Barcelona, Spain

IFSA Barcelona Universities Program: UPF

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Program Overview


Savor tortilla de patatas on the way to class, surrounded by stunning architecture. Study at one of Spain’s most prestigious universities, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), blocks from gorgeous Mediterranean beaches. With classes in both English and Spanish, this program makes it easy to pursue top notch academics in finance, management, marketing, communications, politics, and more. Learn alongside local and international students and advance your Spanish skills by leaps and bounds.

Details at a Glance

Application deadline

Fall: May 1
Spring: Oct. 1

Minimum GPA


Credit load



Apartment/Flat, Single Room Option

Instruction language

English, Spanish

Language prerequisites


Visa required?

Not in most cases. Learn More.

Apply Now


CHART Your Course
Find the classes you need fast with CHART. Our easy-to-use tool shows you classes recently taken by IFSA students.

Build your own curriculum with a combination of four or five Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) classes for a total of 12–15 U.S. semester credit hours.

At UPF you are invited to not only share academic classes, but also campus life including services, clubs, and activities. More than 100 classes are available in politics, management, communications, finance, humanities, and social sciences. Most classes are taught in English, while some classes can be taken in Spanish for students with level B2 language proficiency.

You can choose from a wide variety of classes across the following programs designed for international and/or local degree-seeking students. Classes may be chosen entirely within one UPF program—or drawn from multiple—to fit your interests and degree requirements. Most classes are worth 3 U.S. semester credit hours.

Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS) 

  • Analytics for Social Good 
  • From Ethnographic Cinema to the Avant-Garde 
  • LGBT+: Exploring Identities and Diversity  
  • Mind, Brain, and Machines 
  • The Impact Journey: (Un)Sustainability, Climate Emergency, Authentic Leadership 
  • The Space Race: A Cultural History in the Cold War 

Escola Superior de Comerç Internacional (ESCI) 

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 
  • Culture and Business in Middle East and Africa  
  • Data Mapping for Marketing 
  • International Marketing 
  • International Team Management  
  • New Trends in Global Trade Governments  

ESCI-UPF International Business Program 

  • Corporate Finance  
  • Consumer Behavior 
  • Financial Risk Management 
  • Digital Business Modeling and Competitive Strategy 
  • Sustainability Management 
  • Strategic Brand Management 

Students interested in the Basic Biomedical Sciences Program or Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) should contact their IFSA Enrollment Counselor. Enrollment will be considered on a case-by-case basisProgram dates, fees, and/or visa requirements may differ from the standard Barcelona Universities Program: UPF information published here. 

Can I take my classes in Spanish?
To enroll in Spanish-taught classes at this program, you must have a specific language level. Please visit our Language Requirements page for more details. If you have questions about whether you qualify, contact your IFSA Enrollment Counselor.



  • You must be at least 18 years of age. Students under 18 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • You must be currently attending or recently graduated from a U.S. or Canadian community college, technical college, two-year college, four-year college, or four-year university.
  • You must have completed at least two (2) full-time years of study at your home institution before the beginning of the term.

Recommendation Letter
Not required.


Upon completion of your program, IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. semester credit hour system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects classes taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost. See our Transcripts page for more information.


Activities and excursions are designed to pull you into the communities you visit and encourage cultural connections of every kind. There’s no extra fee to participate in these optional outings—everything is included in your program fee.

Below are examples from previous terms; outings may be different for your program. We’ll make every effort to run them all, but sometimes things we can’t control, such as local regulations and health protocols, get in the way. As result, we cannot guarantee activities and excursions.


  • City-as-Text: This activity will use the city of Barcelona as the frame to understand socioeconomic, artistic, and cultural aspects of the city. Learn about how and why Barcelona was the first city awarded the Biosphere Certification as a responsible tourist destination committed to economic, social, environmental, and cultural sustainability.
  • Architecture and Design: Barcelona’s colorful, distinctive, and unique architecture successfully blends the traditional with the modern. You will be able to visit iconic buildings such as Gaudi’s masterpiece Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, La Predrera, Palau Güell, and Park Güell, while also understanding how Barcelona’s support of innovation, creative talent, and design makes it the perfect city to live in.
  • Barcelona as a Business Hub: The city is the center of an emerging economic Eurozone, the Mediterranean capital, a bridge to Europe, and an international business center for companies and organizations working worldwide. By visiting local businesses, you will be able to learn more about the Catalan entrepreneurial spirit of Barcelona.
  • Learning about the Catalan Independence: Through several guest lectures, you will learn how history and politics have shaped the region’s society, economics, and politics.
  • Food and Local Culture: Gastronomy in Cataluña and Spain is about more than just food. It is a way of living and an essential part of the culture and history of the region and the country. An expert will discuss central issues surrounding the importance of food and the importance of the Mediterranean diet. You will visit the several markets in the city and also participate in cooking a traditional Catalan-style meal.
  • Folklore: Through multiple day trips, organized activities, and various festivities, you will learn about the traditional dance Sardana, the building of human towers at festivals called castellers, and other customs while being immersed into the bilingualism and identity of Cataluña.


  • Figueras and Girona Trip: On this day trip, you will visit the Dali museum in Figueras, an incredible museum showcasing the life and work of the surrealist genius Salvador Dali. You will also visit Girona, one of the most important medieval quarters in Spain. There you will explore the Jewish Quarter and various Game of Thrones filming locations.
  • Cavas and Montserrat Trip: Have a cultural and enogastronomic experience while visiting one of best known Cavas wineries in Cataluña. Additionally, you’ll explore the stunning mountain landscape of Montserrat topped with a famous Benedictine monastery. It’s perfect for hiking excursions and views of the Catalan landscape.
  • Seville Trip: From the largest gothic cathedral in the world to the oldest royal residence in Europe still in use, the Royal Alcazar, you will explore a completely different city and culture from Barcelona. Seville’s rich architectural and historical legacy will allow you to immerse yourself in Spanish culture, while enjoying tapas tasting and Flamenco dancing.

Housing and Meals


Apartment/Flat, Single Room Option




Barcelona students typically live in flats (apartments) shared by four to six IFSA students. Locations vary but are typically in neighborhoods with plenty of local charm, no more than 30 minutes from Universitat Pompeu Fabra Ciutadella campus via public transportation.  

Flatmates could include all genders. Bedrooms are shared by same gender students. Keep in mind that students who request and are placed in single bedrooms incur an additional fee to cover the higher cost. Students are responsible for their own meals, either cooking in their flat or eating out—in Barcelona, there are delicious options at every turn.  

Sample housing 

Take a look at Carrer Córsega 528 to see what your Barcelona home might be like:  

  • Location: Barcelona’s Eixample district.  
  • Commute: A 30-minute walk or 20-minute bus ride to UPF Ciutadella campus.   
  • Living space: Apartments include single and shared bedrooms with single beds and storage, living space, a kitchen and eating area, and a bathroom. Sometimes two students share one desk. Complete bedding and towels provided at program start. Kitchens are equipped with stovetop, oven, refrigerator, and basic dishes and kitchenware for all flatmates. 
  • Meals: No meal plan. Students prepare or purchase meals, and often tell us cooking together is a fun, social part of the day.  
  • Other details: Internet included. Washing machine and drying rack in each apartment. 
  • Nearby: Cafes, fresh markets, supermarkets, public transportation, and galleries. La Sagrada Familia. Casa Batlló. Casa Milà. Passeig de Gràcia. 

Dates and Fees

Term begins
Term ends
Program costs
Application deadline
Fall 2024
September 18, 2024
December 11, 2024
May 1, 2024
Spring 2025
Early Jan. 2025
Late March 2025
$18,500 (estimated)
Oct. 1, 2024

Get Started

Eleni Katsarelas

Eleni Katsarelas

Enrollment Counselor