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Cornell University


Minimum GPA: 3.20

Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2024


Annie Nguyen

Cornell Affiliations:

Arts and Sciences, Global Learning

Off-campus partner:

Instituto Internacional Americano


Interested students must connect with the Director, Cecelia Lawless, before starting an application.

Applications will open on Nov 1.

Opportunity Description

International Fair:

  • Wednesday, August 28, 11:00am-1:00pm ET, Uris Hall Terrace

During this intensive six-week program (May 26 - July 5), you'll immerse yourself in Spanish culture, significantly improve your language skills, and earn credits while living in Spain’s capital city. Along with a focus on improving their Spanish speaking and writing skills, many students take a course on Spanish culture and history that offers a broad introduction to Iberian cultures from the Middle Ages to the present. On their forays outside of the classroom, students discovered the residents of Madrid were kind and understanding as they practiced their language skills, visit museums and venues of historical importance, attend concerts and theater productions, and experience life in a European nation.

Classes are held at the Instituto Internacional Americano, which hosts students from U.S. universities and offers English courses to a mix of American and Spanish students. Students will live with a host family selected by the program.

These courses are Cornell credits, taught by Cornell instructors and an invited Spanish professor.  In other words, by taking a course in Madrid, it is as if you were at Cornell on Spanish territory.  

This program can fulfill a language requirement or prepare you for early entry into a minor or major in Spanish at Cornell.

Program highlights

  • Spend six weeks in a Spanish-speaking country using Spanish in and out of the classroom.
  • Advance your language skills and cover some of the requirements for a minor or a major in Spanish.
  • Experience life in a European nation while getting to know and interact with native speakers.
  • Take one or two courses taught by Cornell faculty.
  • If you're a Cornell student, the program will satisfy the language requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Enjoy a fun yet academically challenging summer that includes concerts, theater productions, and site visits to museums and venues of historical importance.

During the application process students can apply for certain limited funds that Romance Studies has at its disposal that will be awarded on a need-based criteria. Read about the program in the Cornell Chronicle.


Cecelia Lawless, Director, Cornell Summer Program in Madrid, and Senior Lecturer, Department of Romance Studies, Cornell University

Cecelia Lawless is a senior lecturer in the Department of Romance Studies, where she teaches both literature and advanced language courses. She holds a PhD from Cornell in comparative literature. She has a strong interest in film and architecture and has published a book on Cuba, Making Home in Havana. Dr. Lawless was recently awarded the Stephen Weiss Vice Provost Teaching Fellow, a permanent designation recognizing faculty members who have a sustained record of commitment to the teaching and mentoring of undergraduate students and to undergraduate education.


*Some program information questions in the 'Application Preview' below may not be applicable to this program. Course background will be asked if relevant to that particular summer or winter program.

Non-Cornell Student Application