Global E3: Universidad Pontificia Comillas- Spain


Study engineering for a semester or a full year in Spain! Founded in 1890, the Universidad Pontificia Comillas is directed by the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. It is one of 90 Universities which the Jesuits possess around the world, along with another 500 secondary education institutions. Located in Madrid, it offers students an excellent opportunity for personal, professional and social development.

The majority of courses are in Spanish. During Spring- Comillas offers a program called SAPIENS, which will provide engineering courses in English. See below in the Academic section for more information. 

The Universidad Pontificia Comillas is a member of Global E3, an exchange program of Engineering Schools from around the world. More than 60 universities worldwide—33 in the United States and 31 in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East—comprise the Global E3 consortium. This consortium is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

You must first be accepted by the Swanson School of Engineering International Programs Office, then you will be directed to apply to Global E3. Prior to being accepted, please visit the Global E3 website and read the application instructions and application deadlinesIn the past, application deadlines have been October 1st for spring semester programs and March 1st for fall semester programs.

Each university might have an additional application.  Please refer to the University's website for details.

Learning Objectives

As an active and engaged participant on this program, you will have the opportunity to develop: 

  • the ability to succeed independently in a foreign education environment. 
  • non-US based perspectives on your field of study and/or future career path. 
  • a global network of peers in similar fields of study and connections with faculty in Spain.


Partner Information

Office Responsible for International Engineering Exchange Students 
Comillas Pontifical University
Emergency Number: +34-647-319-715
ICAI School of Engineering:
International Relations Coordinator: Alberto Zanmatti –
Incoming Officer: Ela Daineaunu –
Mailing Address:
Alberto Zanmatti
ICAI – U. P. Comillas
c/ Alberto Aguilera 25
28015 – Madrid (SPAIN)
Phone: +34-91-542-2800
Fax: +34-91-559-4133

Location Description

Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a cosmopolitan city of more than four million inhabitants. As the site of the Spanish government, Madrid is the most important financial and cultural center in the country. The cultural, leisure, and sports offerings of Madrid are rich and varied. It has countless theaters and museums, including the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and the Reina Sofía Center for the Arts. Monuments, exhibits, and concert halls dot the city. Moreover, Madrid boasts over 43 parks and emblematic green areas such as the Retiro Park, the "Casa de Campo" Recreational Park, and the Sabatini Gardens.

Housing Description

Comillas does not have on-campus lodging; however, the Oficina de Información y Acogida (The Information, Lodging and Welcome Office) at the University can help you in your search.
 Please check the GE3 website for more information.

Academic Description

Use the links below to see if the specific departments offer the types of courses you would like to take while studying abroad.  We suggest you review courses available with your Faculty director of your program prior to applying to the program. 
Academic Departments: 
Visit the University's website to learn more about course offerings.  The following disciplines have been listed as available: 
·         Industrial Engineering Program (4-year B.Sc. & 2-year M.Sc.)
·         B.Sc. in Industrial Technologies Engineering
·         Mechanical Engineering major
·         Electrical Engineering major
·         Industrial Electronics Engineering major
·         Management Engineering major (Dual version with BBA)
·         M.Sc. Industrial Engineering
·         Dual version with MBA
·         Dual version with MEPI (Electric Power Industry)
·         Dual version with MIC (Smart Industry)
·         Telecommunications Engineering Program (4-year B.Sc. & 2-year M.Sc.)
·         B.Sc. Telecommunication Technologies Engineering
·         Dual version with BBA
·         Dual version with Business Analytics
·         M.Sc. Telecommunications Engineering
All-English SAPIENS program is offered to all of our Global E3 partners. 
The “Fundamental Engineering Courses” are those that the Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Boston University, University of Maryland and UMICH (summer-only) have asked us to host, based on their very own syllabi, and being these subjects common to most of their Engineering majors in their Sophomore Spring semester (several juniors too). The “Technological Courses” are the ones we ourselves offer as technical electives in English to our very own seniors and the rest of our inbound exchange students. The “Culture and Language” courses are a perfect complement to any combination of the previous courses, and other foreign languages (i.e. German, French, etc.) are fully available to any student participating in our SAPIENS program.
If you need more information (i.e. subjects’ syllabi, etc.), you can contact Alberto Zanmatti at All of these subjects have their “short” descriptors (just click on the little [+] at the bottom of each chart).Students do not need to limit their choices to our SAPIENS, since they are welcome to sign up for our standard engineering subjects taught in Spanish (several of which are taught in English as well) if they deem their command of Spanish is sufficient enough.
The major difference between this SAPIENS we are offering and other “typical” study-abroad programs, is that students from all over the US, other English-speaking countries, and our very own local students with proper command of English will get to interact with each other, thus creating a wonderful multi-cultural environment and learn from each others’ experiences.
Of note: 

  • All courses must be approved by the Faculty Director of your department in the Swanson School of Engineering. A course approval form must be completed and submitted to SSoE’s Engineering International Initiatives Office. 
  • Additionally, for the purpose of full-time status here at Pitt, students should be prepared to take what is equivalent to at least 12 Pitt credit hours.   
  • Courses taken abroad will be treated as transfer credits and will be marked as pass/fail (S/NC) on a Pitt student's transcript. In other words, transfer credits will not affect your Pitt GPA. However, students must receive a C grade or higher in order for the credits to transfer. Actual grades earned will appear on the transcript from the exchange university. 
  • Language Requirements: Non-native English speakers may be required to show evidence of English proficiency.    
Students who have attended this program in the past have taken classes in the areas of:

In order to gain Pitt credit, you must receive a C or higher for each course you will transfer back to Pitt for credit. 
Information about the grading scale abroad can be found on the Global E3 page. 
Transcripts: Please request that your university send a hardcopy to the Engineering International Initiatives Office. Make sure that you follow their instructions on how to ensure that an official copy of your grades are received. Hardcopies should be sent the following address: International Engineering Initiatives, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 152 Benedum Hall, 3700 O’Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. 
Exchange university transcripts typically do not arrive from the exchange university until 3 to 4 months after the end of exchange period. Therefore, Pitt students should be mindful of how this may affect their ability to graduate, especially when exchanging during one's senior year. Another consideration is how this may affect your financial aid package, as the S/NC grades are not posted until transcripts are received.

Experiential Learning Description


Program Fees

Pitt students participating on an exchange program will pay regular Pitt tuition and fees, according to their in-state or out-of-state residency status. In addition to the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, this also includes all Mandatory Fees, such as the Student Activity Fee, Wellness Fee, Computing and Network Services Fee, and the Security, Safety, and Transportation Fee.

Pitt Students on financial aid and/or tuition scholarships will need to consult the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid or respective entity providing the funds to confirm coverage for study abroad.

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $10,331 $18,530
Program Fee $545 $545
Study Abroad Fee $400 $400
Total Billed by Pitt $11,276 $19,475


How Much To Budget




Dr. Kristine Lalley

Bonjour! I became the Swanson School’s first Director of International Initiatives in August 2007. In this role I have collaborated with Swanson School faculty members to create international education opportunities for engineering students- including studying abroad, international internships and service learning projects along with other research opportunities abroad. I have also conducted research on learning processes in the context of international education. I studied in Paris, France during my junior year and continue to love visiting countries around the world whenever possible, learning as much as I can about other cultures. I enjoy supporting engineering students and seeing them change from their experiences abroad.  Come talk with me about studying abroad! |  412-624-3489 | 152 Benedum Hall @SSoEIntPrograms   |


Schedule an appointment

Schedule an appointment with me using Pathways!

  • Log in to Pathways
  • Select Appointments > Schedule an Appointment
  • Select Pitt Global as the Care Unit.
  • Select 152 Benedum- ENGR International Advising, choose a date and time, and confirm!

Don't see a time that works for you? Just send me an email!

Application Instructions

You must first be nominated by the Swanson School of Engineering International Initiatives Office, then you will be directed to apply to Global E3. A formal nomination from SSoE Engineering International Initiatives is required for Pitt students to be recognized as an exchange student. Therefore, Pitt students must complete all necessary Pitt steps in addition to the Global E3 university’s requirements. In other words, acceptance by Pitt Engineering International Initiatives does not guarantee acceptance by the exchange university.  
Prior to being accepted, please visit the Global E3 website and read the application instructions and application deadlines. (In the past, Global E3 application deadlines have been October 1st for spring semester programs and March 1st for fall semester programs.) 
Each university might have an additional application.  Please refer to the Global E site for details.   
Please contact Dr. Kristine Lalley for more information on Fall 2020 and Full Year 2020 openings for this program.
Minimum Requirements: 

  • SSoE student in good standing 
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA & be of sophomore standing or higher 
  • Please check the Global E3 site for additional requirements for this specific school


Additional Information

Questions about funding? Check out our funding pages and note that SSoE has funding specifically for engineering students! There are many other national funding sources you can review. One place to search is the Institute of International Education website. 


Academic Calendar:

  • Fall: early September to mid December
  • Spring: mid January to mid May


Insurance Requirements

The University of Pittsburgh provides comprehensive health insurance as a part of studying abroad. More information about the type of insurance and coverage will be provided to you by the Engineering International Initiatives office.  However, you may need to purchase additional insurance if the school you will attend requires you to purchase a specific health insurance per their regulations. It is your responsibility to ensure you know the cost of that insurance prior to committing to the program.

Visa Requirements

In order to study as a student in specific countries, a visa is required. A visa is formal endorsement by the host country to grant permission for an individual to enter, live or stay in that country for a specific purpose and period. In addition to a visa, some host countries may require a residency permit upon arrival. 

For those without the host country’s nationality, students may need to obtain a student visa to study on this exchange. Pitt students should also research the visa and/or permit process through the specified country consulate website.  

In general visa application requirements may include but are not limited to the following requirements:  

  • Visa application 
  • Valid Passport 
  • Verification of acceptance from sponsoring university (exchange university) 
  • Financial Documents, such as bank statements, tax documents or pay statements.   
  • Passport photos 
  • Application fee 
  • Medical/physical examination (likely to require a doctor's appointment so plan accordingly)


Application Status