Barcelona, Spain PDF Print E-mail

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Quick Facts

Host Institutions:
  • Universitat de Barcelona (UB): Semester/Academic Year - Intermediate & Advanced levels only
  • Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB): Summer, Semester, Academic Year - all levels
Eligibility Rules: click here (Please note: Because elective classes for the UAB program fill up early, we recommend that you apply at least 2 weeks prior to the application deadline for the best course selection.  Students who do not apply at least 2 weeks before the application deadline may not have all courses available to them.)
Language/Academic Focus:
  • UB: Classes are taught in Spanish.  Subject areas include: Spanish language and Hispanic Studies (Spanish Literature, History, Art History, Economics, Politics, Film and more)
  • UAB: Classes are available in Spanish and English.  Subject areas include: Spanish language, Business, Economics, Finance, Geopolitics, International Relations, Art History, Spanish Culture, Politics and Development.
  • Click here for Course Offerings
Volunteer Opportunities: Semester students in Barcelona will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of volunteer opportunities (not for credit). For details about volunteering, visit the Course Listings page for your program.
Housing: Students can choose to live with Spanish host families (includes 3 meals a day and 1 load of laundry per week) or in a shared student apartment (no meals included).
Sample Day Excursions: Girona and Montserrat
Sample Overnight Excursions: Madrid or Sevilla

Why Barcelona?

  • Located in Northeast corner of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea
  • Local beaches
  • Rich in art and culture
  • Amazing modernist architecture throughout the city, left by Gaudí
  • Residents speak both Spanish and Catalan
  • Close proximity to the rest of Europe for inexpensive travel opportunities

City Description

A prosperous city of almost 2 million, Barcelona is one of the oldest cities in Europe, but yet one of the most progressive cities in Spain. Located on the coast of the Mediterranean, this port city has always been a major center of trade.

Barcelona is full of beautiful parks, fascinating architecture, and all the art anyone could ever hope for. The city is surrounded by wooded hills, and going north along the eastern coastline you will find sand flats and plunging cliffs that harbor quaint fishing villages. From the Pyrenees Mountains that separate Spain and France, to the vineyards and orchards of Cataluña, students in Barcelona will have no lack of things to see.

Barcelona is probably most famous for its architecture, which ranges from medieval to downright surreal, thanks to the parks, buildings and the unforgettable Catedral de la Sagrada Familia, all left by Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudí. From the Barri Gòtic to the Eixample to Gaudi's wonderland of Parc Güell, you can find every type of architecture imaginable.

Not into the surreal and cubist artists such as Picasso, Dalí, and Miró? Then head down to the beach in Vila Olímpica when you can catch a tan, have some lunch, or people watch as the movers and shakers come and go from the Hotel Arts. If the city beaches aren't your thing, you can head to Sitges, a town only 25 minutes from Barcelona by train, with its own pristine beaches and little cafes.

In the Spanish region of Catalunya, there are two official languages: Catalan and Castillian (Spanish). Catalan is a Romance language that originated at about the same time as other Romance languages, such as French and Spanish. Although Catalan is the official language of the region, classes for ASA students are taught in Castilian, and everyone at the universities speaks Spanish; others also speak French or English. Students with knowledge of French or Spanish usually even pick up some Catalan within a very short time.

Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

The University of Barcelona (UB) was founded in 1450, but the current main building of the university was inaugurated in 1871. With 3,000 faculty members, 1,600 additional personnel and the largest facilities, number of courses offered and amount of research conducted, the 1,300 international students at UB know they are in an world-class institution.

Students at UB have access to an extensive range of services. The library is the second largest in Spain with more than two million books and 38,000 journals available throughout the different schools and campuses.

The main building where ASA students attend classes is located in the city center only a 5-minute walk from Plaza Catalunya and Las Ramblas. There are numerous Metro and bus stops within walking distance, as well as more restaurants and shops than one could imagine.

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) is a public university that has grown quickly in both size and stature since being founded in 1968. About 45,000 Spanish students now matriculate at the University, as well as a large number of international students who attend one of its many student exchange programs located all over the world.

ASA students take classes at the following 2 campuses of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), both of which are located in Barcelona city center:

  • Sant Pau Campus

    The UAB offers classes in Spanish and English for foreign students at the School of Modern Languages on its Sant Pau campus. Centrally located in the lovely Eixample district of central Barcelona, the Sant Pau campus is close to the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral, as well as several other important architectural wonders. This campus is also part of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau modernist complex, which along with the Palau de la Musica Catalana, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

  • Eixample Campus

    This brand new campus of the UAB is set to debut in September 2010 and will replace the Sarria campus. It is also located in the Eixample district of Barcelona, only 1 block from the Passeig de Gracia, one of the most well-known streets in Barcelona. Located on the Passig de Gracia are some of Barcelona's most famous modernist architectural points of interest, including Gaudi's Casa Mila and Casa Batllo, as well as the "Block of Discord." The Eixample campus is located just 3 metro stops (no more than 20 minutes) from the Sant Pau campus.

    Because the Eixample campus follows the same calendar and class timetable as Sant Pau, ASA students can take classes on both campuses at the same time. For example, students may have classes at Sant Pau on Mondays and Wednesdays, and classes at Eixample on Tuesdays and Thursdays (or vice versa). But even if you have a class on each campus on the same day, it only takes 20 minutes (3 metro stops) to commute between campuses.

    ASA students live in shared student apartments or with Spanish host families that are conveniently located to both campuses - it takes most students only 10-35 minutes to walk to class, or 15-25 minutes by subway.

Costs and Dates

Please CLICK HERE for Costs and Dates. 

What's Included - Barcelona

  • HOUSING or ROOM & BOARD: Students can choose from 2 housing options:  1) Spanish host family (includes 3 meals a day and 1 load of laundry per week). 2) Shared student apartment (no meals included).  Rooms are double or single occupancy.
  • EXCURSIONS: 2 day excursions and 1 overnight excursion
  • TUITION at one of the following host universities: Universitat de Barcelona or Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
  • ACADEMIC CREDITS: Students who receive pre-approval from their home institution can transfer the credits they earn to their home institution.  Students can earn 5-30 semester hours or 8-42 quarter units of credit, depending upon the length of the program.
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: At the conclusion of the program, an official transcript from your host university will be sent to your home institution.
  • CELL PHONE: ASA provides one cell phone for each student.  Students are responsible for the cost of phone usage.
  • INTERNET ACCESS at their host university, as well as at their program housing.
  • AIRPORT PICK-UP at the designated airport for students who arrive on the official arrival date by the designated time.
  • MEDICAL INSURANCE: for a Description of Coverage, please visit our Information Library.
  • SITE DIRECTOR: on-site to assist students with any academic or cultural difficulties they may encounter.
  • VISA ADVISING: While students are ultimately responsible for obtaining their visa (if required for their term/host country), ASA will provide detailed, helpful information upon acceptance as to which visa students will need and how to go about applying for one.  Please click here and scroll down to "Student Visa Information" to find out if a visa is required for your program.

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Books & materials
  • Personal expenses
  • Local transportation
  • Student visa, if required
  • Meals, if living in a shared student apartment
  • Meals on excursions
  • $500 Damage Deposit, paid to ASA at least 30 days prior to departure (Refundable upon return. Applicable only to students who choose student apartment housing.)

Click here for Billing Information and Cancellation/Refund Policy

NOTE: If you need a "Costs of Attendance" budget for your financial aid office, or simply need more details about the additional costs listed above, please email chelsea(at) 

Program Itinerary

Please CLICK HERE for detailed program itineraries.


If you have questions about HOW TO APPLY and make sure your credits transfer back to your home university, please CLICK HERE.

We encourage both prospective students and parents, as well as those who have already been accepted to an ASA program, to visit our INFORMATION LIBRARY. Here you will find tons of helpful info to help you know what to plan for and what to expect, such as:

  • ASA Guide to Study Abroad
  • Student Visa info
  • Medical Insurance info
  • Booking your flight
  • Financial Aid info