Feast your eyes on the many sights of Barcelona! Admire the stunning Modernist architecture of Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia church, stroll through the whimsical Park Güell, shop the markets and street vendors of Las Ramblas, visit the beautiful beaches—should we continue? You can experience it all here.
There are a wide variety of IES Abroad courses available, primarily taught in English by our world-class faculty. You are grouped into language proficiency-based levels to focus your course enrollment options. This also provides a sense of community with your fellow students and challenges you to maximize your learning.
In addition to your Spanish language course, you choose from a variety of English- and Spanish-taught IES Abroad area studies courses, as well as Spanish- and English-taught local university courses to round out your semester. All IES Abroad courses include course-related activities that help you connect coursework with your surroundings. You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an intership placement and accompanying academic seminar.
Barcelona will be your classroom. Find yourself at home in the second largest city in Spain, rich with influence in global commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts. This program is ideal for experiencing the excitement of life in Barcelona while improving your Spanish language skills.
We want you to feel at home in Barcelona, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into local life. From internships to cultural activities, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible. As an IES Abroad student, you have the opportunity to live with local residents, who can serve as your hosts and resources to help you make the most of living and learning in Barcelona.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
*For students participating in the post-semester field trip (DiscoverIES): The Taste of El Camino. The dates for the field trip are April 22 - April 28. Students participating in this field trip will depart on April 29.
Exams at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) will take place until April 27th. Students enrolled in UAB courses are required to complete their exams before departure, and vacate IES Abroad housing the day after.
*For students enrolled in IES Abroad courses only. Students enrolled in partner university courses are required to complete partner university exams before departure and depart IES Abroad housing the following day.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore Liberal Arts & Business through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class. Meet one of these professors, Dr. Meritxell Martín-i-Pardo, in this faculty spotlight interview.
The IQS School of Management at the Universitat Ramon Llull is AACSB-accredited, and ESADE is AACSB- and EQUIS-accredited.
While in Barcelona, you take 15–19 credits per semester. Our goal is to make sure your academic needs are met. You can craft your own academic experience by selecting from the five following course types:
As an added benefit, IES Abroad Barcelona also offers you the opportunity to enroll in a certificate program through our partner university, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.
To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.
You may enroll in courses at the following local partner institutions.
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)*University Courses in English
University Courses in Spanish
*Please note that registration for UAB courses take place before the application deadline. Students interested in enrolling in UAB courses are encouraged to apply early.
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF): ESCIUniversity Courses in English
Universitat Pompeu Fabra: Hispanic StudiesUniversity Courses in English
Universitat de Barcelona (UB): Hispanic StudiesUniversity Courses in English
Universitat Ramon Llull: IQS Business School URL
(AACSB Accredited Institution - Fall semester only)University Courses in English
Universitat Ramon Llull: Tourism School Sant Ignasi-EsadeUniversity Courses in English
Universitat Ramon Llull: LaSalle Business SchoolUniversity Courses in English
Universitat Ramon Llull: Faculty of Communication BlanquernaUniversity Courses in English
Universitat de Vic (UVic)University Courses in English
Interning abroad as part of your study abroad experience will help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market. It’s an exhilarating challenge, and we’re here to help guide you in securing your placement and succeeding in your internship.
Participating in an internship abroad helps you:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Customize Your Internship
Once you indicate your interest in an internship, we work with you to determine your academic and career goals and try to match you with an appropriate internship placement. We place students with a wide variety of organizations and businesses; if we don’t currently work with a business or organization in your field of interest, we will search out a placement.
Past students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Barcelona, it will feel like home.
Homestays – Normally, two or three IES Abroad students live in a home with local residents and students share a double room. You are provided two meals a day (breakfast and dinner) while the program is in session.
Residence Halls – You live with Spanish and/or other IES Abroad students. Rooms in residence halls are double and triple occupancy. Meal plans vary among the different halls. Placements are limited, and an additional fee applies for this housing option
Apartments – You live with three or four other IES Abroad students in double rooms. A Barcelona Cultural Companion or tutor cultural will also live in the apartment to help you with cultural integration. Apartments have fully-equipped kitchens, and meals are not provided. Placements are very limited, and an additional fee applies for this housing option.
Part of making you feel at home in Barcelona is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, housing that is well-located and comfortable, or our DiscoverIES that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services.
The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Barcelona staff, your fellow students, and the city of Barcelona. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during this time.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation & Re-entry Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home. Also, during the first week of the semester, intensive Spanish language courses meet daily in small groups to help you to develop your language skills.
You will also meet our Barcelona cultural companions or tutores culturales, who will join you on DiscoverIES and help you get to know the Spanish culture.
A study journey is included as part of orientation. Past destinations have included Costa Brava and Tarragona.
With 60+ DiscoverIES per semester, you have the exciting opportunity to familiarize yourself with Barcelona through cultural activities led by IES Abroad Barcelona professors. Visit the city’s many influential buildings, learn about its one-of-a-kind history, and become part of the Spanish and Catalan culture.
DiscoverIES are also a great way to meet and spend time with other students on your program, as well as IES Abroad Barcelona staff and professors. These optional activities are either free or highly subsidized.
Past examples of DiscoverIES include:
Although your adventure begins in Barcelona, our DiscoverIES take you to other great cities in and around Spain. DiscoverIES bring you closer to the Barcelonan and Spanish culture through a broad array of activities that merge together the academic insight provided by field trips and the guidance of our faculty. They provide contrast and context for what you are learning in Barcelona.
Trips are organized by language level and conducted in English or Spanish accordingly. One of these trips is subsidized by IES Abroad. Additional DiscoverIES are partially subsidized by IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations.
3 Days | Fall & Spring
Visit Greek and Roman ruins, the medieval city of Girona, and the “dreamland” of Salvador Dalí between Barcelona and the French border.
1 Day | Fall
Explore volcanic terrain and hike through the forest of this northeastern county of Catalonia.
3 Days | Fall & Spring
Explore this vibrant city with a youthful population that provides a clear window into Spain’s unique historical symbiosis of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
3 Days | Fall
The island of Mallorca offers visitors exquisite beaches, stunning art and architecture, and views that will inspire.
1 Day | Spring
Spend the day hiking the mountain of Montserrat.
2 Days | Fall & Spring
Experience Tarragona, one of the best preserved ancient Roman sites in Spain. On the way there, stop at the Ebro Delta, where millions of birds stop along their yearly voyage from Northern Europe to Africa.
Note: IES Abroad DiscoverIES and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.
About the Center
The IES Abroad Barcelona Center is located in the center of Barcelona near the Plaza Catalunya. Features include:
Read our interview with Dr. Meritxell Martín-i-Pardo!
Dr. Cèsar Alegre Alsina has been the Director of our Barcelona programs since 2008. He is originally from Barcelona and speaks Spanish, Catalan, and English fluently. He brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education to IES Abroad, including a noteworthy teaching career in the United States, experience in student services, and a strong research portfolio. Before coming to IES Abroad, Dr. Alegre Alsina taught Spanish language, as well as Spanish and Hispanic Culture and Literature at Amherst College for 16 years. He is the author of a book on Hispanic Americans (Scholastic), and has contributed to the Encyclopedia of Hispanic Americans (BRG Oxford) and numerous articles and reviews in American and international journals. Dr. Alegre Alsina received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University, his Master’s degree in Hispanic Literature at Auburn University, and his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
IES Abroad Staff
Lorena ChinniciOutside Courses and Customized Programs Coordinator
Jane EwartHead of Registration and Advising
Pilar GraciaAdministration Coordinator
Salvador OrtizHead of Administration and Human Resources
Noemí PoloStudent Affairs Coordinator - Health and Safety, Homestays
María RomeroAssistant Dean of Faculty and Faculty Advisor Coordinator
Olga SánchezHead of Student Affairs
Beatriz TabernerCenter Administrator and Orientation Coordinator
Ana TarifeInternship Coordinator and Service Learning Coordinator
Ferran TeresStudent Affairs Coordinator - Apartments
Alex WalkerDirector of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
María MejíasLanguage Faculty Advisor
Ignasi PérezArea Faculty Advisor and Advanced Program Coordinator
Ataúlfo PortelaLanguage Faculty Advisor
Laura VázquezLanguage Faculty Advisor and Educational Technology
IES Abroad Faculty
Cèsar Alegre Alsina
Spanish Language and Literature
Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Anthropology and Communication
M.A. in Spanish Language and Culture, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Spain
John Frederick Anderson
Master of Fine Arts in Photography, University of Ulster, UK
M.A. in Literature, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
M.A. in Theoretical Linguistics, University of Reading, U.K.
ABD in Linguistics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
Ph.D. in Biology, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Ph.D. in Humanities, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
Ph.D. in Political Science, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain – Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italy
Ph.D. in Mediterranean History, University of Sussex, UK
Josep María Contreras
Licenciatura in Spanish Philology, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Xavier De Pedro Puente
Environmental Studies, Geography
Ph.D. in Biology, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
History, Political Science, Sociology
Ph.D. in History, Tufts University, USA
Art and Design
Master of Fine Arts, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
Degree in Hispanic Literature, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
ABD in Hispanic Literature, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
M.A. in Contemporary Film and Audiovisual Studies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Ph.D. in progress in Film Studies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
History, International Relations
Ph.D. in History, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
Anthropology, Sociology, Business
M.A. in Recreation Therapy, University of Maryland, USA
Ph.D. in Genetics/Biochemistry, University of East Anglia/John Innes Institute, UK
Ph.D. in Political and Social Science, Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA
Catalan and Spanish Languages
ABD in Spanish as a Second Language, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Advanced Diploma in Language Teaching Management, Cambridge University
M.A. in German and Art History, College of the Holy Cross
ABD in Management Sciences, ESADE (Universitat Ramon Llull), Spain
Ph.D. in Hispanic Philology, Universitat de Barcelona
Ph.D. in Behavioral and Evolutionary Bioscience, Lehigh University, USA
Religious Studies, History, Sociology, Culture Studies
Ph.D. in History of Religions, University of Virginia, USA
Ph.D. in Archaeology, University of Cambridge, UK
Licenciatura in Hispanic Philology, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Ph.D. (in progress) in Education Studies, Universitat de Barcelona
Ph.D. in History, University of East Anglia, USA
Ph.D. in Historical Musicology, Graduate Center, City University of New York
M.A. University of Virginia, History of Religions/Buddhism
MBA, Goizuet Business School, Emory University, USA
Master of Public Administration, Harvard University, USA
Licenciatura in Catalan and Spanish Philology
Maria Paez Moriana
M.A. Spanish as a Second Language, University of Barcelona
M.A. Text Analysis, University Pompeu Fabra
Ph.D. in Musical Composition, State University of New York
Economic and Political Science, Sociology
Ph.D. in Political Science with European Honors
(Doctor Europeo), Universitat de Barcelona/University of Florence, Spain/Italy
B.A. in Spanish Philology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Ph.D. (in progress) in Philology,Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
M.A. in Spanish Literature, Miami University, Oxford-Ohio, USA;
B.A. in Spanish Philology Literature, Indiana University, Fort Wayne, USA
Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, University of Southern CA, USA
Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Manchester, UK
M.A. in Spanish Teaching as a Foreign Language, Universidad de Granada;
Licenciatura in Spanish Philology, Universitad de Granada, Spain
Francisco Javier San Julián Arrupe
Ph.D. in History and Civilization, European University Institute, Firenze, Italy
Architecture, Art History
M.A. in Urban, Landscape and Architectural Design, Royal College of Arts, London, UK
Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Licenciatura in Spanish Philology, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Ph.D. in Mental Health, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
Anna Solé del Barrio
Master’s Degree in Economic History, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Undertaking Ph.D. in Economics at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain
Ph.D. in Architectural Theory and History, ETSAB, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain
Licenciatura in Hispanic Philology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
ABD in Teaching of Language and Literature. Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
M.A. in Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
Ph.D. in Planning Studies, University of London
Licenciatura in Spanish Philology, University of Barcelona
What is it really like to live in Barcelona? Check out our virtual tour of all the places you’ll come to know and love when you study abroad there—GO!