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CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts in Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: CIEE 
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2018 02/25/2018 03/15/2018 TBA TBA
Academic Year 2018-2019 02/25/2018 03/15/2018 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Anthropology, Art History, Biology, Chemistry, General Business, Geography, History, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Pre-Law, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0
Program Type: Affiliated Academic Level: Junior
Language of Instruction: Spanish Housing Options: Dorms, Host Family
Program Description:


If you’re an advanced level Spanish student ready to immerse yourself in the culture of a vibrant metropolis and develop fluency through direct enrollment in a Spanish university, Barcelona awaits.

Study abroad in Spain and live the language, studying alongside Spanish classmates, living with a local family and exploring the city and country through a variety of cultural activities and excursions. Study abroad in Barcelona and discover a unique, fully immersive intercultural experience.

Study abroad in Barcelona and you will:

  • Immerse yourself in Spanish academic culture by enrolling in regular University classes in a wide range of disciplines, from Spanish language and literature to geography, international relations, and political science
  • Participate in cultural and educational activities, including lectures and visits to museums; explore Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain through excursions
  • Enjoy trips through the city with CIEE Guardian Angels, who help you feel at home; receive help from tutors; take non-credit classes in Spanish cooking
The CIEE Difference


Enroll directly in classes at The Universitat de Barcelona, choosing from a range of disciplines including language learning, Fine Art, History, Education, Literature, Film and the Natural and Social Sciences. Internship opportunities – typically with local NGOs are also available.


The academic program is supplemented with a number of field trips and excursions, which include visits in Barcelona and day excursions to such locations as La Garrotxa National Park, the Dalí museum in Figueres, Greek and Roman ruins in Empúries, and the Penedés wine region. Longer trips may include visits to Madrid, Andalusía, Bilbao, the Pyrenees, La Rioja, Valencia, and Spain’s northern coast.


If you’re looking for support abroad, turn to your Guardian Angel. Seriously.

In Barcelona CIEE provides you with Guardian Angels, local university students who help you to settle into your life in Spain through small group activities (flamenco night, cooking class, tours of the city), field trips and other events. Guardian Angels are there to help you make friends at the University, introduce you to the city’s culture, and help you adapt to life in Barcelona.


Recommended credit for the semester is 15–18 semester/22.5–27 quarter hours and for the academic year, 27–36 semester/40.5–54 quarter hours. A full course load is considered five courses, and students are required to maintain a full course load to remain in the program.

Contact hours are 45 and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours, unless otherwise indicated.

Program Requirements

Study abroad students are required to take the Intensive Spanish Writing and Stylistics course prior to the start of UB classes. For the remainder of the semester, students take one or two CIEE culture courses or an internship in Spanish and two or three regular University courses in Spanish. Students taking Spanish for Heritage Speakers take four additional University courses.

During their second semester, academic year students are not required to repeat the intensive course in January, but take final exams during that time. In their second semester, academic year students register for three or four regular UB classes in Spanish and one or two of the CIEE culture courses that they didn’t take in the fall.

All CIEE and UB courses are considered junior- or senior-level courses. All language instruction in the program is at the advanced level.

About Barcelona

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain with its own distinctive history, culture, and language. Set between mountains and the Mediterranean sea, the city's population is 1.6 million, with a total of 4.5 million in the greater metropolitan area. Walking though the city, one can observe 2,000 years of architectural history—Roman remains, the network of narrow streets in the Old Town, the 19th Century Eixample district with its original examples of Modernista architecture—contrasting with the ultramodern showpieces that continue to redesign its skyline.

Where You’ll Study

The Universitat de Barcelona was founded in 1450. It has four campuses in different parts of the city and is the oldest and largest of six universities in Barcelona. It has 81,000 students and is the second largest university in terms of student numbers in Spain. The UB is made up of five colleges, 20 research centers, 105 departments, and 98 degree programs. Postgraduate programs are also offered as well as a large number of continuing education courses.

The CIEE Study Center in Barcelona, Spain, is located in two adjoining historic buildings on Passatge Permanyer, near Passeig de Gràcia and Plaza Catalunya, Barcelona’s main square. This historic passatgeway provides a quiet haven in the city center and houses CIEE classrooms, a computer lab, and student lounges.

Housing & Meals

Study abroad students live in Spanish homestays (there is also an option to live in a homestay along with another CIEE student). Students will have breakfast and dinner provided at home, while lunch is at the students’ expense. Kitchen space is allotted the student should they wish to make picnic lunches to bring to campus, and many students choose to eat at the several university-run cafeterias. Students will have their laundry done for them once a week. All homestays are located within the city of Barcelona, and within 30 minutes by public transportation to the CIEE study center and host institutions.

Students staying for a full academic year have the option of living in an apartment during their second semester. Students are responsible for finding, leasing, and managing their apartment stay. Meals are not included in the apartment option and are the responsibility of the student.

Academic Program

The Advanced Liberal Arts study abroad program in Barcelona, which began in the fall of 2005, is designed for independent-minded students with advanced language skills interested in enrolling in regular University classes in a diverse range of subjects. At the beginning of the program, students take an intensive Spanish language course designed to prepare them for classes at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB). During this time, students also meet individually with the Resident Director to select their courses at the University.

Academic Culture

UB’s departments of Modern Languages and Literatures, Geography, History, History of Art, and Philosophy are also downtown at University Plaza, within walking distance from the CIEE Study Center. Other UB departments are located in the Pedralbes section of Barcelona in the Northwest part of the city, about a 20-minute metro ride from the CIEE Study Center.

UB classrooms range from traditional to modern and may have up to 100 students in a class. CIEE classes are small, with no more than 12 students in a class.

CIEE courses are similar to U.S courses in that attendance is carefully monitored, and the student’s active contribution to class is an important part of the grade. Tardiness and unexcused absences are not allowed and lead to a lower grade. Students can expect daily readings, regular homework, a midterm exam, a final exam, and a final project or paper.

UB classes are taught in the Spanish academic tradition, which involves more independent work on the part of the student. Typically, the syllabus includes an outline of the themes and a list of recommended readings. There is usually no precise calendar. In many classes, the professor gives a final exam, but often allows a student the option of writing a research paper as part of the final grade or in place of the final exam. It is perfectly normal for Spanish students to share notes with one another and to work together to prepare for the final exam. This is an excellent way for U.S. students to meet Spaniards and practice the language.

The fall semester program begins in late August and ends in late December to early or mid-January. The spring semester program begins in mid-January and ends in late May to early June. It is possible but not guaranteed that exams for regular UB classes can be taken in December or May. Although extracurricular activities and personal travel contribute to the student’s overall experience, early departure for or late return from vacation is not allowed. Any extended travel should take place prior to the start of the study abroad program, during vacation periods, or upon completion of the program.