Barcelona, Spain

IFSA Barcelona Universities Program: UPF

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Program Overview


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 interdisciplinary international program makes it easy to pursue top notch academics in business, humanities, social sciences, and more. With a hands-on approach to learning, at UPF you become a part of an exciting community of local and international students.

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 the two options—to fit your interests and degree requirements. Most classes are worth 3 U.S. semester credit hours.

Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS) 

  • Barcelona, The City and It’s History
  • Ethics in a Globalization and Sustainability Context
  • Global People Management and Leadership
  • Managing Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Business
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Business Management
  • Doing Business in Europe

ESCI-UPF International Business Program 

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

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 a selection of activities and excursions from previous terms; options may vary for your program. Due to the seasonal nature of many of program activities, we cannot guarantee a specific activity or excursion will be available in a given term or program.


  • City-as-Text: These activities (museum visits, street art tour, visiting different neighborhoods) will use the city of Barcelona as the frame to understand socioeconomic, artistic, and cultural aspects of the city.
  • Architecture and Design: Barcelona’s colorful, distinctive, and unique architecture successfully blends the traditional with the modern. Visit iconic buildings such as Gaudi’s masterpiece Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, La Predrera, and Park Güell, while also understanding how Barcelona’s support of innovation, creative talent, and design makes it a special city in which to live.
  • Food and Local Culture: Gastronomy in Catalonia and Spain is about more than just food. It is a way of life and an essential part of the culture and history. Visit a local market and also participate in cooking a traditional Catalan-style meal where an expert will discuss central issues surrounding the importance of food culture and the Mediterranean diet.
  • Folklore: Through organized activities as well as local festivities, learn more about the Catalan traditions such as dancing sardanes or rumba catalana, the building of human towers or castellers, and other local customs.
  • Barcelona as a Business Hub: As Spain’s start-up capital, the city of Barcelona is the center of an emerging economic Eurozone and an international business center for companies and organizations working worldwide. By visiting local global businesses, learn more about the entrepreneurial spirit of Barcelona.
  • Learning about the Catalan Autonomous Region: Throughout program activities, discover how history and politics have shaped the region’s current society, economics, and politics.


  • Girona, Figueras, and Costa Brava Day Trips: On these day trips, visit different parts of northern Catalonia: the Dali museum in Figueras, an incredible museum showcasing the life and work of the surrealist genius Salvador Dalí; the city of Girona, whose medieval center boasts the most important Jewish Quarter on the Iberian Peninsula as well as some iconic Game of Thrones filming locations; one of the picturesque coastal towns of Costa Brava.
  • Montserrat Day Trip: On this day trip, explore the stunning, unique, and spiritual mountain of Montserrat by hiking among its breathtaking peaks and visiting the Basilica of the Virgin Mary of Montserrat.
  • Sitges Day Trip: With a stroll through Sitges old town and walk along its sandy beaches, you will realize immediately why Sitges is one of the most popular beach towns in Catalonia. A guide will explain its history of wealthy “indianos” who made fortunes in America (Cuba/Barcardí) and returned to build palaces, in addition to an introduction to the town’s vibrant LGBTQIA+ community tradition.
  • Seville Weekend Excursion: 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 urban landscape from that of Barcelona. Seville’s rich architectural and historical legacy, as well as its tapas and Flamenco traditions will broaden your understanding of Spanish culture.
  • Madrid Weekend Excursion: Madrid, the capital of Spain, has endless cultural and gastronomic experiences to offer. Visit its world-class museums, El Prado and Reina Sofía, learn more about the city’s history on a walking tour through its most iconic spaces, and visit the beautiful park “El Retiro.” Free time to explore the tapas scene and the Rastro flea market.

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 

Explore 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
Spring 2025
Early Jan. 2025
Late March 2025
$18,500 (estimated)
Oct. 1, 2024
Fall 2025
Mid-Sept. 2025
Mid-Dec. 2025
$19,125 (estimated)
May 1, 2025

Get Started

Eleni Katsarelas

Eleni Katsarelas

Enrollment Counselor