Barcelona, Spain

Global Architecture + Design

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Information for term Global Architecture + Design

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

April 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Sep 2 – Dec 17, 2020 (15 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15 semester hours / 22.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA

Application Deadline

October 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Jan 4 – Apr 19, 2021 (15 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15 semester hours / 22.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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The Global Architecture + Design program invites design, architecture, or sustainability majors or minors to create model cities that address climate change by reducing the environmental footprint of buildings. All courses are taught in English, and students take the required Future Cities Seminar; Future Cities Design Studio; and Science, Engineering, and Technology Workshop at CIEE Barcelona. Hands-on workshops with cutting-edge technology are led by experts from Barcelona’s architecture and design community. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Use FabLab facilities

    at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, a cutting-edge institution dedicated to developing architecture that meets 21st-century challenges.

  • Visit sites

    such as the Architecture Design Park

  • Participate in a ground-breaking design project

    to improve city living.

  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • municipal parks

  • universities


Location & Culture

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Culture, sport, fashion, finance, media, entertainment – Barcelona is brimming with all of it. 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. Students don’t need to speak Catalan, but learning a few words can open doors to making friends.

The Culture


  • Get to know Spanish students with conversation exchanges.
  • See Barcelona from new heights with a hike and excursion to Collserola.
  • 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.

Native 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, cooking classes, flamenco night, and more.


  • 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

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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 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


    In the innovative 22@ area, known for urban regeneration.

  • C

    Getting Around

    Students walk or use public transportation.

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

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. It is designed to develop a language of technological design that links individual responsibility and the global environmental crisis through study of places, cities, and cultures. The program includes the Future Cities Design Studio; a Future Cities seminar; 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, 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.


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


    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.



    Students must have a GPA of at least 2.5.


    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.


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Course Information

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
  • Future Cities Design Studio: 6 U.S. semester/9 quarter credits, 90 contact hours

Language of Instruction
English and Spanish

Students take three required courses plus a CIEE elective:

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

Course Notes

  • 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. 

Fall 2020 CIEE Courses

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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

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
  • MSI 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.


  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • Orientation – an introduction to Spanish culture, your academic program, and the city, plus practical information about living in your host city
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
  • Excursions and/or Study Tours
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support

No Hidden Fees


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Fall 2020 15 weeks Apr 1, 2020 Sep 2, 2020* Dec 17, 2020*
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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 = $200

Books & Supplies = $250

Visa Fees = $160

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500

Personal expenses = $800

Total Estimated Costs = $5,760

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

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 to study on CIEE programs through a 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

Spring 2021 15 weeks Oct 1, 2020 Jan 4, 2021* Apr 19, 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, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

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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.