CEA Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain

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Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city, features a cosmopolitan atmosphere, a temperate climate, marvelous art, and fantastic opportunities to learn. Gaze upon Antoni Gaudí’s gothic Sagrada Familia, the church of the Holy Family. Enjoy delicious tapas as you socialize with new friends. Experience the thrill of soccer at Europe’s largest stadium, Camp Nou.

To give you the widest range of options, CEA partners with some of Spain’s best universities, including University of Barcelona, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, University of Vic, and Pompeu Fabra University. You can study at one of these prestigious institutions, or at CEA’s Barcelona Center, located in the heart of the city. You can also experience both with a hybrid learning program.

Interested? Click the “Visit Site” button to learn what’s waiting for you!

  • Hands-on learning experiences that transform the world abroad into a classroom
  • Personalized Pre-Departure Advising, including visa and immigration support
  • Courses offered in English that fulfill major and general graduation requirements
  • Comprehensive on-site support, including 24/7 emergency phone
  • Career workshops, Internships Abroad, and Alumni Ambassador positions

Questions & Answers


based on 23 reviews
  • Academics 7.7
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 16 - 23 of 23
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Why I Love Barcelona

Honestly, I decided I was going to study abroad two weeks before I applied. I have always wanted to travel to Europe and explore the world. I figured why not just go for it. I explored study abroad programs and chatted with people and concluded that CEA was my best bet-the staff was honestly most helpful through everything. Yeah, there’s a lot of work that goes into applying for a study abroad program, like transfer credit forms, advisor approval forms, applications through your home school etc., but believe it or not, I got it all done in those two weeks. Thanks to CEA’s staff again. It’s funny looking back to that time now because none of my friends believed me when I told them I applied and would be studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain the upcoming month.

I’m so glad I proved them wrong. Studying abroad in Barcelona was the best experience of my life. I had the opportunity to see some phenomenal works of art and the most breathtaking views. The views and buildings just got better and better with each new place I went. From Plaze de Espanya to Casa Milla to Parc Guell to Parc de la Ciutadella to Castle Montjuic to la Sagrada Familia to Montserrat… and the list goes on. Literally anywhere you go in Barcelona is beautiful.

Of course everyone wants to hear and see pictures of the architecture, that’s what Barcelona’s known for! But honestly, what I loved most about Barcelona is the culture. I had never taken a Spanish course until I got to Barcelona, and I’m so glad I did. It made it so much easier to learn the language and communicate with locals. I actually felt (half) fluent by the time I left. It definitely made it easier to immerse into the culture as well. I felt so comfortable traveling the city alone and meeting new people! Everyone is so friendly in Barcelona and everything is slow-paced, there’s nothing you could complain about.

How can this program be improved?
Honestly, I had no complaints about my experience with CEA but if I had to change something, I'd maybe add a meal plan.
Yes, I recommend this program
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I had the most amazing time abroad, especially while being enrolled in the CEA program in Barcelona! The people I met,places I traveled, and the over experience was something I will never forget! Not only was the location perfect, but the program was even more amazing, all the teachers are very personable and there as confidants and someone to lean on if you're ever feeling homesick. The program sets up some super fun excursions as well that help enrich your overall experience! My favorite was attending the FCBarcelona futbol game and traveling to Madrid with all of my friends in the program (and its all paid for which is even better). Overall, I loved everything Barcelona and CEA had to offer and would go back in a heart beat if I could!

How can this program be improved?
The housing situation was not my favorite, it is somewhat of a hit or miss with the living quarters and where you are located. I, unfortunately, was placed in a location that was a 30 min. metro ride or an hour walk from campus. So if I could change anything different about my experience it would be to live in a more central area.
Yes, I recommend this program

Find yourself by getting Lost

One of the best decisions I've made in my life was to study abroad with CEA. I travelled abroad my Freshman summer through CEA without knowing a single person with the purpose of experiencing a whole new country without having any kind of comfort. I met each of my roommates and classmates without them having any predisposition or bias of the kind of person I was. I become very close to my roommates that I was able to socialize and connect with them to a level that you couldn’t in no other circumstance besides studying abroad would you be able to get to know someone. I took international marketing where we analyzed case studies and presentations that focused mainly on the global business environment where I was able to improve my understanding of globalization and improved on my professional skills. I learned a lot about myself and how genuine and fundamentally good of a person that I was, through the lenses of complete strangers. That alone was a life changing and forever memorable conception that I hold deeply to this very day.

How can this program be improved?
I wish my apartment was a little closer to class, it was about a 15 minute subway ride away.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Unforgettable Experience

Barcelona with CEA was a trip I will never forget, and one that I wish I could relive every single day. CEA was incredibly prepared, helpful, and truly wanted its students to have the best time. From a pickup at the airport to planned excursions to helpful advise on places to go, CEA was always ready and willing to help with anything you could possibly need. The excursions were super fun, and basically everyone went on the trip together to Valencia! It's more than just what CEA did though - it's the people they brought together. Through CEA, I got to meet other students that I never would've met otherwise, as we all went to different schools throughout the United States. I met and bonded instantly with these incredible people, and I have CEA to thank for that. There is so much to do in Barcelona and I swear I probably averaged 4 hours of sleep a night because I wanted to visit and participate in everything!

How can this program be improved?
The only improvement, which would be difficult to do so I understand that it's most likely not possible, would be to have all the students live together in the same building.
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience of My Life

I'll start by saying that I loved this program so much, I've applied to go back to Barcelona in the summer! This city, program, and staff completely surpassed my expectations last fall. I gained an immense amount of knowledge of the culture, language, and history, that I couldn't help but return.

If you have even the slightest desire to study abroad in Spain, I would highly consider the Barcelona program. Barceloneta beach, the mountains (Tibidabo perched right on top for the whole city to see), the architecture of Antoni Gaudi, the night life, food, history, old Olympic park, the bunker at Carmel, easy transportation system, museums, festivals, and so many other factors gave me the desire to stay in Barcelona for the rest of my life.

I will admit, if you want to live in a smaller, quiet city, Barcelona may not be what you're looking for. I sometimes felt like there was too much to do, I couldn't experience it all. La Merce one weekend, festivals every other.

I never felt overwhelmed by the city, but only because I always felt safe, the culture is relatively laid-back, and pick-pocketing was my biggest fear. I bought a purse with clips on the zipper to prevent theft, and it worked! If you keep an eye on your things and don't leave your phone in your pockets, you should be alright.

I feel like I may be rambling now, but only because I have a hard time summing up my experience into a few sentences. If you decide to go to Barcelona for your study abroad experience, you will not regret it. It will be life changing and you'll emerge from it a greater person all around.

Buena suerte!

How can this program be improved?
Maybe some of the program activities could be revised? Honestly, I can't think of anything besides that.
Yes, I recommend this program
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CEA Barcelona

**WARNING**** If you are not careful you will fall in love with Barcelona and never want to leave! The CEA program offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to help you live and experience a different culture while earning college credits.

Classes are based out of a safe and monitored building that is right in the center of Barcelona and some of the most beautiful sites you can ever see. Las Ramblas, a popular road for it's shops and restaurants, is right down the street and only a few miles away is the beautiful beach and amazing artistic creations such as the Gaudi House and La Sagrada Familia. The teachers and staff of the program are amazing and really care about the students but also understand that it is a study abroad program and integrate fun ways to learn and live the Catalan culture. Depending on where you live, wether in a home stay or an apartment with other students, you have the option of either walking or taking the metro.

While commuting to school there are many amazing bakeries and small restaurants where you will taste the best paella you will ever have. Some of the must tries are the churros and hot chocolate, which is more like a hot chocolate pudding that you dip your churro into, the sea food paella, and the many tapas that are available such as croquets.

Barcelona night life has something for every type of person. Loco Lunes "Crazy Mondays" are a big night out where you can go to small urban bars such as The Dow Jones, to salsa dancing clubs, or night clubs with dj's and dancing such as Opium.

There are many ups to moving to Barcelona for a study abroad but there are also downs. There is a big time difference compared to the US which can make it difficult but not impossible to skype or call family members. Jet lag is also hard to get used to after arriving to Barcelona so getting on a normal sleep pattern early in your experience will do you a lot of good. And obviously one of the biggest adjustments to be made is living in a Spanish speaking country. As long as you are willing to try and speak Spanish people will be kind and they will work with you and in turn probably want to practice some English with you.

My biggest advice for you is to always have a smile on your face because people will be more inclined to be patient, help you, or approach you to talk. Be grateful for your time there because it does not last forever and it goes by fast. Do as much as possible, don't sit at home if you are homesick get out there and explore! And last but not least have some Sangria, you will never find Sangria as good as Barcelona's.

How can this program be improved?
If I were to change the program I would add a meal plan somehow to the program. Depending on your class schedule you may not be able to get home during lunch and eating out every day can be expensive. If the program could make a deal with a local cafeteria or small restaurant and include the cost into our tuition that would be great.
Response from CEA Study Abroad

Thanks for sharing your positive experience in Barcelona with us! Please feel free to reach out with any additional comments or questions you may have.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Good program overall- too Americanized

Had a great time in Barcelona. Fantastic apartment, centrally located classrooms, helpful staff, good events.

By far the biggest letdown was how Americanized the program was. You will live with Americans, go to school with Americans, and generally only hang out with Americans. It would have been better if we lived with international students. You will have to make an effort to speak Spanish. I suppose it's what you make of it.. but CEA definitely coddles you by keeping you in your little American bubble.

Yes, I recommend this program
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I left my heart in Barcelona

Barcelona is the perfect place to study abroad because it appeals to so many people. From the passionate soccer fans, the unique architecture and laid-back beach city vibe it is easy for anyone to fall in love with the city.

I traveled to Barcelona in Spring 2011 through CEA. CEA was the perfect program for me because of their organization and how they truly cater the program for students to have as many opportunities to learn about the culture as possible. I am fluent in Spanish and took three classes in Spanish through the CEA Global Campus: Spanish Cinema, Literature and Barcelona History. Then I also took a class in English about the Sports and Culture in Spain. What I loved about these classes is that they truly gave me value outside of the academic world. I was taught specific customs of Barcelona and would see what I was taught in class in a day-to-day basis through the locals I met. Furthermore, as a native speaker I really appreciated that all the teachers were native Spanish speakers and they truly helped improve my writing and vocabulary in Spanish. However, a lot of my friends were not native speakers and said they really liked the fact that in Barcelona there are enough people who speak English so they never felt too overwhelmed by the language barrier. Also, CEA keeps in mind that students love to travel so no one ever has class on Fridays and I really appreciated how easy going my schedule was.

CEA gives students the option of apartment or dorm living. I choose to live in the Marina district Melon dorm Residence. This was absolutely the best living situation I could have asked for. The dorm is composed of 5 different buildings that not only have people from CEA but students from different abroad programs, international students, and local Spanish students. Each floor has 10 singles with a double bed, desk, safe and private bathroom. Then everyone shares a common kitchen area that has a refrigerator and cubby space separated for each roommate with larges tables and a TV. All my floor mates were from CEA and what I appreciated is that if I ever needed alone time I could be in my room but then if I wanted to hang out with my floor mates we had the common kitchen area. Another thing I really liked about Melon district living is that it was very safe, with a guard at night and only people with room keys could access our building. Furthermore, the location was perfect, in between the beach and the city and only one block away from Barcelona’s infamous 6 story nigh club Razzmatazz. Other unbeatable qualities were the rooftop pool, laundry services, printing services and study areas.

My absolute favorite aspect of CEA was the trips that come included in your programs tuition. My semester the program offered a weekend trip to both Madrid and San Sebastian. What I appreciated is that these two cities are normally very expensive to get to from Barcelona. Therefore, it was really nice to have CEA organize a trip that included breakfast, transportation, hotel accommodations and a free tour with a guide. In addition, CEA organized two-day trips: one to a champagne vineyard and a neighboring ancient roman town Tarragona and the other to the Dali museum. These two-day trips were some of my favorite experiences from abroad.

Another one of my favorite activities was when CEA organized a trip for all of us to attend a Barca soccer game together. This was amazing because normally purchasing tickets is a bit difficult so it was nice for the program to handle all the details. Attending a Barca game is something I really recommend. The passion that comes out of the city when Barca wins a game turns into an all night party and it’s truly an experience to take part of this grand sense of community.

The only downside to Barcelona is that pick pocketing is a huge problem. I was fortunate enough to never be pick pocketed but most of my friends were. What I would recommend to avoid this situation is to not bring an iphone or blackberry. Or if you want to bring these phones leave them in room. I noticed that my friends who had these phones were the biggest target for pick pocketers. The easiest way to avoid being picking pocketed is to always be aware of your surroundings. Never wear a backpack and on the metro just always make sure to have a hand over your belongings.

Overall, I have no complaints about Barcelona and everyday I wish I could go back. Everyday I miss being able to walk along the beautiful beach area of Barceloneta, getting delicious paella and sangria, gazing at Gaudi’s breath taking architecture at Parc Guell or having unforgettable moments in Barcelona’s never ending night life. Barcelona is unique because it is one of the cheaper cities in Europe so it really helps you have the opportunity to travel to other cities in Europe. Barcelona is unbeatable in its passion and beauty and I recommend anyone who is looking for the adventure of a lifetime to get to know Barcelona.

Yes, I recommend this program

About CEA Study Abroad

With 20 destinations across 11 countries, CEA Study Abroad offers an ideal balance of academics, internships, and adventure to more than 4,000 students each year. Find out where learning abroad can take you by clicking the “Visit Site” button and...