The IES Abroad Barcelona Language & Area Studies Summer Program is designed for students who want to study abroad in Spain and experience contemporary Spanish culture from the Catalonian perspective in a challenging academic environment. Language courses develop your written and oral proficiency in Castilian Spanish and area studies courses provide an excellent opportunity to learn about modern Spain in the larger context of the European Union. Courses are available in both Spanish and English.
Over the course of the summer, you will come to know its vibrant plazas and winding streets for yourself. The Barcelona Language & Area Studies Program offers enrollment in IES Abroad courses, housing in homestays with local residents or student apartments with live-in Spanish Resident Assistants to facilitate your cultural immersion, and DiscoverIES (course-related excursions & field trips). You will have the opportunity to meet Spanish and international students alike. Starting at the IES Abroad Center in the center of Barcelona near the Plaza Catalunya, this study abroad program will help you to gain a meaningful cultural experience and a deeper knowledge of what it means to be a citizen of the world.
Study abroad in Barcelona and experience the city's unique and lively culture!
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program in Barcelona possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences.
Beginning and Intermediate Spanish students enroll in:
Advanced Spanish students enroll in:
Area studies courses are offered in the following disciplines:
This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.
IES Abroad Barcelona organizes DiscoverIES (course-related excursions) that complement what you’re learning in the classroom, and contribute to your general knowledge of Spanish culture and society.
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 while the program is in session.
Apartments – You live with three to five other IES Abroad students in double rooms. Apartments have fully-equipped kitchens and meals are not provided. Live-in Spanish Resident Assistants (RAs) will help you with cultural integration. Placements are limited.
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 field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.
The program begins with a 2 day orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Barcelona staff, your fellow students, and the city of Barcelona. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, extra curricular activities, 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 program with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.
Although your adventure begins in Barcelona, our DiscoverIES take you to other great cities in and around Spain. DiscoverIES brings 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.
Take a two-day field trip as part of the program. Past destinations have included:
Visit Greek and Roman ruins, the medieval city of Girona, and the “dreamland” of Salvador Dalí between Barcelona and the French border.
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.
Visit Spain’s third largest city, rich with delicious cuisine, excellent weather, and countless cultural outlets, such as Europe’s newest cultural and scientific complex, Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (the City of Arts & Sciences).
The South of France
You can also take optional one-day and three-day DiascoverIES for an additional fee.
About the Center
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
Jane EwartHead of Registration and Advising
Francesc FontesAdministration Coordinator
Pilar GraciaAdministration Coordinator
Salvador OrtizOutside Courses and Customized Programs Coordinator
Noemí PoloStudent Affairs Coordinator - Health and Safety, Homestays
María RomeroAssistant Dean of Faculty
Olga SánchezHead of Student Affairs
Beatriz TabernerCenter Administrator
Ferran TeresStudent Affairs Coordinator - Apartments
Betsey TufanoGeneral Manager and Director of Administration
Alex WalkerDirector of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
María MejíasLanguage Faculty Advisor
Ignasi PérezArea Faculty Advisor/p>
Ataúlfo PortelaLanguage Faculty Advisor
Laura VázquezLanguage Faculty Advisor
Cèsar Alegre AlsinaSpanish Language, Literature and Linguistics
Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics, University of Massachusets Amherst
John Frederick AndersonMaster of Arts in Documentary Photography, University of Wales College Newport, UK
Sandra BecerrilSpanish Language
Nieves BorregoSpanish Language
Rosa BrionSpanish Language
Ph.D. (in progress) Linguistics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Ph.D. in Biology, Universitat de Barcelona
Laura CerviPhD. in Political Science, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain- Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italy
Matthew ClearArt History
Ph.D. in Mediterranean History, University of Sussex
Josep María ContrerasSpanish Language
Xavier De PedroEnvironmental Studies, Sociology
Ph.D. in Biology, Universitat de Barcelona
Ph.D. in History, Tufts University
Marga García BolivarSpanish Language
Ph.D. in Spanish Literature and Linguistics, Temple University
Ph.D. in History, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Dawn HiscockAnthropology, Sociology
Jeannine HorowitzInternational Business
Ph.D. in Genetics/Biochemistry, University of East Anglia/John Innes Institute
Sinan HosadamPolitical Science
Ph.D. (in progress) in Political and Social Science, Graduate Center, City University of New York
Pep InglésCatalanPh.D. (in progress) in Spanish as a Second Language, Universitat de Barcelona
Ph.D. (in progress) in Management Sciences, Universitat Ramon Llull
Raúl LozanoSpanish Language
Ph.D. in Hispanic Philology, Universitat de Barcelona
Meritxell MartínReligious Studies
Ph.D. in History of Religions, University of Virginia
James McGladeHistory, Archaeology
Ph.D. in Archaeology, Cambridge University
María MejiasSpanish Language
Ph.D. (in progress) in Education Studies, Universitat de Barcelona
HistoryPh.D. in History, University of East Anglia
Mauricio MolinaPhD in Philosophy Music, City University of New York
International BusinessMBA, Emory University
Iolanda NievesSpanish Language
Ignasi PérezHistory, Political Science
Ph.D. in Political Science with European Honors (Doctor Europeo), Universitat de Barcelona/University of Florence
Nuria PlazaSpanish Language
Ph.D. (in progress) in Philology, 17th Century Spanish Literature, Universitat de Barcelona
M.A. Spanish, Miami University, Oxford Ohio
Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, University of Southern CA
Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Manchester
Daniel RodriguezMáster Spanish Teaching as a Foreign Language, University of Granada
Ph.D. in Archaeology, University of Texas at Austin
Isabel SanchezArt History
Nuria SilvestreSpanish Language
PsychologyPh.D. in Mental Health, Trinity College, Dublin
Anna Solé del BarrioMaster Degree in Economic History, Universitat de Barcelona
Suzanne StrumUrban Studies
Ph.D. (in progress) in Architectural Theory and History
Laura VázquezSpanish Language
Ph.D. (in progress) in Teaching of Language and Literature, Universitat de Barcelona
Alexander WalkerUrban Studies
Ph.D. in Planning Studies, University College London
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!