Study Abroad in Barcelona, Spain

Quick Facts | Why Barcelona? | City Description | Host Institutions |  Housing | Excursions

Course Offerings | Costs & Dates | What’s Included | Program Itinerary | FAQs

Quick Facts

Host Institution:
Eligibility Rules:

For Eligibility rules, such as GPA, click here.

**NOTE: Students are advised to APPLY EARLY for the best course selection, as Barcelona is a very popular location and sometimes fills to capacity prior to the Application Deadline. Courses are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Students who wait until the Application Deadline to apply may not have all courses available to them.

Language/Academic Focus:
  • Open to all Spanish levels.
  • Courses are available in Spanish and English.
  • Subject areas vary by institution: Architecture, Art History, Business, Design, Economics, Finance, Geopolitics, History, International Business, International Relations, Literature, Marketing, Photography, Political Science, Social Policy and Development, Spanish Language, Spanish Culture.
  • Click here for full 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 Offerings page for your program.
  • Host Family: Students can choose to live with a Spanish host family, which includes daily breakfast and dinner and 1 load of laundry per week. Internet is provided.
  • Shared Apartment: Students can choose to live in a shared apartment. Meals are not included. Internet is provided.
  • For more detailed information about these housing options, please click here!
Sample Day Excursions: Girona, Tarragona
Sample Overnight Excursions: Madrid & Toledo, Sevilla & Córdoba

Why Barcelona?

  • Live and study in one of Europe’s most exciting cities!
  • City center is located near the beach
  • Easy and inexpensive travel throughout Europe
  • Stunning modernist architecture by Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí

City Description – Large city of 2 million

Located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona is one of Europe’s oldest cities. Yet, it boasts cutting edge style, cuisine, and culture, as well as some of the most amazing Modernist architecture in the world. No other city looks quite like Barcelona, and experiencing it will forever change your perception of the world around you!

Barcelona’s architecture ranges from medieval to surreal, sometimes even on the same block. From the centuries-old Gothic Quarter to the sophisticated, tree-lined boulevards of the Eixample district, Barcelona’s architecture is from an array of vastly different styles and eras.

Barcelona’s landscape was forever changed by Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, he built a number of Modernist parks and buildings that, although they were built over a century ago, look surreal and futuristic even by today’s standards. Gaudí built the majestic Sagrada Familia Cathedral, as well as Parc Güell – a veritable wonderland of gardens, mosaics, winding park benches, hidden footpaths, and whimsical cottages that look like they’re straight out of a fairy tale.

Of course, we would be remiss not to mention Barcelona’s connection to artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Joan Miró. Barcelona’s impressive Picasso Museum is a must-see, and outside of the city in the town of Figueres is the birthplace of Salvador Dalí and an incredible museum celebrating his life and works.

But don’t worry, if you’re not into art and architecture, there is still plenty to keep you busy! When the weather is warm, head down to the Olympic Village or the beach to work on your tan. Cheer on the soccer team, Barça, in a match at Camp Nou, or grab a bite outside at one of the city’s numerous tapas bars. Barcelona’s fast and efficient public transportation system will make it easy for you to explore every corner of this amazing city.

Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) – city center campus

The Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) is a public university that has grown quickly in size and stature since its founding in 1968 and has multiple campuses in greater Barcelona.

ASA offers semester and summer programs at the UAB campuses located in the city center of Barcelona,the UAB Sant Pau Campus and the UAB Eixample CampusBoth campuses are situated in the beautiful and centrally located Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona. ASA student housing is always conveniently located to both campuses. It takes most students only 15-25 minutes to get to school by subway.

The Sant Pau Campus is close to the world-famous Sagrada Familia cathedral, as well as the Palau de la Música Catalana, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. The Eixample Campus is near one of the most famous streets in all of Barcelona, the stunning Passeig de Gracia.  Here you can find some of Barcelona’s most famous modernist architecture, including Gaudí’s Casa Mila and Casa Batlló, as well as the “Block of Discord.”

Students can take courses at both campuses, as they are located just 3 Metro stops from each other. The UAB offers a wide variety of electives in English, open to students at any Spanish level. You can take courses as varied as Spanish Language, Business, Art History, Photography, Architecture, Economics, International Relations, Spanish Culture, and more. A few electives are offered in Spanish for students who are at the Intermediate or Advanced level.

ELISAVA School of Design and Engineering

ELISAVA – the Barcelona School of Design and Engineering – was founded in 1961. Its headquarters on La Rambla could not be more centrally located – you will have the advantage of living and studying in the very heart of Barcelona, close to all the major attractions and museums, shopping, and more.

ELISAVA offers undergraduate degrees in Design and Engineering in Industrial Design, as well as postgraduate degrees in Photography, Interior Design, Graphic Design, and more. The mission of ELISAVA is to promote knowledge, research, development, and innovation in the fields of Design, Industrial Design, and Communications. ELISAVA strives to prepare students to meet professional challenges at an international level, to be active both in their community and in the business sector. In this way, students are assured viability in a constantly changing global environment.

In 2000, ELISAVA won a National Innovation and Design Award, and in 2013 and 2015, it had the honor of being ranked among the top design and architecture schools in Europe by Domus magazine. ELISAVA students have won numerous design awards, and their work has been featured in major publications such as Wired magazine.

In your free time, we hope you will join ELISAVA’s Theatre Troupe, composed of teachers, students, and personnel of the school. And one of the most recent additions to the ELISAVA community is a Gospel Choir. Joining one or both of these groups would be a wonderful way to integrate into the school community and meet local students!

Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

The Universitat de Barcelona (UB) is the leading public university in the city of Barcelona. The UB is the largest school in terms of enrollment, with 64,000 students enrolled – including about 11,000 international students from 120 different nationalities! Founded in 1450, the UB is considered one of the most important universities in Spain, due to its long tradition, prestige, and quality. Currently, it is the top Spanish university in the QS World University Rankings, Academic Ranking of World Universities, and SCImago.

The Hispanic Studies program within the Universitat de Barcelona teaches Spanish Language and culture to international students, offering a a wide range of language, culture, and elective courses throughout the academic year. The classrooms are situated in the Historic building of the UB as well as the Jeroni Granell Building, both of which are located in Barcelona’s city center. It will take most students only 15-25 minutes to arrive at school via Barcelona’s metro – and some may even live within walking distance!

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)

The Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) is a public university founded in 1990. It is a large school with a student body of about 11,000. A large number of these students come from international backgrounds. The UPF is renowned for its high academic standard.

ASA students studying at the UPF will take classes at the Ciutadella campus, located near the Olympic Village and Ciutadella Park – very close to the beach.

The UPF offers two different study options for ASA students. The first is the Hispanic and European Studies Semester Program, open to students with any level of Spanish, in which courses are taken in English or Spanish with other international students. The second study option is the Integrated Studies Semester Program, where courses are taken primarily in Spanish, with possibly one or two in English, integrated with local Spanish students. An advanced or superior level of Spanish is required to enroll in the Integrated Studies Program at UPF.

ASA also offers a Summer program at the UPF with a variety of courses in English.

CETT-UB: School of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy

The CETT – Universitat de Barcelona (abbreviated CETT-UB) is a private international university affiliated with Universitat de Barcelona. It is known as the CETT: School of Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy. The school was founded in 1969 and has been growing steadily, with about 2,500 students now enrolled. Of the 2,500 enrolled students, about 700 are international. Although the school is named for its focus on Tourism, Hospitality and Gastronomy studies, they also have courses in Business and other disciplines.

ASA students will take classes at the CETT Campus located in the Horta neighborhood, very close to Mundet metro stop. Students should expect anywhere from a 30-45 minute commute (typically by subway) to reach the CETT-UB campus from their ASA program housing – which is a reasonable commute in a city the size of Barcelona.

The CETT-UB offers a wide variety of electives taught in English and Spanish. Courses are offered in Food Culture and Culinary Arts, Business Management, Hospitality Management, Tourism Management, and more. This program is open to students at any Spanish level, though a few electives are taught in Spanish for students at the Intermediate or Advanced levels.

Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVic-UCC)

The Universitat de Vic (UVic) is a public university that has grown quickly since its founding in 1997. It now has about 17,000 students attending the university’s main campus outside Barcelona. While the main campus of the Universitat de Vic is outside of Barcelona, it also has a campus in central Barcelona called UVic-UCC (Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya). ASA students will take classes at the UVic-UCC campus in central Barcelona within the Business, Design and Innovation program, which attracts about 200 students each semester.

The UVic-UCC classes are held in Barcelona’s innovation and design district at the BAU School of Design campus, located just 15 minutes from Plaza Catalunya by bus or subway. The campus occupies two renovated industrial buildings that are filled with natural light and equipped with the latest technological teaching aids. ASA students attending the UVic-UCC Business, Design and Innovation program will share common areas with predominantly Spanish, degree-seeking students.

The UVic-UCC offers an exciting selection of elective courses taught in English. Classes include Global Marketing, Brand Design, Digital Business, Marketing and Fashion, Universal Design, and Start-up Creation. In addition, students can take Spanish language. Elective courses are strongly oriented toward practice, although enough theory is covered to allow students to work on real cases. Classes include visiting lectures by leaders in their fields, as well as site visits in the city of Barcelona.

ESADE Business School

The ESADE Business School is a private university, founded in 1958. ESADE is a global academic institution known for academic quality, international outlook, and focus on student development. ESADE is the first Spanish university to be awarded the three most prestigious international accreditations: AACSB, EQUIS, and AMBA.

With strong ties to the business world, ESADE stands out for its innovation and contribution to social transformation. ESADE’s faculty, staff, and alumni network are considered their greatest assets. Currently, the ESADE student body comes from over 100 countries.

ESADE’s International Summer Program focuses on Business and Marketing courses, along with cultural, social, and academic discoveries. Students will have the opportunity to learn and interact with classmates and professors from different cultural backgrounds through a dynamic and innovative learning system. Classes include company visits and meetings with corporate and social leaders. Past class groups have visited companies such as HP, Nissan, Mango, Desigual, and others.

Students can attend either a 4-week summer session or an 8-week summer session at ESADE. Classes are held at ESADE’s Creapolis Campus, located in Sant Cugat town, which is about 30 minutes away from Barcelona city center by metro. A variety of business-related electives taught in English, as well as optional Spanish language courses, are offered. This program is open to students of any Spanish language level.

Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) Summer School at Bellaterra campus

The Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB) is a public university that was founded in 1968 and has multiple campuses in greater Barcelona. Its main campus, Bellaterra, is located in Bellaterra, just outside Barcelona, about 35 minutes from the city center.

The UAB Bellaterra campus is expansive and green, with 6 nature trails and sports facilities. ASA student housing is generally in the Barcelona city center, making for a reasonable commute of about 35 minutes to Bellaterra, while still letting you enjoy life in the city.

The ASA Barcelona Summer program at the UAB Bellaterra campus offers a variety of electives in English during two 3-week summer sessions. Classes meet Monday through Friday and are open to  students of any Spanish language level.

Students can enroll in one 3-credit course during each 3-week session. Both sessions can be combined to create a 6-week session, during which students can complete a total of 2 courses.

One of the biggest advantages of studying at the UAB Bellaterra campus is that ASA students can meet local Spanish students through the Tandem language exchange program and the UAB Buddy Program. Your assigned Spanish-speaking language partner can introduce you to the local culture and help you improve your Spanish!


Students can choose to live with a Spanish host family or in a shared apartment. Homestay accommodation includes daily breakfast and dinner. The shared apartment option does not include meals, but each apartment has a kitchen.

All ASA housing includes Internet access and is located in safe neighborhoods, within a reasonable distance from the university. For full details about ASA housing, as well as answers to common questions, please visit our Housing Page!


Semester and summer programs include 1 overnight excursion and 2 day excursions. Destinations may vary by term. Past terms have included trips to:

  • Madrid and Toledo (overnight excursion) – While Madrid’s nightlife, la marcha, is world famous, daytime offers some of the world’s greatest art collections, palaces, and parks. Stay in the heart of this bustling city with its liveliest neighborhoods within walking distance. We’ll also visit the picturesque hilltop city of Toledo, its stunning cathedral, and its famous collection of El Greco paintings.
  • Sevilla and Córdoba (overnight excursion) – We’ll see all of the most important sites in the Andalusian city of Sevilla: the Giralda Tower, the Royal Palaces, the Cathedral, and more. The Old Quarter, where we’ll stay, is full of quaint plazas and shops, and just a short walk away you can explore the Triana neighborhood, home to tapas bars, restaurants, and music venues. We’ll also take a day trip to Córdoba to see the world famous 8th century Mosque, tour the historic Jewish Quarter, and explore the winding, ancient cobbled streets. During the 10th and 11th centuries under Muslim rule, Córdoba was one of the world’s largest and most advanced cities, as well as one of great religious diversity. A center of learning in math and astronomy, it housed the world’s largest library.
  • Tarragona (day excursion) – Tarragona was once the capital of Rome’s Hispania province. Its archaeological ruins include a Roman circus and coliseum. You’ll also have time to relax on the beach – one of Tarragona’s biggest attractions!
  • Girona (day excursion) – The highlight of this Catalan city is its wonderfully preserved Gothic Quarter, which includes a Jewish history museum, Arab baths, and one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world. Enjoy the view and take beautiful photos from atop the city’s medieval wall.

Costs and Dates

Please CLICK HERE for Costs and Dates.

What’s Included – ASA Barcelona Program

  • ROOM & BOARD / ROOM ONLY: Students can choose between the following housing options. Rooms are double or single occupancy. We cannot guarantee you a single room.
    • Option A:  With a Spanish host family. Daily breakfast and dinner and 1 load of laundry per week are included.
    • Option B:  Shared apartment. Meals are not included.
    • For further details about these housing options, please click here!
  • TUITION for the maximum number of credits indicated on the program course offerings page. Enrolling in more than the maximum number of credits (if permitted by the host institution) will result in an additional fee.
  • ACADEMIC CREDITS: Students who receive pre-approval from their home institution can transfer the credits they earn to their home institution.
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT: Final transcript is issued by your host institution. Upon completion of the program, ASA will provide one free shipment of your final transcript to your U.S. institution.
  • EXCURSIONS:  Semester programs include 2 day excursions and 1 overnight excursion. 6-week and 8-week Summer programs include 1 overnight excursion and 2 day excursions. 3-week, 4-week, and 5-week Summer programs include 1 day excursion. Excursion locations to be decided and vary by term.
  • CULTURAL ACTIVITIES within Barcelona (museum visits, walking tours, etc.)
  • INTERNET ACCESS: Students will have free Internet access at their host institution and in their program housing.
  • AIRPORT PICK-UP: Group ground transportation is provided from Barcelona (BCN) airport for students who arrive on the official arrival date, by the designated time.
  • SITE DIRECTOR: Students will have an on-site director to assist them with any academic or cultural difficulties they may encounter.
  • MEDICAL INSURANCE: Comprehensive international medical insurance is included.  For full details on benefits and coverage, please click here.
  • 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.

*For students going on an ASA program to Spain who live or attend a college/university in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, or Maine, ASA can now get your Student Visa FOR YOU through our Group Visa Service!  The additional fee for this service is $150.  Full details will be sent to eligible students after they are accepted to the ASA program.  (You must attend a college/university in MA, NH, RI, VT, or ME or reside in one of these states in order to participate in ASA’s Group Visa Service.  If you do not live or study in MA, NH, RI, VT, or ME you will need to apply for your visa on your own – ASA will send you detailed, helpful information about how to apply for your visa on your own after you are accepted.)

Not Included:

  • Round trip airfare and travel expenses to and from the program location
  • Damage deposit ($500), paid to ASA 30 days before departure; refundable upon return. (Required only for students who choose apartment housing)
  • Books, materials, lab fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Local transportation
  • Meals and laundry, if living in a shared apartment
  • Daily lunch, if living with a host family
  • Meals on excursions
  • Student visa, if required*
  • Transportation from the airport if the student does not arrive on the official arrival date by the designated time
  • Transportation back to the airport at the end of the program
  • For academic year students or those enrolling in more than one session, room and board/housing and all other ASA services and benefits are not provided during the break between sessions.

Click here for Billing Information and Cancellation/Refund Policy

NOTE: If you need a “Costs of Attendance” budget for your financial aid office, or if you simply want an estimate of the not-included costs listed above, please click here.

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