Fall, Spring, Academic Year
2.75 GPA or higher, good academic and disciplinary standing. Sophomore standing or higher.
Fall/AY: 2/24, Spring 9/24
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The IES Barcelona program give students the opportunity to take English-taught courses in a range of liberal arts and business disciplines while improving their Spanish language skills. Although no prior language study is required to participate in this program, all students are required to take one Spanish language course, which is typically four credits. An internship in Spanish or English is available for students who wish to gain international work experience.
IES Abroad administers four programs in Barcelona - Liberal Arts & Business, Arts & Culture, Journalism & Communications, and Political Science & International Relations - all of which are sponsored by the University of Iowa. UI students earn transfer credit for this program. As such, this program is not suitable for students attempting to fulfill Spanish minor requirements while abroad.
Students enroll in 15-19 sh per semester:
Host institution classes provide less support than most U.S. college classes. The host institution course syllabi are less detailed and there are fewer assessments. IES courses follow a more American teaching style, with attendance, regular assignments and exams, and participation all factored into grading.
*Students are assigned to their required Spanish language course based on the results of a placement test, which is taken online prior to departure for the program. Many students find the placement test quite challenging. UI considers SP 302 on the IES Barcelona program to be equivalent to Intermediate Spanish II at UI. Students who have completed Intermediate Spanish II at UI or another U.S. institution must place into SP 323 or higher on the IES Barcelona program to avoid having their Spanish course at IES flagged for duplication of credit upon return to UI. Contact a UI Study Abroad advisor for more information.
For updated course offerings, descriptions, and syllabi, visit IES program webpage.
Interning abroad as part of the study abroad experience will help distinguish a participant's application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market. IES works with students to find the ideal internship placement that fulfills their academic and career goals. If IES doesn’t currently work with a business or organization in the student's field of interest, they will search for a placement that’s right for the student. English placements are available. A basic knowledge of Spanish is required for some.
All internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. Students participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience they gain during the internship.
At the beginning of the program, students are assigned to an orientation group based on their Spanish language course placement. By moving through orientation activities with other students in their Spanish language course, students meet a small group of program participants before beginning their elective courses. Orientation activities include health and safety information, walking tours of the city, and excursions to nearby points of interest.
IES Abroad provides many opportunities for students to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to real-world experiences. The courses taught at the IES Abroad Center include guest speakers, company/NGO visits, and field trips throughout the semester.
IES arranges a number of non-academic trips and cultural workshops to help students explore Barcelona and the surrounding region. Examples include flamenco workshops, outings to soccer games, cooking classes, and guided tours.
Fall: Early September to mid-December
Spring: Early January to late April
For exact program dates, visit IES program webpage.
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242
Located on bustling Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona, the IES Abroad Center is ideally situated within easy walking distance of restaurants, department stores, local shops, and points of historical and cultural significance. The Center itself houses more than 20 classrooms, IES Baracelona staff offices, lounge space, WiFi printing, and an outdoor terrace. The Center serves as the hub for classes and student life on the program.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain with its own distinctive history, culture, and language. The Catalonian traditions of initiative, hard work, and creativity, combined with the continuous influx of different cultures from other parts of Spain, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, have endowed the city with a unique vitality and rich cultural and artistic heritage.
Situated between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona has a population of 1.6 million. Walking through the city, one can observe 2,000 years of architectural history including the Roman and medieval center’s impressive network of narrow streets, the 19th-century Eixample district with its original examples of Modernista architecture, and the ultra-modern buildings that continue to redesign the skyline.
Castilian Spanish and Catalan are both official languages in Barcelona and the rest of the region of Catalonia. Catalan is regularly used in all aspects of life but not imposed on non-Catalan speakers. Taxi drivers, shopkeepers, service representatives, professors, and homestay families are all able to speak clear Spanish with students. Spanish is widely used at the university, and you are advised on which classes are taught in Spanish. While it is not necessary to speak Catalan to survive in Barcelona, you will find that learning a few words can be an enjoyable experience and open doors to making friends.
Situated on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, Spain is a strikingly beautiful and diverse country. The country has the third largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Spain’s distinct regions means there is something for everyone, from lush forests to towering mountains and stunning beaches to vibrant cities, many of which are easily accessible through the country's extensive network of high-speed trains. Widely known for excellent food and art, friendly locals, relaxed lifestyle, Flamenco culture, and lots of sunshine, Spain has been one of the cultural centers of Europe for thousands of years and remains one of the most popular destinations in the world for study and travel.
The U.S. Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.
Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.
IES students participating in this program have three housing options: a Spanish homestay, an off-campus residence hall with Spanish and/or other IES Abroad students, and shared apartments.
Students live in Spanish-speaking homes where two meals are provided daily. Each home accommodates two or three students. Homestays are the optimal housing arrangement because of their contribution to the program’s goals of language and cultural immersion.
Students can live in a residence hall with Spanish and/or other IES Abroad students. Rooms in residence halls are double and triple occupancy. Meal plans vary among the different halls. Placements are limited, and an additional fee applies for this housing option.
Students seeking an independent environment should consider living in off-campus apartments with three or four other IES Abroad students in double rooms. A Barcelona Cultural Companion or tutor cultural may also live in the apartment to help with cultural integration. Apartments have fully-equipped kitchens, and meals are not provided. Placements are very limited, and an additional fee applies for this housing option.
This program is open to UI students who fulfill the following requirements:
The most recent cost sheet for the program is included below. The cost sheet outlines the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid and planning purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill (IES program fee, Study Abroad Administrative Fee, and mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance), as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic. Please see the respective websites for further details. Contact your Study Abroad advisor with questions regarding the cost sheet.
Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.
Interested students should make an appointment with the designated UI Study Abroad advisor to discuss the program and the application process. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 319-335-0353. During the appointment, the advisor will provide full application instructions. Note: Application materials will not be reviewed unless a student has already met with the advisor to discuss the program.
The application process consists of the following steps:
• Complete the UI Online Application for Study Abroad. Applicants will be charged a $50 non-refundable application fee. As part of the UI Online Application for Study Abroad, applicants will need to upload a copy of their passport picture page and a list of courses to take while abroad, as well as a statement of purpose
• Please note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.
• Complete the IES Online Application.
Acceptance into the applicant's chosen study abroad program is made by IES directly via an email to the applicant, which will refer the applicant to additional documents posted to the MyIESabroad account.
All students preparing to study abroad should review the following:
Students are also encouraged to complete the Health Preparation Guide for International Travelform with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.
For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:
US passport holders should follow the batch process instructions provided by IES. Otherwise participants must apply for their student visa independently. The Consulate for all UI students is the Chicago Consulate; it is based the location of one's home university, not the state of origin.
Students may either book the group flight through IES or book a flight independently. Participants are responsible for being at the orientation site on time, as IES may fine individuals who are late.
In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.
You are required to complete the International Programs online “Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation” course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email email@example.com