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Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain offers students the opportunity to develop true linguistic proficiency and to experience the many facets of Spanish life.

The program, now in its 46th session, offers small liberal arts–oriented classes and the opportunity to enroll directly in the Madrid University system. Participants must speak only Spanish at all times, both in and outside of class; all students are required to sign a pledge to this effect before their arrival in Madrid. The Hamilton College Academic Year In Spain is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Through personal contact with the culture, language, ideals and customs of another nation, participants step beyond the familiarity and comforts of their own environment to gain a new perspective on international affairs and a greater respect for and understanding of another people.

In a world where dialogue and open communication are more necessary than ever, study abroad continues to be an essential stage in a student's education and a base for students to develop a greater appreciation of their own country.

Why Madrid?

Madrid, a vibrant and energetic city of some three million inhabitants, is not only at the center of the country geographically, but it is also an important economic, cultural, industrial, educational and technological hub on the European continent. Truly accessible to the rest of the country, it is but a short distance away from other historically renowned cities.

El Centro, the program headquarters, is nestled in one of the most exclusive, safe and sought after neighborhoods in Madrid, El Viso. It has all the convenience of being near the heart of the city center, but our Centro is on a quiet, tree-lined street, and has excellent transportation options to all parts of the city and surroundings. Metro Avenida de America Station is a quick five-minute walk from our Centro.

It is surrounded by many cafés and restaurants and is steps away from various renowned museums.


“My experience with HCAYS went far beyond the academic. Not only did the program teach me Spanish language, it taught me the ins and outs of Spanish culture. It is a completely immersive experience that lasts long after the program ends. I am back in Madrid on a Fulbright, and I couldn’t be happier with my experience in Spain over the years.”

“Mis recuerdos de mi tiempo en el programa de HCAYS son inolvidables. No puedo olvidar las experiencias de caminar el fin del Camino de Santiago en Galicia; conversar con monjas en un claustro en Salamanca; probar mi primera paella auténtica en Valencia; estudiar la Guernica de Picasso con personas del Reina Sofía; ver la belleza de la Mezquita de Córdoba y la Alhambra en Granada. No las puedo olvidar ni quiero. Las cosas que hacen excepcional el programa de HCAYS son la atención al detalle y el elemento personal. Todas las cosas se organizan y se hacen con mucho cariño. Los anfitriones y los directores del programa son los mejores y te hacen sentir como en familia. Debido a esto, echo de menos muchísimo recorrer España y vivir en Madrid. ¡Me muero por volver para ver mi familia española!”
JOEL HARPER (YEAR 2019-2020)

“When people want to study abroad, they often don't realize how difficult it is to transition from feeling like a tourist to feeling like a citizen. The entire team at HCAYS put an astonishing amount of work into lessons, trips, housing, and so much more. Because of them, I not only felt confident and comfortable living in Madrid, but I was more than prepared to take advantage of all the opportunities that presented themselves. HCAYS can be demanding at times, but ultimately the experience delivered is truly unparalleled.”

“My experience with the Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain went above and beyond what I had anticipated. I found myself looking forward to going to the Centro in the morning, be it to grammar class in attempts to master the subjunctive or to go over the next installment of Don Quijote. My art history class allowed me to explore El Prado, La Reina Sofia, the street art found in Lavapies — to get a sense of the city from a perspective I would not have known how to access. Outside of the academics, the dinner conversations with my host family that spanned hours and our program’s trips to all parts of the country made my experience what it was. I cannot say enough about my semester in Madrid — the city has a vitality and character that is hard to describe, and it offers itself up for you to discover. I was so excited by the prospect of returning that I chose to teach in a high school outside the city center the year after I graduated from Bates to continue immersing myself in Spanish culture.”

Contact Information

Hamilton College Academic Year in Spain

Christian A. Johnson Hall
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4326 315-859-4222 hcays@hamilton.edu
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