Get a head start on your career by gaining international work experience with a semester internship in Barcelona, the economic and cultural hub of the Iberian Peninsula. Barcelona is a major player in many industries, including commerce, education, technology startups, entertainment, media, and fashion. There are also excellent opportunities in international healthcare not-for-profit organizations, and the arts. Build a global network of professional contacts while taking in everything this beautiful Spanish city—located between the bright blue sea and majestic mountains—has to offer.
Our 12-week internship program in Barcelona guarantees an unpaid, for-credit, internship placement of at least 30-40 hours a week in the field of your choice. Develop your professional skills, your ability to communicate across cultures, and gain real work experience that will jump-start your career in today’s competitive job market.
Before you leave to intern abroad, we work with you to find the ideal internship placement that fulfills your career goals. We’ve placed students in 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 for a placement that’s right for you.
We want you to feel at home in Barcelona, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From placements and housing to cultural activities, our job is to make sure you have the best internship experience possible. On the weekends, enjoy Barcelona’s whimsical architecture, wonderful food, fantastic art scene, and laid-back Spanish lifestyle. Depending on your work schedule, you may be able to join IES Abroad-organized cultural events and field trips, as well. (These are available at an additional cost.)
*If IES Internships is unable to offer a student an internship placement in the expressed field of choice selected on his or her internship application at least two weeks before the program start date, despite the student’s good faith participation in the process and satisfaction of all program requirements, then the student shall have the option to receive a refund of the full amount he or she has then paid IES Internships or to transfer to an IES program of comparable length and value in the same location (subject to the student satisfying applicable visa requirements and IES Internships’ academic program requirements.) For more information, visit www.IESabroad.org/internships.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
Before you go, we work with you to fine-tune your résumé, perfect your cover letter, and hone your communication and interview skills as we prepare you for working in a new cultural environment. You’ll be guaranteed a placement at a local business or organization that fits your professional interests.
Our Academic Seminar
While working in Barcelona, you’ll also enroll in a required 3-credit internship seminar with other IES interns, where you’ll gain context for your internship placement by examining cultural issues in and outside the workplace. Topics covered include:
Personalized PlacementsPast students have interned in the fields listed below. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive. We encourage students of all majors to apply.
Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Internships Representatives—new internships are always being added!
This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.
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 Interns live in a homestay and students share a double room. You are provided two meals a day (breakfast and dinner) while the program is in session.
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. Also, you will take a basic survival language workshop, so you’re able to confidently explore Barcelona.
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.
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. All DiscoverIES are an additional cost and availability will depend on your work schedule.
Past examples of DiscoverIES include:
Though you’ll be living and working 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.
All DiscoverIES are an additional cost and availability will depend on your work schedule. 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.
The Basque Country & Navarre
3 Days | Fall & Spring
Discover the unique gastronomy of the Basque Country, learn from artisans who elaborate local delicacies, and attempt to create (with your own hands) the meals that make up this rich culinary tradition.
Note: IES Abroad DiscoverIES destinations,activities 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
Elizabeth FerreiroStudent Activities and DiscoverIES Specialist
Pilar GraciaAdministration Coordinator and DiscoverIES 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 and Advanced Spanish Studies Program Coordinator
Ignasi PérezArea Studies Faculty Advisor
Ataúlfo PortelaLanguage Faculty Advisor
Laura VázquezLanguage Faculty Advisor and Educational Technology
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!