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City and Academic Overview

City Information

Barcelona is a city of contradictions: old and new intertwined, beautiful and industrial,  traditional and avant-garde. Bordered by France to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the east, Barcelona is one of the most ‘European’ of Spanish cities. Stroll Las Ramblas, one of the city’s most famous and busy boulevards and weave through the medieval streets of the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic). Enjoy the unique and colorful architecture of Barcelona’s most famed architect, Antoni Gaudí. Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan city that combines the latest trends with the most typical Spanish traditions. Barcelona offers museums, cinemas, restaurants, clubs, bars, the beach and the mountains,  and people from all over the world.

Although Spaniards from Barcelona speak both Spanish and Catalán, the mixture of local residents and international visitors makes it an easy city to understand and make yourself understood. Barcelona exposes students to several cultures, languages, and world views; but then, what else could be expected from the marvelously complex city of Barcelona?

Study Abroad in Barcelona

Students who choose to study abroad in Barcelona can take courses at one of three centrally located universities: the University of Barcelona, the University Autònoma of Barcelona or the Pompeu Fabra University.

The University of Barcelona was established in 1450 and is the oldest and largest university in Barcelona. Students complete Spanish language and culture courses alongside other American, Erasmus (European) and international students in the university’s Department of Hispanic Studies.

The University Autònoma of Barcelona was founded in 1968 and is well known for its international profile. API students complete classes in English and in Spanish with mostly American students at two different campuses. The Sant Pau campus is located in a renovated UNESCO World Heritage building near the famous Sagrada Familia church in the Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona. The Eixample campus is located within a 30 minute walk  or 15 minute metro ride of the Sant Pau campus, and a 5 minute walk from the Plaza Catalunya.

The Pompeu Fabra University was established by the Catalonian Parliament in 1990 and has quickly become one of the city’s most respected universities. From its beginnings, this academic institution has emphasized two main objectives: to train professionals and citizens who are responsible and committed to civic values, and to contribute towards the development of research. Programs are available at a variety of levels in intensive language, and Hispanic and European studies (available in English and Spanish). Advanced level students have the opportunity to complete at least one class with local students.

ESADE is an independent nonprofit university institution, founded in 1958 in Barcelona when a group of entrepreneurs and Jesuit Society members joined forces. Since 1995 it has formed part of the Ramon Llull University. ESADE has a strong academic reputation, and is one of a select group of institutions worldwide to achieve the triple crown of business accreditation which includes American accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), British accreditation by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and European accreditation by the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).

API Students on Barcelona

Why Barcelona?

  • Gaudí Architecture
  • Picasso Collections
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Catalán Language & Culture
  • Catalán cuisine
  • Diverse Cultures Close to Other European Countries
  • Modernism
  • Cosmopolitan City
  • Fabulous Art and Museums