ICADE is Madrid's first-ranked business school, offering specializations in management, finance, marketing and labor economics. The school is at the forefront of international business education and sponsors a four-year joint degree program in International Business Administration with several other European institutions. ICADE is the business school of the Universidad Pontificia Comillas. Comillas was founded in 1890 and is administered by the Jesuit order. Its faculties include Philosophy and Humanities, Civil Law, Canon Law, Economics and Business, and Theology. It also has schools of social work, engineering, and nursing. The university enrolls 12,000 students on two campuses, one in central Madrid and around 1,300 of these are international students. The Freeman program is located at the downtown campus, in the main classroom building. Typical of European universities, the main building has broad hallways and a courtyard where students gather, with none of the open, outdoor spaces of an American campus. Likewise, there are no dormitories. The student cafeteria is a popular meeting place, and the library provides a quiet place to study.
Madrid, Spain's capital and largest city, is a metropolis of over six million people and a major European center of artistic and intellectual activity. The city combines the fast pace of government and commercial activity, sophistication of a cosmopolitan center and relaxed tempo of the paseo and the café. While undoubtedly a modern metropolis, much of beautiful Madrid has managed to preserve the look and feel of the city's vibrant past. Theatres, royal palaces, museums, and myriad political buildings help to bring historic Madrid back to life, while simultaneously offering present day visitors a plethora of cultural activities. Museums, restaurants, tapas bars, and nightclubs give students ample opportunities to explore the city and get to know the Madrileños. Wander into the famous Plaza Mayor for a magnificent combination of good food, drink, and times past. Once the site for a multitude of events--including markets, bullfights, soccer games, public executions, and trials during the Spanish Inquisition--Plaza Mayor is now home to quaint shops and cafes. For those looking to improve their knowledge of fine art, Madrid is considered one of the top European destinations for art museums. In what is known as the Golden Triangle of Art, patrons can find the Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, and the Reina Sofia Museum; all world renown and containing works of painters such as Velázquez, Goya, and Pablo Picasso. On a lazy Sunday afternoon, visit the famed Parque del Buen Retiro to experience beautiful scenery, and more often than not, a variety of impromptu activities, such as drum circles, puppet shows, and concerts. For a taste of authentic Spanish culture, Madrid's Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas is considered by many to be the world center of bullfighting and and hosts fights from March to October. There are numerous festivals throughout the year that highlight Madrid's artistic and historical contributions to Spanish culture, such as Carnaval, a festival held the week before Lent, filled with music, dancing, food, and parades. The fast and efficient metro system makes moving around the city convenient, and the extensive network of regional, national, and inter-European trains and buses greatly facilitates travel throughout the region.
ICADE has a population of about 7,700 undergraduate students. Many of its students are international and exchange students. Freeman is one of ICADE's closest partners; 120 Freeman students study at ICADE every year. The program at ICADE is a great fit for a student that wants to study with a large group of other Freeman students.
Active participation in campus life is an important component of university education. Freeman students at ICADE are encouraged to participate in university activities and student organizations. For a list of student organizations, visit http://www.comillas.edu/en/students/internships-and-careers/student-participation/student-associations.
ICADE follows a calendar similar to the U.S. academic calendar. The Fall semester runs from late August or early September to December. The Spring semester runs from January to May. The final exam schedule is released partway through the semester. Students are not allowed to depart before final exams.
Ranking and Rigor
Past participants report that level of academic challenge at ICADE is generally similar to Tulane.
On this program, Freeman students enroll in business courses in English with other Freeman students and international exchange students. Students also have the opportunity to enroll in business courses in Spanish with local students. Generally, each class is worth 6 ECTS (3 Tulane credits). Tulane students at ICADE enroll in 4 - 6 courses per semester (3 - 5 business classes in English and/or Spanish + one Spanish language class).
For a list of courses commonly offered at ICADE and their Tulane equivalents, please see Sample Courses Offered
Actual courses offered will vary from semester to semester and year to year. For a an up-to-date list of course offerings, please see ICADE's course database
Freeman students at ICADE are required to enroll in a Spanish language class. The language class can be taken P/F or for a grade. Courses are at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Spanish classes are free-of-charge and credit-bearing.
Freeman students pre-register for courses at ICADE. Students complete a course selection form in their FreemanAbroad
account after acceptance to the program. ICADE registers students for courses. Students receive their schedules prior to the start of the semester and can add/drop courses through the first week of the semester. Students can view their schedules by logging into the ICADE exchange student portal.
Most courses are characterized by traditional teaching with lectures, written course assignments and/or oral presentations. Many of the courses require substantial preparatory reading. The workload and academic rigor is similar to Freeman. Exchange students study hard but still have time for a rich social live outside university.
Final course grades are often based on class participation, projects, and exams. Course syllabi outline evaluation and grading policies.
Grading Scale and Conversion Guide
The Spanish grading system is based on a scale from 0 to 10. The minimum passing grade is a 5. Tulane works with World Education Services (WES) for credit evaluation and grade conversion. Below please find the U.S. equivalents for grades earned at ICADE.
General Eligibility Requirements
Students must be in good academic, financial and disciplinary standing and earn a 3.0 GPA two semesters prior to studying abroad. Students must complete their 3010s prior to their semester abroad.
Students who have been found guilty or who have pleaded guilty to an Honor Code violation within one year prior to submitting an application to study abroad may not study abroad on a Freeman program. Students who are on disciplinary probation during the semester or term in which they intend to study abroad are not eligible to participate in a Freeman study abroad program. Approvals will be revoked for students who are placed on disciplinary probation or found guilty of an Honor Code violation after being approved to study abroad.
Requirements for Courses Taught in Spanish
If you wish to take courses taught in Spanish with local students, you must have an advanced intermediate command of the language.
Freeman Semester Abroad Application
To access the Freeman semester abroad application, please attend a Semester Abroad Info Session and make an appointment for follow-up advising with a Goldring advisor.
Some exchange programs are more competitive than others. Students can list up to 10 school on the semester abroad application, in order of preference. All qualified applications are reviewed on a competitive basis based on GPA; class standing while abroad; academic, personal and professional relevance of study abroad programs; and academic, linguistic, personal and cultural preparation.
Upon nomination, exchange participants are required to submit secondary application materials to the host university. Please see the ICADE Factsheet for more information. The secondary application is due by the host university's deadline.
Exchange program participants pay their regular Tulane tuition plus a $1200 study abroad fee but do not pay Reily Center, Health Center or Student Activities fees. Housing is not charged by Tulane University but rather paid directly to the housing provider abroad. Students are responsible for additional expenses, including international airfare, passport, visa, meals, local transportation, books and supplies, and personal expenses. See the budget sheet for more information.
ICADE's Housing Provider
ICADE does not have its own lodging. ICADE collaborates with Students Global Relocation to provide all services associated with accommodations. SGR offers housing in residence halls or apartments. For more information see the SGR Housing Guide or visit SGR's website at https://mobility.studentsglobalrelocation.com/. If you would like to apply for your housing through SGR, please complete the housing application by June 30 for the Fall semester or November 30 for the Spring semester. If applying online the access code is UPCOMILLAS.
ICADE recommends that students book their housing through SGR. In case of any issues, ICADE can intervene more efficiently if you book your housing through SGR. ICADE is limited in its ability to assist students who book independent housing.
Past participants have also used the following resources for securing independent housing in Madrid:
Aluni.net Student Housing
Neighborhoods recommended by past students include: Argüelles, Moncloa, Malasaña, La Latina and Princesa.
Note: Goldring does not endorse any of the housing listed on the above links. Students are responsible for checking the condition of the property before signing a lease or making a deposit.
ICADE Exchange Student Website
Program Reviews on Abroad101
Madrid, Spain Official Tourism Website
Click HERE to contact recent study abroad participants.
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