CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts in Barcelona, Spain

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If you’re an advanced level Spanish student ready to immerse yourself in the culture of a vibrant metropolis and develop fluency through direct enrollment in a Spanish university, Barcelona awaits.

Study abroad in Spain and live the language by studying alongside Spanish classmates, living with a local family, and exploring the city and country through a variety of cultural activities and excursions. Study abroad in Barcelona and discover a unique, fully immersive intercultural experience.

Study abroad in Barcelona and you will:

- Immerse yourself in Spanish academic culture by enrolling in regular University classes in a wide range of disciplines, from Spanish language and literature to geography, international relations, and political science
- Participate in cultural and educational activities, including lectures and visits to museums; explore Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain through excursions

Questions & Answers


based on 33 reviews
  • Academics 8.9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 31 - 33 of 33
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Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible City & Amazing Program

The CIEE ALA program struck a perfect balance between the comfort and support of my home university and immersion in Catalan culture. The size of the program—about 30 students—was perfect and meant that I got to meet a lot of awesome students, while still being close with the whole group. The instructors and program directors at CIEE were some of the warmest people I've met, and classes at 'la casa' were always interesting. While the classes at the University of Barcelona were challenging, the professors were understanding of the difficult transition to Spanish-language instruction, and were—for the most part—helpful inside and outside of class.

Beyond the classroom, the CIEE program couldn't have been more supportive. There were multiple occasions where we met with our program directors outside of class for meals or other adventures. We traveled all as a group to San Sebastian and Bilbao, an had an amazing time together. They were also incredibly helpful with things like setting up medical care and straightening out banking difficulties, which made being far from home much more comfortable.

Barcelona is like a second home to me after my experience last semester, and I couldn't imagine a better study abroad program.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Experience Barcelona as a Local

The CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts Barcelona Program presents students with an opportunity to truly soak up everything Barcelona has to offer. From the incredibly knowledgeable and helpful staff, the CIEE facilities, to the awesome weekend trips, and everything in between, this program allows students to experience Barcelona as a local rather than a tourist. Although there is a slight adjustment period on becoming acclimated to the all-Spanish nature of the program, the staff is very helpful and accommodating. The classes held at the University of Barcelona are challenging, however, I found the instructors as well as the other UB students to be very helpful and by the end of the semester, these were some of my favorite classes. The courses taught at CIEE are incredibly hands-on, engaging, and more than anything, fun. One of my favorite courses was the Masterworks of Catalan Art where half of the classes were traditional lectures, and the remaining classes were excursions into the city where we were able to go out and see what we we learning inside the classroom. Overall, this program is everything you could desire from a study-abroad experience and I would certainly recommend the program to anyone even slightly considering it.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Barcelona ALA

Nearly nine months has passed since I left Barcelona, and my love for the city has only grown stronger. I won't fill this review will cliche remarks that you'll find on most reviews, and I'll do my best to convey to you realistic expectations for the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program. I'll first talk about the city, for the should be the principal consideration when deciding where to study abroad, and then I'll discuss the CIEE Advanced Liberal Arts program.

Barcelona is a vibrant city defined by its unique architecture, coastal orientation and unique culture. More fast-paced than the rest of Spain, Barcelona infuses Spanish and Catalan culture to create a truly international city. For this reason, many people find Barcelona easier to acclimate to than other Spanish cities (most people speak English as well). Right on the Mediterranean, Barcelona has a long beach, which people flock to in the warmer months. Whether you're playing volleyball or just relaxing, the beach is a fun place to go that's a short walk from CIEE. Some of the best beaches in Spain (perhaps Europe) are located just a train ride up the coast from Barcelona. When you're not on the beach, you'll waste no time exploring the neighborhoods of El Born, El Raval, Barre Gotico, and Gracia. Located outside of the America study abroad bubble, these neighborhoods have tons of great restaurants and authentic bars. Except for when I cooked myself, I never once ate a bad meal in Barcelona.

The nightlife in Barcelona is without equal in the rest of Europe. Most Americans flock to the beach clubs (Opium, Pacha, etc.), which definitely are a great time. However, there's also tons of authentic Spanish bars and clubs. Simply, there is ALWAYS something going on in Barcelona. Get to know the club promoters and you'll have something to do every night of the week (often for free).

You will never find yourself bored in Barcelona. Even if you choose not to travel, there is so much to do in Barcelona. The city boasts an incredible number of attractions such as Arc de Triomphe, Parque Guell, the Sagrada Familia, Monserrat, Tibidabo, and La Pedrera. If Barca is not playing at Camp Nou, likely there's a concert at the Olympic Stadium or a festival at the Estrella factory. Everyone always says that study abroad is about the experience, and I really doubt that you'll find a better experience anywhere else.

Upon arrival in Barcelona, CIEE does a great job of getting you acquainted with the city. Your week long orientation gives you plenty of free time to explore on your own. When classes began, I found that the University of Barcelona classes were challenging but not overly difficult. Attendance is not mandatory. Each class will have 2-3 exams throughout the semester, and these exams will comprise your entire grade. The CIEE instructors will recommend classes with professors that worked well with CIEE students in the past. Also, you don't have Friday classes, which frees you up to travel. The CIEE classes require mandatory attendance, but are also not difficult. The majority of the improvement of my Spanish speaking, however, occurred outside the classroom. Do not worry about Catalan, everyone in Barcelona speaks Spanish. Yes, you'll have to work a little harder than in Madrid or Sevilla, but it is not all that difficult.

The CIEE staff will quickly become your good friends. They're always willing to help, whether its to find a gym, offer a restaurant suggestion or advise on fun day trips. I couldn't praise the CIEE staff more highly.


What would you improve about this program?
Housing. The commute to class was pretty rough. I would've chosen a different living arrangement were I able to do it again.


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A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international study and exchange programs. For 65 years, CIEE has helped thousands of students, professionals, and educators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and...