nighttime la sagrada familia lit up
Barcelona, Spain

Global Architecture + Design

Study Program

Dates

-

14 weeks

Costs

Credit

15 - 16 semester hours

22.5 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Dates

-

15 weeks

Costs

Credit

15 -16 semester hours

22.5 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Apply Now

Request Information

Contact Us

Overview

Designed for students with a background in architecture, design, and sustainability, the Global Architecture + Design program invites students to experience Barcelona's countless cultural wonders while earning college credits.

When class is in session at CIEE Barcelona's partner school IaaC (Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia), students will focus on creating model cities that address climate change by reducing the environmental footprint of buildings. Experts from Barcelona's architecture and design community will deliver all seminars, hands-on workshops, and courses in English and provide students with access to today's cutting-edge technology. Additionally, required courses are complemented with CIEE electives, taught in English or Spanish, that feature co-curricular activities and excursions organized by CIEE.

Outside the classroom, you will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy all Spain's most popular city has to offer. From indulging in mouth-watering tapas at Mercado de La Boqueria to exploring the Picasso Museum, you will discover firsthand just how magical Barcelona is during your semester abroad in this beautiful Spanish beach city.

Unique Experiences

USE FABLAB FACILITIES

at the cutting-edge Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

GET TO KNOW THE CITY

with guided tours to important historical sites and monuments.

PARTICIPATE IN A GROUND-BREAKING DESIGN PROJECT

and develop innovative, sustainable ideas that improve living conditions in the city.

66

MUSEUMS

14

GAUDÍ MASTERPIECES

73

NEIGHBORHOODS

Experience
  • student tour excursion around barcelona city
  • city overlook students laughing together barcelona

Your Destination

Culture, sport, fashion, finance, media, and 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.  

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

CIEE Barcelona is conveniently located in a historical pedestrian passageway in the heart of the city. In it, students will find staff offices, classrooms, and open-air terraces. It is close to the host universities and to the city’s main attractions. 

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

cultural excursion spain study abroad ciee

EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES

  • One of our popular day trips takes you to Montserrat, a Benedictine monastery retreat high atop one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in Catalunya. Not only is its history of significant religious importance but the surrounding natural beauty is nothing short of breathtaking. There you can visit the monastery to see La Moreneta (the black Madonna), listen to the world-renowned Boys’ Choir (whose history dates back to the 14th century), and trek any of the numerous mountain trails where you’ll take in incredible countryside views and see the most unusual rock formations in all of Catalonia. Are you ready? Let’s go! 
  • Discover the Gràcia neighborhood, famous for its bohemian and artistic style and streets filled with color and culture. 
  • Visit the oldest preserved garden, reflecting both Neoclassical and Romantic styles – and try your luck in the park’s labyrinth maze! 
  • Eat like a local and try popular traditional dishes like churros, patatas bravas, tortilla de patata, tapas, and pinchos. 
  • See a flamenco show! 
  • Hike the Carretera de les Aigües for amazing views over the city.
volunteers in barcelona spain food bank

CIEE LOCAL STUDENTS

Local university students welcome our visiting students and help them get to know the city and meet new friends. You’ll join them in small groups for fun city tours, a flamenco night, and more.

PROJECTS

  • Build on classwork with open lectures and design critique sessions conducted by IAAC professors, visiting lecturers, architects, historians, and researchers. 
  • Volunteering. Connect with Spaniards as you give your time. You might help kids with homework, assist kids with special needs, or collect food for community projects. 
  • Collaborate on design projects in small groups with people from diverse backgrounds. 

Program Blogs

From CIEE

Barcelona cultural shock advice

By College Study Abroad Ambassador at CIEE

By: Masani Salazar Going abroad to Spain is my first time outside of the United States. I have encountered many new cultural shocks so I wanted to compile the most... keep reading

From CIEE

Fieldtrips in the Future Cities Studio

By Fernando Janeiro at CIEE

In the context of the Future CIties Studio, students participate in 6 fieldtrips in order to better know first hand the urban transformation of barcelona in the last 150 years... keep reading

From CIEE

CNC milling on foam

By Fernando Janeiro at CIEE

The fall term is about to come to an end at IAAC and the GAD students are finishing their work on digital fabrication and parametric design. Here are some photos... keep reading

What People are Saying

  • "CIEE organized everything, from housing to classes to social events, extremely well and made studying abroad as comfortable and seamless a transition as possible."

    Kathleen M., University of Colorado-Boulder

  • "CIEE is very accommodating and goes out of their way to make sure you are doing well in the program. They are highly invested in your success."

    Angela C., The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

  • "The friendly and helpful staff has always been available if I needed anything."

    Ashley B., Washington State University

  • "I have had a great experience, and CIEE made it possible."

    Blair B., The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Housing
Academics

Academics

CIEE designed this program with Maria Aiolova, award-winning educator, architect, urban designer, co-founder of Terreform ONE, and chair of the ONE Lab NY School for Design and Science. The program is intended to help students develop a language of technological design that links individual responsibility and the global environmental crisis through the study of places, cities, and cultures. The program includes the Future Cities Design Studio; a Future Cities seminar; a Science, Engineering, and Technology workshops; and an elective class. Students have access to cutting-edge facilities at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). 

Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). This international center applies research and development to architecture and urbanism, welcoming students and investigators from more than 60 countries. IAAC collaborates with the City Council of Barcelona, Collserola Natural Park, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Centre for Information Technology and Architecture, Southern California Institute of Architecture, and companies like CISCO, Endesa, and Kuka Robotics. Together they develop research programs that bring together experts in architecture, engineering, biology, sociology, anthropology, and other fields. Read more information on IAAC. 

Architecture and design courses and workshops are taught in English by CIEE-contracted IAAC faculty members. Elective courses are taught by CIEE faculty. 

View projects made by students on this program.

GPA

2.5

Language Requirements

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Additional Requirements

Students must be pursuing a major or minor in architecture, environmental design, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, sustainability studies, or urban design with 2-3 semesters of design studio or project-based courses in their major.

Please refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

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.

Requirements

Students take three required courses plus a CIEE elective: 

  • Future Cities Design Studio 
  • Future Cities Seminar 
  • Science, Engineering, and Technology Workshop 
  • CIEE elective

Program Credit

Total credit: 15 - 16 U.S. semester/22.5 - 24 quarter credits 

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3 - 4 U.S. semester/4.5 - 6 quarter credits; 45 - 60 contact hours 
  • Future Cities Design Studio: 6 U.S. semester/9 quarter credits, 90 contact hours 

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

Students are encouraged to inquire, debate, collaborate, conduct experiments, and consider the role of today’s architects and designers. Students need an open mind, a readiness to collaborate and exchange ideas, and motivation. At IAAC, students will work mostly in small groups.

Class Format

All courses are customized for and open only to CIEE students. Classes include a combination of lectures, group work, presentations, and discussions.

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

English and Spanish

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.

Courses

Course Information

  • The three required courses are independently taught but the content is interconnected. Work developed in the Future Cities Seminar and the Science, Engineering, and Technology Workshop will inform and feed the main project developed in the Future Cities Design Studio. 
  • If students would like to select a Spanish language course as an elective, their official proficiency level and final class placement will be determined on-site. 

Architecture

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Business, Economics, Management, and Marketing

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Communication, Journalism, and Media

Course
Language
Semester Credit

History, Philosophy, Religion

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Social Sciences

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Visual and Performing Arts

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Agriculture

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Natural Resources, Conservation, and the Environment

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Psychology

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Architecture

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Business, Economics, Management, and Marketing

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Communication, Journalism, and Media

Course
Language
Semester Credit

History, Philosophy, Religion

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Literature, Linguistics, and Writing

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Social Sciences

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Visual and Performing Arts

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Natural Resources, Conservation, and the Environment

Course
Language
Semester Credit

Psychology

Course
Language
Semester Credit

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.

Scholarships

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
  • MSI Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application.

Learn more about scholarships

Dates & Fees

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.

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Program Spring 2025 14 weeks Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $20,950
Program Fall 2024 15 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $20,950

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.

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 protection with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300*

Educational Costs = $14,956**

Housing = $5,500***

Insurance = $194

Total Fees = $20,950

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 = $1,120

International Airfare = $1,250††

Local Transportation = $65†††

Books & Supplies = $50

Visa Fees = $160

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500

Personal expenses = $260††††

Total Costs = $3,405

Optional Housing

CIEE accommodation options are detailed in the Housing section. Based on availability, Select or Select Plus Housing can be chosen during the application process for an additional fee. Housing is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis; however, other factors may also be considered.

Select Housing Fee = $750

Select Plus Housing Fee = $1,500

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.

See Scholarships

*non-refundable fee

**direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

***Housing fees listed are for financial aid purposes only and should not be considered a basis for calculation of refunds.

For students in homestays, families provide 2 meals (breakfast and dinner). For students in apartments, you should budget approx. $260 per month for groceries if you plan on making your own meals, and more if you plan on eating out regularly.

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

†††Local transportation: t-jove (3 months) = 40€ ($43) / Local transportation: t-usual (1 month) = 20€ ($21)

††††$100 emergency fund + cell phone expense + toiletries

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 protection with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300*

Educational Costs = $15,706**

Housing = $4,750***

Insurance = $194

Total Fees = $20,950

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 = $1,120

International Airfare = $1,250††

Local Transportation = $65†††

Books & Supplies = $50

Visa Fees = $160

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500

Personal expenses = $260††††

Total Costs = $3,405

Optional Housing

CIEE accommodation options are detailed in the Housing section. Based on availability, Select or Select Plus Housing can be chosen during the application process for an additional fee. Housing is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis; however, other factors may also be considered.

Select Housing Fee = $750

Select Plus Housing Fee = $1,500

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.

See Scholarships

*non-refundable fee

**direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

***homestay includes two meals daily; no meals are included for students in the Residencia option. Housing fees listed are for financial aid purposes only and should not be considered a basis for calculation of refunds.

For students in homestays, families provide 2 meals (breakfast and dinner). For students in apartments, you should budget approx. $260 per month for groceries if you plan on making your own meals, and more if you plan on eating out regularly.

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

†††Local transportation: t-jove (3 months) = 40€ ($43) / t-usual (1 month) = 20€ ($21)

††††$100 emergency fund + cell phone expense + toiletries

What's Included

Tuition

Housing

Pre-departure Advising

Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions

Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet

Orientation

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 travel protection

24/7 emergency on-site support

Staff

Our Staff

Andrés Tabárez

Center Director

Andrés Tabárez is Center Director at CIEE Barcelona. Andrés holds a Ph.D. in Classical Studies from the University of Barcelona (UB).

José Luis Espinosa

Academic Director

José Luis holds a Ph.D. in Modern Languages and Gender Studies from the University of Salamanca (USAL).

Fernando Janeiro

Senior Program Manager

Nando holds a Master's Degree in Humanities from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) and is certified as a Spanish as a Second Language instructor (International House/ Universitat de Barcelona).

Get Started Steps

Get Started

Here’s what you need to do to take the next steps:

1

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

2

Connect With Your Campus Study Abroad Office 
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.

Request Info