders of intercultural relationship. We expect students to examine how they are relating to the experience of cultural difference, and we encourage them to do so in an active, interested and ethical manner. This approach tends to decrease ethnocentrism and support intercultural awareness and agency, as well as overall well-being.

  • Intercultural Focus Groups (IFG) meetings. Ongoing Intercultural Mentoring helps students successfully engage with the culture, and to practice self-care while developing empathy and compassion for others.
  • Introduction of Mindfulness practices, which the program understands as non-judgmental awareness of our experiences and our relationship/reactions to them, and the cultivation of self-compassion. We support students in learning to meet their difficulties with kindness and attention, and to be attentive to the difficulties of others (ally training).
  • Identity Affinity Groups: Students of Color, Queer & Questioning
  • Spanish Peer Mentors (third year university students) organize bi-weekly dinners, activities, and excursions throughout the semester; provide intercultural support.
  • Individual mentoring meetings with the Tufts-Skidmore team to offer support and challenge to all students throughout the semester or year.
  • Program staff and faculty are trained to assist and support students who may experience identity-based restrictions or antagonisms in Spain.
  • Program provides antiracist training to staff, faculty, host families, Spanish peer mentors, and Language Exchange Partners.

Program Structure

  • Option to study for the fall, spring or full year
  • Students take courses in Spanish at the Tufts-Skidmore program center and/or at the Universidad Complutense
  • Language intensive – Spanish is used in classrooms, homestays, and program center
  • Academic tutors available and easily accessible
  • English used in Intercultural Meetings and Focus Groups (as per research on best practices for intercultural learning)
  • Myriad opportunities to meet locals (Spanish mentor program, English Language Exchange with Spanish university students)
  • Internships/volunteer opportunities (Public Health, NGOs, Research, Advocacy, Business & more)
  • Students live in home-stays throughout Madrid with Spanish families, or in local Student Residences with Spanish and international students
  • Students earn Tufts or Skidmore credit, and grades are factored into the Tufts and Skidmore GPA
  • On-campus and on-site support from the application process, pre-departure (visa processing), and throughout the program
  • Program design focuses on diversity & inclusion initiatives and ongoing interventions into students’ intercultural learning

Student Financial Resources

Our substantial resourcing provides greater cultural access to low and middle income students.

  • Two meals per day at homestay, 11€ per day stipend for meal eaten outside the homestay
  • Three meals a day at Student Residence (students who live in residences DO NOT receive the 11€ daily meal stipend)
  • Travel within Spain – 170€ reimbursement
  • Local transportation pass for access to metro, buses, city trains
  • Extracurricular activities (gym, cooking classes, private music/art lessons, etc.) – 275€
  • Spanish medical insurance with ADESLAS (full coverage, no co-pays or exclusions)
  • Excursions (at least three organized by program each semester)
  • Cultural Activities Reimbursement – UNLIMITED (subject to approval of program director)


  • Students pay about the same for off-campus study as if they would staying on campus. Financial aid will normally transfer, but please inquire at your institution.

Who is this program for?

  • All disciplines can apply. While this is language intensive, it is not just for Spanish majors. In fact, a majority of our students do not. major in Spanish
  • Skidmore: Students must be enrolled in or have competed 4 semesters of college-level Spanish or be a heritage or native Spanish speaker.
  • Tufts: Students must be enrolled or have completed four semesters of college-level Spanish or be a heritage or native speaker.
  • Must be at least a sophomore (although most students are juniors).
  • Heritage/native speakers are encouraged to apply, even if they have not taken any Spanish language courses in college.
  • Program welcomes students underrepresented in study abroad and provides significant support for them (Students of Color, First Gen, LGBTQ+, high financial need, differently-abled students).

Application deadlines


  • February 1 (for full year, fall or spring)


  • October 1st – spring
  • March 15th – fall or full year

Useful contacts