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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Barcelona, Spain
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: CIEE 
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 09/26/2018 10/12/2018 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Economics, Finance, Spanish Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.25
Academic Level: Junior Language of Instruction: English, Spanish
Housing Options: Dorms, Host Family
Program Description:


In an increasingly globalized world, international perspective is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. Studying abroad in Barcelona allows you to continue your study of economics in an international setting while taking classes in Spanish language and culture.

In Barcelona you’ll enroll in courses in a world renowned economics program, live with a local family, internship opportunities and a variety of cultural activities and excursions which give you insight into the challenges facing the European economy and a unique intercultural experience. 

Study abroad in Barcelona and you will:

  • Analyze and articulate the current challenges of the European economy
  • Discuss and interpret differences between U.S. and European economic models
  • Understand the impact of European integration on the Spanish economy
  • Demonstrate multi-cultural leadership skills through participation in group projects with Spanish students
  • Begin your study of Spanish, or build on your intermediate to advanced skills
The CIEE Difference


Whether you’re a beginner or heritage speaker, CIEE has a language learning and area studies classes to meet your needs and abilities. You’ll also choose from a variety of electives – offered in both English and Spanish – at an institution known worldwide for its economics department. From Commercial Management, and Labor Economics, to Game Theory, Public Policy Analysis, International Finance and Social Entrepreneurship, you have access to a curriculum that allows you to pursue your interests and satisfy your major or minor requirements.


Enjoy excursions throughout Barcelona to museums, cathedrals, monuments, and day excursions to such locations as the Natural park of La Garrotxa, Greek and Roman ruins at Empuries, and the lush Penedés wine region. Longer trips may include Madrid, Mallorca, or the Pyrenees.

In addition to historic aspects, guided visits also address how the specific city or region has been affected since the mid 1980s, when Spain joined the EU. These visits represent a great  complement to topics discussed in the core course about European Integration and its impact on the Spanish economy.


Step into the professional world and gain international experience with a for-credit internship within a variety of industry sectors. 


Recommended credit for the semester program is 16 semester/24 quarter hours. Recommended credit for the academic year is 32 semester/48 quarter hours.

Contact hours for the CIEE core course, CIEE electives, HESP courses, and UPF courses are 45 hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.

Total hours for the CIEE internship are 135 hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.

Contact hours for CIEE language courses are 60 hours and recommended credit is 4 semester/6 quarter hours, unless otherwise indicated.

Program Requirements

All study abroad students take five courses per semester.

Students with up to three semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent are required to take one Spanish language course; the CIEE core course; one or two Economics or Economics related courses chosen from CIEE electives or UPF courses taught in English;; and one or two HESP culture courses in English.. Students with four to five semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent are required to take one Spanish language course; the CIEE core course; one or two Economics or Economics related courses chosen from CIEE electives or UPF courses (one of which must be taken in Spanish); and one or two HESP culture courses (one of which must be taken in Spanish). Students with five semesters of Spanish may choose the CIEE Internship as one of their elective courses.

Students with six or more semesters of college-level Spanish or the equivalent are required to take one Spanish language course; the CIEE core course in Spanish; one or two Economics or Economics-related courses chosen from CIEE electives or UPF courses taught in Spanish; and one or two HESP culture courses taught in Spanish. Students may choose the CIEE internship as one of their electives.

Regardless of the level of Spanish, at least one of the Economics electives must be taken at UPF

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  Catalonia is also one of Spain’s most important regions, from an economic viewpoint. Approximately one quarter of all Spanish exports come from Catalonia, and three quarters of the region’s industry is in or near the capital.

Where You’ll Study

The Universitat Pompeu Fabra was created in 1990. It offers degrees in law, economics, business, social sciences, communications, humanities, and technology. Features include its highly dedicated teaching staff, small class size, focus on technology, and an international outlook. The University is located throughout Barcelona, with buildings near the Ramblas, the Olympic Village, and the port.

Housing & Meals

Study abroad students can choose to live in either Spanish homestays (there is also an option to live in a homestay along with another CIEE student) or in a student residencia (residence hall) with other Spanish and international students. These are located in urban settings throughout the city. Students living in a homestay 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 in homestays will have their laundry done for them once a week. Meals and laundry are not included in the student residencia option, but students share fully equipped kitchens where they can prepare their own meals and laundry facilities are available. All homestays and residencias are located within the city of Barcelona, and within 30 minutes by public transportation to the CIEE study center and host institutions.

As space in the residencias is limited, study abroad students who request to live there but cannot be assigned a place, are accommodated through a homestay placement. In the event that there are more requests to live in a residencia than the total available spaces, students with more advanced Spanish take priority over those with less Spanish (proficiency level is based on students´ CIEE Spanish course pre-registration and academic background in Spanish, as reflected on the transcript). Students who are not assigned the housing option of their choice are notified by the Resident Staff prior to arriving in Barcelona.

Academic Program

The Economics and Culture study abroad program is designed for students with a strong background in economics and interest in continuing their study through rigorous economics classes at a top-notch university, especially known for its economics faculty, while also taking classes in Spanish language and culture.

Students with beginner- to intermediate-level Spanish (up to three semesters) take classes in English. Students with intermediate to advanced Spanish (four and five semesters) take a combination of classes in English and Spanish. Advanced students (those with six or more semesters of Spanish) take all of their coursework in Spanish.

Students select courses from CIEE electives; a range of regular, direct enrolment UPF courses with Spanish students taught in English or Spanish; Hispanic and European Studies (HESP) culture courses taught in English or Spanish; and a CIEE Internship.  In addition, all students take a core course.

Academic Culture

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.

With the progressive introduction of the Bologna standardization system, there has been an increasing emphasis on class attendance and participation at daily lectures and careful note-taking. Traditionally, syllabi were not as detailed as American syllabi, and students were expected to decide for themselves which readings from the syllabus they needed to study in order to fill in gaps missed during the lectures. These trends are also changing with the introduction of the Bologna system where students receive a great deal more guidance and specific information both in terms of topics covered in courses, as well as specific assignments.

UPF classrooms are modern, comfortable, and equipped with the most up-to-date technology used for instruction. Typically classes in the Department of Business and Economics meet twice a week for 1.5 hours per session. In addition, there are several “seminar” sessions during the term, in which students are divided in small subgroups.

HESP courses are academically challenging, dynamic, and involve daily reading and homework assignments, as well as regular attendance at lectures. Class size does not exceed 35 students.

Spanish language courses are taught at the CIEE Study Center. Class size is small with a maximum of 12 participants. Special emphasis is placed on the use of Spanish in a business environment.

The fall semester begins in early September and ends just before Christmas. The spring semester begins in early January and ends in late April. 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 program, during vacation periods, or upon completion of the study abroad program.