Barcelona, Spain

Spanish Language Immersion for Art Lovers

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Let Your Imagination And Spanish Skills Run Wild In Barcelona

Tapas and ancient temples. Picasso and paella. Quirky, colorful buildings that look straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. In Barcelona you’ll discover all this and more. Museums display bold works by Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró. Buildings themselves are as impressive as the masterpieces inside.

This program was designed for the art lover in you, combining language learning with Let Your Imagination And Spanish Skills Run Wild In Barcelona. Visits to art shows, major museums or guest lectures and workshops. Barcelona is a unique destination for all things art and architecture. Experience the best the city has to offer first-hand through exciting tours, workshops and exposure to those who influence the local art scene!

Here you’ll study the standard Spanish language, also known as Castilian, while being exposed to the regional Catalan language as well. Not to worry: In Barcelona, 98% of the population speaks “regular” Spanish, even if they also speak Catalan. Barcelona is a fascinating place to discover linguistic differences while ramping up your Spanish vocabulary and conversational skills.

CIEE Gap Year Abroad programs are focused on supporting participants in acquiring knowledge and developing skills to live in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. In addition to developing your language skills and gaining a better understanding of the local culture, you will take part in our Global Competence Course. This online course will allow you to connect and collaborate in real-time with our entire cohort of Gap participants worldwide, through interactive workshops and discussions. Reflect on your own cultural biases, share insights about your experience and learn about topics ranging from cultural identity and leadership styles to how to work and live sustainably or develop communication skills.

On weekends and evenings participants will spend time with their homestay where you'll get into the rhythm of Spanish life while exploring all your neighborhood has to offer. Prepare meals with your hosts, hit the beach, take a day trip to explore a nearby town or nature reserve. Make the most of this amazing opportunity!


    15-20 hours per week of Spanish language learning designed to improve real world language skills


    Build a strong foundation in the core components of intercultural learning. Come home with an improved sense of self and awareness of what shapes others.


    Earn a Certificate of Learning in Spanish

  • of alumni said their language skills improved

  • said they learned to interact with different cultural backgrounds

  • said their level of independence increased


Location & Culture

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The stylish capital of Spain’s Catalonia region is world-renowned for its contemporary art and striking architecture.

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid, but feels decidedly different. It has its own unique personality and is known more for rock music than flamenco dancing. Whimsical buildings and cultural curiosities make every day sightseeing far-from-ordinary. Youthful energy fills busy boulevards lined with cafes, shops, and street performers. Beach volleyball matches bring a California vibe to the Catalan coast.  

Tapas are everywhere, all day long. Cakes and both sweet and savory pastries fill bakery window displays. Mouth-watering churros with mugs of thick chocolate for dipping are found at authentic churrerías. Food markets from the world-famous La Boqueria to smaller neighborhood stands sell patatas bravas, ham croquettes, pizza slices and more. Juicy melons, plums and citrus fruits are bountiful in summer. The fresh-squeezed orange juice is the best you’ll ever have!

Lovers of modern art and architecture could spend every day exploring galleries, museums and historic buildings. The Picasso Museum offers the full package: Its famous collection is housed inside a cluster of five medieval mansions. The city’s majestic Gothic cathedral, decorated with gargoyles, dates from the 14th century and is the focal point for the entire Catalonian capital.

Football (soccer) fans should head to Camp Nou, FC Barcelona club’s home stadium. As the largest football stadium in Europe – and the third biggest in the world – it draws die-hards to its sold-out games and thousands of visitors to its Stadium and Museum Tour.

Daily Life

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Daily Life

A succesful Gap experience achieves the right balance between structured language instruction, practice in the community and cultural activties to be fully immersed in the local culture.
Here's how a typical week goes on a CIEE Gap Language & Culture program:

  • 15-20 hours of interactive language learning at a language school
  • 1 hour of the CIEE Global Competence Course (online with our global gap community)
  • 2 cultural activities
  • Free time to explore and have fun!

Weekends are for group excursions (two per 6-week block) or personal travel and exploration.

*If Covid-19 homestay requirements cannot be met participants will be placed in a CIEE-vetted dormitory or apartment. Confirmation will be communicated to participants in advance.

  • Carefully Screened Homestay*

  • Local Support

    Local CIEE Center staff available 24/7


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Sample Activities

  • Take part in a scavenger hunt in the Gothic Quarter where you will learn about history, art, monuments and landmarks that have shaped this beautiful and exciting city!
  • Discover Gaudi’s ground-breaking architecture and learn to recognize his signature style on a specialized tour.   
  • Get to know Barcelona through a local graffity workshop. Learn about street art techniques from a local artist, learn about the social movement related to it at the multi-diverse neighborhood of Raval.


  • Sitges - visit this beach holiday destination, its rich art and history, and its vibrant life
  • Girona - explore ancient relics and modernity in the northernmost Catalan capital.

​​Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

Eligibility & Fees

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Eligibility & Fees


  • High school graduates in good academic standing.
  • Students must demonstrate, through the application and interview process, flexibility and maturity.
  • Students must be 17 years or older at the time of their departure.
  • No previous language experience required.



Apply for one or two 6-week blocks. Combining blocks in two different locations is not yet available.

Program fee includes iNext travel insurance. Full inclusions are found online.

Ready to change your life?