famous overlook in barcelona spain
Barcelona, Spain

Spanish Language & Culture

Summer '25 Applications Open

Language & Culture

Dates

-

4 weeks

Costs

$7,400

Application Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Dates

-

4 weeks

Costs

$7,400

Application Deadline

Enroll Now

Request Information

Program Overview

Ramp up your Spanish skills in the artsy metropolis of Barcelona. 

Experience four weeks of Spanish language immersion in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, Spain, while exposed to the regional Catalan language. (And don’t worry—98% of barceloneses speak Spanish even if their primary language is Catalan!). Outside of language class, delve into conversations with locals while exploring colorful neighborhoods, strolling through bustling markets, and tasting delicious tapas. Mingle with Catalan teens and visit iconic cultural sites, such as the Gothic Quarter, the Picasso Museum, and the many marvels of world-renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. 

At your homestay, savor the richness of Catalan life preparing traditional meals with your host family. During weekends, embark on exciting excursions to Mount Tibidabo, home to one of the oldest amusement parks in Europe, and Empúries, a captivating Greco-Roman archaeological site by the sea. Your time in Barcelona will not only accelerate your Spanish but also leave you with lifelong memories: kicking around a soccer ball with new friends, hitting the beach, and discovering the creative spirit of the city.

The Take-Aways

Language Growth and Cultural Competence

Come home with a higher level of Spanish and a greater understanding of Spanish culture. Use your STAMP 4S language proficiency pre- and post-test scores to demonstrate your language growth and help you earn a Seal of Biliteracy.  

College Credits

Choose to earn 4 college credits toward your future college degree. Take advantage of the credits to stand out on your college applications or to satisfy college language requirements.

Lifelong Skills and Friendships

Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and adaptability. Enjoy a broader worldview and diverse friendships from across the U.S. 

60

Hours of Instruction With A Native Spanish Teacher

4

College Credits

1

Life-Changing Experience

The Destination
  • Plaza in Barcelona daytime
  • paella dish abroad seafood barcelona
  • historic building in barcelona city center sunny

The Destination

Welcome to Barcelona, a stylish city with distinctive, imaginative buildings that look straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. 

Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, has its own unique personality, known more for rock music than flamenco. Whimsical architecture makes a walk down its boulevards feel far from ordinary—Gaudí’s incomparable work is on display everywhere, from the intricate sculptures and towering spires of La Sagrada Familia—the most-visited monument in Spain—to Casa Milà (La Pedrera) and Parc Güell. Art lovers flock to Barcelona’s dozens of famous museums, like The Picasso Museum, which houses its collection inside five medieval mansions. 

Trendy cafés, bakeries, and restaurants line the streets where food lovers can enjoy traditional Catalan and Spanish cuisine, including tapas, seafood, paella, and sweet and savory pastries. Now among the top 10 fashion capitals of the world, Barcelona offers fashion and shopping districts that rival those of Paris. After a day of exploring, you can always escape the busy center and head to La Barceloneta beach to swim or to Montjuic mountain for breathtaking views of the Mediterranean coast.

Cultural Awareness

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.

Daily Life

Daily Life

Monday–Friday  

Each day offers a balance between interactive instruction and cultural activities with time on your own, too. Morning classes and afternoon activities may swap places.  

  • Breakfast at your homestay  
  • Out and about for authentic conversations in the community and a cultural activity 
  • Bagged lunch with your fellow Global Navigators at the study center 
  • Engaging Spanish classes with expert language instructors, all native speakers   
  • Dinner and evening discussions at your homestay 

Weekends   

  • Overnight or day excursions to top sites  
  • Quality time with friends and everyone at your homestay  

Check out the blog posts to discover more about daily life and excursions on program. 

Housing

Carefully-screened homestay

24/7 Support

1 Program Leader for every 12 students and support from local staff

Weekly Learning Goals

In CIEE classes, Level 1 is for students acquiring basic Spanish, Level 2 is for those who can carry on everyday conversations, and Level 3 is for those who can participate in discussions on social and academic topics. In the spring before you depart, you’ll take a language proficiency test and when you arrive on site, you’ll participate in an oral interview. How you do on the test and in the interview will identify the level that is right for you.

Each week, you’ll explore a Theme and create a Project. Each day in class, you’ll learn Spanish through engaging activities and then, in the community, try out your new Spanish in conversations with locals. 

Week 1: Settle in and meet your classmates as you explore the Identity Theme. Ask and answer questions, give information, describe your favorite things and your family at home and in Spain. For your Project, create and present a Personal Profile.

Week 2: Take in the local scene as you explore the Community Theme. Describe places, attractions, and events in Barcelona. Tell what you want to buy in shops, and express your likes and dislikes in food and fashion. For your Project, create a Photo Gallery of Life in Barcelona and share it in a conversation. 

Week 3: Continue improving your Spanish as you delve into the Discovery Theme and, for your Project, create and present a Travel Flyer for a destination in Spain. Give and follow directions, give details of a trip itinerary day-by-day, and describe the destination, the weather, and what to do there. 

Week 4: Consider the impact of your summer in this week’s Personal Growth Theme. Tell what you experienced in Spain, make cultural comparisons, and participate in study abroad interviews. For your Project, create a Study Abroad Album and share it in a panel discussion.

Each week, you’ll explore a Theme and create a Project. Each day in class, you’ll learn Spanish through engaging activities and then, in the community, try out your new Spanish in conversations with locals. 

Week 1: Settle in and meet your classmates as you explore the Discovery Theme. Ask about and describe family members, discover and describe exciting things to do in Barcelona, and compare daily routines and customs in Spain and the USA. For your Project, create and present a Memory Book of Your Life in Barcelona. 

Week 2: Explore Spanish culture during this week’s Creativity Theme. Compare musical performances, express opinions on art, tell what happened in movies, and persuade a classmate to attend a cultural event. For your Project, create a Photo Gallery on Spanish Culture and share it in a conversation. 

Week 3: Delve into Barcelona in this week’s Community Theme. For your Project, create and present a Neighborhood Tour in Barcelona. Describe the city and what happens there. Role play scenes in a market and a restaurant. Report on Barcelona’s past and future. 

Week 4: Consider the impact of your summer during the Personal Growth Theme. Tell what happened in memorable moments and how you felt about it. Make cultural comparisons and persuade a friend to study abroad. For your Project, create a Study Abroad Album and share it in a panel discussion.

Each week, you’ll explore a Theme and create a Project. Each day in class, you’ll learn Spanish through engaging activities and then, in the community, try out your new Spanish in conversations with locals. 

Week 1: Settle in and meet your classmates during the Cultural Encounters Theme. Tell what happened on a first encounter abroad. Summarize past and current events in Barcelona. Express your opinions as you compare cultural norms and stereotypes. For your Project, create and present a Field Report on Barcelona. 

Week 2: Explore Spanish culture in this week’s Creativity Theme. Describe street art and profile artists, express opinions on magazines and movies, and compare musical performances. For your Project, create an Arts & Culture Magazine and share it in a conversation. 

Week 3: Continue advancing your Spanish as you delve into the Discovery Theme. For your Project, create and present an Awareness Campaign about a global threat. Give information on its causes and effects, explain solutions, and persuade others in debates, justifying your arguments. 

Week 4: Consider the impact of your summer in this week’s Personal Growth Theme. Conduct a class survey on experiences in Spain and make cultural comparisons. Tell an original story about a memorable moment and speculate on what’s next for you. For your Project, create a Study Abroad Album and share it in a panel discussion.

Program Blogs

From CIEE

Chatting It Up with Local Students in Barcelona

By Natalie Wolf at CIEE

This Thursday, students in the HSSA Spanish Language and Culture in Barcelona program met with local students to discuss daily life and compare cultures.

From CIEE

First Days in Barcelona

By Summer Love at CIEE

The first week is a whirlwind of new experiences and learning, and we're just getting started. Our journey began on Monday with a thorough orientation where students learned essential safety... keep reading

From CIEE

The adventure begins!

By Carlos Rodriguez Iglesias at CIEE

It was a long day at the airport in Chicago! These 20 students met last Saturday (June 8) at the Chicago O'Hare airport, ready to embark on their month-long Spanish... keep reading

Activities

Sample Activities 

High School Summer Abroad_Barcelona

Just imagine all the fun you’ll have!

  • Lose yourself inside Casa Milà (La Pedrera), a complete work of art inside and out, and one of Gaudi’s most iconic buildings. 
  • Uncover the secrets of Spanish cuisine in a tapas workshop. Learn to cook traditional favorites like patatas bravas and tortilla española. 
  • Tour the Barceloneta, a former fishing neighborhood, with the old harbor on one side and sandy beaches on the other. 
  • Enjoy panoramic views of Barcelona from Mount Tibidabo and visit one of the oldest Amusement Parks in Europe.
  • Bask in the ancient and medieval heritage of Catalonia at Empúries, ranked by UNESCO as one of the world’s most beautiful archaeological sites. 

Please note activities are based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when arranging activities is always to enhance your experience. 

What Students Are Saying

  • “My most memorable experience was our trip to the Sagrada Familia. This is because it’s a monument I have always wanted to see. I got to go with my friends and explore the inside with a tour guide as well!”

    Christopher C., CIEE Global Navigator Alum

  • “It's been a full month with my host family and friends but I feel like I've known them for so much longer! I'm extremely grateful for this experience in Barcelona and would recommend to friends.” 

    Alison F., CIEE Global Navigator Alum

  • "It was a great and life changing experience for me. I met amazing people in Barcelona and the teacher and staff were really nice. I learned so much through this program and it’s an experience not many people get to have.” 

    Aliana J., CIEE Global Navigator Alum

  • “CIEE is the perfect opportunity for a high schooler to study abroad. It’s like a trial period for living abroad. The time we take for classes also helps improve our language skills more than just living in the city would on its own.” 

    Mikaela E., CIEE Global Navigator Alum

Eligibility

Eligibility

  • Participants must be 14 years old and above.
  • Program open to all current high school students—Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors—who have completed at least one year of high school Spanish. Students who have completed at least two years of high school Spanish may qualify for the Honors Language & Culture program in Madrid or Seville
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our scholarship page

For more information, refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.

Dates & Fees

Dates & Fees

Application Fee

$25

Optional College Credit Fee

$150

Learn more about how to get college credit for your future college degree.

Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. Find additional details about what’s included with your tuition.

More questions? Find answers, get application support, sign up for virtual presentations or contact us!

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Costs

Program Summer Session I 2025 4 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $7,400
Program Summer Session II 2025 4 weeks Start Date End Date Costs $7,400

What’s Included

Interactive Classes

Housing

3 Meals/Day

(Dietary Needs Accommodated)

All Ground Transportation

(Once In-country)

Optional Flight Chaperone

(Flight Cost Not Included)

Pre-departure Advice and Orientation

Access to Local Phone and WIFI

All Cultural Activities and Excursions

Comprehensive Medical and Travel Protection

24/7 Emergency On-site Support

Our 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).

Ready to change your life?

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