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international programs

Barcelona, Spain

program description

The City

As the capital of Catalonia, with its distinct Catalan language and culture, Barcelona dates back to the 9th century when the first independent Count of Barcelona was established. Led recently by the renaissance that began with the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona is in the midst of change, with entire districts undergoing renovation. Originally developed as a series of largely self-contained neighborhoods - each with its distinct identity and function - Barcelona is a surprisingly easy city to navigate. From its medieval Gothic quarter and historic old town of narrow streets and alleys to its world famous art-nouveau buildings and futuristic Olympic Village on the harbor, Barcelona is a city of contrasts and unrivaled artistic beauty and diversity.

The Universities


Founded in 1957 by Catalan entrepreneurs who joined forces with the Society of Jesus, ESADE was created to train competent, professional business managers with a sense of social responsibility. Today ESADE is considered by many to be one of best business schools in the world, and it has received particular attention for its exemplary social and environmental emphasis. ESADE trains students both at its Business and Law Schools. Through its links with the corporate world and society, ESADE has fostered a lively platform for debate and social involvement. Students reside in international campus dorms or in apartments.

Pompeu Fabra University (UPF)

Conceived with the idea of modernizing the Spanish University curriculum, UPF is a new institution with over 8,000 students. Students take courses in economics and business, audiovisual communications, humanities, liberal arts, and political science. The Economics Department at UPF is one of the most highly ranked programs in Spain. Class size is typically small, and the library and computer facilities are excellent.

The Program

BC students take courses at ESADE or UPF and are fully integrated into their host school.  Students take an intensive early-start language course and continue the course throughout the semester.  ESADE students have the opportunity to take classes in English and Spanish. All students enrolled at the UPF take most courses in Spanish alongside international students as well as their Spanish classmates.  Although many courses are offered in Catalan, students are required to choose from a range of courses in Spanish and a limited number of courses in English (economics and management only).

Orientation & Academic support

The on-site coordinator organizes an Orientation for BC students and teaches a three-credit course on the culture and history of Barcelona and Catalonia throughout the semester. Cultural activities and excursions are integrated into the course. In addition, the staff of the UPF International Office provides students with additional academic advising.


Students live in residence halls near the campus arranged by the BC on-site coordinator.


Student associations (as well as international associations like AIESEC) offer activities such as sports competitions, cultural visits in Barcelona and surrounding areas, as well as meals and social activities. The BC on-site coordinator also organizes many monthly cultural activities in and around Barcelona to take advantage of the rich cultural offerings in the area.