ISA Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain

Video and Photos

ISA has their own inter mural soccer league and you can play with locals as well. First place!
The view of Barcelona from the bunkers.


International Studies Abroad (ISA) offers this exciting program in Barcelona, Spain. With four different schools to choose from, ISA makes it easy to find the perfect fit for you. Study at the Pompeu Fabra University, Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Barcelona, or Menéndez Pelayo International University-Barcelona.

Barcelona is a large city (pop 1.5 million) in the northeastern corner of Spain with history dating back 2,500 years. The gothic architecture clashes with the modern city, making this eccentric destination like few others in the world. Check out ISA's extensive website to find out every detail you need to make the right decision!


ISA Scholarships
ISA Scholarships and Financial Aid

ISA is committed to increasing all students’ access to study abroad’s many benefits. We don't let financial hardships to get in the way of a life changing educational experience.

$350 - $2,000

Questions & Answers


based on 12 reviews
  • Academics 8.3
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 9.9
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 12 of 12
Yes, I recommend this program

ISA, scheduling and itinerary is somewhat disappointing.

So this is my second trip with ISA. 2 years ago, I went to Costa Rica with them. During my first trip with them, I didn't get my schedule or class times or excursion dates until a few days after we arrived in Costa Rica, making it hard to plan outside activities. We also didn't have a set time to be picked up from our flight, and details weren't sent out until about 3-4 weeks BEFORE classes started, leaving little to no time to book an affordable plane ticket. I asked about these issues I experienced the first time, and was told that any issues would be hammered out after a bit. 2 years later, I am running into the exact same problem. I am spending 14,000 dollars for 3 MONTHS in Spain, and ISA has been unable to provide me with when my Spanish class will be held, again, making it extremely hard to plan outside excursions. We were also scheduled to take a trip to Morocco, and that was something I was really excited about. It was only until I called the actual ISA office that I found there was not enough time to embark on that trip, and they were "planning on telling us" in about a week, aka about a month from the time we are expected to land in Spain. My program in Costa Rica was awesome, and I'm sure I will enjoy Barcelona, but if scheduling issues are a deal breaker for you, definitely don't enroll in this program. It's also extremely expensive, as my short 3 month semester costs just as much as a 6 month program in the same region.

What would you improve about this program?
Get your scheduling together and make sure you communicate issues or excursion cancellations as soon as you know about them. We need less than just one month to book a flight that will ensure your providers meeting us, understanding where we will be in regards to host living, etc. Important information is not distributed early enough in the program.
Yes, I recommend this program

The Trip of a Lifetime

The staff at ISA was incredible. Every program says their staff will be there for you, but will they really? About two months into my program I came down with a fever. It wasn't a big deal and my host mom took me to the doctor immediately. Three days later, ISA staff called me and asked me how I was doing, if my asthma was effected, and if I needed any further help or treatment. I didn't even tell them I was sick, and never had any asthma issues. Yet they knew, and were kind enough to reach out to me before I may have needed help instead of waiting until after I had a problem.

They checked in one more time a few days later and this showed me that they really do care for their students and are there to support them.

What would you improve about this program?
This program offered a spring break trip to Morocco, but you had to sign up for the trip before the semester started. At this point in time, you haven't met anybody from your program and are not aware of what our future friends would want to do. I would suggest giving the students to weeks or so to make friends and then have the deadline to sign up for this trip.
Yes, I recommend this program

One Life Changing Trip

My study abroad experience was the best four months of my life and changed my future for the better! I traveled to Barcelona, Spain with the International Studies Abroad program for the fall semester of my junior year. Barcelona is an exciting, diverse, and welcoming city that steals a part of your heart. I made some of my best friends during this program and now have a second mother in Spain who was my home stay mom. The International Studies Abroad (ISA) program took us on a variety of weekend trips that were included in the program. This allowed me to see other parts of Spain that I wouldn’t have thought to travel to on my own. My favorite of these trips was to Valencia where we spent the day in awe at the beautiful architecture unique to the city. Studying abroad is an original experience that will be exciting and unique to all who embark. I ended up traveling to 14 different countries during my time in Europe and was exposed to gorgeous scenery, varying cultures, and remarkable people. I highly encourage everyone to study abroad because you will be left with the best memories and will have learned more than you ever could in your home classroom. International Studies Abroad changed my life and I plan on returning to Europe in the fall to pursue a Master’s program. The only regret I have about my study abroad experience is not staying longer!! Best of luck fellow travelers!

Yes, I recommend this program

Spring Study Abroad in Barcelona

My abroad experience was amazing. I would advise every student to study abroad during their college years. Experiencing other people’s culture and living among those who are so different from yourself is life changing. I studied abroad in Barcelona for a semester with five other girls who go to my university. My abroad experience would not have been the same if I did not go through International Studies Abroad. ISA was extremely accommodating every step of the way. Their staff was always there for each student and ready to help in any situation. ISA made me feel safe and like I would be taken care of no matter what.
ISA was very well-organized from beginning to end of my trip. They picked us up from the airport and made sure we knew where our housing was from the start. ISA also provided us with various guides on places to go in Barcelona including eateries, museums, and local spots.
Not only would I recommend to study abroad through ISA, I would also urge students to study in Barcelona. The city never became boring once. Barcelona will always be my favorite city and I cannot wait to return.

Yes, I recommend this program

Summer 2014 in Barcelona

I had a life-changing experience on the Summer 4 Barcelona program. I traveled with 4 other girls from my university and stayed in an apartment. Although I did not get the full immersion experience by living in an apartment, I had a great experience. The apartment was well-equipped, clean, and in an upbeat neighborhood in Barcelona. The program offered various weekend excursions including cava (champagne tasting) and a trip to the South of France. They made sure that the excursions were fun and interesting for college-aged students. One of my favorite parts about the program was the university and my profesora. Our teacher, Maria, was hilarious and always kept us entertained. I loved that we took classes at an actual university-- I know some programs offer courses in hotel conference rooms. I thought it was really great to experience the college life for a typical Spanish student.

Overall, I thought ISA was very organized and helpful. Their staff had a lot of advice and was easy to get into contact with. I had some family problems while abroad and the staff was more than generous throughout the process. The only thing I regret about studying abroad was that I should have gone longer! The month-long program goes by really quickly because you are so busy trying to see everything you can. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who wants to go abroad but is unable to during the school year.

What would you improve about this program?
It would have been nice if our apartment was located closer to campus.
Yes, I recommend this program

Barcelona is Everything.

The school in ISA was absolutely the best. I learned more in this semester then I had all of college previously. The teachers are a very diverse group who really care about their students. They don't boggle you down with homework and busy work but instead actually teach you. Global management with Jean Philiipe was my favorite class I have ever taken.

Program Administration in Spain
The ISA staff is amazing and will help you with anything you need. Whether its tutoring in your classes or helping you plan your next trip. They have a group of extremely dedicated members.

I can not say enough wonderful things about my homestay. It was in the heart of Barcelona and had the best views. My abuelo was the sweetest lady ever and probably the thing I miss the most about spain. The food she made was to die for.

Social Integration
ISA sets up weekly tours where they take you round to different regions in Spain. They also send out a weekly letter with their favorite restaurants, bars, and activities in Barcelona. There is also a intercombio option where you can learn to speak better spanish with a native spaniard.

I actually got sick in Morooco when I visited and the staff in Barcelona were very helpful. They went with me to the doctors and made the process a lot less daunting. This program provides health insurance for you so you do not have to worry about medical expenses. I had to get a couple of vaccinations before I went. Spain however doesn't have any major health concerns that are different then the U.S.

Overall this was an absolutely incredible experience and ISA was defiantly the best program to go with. You will not regret this decision.

What would you improve about this program?
Better preparation of students before the Morocco trip.
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in Barcelona

Upon returning from my trip abroad I had one thought on my mind. Wow, I wish I could've studied abroad for a year. Studying in Barcelona, Spain through ISA was truly the best decision I've ever made in my life. The ISA staff was more than supportive and addressed any of your needs immediately. They were even as kind to drop off a coffee machine and mugs when we mentioned (in passing) that we missed having a coffee machine.

Barcelona is without a doubt the best city to travel to. It is modern enough that you do not feel overwhelmed with culture shock. Yet it is historic enough to engulf yourself in culture and art.

ISA made a very daunting and at first intimidating process, exciting and fun. I would highly recommend traveling with ISA.

What would you improve about this program?
I virtually have no complaints about ISA. If I had to improve one thing it would be to have longer excursions. When we traveled to Valencia, Spain, it was hard to fit in everything in two days.
Yes, I recommend this program

ISA Barcelona!

Studying abroad was the best experience of my life! ISA set me up with an amazing house mom, planned fun excursions, and was super involved but still encouraged independence with the students from all over the states! I would definitely suggest going for a semester or more and wish I could go again! ISA was the best value and had the best staff!

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe if ISA pushed the Veritas program more. I didn't know it existed but would have liked it! Its a christian program.
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best City

My study abroad experience in Barcelona through ISA changed my life entirely. When I was searching places to study abroad, I was trying to find a place that push my boundaries as well as having some elements that made me feel comfortable. I grew up in a small town, so I knew I wanted to try out a big city, which would make me feel very out of element. However, I knew I wanted to live somewhere that was a little like home, so it had to be on water. Barcelona, was the city I was looking for and more in that sense because it was a huge city, with water, beaches, and mountains.

Once I knew the location, I had to find a program. I was recommended to go through ISA from my brother's roommate, who said he had a great experience. I was already looking at other programs when he recommended ISA, so I had to make a couple lists comparing other programs. At the end, ISA had the most benefits with it's cost of the program. It was also one of the most reasonably priced with everything it included. Excursions to 3 different places, housing, and the readily available on-site staff made it a clear choice.

What would you improve about this program?
I would suggest that they offer more opportunities for study abroad students to get to know local students.
Yes, I recommend this program

My Study Abroad Experience

I have to start off by saying that my study abroad trip to Barcelona, Spain was simply life changing and incredible! I left everything that I was used to and stepped into a world of new ways, beliefs and traditions. Too me, it was the little things that mattered the most; the way Catalans embraced each other or the way people walked around and appreciated the beautiful nature that Barcelona has to offer! Every day after class I would lay out on the beach and just soak up the sun right in front of the Mediterranean Sea. My home stay mother was so nice to us and the smell of her cooking made me feel so warm inside. Even though I was so out of touch with the United States for this short amount of time, I felt like I was at home exactly where I was. Hiking to the very top of the Montserrat mountain was completely peaceful and breathtaking. I closed my eyes and knew that this was exactly where I was supposed to be. My program was the best and their support made me feel so comfortable with everything that I did. I came back to the United States pumped up to do even more with my life and of course travel again internationally! Being a Global Ambassador at Hampton University is so awesome because I get to share my experience and help other's make their dreams of studying abroad a reality.

What would you improve about this program?
The only thing that I would change is maybe the program should have a meet and greet with all of the students before classes started.
Yes, I recommend this program

THE Study Abroad Experience

My experience abroad with ISA was THE study abroad experience. I studied abroad in Fall 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. I loved the experience so much that I ended up interning for ISA to promote study abroad in general, but I am writing this review based on my experience in their program.
What really defined my experience was being able to be independent in the city but also having a support system and some familiarity. ISA really provided that because it has students from all over the United States and not just from your school; as a result, you are not surrounded by people from your university but you can meet other study abroad students through different outlets that you can relate to; your classes, ISA activities, excursions...Their staff is incredibly accommodating and like what they do, and they are always there if you need anything. I met friends not only from Spain but all over the United States, many of which I still keep in contact and visit.
I lived with a host family with another girl from ISA. Our host family was an elderly woman who spoke to us primarily in Spanish and cooked us the most amazing meals ever. She hosts to support herself, but was also interested in getting to know us and allowed us to be part of her life. My roommate and I were complete opposites (she was more of a city girl from Alaska and I was from a small town in Florida), but we ended up learning so much from each other and becoming lifelong friends.
We took classes at a local university called AUB. Overall, from what I heard, the classes were relatively accommodating because they were for international students. Mine had Brazilians, Chinese, Germans, but they were all taught in English (except the Spanish language classes). My electives were similar to my university's classes but with slightly less work, but my Spanish classes were particularly challenging because how they teach them are sort of sporadic. Our class did not have a syllabus and was hard to follow, and we only had one test at the end of semester; in the end, I did not really know what to expect or what to study, but it was probably because I just could not adapt to teaching style. I would recommend to make sure you are in the right language level and if you feel uncomfortable in it, try and change your schedule.
Every school day we would take the metro to school, which were two campuses meant for international students within the city. To make it easier to get around, get a T-Jove pass! It is expensive, about 100 euro, but you get free metro for about three or four months which was ideal for my program. It makes it very convenient on the weekends too because the metro is open 24 hours on Saturdays, and until midnight or 1 o clock on weekdays. Look out for festivals that the city does (ISA will send you information on upcoming events too). One of my most memorable experiences was being able to attend the events at the festival Merce (Look it up, you won't believe it! Its in the fall) that ISA told us about.
Also, a lot of students like to travel around Europe while they are there, which I highly recommend. Use the low-cost airlines like RyanAir and Vueling (especially Vueling because it is based out of Barcelona). Usually you can take weekend trips; I went to Ireland, Italy, France, and the south of Spain. Plus with your excursions, you can get a full travel experience.
I really enjoyed my experience abroad and ISA facilitated that experience very well. They also keep contact with you after you leave and offer you opportunities. For example, I work as an intern in their Global Ambassador program. What we do is promote their programs on campus through creating social activities and presentations to different clubs. Its also a great way to meet other people who are coming back from abroad and were just as passionate about their experience as you are. Anyway, I encourage anyone who reads this: Barcelona is an amazing city to study abroad in, and ISA really helps you make the most of it. BUT, study abroad in general! It is so worth it.

Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime!

My experience studying abroad with ISA in Barcelona was incredible. We began the program in Madrid and then had the opportunity to visit a few smaller cities in Catalunya and learn about the history and government of the country. My homestay experience was incredible and my family lived right in the heart of the city. Classes were interesting and rewarding. We also had great support from the ISA team if we ever needed anything from the office. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone looking to study abroad in Barcelona.