barcelona archway street sunny
Barcelona, Spain

Semester in Barcelona

Study Program

Dates

-

15 weeks

Costs

Credit

12 - 16 semester hours

18 - 22.5 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Apply Now

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Dates

-

32 weeks

Credit

12 - 16 semester hours

18 - 22.5 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Apply Now

Request Information

Dates

-

14 weeks

Costs

Credit

12 - 16 semester hours

18 - 22.5 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

Apply Now

Request Information

Dates

-

15 weeks

Costs

Credit

12 - 15 semester hours

18 - 22.5 quarter hours

Eligibility

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed.

Apply Now

Request Information

Overview

Spend your semester living and learning in the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona! Designed for students from all academic backgrounds, the Semester in Barcelona program is the perfect chance to earn credits toward your degree while immersing yourself in Spanish culture.   

When class is in session, you'll choose from a unique mix of flexible and diverse courses (in English or Spanish) at CIEE Barcelona and one of CIEE's renowned partner institutions: Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Universitat de Vic (UVic), or Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). You may also enroll in courses with a local flavor, like language, politics, photography, cuisine, or sustainability initiatives. 

Outside the classroom, you'll have every opportunity to participate actively in the Barcelona community. Immerse yourself in the local culture with optional credit-bearing internships, volunteering opportunities, or language programs. Don't stop there; round out your study abroad adventure by participating in co-curricular and extracurricular activities and off-the-beaten-path trips organized by CIEE to appreciate Spain’s impressive cultural attractions and landmarks.

Unique Experiences

EAT LIKE A LOCAL

and try popular traditional dishes like churros, patatas bravas, tortilla de patata, tapas, and pinchos

\

SEE A FLAMENCO SHOW

and appreciate this authentic Spanish art form

HIKE THE CARRETERA DE LES AIGÜES

for amazing views of the city

80+

WORLD-FAMOUS MUSEUMS IN THE CITY

9

BEACHES STRETCH ALONG THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

20+

MICHELIN-STARRED RESTAURANTS AROUND THE CITY

Experience
  • church barcelona steps
  • smiling student abroad barcelona
  • city view spain barcelona church top

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 by 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 at the university. 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. It houses 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

barcelona monsterrat visit student group

EXCURSIONS & ACTIVITIES

  • One of our popular day trips takes you to Montserrat, a Benedictine monastery retreat high atop one of Catalonia’s most spectacular mountain ranges. This site is notable not only for its historic and religious significance but for its surrounding natural beauty, which 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. 
  • 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!
barcelona library trip

PROJECTS

INTERNSHIP: A for-credit internship (in English or in Spanish) allows students the opportunity to gain practical work experience in a local company within a variety of industry sectors. Students can choose to intern for NGOs, schools, publishing companies, marketing agencies, businesses, and more. Internships include weekly classroom components that enrich the experience. Students interested in the internship must get home school approval and submit additional materials as part of their course selection.

Program Blogs

From CIEE

Your Guide to CIEE Semester In Programs: Everything You Need to Know

By College Study Abroad at CIEE

If you’re looking for a study abroad program that’s flexible, aligns with the U.S. academic calendar, offers courses across a wide range of subjects, and has no language requirements, then... keep reading

From CIEE

Top 10 Pros of a Semester Abroad Program

By College Study Abroad at CIEE

If you’re thinking about embarking on a study abroad adventure, or you’re about to get started on study abroad travels soon, keep this blog post handy as we list 10... keep reading

Housing
Academics

Academics

The CIEE “Semester in” Barcelona program offers students the opportunity to combine CIEE classes with one of three universities in Barcelona: UPF, UAB, UVic. Each university offers a range of courses with an interdisciplinary approach. Students are encouraged to actively participate in activities, seminars, and projects. 

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, international outlook, and degrees in fields ranging from business to social sciences. CIEE students attend classes at the Ciutadella Vila Olímpica Campus. At UPF, students are offered courses from the Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS) for local and international students. 

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) is a public University with an enrollment of more than 40,000 students. It was founded in 1968 under the principles of autonomy, participation, and social commitment. Today, it is the second-highest-ranking Spanish University according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. For CIEE students, the UAB offers selected courses from their study abroad program. 

Universitat de Vic – Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVic) is an independent state-supported institution committed to the economic and social development of the region. The university offers a Business, Design, and Innovation program for international students on their Barcelona campus (at BAU Design College), just 15 minutes from CIEE by bus or metro.

GPA

CIEE or Universitat de Vic (UVic) Track: Students need to have a GPA of at least 2.5 at the time of application. 

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) Track: Students need to have a GPA of at least 2.75 at the time of application. 

Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (UPF BaPIS) Track: Students need to have a GPA of at least 3.0 at the time of application.

Language Requirements

There are no specific language requirements for this program.

Additional Requirements

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

All students are required to take 12-16 U.S. semester credits. Students need to choose one of the tracks below and cannot combine courses from different host institutions (UPF BaPIS, UVic, or UAB). Within each track, students can choose up to two courses at the host institution. The remainder of the courses will be taken at CIEE.  

  • UPF BaPIS - Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies  
  • UVic - Universitat de Vic – Business, Design and Innovation Program  
  • UAB - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Study Abroad Program  
  • CIEE Only*   

*The ‘CIEE Only’ track requires four to five CIEE courses (Spanish language courses, content courses, and/or an internship) 

Program Credit

Total credit: 12-16 U.S. semester/18-24 quarter credits (15-16 semester credits recommended) 

Credit for the Academic Year: 24-32 U.S. semester/36-48 quarter credits 

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3 - 4 U.S. semester/4.5 - 6 quarter credits; 45 - 60 contact hours 
  • CIEE Internship: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 15 seminar hours, 100 internship placement hours   
  • Universitat de Vic – Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVic) courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours, unless otherwise noted  
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours, unless otherwise noted  
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (UPF BaPIS) host institution 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. 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 courses and UVic courses include other international students. UAB and CIEE courses are taken with other CIEE students only.

Grading

Students are evaluated based on class participation, in-class activities, homework assignments, exams, papers, and oral presentations. In some courses, grades are based on an exam and a group or individual project. UPF, UVic, and UAB courses are graded on a 10-point scale, which CIEE converts to recommended U.S. letter grade equivalents.

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/or 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

For students who want to take classes in Spanish, four semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent) are required, unless differently specified in the course syllabus.

Academic Projects

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

Academic Projects

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

Course offerings may vary from semester to semester. UPF and UVic courses include other international students. UAB and CIEE courses are taken with other CIEE students only. 

UPF BaPIS: 

Syllabi for the courses listed below can be found online

Here is a sample of UPF 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 Hippocrates 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 

Here is a sample of UPF 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 

UVic:  

Syllabi can be found on the UVic Business, Design, and Innovation Program website under the ‘Programme’ tab.   

UVic sample courses in English 

  • Brand Design  
  • Design Thinking  
  • Digital Business  
  • Global Marketing  
  • Marketing and Fashion  
  • Leadership, Business, and Society   
  • Luxury Marketing  
  • Psychology of Communication and Publicity  
  • Retail Management  
  • Start-up Creation 

UAB Study Abroad Program sample courses in English (taken with other CIEE students only):  

  • The Seven Wonders of Spain: Spanish Architecture History  
  • Communication and Gender  
  • Mediterranean Culture and History

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
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant
  • Trailblazer 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 Fall 2024 15 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $20,950
Program Academic year 2024-2025 32 weeks Application Due Deadline Passed Start Date End Date
Program Spring 2025 14 weeks Start Date End Date Fees & Housing $20,950
Program Spring 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 = $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 = $100

Visa Fees = $160

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500

Personal expenses = $260††††

Total Costs = $3,455

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

***includes two meals per day for homestay students; No meals included for students who select apartments or residence halls. students in homestays are invited to family meals four times a week. 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.

Estimated Costs

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

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

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 = $100

Visa Fees = $160

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500

Personal expenses = $260††††

Total Costs = $3,455

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 = $100

Visa Fees = $160

Potential travel to consulate for visa = $500

Personal expenses = $260††††

Total Costs = $3,455

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

**direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

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

^first-come, first serve, based on availability

^^first-come, first serve, based on availability

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).

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