• Spain
    • Barcelona
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships, BIPOC funding
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Apartment Dormitory Host Family


Price Details
Contact IES Abroad or see website for details: www.IESabroad.org/barcelona
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Classes Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare Visa
May 10, 2024
Apr 04, 2024
59 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Spend a semester living in the Mediterranean sunshine of Barcelona. Located on Spain's northeastern coast, Barcelona's international population and famous art scene make it an ideal location for studying abroad. Wander the winding streets and visit the many plazas between classes and feel at home in no time. You can choose between courses taught in English or Spanish at the IES Abroad Center and different IES partner universities. We'll also arrange field trips and help you find the right accommodation and even an internship placement.

The IES Abroad Center is located in the heart of the city near Plaza Catalunya, and provides an excellent place to study with a large terrace, classrooms, and high-speed internet. Come let Barcelona enchant you. Whether it is the salty sea air, the sweep of mountains in the distance, or the romance and excitement of Las Ramblas, where else can you marvel at Gaudi's whimsical architectural genius while embracing the laid-back Spanish lifestyle?

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

LGBTQIA+ Support

Today, and every day, we celebrate who you are and who you will become. We take pride in simply getting to know you, and look forward to adventuring through this incredible world with you.

Studying abroad as part of the LGBTQIA+ community can present unique opportunities and challenges in exploring a new culture, so we have compiled resources on sexual orientation, gender identity, and allyship to help prepare you and support you along the way.

Neurodivergent Support

Going abroad, whether this is your first time or your umpteenth, can be a trip both literally and figuratively. Seeing something new or being someplace unfamiliar has its own challenges, especially when it comes to mental health and physical accessibility. With IES Abroad, you won't handle these concerns on your own.

We have not only compiled resources on mental health, physical health, and self-care to help prepare you and support you along the way, but we also have a dedicated Student Affairs staff that are available for you to contact from the United States and once in your host country.

Accessibility Support

Going abroad, whether this is your first time or your umpteenth, can be a trip both literally and figuratively. Seeing something new or being someplace unfamiliar has its own challenges, especially when it comes to mental health and physical accessibility. With IES Abroad, you won't handle these concerns on your own.

We have not only compiled resources on mental health, physical health, and self-care to help prepare you and support you along the way, but we also have a dedicated Student Affairs staff that are available for you to contact from the United States and once in your host country.



As part of IES Abroad's Global Good Commitment, IES Abroad employs sustainability measures in the following ways:
-Moving toward more sustainable Headquarters and Centers abroad
-Producing printed materials mindfully
-Hosting events and conferences in LEED-certified buildings
-Purchasing carbon offsets for staff air travel
-The formation of the IES Abroad Sustainability Team - a dedicated group of volunteers responsible for implementing sustainable practices across our organization. The team comprises of members across our Centers, departments, teams. It is truly a global effort, and we are better for it.

Program Highlights

  • Participate in field trips to Mallorca, Montserrat, and more.
  • Enjoy IES Abroad Center amenities such as high-speed internet, study lounges, and a large outdoor terrace.
  • Participate in cultural events: Attend soccer games, join walking tours of the city, and take cooking classes during your spare time.
  • Enroll in courses offered in either Spanish or English, catering to your specific language level.
  • You have an individual IES Abroad Program Advisor to guide you before your study abroad adventure. From visa requirements to travel details, they are your #1 resource for preparing to study abroad.

Popular Programs

colorful mural of diverse individuals

When you arrive, you are grouped into language proficiency-based levels to focus your course enrollment options. In addition to your Spanish language course, you will choose from a variety of English-taught IES Abroad courses, as well as Spanish- and English-taught local university courses to round out your semester. All IES Abroad courses include field study activities that help you connect coursework with your surroundings. You can also take Spanish-taught IES Abroad courses.

student standing on top of a graffitied ledge, punching the sky like Superman with the Barcelona skyline in the distance

In this program, you can choose from a series of courses on Art History, Cultural Studies, Literature, and more. Barcelona will be your classroom. All of our courses feature course-related trips and numerous faculty-led visits to museums, monuments, and sites around the city. Imagine studying the work of Antoni Gaudí whilst visiting the Sagrada Familia! Study the early works of Picasso and head to the Picasso Museum to see the vast collection of his great works.

two students sitting on bench in Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain

Choose from a series of courses in Communications, Literature (including travel writing), Photography, Political Science, and much more. All of our courses feature course-related trips and faculty-led visits to cutting-edge digital media outlets, newsrooms, agencies, and more. Imagine studying Advertising and then visiting an international ad agency or attending a lecture by an internationally-known photojournalist as part of your visual storytelling course. It’s all awaiting you in Barcelona.

five students standing in front of the Boqueria Market in Barcelona

In this program, you can take courses in a wide range of topics including politics, regionalism, international security, international business and relations, and many others. Imagine taking in all that Barcelona has to offer while taking exciting courses, like Campaigning in Europe: From Propaganda to Political Marketing or Globalized Economy & Migration. All of our courses feature course-related trips and faculty-led visits to government offices and institutions.

student looking back at an archway of La Sagrada Familia

Open to all language levels, this summer program provides you with the equivalent of more than an entire semester of Spanish language study. You'll enroll in a 4-credit Spanish language course and a 3-credit area studies course taught in English or Spanish (depending on your language level). Language courses develop your written and oral proficiency in Spanish and area studies courses provide an excellent opportunity to learn about modern Spain in the larger context of the European Union.

IES Abroad Barcelona

Our Barcelona Engineering program allows you to construct your expertise with an engaging program for Engineering and STEM students. Compiled with a partnership with the Universitat Ramon Llull's (URL) schools, the Chemical Institute of Sarrià (IQS) and La Salle Digital Engineering, this program enables Engineering students to study abroad and maintain course progression in their field, becoming global leaders and learners in the process!

Program Reviews

4.86 Rating
based on 86 reviews
  • 5 rating 86.05%
  • 4 rating 13.95%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.2
  • Support 4.7
  • Fun 4.75
  • Housing 4.8
  • Safety 4.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 86 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Barcelona - My now favorite city

I think the most unique element of studying with IES was the location of the school that I got to attend every day of the week. It is right off of Plaza Catalunya, and was so easy to commute to and from class, and also so much to do right around there in between and after classes. It was a really big program, which was honestly fun to make so many friends that I could run into all around the city.

I would say that the academics could be a bit stronger, but I recognize there are students from such a variety of universities that it is probably at a realistic level. The professors were super nice, and not having a ton of homework allowed me to explore Barcelona and freely travel on the weekends without worrying too much about my workload. Overall, I love Barcelona and would recommend this program to anyone.

  • Safe city, great public transportation
  • Great resources for students
  • Great housing (at least for residence halls!)
  • Easier academics (maybe not a con for everyone)
  • Such a large program, less interaction with locals
16 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Barcelona Study Abroad 2023

I had an amazing time studying in Barcelona during the Spring 2023 semester. A ton of preparation happens before you even board a plane to study abroad, and IES was extremely helpful in this process. Info sessions, advisor meetings, and thorough emails all took place in the months leading up to my abroad experience. Once I was in Barcelona, I had a ton of resources to make sure I was comfortable and enjoying my time abroad. One thing about IES that other programs do not offer are the multitude of events and experiences available to students. Weekend trips, fun local excursions, and opportunities to connect with other students in the program were constant. In addition, we were still given plenty of freedom and encouragement to travel and explore Barcelona on our own. Overall, I was able to visit so many cool places and made more new friends than I ever could have imagined.

  • Support and clarity from administration
  • Availability of events and trips
  • Ease of living within Barcelona
  • Large quantity of American students within classes and city
  • Length of program can be challenging
48 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Barcelona: The gateway to seeing the world

From the beaches to the mountains and everything in between, over the last four months I spent traveling, learning, exploring, and taking in every aspect of Barcelona and its culture. Although my trip started out rough; landing without luggage, knowing no one, jet-lagged, and classes starting the very next day, in no time at all, Barcelona became one of my absolute favorite places. Having the opportunity to live and learn abroad is one that I am always grateful for and so I strongly encourage others to try to do so as well. On my program with IES Abroad, I not only met the best Spanish teacher I have ever had, but also was able to meet so many cool people that I eventually traveled all throughout Europe, Africa, and the UK with. I also had the opportunity to take classes at other universities such as Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and Universitat Ramon Llull where I took courses like Start-Up Creation, International Marketing, Finance, and Producing a Sitcom. These classes allowed me to meet students from all around the world and gain a new perspective on my studies while working with all my Spanish professors. My favorite part of my classes was when I directed a Sitcom scene that my peers and I created. It was hectic to be in charge of everything and everybody, but satisfying seeing everyone work together to create something amazing. Barcelona reinforced my passion for travel and love for learning about new cultures. To live in a Spanish-speaking country after learning Spanish for 7 years and actually getting the opportunity to use my skills daily was an incredible feeling. IES Abroad gave me the opportunity to live a life completely different from my every day and it was a refreshing change of pace. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this whole experience, it’s that, as cheesy as it sounds, the world is so big, and I want to keep exploring it.

  • IES Abroad is a HUGE program so there are so many people you can meet
  • Learning at the partnership universities allows you to take classes with non-American students
56 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Abroad: Barcelona Life Changing Experience

My experience was unique because I went out of my comfort zone and did what I wanted to do. I was not afraid to venture off and try new things. I made an effort to see as much historical sites as I could. I went to the most scenic views around the city, tried different foods everyday that I would not be able to try in the US, and I went to as many sporting events as I could. Going to a European football game is unlike anything I have ever seen.
Through class I was able to practice my Spanish around the city when talking to locals, learn the history behind the city, and indulge in the business of sports in Europe, which is a lot different than the US. I definitely recommend this program to future participants because how much the city has to offer. If I were to say one thing, it would be to go out and try new things. It might sound cliche, but you are only there for a few months, and you do not want to look back and wish you did more. I know did as much as I could, I hope others can say that too.

  • Seeing the world
  • Learning new culture
  • Developing confidence
  • Unfamiliarity at the start
  • Different interests from the group
94 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Abroad Barcelona - Arts & Culture

I always knew I wanted to study abroad and IES made my experience more exciting and fulfilling than I ever thought it could be. The opportunities for excursions each week allowed for an easy way to meet new people, get out of your comfort zone and have new experiences. By having no Friday classes we were able to plan our own weekend excursions that allowed us to explore Europe with new friends or take part in the numerous trips offered by the program. The class options were great and varied, with options like architecture, psychology, the culinary arts and so much more. Each course included excursions that allowed us to explore the city and experience new incredible opportunities like strolling through the market and exploring iconic museums and landmarks. While study abroad can be very daunting, Barcelona is an exciting city to learn about and you will quickly get a hang of the metro system allowing you to explore every free moment you have.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve-racking moment about the whole experience was probably arriving in Barcelona. I didn't know anyone and knew very little about the city, fearing I would get lost or not make any friends. I was able to overcome both of these things with time, realizing that things like the metro system are so well organized and efficient that even if you get on the wrong line it's easy to figure out where you need to be. I used every opportunity including weekend excursions and time in the classroom to meet new people and make new friends because you quickly realize everyone is there for that same experience!
134 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

abroad changed my outlook on life

It definitely sounds cliche, but my time abroad changed me as a person. Ever since I was younger I knew I wanted to go abroad but my desire to go to Spain came about in my senior year of high school. I wanted to immerse myself in the culture and live in a large city, so I chose Barcelona. Having the opportunity to live in Barcelona was incredible. I adjusted quickly to taking the metro everywhere, finding new places to explore everyday. There is always something happening in the city so there is no time to be bored. I loved how I could escape the bustling city by going to a park or even the beach. I love being outdoors so having the beach right there was a big plus for me! Barcelona is also very central which made it extremely easy to travel to other places via train or plane. I learned so much abroad about people, life, culture, and relationships. I also was inspired by a new career path while I was abroad and am now pursuing that which I am very excited about!! If the chance to go abroad comes my way again I don’t think I will think twice about it. I cannot say enough about my experience abroad, it was truly life changing.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Knowing that I wanted to travel around Europe while living in Barcelona, I wish I would have made a more definitive list of where I wanted to go before arriving in Barcelona. Figuring out where to go and researching the details took a good deal of time, so I wish I had prepared prior.
132 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

My fantastic study abroad experience!

My study abroad experience with IES Barcelona will be a memory I will forever cherish! I am happy that I was able to explore a vibrant city rich with culture, amazing sites, delicious food, and warm hospitality. I was pleased with the classes I took with my program because I found them all relevant and engaging. By the end of the program, my Spanish speaking skills had improved drastically, and I have my Spanish class and my host family to thank for that. I feel very happy to have been matched with an incredibly welcoming host family. My host parents shared with me delicious food, recommendations, important information and helpful advice. I was very comfortable going to them for help if I ever needed anything and although my study abroad experience is over, I still keep in contact with them. Overall, I was very pleased with how my study abroad experience turned out and would definitely recommend it.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice is to be open to making new connections and navigating the culture and city. Reflect on your experience, challenge yourself to try something new and grow from the little mishaps and mistakes that may happen along the way.
152 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Unique Experience

My experience at IES Barcelona was nothing short of amazing. I tremendously improved my Spanish and took courses I always wanted to explore. IES made it easy for students like myself to explore the city. This immersive program has taught me a lot about myself and I am forever grateful for having had the opportunity to study in such a dynamic city. It is worth mentioning that transportation in Barcelona is AWESOME! The bus runs 24/7 and generally very safe. The only thing to be mindful of is pickpockets but for what it's worth, I was extremely careful and managed to get by without any issues.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take the time to interact with locals! People are so friendly and you'll learn so much more about the city!
138 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Yes, there are 4 day breaks twice throughout the Fall semester.

As far I as I know you need to be a current undergraduate student. At least everyone in my program was. You should also verify with IES themselves.