CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts in Barcelona, Spain

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Put your advanced Spanish skills to work in the lively Mediterranean city of Barcelona by enrolling at CIEE’s partner school, Universitat de Barcelona (UB). Dramatically improve your proficiency by immersing yourself in the Spanish education system and practicing your Spanish with local university students. You’ll find a wide range of courses across UB’s 16 colleges, in addition to CIEE elective courses. CIEE Barcelona is located near the city’s main square, a short walk from University Plaza where UB classes are held. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to make your understanding of this diverse region complete – and unforgettable.

  • LEAN ON YOUR CIEE GUARDIAN ANGEL a Spanish peer ready to help you settle into your new life and meet friends at University of Barcelona.
  • BITE INTO BARCELONA CULTURE with small-group cooking lessons, tours, and tapas night.
  • GAIN VALUABLE EXPERIENCE and put your talents to good use with an internship. You might update a website for the Centre for Discourse Studies or man the Language Lab at the 'Centro de Autoaprendizaje de Lenguas' at UB.

Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship to Ireland!

Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship is a unique international program to develop change leaders who make an impact on their community and the world.

This fully funded summer 2021 study abroad program to Dublin, Ireland is developed for students of color with special emphasis on leadership, social justice, agitation for positive change and cross-cultural understanding.


CIEE Offers More Than $8 Million in Scholarships Every Year!

We know cost is one of the biggest barriers to studying abroad. At CIEE, we dedicate real resources to help break down the cost barriers so every student who wants to study abroad, can do so.

$500 - $2,500

Questions & Answers


9.62 Rating
based on 39 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 92.31%
  • 7-8 rating 7.69%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 8 of 39
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Yes, I recommend this program

Loved this program, would do again if I could

I arrived to the program late after some circumstantial issues with my visa, so I was worried that I was going to have a difficult time finding close friends and adjusting to the program in some way, shape, or form. Luckily, everyone in this program is amazing so not only did I have no issues, but I was able to make some great friends right off the bat. The staff at CIEE is extremely helpful and always offering opportunities to get to know Barcelona better, as well as connect you with local students. Taking classes at UB was extremely daunting at first and I felt out of my element, but with the help of the great tutors CIEE offers and the professors and program directors, I was able to do well in all of my classes and thrive academically. I chose to live in a homestay with another student, which was one of the best decisions I made in the program. It was a great way to get authentic meals while practicing Spanish in a conversational environment, and the girl I lived with and I ended up becoming great friends. There's a lot of time to do your own thing, I was able to do a lot of traveling while I was there, and I honestly don't have enough good things to say about the program, CIEE definitely contributed to study abroad being one of the greatest times of my life.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Far from the American bubble program, it's better

I have absolutely nothing but positive memories with CIEE Barcelona. I did the homestay option and studied at the Facultat de Filología and loved both! The program naturally forces you out of your comfort zone and rewards you with a wealth of rich knowledge, fond memories, and friends of a lifetime. At times, the program was difficult, but CIEE Barcelona provides undivided, personal support for challenges in-and-out of the classroom. Alberto and the rest of the program staff are transparent with their students from day one, and they push you to dive into Spanish culture.

I would highly recommend this program to anybody looking to contextualize their understanding of the Spanish language and take fantastic classes at the Universitat de Barcelona. The memories I share with my program friends are ones I will never forget. Take advantage of everything Barcelona, Spain, and Europe has to offer! Alberto and the staff are just the best--I wish I could return to CIEE Barcelona!

What would you improve about this program?
I would perhaps add activities or shorten the duration of orientation. I found myself without much to do the first 2 weeks because I still hadn't known the other program participants.
When selecting UB classes, I wish the program had been a little bit more transparent with the level of the classes. It seemed that I and a couple of others felt really behind in certain classes because we lacked the background in certain topics.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic language and cultural immersion program

CIEE ALA is the best program you can choose if you want to immerse yourself in Spanish language and culture. It is a unique study abroad program because it allows its participants to take classes at the University of Barcelona in Spanish, which is the best way to get to know other Spanish students and dramatically improve your language skills. The program attracts students who are eager to get out of their comfort zone and learn lots. The small size means that everyone becomes really close, and the leaders of the program are always there for one-on-one help. Would definitely recommend this program to anyone who wants to challenge themselves and have a fulfilling experience studying abroad.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime

I could not have asked for a better study abroad program. My homestay was absolutely amazing, every professor at CIEE is there to help and support you in anything you may need, and the location of everything is perfect! Barcelona was an amazing city to study abroad in and I cannot wait to return. I will admit I struggled with a biology class I took while there but the Professor and Alberto, the CIEE program director, helped me through everything and I ended up passing! Do not worry, you will have time to travel around Europe as well! I made it to five different countries traveling with new friends from my program. An amazing way to meet new friends that will last a lifetime. This is absolutely the best study abroad program in my opinion. Definitely a challenge but always worth it in the end.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of every opportunity you get! You are only there for a short amount of time, don't waste it going to the same restaurant or cafe everyday, not traveling to those places you've been dreaming about, not making friends in your program. Make the most of your experience, it all depends on you!
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Yes, I recommend this program

A Fulfilling, Challenging & Fun Experience

I loved everything about my abroad experience with ALA Barcelona. This program does a fantastic job of balancing academic challenge with fun cultural activities. I had an amazing semester spent exploring Barcelona and traveling on weekends, and I improved my Spanish a lot. I think the biggest advantage that ALA offers is being able to take classes at the University of Barcelona. Unlike most Americans that study in Barcelona, I and the rest of ALA students interacted much more with locals. The level of linguistic and cultural emersion is much higher for this program compared to most others, and CIEE provides constant personal support to ensure that their students succeed academically. I think ALA students have the opportunity to really get to know Barcelona beyond a surface/ tourist-y level. In terms of logistics, ALA provides three housing options (residencia dorm among local students, apartment with other Americans, or homestay). The vast majority of students love their living situation, and each option has different advantages. I personally stayed in the residencia, and loved the central city location/ proximity to UB. Looking back, I would not change anything about my time in Barcelona!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Do NOT spend all of your time in Barcelona socializing with Americans. Branch out and build friendships with Spaniards! I am still in contact with some of my friends I met through UB.
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent Experience with CIEE Barcelona

I loved everything about my study abroad experience. I came in as a Spanish major wanting to make friends and become fluent and did exactly that. CIEE placed me with a welcoming Catalan family who had a brother my age I am close with to this day. Between my homestay experience, and classes with the University of Barcelona and CIEE, I had so many opportunities to learn and I am proud to say I am fluent today. I also made so many friends and not just with the students, but professors as well! The CIEE program had many opportunities for us to hang out with the students and professors alike, my favorite of which being a weekend excursion to Collioure. Overall, I had the best time in Barcelona and miss the city, friends and program so much!! I would highly recommend this experience to anyone hoping to improve their Spanish or simply immerse themselves in a young and vibrant city!

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Yes, I recommend this program

A wonderful, holistic experience

The ALA program in Barcelona was absolutely amazing. The staff at CIEE cared so much about helping us have a meaningful and fun experience. I was able to learn so much through Spanish classes, interesting trips, and just a genuine cultural immersion. The food in Barcelona was absolutely amazing - I could eat papayas bravas for the rest of my life. Travel was extremely easy, as the Barcelona airport is very accessible and has flights to pretty much everywhere in Europe. People in Barcelona are some of the nicest I have ever met. They are so kind and actually let you practice your Spanish (whereas in a lot of other countries they will just speak to you in English). I loved my experience in Barcelona with CIEE and would recommend it to anyone who wants to grow as a student and as a person.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would go out and practice my Spanish even more than I did. I miss speaking Spanish!
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Yes, I recommend this program

Fall 2018 Semester in Barcelona

This program really stands out due to the level of support (academically and socially) that the program coordinators provide. I was very nervous when I arrived, but with all of the reassurance, academic support, and Spanish practice I got from being in the CIEE ALA Program, I quickly adapted. The classes I took through CIEE were focused on improving our Spanish speaking skills and connecting us to the rich cultural history of the city. On the other hand, the classes I took at UB pushed me to engage in Spanish in a much more academic and formal manner, which I had never done before. I grew exponentially as an academic writer in Spanish, which is an important skill moving forward with my Spanish education, but also generally in my speaking ability, which was an amazing improvement for me. All of the teachers, program coordinators, and CIEE staff were so supportive in making this the best possible experience for all the participants, and I look back on my semester abroad so fondly and so thankful.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of all the opportunities to learn and speak Spanish. This city is filled with people who are happy to help you and professors who are eager for you to learn. I found that my favorite memories are conversations I had with cab drivers or Spanish students at the Universitat de Barcelona. Speaking to them freely and openly in Spanish allowed me to connect with the culture so much more and in a authentic way.