API Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain

Video and Photos

Learning to make Paella
Las Ramblas
La sagrada familia
Drinking from this famous fountain gives you good luck and health
Park guell
Study Abroad in Barcelona and see more of the world!
Study Abroad in Barcelona and see more of the world!
Hiking the mountains with API Barcelona students
Hiking the mountains with API Barcelona students


Barcelona, Spain is a city of contradictions: old and new intertwined, beautiful and industrial, traditional and avant-garde. Bordered by France to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the east, Barcelona is one of the most ‘European’ of Spanish cities. Stroll Las Ramblas, one of the city’s most famous and busy boulevards and weave through the medieval streets of the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic). Enjoy the unique and colorful architecture of Barcelona’s most famed architect, Antoni Gaudí. Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan city that combines the latest trends with the most typical Spanish traditions. Barcelona offers museums, cinemas, restaurants, clubs, bars, the beach and the mountains, and people from all over the world.

  • Attend class near the famous Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona
  • Wide variety of courses offered in English as well as Spanish language courses
  • Open to students of all Spanish language levels!
  • Fall and Spring semesters offer an international excursion to jumpstart your exploration of the European continent


API Scholarships
API Scholarships and Financial Aid Information

API awards approximately $500,000 in study abroad scholarships annually ranging from $250 -$1,000 per student.

$250 - $1,000

Popular Programs

The Universitat de Barcelona was established in 1450 and is the oldest and largest university in Barcelona. Students complete Spanish language and culture courses alongside other American, Erasmus (European) and international students in the university’s Department of Hispanic Studies. API offers three programs at this university: Semester Spanish Language and Culture Studies, Summer Intensive Spanish Language Studies, Tourism & Hospitality Studies.

The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona was founded in 1968 and is well known for its international profile. API students complete classes in English and in Spanish with mostly American students at two different campuses. APi programs at this university include: Semester Business and Liberal Arts, Summer Intensive Spanish Language Studies, and Summer Business and International Studies.

The Universitat Pompeu Fabra has quickly become one of the city’s most respected universities. From its beginnings, this academic institution has emphasized two main objectives: to train professionals and citizens who are responsible and committed to civic values, and to contribute towards the development of research. Available programs include: Summer Spanish and Catalan Studies, Semester Spanish and European Studies, and Multidisciplinary Studies for Advanced Speakers.

ESADE is an independent nonprofit university institution with a strong academic reputation, and is one of a select group of institutions worldwide to achieve the triple crown of business accreditation. Students who are looking to study abroad in Barcelona over the summer and take business and international studies courses in English at an elite academic institution are good candidates for this program.

Founded in 1961, Elisava – Escola Universitària de Barcelona | Disseny i Enginyeria was the first School of Design to open in Spain, and as a pioneer set the methodological guidelines that have served as a starting point for other similar schools. Throughout its history, ELISAVA’s role has been instrumental in shaping the culture of design in Catalonia and Spain. ELISAVA is a college of Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Questions & Answers

To respect all students living in the apartment, we do strictly enforce our policy prohibiting overnight guests. We will be happy to suggest hostels or hotels where visiting friends or family could stay while they are in Barcelona.

Have heard some not so great stories regarding host families, that is why i am leery. I have received all good reviews on apartments. What are good/safe areas for apartments?


based on 13 reviews
  • Academics 7.3
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.1
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 13 of 13
Yes, I recommend this program

Choose What Works For You

I chose to go abroad with API for many reasons, including the company's great feedback from former students, the sensible price for what was included, and the selection of coursework that was offered. I selected the International Studies program at UAB because not only did the classes interest me, but all four I enrolled in covered a requirement for me. While abroad I was able to cover a History General Education class through Spanish Civilisation and Culture, a Communication major class through Intercultural Communication, and two Social and Behavioral Science Global Education Requirements through Urban Interventions and my Spanish Language course. Opportunities are endless here, as I was able to see a great deal of Europe between my studies since the Barcelona trains and airport are at our convenience to travel in-and-out of. Living as an international student in a foreign city greatly improved both my problem-solving skills, as learning how to maneuver a new city can be daunting, and detail-oriented planning, understanding that there is a lot that goes into organizing trips. API: Barcelona was a great program for me; no matter what program you decide it is up to you to mold the experience that you want!

What would you improve about this program?
Can't think of anything!
Yes, I recommend this program

Barça= Amor

I had the best time during my study abroad in Barcelona. I was able to experience the nightlife, have home cooked Spanish meals, go shopping in local shops, and enjoy touristy places in and around the city. I was able to travel to different places in Spain such as, Burgos, Sevilla, Bilbao and Islas Canarias. I was also able to visit Italy and Portugal. This was all done in a short amount of time but has remained as some of my best memories. I met people from around the world and was able to pick up on Catalan. I lived right across from the the Picasso museum, as well as a beautiful park, the metro station, arco de triunfo and the Catedral. I would definitely recommend studying abroad in Barcelona and doing it through API because their staff was wonderful and all of the activities we were able to do were awesome. We were taken to learn how to make Paella, went bike riding in Sevilla, visited the Colosseum in Italy, watched a Flamenco show and so much more!

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing it would be to be able to go to the main Autonoma campus rather than having one where it was mainly American students. I wanted to be able to interact with local Spanish students.
Yes, I recommend this program

The best days of my life

I spent a semester and summer abroad studying and living in Barcelona. This statement, that I say quite frequently in my everyday conversations, is the most proud sentence I can say about myself. I am so incredibly proud of this part of my life because it has changed and shaped me to be the successful person I am today. Through that amazing period in my life, I grew stronger by becoming independent; moving to a different country where English is not primarily spoken by myself, without any friends or family. Instead of grouping myself in an American crowd, a few friends and I insisted on making friends from other countries and from Spain to emerge in the culture. This was introduced to us as important in the very beginning by the program (API) and I am so happy they did. I still say, to this day, that the education I received abroad in Barcelona was the best education I received in my undergrad program. Not only was I in classes that were relevant to my majors back home, I was being educated internationally which taught me different cultures' way of "doing business". The Spanish classes I was in were tough. They challenged me everyday and pushed me to not only stop relying on English, when I wasn't sure on the word, but allowed me to become fluent in the language. Still to this day, 6 years later, I dream in Spanish: because Spain is where my heart and soul is.

What would you improve about this program?
I really would not improve much of anything with the program itself. I was one of the few people who didn't have a great experience with the housing option I was granted. Overall, the verdict on housing offered to students whether it be an apartment with other students, dorms, or family housing was positive. I believe I was just unlucky to have lived with a woman who may have been taking advantage of the perks of housing students. Therefore, any study abroad program should investigate all "house moms and dads" thoroughly before placing students and inquire from previous students thoroughly to ensure there weren't any issues.
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience Ever!

API was very accommodating in the US and in Spain. They made my experience amazing and made me feel like I really belonged in Spain. The whole staff was really helpful and they knew the answers to our questions before we even asked them. I really liked how excursions were organized with the program. It was a nice to go on a trip and not worrying about any accommodations. Also I liked how on campus we had an academic advisor specifically for API students. I liked how API requires all their students to take a language class. If you are studying abroad in an non english speaking country I think this is a necessity. I wanted to change my schedule when I arrived in Barcelona and I did it with no worries because of our advisor. Also I liked how API set up events around the city that we could attend with other API students. Finally I really liked the housing options. All the options were very nice to live in. I would defiantly recommend API.

What would you improve about this program?
I think having the pre departure information sent a little bit earlier. Mine was sent about 2 weeks before we left and I did not know where I was living and what classes I was taking and that made me a little nervous.
Yes, I recommend this program

Summer in Barcelona

I studied in Barcelona for 7 weeks this summer. I lived in an apartment with four other girls, and we all were just meeting each other for the first time. A typical day included waking up and getting ready, taking the metro to class, grabbing lunch at the cafe next to our school in between classes, and ending class around one in the afternoon. We spent the afternoons sightseeing, shopping, walking around the city, or at the beach. The nights were spent hanging out with other people from the APi program, watching futbol at the bars, and meeting new people. Barcelona was all about trying new things, new experiences, and meeting new people. Living in an apartment on our own gave us a new sense of independence and pushed me out of my comfort zone. On the weekends I explored new cities and traveled to Germany and Italy. The program also took us on weekend excursions to the beautiful island of Mallorca and Costa Brava. All in all, the program was amazing and the coordinators responded to any type of problem immediately.

Yes, I recommend this program

API is Awesome

API definitely helped to make my experience absolutely amazing! I decided to study abroad in Barcelona and looked into various programs that I could study through. I decided on this one because it was much cheaper than many other programs and I had heard that API was a great provider.

I was able to live in an absolutely beautiful apartment in the Gothic District directly across from the Barcelona Cathedral. It was so amazing to be able to go to my living room window everyday and look out onto a gorgeous cathedral.

The API staff were extremely friendly and helpful, and were awesome people to get to know. Any questions or concerns I had they handled immediately.

Also, a huge perk to API programs is that they include excursions. I was able to go on an international excursion to Rome, and also on another weekend one to Sevilla. We also went on a few day trips and we had many cultural activities planned as well.

Overall, my experience abroad was fantastic! Barcelona is an incredible city with such a rich culture. I met so many amazing people and was able to live in a beautiful city for four months. It was definitely one of the best experiences of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to improve something, I would say for some more cultural engagement. The staff did seem to really try hard to do this but some students weren't very into it.
Yes, I recommend this program

API Barcelona Changed My Life

I was extremely hesitant about studying abroad because I had never been so far out of my comfort zone. I knew I wanted to go to Spain, preferably a big city so that English wasn't completely impossible to use if necessary. I had a few friends who had studied in Barcelona with API so I decided to give it a shot and apply. From the moment I arrived at the airport in Barcelona, the API staff were there to greet our entire program. They made everything so easy and fun right from the start.

API was always there to help whenever we had any questions or concerns, or just needed help in any way. They brought us on fun and educational day trips, weekend trips, and other various events, and always made us feel safe and excited. They gave us tours around the city, the metro, our neighborhoods, and the school right away. API made the transition from America to Spain so easy and made me feel very welcomed but not smothered, which was very important to me.

I lived in an apartment with three of my friends in la Gracia, a nice neighborhood consisting of many stores, families, and local restaurants and bars. My favorite activity in this neighborhood was to sit in the square on warm afternoons with my friends drinking mojitos, while little children ran around playing soccer.

The classes at UAB were great. The teachers are very aware that study abroad students are trying to do as little schoolwork as possible and never overwhelm you with studying. I walked to school almost every day, enjoying all of the sites as I went along. Each day on my walk to the Sant Pau campus, I would look over at the Sagrada Família and think of how awesome it was to be able to see that and palm trees on my way to class.

Traveling around Europe was incredible and so easy. Of course, we looked for the cheapest flights so they were often at odd hours of the night, causing exhaustion, but it was worth it. Oh, and Ryan Air is one strange experience. I traveled around Spain to Sitges, Valencia, and a few other places on my own, and to Poblet, Sevilla, Cádiz, and Costa Brava with API. I also traveled out of the country to Rome with API, and to Paris and Greece on my own time. Each trip was amazing and has its own unique memories.

The nightlife in Barcelona is the most insane nightlife I've ever experienced anywhere. Our group of friends would head down to the clubs most nights at about 1am and dance the night away until they closed at 6am. I learned very early in the semester that I was going to be constantly tired for the entire trip. Thank God for siesta! There are a bunch of clubs down by the beach, which were always a blast, and there were clubs throughout the city, as well. We saw so many incredible DJs for no more than 15 Euro. Promotors are all over Barcelona to help study abroad students get into every club for free. Although it was exhausting, these Barcelona nights were by far the best nights I've ever experienced.

The four months I spent in Barcelona were easily the best of my life. I met so many incredible people and made lifelong friends through this program. If you have any hesitation about studying abroad with API, don't. Just do it. I promise you will not regret it.

What would you improve about this program?
I would try to make it a little less stressful to switch classes at UAB if necessary.
Yes, I recommend this program

API Barcelona is the ONLY way to go abroad!

There is not a thing about this program that I did not absolutely love. Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in the worlds, full of life, history, passion, and infinite things to explore. Everywhere you turn it there is another historic site, or something to do. Finding your way around is so easy, not only because of all the landmarks, but because it is set up to be easily navigable. No matter what, you are always within a short walk of a metro stop - a system that is extremely easy to use. You will hear a lot of talk about pick pockets in the city, but if you keep your wits about you, you will have no problem at all. Other than that, the crime levels are extremely low. At no point in my abroad experience did I ever feel unsafe. Even walking alone at night, I felt secure. I could talk about this magnificent city forever, but it's something that you truly need to experience, so I will explain a bit about the school and the program. La Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona is a great school. The academics are not extremely rigorous - they are challenging enough that you will certainly learn from all your classes, but will not spend hours working outside of class. As a matter of fact, I had very little work to do outside of my classes. My professors generally had us do mainly in-class assignments. The classes are long, but most professors give a break halfway through. As for API the program itself, I could not have asked for more. Not only were the directors some of the most fun people I have ever met, they are genuine, caring, and really enjoy what they do. The best example I can give is that while I was abroad, I needed some minor medical work done within the first month I was there. Marta (one of the directors) treated me as if I were her son, making all of my phone calls to schedule appointments, coming with me to them (or at least making sure that another director could come with me to help translate), and was constantly checking up on, making sure I felt okay. I also joined a gym while in Barcelona, and after I returned home, the gym continued to bill me. I contacted API to see if they could help, and they did not stop until the matter was settled, and even managed to get the gym to reimburse me for the charges I had incurred after leaving. API also includes several trips and cultural activities in the tuition, all of which are incredible, from traveling to Paris, to seeing Montserrat, to learning to cook authentic Barcelona cuisine - all just so incredibly fascinating. Anyways, as I said, I could rave about this program for hours and not even begin to scratch the surface of just how perfect it is. You'll just have to take my word for it and see for yourself- there IS NO OTHER WAY to travel abroad besides API Barcelona.

Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Four Months of My Life

I always knew that I wanted to study abroad in Spain, and after looking through all the programs I knew Barcelona would be the place for me. The second I arrived at the airport and met not only the API program directors but also the students in my program, I knew that this was the start of the most amazing semester of my life.

I lived in a beautiful apartment in the gothic area of Barcelona right across from the Cathedral of Barcelona. I had six other American girl roommates from my program, and they became my best friends. Every day I would wake up to sunlight streaming in through my balcony, and I could hear the bustling of the city below my window. I also could see the awe-inspiring cathedral from my room.

I walked to class or took the metro everyday. Walking was not only great exercise but there was nothing better then taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. In America, our architecture doesn't even compare to the beautiful buildings Barcelona has.

I also really enjoyed the classes that I had and it was extremely useful to take about eight hours of Spanish a week. I also took Spanish Civ and Culture and Barcelona Architecture. Those two classes were topics never offered at my College and it was interesting to learn about Spain from the perspective of Spanish professors.

The friends that I made while in Barcelona are still some of my closest friends and it's been almost a year since I left Spain. We had so much fun sightseeing from the sprawling beauty of Parc Guell to the magnificent Sagrada Familia. We also were huge fans of the night life that Barcelona has to offer and on the weekends we would be at the beach club hopping until 5 in the morning.

While abroad I also traveled a lot. I went to London, Prague, Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Salzburg, and Florence. I love Eurpoe and I miss it every single day. When I look back on my experience abroad, nothing in my life compares. It made be a more independent person, I am now fluent in Spanish, and I have some of the best friends I could ever dream of.

Yes, I recommend this program

API is hands-down the best Study Abroad Program in Spain!

Studying in Barcelona was like a dream - one that I wish I could experience over and over again. The API Program at the Autonomous University of Barcelona is by far the best study abroad program in Barcelona. The staff are so helpful, fun and friendly. They want you to have the best experience possible and will bend over backwards to make sure of this.

The program included many activities and outings for students where we had a chance to bond with each other and learn about interesting aspects of the Spanish culture. Some of the highlights of my Barcelona experience with API are: a salsa dancing class organized for our group, an outing to a Spanish movie theater, a welcome and farewell dinner with traditional Spanish food, a day trip to eat calcots and tour a monestary, etc. The list is endless! On top of that, API included an international outing for our program: a weekend trip to Rome. This trip was jam-packed with tours from talented, knowledgable guides, and lots of free time to explore the city with your fellow API friends.

The classes at UAB Barcelona are taught by knowledgable professors that really care about your educational experience. The Spanish classes were challenging but proved to be extremely helpful in my conversational Spanish - which is important in Barcelona! I was very pleased with the classes I took at UAB.

I can not express enough how fabulous I think the API Program is, and I have been recommending it to any of my friends that are considering studying abroad. Thanks, API!

Yes, I recommend this program

Best Decision of My College Career

As a freshman I knew that I wanted to study abroad, but I didn't know where. After spending some time thinking about where would be the most fun, where would have the best atmosphere and where would I enjoy myself the most, i settled on Barcelona, Spain.

To this day it still is a highlight of my college career. Now here's the thing, when you're getting ready for everything it can be a little bit of a hassle getting all of your paperwork to go through, but the thought of being in Spain, walking on the beach, meeting new people and trying new foods is enough to propel you through that whole process.

I lived with a host family (best choice if you want a real experience) and another student. It was great because they provided breakfast and dinner for us. This helped keep some of the other costs down that you might see in other abroad programs. Also, included with our trip was a few excursions (we went to Paris, and Madrid with the API program, as well as a few regional trips, including a cooking class) but the thing that made our trip great was the living in the city. There was always something going on, and we were just a metro (subway) ride away from whatever we wanted to do.

But truly the best thing about the trip is the relationships you make. API made it a point to hook people up with groups of students that are from Spain. It was great because they knew things and places around the city that a foreigner would not know. I learned a lot from them.

The place is filled with little bread shops and small grocery stores, so you never have to go far to get what you need.

On a regular basis we would take the metro to school in the morning, go to class (classes are about an hour and a half, grab some lunch, do some homework, and then enjoy whatever is going on in the evening. The academics aren't too hard, but I did feel like I learned a lot in my classes. It was great to have those experiences in my life. Especially my business classes. Once again, you can find reasonably priced food everywhere.

We also made a point while we were in Spain to travel around. My roommate and I along with other students, took a great trip to Rome, Italy (paying 18 euro for the flight) and had a great time.

I loved my whole trip to Barcelona, and I could literally write a book about our experiences. It's ridiculous that students would pass this once in a life time opportunity up. so yes, I highly recommend doing this, you will not regret it.

Yes, I recommend this program

I don't regret a single thing about API Barcelona

I initially decided to study with API because I had a handful of friends who studied with them a year before me (Barcelona, Florence, Ireland, and London) and had nothing but great things to say. As I researched more and more, I learned of the "perks," if you will, about choosing a program that is with you every step of the way. It was super easy: I filled out the paperwork and got my letters of recommendation together, and they essentially took care of the rest. API helps in obtaining a student visa, and you are constantly receiving emails about what items may or may not be missing, so you never get behind in the application process. Once I hit ground in BCN, my Resident Directors were there to greet us at the airport...they put us up in a hotel for the first three days in the city, where they showed us everything from transportation, to great spots to go, to just plain getting closer with people in the program. They help move you into your host home, apartment, or dorm (whichever you choose) and literally work 24/7 in case you ever need anything. Lastly, they took us on monthly excursions to other countries, which was included in the price. For me--and especially for my parents--it was a relief to know you weren't just dumped in the city to fend for yourself. I had freedom to hang out and do WHATEVER I wanted, but if I needed anything, it was just a metro ride away to their Barcelona office.
The city has everything a person could ever want: the beach, the mountains, awesome food, beautiful architecture, an unreal nightlife and concert scene, and loads of things to do in the daytime. I just love being out of my comfort zone, and this was the perfect country to do so in.

The class I took at UAB were great. There was a mandatory 6 credit Spanish class, which you are tested for and placed in based on your level before you get there. I also took a 3 credit course which focused on the economic system in Europe, and a 3 credit course which dissected the architecture and art around the country. All were super hands-on, and rather than sitting in class all day every day, we would go on "field trips" and have discussions. It was great.

Now let's get to what everyone wants to really know: how was the nightlife?

Barcelona is considered one of the best in Europe. There is so much to do at night, and so many diverse bars that you'll never get bored. From a 5 story club with different music on each floor, to a bar that revolves around the Stock Exchange, to townie dives, there is EVERYTHING. And if you're ever feeling homesick, there are plenty of Irish Pubs around too ;)

Yes, I recommend this program

What's stopping you?

Made the decision to Study through this program provider due to a few reasons. API is one of the cheaper and well-known Study abroad providers in the U.S, and have been in business for a while. They gave me the opportunity to go on an International excursion to Rome, Italy. My apartment that I was placed in was located directly across from La Catedral de Barcelona- a beautiful apartment in a very safe area.

Through studying abroad I have made friends from literally all over the world- from Alaska to China. I now speak Spanish fluently thanks to my total immersion in the Spanish culture and also because of my language professors at my University who even after my program ended wrote me recommendations for Jobs I applied to.