This program is designed for students who want study abroad in Barcelona to learn more about Catalan art, culture, and identity. The courses provide students with tools to set the frame for a broader perspective on the Spanish and European cultures, political systems, and society, and allow them to acquire a deep understanding of the Spanish political institutions and recent history. Barcelona is an ideal location to host such a program thanks to its landscape, which allows for the symbiosis among cosmopolitanism, cultural diversity and site as the Catalonian capital. Bilingualism, integration and migration are only some of the topics that students analyze in class and beyond, a
Pre Departure Services
Pre Departure Services
@api Online System
Orientation Materials and Resources
Access to International Phone Plans
API Alumni Network
On Site Services
On Site Services
Medical and Life Insurance
Excursions (overnight, day)
Social and Cultural Activities
Welcome and Farewell Group Meals
Housing (including meals and laundry with host families)
Open to students with one previous semester of college-level Spanish (or the equivalent)
Completed API application
University contact information form
One letter of recommendation
Additional application forms (including a housing form and a course form)
One (electronic) passport-sized photo
Entry Documents: valid passport
What You’ll Study
TOTAL CREDITS - 6 semester credits
This program is designed for students who want study abroad in Barcelona to learn more about Catalan art, culture, and identity. The courses provide students with tools to set the frame for a broader perspective on the Spanish and European cultures, political systems, and society, and allow them to acquire a deep understanding of the Spanish political institutions and recent history. Barcelona is an ideal location to host such a program thanks to its landscape, which allows for the symbiosis among cosmopolitanism, cultural diversity, and site as the Catalonian capital. Bilingualism, integration, and migration are only some of the topics that students analyze in class and beyond, as they soak up Barcelona’s vibrant city life.
In addition to the course-related activities, all participants in the program take part in activities and field studies that are a substantial part of the program. These cover prominent aspects of the summer program topics. Field studies and co-curricular activities may include: opening ceremony and opening lecture; evening tour: the political scenarios of Barcelona: City Hall and Generalitat; visit to the Catalan Parliament and debate with Parliamentarians; a course-integrated overnight study tour to “The Catalan No-Borders: Historical Ties with The Pays Catalan”; closing ceremony and concert. These co-curricular activities and excursions are led by experts and include lectures given by faculty from either UPF or the universities hosting the visits. The Spanish language course is available for all levels, but it is only required for those students who plan on taking all of their courses in Spanish. Students who plan on taking their courses in Spanish must have a minimum of 4 semesters of college-level Spanish experience.
API students will receive a transcript from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra upon completion of their program.
Students will choose two courses (45 hours each – 3 U.S. credits each). Students who are interested in taking a third course may do so for an additional fee. All courses may include on-site activities that are mandatory and part of the course evaluation. Enrollment and participation require attendance, study, the fulfillment of course workload (exams, papers) and active class participation.
Most API partner universities in Spain operate on the contact hour system, wherein the number of credits earned depends on the time spent in class. To determine the conversion of contact hours to U.S. credits, divide the contact hours available by 15.
Beginning Level Spanish
The objective of this level is for the student to be able to understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of expertise particularly relevant; to know how to communicate when carrying out simple and routine tasks requiring no more than simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters; and to develop the ability to describe in simple terms aspects of one’s past and surroundings, as well as issues related to their immediate own needs.
The main objectives of this level are: to understand the main points of clear standard written language, dealing with known issues, either in work, study or leisure; knowing how to deal with most situations likely to arise whilst traveling in an area where the language is spoken, using the most common expressions of these functions in a neutral register; to produce simple connected text on familiar topics in which students have a personal interest; to describe experiences and events, dreams and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for their own plans and opinions; to be aware of the most important rules of courtesy and act appropriately; to know the most significant differences between the customs, manners, attitudes, values and beliefs prevalent in Spanish society and his/her own, and knowing how to respond appropriately to such differences.
The aim of this level is for the student to be able to understand the main ideas of complex texts that address both concrete and abstract topics, even if they are theoretical topics, provided they are within their own area of expertise; be able to interact with native speakers with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that the communication is done without effort; express themselves with conviction, clarity and courtesy in a formal or informal register appropriate to the situation and the person or persons involved; produce clear and detailed texts on various subjects and explain a point of view on a topical issue giving the pros and cons of the different options.
Barcelona on Stage/Barcelona Unveiled: Documentary Workshop
In this hands-on course, students will prepare a documentary about Barcelona and its experience of the city, from the identification of the approach to editing the project, through the writing of the script and filming.
The cultural history of the city as a reflection of the contemporary cultural history of Spain, from the anarchist city to the cosmopolitan capital with international outreach. Focusing on the last two centuries and from a sociological/anthropological point of view, the course analyzes the Barcelona society, its most recent political history through its conflicts and cultural influences.
Current Issues on the European Union in a Global World
This course provides an overview of the European Union to ensure an understanding of the European construction and integration process( after the II World War and the successive enlargements of the EU in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, after the fall of communism). The basic structure, institutions and decision and policy-making processes of the EU today. The EU face current and future challenges in a globalized world: economic and financial crisis, global power balance and world influence, next steps in economic and political integration.
El curso ofrece una introducción al cine español desde el inicio de la democracia, en los años setenta, hasta la actualidad, con una atención particular hacia aquellos cineastas que destacan tanto por su valor artístico como por su capacidad para reflejar los rasgos más destacables de la realidad y la cultura española contemporánea. Las diferentes sesiones del curso exponen el imaginario plural del cine español más reciente, a través de la obra de autores como Pedro Almodóvar, Víctor Erice, Julio Médem, Alejandro Amenábar o José Luis Guerín.
Over the 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 will introduce 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. The focus will also be placed on opportunities to enhance the learning experience in other statistical courses by illustrating and applying basic statistical concepts in R.
The course analyses the categories, political, social, anthropological or aesthetic, at work in the idea of a Spanish “typicality”, a “Spanish-ness” or “españolidad”, in the realms of visual and material culture and in the arts. Its goal is a critical reflection on the notion of what denotes (or qualifies) in an object, an attitude, an artifact, a work of art, a piece of literature the condition of being “Spanish”. The point of departure is a critical deconstruction of the “Spanish” topic at different moments in history (basically modern and contemporary times), and not an essentialist interpretation of a presumed cultural and anthropological “identity” of Spain. The course would address questions such as: how has “Spanish-ness” been fabricated historically in Spain and outside? how does it function symbolically at different levels and times? which is it its efficacy in the political discourse? How does it relate to exoticism and primitivism, violence, devotion, solidarity, heroism etc.? Main areas considered in this course: arts, literature, music, publicity, audiovisual production, design, among others.
Society and Politics in Contemporary Spain
This course is designed to give both political science and non-political science majors an overview of fundamental issues in the study of Spanish politics. The core of the course is the study of the nature and functioning of the Spanish democratic system installed since the middle of the seventies, paying special attention to the main political processes, institutions, actors, political culture, electoral behavior, political violence, European integration and international immigration. Students spend also some time at the beginning of the course studying the previous Spanish democratic experience (1931-1936), its collapse (1936-1939), the authoritarian rule imposed by Franco) and the Spanish transition to democracy (1975-1978), which has strongly influenced the current features of the Spanish political system.
This course studies current artistic practices in Spain, mainly performance, video creation, creative actions, media and net art, music, and photography and their interrelation with other aesthetic practices. The course combines a theoretical approach and the direct contact with visits to museums, galleries, theaters, and others
API students participate in several excursions per session designed to help familiarize them with areas of their host city, country, and surrounding region. The following is a listing of all excursions for API Barcelona programs. All excursions are subject to change.
With almost 60 miles of golden sandy beaches, la Costa Daurada stretches from the north of Tarragona to the Ebro delta. Tarragona’s biggest lure is the wealth of ruins in Spain’s second most important Roman site, including mosaic-packed museums and a seaside amphitheater. Les Cases d’Alcanar or Sant Carles de la Ràpita conjure up a mix of Mediterranean essences. The towns alternate between flat alluvial land and craggy coast depict the terrain; between mud and rocks; olive trees and rice fields; marl rocky banks and lagoons. The Ebro Delta is the largest wetlands in Catalonia and the main aquatic habitat in the western Mediterranean. Due to the Delta’s ecological importance, many parts of it were declared a natural park in 1983.
Island of Menorca
Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. The island is known for its collection of megalithic stone monuments: navetes, taules and talaiots, which speak of a very early prehistoric human activity. Minorca is also well known for its traditional summer fiestas, including the popular ‘Festes de Sant Joan.’
Montserrat is regarded by many Catalans as the most important spiritual and cultural center of Catalonia. The 14th century Benedictine Monastery is where the monks worship Catalonia’s Patron Saint, the Black Madonna of Montserrat. As one travels up the mountains, one has a chance to admire the breathtaking views from the Shrine located 2100 feet above sea level.
API students in Barcelona can choose from three different housing options. Students may choose to live with a host family, in a student apartment, or in a student dormitory. Internet access is included in all three options.
Students who choose to live with families share a double room with a fellow API student and be provided with 2 meals per day and laundry service. Students can opt for a single room for an additional fee.
API apartments in Barcelona generally have 2-4 bedrooms (the majority of which are double-rooms) with a shared kitchen, common area, and bathrooms. Apartments are located throughout the center of Barcelona and tend to be 30-45 minutes from the universities. Students can opt for a single room for an additional fee.
Students who would prefer apartment-style living alongside other Spanish and American students would enjoy API’s dorm/residence hall option. The student dorm has both single and double-room options, with a shared kitchen and private bathroom. Internet access is guaranteed in all rooms. This option carries an additional fee.