IES Abroad Barcelona - Liberal Arts & Business

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About

There are a wide variety of courses available, primarily taught in English by our world-class faculty. When you arrive, you are grouped into language proficiency-based levels to focus your course enrollment options. This will also provide a sense of community with your fellow students and will challenge you to maximize your learning.

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.

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.

Reviews

93%
based on 67 reviews
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9
Showing 31 - 45 of 67
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Halee
8/10

Barcelona Fall Semester

I had a great time with IES in Barcelona. The program staff were always so nice and helpful, and being there during the Catalunya independence protests was very interesting and educational. My living situation (a homestay) was very welcoming. My only complaint would be that there were 300+ American students in the program, which makes it very hard to immerse yourself in the local culture. Also, all but one of my classes were taught in English. IES set me up with an internship once I got there, which helped with my Spanish and feeling like I was more involved in the local activities while I was there. Overall, I had a great time!

How can this program be improved?
A smaller group of students - or larger facilities to accommodate them - too many people in one small space.
Yes, I recommend
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Nicole
9/10

An Experience of a Lifetime

Barcelona is a city that is truly alive. There are always festivals, parades, human towers, rallies, you name it, that makes the city what it is today. The problem is that many students find that they come to the city as a tourist, and leave the same. In order to integrate into Barcelona, I found I had to learn about its history, and the history of Spain. This allowed me to understand both the hardships and the triumphs that the people have gone through, and I was able to discuss it with them. I mostly utilized my host family. They taught me their opinions on the past. I also watched the news which gave me even more insight. I have found that natives will see you as a tourist until you earn their respect, and I did that through knowledge. Once I was able to talk to them about things that they found imperative to their livelihoods, I could tell that they took me more seriously. I learned that you must respect the culture, people, history, and customs of wherever you travel and be aware that, although they may have prejudices about who you are, if you are able to communicate effectively, you will only feel like an outsider for a short time.

How can this program be improved?
My classes were from 8:00am to 7:00pm which did not give me a lot of time to explore the city during the school days. Maybe not space out classes as much.
Yes, I recommend
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Silas
9/10

IES Barcelona Experience

I studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, from beginning of September until mid-December. It was an incredible experience. During the first few weeks, the entire program took a trip to Tarragona, Spain, which allowed us to learn about another culture, the Catalan culture outside of the metropolitan area. My curriculum consisted of both IES courses and class from a local Spanish university. All of my IES instructors were outstanding. The classes I took enhanced my undergraduate experience. I was able to take advanced business Spanish class and great business classes in international affairs and leadership. Beyond academics, I was able to travel to various European cities throughout the semester. My time abroad is something I will never forget, and I would encourage everyone to experience it.

How can this program be improved?
I would change the amount of Americans. I honestly wanted to go through a program that had more Spanish speaking people, so I could improve my language more, but maybe I didn't realize that until I got there.
Yes, I recommend
Rabia Hameed
Rabia
10/10

Experience of a Lifetime!

Hi there! I spent the Fall 2014 in Barcelona and truly LOVED it. The rich culture, the food, a musician around every corner. I was terribly sad once the program ended, and I wasn't ready to leave. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect once I arrived in Barcelona, but I was pleasantly surprised. I owe a lot of my wonderful experience to IES. IES was invested in making sure we had a great experience and offered many services. For example, I would like to be a physician someday and IES put me into contact with a physician I was able to shadow and even watch perform a back surgery. It was definitely one of the biggest highlights of my experience, and I wouldn't have been able to do it without the help of IES. Barcelona has a lot to offer, from beaches to the nearby Montserrat all while being a bustling metropolis. I loved going and buying fresh juice drinks at one of the many markets located throughout the city. I also had the great opportunity of taking salsa classes at a great place called Antilla where I was better able to integrate and meet some locals. Some difficulties I encountered included finding a good balance between staying in Barcelona and traveling to other parts of Europe. I found that I didn't live as much like a local as I had hoped to and traveling a lot was physically exhausting, but my overall experience was great. This IES program is HIGHLY recommended!!

How can this program be improved?
We had two weeks of orientation at the beginning of the program that were a little too long in my opinion. I think that a week would have been enough, and starting classes after one week would have helped us meet more people sooner. And instead, take that week and put it at the end of the program after finals, thereby lessening the stress of goodbyes, last-minute shopping and finals.
Yes, I recommend
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Katie
9/10

The True Barcelona Experience

IES Abroad Barcelona truly takes care of its students. I had great classes with really caring professors, a great homestay mother and roommate and made lots of sweet friends while in Spain. IES hosts and organizes many events that give students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture and discover the beauty of the city. I got to hike gorgeous mountains, eat delicious, authentic spanish food and interact with my classmates at many of the events that IES held. The staff is so caring and friendly and approachable and truly made the experience unforgettable. I had all the freedom and structure I needed. I would do it over again in a heartbeat with IES.

How can this program be improved?
I would change the length of the initial orientation! We were all jet-lagged and wanting to explore the city, so sitting in on orientation speeches were a bit much those first few days.
Yes, I recommend
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Kelsey
8/10

Fall 2014 in Barcelona

I had the most incredible semester studying through IES Abroad in the Liberal Arts and Business program. I really liked the emphasis on field studies. To name a few, I visited a bomb shelter built during the Spanish Civil War, the organization SOS Racisme, the Islamic Council of Barcelona, a restaurant specializing in the deconstructed potato omelette, several local markets, and may more. The DiscoverIES trips were also a great opportunity to meet the other students in the program. Overall I had a great time and would recommend the program to everyone!

How can this program be improved?
The one critique I have is that I didn't learn as much Spanish as I had anticipated, so maybe the structure of the Spanish classes can be reviewed.
Yes, I recommend
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Steve
10/10

A Great Experience

My experience with IES Barcelona was a great opportunity for personal growth and the chance to travel around Europe. I truly appreciate the attentiveness of the IES staff to the needs of each individual student. When there was an issue with my linens they immediately gave me replacements, when there were missing items in the apartment they provided new appliances and even installed curtains in my room. The professors were fun, high energy and very well qualified in their fields. Overall I really enjoyed the IES Barcelona experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

How can this program be improved?
Sometimes there were issues with roommates but this is inevitable when you randomly group individuals together. Perhaps a questionnaire or interview of the students would allow for the program to better pair students in apartments.
Yes, I recommend
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Laura
10/10

I wouldn't do anything differently

I loved every part of study abroad, thanks to IES. The academic center was new and in a good location. The administration were so supportive and helpful. Everyone was friendly and welcoming. I loved my home stay. I really can't complain.

How can this program be improved?
A little less work. I was surprised by how many assignments and papers I had. Don't get me wrong, I still had fun and had a social life. But yeah, I actually studied.
Yes, I recommend
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Kaylynn
10/10

Running Wild in Spain!

IES Abroad is nothing short of spectacular! I just returned from the program in Barcelona (Fall 2014) and every bit of my expectations were surpassed. IES works to emerge their students in all the wonders of the city they live in, especially within the first month. They offer so many activities within the city, all guided by either professors and/or locals. In the program center, the staff is consistently there to help you with any problems or questions you may have, from getting housing reassigned to figuring out where to get a flu shot. I personally got REALLY lucky and had an amazing Spanish professor who worked to educate us so much on the country, culture, and language— and was always ready for our questions.

When I first made the decision to go abroad my number one priority was traveling as much as I possibly could, as it is for many students. I never gave much thought to how the program I chose when I went abroad would affect my experience. IES had such a large affect on making my abroad experience one that was life changing, and I truly felt like a local of Barcelona and gained a much more well rounded understanding of the culture. If you're currently on the prowl for the perfect program, IES (Barcelona) won't disappoint!

How can this program be improved?
I wish all the classes were taken at outside universities, because that's when you're really emerged in culture.
Yes, I recommend
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Anna
9/10

Study Abroad in Barcelona

Studying abroad was one of the best experiences I have had while being in college. Living in Barcelona was amazing and I enjoyed living in a homestay to fully immerse myself in Spanish culture. Every morning I would wake up to breakfast with my host mom and I would end the day having dinner with her. She became like a second mom to me. Coming from a small town, I was worried about the transition to the big city but it was fine and the metro system worked great. The classes were taught in English and were very similar to classes at my home college.

Yes, I recommend
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Caleb
10/10

IES Barcelona - A Program to Remember

IES Barcelona is a great program that accomplishes a lot. Barcelona in of itself is an amazing place to live– the city is rich with culture, opportunities, great people, fantastic food, and has an international airport to take you all over the world when you have time. The IES Barcelona Administration is great, everything is well organized, and they work hard to provide a great time for the students – from a mandatory trip we took to Tarragona in the beginning of the semester to trips you can sign up for. Even though I prefer traveling with a small group of people and booking my own stuff to do, hostels, and so on, I loved the IES trips I went on. They were fun, well planned out, and great experiences.

Yes, a lot of the fun of study abroad is what you do outside the classroom, but you do spend time in a classroom so it's important for me to note what classes are like. I had a few classes through IES that fascinated me. One of them – Self and Identity in a Postmodern World was one of the best classes I think I've ever taken in my career as a student. Other I took to satisfy general requirements, and while they weren't quite up my alley, I learned a lot from them. I found I was gaining a lot of knowledge about the architecture and the city, and it made my stay in Barcelona even better.

Overall, this is an awesome program. Suggestions for you should you do this program – a) live in a homestay or a dorm because either will likely immerse you more in Barcelona culture in terms of people (trust me so worth it), b) take classes related to the city, you'll be surprised what you retain and how much better it makes your time in the city, and c) travel everywhere and explore Spain, and if you leave Spain don't just go to European cities – Marrakesh, Morocco was without a doubt one of the best places I went.

How can this program be improved?
Not all the classes were compelling to me because the teacher didn't teach in an engaging way. I know it's hard because many of them are teaching in their second or third language, but sometimes I felt like field trips which had a lot of potential weren't utilized as well as they could be.
Yes, I recommend
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Sarah
9/10

The Right Choice

I couldn't have made a better choice in coming to Barcelona through IES Abroad. The staff is full of wonderful people and the whole program is organized in a way that helped me to take full advantage of my time abroad. Barcelona is an incredible, vibrant city full of life and color. You will never run out of things to do; from the beach to the surrounding mountains and each and every city street in between, there is so much fun to be had. The culture is wonderful and each and the people are full of passion - something you must experience yourself to truly understand. I lived with a local family and consider it one of my favorite parts of the experience. From eating breakfast each morning while talking to my host mom to riding the metro home each night, even the routine I found was something I never got tired of. I left at the end of the semester with a new state of mind, open eyes, and numerous indescribable memories. If that's what you're looking for in a study abroad program, come to Barcelona through IES Abroad!

How can this program be improved?
The fall semester did not a have a full week off, which was something that I missed. However, there were four day weekends that made up for it.
Yes, I recommend
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Julia
9/10

An Unforgettable Experience

I had wanted to study abroad in Barcelona for years before I actually went. My school didn't offer any programs specifically through the school, so I had to go through IES, and though I was nervous that the program wouldn't be as good, from the start, IES did all they could to help me. They provided each student with so much information and so many possible ways of contact, that if I ever had questions, I could ask someone and get a response very quickly. I chose to live with a host family, which I think was the best option because it really fives you a chance to learn more about the culture that you are living in for 4 months of your life. IES places at least 2 students with each other in each house so that you don't feel uncomfortable being alone. The classes at IES were challenging yet allowed the students to be able to travel on weekends and not have any worries about not being able to keep up with the workload. IES also offers weekend trips that are planned through the program, which I think were well worth the money. I went on most of the trips, and they were all very well planned and each one was a great way to meet and connect with more of the students in the program. My experience in Barcelona was one I will never forget. You have to take advantage of all that you can while you are abroad, that way you can leave feeling confident that you did all that you could and you can really see the growth in yourself by the end of the program. Barcelona is an amazing city to be able to immerse yourself in cultural activities, see beautiful places all over, go hang out at the beach, and have a great nightlife all in one. I would offer this program to anyone who was interested.

Yes, I recommend
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Devon
8/10

Semester in Barcelona

Studying abroad in Barcelona is something I will always cherish and will forever be a significant life event for me. Barcelona is truly a unique city, combining the ancient Roman times with the modern post-Franco era. I particularly loved how each district, or barrio, in the city had its own distinct character, which made exploring even more fun. I was satisfied with the IES program, from having professional and excellent teacher to helping with personal needs. Through my IES apartment located in a residential neighborhood, I got to experience Barcelona as a local and excel my proficiency of Spanish. Barcelona is an amazing city that has countless things to offer, and I cannot wait to return to this city one day.

Yes, I recommend
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Katie
10/10

Barça Barça, Força Força!

Studying abroad in Barcelona through IES was easily the best decision in all of my 21 years of life. While walking through the city my friend and I even noted how all your life you, "Oh be careful, be wise, these are the decisions that will impact or change the rest of your life." Our decision as to study abroad, electing an international program vs. a school ran one, which program, which term put all of my best friends and memories and I together. Studying abroad showed me a clearer picture of who I am, what I am capable of, and of the world around me.

As far as the program itself, I was overly impressed in my close connections with those who worked with the students and led the sponsored activities and trips.

The trips themselves helped me better understand and see other parts of Spain. It was nice to on a few IES planned trips mixed in with my own as I was able to successfully see the best parts of a city while having everything pre-planned for me, even with scheduled independent time to do as I pleased. This was very nice, especially being on our own completely after the planned day activities.

The school was largely committed to helping us live as part of Barcelona. They held firey and interesting debates over current issues for students to attend, mini tours and explorations through vineyards, markets, and cool up and coming neighborhoods. They also offered plenty of workshops for dancing, cooking, and bike rides! They even hosted plenty of events planned by current student to keep us involved like massage and pizza days during test weeks, dinners or parties on celebrations, and photo competitions on Instagram.

My favorite part about choosing this program was that whenever my friends and I would travel anywhere, or others would travel to visit us, they all would leave saying the same thing. It was always a parting thought of how others wish they would have chosen our program and picked our city.

This always filled me with such pride. Although everyone liked their study abroad experiences, but I was full heartedly in love with mine. In love with my new friends that I still have and am flying to visit next week, in love with the best city that will always hold a place in my heart, and in love with the culture that is unlike that of anywhere else in Europe, or the rest of the world for that matter, which I will miss so much.

If you want to try great food, learn rich culture, leave your comfort zone for an international program whose students are from different states, and different countries, experience the best night life and have the most beautiful architecture, parks, and scenery that I have ever seen, IES Barcelona is for you. You won't regret it.

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked if there was an easier grading system for IES classes or an easier time scheduling them so that I didn't feel like I was wasted my days monday through thursday. My classes were spread out enough to have some time between them, but not enough time to get on a metro to go explore and come back for class.
Yes, I recommend

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