Coming to Barcelona, I had three main goals: First, to improve my Spanish. I can say with great confidence that I have been challenged with my Spanish language through both my homestay, classes, and day-to-day interactions. Second, I hoped to grow as a person by stepping out of my comfort zone and gaining knowledge about the world around me. While my time in Barcelona has only just begun, I feel I have stepped out of my comfort zone and grown more as a person in one month than I would a year in the United States. Third (and lastly), I wanted to grow as an artist. The city of Barcelona has shown me that to create great art you must step outside of the classroom and take inspiration from your beautiful surroundings such as the vibrant colors and unparalleled architecture!
Why BCA Barcelona?
- Refine your Spanish skills while also learning about Spanish culture and history during BCA’s pre-semester course. This three-week course ensures that you’re set to succeed in your Spanish-language courses abroad and helps you begin to acclimate to life in Barcelona – one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in the world.
- Join intercambio – a program designed for English and Spanish language students to meet throughout the week to practice their language skills together. This program provides you with an opportunity to meet Spaniards of different ages, origins and diverse life experiences.
- Get to know your new home and meet new people by volunteering with local organizations working in the city. The BCA Resident Director can help connect you to a local community partner to learn more about the work they do and ways that you can be of service to their mission.
There are approximately 66,000 students enrolled in the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) across six campuses, including 12,000 international students. As an advanced language student, you can challenge yourself to take UB courses alongside local students. If your Spanish is not as advanced, you can take a combination of BCA and UB courses. BCA classes are taught in Spanish, but are designed for students for whom Spanish is not their first language. Between the BCA and UB courses, students can find a wide variety of options in many academic disciplines including the arts and humanities, business, professional studies, social sciences and STEM.
Barcelona is perfectly situated between the ocean and the mountains, so you can go to the beach, hike or take advantage of city life. The city is known for its vibrant street life, incredible food and amazing architecture. You can enjoy Spain’s cultural dances such flamenco, salsa or swing by visiting a local theatre or joining community classes. Plus, you’ll live with a host family who can provide you with opportunities to discuss Spanish politics, social issues, pop culture and family traditions. Interested students can volunteer with local organizations or local festival committees to further connect to the city and people of Barcelona.
Cultural Activities & Excursions
Your Resident Director is your guide throughout the semester and will help you maximize your time in Spain. Together you will behold the works of world-famous architect Antoni Gaudí, including Cascada Fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella – inspired by Rome’s Trevi Fountain – and his most famous work, La Sagrada Familia – the unfinished Catholic church. The BCA signature excursion may vary by semester but in the past has included visits to the port city of Tarragona, famous for its ancient Roman ruins and Cistercian monasteries, the 10th century Benedictine monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes and the city of Gerona known for its Romanesque and Gothic influences.
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is set on the Mediterranean coast within easy reach of the Costa Brava and the Pyrenees Mountains. Founded in 203 B.C., the city has long provided a base for Catalan culture. The Catalan traditions survived two dictatorships in Barcelona and continue to flourish today.
Barcelona offers a fascinating mix of ancient and modern traditions. The city's spectacular architecture ranges from 13th-century Gothic cathedrals to the modernist neighborhood of l'Eixample and the work of Gaudi and others. Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro made their homes in Barcelona, and local museums pay homage to each. BCA Barcelona students benefit from truly countless cultural options. Barcelona boasts an extensive cultural life, including an opera company, symphonies, dozens of museums and festivals throughout the year. Throughout the semester, BCA provides information on exhibitions, concerts, theaters and other cultural activities available to students. The University of Barcelona also hosts concerts, conferences and student gatherings that BCA students are welcome to attend.
Program Quick Facts
Fall Semester: April 15
Spring Semester: October 1
Four semesters of college-level Spanish (or equivalent)
Language of Instruction:
Universitat de Barcelona
Fall Semester: Late August – Mid-December
Spring Semester: Mid-January – Early May
Other Program Opportunities:
Volunteer opportunities available