Carlos III University: An Immersive Experience in Madrid

This spring, Texas Christian University launched a new semester program with Accent and Carlos III University (UC3M) in Madrid. Including the seventeen students in the pilot TCU group, Accent supported nearly sixty students at the young Spanish university during the 2016/17 academic year. Founded in 1989 and today enrolling 20,000 students, UC3M is a dynamic institution providing vast and flexible course offerings to Spanish and international students alike.

Accent is in touch with students starting in the fall, providing initial information to navigate course options and later holding a virtual orientation. Once in Madrid, Accent serves as on-site academic coordinator and representative of each U.S. institution, accompanying the group throughout the local orientation and holding regular office hours on campus thereafter.

One grey morning in January, all UC3M students gathered in the Study Center for online course registration, allowing the Accent team to provide immediate answers to any questions as they navigated the ambiguity of course enrollment at a Spanish university, a stark contrast to their experience in the U.S. Throughout the semester, students met with Accent in small groups for advising sessions to discuss course progress, assignments, and any questions about Spanish faculty or teaching styles.

Students with an upper or intermediate level of Spanish enroll in regular undergraduate grado offerings, including International Trade, Political Analysis, Film Narrative, and Economic History; while beginning language students enroll in the university’s Hispanic Studies Program for international students, for which popular courses this semester have included Spain in Progress: Spanish Society Today, Spanish Art Masters in Madrid Museums, and Environment and Society in Spain.

Multiple activities are designed into each of Accent’s direct enroll programs to ensure that, beyond ongoing advising – through excursions and study tours, coffeehouse chats, gallery visits, and other activities – students have regular opportunities to check-in with the Accent team to discuss their experience, from frustrations with navigating a new university system to cultural differences in teaching styles.

In addition to Texas Christian University, Accent Madrid currently collaborates with the following US partners on UC3M programs: University of Richmond, University of Southern California, and Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.