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 61 - 67 of 67
Default avatar
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 this program
Default avatar
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 this program
Default avatar
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 this program
Default avatar
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 this program
Default avatar
Katlin
9/10

IES Barcelona

I spent about five months living and studying in Barcelona, Spain and it was the best five months of my life. I would recommended this opportunity to any one interested. Spain and the city of Barcelona are beautiful, and worth experiencing. I would say that speaking spanish is useful but not entirely necessary in Barcelona however you should be aware that Catalan an important language in Barcelona and a lot of signs are in both spanish and Catalan. Many europeans speak enough English to get their point across. Barcelona is pretty central to the rest of europe so movement between locations/countries is extremely easy and quick. Also movement in the city was really easy with the public transportation however while I was studying they were doing some construction so there were some longer travel times. But in general it was one of the easiest public transportation systems I used in Europe. Pick pocketing can occur but this did not happen to frequently to students who attempted to blend into the culture and environment, because they are looking for tourist and easy targets so my suggestion would just to be aware of your surrounding and your belongings at all times. Also be aware of the eating schedule in Spain it is quite different to the US schedule and to other european countries. From the other students I studied with this seemed to be the hardest thing to adjust too. Barcelona is also known as a partying city so be prepared to have a blast any time you want. These were some of the best memories and experiences I have had in my life

How can this program be improved?
If I could change one thing about the program it would be the class schedule. For the IES program classes were held on fridays. This made traveling over the weekend at times impossible. As a student you are only allowed to a miss each class a certain number of times so again traveling over the weekends can be difficult.
Yes, I recommend this program
Katherine E. Davis
Katherine
10/10

Day-to-day experiences

I lived with a host family, which was a great learning experience for me. Because my host mom lived about 40 minutes (walking-wise) away from IES, I took the metro to class. After class I would often walk around and explore with friends, shop, or occasionally nap, as many of my classes were at 9:00 AM. At night, I would go out to local bars with my friends.

How can this program be improved?
The attendance policy (requiring class on Fridays) was one of the most frustrating aspects of the program. Often-time, traveling on weekends to different countries would require a flight that would leave on Friday. Because Spanish class was mandatory on Friday, I would often have to leave later in the evening, which would result in my arrival to other countries/cities extremely late. I would then get to, essentially, only spend 24 hours at that location, despite spending large amounts of money to travel. While some people might argue that it's not necessary to travel, it was extremely necessary for me. Not only was it my first time traveling alone, it was my first time (and for quite some time to come), my last time in Europe, and I wanted to make the most of my experience.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Marano
10/10

A Day in Barcelona

The school was really easily accessible from all locations. There also was a lot around the school which made errands easier. The teachers were really helpful too and really easy to connect with.

How can this program be improved?
Better options for traveling with the program to places.
Yes, I recommend this program

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IES Abroad offers 140 programs worldwide for college students. We are a highly charged force of study abroad enthusiasts. Every day we have the privilege of witnessing how study abroad changes our students’ lives. We also believe that every student...