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Study Abroad | Barcelona

Spain | Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona | Spring 2023
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Girl with camel.
Two students on a horse carriage in Spain.
  • Spring 2023


Spend a semester or academic year in the Catalan seaside city of Barcelona, Spain, with AIFS! Study a variety of academic program options at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), a prestigious and modern university. Centrally located in the city, the multicultural campus uses three languages – Catalan, Spanish and English – in all spheres of university life.

What’s Included

The AIFS inclusive program fee includes all of the great features below in addition to many pre-departure, on-site and upon-return services to help students make the most of their time abroad.

Review Our Policies
  • Tuition

    Up to 15 semester credits

  • Courses

    Wide variety of courses available; taught in English and Spanish

  • Housing

    Homestay. Additional housing options are available

  • Meals

    Breakfast and dinner Monday through Friday in the homestay

  • Excursions & Day Trips

    3-day excursion to the Pyrenees and day trips to Girona and Besalú, Figueras and the Salvador Dalí Museum and Montserrat

  • Cultural & Social Activities

    A wide range of AIFS-organized cultural activities and social events to enrich your experience

  • Onsite Resident Director

    To help with any questions or advice you may need throughout the program

  • Health & Safety

    24/7 emergency support and comprehensive insurance

  • Personal/Professional Development

    Access to the renowned Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment and alumni network

  • Green Initiative

Additional Options & Opportunities

  • Flight Package

    Round-trip flights from 25 U.S. gateways

    Airport transfers to and from campus

  • Excursion

    Seville and Granada, Andalucía (3 days)

    Tangier and Tetouan, Morocco (3 days)

  • Housing Supplement

    Student apartment

    Student residence

Program Details: Study Abroad | Barcelona Interdisciplinary Studies


January 7, 2023March 24, 2023



Application Deadlines

October 1, 2022

Inclusive Fees


Stay for a year to save on cost


Open to Junior, Senior College Students

Minimum of 3.0 GPA

Additional requirements may vary by course selection. See Academic section below.

Visa Requirements

A visa may be required for this program. Please contact your advisor or log into your portal for more information.

Areas of Interest

  • Area Studies
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Communications
  • Cultural Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Foreign Language
  • Gender Studies
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Science
  • Sociology
  • Spanish Language


AIFS Abroad offers a unique global educational experience for students on this program, with the following academic options available:

UPF is the highest ranked university in Spain and the 15th in Europe. It is committed to offering an outstanding teaching model based on comprehensive education and student-centered learning and to sustaining a multicultural, multilingual campus with three languages – Catalan, Spanish and English – used in all spheres of university life. The university model is based on a policy of being an institution that is open to the world, incorporating prominent national and international researchers.

  • Area Studies
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Communications
  • Cultural Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Foreign Language
  • Gender Studies
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Science
  • Sociology
  • Spanish Language

Open to juniors and seniors the program aims to provide students with a series of courses (taught mostly in English) which promote critical thinking, navigating across disciplines and building on crucial knowledge areas. The program includes STEM disciplines, with special emphasis on Technology and AI. From Ethics to Biology, from Big Data to Humanities, from Legal Systems to Politics and Society, from Economics to Design Thinking, the BaPIS program aims to stimulate creative approaches to today’s major challenges. 

On top of its interdisciplinary dimension, BaPIS provides an inclusive, immersive and internationalised environment, open to international and local students alike bringing together students from across the globe. 

Spanish is available at all levels from Beginner through Advanced and Native speakers. Spanish language is not mandatory although students are strongly encouraged to take it in order to gain the most out of their study abroad experience and to be able to participate in all levels of university life. The Spanish course carries 6 semester credits for 90 contact hours. Students wishing to take a Spanish language course must take a placement test after arrival in Barcelona. 

In addition to Spanish language students can choose from a range of courses mostly taught in English including art/science, biology, film, gender studies, history, law, marketing, mathematics, science, and sociology. A few courses are taught in Spanish. Students wishing to take these courses should have completed 4 semesters of college-level Spanish. Courses are recommended for 3 credits each. Students usually take 4 or 5 courses in a semester. 

Students can also choose courses from the International Business program as part of their course load. 

The International Business Program is jointly offered by the ESCI-UPF International Business School and the UPF Education Abroad Program. The program is aimed at undergraduate juniors and seniors with a major or minor in business who wish to acquire an international perspective and a better understanding of the successful management practices needed to compete in the global economy. The program is moreover designed to offer students insight into international business from a multicultural perspective and to improve their professional qualifications. 

UPF faculty thrive on working with international students interested in learning how to manage companies in the global economy and providing them with the skills and knowledge they need for a successful start to their business careers. 

All students who complete the ESCI-UPF International Business Program will be awarded a joint certificate from the ESCI International Business School and the UPF Education Abroad Program attesting that they have successfully completed at least two international business courses. 

The program includes courses taught in English and Spanish. Students wishing to take courses taught in Spanish should have completed at least 4 semesters of college-level Spanish. 

Students usually take 4 or 5 courses in a semester. Each course is recommended for 3 semester credits. 

The International Management course is mandatory. Students must also take at least one of the following business program courses: International Finance, International Economics, Doing Business in Europe and Corporate Finance. Students can then choose their remaining two or three courses from the Spanish language courses or the BaPIS program. 

ECTS: Universitat Pompeu Fabra awards ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits. The number of class hours and ECTS credits will be shown on the transcript to allow each student’s home institution the ultimate decision in the awarding of U.S. credit. Recommended U.S. semester credits next to each course are based on 15 classroom hours per semester credit and are not a conversion of ECTS credits. Students should consult with their university advisors prior to participating in the program to have course credit pre-approved and ensure that they are taking the appropriate amount of credits.

View All Courses For Interdisciplinary Studies
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Living Abroad



The best way to immerse yourself in the language and culture of Spain and many students choosing this option find that it is the most rewarding part of their time abroad.

  • Double room (single room available for $400 supplement)
  • Breakfast and dinner Monday through Friday
  • Weekly laundry


Apartment ($300 supplement)

Apartment living is ideal for students who like their independence, want to cook for themselves and to experience local city life.

  • Double room (single room available for $600 supplement)
  • Shared kitchen and living area
  • Fully furnished including bed linens
  • Laundry facilities
  • Apartments may be co-ed

Student Residence ($1,200 supplement)

Situated in the downtown neighborhood of L’Eixample; one of the most green and recreational areas of Barcelona. Near several bus lines and metro stops, which provide easy access to the university (and the beach!) in less than 30 minutes.

  • Double room
  • Shared kitchen and bathroom
  • Laundry facilities
  • Access to small gym and pool

Internet access is included in all AIFS housing in Barcelona


Along with speaking Spanish, most people in Barcelona speak the regional language of Catalan as their native language. You will see signs in both languages throughout the city; it’s an excellent opportunity to be exposed to another language rich in culture.


Barcelona is one of Spain’s most energetic and vibrant cities. Not only will you find amazing modern and art nouveau architecture throughout the cities of Spain, you will also find world famous UNESCO Heritage Sites- the most in any one country after Italy.

AIFS in Barcelona Resident Director, Academic Year and Semester Programs

Maya headshot.

Maya Edwards

¡Hola! Greetings from beautiful Barcelona, a city I love to call “home.” Having lived in many cities in Spain, I’ll be a great resource for you while you’re here in Barcelona. An educator and study abroad professional, I’ve been working with students both in Spain and in the U.S. for over 15 years. I earned a B.A. in Spanish and Communications, an M.A. in Spanish, and am completing a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies. I love working with students and am happy to help you navigate your own journey in Spain, Barcelona and beyond: broadening academic and personal horizons, making the most of your time in this amazing place.

My favorite aspect of being Resident Director is spending time with students and seeing how much they grow after their study abroad experience in Spain. The AIFS Barcelona team is always eager to offer our guidance and support, as well as share ideas on how to make the most out of your stay. Barcelona is a beautiful and fascinating city; perfect for a study abroad program, not just because of its proximity to the beach!

The Resident Director provides academic advice, introduces you to the community and handles communication with the University.

In addition to day trips and excursions, a cultural calendar of weekly activities and social events is included in your program fee. These activities will include both typical tourist sites and attractions and lesser known visits which take advantage of the expert knowledge of our local AIFS staff and give you a more authentic and insightful view of Spanish life. Typical activities, tours and visits include:

  • Guided city tour
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • Gothic Quarter and Cathedral
  • Gaudí’s Park Güell
  • The Sagrada Família Basílica
  • Cooking class
  • Wellness week
  • Tapas evenings with Spanish students
  • Flamenco performance
  • Migration and Cultural Diversity walking tour
  • Rebel Women in Barcelona walking tour

You may be asked to pay a small supplementary fee for some events.

Volunteer opportunities are available through a local NGO to provide services to people in need within the local community. 

UPF and AIFS organize a program of “intercambios” (conversation exchange) in which you can practice your Spanish with a native speaker while a Spanish speaker practices their English with you! The professors of English are always eager to find American students to participate in this program. 


This program offers a range of day trips and excursions that will take you outside Barcelona and deepen your social, historical and cultural understanding of Spain. Previous excursions have included:

Pyrenees view.

The Pyrenees

Scenic trip to Cadí National Park. Visit the principality of Andorra. Includes round-trip transportation, accommodations and all meals.

  • Spain
  • 3 Days
  • Included in Program Fee

Girona and Besalú

Guided sightseeing tour of important monuments. Includes round-trip transportation, accommodations, entrance fees and all meals.

  • Spain
  • Day Trip
  • Included in Program Fee

Figueras and the Salvador Dalí Museum

Guided tour. Includes round-trip transportation and entrance fee. 

  • Spain
  • Day Trip
  • Included in Program Fee


Guided tour. Entrance to the Montserrat Monastery and 12th-century carving of the Black Virgin. Includes round-trip transportation.

  • Spain
  • Day Trip
  • Included in Program Fee
Seville, Spain cityscape.

Seville and Granada, Andalucía

Guided tours. Visit the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, the Barrio Santa Cruz and Giralda Tower. Includes round-trip transportation, accommodations, daily breakfasts and airport transfers (flights not included).  

* A minimum of 15 students is required for this trip to run.

  • Spain
  • 3 Days
  • $445
People on camels.

Tangier and Tetouran (Spring Only)

Guided tours of the medina and souk of Tangier, Tetouan, the Plaza Moulay El Mehdi, Plaza Hassan I, Royal Palace, the Mellah, Asilah, Chefchaouen, and the Caves of Hercules. Includes round-trip transportation, accommodations, airport transfers (flights not included), ferry ride, most breakfasts, most lunches and dinner with a show. 

* Non-U.S. citizens may need to arrange a visa to visit Morocco before traveling to Spain; students are responsible for checking visa requirements. 

* A minimum of 15 students is required for this trip to run.

  • Morocco
  • 3 days
  • $495
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A view of Prague.

Social identity & access

One of the best things you can do before departure is enter into the journey knowing that your time abroad will be unique to this experience. The resources, community, and support available to you when abroad will likely be different as well. In order to help you prepare for your experience, we have compiled many resources about social identity and access in specific locations abroad. Your program staff will also provide you with more details pre-departure and during orientation.

Learn more

Important Dates & Deadlines

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Dates & Deadlines


  • Early Application Deadline*
  • Application Deadline
    October 1, 2022
  • Deposit Deadline
    October 15, 2022
  • Scholarship Deadline
    October 1, 2022
  • Optional Departure Flight from US***
    January 6, 2023
  • Program Begins
    January 7, 2023
  • Program Ends
    March 24, 2023
  • Optional Return Flight to US***
    March 25, 2023
  • *** Included for students on AIFS flight package.

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Ready to Study Abroad in Barcelona?

For more dates or questions, contact your program consultant:
(203) 399-5163 or email: