Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain

Choose your Program:

  • Spanish Studies Programs

    Take courses in Spanish specifically designed for study abroad students. Courses are with other U.S. or international students studying Spanish language and culture. Spanish Studies Abroad on-site resident directors and/or local professors teach a cultural adaptation course to help you through the immersion process.

  • Integrated Studies Programs
    Advanced students enroll in up to three courses at the local host university to complement the Spanish Studies Program curriculum. We provide you with all the benefits of direct enrollment, including access to campus resources and integration into the university community. On-site resident directors assist each student individually with course selection, registration and access to tutoring.
  • International Studies in English Programs
    Take courses through the local university in English. Some courses are offered in Spanish for those with more advanced skills. All locations have a required Spanish course and choose electives in English. Benefit from cultural excursion activities and support from our resident director. A variety of courses include humanities, business, science and more.
  • Short Term Program

    For students who can’t get away for more than a short time period. Short-term programs offer language and area studies courses for all levels of Spanish. Boost your career with a short-term program. Length of terms vary.

  • Internship & Service Learning Program
    Gain hands on experience side-by-side with local workers and volunteers while earning credit and learning Spanish.
  • STEM Abroad Program

    All courses are taught in English at UPF's Polytechnic School. This program has its focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively. 

Barcelona, Spain

Spain’s second largest city, Barcelona embodies every quality of a European city and stands out in the spheres of culture, finance, business and tourism. Barcelona integrates tradition and modernity as its Roman and Medieval past combine with modernist and contemporary architecture.

The city hosts one of the largest university communities in Europe: 200.000 students and more than 15.000 professors. Design, music, fashion, art and cinema professionals are part and parcel of this dynamic city, where a broad offer in culture, sports, leisure and nature activities rounds out the spectrum of opportunities. Its location on the shores of the Mediterranean, its gentle climate and its open, cosmopolitan character make Barcelona an extraordinary place to study.

Cultural Information

Population: 1,621,537

Region: Catalonia

Currency: Euro

Famous for: Architecture, World Heritage Sights, Gothic Quarter, Fashion, Beaches

Spanish Daily Routine:

Breakfast/Desayuno is not a major meal, consisting of small amount of food and is generally eaten early in the morning.

Lunch/Almuerzo is the biggest and most important meal of the day and is generally eaten between 2:00 and 4:00PM.

Dinner/Cena is a small meal, although more substantial than breakfast and is generally served between 9:00 and 10:00 PM.

Siesta is a time to rest. It starts around 1:30 PM when all the shops begin to close, and lasts until 5:00 PM. Almost all shops are closed during siesta while Spaniards may sleep or watch TV, leaving you no choice but to also relax.

Traditional Spanish Dishes:

Paella is a rice dish commonly mixed with a variation of seafood, meat, vegetables, and beans.

Tortilla is a dense omelet full of fried potatoes (sometimes onions or another vegetable as well).

Jamón Serrano is a salted, cured ham that is sliced thin and is typically served either on its own or in a bocadillo (sandwich).


Spanish culture is not particularly vegetarian/vegan friendly due to the importance of ham and other pork products in their diet. While the salads may not be filling, Spain offers delicious breads, cheeses, and vegetables dishes.

How to Dress in Spain:

Most Spanish people dress up more than the average American. Young men wear jeans and t-shirts or soccer jerseys, but you’ll also see men wearing nice pants and shoes. Women generally wear very feminine clothing.

To fit in with your surroundings, avoid wearing grubby jeans, sweatshirts, and sneakers. Nice, fitted clothing is what most people wear.

Life Outside the Classroom:

Spanish people tend to be very friendly and open. However, you will need to make an effort to introduce yourself. Some of the best ways to do so are by signing up for a local speaking partner, attending Spanish Studies cultural activities, or by going to the places Spanish students hang out.

Spanish Studies Abroad wants you to have fun while studying abroad; however, you are expected to meet all of your academic responsibilities. Spanish nightlife is probably unlike the social scene you have experienced in the U.S. The Spanish often plan to go out at midnight or later, which is just the start of the evening. Many friends you meet will stay out until six or seven in the morning, then go straight to breakfast, and rest during siesta.


All Spanish Studies semester programs include day trips to neighboring cities. Additional activities and excursions within the city of Barcelona will also be made available to students on these programs. Specific destinations and trip dates will be announced closer to the start of the spring semester.

Examples of Study Visits include:

  • Val de Nuria
  • Sitges
  • Figueres
  • Museo Dalí
  • Cadaqués
  • Montserrat
  • Andorra

Housing Information


Your Spanish home will be the focal point of your social experience– where you will sleep, eat, study, and relax. A homestay gives you a unique insight into Spanish culture by allowing you to become part of a Spanish family.

Your homestay includes full room and board as well as laundry and the cleaning of your room. Special dietary or housing accommodations may be made, but may require an additional fee. To ensure that your home will provide a warm and tranquil atmosphere, one conducive to learning, Spanish Studies Abroad staff discusses norms and policies with hosts and regularly inspects the homes.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

In 2010, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra was awarded the distinction of International Excellence Campus by the Spanish Ministry of Education and it is widely considered to be one of the best universities in Spain, ranking 1st in scientific productivity in Spain in 2010. Founded in 1990, it is named after the Catalan philologist, Pompeu Fabra.

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona