AIFS Abroad

AIFS Study Abroad in Barcelona (UPF), Spain - UAB
Summer 2021
Course Descriptions


Take one 4-week course plus another 4-week or 2-week course. For an additional fee of $475, students can select an additional 2-week course and earn an extra 2 credits.



Spanish language courses are available from Beginner through Advanced level. Courses are 45 contact hours and carry a recommended 3 U.S. credits. We strongly advise that you take a Spanish language course. Students taking Spanish language should seek pre-approval for several levels of Spanish from their home institution in order to ensure that they receive credit for the level that they are placed into following the placement test in Barcelona.

Spanish language courses are available in the following levels:

Course Code and Credits: Spanish 101 (3)
Course Title: Intensive Spanish Language- Beginner A1
Course Description:
This level is for students who have no previous knowledge of Spanish. During this course, students will be able to understand and express themselves in everyday situations and those related to the personal experiences of the learner, with basic language recourses. Students will be able to exchange simple and direct information. Included topics are: the present tense indicative or regular and irregular verbs, demonstrative and possessive adjectives, pronunciation and intonation, uses of “ser”, “estar” and “hay”, frequent reflexive verbs and definite and indefinite articles.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 102 (3)
Course Title: Intensive Spanish Language-Elementary A2
Course Description:
Students who have studied Spanish only in high school, or 1 or 2 semester(s) in college generally place in this level. During this course, students will be able to understand and express themselves in everyday situations and those related to the personal experiences, with basic language recourses. Students will be able to exchange simple and direct information. Included topics are: forms and uses of the gerund, forms and uses of “gustar”, “encantar”, “interesar”, the differences between “ser” and “estar”, the preterit perfect tense, positive imperative and expressions of cause and excuse.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 201 (3)
Course Title: Intermediate Spanish B1
Course Description:
Students who have studied Spanish throughout high school and continued with 1 or 2 semester(s) in college, or students who have 2 or 3 semesters in college, usually place in this level. During this course, students will be able to understand and express themselves in general situations that require the interchange of information and show personal attitudes about a multitude of familiar themes, not exclusively related to personal experience. Specific content includes: contrasting uses of the indefinite and the indicative perfect, morphology and uses of the indicative imperfect, “hace”, impersonal “se”, “parecerse”, and possessive adjectives and pronouns, making hypothesis.
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 301 (3)
Course Title: Intensive Spanish Language - Advanced B2
Course Description:
Course Code and Credits: Spanish 401 (3)
Course Title: Intensive Spanish Language-Superior Advanced C1
Course Description:

The courses listed below are taught in English unless otherwise stated.

Course Code and Credits: Business 301 (3)
Course Title: Culture and Business: Spain's Top Brands
Course Description:
Analyzes the historical, political, business, social and anthropological elements at work in the “import” and “export” of the Spain brand and its assets, and offers a review of Spain’s main industries and businesses. Offers a descriptive and critical reflection on the notion of Spanish brands and their equity exploits across the globe; their distinctive traits, the diversity of mixed cultures, identities and realities the country portrays and how the communications world influences competitiveness. The course questions Spain’s unique attributes and examines the symbols and strategic brand discourses of Spanish businesses and institutions. The course is best suitable for advertising, public relations and communications students, as well as for humanities, business and economics and political sciences majors.
Course Code and Credits: Computing 313 (3)
Course Title: Modern Statistical Computing in R
Course Description:
In recent years, R has become the leading software tool for statistical computing and graphics. The software is greatly enhanced by numerous contributed packages submitted by users. The majority of computing in the leading applied statistical journals is done in R, and R is used almost exclusively in some of the leading-edge applications, such as in genetics and data mining. The purpose of this course is to set a foundation for full exploitation and creative use of the statistical language for computing and graphics R. The course introduces students to the syntax and inner workings of R, to become proficient in everyday computational tasks with datasets of all kinds, skilled in applications of elementary statistical methods, with emphasis on (initial) data exploration and simple graphics. Focus is also placed on opportunities to enhance the learning experience in other statistical courses by illustrating and applying basic statistical concepts in R.
Course Code and Credits: Film 310 (3)
Course Title: Barcelona on Stage: Documentary Workshop
Course Description:
Provides students with an introduction to documentary film making. Special attention will be given to the renewal of the Spanish and Catalan film scene in the last 15 years. The course consists of both theoretical and practical sessions. During lecture classes the professor will present the history of Spanish and Catalan documentary and will set the theoretical basis for the production of a documentary. During practical sessions students will develop a project of a documentary where they can express their particular way of seeing Spanish reality. Students will work in small teams to produce a 15-minute film, from the conception of the idea to the final editing, including the writing of the script and the shooting.
Course Code and Credits: Hispanic Studies 302 (3)
Course Title: Contemporary Barcelona and its Cultural History
Course Description:
Examines the cultural history of the city as a reflection of the cultural history of contemporary Spain, from the anarchist city to the cosmopolitan capital with international outreach. Focusing on the last two centuries and from a sociological and anthropological point of view, the course will analyze the Barcelona society and its most recent political history through its conflicts and cultural influences. Interviews and on-site visits are foreseen to grasp the testimonies of relevant stakeholders. The course has an interdisciplinary approach at the intersection of urban studies, Catalan history, Hispanic studies, cultural studies, and anthropology.
Course Code and Credits: Politics 312 (3)
Course Title: Brexit, EU and Global World: Current Challenges in European Politics and Society
Course Description:
Social inequalities, national security, climate change, the rise of nationalism and populism are some the most serious challenges that national democracies face today in the era of globalization. How can national governments defend the interests of their citizens in an even more interconnected economic and political context? How does globalization affect national public policies and what can national states do? The course aims at providing a critical overview on the current challenges that national democracies will have to face in the next years. Geographically, it focuses on Europe and Spain and how political actors and central governments play a role in the international scenario. It studies how and to what extent the European Union Member States own independent policy autonomy to handle economic and institutional crises and to foster human development.

2-Week Courses

Course Code and Credits: Art 304 (2)
Course Title: Interactive Media Art
Course Description:
Organized and conducted as a workshop, this course focuses on the contemporary art practices known as interactive media art. Strategically situated at the intersection between the arts, humanities, science, technology and society, interactive media arts offer a privileged field from which our world can be re-examined. The interdisciplinary nature of this subject will allow students from any field to bring their own personal knowledge, skills and perspectives into discussion and class activities and, above all, into their own course project. The expected outcome is a personal project which will be developed, prototyped, presented and evaluated within the three-week course. The process will be structured in the following interrelated stages: education, research, experimentation, production, dissemination and reception.
Course Code and Credits: Biology 319 (2)
Course Title: Understanding the Biology of Humans
Course Description:
Provides basic knowledge to understand the big issues that current biology has generated in society. These debates transcend the strict scientific field and require basic awareness and serious discussion platforms. The course aims to interest students in humanities, law, economics and any student who is interested in the biological side of the human being in a social context.
Course Code and Credits: Gender Studies 312 (2)
Course Title: Gender, Power and Violence
Course Description:
Around the world, no place is less safe for women than their own home – almost one in three women have suffered physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner and one in four women have suffered psychological violence. The public sphere is neither free from gender-based violence (GBV), with sexual violence being a widespread global phenomenon in the workplace, in university campuses, in the streets or in the context of armed conflicts. GBV is one of the main drivers of the production and reproduction of gender inequality. This course examines GBV from an interdisciplinary approach, including sociological, legal, political science and media perspectives. It provides a forum for students to explore contemporary issues in GBV from both a theoretical and practical standpoint (using local and international case studies) through the discussion of ongoing controversies about the causes and effects of such violence. It also analyzes the policy responses addressing GBV coming from states, civil society and international actors and assesses the extent to which they are effective (or not). Given that the experiences of GBV and the interactions with institutions vary across groups, the course will pay attention to how gender intersects with race, class, and sexuality.
Course Code and Credits: Politics 310 (2) (taught in Spanish)
Course Title: Derechos humanos en el siglo XXI (Human Rights in the XXI Century)
Course Description:
Studies the way in which systems of international protection of human rights have been or can be reflected in other areas, be it in literature and comics, in cinema and other audiovisual media such as documentaries and podcasts. The subject has a practical approach and aims to implement new methods of law education applied to the investigation of human rights.