Mediterranean Culture Studies: Barcelona & Sorrento

Soak up the sun (and the smarts) on this coastal summer adventure.

Explore the history, culture, and languages of Spain and Italy while you see what cultural elements tie this region together and yet make it so diverse. Hit the ground running with these eight weeks filled with cultural and social activities to allow you to fully experience the true Barcelona and Sorrento. From cooking classes and day trips to neighborhood tours and tasting the best gelato, all five senses will be overwhelmed in the best possible way!


What to Expect:

  • Language: English, Spanish, or Italian
  • Average Courseload: Barcelona: 1-2 courses, Sorrento: 1 course (+3 credits available)
  • GPA Requirement: 2.5

Highlights:

  • Cultural activities such as cinema nights, museum visits, dance lessons, and cooking class in Barcelona
  • Spanish classes tailored to your proficiency, whether beginner or advanced
  • Airport pickup in Barcelona and flight between Barcelona and Naples
  • Airport pick-up in Naples and transfer to Sorrento
  • In-depth orientation and guided tour of both cities

Program Details

Barcelona School for International Studies & Sant'Anna Institute

Barcelona School for International Studies & Sant’Anna Institute

At Barcelona School for International Studies (SIS), you’ll enjoy innovative courses in the heart of the vibrant, playful city of Barcelona. The city center is just a ten-minute walk from campus. SIS prides itself on offering unique curriculum, allowing you to fulfill courses in languages, culture, history, art, and the humanities. At SIS, you can immerse yourself in the local culture, make Spanish and international friends, and have easy access to all that Barcelona has to offer.

SIS shares its facility with a renowned language school, providing you with the opportunity to meet students from around the world. The campus is located in the Eixample district of the city, where many of Barcelona’s distinct neighborhoods are just a walk away, including the old city, La Rambla, and the Barceloneta beach.


Located atop a seaside cliff, the Sant’Anna Institute is housed in a prominent building offering breathtaking views of the Marina Grande of Sorrento. Courses are rooted in experiential learning, which means you’ll get a unique, hands-on experience.

The grounds offer a tranquil private garden, and the campus building houses classrooms, computer labs, student lounges, a kitchen, and residential rooms on the top floor. From the Institute, you can reach the city center by foot in just fifteen minutes, and the train station is a quick 20-minute walk. When you’re not studying, you can join service learning opportunities, language exchange groups, and volunteer projects—as well as exploring the city and relaxing.

Areas of study with 3 to 7 classes available

  • Art & Design
  • Health
  • Spanish

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
  • Communications
  • Humanities
  • Natural & Applied Sciences

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

Your courses will be taught in English, Spanish, or Italian and will primarily be lectures with some teamwork involved. Students will be in class at SIS and SAI with other international students, and class sizes are small to provide a personalized experience. In this progarm, 6-9 credits are included in the program fee: 3 or 6 credits in Barcelona, plus 3 credits in Sorrento. You can add on an additional 3 credits in Sorrento for an additional cost.

Barcelona Courses – Choose 3 or 6 credits

Students can take 1 or 2 classes during each session at School for International Studies. Below please find a list of confirmed offerings for each session, and a list of tentative offerings dependent on enrollment,For the Barcelona portion of the program at the Barcelona School for International Studies (SIS), students can choose from the following options:

Confirmed Session 1:

Tentative Session 1:


Sorrento Courses – Choose 3 credits*

For the Sorrento portion of the program at the Sant’Anna Institute, please click here for course listings. Courses will run subject to demand and adequate enrollment, so it is important to get additional alternate courses approved. During the application process, you will rank several courses in order of preference.

*You can take an additional 3 credits in Sorrento (for a total of 12 total credits throughout the program) for an additional cost. Contact your Program Coordinator for more information!

Why Life in Barcelona & Sorrento

Barcelona also enjoys a bit of Roman heritage, most evident in its languages (both “Castilian” Spanish and Catalan) and architecture. A large and vibrant metropolis with a rich and alluring culture, Barcelona is anything but a sleepy seaside city. Tourists and locals alike adore the social and artistic buzz that permeates Barcelona – in its plentiful plazas, boardwalks, distinct neighborhoods, funky architecture, and pristine beaches. The second-largest city in Spain, Barcelona is unique in that it blends the bustling nature of a large city with an emphasis on the “life” side of “work-life” balance (the beaches probably don’t hurt in that regard…)

The gateway to the Amalfi Coast, the town of Sorrento is easily described as a paradise by the sea. From Sorrento, you can catch the train to Rome, take a ferry to the islands of Capri and Ischia, or reach Naples 20 miles away. This famous, quaint city in Campania is a popular tourist destination, but don’t let that fool you. The small city and friendly people make it easy to quickly become a member of the community. Beyond the tourists, make time to wander the citrus-lined streets, saunter through the Villa Communale Park, or just enjoy the sweeping views of the Bay of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius in the distance.

Live La Vida Local

  • Human Towers

    Go to the practice space of the local Castells, a sport where teams compete to make the tallest tower possible.

  • Soccer Matches

    Barça, Barça, Baaarça! Experience one of the best football clubs in the world and cheer like “culés,” fans from Football Club Barcelona.

  • Farmers Markets

    Check out and get your daily shopping done at the local market. Get to know the farmers, practice your Italian and stay healthy by eating seasonal products!

  • Cooking Class and Dinner

    Learn how to make your favorite dishes and eat them too at fattoria Terranova.

Apartments in Barcelona

Location

The apartments are, on average, about a 30-45 minute commute to your classes or internship and house 4-6 students. The convenient location means you’ll have easy access to everything Barcelona has to offer, like shops, cafés, bars, museums, restaurants, and more!

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

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. Plus, they’ll do your laundry!

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

Sant’Anna Institute Residence Hall

Location

Sant’Anna Institute’s new residence hall space occupies the top two floors of the institute (talk about an easy walk to class!) Students share double and triple rooms with an en suite bathroom in each bedroom. There is a shared kitchen and common area, as well a beautiful terrace overlooking the bay. Rooms will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Meals

You’ll have access to a kitchen where you can cook your meals. Put your skills to the test and try cooking local favorites.

Plus, all Sant’Anna students regardless of housing choice get a special card that gives them discounts at local stores and restaurants.

Inclusions and Amenities

  • BathroomEnsuite
  • CommuteWalking
  • Double Room
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • Study Areas
  • Triple Room

Shared Apartments in Sorrento

Location

If the residence hall fills, you’ll live in double and triple rooms in shared accommodations, 4-6 people per apartment, located within a 30-minute walk or a short public transit ride from the Institute. The apartments are fully-furnished – except towels!

Note: Apartments in Italy, especially in the historical centers, are all situated in antique buildings.

Check out the photo gallery to get an idea of what your housing could be like. The photos are of apartments that have been available in the past.

Meals

In your apartment, you’ll have access to a kitchen where you can cook your meals. Think: Italian dinner parties with your housemates and friends!

Don’t forget – you too will get a discount card from Sant’Anna to use at local restaurants and stores.

Inclusions and Amenities

  • CommutePublic TransportationWalking
  • Double Room
  • Triple Room

Upgrade to a Homestay in Sorrento

Location

Host families are located throughout Sorrento and may accommodate up to three students in each home. Living with a host family is the best way to immerse yourself in the Italian language and culture, not to mention learn the secrets of Italian cuisine!

Meals

Host families provide daily breakfast and students can also choose the option to have dinner with the host family for a low additional cost.

Inclusions and Amenities

  • Double Room
  • Laundry
  • MealsHomestay
  • Single Room
  • Wi-Fi

What's Included

Inclusions

Program fees are in U.S. dollars and include the following:

  • In-depth orientation and guided tour of both cities
  • Cultural activities such as cinema nights, museum visits, dance lessons, and cooking class in Barcelona
  • One cultural activity in Sorrento (more available for an additional cost)
  • Sant’Anna discount card: valid at museums, theatres, restaurants, and other local places
  • One-day excursions to Pompeii, Capri, or other outstanding location
  • Airport pickup in Barcelona and flight between Barcelona and Naples
  • Airport pick-up in Naples and transfer to Sorrento
  • Medical & Accident Insurance
  • Jacksonville University transcript
  • 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.
Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Construction started in 1882 and is still going on to this day.

Capri

Capri

A resort since the Roman Republic, Capri is still a tourist destination for both Italians and travelers. Features of the island include the Marina Piccola (the little harbor), the Belvedere of Tragara (a high panoramic promenade lined with villas), the limestone crags called “sea stacks” that project above the sea (the Faraglioni), the town of Anacapri, and the ruins of the Imperial Roman villas.

Pompeii, Naples and Amalfi Coast

Pompeii, Naples and Amalfi Coast

To get the full experience of the famous buried city of Pompeii, take a guided tour of the ruins. From there, head to the dramatic and stunningly beautiful Amalfi Coast, which looks over the Mediterranean Sea from its rocky shores. Included is a ferry ride for a day trip to the stunning island of Capri. Finally, shop in local stores and dine at famous pizzerias in Naples.

Site Director

Travel Tip:

If while traveling there’s no internet, embrace it. Play a card game with someone in the hostel common room, read a book, lie on the beach, go for a walk, talk to a stranger, think about life. Some of my favourite travel memories are from times when I didn’t have an Internet connection.

Travel Tip:

If while traveling there’s no internet, embrace it. Play a card game with someone in the hostel common room, read a book, lie on the beach, go for a walk, talk to a stranger, think about life. Some of my favourite travel memories are from times when I didn’t have an Internet connection.

About:

Romina is a native Roman with degrees in International Communications (2005) and International Relations (2007) at the University for Foreigners of Perugia. Shortly after graduating, she moved back to Rome and began her study abroad career working for IES. In Rome, she began pursing her M.A. in International Affairs at the SIOI. After completing an internship at the Italian Development Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome, her career took a turn as Romina was offered a position to work as a Communication and Public Information Officer within the civilian component of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Herat for the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Between 2008-09, Romina completed two missions in Afghanistan. In 2009, she began working for the Italian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, which then led her to cover the same position at the Italian Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen. In Spring 2011, the Italian government ordered embassy staff to return home due to the uncertain situation of the Arab Spring. Ever since, Romina has enjoyed her return to the eternal city, and to her career in study abroad through CIS Abroad.

Your Support Staff

Global Advising Team
Travel Tip:

We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us be it through a phone call, email or personal visit, you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

Michelle Everard
Travel Tip:

Journal, journal, journal! Write down the little things, the strange details & whatever made you laugh. It’s the little things that make a trip amazing and are easily the most forgotten.

Linda Hallbäck
Travel Tip:

Be patient with yourself and kind to those you meet along the way. Show gratitude daily, laugh often, and give thanks for the journey you are on. There will be hard days, but remember, the magic is in the journey and each day makes that journey complete. Smile!

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: Mar 15
  • Arrival: June 2
  • Departure: August 1
  • Price: $10,290
  • Application Deadline: Mar 15 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: June 2 (Estimated)
  • Departure: August 1 (Estimated)
  • Price: $10,290 (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.