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 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 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 while you study in Barcelona gives you a rewarding job experience with a wealth of long-lasting career benefits. You will:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a 3-credit seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Once you indicate your interest in an internship, we work with you to find the ideal internship placement that fulfills your academic and career goals. We’ve placed 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 for a placement that’s right for you.
Past students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—we are always seeking out new opportunities for our students.
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 may 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 Tarragona, Valencia, and Girona
DiscoverIES are a unique blend of course-related excursions (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:
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:
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.
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 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!