IES Abroad Barcelona – Liberal Arts & Business

Video and Photos

Barcelona Tapas
Barcelona Tapas
Amsterdam Fun
Amsterdam Fun
Tarragona Trip
Tarragona Trip
Inspiration is all over the place
Inspiration is all over the place
Taiwan & UK 's love from bunkers
Taiwan & UK 's love from bunkers
Palau de la Música
Palau de la Música
the most beautiful sight in europe
the most beautiful sight in europe
greatest host parents in the world
greatest host parents in the world

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.

Scholarships

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.

Value
$500 - $5,000

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

94%
based on 70 reviews
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9
Showing 46 - 60 of 70
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Julia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

Default avatar
Devon
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

Default avatar
Katie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
Rachel
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in Spain

My overall experience with IES Abroad was extremely positive. Upon arrival, we had 1.5 weeks of optional orientation activities before class started. By participating in these events, I made friends, adjusted to the new time zone, and got to know Barcelona. My program did not have classes on Fridays, which was perfect for weekend traveling! Also, there were several optional trips that IES planned to different Spanish cities. I went on many of these trips (including those to Granada, Costa Brava, Mallorca, and Madrid), and I thoroughly enjoyed the activities they planned and the ability to travel with other students in my program. One down side to these trips was that there were several sites I wanted to see but was unable to visit because our schedule did not permit it. I also did not like how most of the dinners on these trips were hotel buffets, which prevented me from trying as much of the local cuisine as I had hoped. In regard to my classes, I was extremely satisfied. I loved my professors, found them extremely approachable and helpful, and learned more than I expected. However, my Spanish did not improve as much as I had hoped, as I spoke in English during most of the day with my friends. I also had an amazing experience in my home stay (students can also elect to stay in dorms or apartments). Throughout the semester, I learned so much from my host family, got to have home cooked meals every night, and was able to practice my Spanish much more than students in other living arrangements. I had such an enriching, fun, and memorable semester, and I would highly recommend IES Abroad Barcelona!

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Oluwamayowa
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IES Barcelona, A Life Changing Experience!

If I had the power, I would force every student in America to study abroad in Spain. That is the kind of experience it has given me time and time again. If you want to enjoy your day, from the moment you wake up til the moment you lay in your bed to go to sleep, without a doubt, Spain is the place to study. From the food to the people, Spain is priceless!

What would you improve about this program?
No program is perfect, but this is pretty close to it. I would suggest to make the program longer! Haha
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Kyra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Barcelona and Beyond

I will never forget the day I ventured to explore "Parc de Montjuic." I felt at one with Barcelona and myself, busy beholding the beauty around me, learning the history of the Castle atop the hill, touring the Olympic sites, and gawking at the view of the city from "El Museau Nacional d'Art de Catalunya." What a great day it was, a "me" day for the books. Four months full of days like this one allowed me to eternally fall in love with the bustling cosmopolitan city of Barcelona, the rich and unique Catalan culture and the new way of like I embraced by living in Spain. Living in Barcelona went beyond the journey of being in a new place experiencing new things, to embarking on a journey of self-discovery.

While in Barcelona, I always felt the support of the IES Abroad team; they truly had our best interests in mind. The staff was there to spark our excitement and calm any nerves--whether the issue was figuring out the metro system, or adjusting to a home-stay, or simply wanting a recommendation for a tasty tapas bar, the staff was eager to help. I also had professors that gave me the in class experience and a wealth of knowledge that served to enhance my personal experience and growth abroad. Overall, both the staff and professors urged us to step out of our comfort zones, something I am very grateful for.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to change one thing about this program it would be better planning for the final exams and papers. The semester I was there, this period fell right after Spring Break, which was a difficult transition.
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Lyssa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spain Will Change Your Life

Studying in Barcelona was the best decision I ever made. The city is full of culture, adventure and an amazing social scene. Every part of the city is easily accessible via metro/bus. You will find anything and everything that you're looking for by coming here. Barcelona's culture and history is so rich, the food is an amazing experience and the people are awesome. Whether your social preference is partying or chilling with cheese and wine, you'll be happy you came. My favorite thing to do here was to wander and get lost in the city. This is how I found all of my favorite places. Most of the students traveled on the weekends to other countries. I met so many wonderful friends just sitting in the airport figuring out we were both IES students looking for adventure. This experience in Barcelona has given me so many friends with such a special bond we will share forever. Most of my friends lived in home stays: which they loved because they had great host families. I stayed in a dorm. I loved this. It was a great mix of 12 Americans to give me comfort in a dorm of 200 Spanish students. Most people were dissatisfied with the Sodexo food (which still has a Spanish flair) but I enjoyed it even though it did get repetitive. Academics were fine. Professors are kind but a bit jumbled. Really not a lot courseload wise but you do need to put effort into it. All in all, GO TO SPAIN AND MAKE THE BEST MEMORIES OF YOUR LIFE.

What would you improve about this program?
This program could improve with NO FRIDAY CLASSES. Students all want to explore the city or travel without worrying about failing because of attendance.
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Alexis
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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...
Default avatar
Becka
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
Adam
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Gaby
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

Default avatar
DG101
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Aldrich
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Kelli
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Default avatar
BCN_J
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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).

What would you improve about this program?
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.