Online Summer Program: Barcelona, Spain - UPF


A 1- or 2-week virtual program at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). You can choose one or two courses from a variety of options, taught by university faculty. This program also includes Spanish conversation practice with one of our Resident Directors.

What’s Included

  • Up to 3 credits from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)
  • Take courses in a variety of subjects and disciplines from all 13 programs
  • A $500 scholarship/grant towards a traditional 2021 AIFS Study Abroad program
  • Courses in a variety of subjects and disciplines
  • City Spotlights of Paris, Rome, Berlin, London and Prague
  • AIFS Around the World cultural events including cooking classes, scavenger hunts and more
  • Career-focused workshops
  • Virtual hangouts with participants from around the country

Credits Available
Up to 3 credits


You may choose courses from a variety of subjects and disciplines below and from all 13 Online Study Programs.

1-Week Courses – July 13th to July 17th

Social Media 59024
Análisis de Redes Sociales (in Spanish)
El curso tiene como objetivo introducir paso a paso a los estudiantes al análisis de redes sociales. El análisis de redes sociales es una aproximación transdisciplinar desde la cual estudiar lo social con una nueva mirada. Las redes como estructuras de relaciones no sólo están en la base de las relaciones interpersonales, sino también en múltiples fenómenos: estructuras de gobernanza, coautorías científicas, estructuras semánticas, pases de pelota en un equipo de futbol, inversiones entre empresas, colaboraciones entre actores de la sociedad civil, mafias, organizaciones de los movimientos sociales que comparten miembros, usuarios que comparten posts, twitteros que se retwittean… El análisis de redes permite conocer las propiedades de estos sistemas complejos. Elementos como la forma, estructura y composición de una red permiten conocer sus dinámicas y las posibilidades de acción de los nodos que forman parte de ella.

Law/Politics 59080
Derechos Humanos en el Siglo XXI (in Spanish)

El curso está dirigido a personas interesadas en el derecho internacional y en los Derechos Humanos.

El objetivo del curso es aproximar el régimen internacional de los Derechos Humanos a los alumnos, utilizando medios no académicos, tales como la literatura (novelas y cómics), audiovisuales (películas, documentales, y podcast) y métodos de debate interactivo (moot court) para ilustrar el origen, contenido y retos futuros del sistema internacional de protección de los derechos humanos, así como del derecho penal internacional.

La asignatura tiene un enfoque muy práctico, tratando de visualizar y llevar a la práctica nuevos métodos de enseñanza del derecho, aplicados a la enseñanza e investigación de los Derechos Humanos. 

Applied Thinking 59078
Pensar en Imágenes: la Creación de Ensayos Audiovisuales para Transmitir Ideas y Emociones (in Spanish)
Este curso muestra cómo escribir con imágenes y crear narrativas reflexivas y ensayos capaces de transmitir ideas y emociones. Hoy en día vivimos rodeados de imágenes. No sólo internet es un archivo inagotable, sino que también las grabamos con el móvil, creamos nuestros archivos y álbumes personales, o las enviamos o compartimos en plataformas digitales. El confinamiento por el Covid-19 lo ha intensificado, por lo que supone un reto pensar y escribir con imágenes sobre las formas alternativas de nuestra nueva relación con el mundo: cómo lo imaginamos o esperamos, cómo vivimos nuestras relaciones con los demás, o cómo construimos nuestro yo mediante imágenes y autorrepresentaciones. A partir de imágenes que se puedan grabar de nuestros lugares –en exteriores o interiores-, o que tengamos –propias o ajenas-, crearemos historias y reflexiones sobre nuestras ideas, vivencias, deseos o sentimientos.

Biology 59027
Time: Perceptions and Illusions of the Progress of Existence
The concept of time is deeply ingrained within the human mind. We experience the passage of time innately, and feel a natural difference between the past, the present, and the future. Yet, some of the descriptions of the universe that science offers us provide no reasons for which the past and the future should be different, and in some others the need for the concept of time itself is not at all evident. This course aims to present an overview of how time is understood by different sciences, in particular physics and biology, and how it relates to the way in which we humans experience the progress of existence. We will discuss concepts such as the arrow of time, the multiverse, embryonic development, and aging. The discussions will also refer to the view of time from the perspective of the arts, including literature, painting, and music. Finally, we will explore how we humans measure time, both with artificial devices that we have built over the last centuries, and with our own genes.

1-Week Courses – July 20th to July 24th

Health Science 59067
Health Inequalities: Understanding our Worse Epidemic
Why do low-income countries, regions and neighborhoods have a much lower life expectancy than high-income areas? Why less favored social groups have worse health than better-off groups? Why some populations enjoy better health than others? How and why has been the impact of the covid-19 pandemic? What can be done to improve this situation? According to the hegemonic biomedical approach, the main reasons for the production of health are biology and genetics, unhealthy life-styles, and deficiencies in the access and use of health services. Available knowledge however shows that other factors play a significant role. First, because political and social determinants (e.g., power relations, social policies, poverty, work, housing, etc.) have a larger effect on health, and quality of life. And second, because these determinants are strongly related to axes of inequality such as social class, gender, ethnic origin, migration status and territory. Using a transdisciplinary integrated approach, this course introduces the student to the characteristics, causes, and potential solutions of health inequalities, which is a key indicator of justice and quality of life.

Sociology/Sport 59081
The Challenges of Modern Sport to Ethics

Sport has acquired in the last decades of the last century and the early years of XXI an extraordinary importance. It can be said that sport has suffer a deep transformation from a merely marginal activity that it only interested fans and sports institutions, to a more than relevant presence in all media. Certainly sports news today occupy more than half the space of radio and television news programs around the world and its presence in written newspapers has increased significantly.

There are, however, several aspects of sport that lead us to exciting challenges and that urgently need to be examined and solved since they are not only of interest to the sports world itself, but also to society as a whole. In this sense, the course aims to ad-dress in a practical way such debated issues as doping, violence, racial discrimination, the impact of technology, the incardination of transgender athletes, the limitation of certain fundamental rights, sports nationalism, e-sports, match-fixing and legal and illegal bets or the transformation of sport due to big data.

Spanish 59083
Taller: Diseño Narrativo Transmedia (in Spanish)

Este taller se presenta como una introducción a las narrativas transmedia e incluye el desarrollo de un proyecto propio. Después de una introducción general a este nuevo formato narrativo, caracterizado por la expansión de los relatos en muchos medios y plataformas con la complicidad de los “prosumidores”, el taller presentará una serie de experiencias de (tanto del mundo de la ficción y como de la no ficción). Durante el taller, los participantes desarrollarán un proyecto narrativo transmedia trabajando en pequeños grupos. El proyecto podrá orientarse hacia las narrativas de ficción o no ficción. La historia a trabajar podrá ser de creación propia o se podrá partir de un relato ya existente (novela, videojuego, película, cómic, etc.). Cada proyecto deberá también incluir una estrategia para alentar y gestionar los contenidos generados por los usuarios.

2-Week Courses – July 13th to July 24th

Politics 59077
Brexit, EU and Global World: Current Challenges in European Politics and Society
The Covid-19 crisis has laid bare the fragilities of our national economies and societies and it will probably bring about irreversible structural changes for our communities. The explosion of the COVID-19 in March 2020 - and its abrupt diffusion all across the globe - have powerfully demonstrated the urgent need for improving global governance mechanisms and coordination among governments. The opportunity is now upon policy-makers and stakeholders to make the aftermath of the pandemic a reformation and transformative moment for a new kind of public policies and politics. 

The course aims at providing a critical overview on the current challenges that national democracies will have to face in the next years. Social inequalities, global pandemic, gender equality, migrations, climate change and sustainability, the rise of nationalism(s) and populism(s) are some of these tremendous challenges. How can national governments (and cities) provide adequate answers and effective policies to citizens? How will Covid-19 crisis impact on already existing strategies and global Agenda (Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda)? How does globalization affect public policies and what can governments do? 

Law/History 59036
Law and Memory: Legal History of the 20th Century
As any other social system, Law has also memory: it refers, through laws, legal decisions or doctrine, to the recent past. This is especially important in the case of mass atrocities, wars and dictatorships of Europe’s 20th Century. This course is aimed at analyzing the influences between Law, society and memory. It studies the legal construction of dictatorships and states of exception. It also explains how our contemporary legal systems have dealt with the past. The perspective is global and interdisciplinary.

Sociology 59031
Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship
The world is faced with serious and complex social and environmental problems that require a deep understanding of the systems where they occur in order to find innovative solutions.  We are now facing one of the most serious problems of our modern history, the Corvid-19 pandemic, whose consequences worldwide are yet to be determine with regards to the social, environmental and economic impact it will have. This course introduces students to the concepts, strategies and processes of social innovation and social change. We will examine the state of the world from a social, economic and environmental perspective, especially in the present pandemic situation, and learn how social innovation can help solve existing and future problems.

Politics 59047
Justicia Social y Desarrollo Sostenible (in Spanish)

La crisis global actual originada por el nuevo coronavirus se une a una crisis ecológica que en los últimos meses ha llevado a declaraciones de emergencia climática desde diferentes gobiernos e instituciones. Las dos crisis tienen causas comunas y eso ha llevado a plantear ya análisis y reflexiones para superar el Covid-19 y sus consecuencias sin volver a una normalidad que es parte del problema. El objetivo de la sostenibilidad puede ser la respuesta a las dos crisis. En 2015 se aprobó la Agenda 2030 de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo Sostenible y los 17 Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS) son los que guían su implementación. Las temáticas que abordan estos objetivos son muchas y diversas: la pobreza, el hambre, la paz, la salud, la educación, las desigualdades, la igualdad de género, la prosperidad económica, la protección del planeta, la lucha contra el cambio climático, las ciudades y los territorios, la energía, el consumo y la producción sostenibles.

Career Focused Workshops

Readying Your Resume, Cover Letters, and LinkedIn
Preparing your professional documents and online presence is an essential piece of your career search. This session will cover best practices for connecting the dots from your experiences on-campus and abroad to the job description as well as address common hurdles in composing cover letters. Participants will be invited to schedule a 1:1 review of their resume and LinkedIn profile with Angela Manginelli, AIFS Vice President, Director of Alumni & Inclusion Initiatives following the group session.

How to Ace the Interview
Interviews can be stressful, so it’s important to be prepared to put your best self forward in the process. This session will review what employers are looking for in new hires, interviewing etiquette, tips for structuring responses to common interview questions, and provide information on how to craft your personal elevator pitch. Attendees will have an opportunity to practice mock interviews with their peers during the session and will receive resources to continue preparing following the session.

Navigating the Transition from College Student to Career Professional
Unlike college, your career does not come with a syllabi and that transition can be challenging. This session will help students know how to successfully make the switch to post-graduate professional, including tips on working in a multicultural and multigenerational workforce. We will address how to consider multiple job offers, budgeting for life after college, and knowing how to advocate for yourself throughout your career.

Career Guidance for Working in Education Abroad
Interested in working in education abroad but don’t know how to get started? Join our panel of AIFS alumni and staff who will share their expertise on what it’s like to work in the field and tips for leveraging your cross-cultural experiences into a career. This session will include information on working in various roles at a university and an international education organization as an Admissions Officer, Field Staff member, Vice President, Director of Alumni & Inclusion Initiatives and many more. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask panelists questions and set up 1:1 informational interviews following the group session.

AIFS Around the World

Italian Excellence
Do you know that Italy is the country with the greatest number of Unesco Heritage sites?
Do you know that Italy the 4th world’s largest producer of jewelry?
Do you know that Italy has 140 wheat crop varieties, while the US has 6?
Do you know that the Italian automotive sector numbers 3200 companies with some of the best brands in the world?
Do you know that Italy is the undisputed world leader in the production of superyachts?
Learn about this and much more, while participating in interactive webinars.

Virtual Italian Buddy
If you are interested in learning Italian, do not just sit and study. Interact with an Italian student who can help you with your homework and tell you a lot about local amenities while regularly chatting with you.

Sweet Ideas from Italy
Learn how to prepare a Tiramisu or a Sorbetto, or maybe discover how to make the typical Florentine Cantuccini cookies. The secrets and recipes that we would like to share with our American friends are so many!

Spanish Conversation Practice
Have you signed up for any of our online Spanish classes in Madrid or Granada? If so we would like to offer you the chance to book a conversation session with one of our fabulous Resident Directors based in Spain. Gaye in Salamanca, Inma in Barcelona, Edu in Seville, Barbara in Madrid and Noelia in Granada are all eager to meet you and to assist you with your language learning. Online classes are great for language but a one on one session with one of our team live from Spain should help you reach the next level. Sign up today to book an appointment.

Spanish Cook-Off!!
You may think Spanish food is the same all over the country, but you would be wrong. AIFS has programs in six different locations in Spain - Salamanca, Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Seville and Valencia – and each region has its own cuisine that they are rightly proud of. Sit in with our wonderful Resident Directors as they discuss the merits of their regional dishes, it may get quite animated, and then tune in for some actual cooking demonstrations. Learn how to make an authentic tortilla from Gaye Michaels in Salamanca and pan con tomate from Inma in Barcelona, as well as more insights into life in each location.

Italian Wine Tradition
Wine is a big tradition Italians have always been proud of. Meet Marco, AIFS Rome staff, to get introduced to the world of Italian wines. Classes are meant to introduce inexpert users to a correct and functional approach to the very complex culture of wine consumption. By tasting a different wine variety in each single class, topics such as wine tasting and food pairing methods, wines and grapes geography, table manners and drinking etiquette, and wine seen as cultural trait d’union between cuisine and local Italian traditions will be covered.

A Taste of Italian Cuisine
While home, how many of us have spent (at least!) some hours in the kitchen trying to duplicate some tasty special recipes? Join Luigi and Riccardo, our talented Roman chefs, to discover the secrets of Italian cuisine. Get the recipes, be ready with the ingredients required and have fun! You will learn how to cook two traditional Italian recipes while you practice from home. Buon appetite!

Parliamo Italiano?
Would you like to practice your Italian skills with a native? Book a conversation session with one of our fabulous Italian staff: meet Rosanna, Chicca and Marco in Rome for a fast and fun way to improve your language skills!

Prague: Interactive Cultural Quiz and Scavenger Hunt
Follow the clues and answer questions on the many cultural and historical sites in Prague. Our staff will introduce you to some fascinating historical figures, buildings and sites – the stories behind them and experiences you can enjoy in Prague. Play against fellow students and win a prize while learning about one of Central Europe’s most iconic cities.

London: History and Diversity
Home to over 9 million people, with over 300 different languages spoken per day, London is one of the most diverse cultural capitals of the world, renowned for its creative industries including fashion (London Fashion week alone generates over £100m of orders), art, theatre and media. It boasts of over 200 museums and galleries, including the world-renowned British Museum (home to the Rosetta stone) and the Tate Modern Art Gallery, along with the main residence of Her Majesty the Queen, Buckingham Palace, and picturesque parks such as Hyde Park, St James’s Park and Richmond Park. Yet, despite all this, tradition is not the driving force behind London’s creativity – rather it is the diversity of its people that fuels and shapes London’s formidable cultural landscape. London professor Nicole D’Adamo Moody will introduce you to London’s rich cultural past and present.

A Study Abroad Journey: AIFS Student to AIFS Coordinator
Meet Gina and Trung, Coordinators on our Florence, Italy program. But before that they were both AIFS students on our Florence program. Learn about what drew them to Florence, how the program influenced their academic choices and the path that led them to later come back to AIFS as part of our team. Who better to guide our students than staff who were previously in their shoes.

Practicing Advocacy in Daily Life
It used to be that advocacy work just involved protest signs, sit-ins and rallies. But we’re now living in a time where your voice can be just as powerful from home. From registering fellow students to vote to learning about how you can support local, national and international policies that matter to you, Advocacy 101 is the place to get a basic understanding of the legislative process and how best to move forward and be heard in the digital age. This non-partisan session will explore opportunities to take action for international education and global engagement, and you’ll learn how to work with and educate your elected officials and their offices.

Coronavirus Around the Globe - Lockdown Lowdown
How is the pandemic affecting people in different countries? You can see reports on the news but the only way to really know what is going on is to talk to the people living there Some of our wonderful Resident Directors have come together to discuss how things are where they live, how it has impacted their lives, but also to discuss the positive things they have seen and heard during this crisis. Please join Edu in Seville, Deniz in Budapest, Nele in Berlin and Miranda in Grenoble as they discuss the situation.

City Spotlights

Paris Virtual Tour
Discover areas of Paris with our local staff member Jane. Jane is our Assistant Resident Director and her specialty is arranging all of the cultural activities for our students and accompanying them on the excursions to they get the most out of them. Join her as she explores some of Paris’ classic districts and she shares her knowledge as only a local can.

Berlin Virtual Tour
Nele is our Resident Director in Berlin, and when she is not assisting our Berlin students with all elements of the program she is also a registered tour guide. Join Nele as she takes us on a tour of her favorite sites in Berlin.

Prague Virtual Tour
Join our Prague staff as they guide you around the beautiful city of Prague, the tour will include sites such as Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, the Old Town and a particular focus on the Jewish history with a tour of the Jewish Quarter. Join Renata, Jenny and Zdenek, our wonderful Prague staff, as they lead you on a tour of this beautiful city.

From Rome with (Remote) Love
Meet Christiaan and Lavinia, our professional and super friendly certified tour guides, as they virtually walk you through the wonderful streets of our beautiful Rome. Two appointments for two highlights of the Eternal City: Bernini vs. Borromini, or how the magic role of water, and the new impact of contemporary street art on the walls. Roman art has something for everyone!

AIFS Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain AIFS Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain AIFS Study Abroad AIFS Study Abroad in Spain