Semester in Barcelona
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

New Offering
OPEN Fall 2022
OPEN Semester 2022
OPEN Spring 2022

Study at a dynamic local university while enjoying the best of Barcelona.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), a young and dynamic public university, offers a globally-minded approach to teaching and learning while staying true to its roots in Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain. The UPF urban multi-school campus is concentrated near Barcelona’s beautiful coast, among some of the city’s top attractions. Share a classroom with students from Barcelona and dozens of countries. And of course, you’ll also share a beautiful and vibrant city with its lively inhabitants, extending your academic and personal learning setting to wherever you find yourself.


What to Expect:

  • Language: English and Spanish
  • Average Courseload: 4-5 classes (12-15 U.S. credits)
  • GPA Requirement: 3.0
    -Sophomore
    -Junior for business
  • Visa Requirements: (ONLY FOR STEM TRACK)

Highlights:

  • Learn from the highest percentage of international faculty in Spain
  • Study on an urban campus, with most buildings just blocks from the beach
  • Choose from dozens of courses in both Spanish language and English
  • Abundant program inclusions and staff support to show you Barcelona's best
  • Study and socialize alongside students from both near and far

Program Details

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Established in 1990, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) is a young and dynamic Spanish public university. UPF places itself uniquely as a Catalonian-rooted institution with an impressively global reach, boasting more faculty from abroad than any other Spanish university and hosting students from around the world studying a variety of disciplines in Spanish and English.

Self-described as having “its feet in Barcelona and its head in the world,” the UPF achieved a designation of International Campus of Excellence from the Spanish Ministry of Education just 20 years after its founding. The campus is comprised of remodeled historic buildings, nestled among some of the city’s most desirable areas and/or just blocks from beautiful Mediterranean coastline and some of Barcelona’s best beaches.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra is accredited by the Spanish Ministry of Education

Areas of study with 3 to 7 classes available

  • Art & Design
  • Communications
  • Health
  • Humanities

Don't see your major listed here? There may still be courses available. Browse our programs by major.

Areas of study which have more than 8 classes available

  • Business
  • World Languages

Don't see your major listed here? There may still be courses available. Browse our programs by major.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) offers a wide variety of courses across most major disciplines, meaning you can likely study in your major. However, if you have some elective or general education requirements, you can easily fulfill those while focusing on topics aimed to provide local context and additional insights in a setting as engaging as a Spanish university in Barcelona.

You’ll have the option to choose between two tracks (listed below), which include Spanish language and culture courses, content-based courses conducted in English, content-based courses conducted in Spanish, and really any combination thereof as long as you don’t have scheduling conflicts.

TRACK 1

Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies
The Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS) track creates the foundation of most CIS Abroad participants, as it aims to provide students with greater insight into the European, Spanish, and Catalan social and cultural contexts. This track also includes Spanish language learning, with levels ranging from beginner to proficient, and even Castilian Spanish for native speakers of other dialects.

Most CIS Abroad participants are advised to take at least one Spanish language course and at least one culture course as your studies permit, as this will help you engage more significantly with your new home in Barcelona.

Credit Options
Your courses will be taught in English or Spanish and will primarily be lectures with some teamwork involved. Students will be in class at the UPF with other international students. For a complete list of courses and syllabi for the BaPIS program, please click here.

Creativity: The Human Factor
“Creativity: The Human Factor” is the axis of BaPIS. Under this motto, innovative courses promote forms of critical thinking, navigating across disciplines and building on crucial knowledge areas. From Ethics to Biology, from Artificial Intelligence to Humanities, from Legal systems to Politics and Society, from Economics to Design Thinking, courses at BaPIS aim to stimulate creative approaches to today’s big challenges.

A Quality Program
The Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies offers an exciting opportunity for local and international students to gain knowledge and experience in a multicultural environment. All instructors on the Program are high-profile UPF faculty with a distinguished research trajectory and proven international academic experience, who, together with the highly motivated students that participate, form the bedrock of a quality program.

Cultural Component
The UPF Education Abroad Program encourages experiential learning through cultural activities and on-site classes in the BaPIS curriculum. Courses include hands-on workshops, faculty-guided trips to relevant sites and institutions, course-related tours, company visits, seminars and sessions by guest speakers in which they share their expertise and perspectives.

Spanish Language
In addition to content-based courses, BaPIS includes the option of supplementing students’ credits through language courses at all levels. Five different levels of Spanish classes are offered, from beginner to proficiency, and even Spanish for heritage speakers. The proficiency level prepares students for the Instituto Cervantes DELE (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera) exam, which they can take during their stay in Barcelona.

Important Notes
Please note that not all courses listed above will be offered every semester/quarter, and the list above are courses and/or subject areas that have been offered in the past by the host institution. Institutions in Barcelona often do not finalize course listings until the beginning of the term, and as such, this list will be updated as the host institution provides additional information.

For a complete listing of courses that will occur during your specific semester/quarter abroad at the UPF, please contact your CIS Abroad Advisor.

TRACK 2

International Business & Economics
The International Business & Economics Semester/Quarter Program at ESCI (Escuela Superior de Comercio Internacional) is designed for students majoring or minoring in business who seek to understand the global economy. An added bonus – and necessary in today’s world – is the chance to improve your level of Spanish. ESCI is a branch of the highly regarded UPF (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) with beautiful campuses and facilities located in the center of Barcelona.

At ESCI students will find a variety of courses that cover all aspects of Business, Economics and Finance. Courses such as International Management, International Finance, Corporate Finance, Strategic Consumer Insights and many others mean that students will have lots of options to better their knowledge of International Business.

Most students at ESCI combine their course load with some classes at BaPIS, which means that they can take business courses while also taking Spanish language, history or other electives. ESCI classes are highly challenging, and students should be prepared to put in some hard work, but because of this can expect to receive a high-quality education.

Credit Options
In addition to taking higher level business and economics courses, you will get to boost your employability by enrolling in an Intensive Spanish Language course. The business courses taught at ESCI are highly regarded in Spain as being both challenging and extremely rewarding. For a complete list of courses and syllabi for the ESCI program, please click here.

Important Notes
Please note that not all courses listed above will be offered every semester/quarter, and the list above are courses and/or subject areas that have been offered in the past by the host institution. Institutions in Barcelona often do not finalize course listings until the beginning of the term, and as such, this list will be updated as the host institution provides additional information.

Why Life in 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!

Live La Vida Local

  • 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.

Residence Hall in Barcelona

Location

Live with other international students in a student residence hall. The residence halls are, on average, about a 30-45 minute commute to your classes or internship. A student residence normally means a double room, unless you indicate you would like a single room and there is one available, and then shared kitchen areas and common areas including study areas with other students.

Meals

You’ll get to put your CIS Abroad Barcelona cooking class skills to the test and cook your own delicious meals in the Residence Hall’s shared and well-equipped kitchens.

Inclusions and Amenities

  • BathroomShared
  • CommutePublic Transportation
  • Double Room
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • LaundryOn-site

Apartments in Barcelona

Location

The apartments are, on average, about a 30-45 minute commute to your classes or internship and house 3-6 students. The convenient location means you’ll have easy access to everything Barcelona has to offer, like shops, cafés, bars, museums, restaurants, and more! You’ll be placed in a double room with another student unless you opt for an individual room and there is one available.

Watch Bridget’s video tour of her apartment to get an idea of what your housing could be like.

Important note: shared apartments are only available when student residence halls are full, so apartment availability will vary.

Meals

You’ll get to put your CIS Abroad Barcelona cooking class skills to the test and cook your own delicious meals in the apartments’ well-equipped kitchens.

Inclusions and Amenities

  • BathroomShared
  • CommutePublic Transportation
  • Double Room
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • LaundryOn-site

Homestay in Barcelona

Location

Homestays are with families located about a 45-minute commute from your school or internship. 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.

 

Meals

If you opt for a homestay, you’ll get to try tasty home-cooked Spanish cuisine at the included daily breakfasts and dinners, and provide your own lunches.

Inclusions and Amenities

  • CommutePublic Transportation
  • Laundry
  • MealsHomestay

What's Included

Inclusions

Program fees are in U.S. 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
  • Meal plan available with a homestay
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • CIS Abroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • On-site support
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra orientation
  • Official Universitat Pompeu Fabra transcript
  • Onsite mentorship program
  • La Vida Local cultural program

Welcome & Orientation

Once you arrive in the capital of Catalonia, you’ll get picked up at the airport – nice to see a friendly face after a long flight! After you get settled in your apartment or homestay, you’ll take part in the on-site orientation with other students and interns on the program. On-site staff will introduce you to this dynamic and cosmopolitan Barcelona, giving you tips on to how to be safe and healthy as well as how to make the most of your time here. Enjoy a welcome lunch in a traditional restaurant, a first culinary experience in the new city of the staple pan con tomate, along with other delicious Mediterranean food!

Farewell & Re-Entry Program

As the program draws to a close, you’ll go home with the tools you need to make the most of your experience. In our re-entry workshop, learn how to cope with cultural differences you’ll experience as you go home, how to put your abroad experience on your resume (and talk about it in job interviews), as well as how to keep traveling in the future. End the trip with a farewell meal with all your new CIS Abroad “amigos” and the staff, for a chance to say “hasta luego” to your new city!

Program Excursions

While participating on a CIS Abroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in 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.
Zaragoza

Zaragoza

Visit a city filled with unique architecture and a rich history. Enjoy guided tours of theaters, civil war battlefields, and the Aljaferia Moorish Palace. You also will have a chance to try the best migas – dishes featuring fried bread crumbs – a tasty local specialty!

Weekend in the Basque Country

Weekend in the Basque Country

Enjoy a weekend trip to the rustic, historic, and vibrant Basque Country. Situated along the northern coast of Spain, País Vasco offers an enchanting mix of rugged seashore, rolling hills, delectable seafood, and a unique and rich culture. This excursion may include a trip to the Guggenheim Museum, an outing to a traditional “pincho” (skewer) tapas bar, a winemaking lesson, and tours of historical sites.

4 Days in Morocco

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.

Site Director

Travel Tip:

When traveling make sure to use humour and start conversations with local people, they are the experts of the places you visit and you can learn so much from them; particularly the older generation can be a wealth of information. Try to enjoy every single minute of your travels!

Travel Tip:

When traveling make sure to use humour and start conversations with local people, they are the experts of the places you visit and you can learn so much from them; particularly the older generation can be a wealth of information. Try to enjoy every single minute of your travels!

About:

Elena was born in Girona, but has lived in a variety of cities in Spain. She earned a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona and an M.A. in Communication, Tourism, and New Technologies (e-Tourism) from the University of Barcelona. Her previous work experience was at UPF in the Communications Department and research focused on Place Branding Online. Elena is also the co-founder of the International Exchange Erasmus Student Network at UPF, which helps welcome university students to Barcelona. She worked and studied in various countries throughout Europe, including Italy, England, Ireland, Holland, and Turkey. Elena has been working since 2010 helping and mentoring international students. Currently, she is perusing a Coach Training Certification. Elena loves languages, dancing, traveling, culture, and, above all – people.

Your Support Staff

CIS Abroad Advising & Support
Travel Tip:

You’ll be supported every step of the way!

Global Advising

Our advising team will help match you with a program that fits your academic and personal needs. Once you have selected your program our advisor will help you complete your Online Application.

Program Enrollment

Once you’ve started your application and submitted the $90 deposit, you’ll be assigned a program enrollment coordinator who will guide you through the enrollment process to get you abroad!

COVID-19 Plan

We believe that study abroad is still possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, but certain policies and procedures will need to be in place to ensure every student can be safe and healthy during their semester abroad.

Learn more about CIS Abroad’s Risk Management Team’s three step process for operating  our programs around the world and important program refund policies.

Read more below for information related to this program:

On-Site Program Modifications

We want your time abroad to be an experience of a lifetime. We also know that it is a unique time to be going abroad. Below is some helpful information to you so you can make the best decision for your finances, academic career, and personal health and safety.

Our Financial Commitment

CIS Abroad is working with international partners to create refund and withdrawal policies that limit the financial impact on students and families should COVID-19 change a student’s plan to travel. See our refund policy page for more information.
To insure yourself from additional loss, such as the loss of airfare, or any other non-recoverable loss after your program begins, we recommend purchasing trip protection insurance, aka CFAR/IFAR insurance.

Our Academic Commitment

CIS Abroad has carefully selected programs where there is minimal to no academic risk.*

If a student must quarantine or miss classes due to sickness, remote academics are guaranteed. These may be synchronous or asynchronous, i.e, live or recorded.

If a city or country goes on lockdown due to sickness, remote academics are guaranteed. These may be synchronous or asynchronous, i.e. live or recorded.

* If a student cannot travel to their destination due to COVID-19 restrictions, remote academics are guaranteed on select programs and in certain courses. If accessing remote academics from the US are important to you, please contact our advising team to learn more about which program locations or courses are right for you.

Our Health & Safety Commitment

CIS Abroad has developed a site-specific risk management plan for every location so that health and safety protocols are monitored, managed and communicated throughout the semester. We have developed a COVID Care Package included in our program fee to make traveling and living in a host country easier on students, especially those first few weeks on-site:

  • COVID compliant airport pick-up and transfer to housing.
  • Access to quarantine housing upon entry, if quarantine is required when entering the country; this housing may incur additional charges.
  • Information and assistance on meal delivery, if quarantine is required when entering the country.
  • COVID-safe classrooms and campus facilities as well as access to masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies according to country and location specific standards.
  • Vaccine requirements for all participants to ensure COVID-safe program excursions and guaranteed housing with vaccinated students.
  • Access to accommodation if isolation is necessary due to positive COVID test or exposure; this housing may incur additional charges.
  • Access to COVID testing; this testing may be an additional charge.
  • Medical and accident insurance that covers COVID-related illness (except for on programs operating in the USA).
  • Cultural activities and reflection that emphasize safe, local exploration geared to the specific context of being abroad at this special time.

*if quarantine is required upon entry, we will let you know 60 days before a program starts, or as soon as the information is known to CIS Abroad. Your program coordinator will keep you updated as to any changes in dates, arrival, local restrictions and costs. If it is required, this may entail an earlier departure date and an additional housing and meal cost.

We recognize not every student, family, or university will allow travel this year, despite the risk mitigation outlined above. Should students apply for 2021 programs, and then choose to defer to a future program, we would be happy to move that student’s application to a program with a later start date. We are committed to providing our innovative virtual programs to meet your internationalization goals.

Excursions

We plan to show you the best of what your location has to offer this term; great culture, great food, and interesting people. On the Excursions tab, you can see the day or overnight trips we usually offer. It is too soon to know if we can offer those same experiences or if we’ll stay a little closer to our program base. Just know that great experiences await you.

Dates & Prices

ADVISOR TIP: Please WAIT to book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Application Deadline: Oct 15
  • Arrival: January 4
  • Departure: March 29
  • Price: $14,490 - $15,490
  • Application Deadline: May 15 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: September 16 | September 20 (Estimated)
  • Departure: December 20 | December 18 (Estimated)
  • Price: $14,490 - $15,490 (Estimated)
Additional Information:

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

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