Barcelona, Spain

Economics + Culture

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Information for term Economics + Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

April 1, 2021

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Sep 2 – Dec 23, 2021 (16 weeks)*
  • Credit: 16 semester hours / 24 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

October 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: October 1, 2020
  • Dates: Jan 4 – Apr 19, 2021 (15 weeks)
  • Credit: 16 semester hours / 24 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA


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Immerse yourself in Spanish university life at CIEE’s partner school, Universitat Pompeau Fabra (UPF) and CIEE Barcelona and gain in-depth knowledge of Catalonia’s position within Europe.  Choose from courses in English or Spanish at UPF’s Economics and Business school or from the Hispanic and European Studies Program (HESP), which is one of Europe’s top programs for international students in the disciplines of communication, humanities, and the social sciences. Students can also gain insight into Spanish business culture and get real-world international work experience with a for-credit internship. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Analyze current challenges for the European economy

    and explore the differences between European and U.S. economic models.

  • Get an insider’s look

    on the impact of European integration on Spain’s economy.

  • Strengthen your intercultural leadership skills

    by completing group projects with Spanish students.

  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • beaches

  • universities


Location & Culture

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Culture, sport, fashion, finance, media, entertainment – Barcelona is brimming with it all. The largest city on the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona is home to 1.6 million in the city proper and 4.5 million in the broader metro area. It is edged with a river on either side and backed by the Serra de Collserola mountains to the west. A walk through the city reveals 2,000 years of history at every turn, including Roman ruins, 19th century modernista architecture, ultramodern showpieces, and the Gothic buildings of the Old Town.

Castilian Spanish and Catalan are both official languages. Catalan is regularly used in all aspects of life, but not imposed. Taxi drivers, shopkeepers, professors, host families – all speak clear Castilian when Spanish speakers are present. Spanish is widely used at the university. Students don’t need to speak Catalan, but learning a few words can open doors to making friends.

The Culture


  • See for yourself why landmarks like Museu Picasso and Gaudi’s artworks engender awe from visitors around the world.
  • Explore beyond Barcelona, with highlights that could include Roman ruins in the coastal city Tarragona, the medieval town of Girona, the Dalí museum in Figueres, among others.


  • Get valuable international work experience with a for-credit internship. You might develop a marketing plan for the Museum of Chocolate in Barcelona or use market research to see how social responsibility affects startups at Associacio Coworkings de Catalunya (COWOCAT).
  • Placements include startups, small- to medium-sized companies, and magazine and publishing houses, among others. Internships include a weekly class to support the experience with academics.


Lectures, films, discussion groups, and neighborhood tours are all possibilities that will expand your cultural knowledge while you practice speaking Spanish.


CIEE Local Mentors

Local university students help you get to know the city and meet new friends with small group activities like city tours, flamenco night, and more.

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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    Homestays. Live with a Spanish-speaking family -- with or without another CIEE student -- and immerse yourself in the city’s language and culture. Each student has his/her own room and weekly laundry service. Homestays are located in Barcelona, no more than 30 minutes from CIEE Barcelona by public transportation.

    Residence Halls. Students live with other Spanish and international students. Residence halls include single rooms with shared kitchens and common areas.

    Apartments. Apartments may have double or single rooms. They have shared kitchens and laundry facilities. Students live with other CIEE students. 

    Housing is tight in Barcelona. If we can’t accommodate your first housing choice, we’ll let you know before you arrive. All housing is within a 30 minute commute to CIEE Barcelona.


    Homestay students have breakfast and dinner with their host families and are responsible for lunch. Meals are not included at residence halls or apartments.

Barcelona, Spain

Where You'll Study

  • A


    Near Barcelona’s main square, Plaza Catalunya.

  • B


    Ramblas campus, Olympic Village campus, port campus

  • C

    Getting Around

    Students walk or take the bus or metro to get from their lodgings to CIEE and university classes

What People are Saying

  • I love my academic experience studying abroad this semester, especially with the combination of CIEE and UPF classes. I was able to meet other study abroad students in my CIEE classes, but also some local students in my UPF classes. I give CIEE a ton of credit for the teachers that I had this semester. They cared so much about the course content that they were teaching all of us and stayed enthusiastic throughout the entire semester. But at the same time, they were very understanding of our position as study abroad students and I never felt stressed or overwhelmed. I loved my teachers and courses!

    Eliza, Colgate University, Spring 17
  • The experience was awesome, good diversification between studies, fun, culture, trips, people.

    Francesco, Fordham University,Fall 16


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The CIEE Economics and Culture Program in Barcelona is designed for economics or business majors who want to increase their Spanish language skills and take rigorous coursework at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), which is internationally recognized for its economics program. Students take a Spanish language course based on their skill level, 1-2 courses at the UPF Department of Economics & Business and/or at the UPF HESP program, and 2-3 CIEE elective courses. Language courses are taught by experienced professors who specialize in teaching Spanish as a second language. All other courses are taught by experienced university faculty and business professionals.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) is a highly-ranked public university in Barcelona created in 1990 by the Autonomous Government of Catalonia. It is known for its small class sizes and international outlook. The curriculum includes commercial management, labor economics, game theory, public policy analysis, international finance, social entrepreneurship, and more. CIEE students attend classes at the Ciutadella Vila Olímpica Campus.

CIEE Barcelona is located near Barcelona’s main square, Plaza de Catalunya.



Language Prerequisites

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Additional Requirements

3 semesters of college-level micro- or macroeconomics. 1 semester of calculus recommended. Must have junior-level standing or higher by time of arrival in Barcelona.

Program Requirements

Students are required to enroll in five courses for 15 credits including:

  • One CIEE Spanish language course
  • Two to three CIEE elective courses
  • One to two UPF host institution courses
    • UPF host institution (Department of Economics and Business)
    • UPF host institution HESP (Hispanic and European Studies Program)

Program Credit

Total credit: 15 U.S. semester/22.5 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours
  • CIEE Internship: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 15 seminar hours, 100 internship placement hours
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours, unless otherwise noted

Academic Culture

Courses are academically challenging, and involve daily reading and homework assignments, and attendance at lectures and field trips. Spanish professors typically lend students less support than American counterparts. Students are responsible for knowing dates of exams and assignments. Dates are firm and attendance is required. As students gain proficiency in Spanish, they are encouraged to use their skills with local students, host families, and new acquaintances.

Class Format

UPF direct enrollment economics and business courses meet twice a week for 1.5 hours, plus additional small-group seminar sessions, and include local and international students. Typical class size for direct enrollment courses is 70-100 students (20-30 for seminars). UPF Hispanic and European studies (UPF-HESP) courses include only other international students and meet twice a week for 2 hours. Typical class size for UPF-HESP courses is 15-30 students.

Courses at CIEE Barcelona are attended by CIEE students exclusively. Typical class sizes for CIEE courses are no more than 16 students in Spanish language courses, and 10-25 students in elective courses.


Students are evaluated based on class participation, in-class activities, homework assignments, exams, papers, and oral presentations. CIEE, UPF direct enrollment and UPF-HESP courses are graded based on class participation, problem sets or a project, and a final exam; some require term papers and/or midterm exam. UPF direct enrollment and UPF-HESP professors grade on a 10-point scale, and points are converted to U.S. letter grades.

Language of Instruction

Spanish and English


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Course Information

  • UPF host institution courses are with Spanish students
  • UPF host institution HESP courses are for international students only
  • Students with four to five semesters of college-level Spanish are encouraged to take two courses in Spanish
  • Students with six or more semesters of college-level Spanish are encouraged to take all their classes in Spanish

Spring 2021 CIEE Courses

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Academic Projects

Semester Credit

Business, Economics, Management, and Marketing

Semester Credit

Communication, Journalism, and Media

Semester Credit

History, Philosophy, Religion

Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Semester Credit

Literature, Linguistics, and Writing

Semester Credit

Social Sciences

Semester Credit

Visual and Performing Arts

Semester Credit

Host Institution Courses

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This is a sample list of courses. Not all of the following courses are available every year.

  • Advanced Macroeconomics
  • Business Logistics
  • Commercial Management II
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Cost Accounting I
  • Econometrics II
  • Econometrics III
  • Economic Institutions and Markets
  • Finance
  • Financial Management I
  • Financial Management II
  • Forecasting Techniques
  • Foreign Trade II
  • Game Theory and Design of Institutions
  • Human Resources I
  • Human Resources II
  • International Business History
  • Industrial Organization
  • International Economics I
  • International Finance
  • International Finance Economics
  • International Marketing
  • Macroeconomics
  • Management of Non-Profit Organizations
  • Marketing
  • Markets and Derivatives
  • Mathematics for Finance
  • Modern Statistical Computing
  • Multivariant Analysis
  • Networks, Crowds, and Markets
  • New Topics in Marketing Management
  • Operations Management
  • Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Principles of Public Economics
  • Psychology and Business
  • Real Analysis
  • Strategic Management I
  • Topics in Macroeconomics




This is a sample list of courses. Not all of the following courses are available every year.

  • Dirección Comercial I / Commercial Management I
  • Marketing de Servicios / Service Marketing
  • Recursos Humanos I / Human Resources I
  • Direccion Estrategica I / Strategic Management I
  •  Economia Internacional I / International Economics I
  •  Gestión de Instituciones Sanitarias / Management for Health Institutions
  •  Investigacion de Mercados / Market Research




This is a sample list of courses. Not all of the following courses are available every year.

  • A Messy Garden. A History of the Cultural Values of Europe
  • Ancient Mediterranean
  • Barcelona: The City and its History
  • Barcelona: The Rise of a Design City
  • Brand Equity Communications and its Unique Corporate Value
  • Comparing Media
  • Contemporary Spanish Art
  • Crossroads in the Arab Countries: Authoritarianism, Spring, and Islamic State
  •  Geopolitical Games: Foreign Policy of Russia and China
  • Globalization, Development and Social Cohesion: Which Role for International Development Cooperation?
  • Global Marketing & Culture of FC Barcelona
  • Global Media and International Journalism
  • History and Politics of Globalization
  • Independence, Federalism, and Secession: Catalonia and Beyond
  •  International Business and Globalization
  •  Neuroscience for Humanities
  •  Political Marketing
  • Political Ideas from Early Modern Age to the Digital Revolution
  • Politics and Society in the European Union
  • “Sepharad”: History and Heritage of Jewish Spain 
  • Screening the Global World: Cultural Diversity and Public Television Space
  •  Spain in Cinema: Global and Local Perspectives
  • The Barcelona Leadership Journey Toward Sustainability: Economic, Business & Social Transformations
  • United Nations: International Peace and Security
  •  The EU in the World
  • Understanding Globalization: Historical Roots of Economic, Political, and Cultural Exchanges Between East Asia, America, and Europe




This is a sample list of courses. Not all of the following courses are available every year.

  • Barcelona: la Ciudad y su Historia
  • Contemporary Spanish Literature / Literatura Española Contemporánea
  • De los Estereotipos Culturales al Diálogo Transcultural Ficción Televisiva, Globalización e Identidades Culturales Comunicación y Sociedad en España
  • Images of Spain in Contemporary Cinema/ Imágenes de España en el Cine Contemporáneo
  • La Protección Internacional de los Derechos Humanos
  • Literature and Politics in Latin America/ Literatura y Política en América Latina
  • Social Movements in the 21st Century: Globalization, Crisis and Democratization Processes/ Los Movimientos Sociales en el Siglo XXI Ante la Globalización, la Crisis y Los Procesos de Democratización
  • Forma, Sueño y Deseo: Picasso, Miró, Dalí
  • Society and Politics in the Contemporary Spain/ Sociedad y Política en la España Contemporánea
  • Spanish: Oral Expression Techniques/ Español: Técnicas de Expresión Oral

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.



Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Spring 2021 15 weeks Oct 1, 2020 Jan 4, 2021 Apr 19, 2021
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $14,783 **

Housing = $4,200 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $19,450

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $2,600

International Airfare = $1,250 ††

Local Transportation = $400

Books & Supplies = $300

Visa Fees = $160

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500

Personal expenses = $2,800

Total Estimated Costs = $8,010

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

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This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required by their US home institution to study abroad via CIEE's School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** homestay includes two meals daily; no meals are included for students in the Residencia option

for students in residencia; homestay students should budget $1,150 per semester for meals not included in fees

†† round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

Fall 2021 16 weeks Apr 1, 2021 Sep 2, 2021* Dec 23, 2021*

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, your college or university may charge additional fees for study abroad, or may require you to receive a transcript via CIEE's School of Record, which carries an additional fee of $500.

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What's Included

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What's Included

Pre-departure Advising
Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
Introduction to your program plus practical information about living in your host city
On-site Staff
Full-time program leadership and support in your city
Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
Excursions and/or Study Tours
Travel Protection
CIEE iNext and a local liability insurance
24/7 emergency on-site support

Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
  • 1

    You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! 

    Apply Now
  • 2

    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 

  • 3

    Contact Us

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.