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.
What You'll Study
You will enroll in a 4-credit Spanish Language course plus a 3-credit area studies course taught in English or Spanish (depending on your language level). Language courses develop your written and oral proficiency in Spanish and area studies courses provide an excellent opportunity to learn about modern Spain in the larger context of the European Union.
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 Barcelona Cultural Companions 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!
$5 Million in Financial Aid
We firmly believe that financial limitations should not prevent a qualified student from participating in an IES Abroad Program. This is why we commit $5 million to our financial aid programs.
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 Spanish language learning and area studies courses through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.
Beginning and Intermediate Spanish students enroll in:
A 4-credit Spanish language course plus a 3-credit area studies course taught in English
Advanced Spanish students enroll in:
A 4-credit Spanish language course plus a 3-credit area studies course taught in Spanish or English
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.
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. Here are a few possible destinations.
Costa Brava 3 Days | Summer Visit Greek and Roman ruins, the medieval city of Girona, and the “dreamland” of Salvador Dalí between Barcelona and the French border.
La Garrotxa 1 Day | Summer Explore volcanic terrain and hike through the forest of this northeastern county of Catalonia.
Montserrat 1 Day | Summer Spend the day hiking the mountain of Montserrat.
Note: IES Abroad DiscoverIES destinations,activities and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.
IES Abroad Barcelona organizes DiscoverIES (course-related trips) that complement what you’re learning in the classroom, and contribute to your general knowledge of Spanish culture and society.
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 a 1 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.
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.
Apartments – You live with three or five other IES Abroad students in double rooms. A Barcelona Cultural Companion or tutor cultural may also live in the apartment to help you with cultural integration. Apartments have fully-equipped kitchens, and meals are not provided.
Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events
DiscoverIES are a unique blend of course-related trips (for class) and cultural field trips. With this hybrid experience, you have the ability to understand the culture in the context of your coursework.
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:
Discover the Quadrat d’Or, or Golden Square, in a guided tour in the Eixample District, an exceptional area that focuses on Barcelona’s Modernist style (Art Noveau) at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century
Enjoy a Flamenco workshop, where you’ll learn a few basic dance steps, the history behind the dance and attire, and taste traditional Andalucían fare
Hike Tibidabo, the tallest mountain in Serra de Collserola, tour the Modernist and Neogothic Sagrat Cor Temple, and visit the oldest amusement park in Spain
Visit an organic farm and learn about sustainability with an IES Abroad professor
When you volunteer in Barcelona, you have the chance to make a difference in the local community while meeting new people and gaining a new perspective on the world. If you are passionate about volunteering abroad, just let the on-site staff know at the beginning of your term.
Past volunteer opportunities in Barcelona include:
Visit a children’s hospital
Serve dinner for the homeless
Give English lessons to underprivileged young people
Organize food drives at local supermarkets
Provide lunch for the elderly without family
Get to Know Your New City
Have Fun in the Sun
Spend time strolling and swimming under the sun along Barcelona's four miles of sandy beaches.
Hike Mount Juic
A climb up this hill offers spectacular views of the city. From here, you can also explore several great museums and the beautiful buildings from the 1992 Olympic Games.
Check Out Some Live Music
From huge festivals to hole-in-the-wall venues, playing everything from electronica to punk, there’s more to Barcelona’s music scene than its iconic Rumba Catalana.
Appreciate the Art
Home to numerous works by Pablo Picasso, the surreal sculptures of Joan Miró, and the fantastic, dreamlike architecture of Gaudi, there’s plenty of art—indoors and out—to inspire you.
Eat, Drink, and Eat Some More!
Catalan cuisine consists of savory stews, fresh seafood, delicious jamón, spicy potatoes, olives, and so much more. Wash it down with a cold orxata (a refreshing drink made from the tiger nut plant).
Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.