• Spain
    • Barcelona
Fall, J-Term, Spring, Summer
Subject Areas
Accounting Anthropology Architecture Arts Biology Business Communications Computer Science Cultural Studies Economics Entrepreneurship European Studies Film Finance Geography Global Studies Health Sciences History Hospitality Humanities Information Technology International Business Journalism Liberal Arts Literature Marketing Mathematics Philosophy Political Science Psychology Public Health Religious Studies Service Learning Sociology Tourism +25

Program Details

Program Type
Degree Level
Apartment Dormitory Host Family


Price Details
You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE! There are no hidden charges or surprises when you arrive, and scholarships opportunities are available!
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Classes Some Meals Travel Insurance
What's Included (Extra)

Pre-departure advising, airport pick-up, on-site professional staff, and iNext travel protection

Jan 07, 2022
Mar 28, 2020
14 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Barcelona’s art, architecture, and gastronomic reputation alone are enough to command global attention. Add its political, economic, and cultural influence to its respected higher education system and you get an irresistible destination for students from around the world.

CIEE Spain gives you access to homestays; internships; volunteering opportunities; direct enrollment options; and cultural clubs, activities, and excursions that provide a uniquely immersive international experience. Come write your story of Spain with us.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • CIEE Barcelona is located in downtown Barcelona, near the city’s main square. Both ESCI and UVic are just 20 minutes from CIEE.
  • Every CIEE semester program has cultural excursions and study tours uniquely designed to complement the program’s academics and enhance students’ cultural immersion.
  • Depending on their program of study and availability, students may be able to volunteer or participate in an internship.
  • Students can volunteer to help children with homework after school, help kids with special needs during school breaks, or take part in food-drives to help feed people in need.

Popular Programs

Main entrance to Gaudi's Parc Guell

Spend your summer learning how to succeed in a globalized economy, discovering a new culture, and gaining crucial global perspectives – all while studying business in Barcelona. This program offers challenging coursework, engaging company visits, welcoming homestays, and interesting co-curricular activities designed to offer insight into international business.

CIEE Barcelona

Improve your Spanish language skills and boost your cultural knowledge while studying international business in the capital of Catalonia. Choose from courses in English at CIEE Barcelona and CIEE’s partner schools, Escola Superior de Comerç Internacional (ESCI) or Universitat de Vic (UVic), while immersing yourself in Barcelona’s culture, history, and community.

Excusion to Montserrat

Perfectly situated between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona is the ideal city to spend your January term boosting your knowledge of international business or art history. Gain exposure to and develop a deeper understanding of the city’s booming business industry or learn about Catalan and Spanish culture through Spanish masterpieces.



CIEE Scholarships and Grants

CIEE’s need-based grants offer support to students who face financial barriers to studying abroad. CIEE awards need-based grants based on students’ EFCs and program selection. The Gilman Go Global Grant offers students $750-$2,000 toward airfare, plus $2,500 toward semester program costs, or $1,000 toward summer program costs.

$500 - $2,500

Program Reviews

9.55 Rating
based on 49 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 89.8%
  • 7-8 rating 10.2%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 8.8
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 49 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

CIEE Barcelona Review

I had so much fun during my semester abroad in Barcelona! I was able to take courses that met requirements for my majors; I took one of them at ESCI, a host institution, and the other 4 at CIEE. Barcelona has so many things to offer - I found something new each day that I explored around, and I never had a chance to be bored. When studying abroad, you also have the chance to travel A LOT. I'm glad I made the most of my time there and visited a bunch of other cities and countries! CIEE also offered some cool excursions, and I met a bunch of students from around the world. I'm very happy I had this opportunity and am already planning my trip back there!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make sure to take lots of time to explore the city of Barcelona - there's so much more to find than you'd expect!
30 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved this program, would do again if I could

I arrived to the program late after some circumstantial issues with my visa, so I was worried that I was going to have a difficult time finding close friends and adjusting to the program in some way, shape, or form. Luckily, everyone in this program is amazing so not only did I have no issues, but I was able to make some great friends right off the bat. The staff at CIEE is extremely helpful and always offering opportunities to get to know Barcelona better, as well as connect you with local students. Taking classes at UB was extremely daunting at first and I felt out of my element, but with the help of the great tutors CIEE offers and the professors and program directors, I was able to do well in all of my classes and thrive academically. I chose to live in a homestay with another student, which was one of the best decisions I made in the program. It was a great way to get authentic meals while practicing Spanish in a conversational environment, and the girl I lived with and I ended up becoming great friends. There's a lot of time to do your own thing, I was able to do a lot of traveling while I was there, and I honestly don't have enough good things to say about the program, CIEE definitely contributed to study abroad being one of the greatest times of my life.

32 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Far from the American bubble program, it's better

I have absolutely nothing but positive memories with CIEE Barcelona. I did the homestay option and studied at the Facultat de Filología and loved both! The program naturally forces you out of your comfort zone and rewards you with a wealth of rich knowledge, fond memories, and friends of a lifetime. At times, the program was difficult, but CIEE Barcelona provides undivided, personal support for challenges in-and-out of the classroom. Alberto and the rest of the program staff are transparent with their students from day one, and they push you to dive into Spanish culture.

I would highly recommend this program to anybody looking to contextualize their understanding of the Spanish language and take fantastic classes at the Universitat de Barcelona. The memories I share with my program friends are ones I will never forget. Take advantage of everything Barcelona, Spain, and Europe has to offer! Alberto and the staff are just the best--I wish I could return to CIEE Barcelona!

What would you improve about this program?
I would perhaps add activities or shorten the duration of orientation. I found myself without much to do the first 2 weeks because I still hadn't known the other program participants.
When selecting UB classes, I wish the program had been a little bit more transparent with the level of the classes. It seemed that I and a couple of others felt really behind in certain classes because we lacked the background in certain topics.
34 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic language and cultural immersion program

CIEE ALA is the best program you can choose if you want to immerse yourself in Spanish language and culture. It is a unique study abroad program because it allows its participants to take classes at the University of Barcelona in Spanish, which is the best way to get to know other Spanish students and dramatically improve your language skills. The program attracts students who are eager to get out of their comfort zone and learn lots. The small size means that everyone becomes really close, and the leaders of the program are always there for one-on-one help. Would definitely recommend this program to anyone who wants to challenge themselves and have a fulfilling experience studying abroad.

31 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime

I could not have asked for a better study abroad program. My homestay was absolutely amazing, every professor at CIEE is there to help and support you in anything you may need, and the location of everything is perfect! Barcelona was an amazing city to study abroad in and I cannot wait to return. I will admit I struggled with a biology class I took while there but the Professor and Alberto, the CIEE program director, helped me through everything and I ended up passing! Do not worry, you will have time to travel around Europe as well! I made it to five different countries traveling with new friends from my program. An amazing way to meet new friends that will last a lifetime. This is absolutely the best study abroad program in my opinion. Definitely a challenge but always worth it in the end.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of every opportunity you get! You are only there for a short amount of time, don't waste it going to the same restaurant or cafe everyday, not traveling to those places you've been dreaming about, not making friends in your program. Make the most of your experience, it all depends on you!
34 people found this review helpful.
Read my full story
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Come to Barcelona!

I loved my semester abroad in Barcelona! I even had the opportunity to be a CIEE blogger, so if you are interested please look me up on their site. It is the perfect sized city, close to the beach and the mountains, and the food is amazing. Not to mention you never run out of things to do or see. It is also very easy to travel around Europe by being in Barcelona. I have been to four other countries during this semester abroad. I would definitely recommend this program specifically, especially if improving your Spanish is something that is important to you. I would also recommend staying with a host family. It is a great way to try local food and also practice your casual/every day conversation in a stress free environment. I am so sad to be leaving next week.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked more interesting classes as well as more challenging grammar/writing courses
32 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A Fulfilling, Challenging & Fun Experience

I loved everything about my abroad experience with ALA Barcelona. This program does a fantastic job of balancing academic challenge with fun cultural activities. I had an amazing semester spent exploring Barcelona and traveling on weekends, and I improved my Spanish a lot. I think the biggest advantage that ALA offers is being able to take classes at the University of Barcelona. Unlike most Americans that study in Barcelona, I and the rest of ALA students interacted much more with locals. The level of linguistic and cultural emersion is much higher for this program compared to most others, and CIEE provides constant personal support to ensure that their students succeed academically. I think ALA students have the opportunity to really get to know Barcelona beyond a surface/ tourist-y level. In terms of logistics, ALA provides three housing options (residencia dorm among local students, apartment with other Americans, or homestay). The vast majority of students love their living situation, and each option has different advantages. I personally stayed in the residencia, and loved the central city location/ proximity to UB. Looking back, I would not change anything about my time in Barcelona!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Do NOT spend all of your time in Barcelona socializing with Americans. Branch out and build friendships with Spaniards! I am still in contact with some of my friends I met through UB.
33 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent Experience with CIEE Barcelona

I loved everything about my study abroad experience. I came in as a Spanish major wanting to make friends and become fluent and did exactly that. CIEE placed me with a welcoming Catalan family who had a brother my age I am close with to this day. Between my homestay experience, and classes with the University of Barcelona and CIEE, I had so many opportunities to learn and I am proud to say I am fluent today. I also made so many friends and not just with the students, but professors as well! The CIEE program had many opportunities for us to hang out with the students and professors alike, my favorite of which being a weekend excursion to Collioure. Overall, I had the best time in Barcelona and miss the city, friends and program so much!! I would highly recommend this experience to anyone hoping to improve their Spanish or simply immerse themselves in a young and vibrant city!

31 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers