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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum Language Requirement: SPAN 101 Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English
Click here for a definition of this term Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Click here for a definition of this term Class Eligibility: Sophomore
Type of Program: Exchange Click here for a definition of this term Program Advisor: Ashley Trump
Academic Focus: Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Computing and Informatics, No or Minimal Language Requirement
Program Description:
Program Overview | Eligibility | Academics | Program Calendar | Housing | Visa | Cost & Financial Aid | More Information

Drexel in Spain: SAPIENS - Engineering Winter in Madrid

UP Comillas Campus Buildings

About The Program

Universidad Pontificia Comillas is located in Spain’s capital city, Madrid, a cosmopolitan city and cultural hub with more than 4 million inhabitants. Founded in 1890 by the Society of Jesuits, UP Comillas is one of the 90 Jesuit universities in the world. The university has a style of its own, backed by a rich humanistic and educational tradition, and is characterized by academic rigor, individualized attention for students, and a high degree of social awareness. Students at Comillas study and learn in an environment of mutual respect, with high and demanding standards, close interpersonal relations, a deep understanding of the study materials, and a desire for personal improvement.

Upon arrival at Comillas, students will participate in an orientation program where you will find out about the city, university life, and have the opportunity to meet other international students. The International Relations team acts as a support system for exchange students and can provide information to you regarding campus life and academics.

Optional leisure activities with classmates and campus clubs offer a great opportunity for students to get involved and meet other students. The city of Madrid offers ample opportunity for cultural activities, sports, museums, and nightlife.

Students can learn more about preparing to study abroad at Comillas by reviewing the Guide for International Students.

Comillas’s School of Engineering, ICAI, is conveniently located in downtown Madrid. ICAI’s special engineering program in English, SAPIENS, offers sophomore engineering students the opportunity to take relevant coursework in English while becoming immersed in the culture of a Spanish university.
Comillas ICAI website:

SAPIENS website:


About the City 

Madrid is the capital city of Spain, located in the geographic center of the country. Over 3 million inhabitants from diverse origins contribute to Madrid's rich cultural fabric. Known for their openness and hospitality, Madrileños don't let visitors feel like strangers for long.

Madrid is regarded as an important economic, artistic, and educational center, ​home to the Spanish Parliament (las Cortes), the Spanish Stock Exchange (la Bolsa), as well as a number of world renowned cultural and historical sites. Students studying in Madrid will have access to a seemingly endless amount of activities, from visiting the Museo Nacional del Prado and Parque del Buen Retiro, to catching a fútbol (or soccer) match at The Estadio Santiago Bernabé, to flamenco dancing, and sampling local cuisines such as tapas, bocadillo de calamares, and churros con chocolate. 

Transportation in Madrid is cheap and easy to navigate. The best way to move about Madrid is with public transportation: metro or bus. The cheapest option is to purchase the Abono de Transporte which permits an unlimited number of trips on the metro, bus, or train (with marked zones) for an entire month. 

Madrid has a continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers, although temperatures are rarely extreme (it rarely snows in the city, for example.) In the peak of winter, the temperature is around 7ºC (43ºF). In July and August, the temperature can reach 33ºC (90ºF). Madrid has the highest number of cloudless days of any European capital.

Below are some links to videos about Spain and Madrid: 

Discover Spain 
Enjoy Madrid


  • 3.0 minimum GPA
  • Prior study of Spanish language
  • Sophomore status 


The SAPIENS program is open to the following majors during the winter term of their sophomore year: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, Architectural Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Computer Engineering. This program has only a SPAN 101 language pre-requisite, and will give students the opportunity to learn some Spanish while taking courses in English. All students are required to take a semester-long Spanish language course in addition to their other courses.

Course Availability
Review the SAPIENS and ICAI courses in English. This a complete list of all courses offerings that have been pre-approved for Drexel credit, including elective options.
Click on your major below to view a suggested plan of study for sophomore Fall at Drexel followed by sophomore Winter at Comillas:
Mechanical Engineering
Materials Science & Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Computer Engineering
Architectural Engineering
Civil Engineering

Course Equivalencies
Other courses offered at ICAI, both in English and Spanish, are open to Drexel students. Revew the full list of all ICAI course offerings. Students who wish to take courses at ICAI not listed on the above suggested plans of study or pre-approved list should first consult their academic advisor. Be sure to select only courses offered in the spring semester and take note of the language of instrtuction. Students must have all courses that do not appear on the pre-approved list approved for Drexel course equivalency prior to acceptance.

Students and taught and graded by Spanish faculty at Comillas ICAI. Grades are noted as “CR/NCR” on their Drexel transcript and will not affect their GPA. In order to receive CR students must earn a “C” or above at the host institution. You must plan to be a full time student at Comillas while also being careful to take the equivalent of a full time load at Drexel.

Program Calendar

UP Comillas Spring Semester Dates and Itinerary
Program Start Date January
Program End Date May

SAPIENS Spring Semester Dates and Itinerary
Program Start Date Early January
Program End Date Mid May

UP Comillas is a semester school. The SAPIENS program begins in early January and ends in mid May. This program offers winter quarter credit. In order to participate, students must be scheduled for winter class, followed by a spring/summer co-op. Due to the semester calendar, the program dates will require students to begin their spring/summer co-op late.  


Students will arrange their own housing in Madrid in either apartments or homestays. The Information and Lodging Office at Comillas can assist in selecting and arranging housing.


All students are required to obtain a student visa in order to study in Spain. For more information, visit the Spanish Embassy Website.

Cost and Financial Aid

Estimated Program Costs
Review the Estimated Study Abroad Costs page for a list of approximated program expenses.

Tuition & Financial Aid
This is a Drexel sponsored program, thus your Drexel tuition and financial aid remain the same during the term abroad. Students may also want to submit a revised budget to Drexel Central to see if additional funding may be available.

Students who receive Federal Work Study should consider applying for the Study Abroad Online Journalist work study position (only available to students after acceptance).

Those interested in seeking additional funding should review Scholarship & Funding Opportunities. Remember that scholarship deadlines may be much earlier than study abroad deadlines, so plan accordingly.

More Information

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter 2021 08/01/2020 09/01/2020 TBA TBA