Spanish Language and Culture in Barcelona

Summer 2018 | Barcelona, Spain


Live like a local in Barcelona, a cosmopolitan city on the Mediterranean Sea. Stay with a host family in a residential barrio. Walk or ride the subway to your classes at International House Barcelona, sharing the commute with friends or stopping at your favorite café along the way. A cultural capital and a university community, Barcelona has it all: pristine white-sand beaches, a vibrant visual and performing arts scene, and an irresistible street culture of boutiques, coffee bars, tapas restaurants and discotecas.


Language Proficiency
Improve your Spanish at International House Barcelona, founded in 1972 and host to 3,000 international students each year in its prestigious language-acquisition program. Each student is assessed and placed in language classes at the appropriate proficiency level, then tested again at the program’s end. You receive a diploma confirming the level of proficiency achieved, a certification recognized in 27 European Union countries.

Cultural Competency
Gain a deeper understanding of Spanish and Catalan culture, while learning to place Barcelona within its social, cultural and historical context. Draw connections and contrasts between the cultures of Spain and the United States, while learning to interact meaningfully with people whose backgrounds are different than yours. You become a world citizen, at ease with cross-cultural communication and eager to explore new countries and cultures.


Academic Instruction
Take language and culture classes at International House Barcelona, sharing a classroom with students from around the world. Morning language study totals more than 80 hours of instruction, ensuring you return to Drew with greater proficiency in reading, writing and speaking Spanish. Afternoon culture study combines hands-on workshops—perhaps Catalan cooking or flamenco dancing—with traditional lectures that trace the history and social significance of Spain’s cultural traditions.

Experiential Learning
Fall in love with this ancient yet offbeat city, touring museums and heritage sites with Drew classmates. See works by Dalí and Picasso; explore underground Roman ruins; try on a suit of medieval armor at the city museum of Barcelona. Soon you’re off on your own, browsing the Boquería market or wandering the labyrinthine Gothic Quarter. You also expand your cultural knowledge beyond Barcelona, with daytrips that may include Girona, a smaller city; Figueres, a market town; or Montserrat, a mountain sanctuary.

Reflective Research and Writing
Synthesize your learning—classroom lessons, cultural immersion and personal observations—with research and analysis in a series of written assignments. Four culture reflections connect in-class lectures with relevant site visits, and five personal reflections analyze specific aspects of your own travel-study experience. Your final project is a research-based photographic and narrative journal that explores a scholarly theme selected in consultation with the program director.