Barcelona is one of the most unique cities in the world. Due to its strategically important location on the Mediterranean, it has at times been ruled by the Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, Charlemagne’s son Louis the Poius, and finally Spain. Barcelona serves as the political and cultural center of the autonomous community of Catalonia. With its cultural sites, diverse culinary scene, and great nightlife, Barcelona is frequently rated as one of the top cities in the world to visit.


With Barcelona’s vibrant economy, there are numerous opportunities for professional internships in many fields including accounting, communications, business, marketing, and fashion. You can directly apply for internships via company websites, but it may be better to go through a placement service that specializes in matching interns with opportunities. Here are a few options to get you started:

Teaching English

There is a big need for teaching English in Barcelona within organizations and schools, as well as private tutors. While you will need a visa to work with companies or at schools, you may be able to find opportunities to teach privately. A TEFL certificate (or equivalent) is advisable as it opens up more opportunities. The best way to find opportunities is through local sites like Loquo and InfoJobs. These jobs are harder to line up in advance – you may have to be located in Barcelona before applying.


Since Barcelona is a very developed city, volunteer opportunities may be more limited than other regions, but you just need to look for them. Providers like Connect-123 that serve in areas like human rights, animals & wildlife, environment, and public health.

Cost of Living in Barcelona

The cost of living in Barcelona can vary depending on what neighborhood you live in, but in general the costs are cheaper than most major US and Western European cities. In 2012 Barcelona was rated as 12% cheaper than the index (New York City), roughly equivalent to Hong Kong, Baltimore, Maryland (USA), and Nuremberg, Germany. Here are the average prices in Barcelona (USD), courtesy of Numbeo:

  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre: $904.86
  • Basic (Electricity, Gas, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment: $181.47
  • Monthly Transportation Pass (Regular Price): $64.63
  • Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course: $64.63
  • Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro): $5.82
Health and Safety in Barcelona

Barcelona is a very safe city overall. Its crime index rating is on par with cities such as Copenhagen, Denmark; Bangkok, Thailand; and Chicago, Illinois (USA). Spain tends to have a low level of violent crime, but has its share of pickpockets and thieves. In Barcelona one must take care in the known tourist areas like Las Ramblas to guard against petty crime. It’s always best to keep as little cash as possible and keep your belongings close, rather than use a purse or bookbag. Thieves are known to use scams such as having street performers entertain tourists while robbers pick the pockets of those who are watching. As long as you are careful and pay attention to your surroundings, you should not have problems.

Why Take a Gap Year in Barcelona?

Almost all who visit Barcelona come back wishing they could live there – as such it’s a great destination to spend a gap year. Not only are you in a beautiful and vibrant city, but you are also in one of the most historically important diverse cities in Europe. Simply put, Barcelona is a great destination for gap year travelers!

Contributed by Baxter Denney

Gap Year Programs in Barcelona

Displaying 1 - 15 of 19 programs
Seamester: Transatlantic, Mediterranean to Caribbean - 90 Days
Multiple Countries
9.81 •16 reviews

Why limit yourself to just one ocean, country or continent? Choose the...

4 new reviews
EF Gap Year
EF Gap Semester: Customizable 12-Week Program in Multiple Destinations
Multiple Countries
9.75 •8 reviews

Embark on a unique global experience in 12 weeks. EF Gap Semester is...

EF Gap Year
EF Gap Year: Customizable 25-Week Program in Multiple Destinations
Multiple Countries
9.5 •8 reviews

Eager to become more worldly and prepared for college in just 25 weeks...

Destino Idiomas
Au Pair in Spain for Summer or Academic Year
8.81 •16 reviews

Would you like to improve your Spanish? Take a gap year? Or maybe just...

API Gap Year in Spain
9 •1 review

API offers study abroad programs for those who want to take their gap...

Break the Mold with a Gap Year Abroad at IAU
Multiple Countries
9 •1 review

IAU is pleased to offer an incredible Gap Year Abroad opportunity to...

Au Pair in Spain
Be an Au Pair or Language Tutor in Spain: 1-12 months
10 •4 reviews

An exciting cultural exchange experience! • Do you like children? Do...

Cultural Homestay International
Teach English to a Host Family in Spain with CHI!
9 •5 reviews

Join Cultural Homestay International's World Explorers program in...

Scotia Personnel
Au Pair & English Tutor in Spain
10 •3 reviews

Oh, Spain! What a beautiful place to spend a month, a summer or a year...

Au Pair International
Become an Au Pair in Spain with API
9.67 •3 reviews

Our Au Pair Program provides young people with a wonderful opportunity...

CIEE Global Navigator
CIEE Gap Year in Barcelona, Spain – Spanish Language Immersion for Art Lovers

Tapas and ancient temples. Picasso and paella. Quirky, colorful...

CIEE Global Navigator
CIEE Gap Year in Barcelona, Spain – Spanish Language Immersion for Art Foodies

Tapas and ancient temples. Picasso and paella. Quirky, colorful...

The Intern Group
Gap Year Internships in Europe with The Intern Group
Multiple Countries

The Intern Group is the leading provider of international internships...

Pink Pangea
Writing & Meditation Retreat in Barcelona

A city with endless culture, striking architecture, and vibrant...

Servihogar Agencia AuPair
Au Pair Program in Spain with Servihogar

Available Au Pair positions in Spain. Length of stay between 1 and 10...

New Jobs

View the latest job postings on our job board. A great way to earn work experience during your gap year!

What People Are Saying

My case is a little unusual, I decided to take a gap year after already completing a year of college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I stumbled upon this program and knew it was something I...

Me in front of the Eiffel Tower.

My gap semester was tailored to my interests and exceeded every expectation I had of living and studying abroad! I went into the semester not sure where my path after high school was headed, and left...

In front of tower bridge, London

I decided to go on EF's gap semester because I wanted to find myself, while also growing up. I’m from a small sheltered town, and have traveled, but not alone where I’m responsible for my personal...

This picture is of me and one of my amazing friends I met while in language school in Madrid!

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