Customized Faculty-Led Programs in Barcelona

Barcelona Study Abroad Experience (SAE) specializes in Customized Faculty-Led Programming in and around Barcelona. We focus exclusively on this Mediterranean capital city to help students appreciate everything it has to offer. With our emphasis on language acquisition and cultural awareness, all activities from start to finish encourage students to make the most of their time abroad.

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What’s Included


Barcelona SAE is your partner in Barcelona! With your mastery of the academic topic and our expertise in Barcelona, together we will create a robust program. We let you focus on your class and we can take care of the rest: guest speakers, academic visits, classroom space, health and safety, cultural awareness, language acquisition and so much more.

But don’t take our word for it, listen to what our university partners have to say…

Interested in creating the Barcelona experience of a lifetime for your students? Click here to get started!

We can work with your university group leaders to design and customize a program that offers profound academic and immersion experiences in Barcelona. We combine experiential learning and high-quality academics to create authentic and rewarding experiences in Barcelona and beyond.

Some past Barcelona SAE Customized Faculty-Led Programs have included themes such as:

  • Aesthetics & Function in Barcelona: The City of Living Art
  • Food Fight! Movements, Politics, Tradition and Taste
  • Entrepreneurship in Europe: A Comparative Perspective
  • Exploring Trends in Spain’s Changing Contexts
  • International Experience in Engineering
  • Sport Culture: Futbol in Barcelona

Faculty & Universities

Tailor-Made: YOUR Barcelona Experience!

Every program begins with an in-depth analysis of the sending institution’s needs and desires for their time in and around Barcelona. We like to first listen to what your ideal program would include, and then fill in the rest based on our expertise and knowledge of the city. In your initial Skype call with our highly knowledgeable customized programs team, we’ll get you thinking about things such as:

  • What is the overall theme?
  • What do you want your students to walk away knowing?
  • How will your faculty be involved?

Some institutions decide to send their own faculty along to teach for-credit courses, some rely on local Barcelona faculty to do the teaching, and others do a mix of both. The choice is completely up to you!

Customized programs can be of any length, can partner with a variety of academic institutions throughout Barcelona, and can include the activities that best fit YOUR needs. The options are endless when creating your customized program with Barcelona SAE!

Health, Safety and Risk Management

The health and safety of your students is our number one priority. Therefore, Barcelona SAE has the following protocol and preventative measures in place:  

  • 24 hour Emergency Phone and On-Site Staff Support – 24 hour emergency assistance is available to all students, interns and faculty in Barcelona by English speaking staff. Our staff is well prepared for any type of emergency situation, and students, interns and faculty will always have help nearby to respond to any situations.
  • Collaboration with Top Hospital Facilities – Barcelona SAE has a special agreement with the Clínica Sagrada Familia that provides 24/7 assistance for anything from an upset stomach to emergency surgery. The hospital offers round-the-clock translation services.
  • Mental Health Services – Barcelona SAE has established relationships with various mental health providers throughout Barcelona. These providers have extensive experience in working with study abroad students and various conditions, including different types of anxiety, slight or severe depression, eating disorders, and learning disabilities.
  • Pre-Departure and On-Site Orientation – Thorough health and safety preparations are the key to a successful term abroad. For that reason, Barcelona SAE provides extensive pre-departure materials, a through on-site orientation upon arrival, and continues with regular staff and student check-ins for the duration of the program.
  • Communication – The students themselves play a major role in avoiding health and safety hazards. Thus, constant communication with onsite staff is key to preventing little incidents from turning into larger problems.
  • Further Health & Safety Information – Both the pre-departure and arrival orientation sessions focus on providing students with important information about staying safe  while abroad, including but not limited to:
    • Safety in Barcelona – where to take the most care in the city
    • What to do in case of an emergency
    • How to avoid dangerous situations
    • Cultural differences that could lead to problems
    • Risk aversion
    • US consulate travelers’ advisories are sent to students as they come out
    • Students’ personal travel itineraries are sent to staff so we can contact them in case of an emergency
    • Constant communication with local universities with reports on students’ attendance
    • Detailed incident reports filled out for every incident
    • Required health forms for all students carried at all times by staff


There are several housing options to choose from during the in-depth needs analysis that Barcelona SAE performs with each group prior to solidifying the program, we will explain these options in detail.

The housing options include the following:

  • Apartments – Students will share a bedroom within a larger apartment containing a kitchen, bathroom, and living area.  Depending on the size of the group, all students can fit into several apartments in the same building. The faculty could also have separate apartments in the same building.
  • Hotels – Many groups, especially for shorter duration programs, prefer to stay in nice, centrally-located hotels in Barcelona. This option includes breakfast every morning and shared doubles or triples for the students.
  • Homestays – For a program that lasts at least a month, homestays are an option. A homestay means that one or two students will live with a local “family” which could be a young husband and wife, an older/younger woman living on her own, or a family with kids and a pet – there is no typical situation here which adds to the excitement.


What exactly is a Faculty-Led Program?

The title is somewhat self explanatory, but it’s sometimes unclear what all is included. Faculty-led programs are experiential based programs that include experts from all sides – Barcelona SAE and the leaders from the institutions are involved in creating each and every program. This means each is a unique and specialized opportunity that delivers top quality programs abroad that fit seamlessly into academic requirements back home.

Pick a Theme, Any Theme…

Are you looking for a study abroad program, but have some very specific requirements or interests? A faculty-led program could be exactly what you’re looking for. They offer a combination of classroom and hands on learning that is created with your home institution. This means you don’t have to worry about credits transferring back home or if your skills will match those of your fellow classmates. We work directly with your school and sometimes professors you already know will teach your classes in Barcelona. These experience based learning programs are often more targeted and everything from the course content, to field trips, and everything in between works toward this chosen focus.

Why Barcelona SAE?

Barcelona SAE works with university group leaders to design and customize programs that offer profound academic and immersion experiences. We combine experiential learning and high-quality academics to create authentic and rewarding experiences in Barcelona and beyond.

“Barcelona SAE offers an excellent balance between academic rigor and enriching, enjoyable, cultural activities. Working with the staff and faculty was a very positive experience all around: they are efficient, knowledgeable and flexible. It is a pleasure to interact with them, as they have an open attitude that facilitates both everyday routines and out of the ordinary problems. Most importantly, I appreciate the way they go above and beyond the call of duty to help students with their needs and concerns.” – Mauricio Parra, Director of Illinois Wesleyan University in Barcelona Program, Spanish Professor

Benefits of Customizing with Barcelona SAE:

  • Expertise: Our expertise in Barcelona (and in study abroad and internships!) allows for enhanced communication and superior support during the planning and delivery phases of your program.
  • Affordability: We are committed to increasing access to study abroad for ALL students by providing high-quality programming at the lowest cost.
  • Flexibility; Our flexible approach to programming is ideal for any university program theme or type. We approach each program with the institution’s needs and goals as the main focus.

The Barcelona SAE Difference:

  • Our staff includes Spaniards, Catalans, and international folk who are all passionate about international education and life in Barcelona. 
  • We are the experts in Barcelona and Spain, so we can work with your faculty to tailor every single aspect of the program in accordance with your needs.
  • Every week our students receive a Cultural Agenda about what’s happening in the city.
  • We are passionate about experiential education and have created dozens of Scavenger Hunts (i.e. a business and culture scavenger hunt for an international business customized program) mixing academic theory and intercultural practice.
  • We are flexible to work with your university on dates, duration, academic theme, etc.
  • And most importantly…we are here to help you plan your academic program EVERY step of the way!

Check out our Customized and Faculty-Led Programs Catalog:

Let’s Get Started

Now What? Ready, Set, Bienvenidos a Barcelona!

After you submit our Customized Programs Inquiry Formwe’ll be in touch with you shortly to set up a Skype call to discuss in depth your goals and desires for the program, and we’ll share our academic and cultural suggestions depending on what you’re looking for. You’ll then receive a detailed proposal and itinerary back from Barcelona SAE along with marketing materials to make your program a reality.

Help your students enjoy and learn from the city of Barcelona like so many before them. Let’s get started!