The AU Cornerstone: Madrid SIS Scholars program is a first semester study abroad opportunity offered exclusively to AU first year students who intend to major in the School of International Service. Cornerstone Abroad allows you to get a jump start on your international education—letting you experience international culture firsthand while supported by AU DC and AU Madrid. 

The Madrid SIS Scholars cohort is between 20 and 25 students. Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first served basis. 

You can find a breakdown of the cost of the program on the program cost page.

The Cornerstone program is reserved for full time, first year degree-seeking students at AU; therefore, financial aid is available for those who qualify and may be applied to this program. For information about financing options, consult with your university financial aid counselor. The AU Abroad office also has additional need-based grants available.

The courses provide students the opportunity for active learning, collaboration, teamwork, and interactive discussions. More information on the program courses is available on the curriculum page.

You have access to the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) on AU's campus. ASAC can be reached by phone at 202-885-3360. More information about ASAC accommodations and services is available online. 

New requests for accommodation should follow the Three-Step process. Once students receive information from AU's ASAC regarding approved accommodations, students should upload their letters in their AU Abroad portal so on-site staff can access them. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that facilities or support services will be available in the same range and quality as on AU’s campus. 

Students will travel to AU Madrid independently. There are no group flight arrangements.

While students travel independently and there are no group flight arrangements, contact information will be provided and students are encouraged to connect with cohort members to take the same flight as other AU students if they flying out of the same airport.

There will be a pre-departure orientation at AU, as well as an on-site orientation at AU Madrid. 

U.S. citizens are not required to obtain a visa in advance to study in Spain. The AU Abroad office will walk students through the visa process and students are encouraged to apply at the Consulate in Washington, D.C. Students from other nationalities will be responsible for researching the requirements for their visa and obtaining adequate permission to enter Spain. 

Students can visit any number of sites, detailed on the Excursions page.

DC law and American University policy states that all students must have health insurance - through their parents or through AU. If you have insurance by way of your parent's plan or your own, you can waive AU Health Insurance through your myAU.american.edu portal. More information about the Student Health Center and insurance requirements is available on the website. 

Students will be enrolled in AU's Emergency Medical Insurance for international travel. However, this only covers students during the program dates and in the country of the program site.

Veteran Affairs does not allow students to use Yellow Ribbon benefits for study abroad programs.

Madrid is an extremely walkable city and AU's campus is centrally located near shops, grocery stores, restaurants and more. In addition, public transportation is very efficient and easy to use in Madrid. Upon arrival, students will be given a transport card that they will load with 8 euros a month. This card works for unlimited trips on the bus and metro, including the metro line connecting to the airport. 

During the spring semester on American University's campus, Cornerstone students will live on AU's campus in a dorm with the rest of the University College students. Cornerstone staff works with students to get to integrated into AU and get to know the incredible opportunities we have on campus. To learn more about the steps taken during the spring semester, check out our Spring Cornerstone Madrid graphic.