GW Madrid

GW Madrid students are supported onsite by a Resident Director and an Assistant Resident Director. Upon arrival, students are greeted at the airport by the GW Madrid staff and taken to the hotel where the three-day program orientation is held before meeting their homestay families. The GW Madrid Resident Director also facilitates homestay placements for participants, sets up internship opportunities, organizes attendance to cultural activities such as theater, flamenco dancing, or soccer games, and provides other necessary support services.

Carmela García Hernández is a literature professor and has been the resident director of GW Madrid for 15 years. Born in Madrid, she has lived abroad in Mexico, Panama, Canada, and the United States. Besides her native language, Carmela is fluent in English, French, and Italian. She has a doctorate from New York University and a doctorate from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spanish Literature. For her undergraduate studies, Carmela majored in French Literature at Marymount Manhattan College.

Carmela has taught at University of Rochester, the College of William and Mary, and Duke University. Prior to working with GW, she established study abroad programs in Madrid for Duke and the College of William and Mary. Carmela has published books in the fields of Golden Age theater and Spanish Grammar. She enjoys playing tennis and scuba diving in many coral reefs around the world.

Why do you love Madrid?

"'De Madrid al cielo y allí un agujerito para mirarlo'. Eso dicen los madrileños puros sobre nuestra ciudad, que no cambiarían por ninguna otra en el mundo. Gente que extiende una mano, cocina para chuparse los dedos, fútbol y toros ¿ qué más se puede pedir a una ciudad? Pues todavía hay más: museos que compiten con los mejores del mundo para tardes lluviosas, Zara y boutiques para vestir a la última, y el parque del Retiro y el mercadillo del Rastro para pasar los domingos por la mañana, además de una ciudad que nunca duerme.  ¡Todo esto  te espera y más, y yo también!" 

- Carmela Hernández García, Resident Director, GW Madrid Center

Professor Maria Ángeles Alonso Zarza has extensive knowledge of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), where GW Madrid is based. She graduated from UAM in 1990 and obtained her masters specializing in teaching Spanish as a Second Language in 2003. She teaches one of the language courses to GW students and also does teacher training for professors at UAM. She is completing her Ph.D. in Linguistics.

Professor Alonso speaks Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian and has translated several published novels and articles from those languages into Spanish. She has lived in Hungary and the former Yugoslavia, where she taught Spanish at Belgrade and Szeged Universities. She has been working for the GW Madrid program since 1999.  Maria Ángeles is an avid reader and loves to cook -- especially pastries.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

“Trabajar con los estudiantes de GW en Madrid es siempre una experiencia gratificante y enriquecedora tanto profesional como personalmente.  Al principio de cada semestre se abre una nueva oportunidad de conocer a un grupo chicos y chicas interesados en descubrir y aprender todo lo relacionado con la cultura y la lengua española y, especialmente, con Madrid. Al final de cada semestre siempre nos queda el cariño y  el recuerdo de todos ellos y el convencimiento de que recordarán su paso por Madrid estará siempre en su corazón.” 

– María Ángeles Alonso Zarza, Assistant Director, GW Madrid 

GW Madrid Staff Testamonial

"Carmela and Maria Ángeles are super helpful - they plan all the excursions and group activities.  It's comforting to know that you have a GW resource center right on campus and a friendly face to talk to if need be.  Carmela even invites you to her home for a delicious lunch!" 

- Julia Simon, International Affairs

GW Madrid Staff Testamonial

"Carmela and Maria Ángeles have exceeded all of my expectations as directors. They are much more than directors; they have a unique and personal relationship with each student. They are always available and willing to help with any academic or personal matter. " 

- Sofia Skarlatos, History