Barcelona SAE

Barcelona Study Abroad Experience (SAE)


Barcelona SAE is the specialist in Barcelona study and intern abroad. We use the city of Barcelona to offer students and universities boutique, personalized programs, focused on cultural immersion, a wide variety of quality academic options, and all infused with professional growth experiences at the best value.

With offices in both the United States and Barcelona, Barcelona SAE gives you full support before you go, while you’re there, and after you get home. We offer a variety of semester, quarter, summer, January Term, May Term, and academic year study abroad programs, as well as customized internships for a variety of majors and durations.


Barcelona Study Abroad Merit & Leadership Scholarship

The Barcelona SAE scholarship awards one scholarship per semester of study, one scholarship per internship, and two scholarships per summer programs to those who have achieved academic excellence, demonstrated community involvement and require extra financial aid. If awarded the funding, they’ll participate in a Barcelona SAE semester, quarter, or summer program, or an internship program of at least four weeks in length.

$250 - $750


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Maria Jovita
Yes, I recommend this program

The BEST Program

This program has been an incredible experience. They made me feel comfortable when I first arrived and helped me create a sense of independence in the process. They set me up with the most amazing homestay which helped me improve my Spanish as well as connect with a local. The excursions especially were out of this world; not only did they take us around Barcelona but they helped us explore around Spain to Costa Brava and Tarragona. I recommend this program to any student with a love for traveling!

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
They had a large array of snail dishes if you go to the right place and boy were they delicious. Just make sure you get them fresh and they sort of taste like a hard clam haha.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Summer Internship

This was an absolute amazing opportunity, where I was able to learn an abundance of different things that I can now incorporate into my future jobs. Everything was very easy to use and the website was a breeze to navigate through making the whole experience very user friendly. Everyone made sure that I was doing great and they were always asking If I had any questions or if I needed anything at all. Even when something was needed and it was not very important there was always someone to reach back out to you in a hurry making it very easy to communicate.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve racking moment was my very first day on my internship because I did not know who I was talking too and I knew very little about the company. I overcame this by making sure that I kept on telling myself I got this and I will do great.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime

I came on this program by myself and was initially nervous about coming to Barcelona, but knew it would be worth it. This program completely exceeded my expectations. I made lifelong friendships, had the most wonderful homestay family, and got to experience Barcelona as well as other parts of Spain like a local. I would 10/10 recommend this program. It includes several day trips, field studies in classes, and weekends away that are all included in the price of the program. All of this really made it feel worth the price. On all of these trips meals were included as well. Not to mention they also have scholarships available. The staff was friendly, supportive, and always available when needed. There was a 24/7 emergency line as well, which added an extra feeling of security while there.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Get out of your comfort zone! You will look back on this program and be SO happy that you did it.
Read my full story
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Yes, I recommend this program

A True Balance

At the beginning of the summer, I knew nothing about Spain, but that all changed because of Barcelona SAE. I feel like they provide a great balance between cultural/in-field activities, enlightening classes taught by teachers from all over the world, and overall daily immersion (especially in the homestays). These all contribute to creating an environment where you really feel like you can feed your curiosity and develop your interest in Barcelona and the rest of Spain, without getting sucked into viewing it from a single perspective. I also loved the group activities Barcelona SAE planned for us. They helped me grow closer to my peers and provided their knowledge as locals to give us the best quality experience possible. I also appreciate that they did this without being suffocating.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Try the homestay and buy post stamps from either tobacco shops or post offices.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Barcelona is an absolute MUST!

This was my very first time stepping foot in Europe, let alone living abroad for six weeks. My apartment, although on smaller than what Americans are used to, was conveniently located in the city center and a few hundred meters from Las Ramblas. I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to intern at a hostel, which helped me not only gain valuable international experience in the hospitality industry, but allowed me to meet travelers from all walks of life and various countries. There was so much to explore within Catalonia alone that I didn't even venture out of Spain like I had originally intended, but it would be very feasible for the adventurous ones who would like to.

Barcelona SAE takes care of everything - from airport transfers, internship placements, housing, first day introductions, Spanish or Catalan lessons, to fun excursions. They do their absolute best to help make each student/intern's experience as seamless as possible. With an open door policy, should you need anything, we were all welcome to visit the office and talk to any of the staff.

It really comes down to how much you put into it, because that ultimately plays the biggest factor in your takeaway from your time abroad. All of the opportunities to get involved and stretch your comfort zone are totally there!

What would you improve about this program?
Communication can be a bit sparse prior to program arrival, but rest assured that the team is working diligently to sort out all the kinks and any concerns you may have.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose Barcelona SAE for a few reasons. The first is that I have always wanted to study abroad in Spain, particularly Barcelona. From all the pictures, videos, and stories of the city, it was definitely on my bucket list to go there.

I decided on this program specifically for the variety of courses they offered and for all of the weekend and day trips included in the cost of the program. They were awesome about connecting me to other students and arranging fun activities outside of classes.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I was very impressed with all of the activities and educational opportunities included in my program. From the moment I arrived at the airport I was greeted by the friendly staff and was provided with transportation to my homestay. My homestay mom was absolutely amazing and was so generous with her home--not to mention she was a great cook (which is always an added bonus).

I took the city metro to and from class each day, which was very easy for me since my home was only a five-minute walk from the nearest metro station. Every weekend there was something fun to do. On the first weekend, the program arranged a day trip to Callella, with food, transportation, and a guide provided. We took a beautiful hike and then took a dip in the ocean at the end. They also arranged a cultural orientation in the first week for us to learn more about Spain and what to expect in our time there.

By the end of the first week, I had already made a bunch of new friends and we started planning a getaway to other parts of Spain. The following weekend we went to Seville and Granada and had an amazing time getting to know more about the country and each other.

On our last weekend in Barcelona, the program arranged a trip to Tarragona. The hotel was very nice and completely included in the cost of the program, along with transportation and several meals. We had the freedom to explore the city and go wherever we wanted while there. I remember the final weekend as being so bittersweet--an awesome time in another beautiful part of Spain, but sad knowing that it was our last weekend together.

Overall, the program really took care of its students. I felt that there were always opportunities for me to have fun, learn, and grow.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

As cliché as it may sound, keep an open mind--the entire time.

Going to Barcelona, I had heard this before and knew I would do it, but there are times when you will be tested. When something doesn't go quite as planned, or you can't communicate with your family because they don't understand you, or a handful of other circumstances come across, it's all about your perspective. Think about your goals and what you want to get out of your experience--keep this in mind the entire time--and consciously make decisions in alignment with your goals so that by the time you pack up your bags to go home, you can feel good about what you put into your study abroad experience.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The great thing about study abroad is that no day is ever exactly the same. But for some people, this lack of familiarity can be hard--I know it was for me at times.

Every day after class I would explore a new café with a new friend. Or go to the Tibidabo amusement park and get a view of the entire city. Weekends were always long and a great opportunity to travel or get to know the city like a local.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Probably my biggest fear going into study abroad was the fact that I went all by myself.

It was my first time going overseas, so I would have no one to rely on but myself (so I thought). Although this was true, I made so many new friends and developed such a strong bond with my host mom and others that I met while there. Had I gone with people I knew, I wouldn't have pushed myself to be so outgoing, brave, and independent.

Study abroad really taught me the value of being open to new experiences and new people.

In what ways do you remember your study abroad experience, so as not to forget it?

The great thing about study abroad is that, because it was so immersive, it really changed my perspective and sense of confidence in myself and my abilities. This is something I will always carry with me, no matter where I go.

I also do my best to keep in contact with the people I met there. I have all my friends on Snapchat and Whatsapp, and we try to keep our group chats going with updates on ourselves and everyday lives. I also keep in touch with my host mom--we send pictures to each other back and forth. Google Translate has also been my friend, haha.

I try to keep pictures of my study abroad experience around my apartment and on my phone. They are constant reminders to me of my friends across the world and summer that I'll never forget.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Sol Alonso

Job Title
Senior Housing and Risk Mangement Coordinator

Sol was born in Argentina and she started working with international students in 2007 in Buenos Aires and then moved to London. After London, she moved to Barcelona where she now lives and works. Sol has taken many photography classes, ESL classes, and humanities classes and continues to add to her education.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite memory was in Tokyo because it was unexpected and one of the most different cultures I have seen. It was helpful to have friends there to show me the traditions. Some cultural differences I discovered was that even though it was a fast-paced society, people were very hospitable and willing to help even if they didn't speak your language.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have learned how to work more closely with procedures and protocols to improve processes behind the scenes for students. I have also gotten to work closely with advisors to improve our pre-departure assistance that will prepare the student more for when they are onsite. Even though I am working on processes it has been rewarding to continue to work face to face with students.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I met a student while working in Argentina and after he finished a year-long program went for a working experience in Qatar and then he decided to come back to Argentina where he met a local and fell in love with her and the international education industry. Now he works with some of my former colleagues and we are still in touch.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would pick a customized internship because I have enjoyed working in Barcelona. With this program, you are learning and also practicing what you learn right away. It prepares you for working in a multicultural workplace which is important for me and all placements are customized to your interests which allows us to work with very cool and diverse companies.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Barcelona SAE is unique because we are growing, but we still have the student experience as a top priority. We encourage the students to do local things while they are here and teach them about cultural traditions. They don't just visit tourists spots but also learn about things like traditional dances and customs.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

The key to success is to ensure a clear structure and the procedures that are explicit and easy to follow. This helps us to give the students the best experience because we can provide smooth transitions and accessible resources. This does not guarantee everything will go as expected but we can be prepared for the unexpected things.

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