Barcelona, Spain

Language + Culture

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Information for term Language + Culture

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

April 1, 2021

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Sep 2 – Dec 17, 2021 (15 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15 semester hours / 22.5 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: 15 semester hours / 22.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 3.0 Overall GPA


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Barcelona is both a cosmopolitan city and one rooted in ancient tradition, making it the ideal place to soak up Spanish language and culture. Spend the semester immersed in language learning at CIEE’s partner school, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and taking area studies classes at CIEE Barcelona across a range of academic areas. Options for internships are also available for students who want to gain real-world work experience at a local company. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Join a host family

    at their Barcelona home and soak up the Spanish language and local customs.

  • Connect with Spanish students

    in a language exchange that helps you practice all you’re learning.

  • Experience life in a cosmopolitan university

    city that’s rooted in ancient tradition and reaching forward to the future.

  • 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. 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.


Students can opt for internships to gain practical, real-world work experience at NGOs, schools, publishing companies, marketing agencies, businesses, and more. Internships include weekly classroom components that enrich the experience.

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 the CIEE Site 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.


    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


    CIEE students attend class at the Ciutadella Vila Olimpica Campus.

  • C

    Getting Around

    Students use public transportation to get from their lodgings to CIEE – no more than a 30-minute ride.

What People are Saying

  • The teachers I have had have been amazing. The homestay I am in is absolutely incredible. I don't want this semester to end and that includes my classes

    Ashley, Elon University,Fall 16
  • My local student was absolutely incredible, I love that aspect of the program.

    Maura, Colgate University,Fall 16


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Students with 0-3 prior semesters of Spanish can dramatically increase their language proficiency while taking coursework in English across subject areas at CIEE Barcelona and Universitat Pompeu Fabra’s Language, Hispanic, and European Studies Program (HESP).

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 and offers degrees in fields ranging from business to social sciences. CIEE students attend classes at the Ciutadella Vila Olímpica Campus. Language courses are taught by experienced professors who specialize in teaching Spanish as a second language.

CIEE Barcelona is located near Barcelona’s main square, Plaza de Catalunya. CIEE courses are taught by local university faculty members.



Language Prerequisites

Enter as a junior or senior 0-3 semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent)

Program Requirements

Students enroll in four classes per semester:

  • One required UPF host institution Spanish language course (6 credits)
  • Two CIEE elective courses or one CIEE elective course and an internship
  • One UPF host institution HESP elective course

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 Hispanic and European Studies Program (UPF HESP) host institution courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours, unless otherwise noted
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) host institution language course: 6 U.S. semester/9 quarter credits; 90 contact hours

Academic Culture

Courses are academically challenging, and involve daily reading and homework assignments, and attendance at lectures and field trips. Students are responsible for knowing dates of exams and assignments. Dates are firm and attendance is required. As students gain proficiency in Spanish, our staff encourages them to use their skills with local students, host families, and people they meet.

Class Format

UPF-HESP classes include no more than 35 students; UPF language classes include 10-15 students, and both include other international students. CIEE courses typically include 10-25 students and are only for CIEE students. Classrooms are comfortable and equipped with current technology.


In CIEE, UPF-HESP and UPF language courses, students are evaluated based on class participation, in-class activities, homework assignments, exams, papers, and oral presentations. UPF professors grade on a 10-point scale, and points are converted to letter grades.

Language of Instruction

Spanish and English


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Course Information

  • CIEE courses are taught in English
  • Once a student starts internship hours, they may not drop the internship and add another CIEE class
  • UPF host institution Spanish language courses meet for 8 hours per week and are 6 U.S. credits
  • UPF host institution HESP courses are taught in English for international students

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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UPF Required Language Courses

Language courses are 6 U.S. credits, meet for 8 hours per week, and are taught at UPF.

  • Beginning Spanish Language
  • Pre-Intermediate Spanish Language
    • (Prerequisite: one semester of college-level Spanish, or the equivalent)
  • Intermediate Spanish Language
    • (Prerequisite: two or three semesters college-level Spanish, or the equivalent)

UPF Hispanic and European Studies Program (HESP) Courses

Course offerings may vary from semester to semester. Courses are taught in English and are 3 U.S. credits.

Here is a sample of courses that have been taught in previous semesters.

  • A Messy Garden. A History of the Cultural Values of Europe
  • Barcelona: The City and its History
  • Barcelona: The Rise of a Design City
  • Comparing Media
  • Contemporary Spanish Art
  • 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
  • Political Ideas from the Early Modern Age to the Digital Revolution
  • Politics and Society in the European Union
  • “Sepharad”: History and Heritage of Jewish Spain
  • The Barcelona Leadership Journey Toward Sustainability: Economic, Business & Social Transformations
  • United Nations: International Peace and Security
  • Neurosciences and the Humanities: Brain, Philosophy and Art
  • Political Marketing
  • The European Union in the World
  • Comparing Media
  • Law, Justice and Legitimacy
  • Understanding Globalization: Historical Roots of Economic, Political and Cultural Exchanges Between East Asia, America and Europe

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 = $14,908 **

Housing = $4,075 ***

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.

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 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 15 weeks Apr 1, 2021 Sep 2, 2021* Dec 17, 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.