The Semester in Barcelona – University of Barcelona (UB) program is the perfect location for you to elevate your Spanish, study culture and politics, and discover the secrets of this captivating city. Barcelona is an intriguing mix of Spanish, Catalonian, and European culture, and you’ll immerse yourself at a level no tourist could ever achieve. There’s more good news: The UB ranks as the #1 university in Spain, so you’ll study with ace professors in a thrilling, multicultural academic environment. And did we mention the warm climate, the superb shopping, the blissful beaches, and the Gaudi architecture? Once you set foot in Barcelona, you may not want to leave.
- GPA Requirement
- Application Deadlines
Fall: June 1
Spring: October 15
- Avg Course Load
- 3-4 courses (12-15 U.S. credits)
- Language(s) of Instruction
- English and Spanish
Key Program Highlights
- Revered research-intensive university
- Beautiful campus close to the city center
- Strong community of international students
- Two-day trips to places like the Dalí museum, Tarragona, or Sitges
- Homestay option with a local family
- Multiple levels of Spanish language courses
- Fun social and cultural activities, including movie night, cooking classes, a flamenco show, and multiple tours and excursions
Your Journey Begins Here
Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.
Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.
Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.
Life in Barcelona
Welcome and Orientation
Once you arrive to the capital of Catalonia CISabroad staff will meet you at the airport and help get you to your apartment or homestay. Upon arrival you’ll take part in the CISabroad Logistical, Cultural and Academic Orientation with other students and interns on the program. The onsite staff will introduce you to this dynamic and cosmopolitan city that you will call home, giving you tips on to how to be safe and healthy as well as how to make the most of your experience professionally, culturally and personally.
After our fun, interactive orientation sessions, we’ll have a welcome lunch in a traditional restaurant, giving you your first culinary experiences in the new city by trying the staple, “pan con tomate,” along with other delicious Mediterranean food!
Farewell and Re-entry Program
As the program draws to a close, we will be sure you go home with the tools you need to make the most of your experience. In our re-entry workshop you’ll learn how to cope with cultural differences you’ll experience as you go home, how to put your abroad experience on your resume and in job interviews as well as how you can keep traveling in the future. We’ll end the trip with a farewell meal with all your new CISabroad “amigos” and the staff, for a chance to say “hasta luego” to your new city!
You can choose to live either in a shared apartment or in a homestay during the Barcelona Semester program.
The apartments are, on average, about a 25-minute commute from the centrally located campus.The convenient location means you’ll have easy access to everything Barcelona has to offer, like shops, cafés, bars, museums, restaurants, and more!
- Fully-furnished, with a shared living room, a well-equipped kitchen, and bathrooms
- You’ll share a room with one other student, and most apartments accommodate four to six program participants
A homestay is the perfect way to fully immerse yourself in Spanish culture. Living with a host family is great way to try home-cooked Spanish cuisine, improve your language skills, and experience life like a local.
- Laundry service
- Breakfast and dinner
- Soccer match: Barça, Barça, Baaarça! Experience one of the best football clubs in the world and cheer like “culés,” fans from Football Club Barcelona.
- Barrio tours: Staff will take you on a tour of a neighborhood in Barcelona, showing you the history but also where locals hang out. Each tour includes a chance to try some local treats.
- Human Towers: Go to the practice space of the local Castells, a sport where teams compete to make the tallest tower possible.
- Cooking classes: Cooking classes with a professional chef.
- Intercambio night: A language exchange with local students.
More About Barcelona
It’s no wonder that Barcelona is one of the top tourist and study abroad destinations in the world. This incredible location on the shores of the Mediterranean has a delightfully mild climate year round. Plus, Barcelona is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities to live in! The second-largest city in Spain has two official languages, Castilian Spanish and Catalan. It’s the perfect place to challenge yourself and practice your own Spanish skills, while also learning more about the unique Catalan history and culture.
The city is bustling, and you'll be in awe of the architecture, including Gaudi's towering Sagrada Familia basilica. When you're ready to immerse yourself in nature, you can easily reach beaches and hiking sites just outside of Barcelona. The efficient public transportation system allows you to quickly travel to the many beaches to both the north and south of Barcelona. It also means you can easily navigate campus and the many amazing sites located throughout the city.
The city’s diverse international population, colorful flair, exciting nightlife, and vast array of cultural, historical, and modern attractions makes Barcelona an unparalleled place to study abroad!
While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in weekend and day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.
This day trip around Catalonia includes guided tours, some museum entrance fees, a group lunch, and some free time. You'll visit the Salvador Dalí Museum in Figueres, hike the beautiful coastal trail known as the Camino de Ronda on the Costa Brava and wander the old Jewish Quarter in beautiful Girona.
4 Days in Morocco
Fall and Spring semester students also have the opportunity to join a four-day trip to Morocco with a non-profit organization dedicated to helping travelers jump off the beaten path and understand the local culture.
During weekend trips, you might experience Flamenco and tour the beautiful Alhambra in Granada; eat Spain’s best tapas and visit wineries in Basque Country; or hike coastal trails and tour medieval villages in Costa Brava. Trips change each semester.
If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.
How to Choose Your Courses
Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page and once you’ve decided which courses you want to take. Fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.
Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. 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.
Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.
You’ll take the following assortment of classes:
OPTION 1) 12 credits: Spanish Language class (110 hrs) + 2 elective classes
OPTION 2) 15 credits: Spanish Language class (110 hrs) + 3 electives classes.
Electives are Spanish Culture subjects, taught in English or Spanish (45 contact hours each)
(15 contact hours = 1 semester credit).
Course Description and Catalogue:
There are two main themes of the curriculum at the UB. Please click here for more information.
1. Instrumental Spanish Language for Specific Aims (Spanish Language: Grammar and Conversation)
2. Spanish Culture and Society (Spanish Culture, taught in English or Spanish)
All classes offered at the UB are categorized under one of these two areas.
Classes are organized in accordance with your Spanish comprehension. Although it is best to have a good background in the Spanish language, beginners are also welcome! Just be prepared to speak the language and take all of your courses in Spanish! However, if you are at a beginner or lower intermediate level, you may only register for the recommended courses suited for your level.
Spanish Culture Subjects recommended for any level:
Catalan Language and Culture
Current Spain: Society and Institutions
History of Spanish Modern and Contemporary Art
South America: Painting, Cinema, Literature and Music
Spanish Culture Subjects taught in English:
Barcelona, Mediterranean Metropolis
Spain’s Economy: Highlights
Spanish Culture Subjects recommended for all beginning and elementary levels:
Everyday Spoken Spanish
Reading of Short Texts
Spain & Europe: Origins and Evolution
Subjects recommend for intermediate and advanced levels:
General Modern & Contemporary Spanish History
History of Ancient and Medieval Spanish Art
Spanish to Negotiate in Professional Contexts
Spanish for Economy and Business
The Writer & the City
Writing in Spanish
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 the Universitat de Barcelona 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.
The University of Barcelona (UB) ranks as the #1 university in Spain. It's famous for it's cutting-edge university research and has become a benchmark for research activity in Europe. Over 80,000 students attend the UB, spread out over six different campuses located throughout Barcelona. The UB is ideal for the independent student who is eager to become immersed in Spanish culture.
The UB's beautiful international student campus is located in a bustling area known as Plaza Universitat. This plaza is alive with young people, cafes, shops, and innovative businesses, and it's only a ten-minute walk from the city center. The campus itself is filled with beautiful architecture, indoor courtyards, and plenty of classroom and study space.
During your semester at University of Barcelona, you'll take unique and diverse courses that help you become familiar with Spanish culture and society. You’ll study alongside fellow international students from the U.S. and around the world.
If you're looking to strengthen your Spanish, the UB has a program for you. The Estudios Hispánicos program is taught mostly in Spanish. Additionally, it's based on Spanish and Latin-American culture, and Spanish language and comprehension. This program is specifically recommended for students who are majoring or minoring in Spanish and have a background with the Spanish language. It's also a great opportunity for students who are working toward Spanish fluency.
The UB was established in 1450 and is one of the top schools in Catalonia. The university is ranked 166th in the world by QS. It also ranks top 50 in the world for Philosophy and #62 for Natural Science.
Accreditation(s): Ministry of Education and Science.
Sara Platt - Clemson University
Program SupportMeet Our Staff
Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.
Robust Advising Center
Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.
Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators
Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.
Experienced On-site Staff
From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.
Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.
Your Support Staff
Global Advising Team
Program Coordinator - Spain, Latin America, January Mediterranean Culture
Site Director in Barcelona
Application DeadlineJune 1ArrivalSeptember 4OrientationSeptember 4Classes StartSeptember 6Classes EndDecember 18DepartureDecember 19PRICE$12,190 - 12,990
Application DeadlineOctober 15ArrivalJanuary 9 (Estimated)OrientationJanuary 10 (Estimated)Classes StartJanuary 11 (Estimated)Classes EndApril 24 (Estimated)DepartureApril 25 (Estimated)PRICE$12,190 - 12,990 (Estimated)
CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.
As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.
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
- On-site support
- Academic advising
- Financial aid counseling
- Assistance with travel arrangements
- Predeparture orientation
- Airport pickup
- Official University of Barcelona transcript
- NYTimes Digital Subscription
- La Vida Local cultural program