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Summer Study Abroad in English


Start Date

End Date



Summer 2025 at UPF

Jun, 2025

Jul, 2025

May 15, 2025


Summer 2025 at UAB

Jun, 2025

Jul, 2025

Apr 15, 2025


Program Overview

Immerse Yourself in Barcelona’s Vibrant Culture and Education! 

Join our SSA Barcelona Summer Program at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, tailored for US students seeking a unique blend of academic and cultural experiences. This program provides English-taught courses in various disciplines, allowing you to tailor your academic journey to your interests.


  • 📚 Personalized Learning: Select from a range of courses that cater to diverse academic needs and interests, all taught in English. Benefit from the innovative teaching methods and comprehensive curriculum offered by Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • 🏛️ Architectural and Cultural Immersion: Dive into the heart of Barcelona, a city renowned for its architectural wonders and vibrant cultural scene. The city itself becomes an extension of the classroom, offering endless opportunities for learning and exploration.
  • 🎨 Rich History and Creative Spirit: Experience the unique blend of tradition and innovation that characterizes Barcelona. Engage with the city’s rich historical legacy and dynamic creative culture, enhancing your educational experience.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra stands at the crossroads of tradition and innovation, providing an ideal setting for students eager to combine rigorous academic studies with real-world cultural immersion. Barcelona’s legendary landmarks, bustling streets, and artistic heritage offer a dynamic backdrop for a summer filled with discovery and learning.

Embark on an unforgettable summer journey with our SSA Barcelona program, where educational pursuits meet cultural exploration in one of Europe’s most exciting cities.

Program Details

Program Availability

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

Universidad Pompeu Fabra



Life Abroad

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Artistic Hub

Barcelona’s artistic vibrancy is a breathtaking fusion of past and future, where the architectural and surreal wonders of Gaudí and Dalí coexist with cutting-edge contemporary galleries. Its streets and plazas, alive with dynamic street art, offer an immersive cultural experience, positioning the city as a sanctuary for creatives and art enthusiasts alike.

Culinary Delicacies

The culinary landscape of Barcelona is a sensorial celebration, presenting an array of dishes that encapsulate the essence of Catalan flavors. From traditional favorites like paella and tapas to avant-garde offerings found in its lively food markets, students can embark on a delectable journey through Catalonia’s culinary heritage.

Language and Culture

In Barcelona, the melodious tones of Catalan enhance the multicultural tapestry alongside Spanish, offering students a vibrant linguistic immersion. Engaging in language exchanges and embracing daily cultural interactions foster a deep connection with Barcelona’s diverse identity, broadening students’ linguistic skills and cultural understanding.

Life in Barcelona

Living in Barcelona is to immerse oneself in a lifestyle marked by diversity and cosmopolitanism. Whether it’s participating in the rich traditions of local festivals like La Mercè or finding tranquility along its picturesque beaches, Barcelona offers a harmonious blend of academic advancement, cultural depth, and memorable moments. 🇪🇸✨

Your program in Barcelona is an expansive journey beyond academics, delving into the heart of Catalan and Spanish culture. Our curated selection of cultural activities and excursions, organized by us or recommended for personal exploration, aims to deepen your connection to this vibrant community. Below is an overview of the cultural odyssey that awaits you:

Cultural Activities in BarcelonaCultural Activities Organized by the SSA Barcelona Team:

  • Culinary Delights: A welcoming dinner featuring local specialties like paella and traditional Spanish tapas.
  • Guided Cultural Visits: Tours to iconic sites including Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, Park Güell, and Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres.
  • Dance Workshops: Flamenco and sardana workshops to immerse you in local traditions.
  • Cooking Workshops: Hands-on experience preparing Catalan dishes.
  • Cultural Events: Celebrate holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving with a local twist. Participate in language exchanges showcasing Spanish cinema.
  • Architectural Exploration: Guided explorations from Gothic roots to modernist landmarks by Gaudí.
  • New Activities: Engage in diverse workshops such as ceramics, self-defense classes, and CV building.

Recommended Activities for Personal Exploration:

  • Tour Modernista: Discover Barcelona’s modernist architecture on your own.
  • Chocolatada con Churros + Paseo: Embark on a leisurely walk paired with churros and hot chocolate.
  • Calçotada Event Experience: Join local festivals featuring ‘calçotadas’, a traditional Catalan meal.

Recommended Day Trips & Beyond:

(While not organized by us, these are highly recommended experiences.)

  • Explore Catalonia’s richness through trips to Montserrat for its spiritual serenity; Figueres for Salvador Dalí’s surreal art; Tarragona’s ancient Roman ruins; and more adventures in Sitges, Ampuries Ruins, L’Escala, Blanes, Girona. Additionally, venture beyond to the Balearic Islands, south France, or the microstate of Andorra.

Please note that while most organized activities are included in your program fee, some personal explorations may incur additional costs. Availability may vary depending on program timing.

This broad array of cultural experiences ensures you’ll fully embrace life in Barcelona as part of its dynamic fabric. 🇪🇸✨

Catalonia's Cultural Tapestry and Barcelona's Role

The Heart of Catalan LiteratureCatalunya
  • Book-Loving Barcelona: Catalonia, with its capital in Barcelona, treasures the art of reading. This enduring love is evident in the city’s numerous libraries and bookstores, serving as key cultural hubs.
  • Sant Jordi’s Day Celebration: Celebrating love and literature, Sant Jordi’s Day is akin to Valentine’s Day in Catalonia. People exchange roses and books—a tradition that deeply symbolizes the region’s literary heritage.
Unique Catalan Traditions

Catalonia’s cultural tapestry is vibrant and unique, deeply enriched by a variety of traditions that celebrate community, bravery, and artistic expression. Here are some of the most cherished Catalan traditions:

  • Castells: Marvel at the human towers—”castells”—a symbol of teamwork and courage as people create towering structures by standing atop one another.

  • Correfocs: Experience the fiery “correfocs” parades during festivals, where participants dressed as devils run through the streets wielding fireworks—a vivid display of energy and color.

  • Sardanes: Join in the circle to dance the “sardana”, a traditional Catalan dance signifying unity and community as dancers hold hands and move in harmony to music.

  • La Diada de Sant Jordi: Celebrate love and literature on April 23rd with La Diada de Sant Jordi, when Catalans exchange roses and books—akin to Valentine’s Day but with a literary twist.

  • Caga Tió: Embrace the whimsical Christmas tradition of “Caga Tió”, where children hit a decorated log that ‘defecates’ small gifts.

  • La Patum: Witness La Patum in Berga, an event acknowledged by UNESCO for its mix of religious, pagan elements along with theatrical performances, music, and dance.

  • Els Pastorets: Delight in “Els Pastorets”, traditional plays recounting the nativity story—a staple during the Christmas season.

  • Castanyada: Indulge in “Castanyada” festivities on All Saints’ Day, savoring roasted chestnuts, sweet potatoes, and “panellets”, small almond-based pastries.

  • Gegants i Capgrossos: Behold “Gegants i Capgrossos” processions featuring large figures parading down streets representing historical or mythical characters.

  • El Ball de Gitanes: Experience “El Ball de Gitanes”, a traditional dance performed during local celebrations wearing vibrant costumes with coordinated choreography.

These rich traditions not only mirror Catalonia’s diverse cultural heritage but also strengthen its distinct identity within Spain.

Diversity in Barcelona

Barcelona stands out as Spain’s most international, cosmopolitan, and intercultural city. Here, social and intercultural assistance is not just an initiative but an integral part of community life.Diversity in Barcelona Numerous organizations and programs are committed to fostering inclusion, equality, and mutual understanding among the city’s diverse communities. Key areas of action include:

  1. Integration Programs: Barcelona offers programs aimed at integrating individuals from varied cultures and backgrounds into society—ranging from language classes to cultural activities that encourage interaction and mutual understanding.

  2. Support for Refugees and Migrants: Various non-profit organizations and government agencies in Barcelona dedicate resources to supporting refugees and migrants through legal advice, housing assistance, and cultural integration programs.

  3. Multicultural Education: Educational institutions in Barcelona champion multicultural education by including curricula that reflect cultural diversity and promoting intercultural understanding among students.

  4. Community Events and Celebrations: The city hosts events and celebrations that spotlight its cultural diversity. These festivities serve as platforms for cultural exchange and community bonding.

  5. NGOs and Volunteering: A multitude of NGOs operate in Barcelona, tackling social and intercultural issues. Volunteering plays a critical role in running programs aimed at enhancing quality of life and fostering community understanding.

  6. Intercultural Meeting Spaces: Barcelona is home to spaces designed for intercultural meetings where people from varied backgrounds can share experiences and build bridges of understanding.

  7. Community Empowerment: Initiatives are undertaken to empower local communities by providing necessary tools for active participation in the city’s social and economic life.

In summary, Barcelona endeavors to be an inclusive, supportive city where social and intercultural support acts are essential in forming a diverse yet unified community. These efforts contribute to creating an environment where individuals from various backgrounds can thrive, enriching the city’s social fabric.

Meet your Resident Director

From the moment you apply to our Barcelona program, through every step of your adventure here, until the bittersweet moment of your departure, I am here to support, guide, and even offer a comforting hug when needed. This incredible journey is more than just an educational experience; it's a transformative leap that will reshape your worldview, and I'm enthusiastic about being a part of this pivotal chapter in your life. Engaging closely with students and ensuring you feel secure, included, and thoroughly satisfied with every facet of the program is what I cherish most. Embrace this life-changing opportunity with open arms. We eagerly await your arrival!
María de la Viña
Resident Director, Barcelona

Guiding Your Journey: Embracing Barcelona with SSA

At SSA Barcelona, we recognize the challenge of transitioning from a small town or city to the bustling metropolis of Barcelona. To transform this vibrant city into your new home, our team focuses on proactive guidance and support, emphasizing active engagement over passive observation.

Emphasizing Student Over Tourist: From day one, we actively differentiate between being a tourist and becoming an international student. Through orientation sessions and ongoing support, we provide an integrative perspective that encourages you to understand and engage with the local culture, duties, and societal obligations. Our aim is not just to navigate away from the tourist lifestyle but to cultivate a meaningful sense of belonging in Barcelona.

Cultural Integration Activities: We facilitate various activities designed to immerse you deeply into both the spectacular diversity and daily life of Barcelona. From guided tours that avoid typical tourist trails to language exchange programs that foster genuine connections with locals, our activities are tailored to promote your transition into a fully engaged citizen of this dynamic city.

Personalized Support: Recognizing the potential overwhelm that comes with city life’s fast pace, noise, and pollution—especially for those from quieter backgrounds—we offer personalized support. Our team is here not just to guide but also to listen, providing comfort and advice as you navigate this new environment.

By focusing on these actions, SSA ensures that your study abroad experience is far more than academic enrichment; it’s about transformational personal growth within Barcelona’s cosmopolitan setting. We invite you to join us in embracing every aspect of living in Barcelona—turning what might initially appear overwhelming into an enriching chapter of your life.

The Barcelona team with their students

Commonly-Used Team Quotes to Inspire and Motivate Their Students

Students may select to live with a local host family or in a student residence.

Student Residences

Students interested in the cosmopolitan experience of a student residence can opt for one in Barcelona. The city is a popular destination for international students and those from other parts of Spain, offering several private student residences throughout the city. These residences are typically centrally located, providing easy access to attractions and the city center. They also offer a diverse mix of students, creating unique social opportunities.

Please note that due to high demand, SSA cannot always guarantee placement at a specific student residence. Prices can vary, and supplemental charges may be required in addition to program costs. If you’re interested in staying in a student residence, it’s essential to inform us as soon as possible to secure your place, which may involve paying a deposit. SSA carefully vets all student residence options to ensure safety, cleanliness, and convenient locations.

Students have the option to immerse themselves fully in Barcelona’s diverse and cosmopolitan life by choosing to live with a host family. Homestays offer not just room and board, which includes breakfast and dinner, but also laundry and room cleaning services. Should you have specific dietary or accommodation needs, we’re able to make arrangements, though this may incur an additional fee.

Living with a host family in Barcelona opens up the inspiring opportunity to delve into local customs, language, and the everyday rhythms of city life. It’s an unparalleled experience of receiving personal support and insight from your hosts. Our host families come from a variety of backgrounds reflecting Barcelona’s richly diverse character—not limited solely to traditional local profiles. This ensures that whether you’re seeking a deeply authentic experience or a multicultural exchange, opting for a homestay can enrich your stay with genuine connections to our community. If you’re drawn towards an intimate living situation and wish to forge deeper bonds within the local or international community here, choosing a homestay in Barcelona is undoubtedly a rewarding path.


Course Selection

The available courses for students vary by program and are distributed between the SSA center and local universities. Please see the selection below, and contact us for the most current course information:

Academic Institutions

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Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) is a dynamic and innovative educational institution, recognized for its excellence in academia and research. Located in the heart of Barcelona, UPF is known for its strong emphasis on social sciences, humanities, health and life sciences, and communication and information technologies.

Established in 1990, UPF has quickly gained a reputation for its commitment to quality education, consistently ranking among the top universities in Europe. It boasts a diverse community of around 13,000 students and a distinguished faculty committed to fostering a rigorous and enriching learning environment.

Renowned for its interdisciplinary approach and international outlook, UPF has received numerous accolades, including a prominent position in the Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings. The university’s modern facilities, combined with its vibrant urban setting, offer students a unique and comprehensive academic experience.

The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) is a prestigious institution of higher education and research located in Barcelona, Spain. Established in 1968, UAB is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research, offering a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs across various disciplines. With a modern campus and a global outlook, UAB provides an ideal environment for academic growth and international collaboration.

Why This Program?

Cutting-Edge Academics 🎓

Dates & Fees



Start Date

End Date



May 15, 2025

Jun, 2025

Jul, 2025


Apr 15, 2025

Jun, 2025

Jul, 2025


Important Links



Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

Universidad Pompeu Fabra

What does the fee include?
Program Summary

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The IRs are your go-to contacts for navigating the complex study abroad process. 

They aim to respond to all inquiries within one business day.

Don’t hesitate to drop a message. No question is too small!

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Susan Hyman

Custom Programs Director

Susan is your go-to contact for navigating the complex process of customized programs. 

She aims to respond to all inquiries within one business day.

Don’t hesitate to drop a message. No question is too small!

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