Semester at Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona

Enjoy strong academics, a gorgeous campus, proximity to a coastline of white-sand beaches, and an exciting, cosmopolitan city that never sleeps. Soak up all that Barcelona has to offer both inside and outside of the classroom.

We offer liberal arts, business, and Spanish courses that match your needs. Take classes applicable to your major or immerse yourself in courses when you study Spanish abroad in Barcelona. You’re sure to find the coursework you’re looking for on Semester at UAB.  

We fell in love with Barcelona, and we’re confident you will too. At CISabroad, all our advisors have studied or lived abroad, and we’re here to advise you on how to get the most of your experience. We think Barcelona is one of the coolest cities in Europe, and we can’t wait for you to see what we’re talking about when you study abroad in Spain!

We care about the environment. CISabroad is green-friendly. Your round-trip flight to Barcelona will be offset by the work of CISabroad’s environmental partnerships around the world so you can rest easy when you study abroad in Spain. 

Spend a semester studying abroad in Barcelona at an internationally renowned university in the cultural hub of Mediterranean Europe. You will have the opportunity to soak up all that Barcelona has to offer both inside and outside of the classroom when you study abroad in Spain.

The most pristine white-sand beaches in Western Europe – Barcelona enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate. Pleasant temperatures in winter and hot summers make any time of the year perfect for a visit to the beach. Barcelona’s beaches and boardwalks, a stone’s throw from your front door, are a main attraction in the city.

Cultural capital of the Mediterranean – Numerous museums, churches, cathedrals, concert halls, the modern art of Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, and architecture styles make Barcelona an aesthetically appealing destination for visitors from all over the world.

World-class academics in world-famous buildings – The UAB campus was  named part of UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage for Humanity in 1997. Add to that stellar academics focusing on language and business.

Accommodations that suit your style – Semester at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona provides you with options when it comes to housing. Live with a Spanish family or share an apartment with other international students. 

The city of Barcelona – The café culture, boutique shops, tapas restaurants, and world- famous nightlife are enough to keep you busy for a semester. 

Cultural activities and excursions – We will take you to a Catalan cooking class, a flamenco show, and tours of less-traveled barrios of Barcelona. One day trip outside of Barcelona and one weekend trip in Spain are included in the program.

If you've ever wanted to study abroad in Spain, then check out our Semester at Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona study abroad program. Here are a few of the key highlights that make this program unique.

  • Hands-on orientation and guided tours of the city
  • One day and one weekend excursion outside of Barcelona
  • Custom housing options
  • Academic offerings to suit your major and interests
  • Classes taught in both English and Spanish
  • Spanish classes tailored to your current level of Spanish, beginner to advanced
  • $500 Credit Card to use while on site and participate in the #barcelonabucketlist

Take a peek on Instagram.
See the new photos from the Barcelona Bucket List Contest!
#CISabroadBarcelona #BarcelonaBucketList 

As part of Semester at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, you will take part in an extensive orientation and tour of the city. You can also participate in a weekend excursion in Spain. Possible weekend trips include Valencia, Costa Brava, Tarragona, Sitges, Madrid, Pamplona, Granada, or San Sebastian and Bilbao, among others.

Also included in your trip are excursions within Barcelona itself, through which you will fully immerse yourself in your new home.

Once each semester, the CISabroad Semester at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona offers an exceptional opportunity: a 4-day guided cultural immersion to Morocco. This trip is available for an additional cost.

Semester at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona offers a unique program that focuses on Language, Culture, and International Studies, which includes a variety of courses offered in both English and Spanish.

 Language, Culture, and International Studies
All language levels in Spanish are accommodated, and placement is determined through an online placement exam. You will study alongside other international and American students. You are strongly encouraged to take one 90-contact-hour (6-credit) language course and 2 or 3 elective courses for a full schedule of 12–15 semester credits. Art history, cultural studies, international business, law, political science, marketing, and other course are taught in English; Spanish-language classes are taught in Spanish.  Classes are taught at the Sant Pau and Eixample Campuses.

GPA Required: 2.75. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses
Now the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CISabroad Application Page. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses for the Language, Culture, and International Studies program. 

Course load: 3–4 classes per semester (12–15 US credits). You will take one Spanish language course (90 hours) and 2 or 3 culture classes (45 hours each). The language course level will be determined by an online placement test prior to arrival.

Course approval: Before you go abroad, it is best to get 7–8 classes approved for your semester program. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

Course descriptions and catalog for Spring.  

CH1801 Spanish Language and Culture Course
Spanish language course with special emphasis on oral communication. Study the basic grammatical concepts and vocabulary of Spanish, from a functional and communicative approach. Develop oral and written comprehension and expression at a beginner’s level. Students will become capable of managing basic Spanish and come in contact with the Spanish way of life.

Click here for a complete list of courses

View all Liberal Arts courses and course descriptions here.
View all Spanish Language and Culture courses and course descriptions here.
View all International Business and Economics courses and course descriptions here
Additional Economics courses: Behavior Incentives in Economics and The Creative Economy.


*Please note, it is important to submit your course registration page (provided to you by CISabroad upon acceptance) as early as possible, as courses tend to fill up very quickly at UAB and your first choices may not be available if you delay too long. Please plan ahead to get your course choices approved at your home university so you can have them ready to submit after you are accepted to the program.

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? You can get a grant for something as simple as applying early, or a scholarship for blogging. 

For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

Simply put, Barcelona is an incredible destination for students. In a privileged position on the northeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and the shores of the Mediterranean (near France), Barcelona is the second-largest city in Spain in both size and population. The population of the city proper is 1.5 million, but this number spirals to nearly 5 million if the outlying areas are included. Barcelona has 2 official languages: Castilian Spanish and Catalan, which is generally spoken in all of Catalonia.  Living in Barcelona will give you the opportunity to practice and improve your own Spanish language abilities.  Due to Barcelona’s location, you will also have the chance to learn more about unique Catalan experiences such as Caganers (small statues) and Castellers (human towers that can reach up to 10 stories tall). 

Love being outdoors? The temperate climate of Barcelona means you can enjoy the outdoors year-round. The city beaches have modern walkways and public facilities, and by using public transportation, you can enjoy many other beaches to the north and south.  In addition to beaches around Barcelona, the city’s efficient public transportation system allows for easy access to the campus and great sites located around the city. 

Barcelona is unequivocally a Mediterranean city.  This is not only due to its graphic location, but also to its history, traditions, and cultural influences. Although it immediately strikes you with its Spanish and distinctly Catalan flair, it’s also known for an amazing international mix of people and activities. As a student, you will be immersed in diverse and vibrant environment. Your surroundings will stimulate your desire for cultural exploration and discovery. It is difficult to think of better backdrop for student life in Spain!

CISabroad students in Barcelona will study at one of the top universities in Spain: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Founded in 1968, UAB is a young, entrepreneurial university. It is accredited by the Ministry of Education and Science. The university ranks as the #3 university in Spain and #190 in the world by QS.

It is one of the few universities in Spain that was designed to have a true campus feel—housing students, research, a language center, sports facilities, a health club, restaurants, and shops in one community. Today, 3 campuses serve 29,000 undergraduates, including 2,000 international students. And no matter your level of Spanish, you’ll find great classes!

The Sant Pau campus is located in a very quiet and central part of Barcelona.  Most semester study abroad students live within a short bus or metro ride and study at the Sant Pau campus, which is housed within an incredible UNESCO World Heritage site called the Hospital de la Santa Creu. You’ll take classes with other US and international students.

The Eixample campus is located  just a few metres away from Passeig the Gracia, a major shopping and business area in Barcelona. This campus houses most of the Spanish-language courses, and is a 20 minute commute to the Sant Pau campus. Eixample and Sant Pau classes are on the same schedule, so you can take classes on both campuses during the semester. You will be in classes with other US and international students.

UAB Main Campus—Bellaterra
The main university campus, Bellaterra (named for its green, open spaces), is 30 minutes by train from central Barcelona but is still in the metropolitan area. CISabroad students who are advanced Spanish speakers may take classes at Bellaterra with Spanish students—a fantastic opportunity to take part in an authentic Spanish university experience! Unfortunately, students cannot combine classes at Bellaterra with classes at the other two campuses, due different class schedules.

Semester at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona begins with airport pickup at the Barcelona El Prat airport.  The Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona offers a robust orientation program when you arrive on campus. It includes handouts, presentations, skits, local student volunteers, and experiential learning activities. You’ll learn about life in Barcelona and at Spanish universities, the unique characteristics of this university system, and how to make the most of your time in Barcelona socially, culturally, and academically.

Your time in Barcelona will be wonderful. The best beaches in Western Europe will be a short trip from your front door. If you grow tired of the sun and the sand, Barcelona is a mecca for culture enthusiasts, offering a dazzling array of art exhibitions, theater and dance performances, film festivals, concerts, lectures, and other events. There are interesting things happening every single day. The concert series at the Palau de la Musica Catalana and the Liceu Opera House host top-notch performers from all over the world, while the Caixa Forum has several museums throughout the city that offer free world-class exhibitions all year round. And on the first Sunday of every month, the city opens the doors to all municipal museums free of charge to encourage people to enjoy the best of the city.

Semester at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona is unique because of the hands-on activities, excursions, and assistance provided by our CIS on-site director and staff. From the moment you step off the plane, the CISabroad on-site staff will be your mentor and guide.  They will take you to a flamenco show, and the museums and markets, and can also help you arrange a language exchange partner, or intercambio, and a Catalan cooking class. Once during the semester, you will also have the option of a weekend excursion outside of Barcelona. Possible destinations include Costa Brava, Granada, or Madrid. And you can enjoy a 3-day weekend in Morocco, for an additional fee. Whether or not you decide to partake of the cultural events and excursions, our CIS site director and staff will be there to lend you a helping hand every step of the way.


You will have a choice of living in a shared apartment or in a homestay during your semester in Barcelona.

The fully-furnished apartments are in the heart of Barcelona, about 25 minutes from your classes. They include a shared living room, a well-equipped kitchen, and bathrooms. Two students will live per room, and a total of up to six students will live in each apartment. You’ll love the apartment’s central location, close to tons of restaurants and activities in Barcelona!

In the homestays, you will live with a Spanish family (or sometimes older person or young professional looking to rent out an extra room) and get the unique experience of being completely immersed in Spanish life and culture. You will share a room with one other student, and will have access to bed linens, bathrooms, a living space, and a kitchen. In addition, laundry service is provided once a week and your host family will make you breakfast and dinner. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Barcelona!

Elena Villaescusa, Barcelona Onsite Director
Elena was born in Girona, but has lived in a variety of cities in Spain. She has her B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona and a M.A. in Communication, Tourism and New Technologies (e-Tourism) from the University of Barcelona. Her work experience is focused on Place Branding Online and she is the co-founder of the association International Exchange Erasmus Student Network at UPF, which helps to welcome university students to Barcelona. She worked and studied in various countries throughout Europe and is a world traveler. Currently, she lives in the dynamic city of Barcelona, and loves languages, dancing, traveling, culture and, above all, people.

1. What is the cost of the program? What is included in the program fees?

The program cost for Semester at UAB can be found here.

2. When are the program fees due?

Program fees for Semester at UAB are due on November 15th for Spring term and June 15th for Fall term. CISabroad will email invoices to students approximately one month before the program payment deadline. For example, if your payment deadline is July 15, you should expect your invoice in mid-June. If you are using financial aid, please ensure all financial aid paperwork is returned to our office by the payment deadline. If your financial aid does not cover your entire balance, CISabroad accepts these payment methods.

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due?

The application process can be broken into easy steps!

The first step is to fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc. (Only takes five minutes!)

After filling out the online application, an advisor from our Global Advising Center will grant you portal access with a set of preliminary forms.

The next step is to pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost. 

Within a day after submitting your deposit, you will receive a welcome email from your Program Coordinator—the person you will work with until departure. Your Program Coordinator will then give you program specific items in your portal. (Note: Both preliminary portal pieces and program specific tasks must be completed by the application deadline.)

#CISabroadTip: Contact your school’s registrar and have them send us your transcript early on in the application process (you can send us your transcript even before you’ve made the $200 deposit!) since snail mail makes this the slowest piece to submit. (We do also accept electronic OFFICIAL transcripts if your school provides them.)

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. Application deadlines can be found here.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

Yes, you WILL need a passport to travel to Spain. Your passport must be valid for 6 months BEYOND the date you return to the United States. For detailed passport instructions, U.S. citizens should check the State Department's Travel Site. For the Semester at UAB program, you WILL need a Long-term Student Visa. You will receive specific visa instructions once you have been accepted to the program.

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes. The GPA requirement for Semester at UAB is 2.75.

6. What are my housing options?

The Semester at UAB program offers either a homestay with a local host or an apartment with international or U.S. students.

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. How many credits are offered in the program?

For Semester at UAB, you will take either 3 or 4 classes for 12 or 15 credits respectively. To see the courses available, go here.

9. Can I combine this program with another CISabroad program like intern, summer, or semester abroad?

Yes! A great way to extend your CISabroad experience is participating in another program. Combine semester programs to create a full academic year or if an academic year is just a little too long and a semester is too short, combine a semester and summer session or a semester and January term program. You can also participate in a semester abroad and combine that with a summer intern abroad. To find out more information on the application process for more than one CISabroad program, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

Term: Spring 2017
Arrival Spring 2017 January 10
Departure April 27
Application Deadline EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 15
Term: Fall 2017
Arrival September 6
Departure December 21
Application Deadline May 1
Term: Spring 2017 Price: $11,890 - 12,790 more info
Term: Fall 2017 Price: $11,890 - 12,790 more info

Dates posted here are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

To view expected additional expenses for this program, click here.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Cultural and recreational excursions and activities in Barcelona
  • One guided weekend excursion outside of Barcelona
  • Full-time tuition and fees
  • Housing (apartment, local home, or residence hall)
  • Meal plan available with a homestay
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Predeparture orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona orientation
  • On-site support
  • Official Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona transcript
  • Carbon offset of travel & Green Travel Guide

*CISabroad  reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.