Barcelona, Spain

Economics + Culture

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Information for term Economics + Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

April 1, 2022

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Sep 7 – Dec 21, 2022 (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  Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS), 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.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

CIEE is requiring all participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling on programs. Read more ›

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. Both are regularly used in all aspects of life, and Catalan is 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.

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Barcelona.

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 Associacióo 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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    All housing is within a 30-minute commute to CIEE Barcelona. As long as the local health and safety regulations permit, students could stay in: 

    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 an individual  room and weekly laundry service.

    Residence Halls. Students live with other Spanish and international students. Students share kitchens and common areas.

    Apartments. Students can live in apartments shared 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. 


    Homestay students have breakfast and dinner with their host families, and they 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 BaPIS 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.

As of the Spring 2021 semester, Universitat Pompeu Fabra courses formerly known as “Hispanic and European Studies Program (HESP)” courses will be recorded as “Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS)” courses, a change in designation instituted by the university. 



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.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

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   Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS)


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

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

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 their U.S. American counterparts. Students are responsible for knowing the 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 Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (UPF- BaPIS) courses include other local and international students and meet twice a week for 2 hours. Typical class size for UPF BaPIS 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 BaPIS courses are graded based on class participation, problem sets or a project, and a final exam; some require term papers and/or midterm exams. UPF direct enrollment and UPF BaPIS professors grade on a 10-point scale, and points are converted to U.S. letter grades.

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.

Language of Instruction

Spanish and English

Individual courses may have additional prerequisites; for CIEE courses, these are listed in the syllabi below. Students are responsible for having their own course approval conversations with their advisors.


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Course Information

  • UPF courses are with Spanish students
  • UPF BaPIS courses are for  local and international students
  • 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

Fall 2022 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

UNIVERSITAT POMPEU FABRA  Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS) COURSES in English

Course offerings may vary from semester to semester. Courses are 3 U.S. credits.

Syllabi for the courses listed below can be found online.

Here is a sample of BaPIS courses in English:

  • Analytics for Social Good
  • Anthropocene – How People Are Transforming the Planet
  • Art, Mind and the Brain
  • Barcelona the City and its History
  • Building a Brain
  • Contemporary Spanish Art
  • Ethics in a Globalization and Sustainability Context
  • From Hipocrates to Personalized Medicine: Healthcare Adapted to Societal Changes
  • Gender-based Violence and International Protection of Human Rights
  • Global Marketing and Culture of FC Barcelona
  • Great Ideas that Have Shaped our World: From the Axial Age to the Robot Revolution
  • Innovation and the Law. How Technology Changes the Legal System
  • LGTB+: Exploring Identities and Diversity
  • Stardom Wars: Controversies on Creativity and Authorship in Spanish Cinema
  • The Collectivity Revolution
  • The Jews in Spain: History, Heritage and Memory

UNIVERSITAT POMPEU FABRA Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS) COURSES in Spanish  

Course offerings may vary from semester to semester. Courses are 3 U.S. credits.

Syllabi for the courses listed below can be found online.

Here is a sample of BaPIS courses in Spanish:

  • Innovación e inteligencia artificial en el gobierno: la transformación creativa de la gobernanza urbana
  • ¿Qué es noticia? verdad, desinformación y hegemonía

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.
"(GI)" denotes courses that originated at CIEE's Global Institutes and that are offered at multiple CIEE sites.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers 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

Fall 2022 15 weeks Apr 1, 2022 Sep 7, 2022* Dec 21, 2022*
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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 = $15,156 **

Housing = $4,200 ***

Insurance = $194

Total Fees = $19,850

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 = $2,800

International Airfare = $1,250 ††

Local Transportation = $450

Books & Supplies = $150

Visa Fees = $160

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500

Personal expenses = $2,000

Other = $125 †††

Total Estimated Costs = $7,435

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 or shared apartment; homestay students should budget $ 1400 for meals not included in fees

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

††† Covid test fees for entry to the US, if required

*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

Our Staff

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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.