• Spain
    • Barcelona
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer

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 19, 2021
Feb 09, 2021

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

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.


IES Abroad Scholarships

IES Abroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

As far as we're concerned, financial limitations shouldn't prevent you from studying abroad with us. That's why we offer more than $5 million in scholarships and aid.

$500 - $5,000

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.

Program Reviews

9.35 Rating
based on 82 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 86.59%
  • 7-8 rating 13.41%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 8
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 82 reviews
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!
7 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.
16 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.
15 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!
13 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


Being on this program has really changed me as a person. As a result of studying abroad in this dream location, I was able to experience many different types of environments in one location! From the mountains, to the beaches, to the many plazas and cultural festivities, I was happily immersed in my host city. Barcelona is such an amazing location to study abroad and I would highly recommend doing it with IES Abroad. They made sure from pre-departure to the last day in my host city, that all students were informed and prepared for anything. The staff were extremely helpful, welcoming and always open to sharing their favorite recommendable local gems for students to visit! IES helped students get on their feet and understand how and what types of things they could get themselves immersed in. Whether that was introducing us to tapas, encouraging us to take free dance classes, planning brunch at a beach restaurant, planning hikes, and taking us on trips to other cities outside of Catalonia such as Madrid, IES ensured that we were able to take advantage of such offered opportunities all while preparing us to create our own memories with our own desires to visit other destinations.

For housing, I lived in a homestay with a very welcoming woman and other study abroad students from my program. Each night we all had dinner and talked about the upcoming weekend and things happening in the city, all in Spanish! She was always there to help us with any concerns we had regarding where to go, what to see, and how to get there in the best way. She encouraged us to hang out with friends and explore the city and its amazing culture!

For classes, we had a good variety of options. We also had the option to take courses at a local university, which I took advantage of. I took some of my classes at and extension of UAB. By doing this, I was able to be in another neighborhood for classes, take the metro to class and really understand how to get in and around Barcelona. Unfortunately, my classes did not have local university students but it was still a valuable chance to get outside of the program classes.

15 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Semester on Vacation

My time in Barcelona was very fun and a great learning experience. I spent a lot more time in class and doing homework than I had expected, however, I loved the content that I was learning about in the courses that I was taking. The classes that IES offered were very diverse and interesting and no matter what your major is, there is a class for you. My favorite class was "Science and Society" and "Mediterranean Environment," both taught by the same, amazing professor. These classes helped me understand more about Spain, Europe, specifically the Mediterranean.
I was able to spend a lot of time relaxing in my room and exploring the city. IES allows you to have as much downtime as you want but they also offer a lot of programs that you can get involved with so the entire experience is really what you make of it. The experiences that I had with IES were very memorable and personal. I felt like most of the staff knew who I was and the things that I was involved in. Everyone has the same opportunities through IES and you will get the most out of your experience if you partake in these opportunities or make some of your own. I would go back and do it all over again if I could.

What would you improve about this program?
Pre-departure information about what to expect while abroad. Housing situation expectations.
13 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Truly life-changing

I initially chose to study abroad in Barcelona to improve my Spanish, but I got this and so much more out of my experience. I grew so much as a person while I was there and now I feel truly independent and cable traveling, speaking Spanish, and taking advantage of every opportunity. Every time you turn a corner in this beautiful city, there is something spectacular to look at or something exciting to do. IES helped to guide my experience and you can use their resources as much or as little as you prefer! I recommend going on as many of the IES Discover programs as possible because they find the best guides and activities as a discounted price. I would not change a thing about my experience abroad.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Learn to put down your phone. Taking pictures is fun, but you get the most out of being fully engaged in your surroundings. Also, even though using directions on your phone is important sometimes, let yourself "get lost" in the city and you will run into some amazing things.
16 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An Experience Of A Lifetime

About 13 years ago, my family and I moved to the United States as refugees. Growing up, I've always wanted to work for a non-profit that focused on refugees and migrants. That is why I chose Global and International Studies as my major, and it's been the best decision. Getting the opportunity to go to Spain was unbelievable for me. As an intern at Bienestar y Desarrollo Association, which is Spanish for Welfare and Development Association, I received a very warm welcome since the first day, and never felt like I did not belong there. As the first non-Spanish speaker to be hired as an intern, it was an honor and I also never felt like an outcaste or out of the loop. Co-workers who did not speak English would still greet me and make me feel very comfortable. That is what I appreciated the most. The work environment was very comforting, which made communicating much better and easier. I was never scared to ask for help or anything.
Through all the professional work, coffee breaks, and simply speaking with other co-workers, without a doubt, I grew both personally and professionally at ABD. As an intern, in many places, you can end up having to do the same task for a very long time, which gets very boring and tedious. However, I was given various tasks, and that allowed me to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. Some of the things I had to do were new to me, but was very educational. It was interesting because the tasks mainly depended on the project that was being created at the time or the main focus, and so my responsibilities include, but not limited to, searching for possible funding opportunities in the EU, possible partners for collaboration, assisting with creating projects (Food Relations and COOLtoRISE), and proofreading/revising documents. Also, because the work environment was much more relaxed as opposed to the US, where everything is more scheduled and at ABD, it was more at flow, I was able to find my pace and work comfortably. I was able to get a lot of tasks completed. I am very proud of all the work that I did, and I hope that my work was very beneficial and helpful to the organization. The two months I spent in Spain were definitely amazing and Barcelona will always have a special place in my heart.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Do not be scared to get out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself! That way, you will learn so much and have a lot of memorable experiences.
6 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.