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 63 reviews
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 8.9
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 46 - 60 of 63
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Alexis
9/10

IES Barcelona Summer Internship Program

This past summer I had an internship in Barcelona, Spain. I was given this great opportunity through IES. This experience and summer was one that I will never forget. Everything from networking events in Spanish to the crazy wild night life of Barcelona made this summer the best one I have ever had. Working in a Spanish environment did present difficulties, but there were none that I was unable to overcome. As I learned to absorb the differences around me and appreciate my circumstances I fell in love with my internship and the Spanish culture that I was immersed in for the entire summer.

How can this program be improved?
I wish that I would have had a better RA throughout my stay. She was extremely annoying and did not help us get settled into our new environment. I also wish that the living conditions were a little nicer...
Yes, I recommend
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Becka
10/10

IES Barcelona

IES Barcelona was an amazing experience. The course work was at an appropriate level for a study abroad program. I had some really great professors and was able to take classes to learn more about Barcelona as a city! Living in Barcelona for three months and studying with IES is an experience that I will never forget.

How can this program be improved?
I lived in the dorm option and it left some room to be desired. I loved my roommates, but living there was difficult at times.
Yes, I recommend
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Adam
8/10

Experiences in Barcelona

My experience in Barcelona was one of the most memorable things I've ever done in my life and I wouldn't change or trade it for anything! The IES Staff really made my experience a lot better by making me feel safer and more comfortable in a foreign environment. The culture of the area was unrivaled and it was very common to see cultural dancer and singer walking up and down the street performing. The traveling I did abroad really helped solidify my experience by giving me a broader viewpoint of the world and letting me experience a slice of life though the eyes of another culture. Overall this trip helped shape and develop myself by opening my eyes to the way other cultures and people live and interact. It really helped shape the person I am today.

How can this program be improved?
I feel like the program was pretty well designed but I feel that the academics could be improved, it was far to easy and lead to problems getting credit at my home university.
Studying abroad in a foreign country seemed like the last thing I wanted to do entering the summer before I left for Spain. As the time drew closer, the excitement and adventures that would await me across the globe turned that fear and reluctance into pure excitement and adrenaline. This program did not let my expectations down.
The experiences I had abroad were things I thought I would never get to experience in my life. Things like being present for a FC Barcelona Vs. Real Madrid game blew my expectations of how much life and spirit a city could really have. The traveling I did abroad through IES and on my own really opened my eyes to an entirely different world (literally and mentally). Through IES we went to places such as Tarragona and Girona, two cities with an incredible amount of history which me and my friends really took to heart. You would never expect to see partial castles and massive roman ruins that close to home. Some of the greatest memories I have abroad were on the trips lead by the IES staff. The staff was very knowledgeable about the areas and regions we were traveling in and the destinations we explored. They would also add their own insight and include information that only the locals would know, it made the experience that much more enjoyable.
The IES staffs made the city really feel like home once we arrived at the airport. They gave us clear and concise instructions on what areas to avoid at night, which areas had fun activities to enjoy and where the most famous parts of the city were. They made sure we were fully prepared to live and function in Barcelona. The staff was also accessible either by phone or in their office to answer or address any concerns we might have had while abroad.
The living accommodations I had mixed feelings about, certain people I talked to loved where they lived while other (including myself) felt they were something not so spectacular. I happened to live in a dorm (which was my first choice). What I soon realized was that most of the Spanish students and staff seemed to alienate us (the study abroad students) for some unknown reason. We were hazed by the senior students for a solid week before IES stepped in and made them stop. The staffs on the other hand seem to not want anything to do with us and made us feel alone when we needed something handed by them. Other than the issues with the staff and students, the dorm was in the middle of a beautiful, safe area of Barcelona which had very easy access to the IES center and the rest of the city via the metro/bus.
Overall my experience abroad through IES Liberal Arts and Business Program was a great one and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interesting in that region of Spain. The staffs made me feel really comfortable in a foreign city and the experiences I had will be with me forever. The program was very well structured and student focused resulting in an amazing experience for myself and my fellow abroad students.
Yes, I recommend
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Gaby
10/10

Best semester of my life!

I had always wanted to study abroad but at the same time I was a little scared to just venture into the wold all on my own. IES Barcelona was the perfect fit for me! They provided the support needed while allowing me the freedom to take full advantage of my study abroad experience.

Yes, I recommend
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DG101
8/10

IES in a Nutshell

Popular program in a great location. The facility is located in an excellent area of the city and the staff are very friendly and helpful. Teachers were nice and enthusiastic. The program did not have class on Fridays, allowing students to travel around Europe. Overall, if I had to do it all over again, I would go back to Barcelona with IES Abroad.

How can this program be improved?
IES Abroad could hold itself to higher academic standards. At the time, my school would not count my classes abroad towards my GPA and none of the business courses offered were allowed to fulfill my requirement for my major.
Yes, I recommend
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Aldrich
10/10

Amazing Experience

Everything from my classmates and roomates, the local food and learning the language, living with a host mom, commuting into the heart of Barcelona to go to school- made it an unforgettable experience. IES was great at incorporating the local culture and history into all of our classes, which made it personal and more interesting. Another thing IES did really well was organizing day/weekend trips to other cities in Spain, always creating a learning and cultural experience out of it.

Yes, I recommend
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Kelli
9/10

The Perfect City

Barcelona is an absolutely incredible city - I truly don't think I could have picked a better city in which to study. There was always so much to do and it is truly a city that has something for everyone. The parks are beautiful, the Spanish tortilla is incredible (I ate it at almost every restaurant), the sunset on Barceloneta is something you have to see, the nightlife is great, and there are so many hidden places that you just have to discover for yourself. The people are friendly and as lame as this sounds, the subway system is great. I loved my daily walks through the city, and even getting lost was a fun adventure. The IES staff is absolutely incredible - they are eager for us to not only learn the language, but to become truly immersed in the culture. I am counting down the days until I can return to Barcelona.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I didn't like about the IES Barcelona Program was the fact that finals and presentations and projects were all crammed into the last week, making it very stressful. Since it was many of our last weeks in the city, it should have been a week spent getting in all of those last-minute Barcelona things - instead of spent stressing about all the school work. I just wish the work had been more spread out over the course of the program, instead of all lumped together.
Yes, I recommend
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BCN_J
10/10

Killing it in Barcelona

IES Barcelona Liberal Arts and Business wasn't named the #1 study abroad program for nothing. So many course options (take classes at UAB - you are placed with kids studying abroad from all over the world), field trips, and student activities around the city are prepared for you.

Even if you don't speak any Spanish (I had taken French in high school), getting around Barcelona is not too difficult. The subway and bus system are amazing, so you can travel from one part of the city to another with ease. The food in Barcelona is also simply amazing. It is the most cosmopolitan city in Spain, so you won't be stuck with just traditional Spanish food. Catalan food is French oriented, but there are also Asian restaurants, Irish pubs, German food, African cuisine, you name it and you can find it.

I recommend taking out a student loan (or borrow money from family if possible) in order to have spending money for travel and eating out (eat out as much as possible, there is no city in America where food is as good as in Europe). I had a $6,500 student loan and spent about $3,000 on snowboarding trips to the Pyrenees and Alps (16 days riding in Europe total). The rest was spent in Barcelona mostly on food and going out with friends. Depending on your style, I would also suggest under packing clothes and buying some new threads in Spain. If you go for the Spring semester, the after Christmas sales begin in January and last all month and you can find great deals on just about everything.

One thing not to do is stay in Spain. Travel to as many countries as possible (Paris, London, Berlin, or any northern city in January/February will be cold -- check the weather before you travel) and eat as much new food as possible (especially Jamon de belota in Spain -- the expensive stuff, its worth it).

How can this program be improved?
There is a mandatory language course, which if you have never taken Spanish is not very fun. Try to get your teacher to work with your class on speaking and the basic conversational skills you will need to get around. It takes a while, but after a month or so you will be able to understand what people are saying to you even if you can't talk to them.
Yes, I recommend
Lisa Vera
Lisa
8/10

Endless Fun!

Barcelona is an amazing city with so many things to do! From the beautiful beaches to historical landmarks and architecture everyday can be an adventure! The staff is very helpful, providing great advice and excursions to make the most out of your time abroad. My weeks consisted of morning classes at the IES center, followed by delicious lunches (plenty of restaurants around the center), exploring the city in the afternoon, and having a typical Spanish dinner with my homestay family (one of my favorite parts of my day). The weekends offered plenty of time to travel to nearby cities like Sitges, or plan a trip to a nearby country with your friends. The most difficult aspect of living in Barcelona was maintaing a budget, but this can easily be done with some planning!

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing I would change the size of the program. Being in a program of 300 Americans makes if hard to make friends outside of your program.
Yes, I recommend
Liza Maizel
Liza
9/10

A Little Bit of Something for Everyone!

Barcelona is an amazing city with a little bit of everything. The nightlife is amazing, the city is beautiful, and you can climb mountains, sit on the beach, or enjoy a walk through one of the many parks. There are museums, historical buildings, modern buildings, lots of shopping, and a whole lot of culture. Each day I would enjoy walking to my class, either at the IES abroad center or one of the Spanish universities I also took classes at. After classes, I would go get coffee with friends, hang out in the park, or go to the beach. On the weekends I was able to explore the various museums, architecture, or just wander around the city. I loved the people I lived with in my dorm, they were from all over the world. I also had an amazing internship where I was able to get to know many people born and raised in the city of Barcelona. The weather is beautiful, the people are super friendly, and it is a very accessible city. Sometimes it is almost overwhelming how much there is to do, and how little time you have there, as well as the fact you want to travel to other places in Europe. I had an amazing experience, and I would recommend this program to everyone!

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing about my experience abroad, I would not have Friday classes so that traveling on the weekends would be easier and you would not have to worry about missing classes.
Yes, I recommend
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Sarah19
10/10

An Amazing Decision

Studying abroad was something that I always wanted to do, and I decided to study in Barcelona to improve my Spanish, learn more about my culture, and to experience a part of the world that I had never seen. Each day I would see amazing food, people, and things that you can't find anywhere else. I loved the culture and social aspects of Barcelona. It is a city where you can find wonderful Modern Art by artists like Gaudi, you can visit beautiful cathedrals, or you can simply walk the streets and hear and see wonderful street musicians and life around you. I'm also extremely happy that I decided to live in a homestay, because this was key to my development of Spanish. I learned a lot more about traditional daily life in Barcelona, and I even took home wonderful recipes from my senora (like how to make tortilla de patatas and coques). Along with the daily encounters around the city, my course schedule allowed me to further learn about the city and Europe as a whole. We had lots of trips to understand and appreciate things that we were studying, and I loved each day. Barcelona was amazing, and I can't wait to go back one day!

How can this program be improved?
I wish that I had either done a slightly longer program or that the program center allowed a few more vacation days. There are so many wonderful places and things to see, and sometimes it felt as though I couldn't take the time explore as much as I would have liked.
Yes, I recommend
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mswelch
8/10

Wonderful City

I very much enjoyed my semester studying in Barcelona. For someone who always pictured themselves living in a city, this was a great opportunity to test it out. The city itself is fantastic. There's always something interesting to do, and of course there is always the beach. Some of the highlights from my semester were the days I would spend wandering around the city's Barri Gotic. There are lots of small shops and restaurants hidden through these narrow streets. I also really enjoyed the antiques market that takes place every Thursday in Placa del Seu. One difficulty that I had was the amount of effort it took to feel immersed in the life of the city. Being in a city is a very different study abroad experience than a small town. It takes more work to seek out opportunities and make connections with local people than it would otherwise. For anyone attempting to get a more immersive experience, I would recommend living in a homestay, joining a conversation circle/language exchange program, and subscribing to one of the online news/events publications that post about happenings in the city (lecool.com is one).

How can this program be improved?
There is a language course requirement that had class Monday, Wednesday, Friday of each week. I knew I wouldn't be able to get credit for the course, and didn't really get much out of it. I felt a more conversation based class or participation in a language exchange would have been more helpful for someone at my language level.
Yes, I recommend
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Beth920
8/10

The Best Semester of My Life

Spending four months in Barcelona, Spain, one of the most cultural cities in the world will absolutely change your life and your outlook on the world. I lived with a host family for four months and they completely made the experience I had. Learning and living the Catalonian culture every day was something I'll never forget. The academics are challenging enough, but nothing unlike you'd see at any four-year institution. The staff is incredibly helpful and reliable; I was able to go to them with absolutely any question or concern, no matter how big or small. Exploring the city has so much to offer between the sites, restaurants, and nightlife. And there couldn't be a more perfect location as a launch pad to the rest of your travels in Europe. I highly recommend Barcelona as your study abroad destination and I wouldn't have done it without the IES program.

How can this program be improved?
More stability and help getting to Barcelona from the US would be extremely beneficial. I would also suggest a few more faculty members with international backgrounds, not just expats from the US who have decided to move to Barcelona.
Yes, I recommend
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Carrie
9/10

4 Months in Barcelona

Studying abroad in Barcelona has been the best decision of my life to date. Barcelona is an incredible place to study abroad because it has a young, fun, international atmosphere with PLENTY to do. You have the beach, La Rambla, Parc de Guell and all the other Gaudi architecture, exciting nightlife, great food and best of all you get to experience the Barcelona lifestyle. This lifestyle is what I enjoyed most about my time there. I am a night owl so Barcelona was a perfect city for me, where you do everything late: eat, go out at night, go to sleep, wake up. Everyone takes their time and really enjoys life to the fullest. I had a homestay and loved improving my Spanish speaking skills and experiencing Spanish life first hand. One thing that I noticed while in my homestay, was how much Spaniards really cherish their friends and family. When my parents came to visit my homestay parents cooked a massive meal that lasted for 3 hours and included lots of great conversation. It was one of my favorite moments abroad. I also was able to take two classes at a university in Barcelona called Universitat de Pompeu Fabra. This was really cool because I got to see what a Spanish student's life was like at school. Another great opportunity that I took advantage of was all the field trip that IES offers. Through my program I was able to travel to Valencia, Sevilla, Cordoba, Montserrat and Morocco. Overall, I had an incredible experience in Barcelona and highly recommend the city and the IES program.

How can this program be improved?
I would have wanted my homestay to be much closer to the actual center of the city.
Yes, I recommend
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Lauren
10/10

Study in Barcelona

Studying in Barcelona through IES was a great experience. The building where the classes take place, is in the center of the city, right at the end of Las Ramblas (a key place in Barcelona.) The living situation was equally convenient. All the locations were within walking distance to school or a metro stop, so finding your way in was a snap. I had the chance to do a home stay and was a bit nervous to start, but IES assigns each group a residence assistant (RA.) The RA comes to visit you every other week to check in and make sure that your living situation is good! This way if there are any problems, you have someone to tell immediately. One last great thing was that we only had classes Monday through Thursday, so there was more time to travel on the weekends! Overall, this was an amazing study abroad trip!

How can this program be improved?
If I had to change one thing it would be the pre-trip preparation. IES provides you with a lot of information and plenty to get you prepared, but I felt it was all very abstract until I had actually landed in Spain.
Yes, I recommend

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