January in Barcelona, Spain

Spend a few amazing weeks of your summer immersed in the culture, language and traditions of Barcelona. Enjoy an active cultural and social schedule experiencing so much of what the city has to offer. Are you ready to discover Barcelona?

Program Overview

Spending a few weeks of your summer holiday in Barcelona can be your reality. Breathe in the fresh Mediterranean air while you soak up the Spanish language and the distinctive Barcelona culture. The program is a short-term experience primarily located in the L’Eixample neighbourhood, close to the metro stop Urquinaona, in a beautiful district of Barcelona between the old city (Ciutat Vella) and what were once surrounding small towns, constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Gain credit while you have fun
In a short time you can expect to gain or improve your Spanish language skills – there is nothing like hearing, reading and speaking a new language every day. You can earn the equivalent of one full-time academic course towards your degree in Australia at the Barcelona School for International Studies (SIS).

A refreshing climate
With January temperatures in the mid-teens in Barcelona, you can enjoy a little reprieve from the Australian summer. The city experiences low rainfall in January so it is a great time of the year to explore, cruise the streets or go for a hike without having to bundle up too much. Enjoy the cool evenings and sunny days of a Spanish winter.

A diverse jam-packed experience
You really will hit the ground running when you arrive. CISaustralia provides an orientation, activities and tours so that you have something happening most days you’re in Barcelona. We want to ensure you get the most out of your time while providing a nice balance of free time to discover the city on your own. It is not surprising the number of students that return after their program – it’s hard not to love Barcelona, truly one of the world’s major global cities.

If you know you will love it, plan to stay
If you have the feeling that a few weeks is just not long enough, consider pre-planning an internship or other study abroad program. You are already in Europe, why not continue on to spend more time in London, Florence, Rome, Czech Republic, France or Ireland? Alternatively, if you know Spain is for you, stay on for an internship and get to know Barcelona even more!

Are you in?
If this all sounds like a perfect couple of weeks in your summer university break, apply today as spaces are limited. You will be travelling with like-minded students from Australia and the US – so come alone and meet a bunch of new and interesting people or bring a friend to share the experience. Either way we would love to have you on board.


You have so much to look forward to when you spend a January short course in Barcelona! Some examples of fun activities you may experience are:

  • Interactive orientation to welcome you
  • Guided tours of the city
  • Explore the breathtaking Sagrada Família
  • Try your hand at a Catalan and Spanish cooking class
  • Experience a live Flamenco dance and music show
  • Enjoy beautiful beaches, even if you’re just walking along them as it may be a little chilly for a dip
  • Soak up the vibrant culture, delicious cuisine and amazing nightlife
  • Savour churros con chocolate, a Spanish delight to discover
  • Participate in an exciting one-night excursion to the famous Dalí museum (home to the largest collection of Dalí works) and also visit the stunning medieval city of Girona

Choose Your Course

The CISaustralia January in Barcelona program is offered at Barcelona School for International Studies (SIS).

NOTE: Please be advised that the Barcelona School for International Studies requires a student’s official transcript when considering applicants. Ordering an official transcript from a university can take up to a few weeks. Students applying near or on the program’s application deadline should plan to have their official transcript on hand.

Course Load: 1 course (equivalent to one full-time academic course)

  • Depending on your Australian university, you may refer to “courses” as “subjects” or “units”.
  • Each course/subject/unit you undertake on a CISaustralia program overseas is designed to be a full-time, semester course that has been condensed to fit into an intensive, short-term program. As such, for any 1 course you study abroad, you should receive the credit points for 1 full-time course/subject/unit at your Australian university.
  • Many universities work off of a 1-for-1 equivalency (1 course abroad = 1 course in Australia), but ultimately credit approval is the decision of your faculty and Australian university.
  • CISaustralia strongly recommends that you have any overseas courses pre-approved for credit before you depart for your program. Some documentation that may be useful are the course outline/syllabus, program overview, and the contact hours.
  • Your CISaustralia Program Advisor can assist with any questions or details your university needs to make a decision.

Course Descriptions:

SPAN 350: Contemporary Spanish Society: From Dictatorship to Democracy (instructed in English)
Why are Spaniards currently exhuming mass graves of the Civil War? How can the country tolerate an unemployment rate of 20%? Why has Catalan and Basque nationalism dominated politics for decades? Why does a country with a historic reputation for machismo boast such progressive laws on gender and gay marriages? How come political corruption remains so prevalent? This course examines political and social issues relevant to Spaniards today. It begins by discussing recent history in order to contextualize the major themes of the past few decades. It then moves to those subjects that emerged out of the transition to democracy – regionalism, terrorism, and linguistic pluralism – and still account for many of the peculiarities of Spanish politics. The second half of the course analyses “Spain’s Second Transition” under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero by focusing on immigration, Islamic fundamentalism, foreign policy, gender and family relations, historical memory, political corruption, and the economic crisis. The course is multi-disciplinary, consisting of a mixture of readings from political science, history, and cultural studies.
View course syllabus

MG 310: Management Across Borders (instructed in English)
The focus of this course is the analysis of how a business must adapt to different cultural contexts. For this purpose, we study the interaction between the culture and the company’s structure, processes and human resources. In this way, the student will be able to understand strategies used to optimize such interaction. The general objective of the course is to learn the main business practices in different cultures, through the analysis of the differences in various countries. This will provide the background to understand and identify threats and opportunities to do business in a global context.
View course syllabus

Note: Spanish language classes may be offered during this program if there is sufficient demand.

Academic Requirement: To qualify for this program, students must be in good academic standing with a GPA of 4.0 (out of 7) or equivalent. If your current GPA falls below the requirement please contact us to discuss your situation. We will work with you to find the right program for you.


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – Barcelona is one of the very best study abroad destinations and you will absolutely love this short course program.

Our staff in Barcelona organise a fantastic social program that covers a lot of ground for the short time that students are there for. Activities change from year to year, but in the past students have attended cooking classes, taken a tour of Sagrada Família, learnt how to do some traditional dancing, gone for hikes or even taken an overnight trip outside of Barcelona. No matter what our team has planned, you’re sure to have an amazing cultural experience!

You also have the freedom to explore Barcelona and its surrounding areas by yourself. Finding activities doesn’t have to cost money. Spend your afternoons hanging with the locals at the beach. Sunbake on squeaky clean white sandy beaches, relax in the sun and enjoy the warm Mediterranean waters. On the first Sunday of every month, the city opens its doors to all municipal museums free of charge.

Our fabulous staff will become your best travel guides – they will look to take you to the Spanish cinema, a Flamenco show, the museums and markets. They can also help you arrange a language exchange partner and a Catalan cooking class.

If you want to travel a bit further afield, take advantage of a weekend and travel. There are a few destinations to choose from including Costa Brava, Granada and Madrid. Even if you decide not to take part in the planned cultural events and excursions, our friendly staff will still be there for you to offer advice, answer questions and help you every step of the way. All you have to do is ask.


Barcelona is on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula (which includes Spain and Portugal) and on the shores of the stunning Mediterranean. With a population of 1.5 million, it is Spain’s second largest city and one of the central hubs for business in Europe. If you include the outer lying areas surrounding Barcelona, the population expands to almost 5 million, adding to the diversity of the city and its people.

Barcelona is located in the semi-autonomous Spanish region of Cataluña and has two official languages: Castilian Spanish and Catalan. English is very commonly spoken, especially by servers and other hospitality staff, as Barcelona considers itself as much European as Spanish to certain extents and hosts millions of tourists each year.

Barcelona’s prime location on the Mediterranean Sea creates a pleasant climate not too different from Australia, and thus safeguards year-round entertainment for all those who visit this dynamic city. A fantastic public transport system makes all the great places and sites Barcelona has to offer easy to visit.

Barcelona is world class when it comes to culture, including art, cuisine and traditions unique to this wonderful city. From the Spanish tradition of tapas to frequent festivals, human pyramids called castellers, and a naturally healthy appetite for food, drink and social company, Barcelona pulsates with life. Like many major cities, Barcelona has dozens of distinct neighbourhoods, but the difference is substantial – some of the city’s neighbourhoods are millenia- or centuries-old, and others just years. Simply strolling the city streets is an experience in itself, as architecture, layout, demographics and locales change from street-to-street.

CISaustralia participants on the January in Barcelona program will study in L’Eixample – a centrally-located district. L’Eixample offers a blend of residential and commercial developments, with wide, tree-lined streets and heaps of restaurants and bars. Nearby attractions include La Sagrada Família, museums and various parks and plazas. The area’s grid-like square blocks mean you shouldn’t get (too) lost (too) often.

Participants live within reasonable walking or public transit distance of the program base in L’Eixample at Barcelona School for International Studies (SIS). The campus is conveniently located close to the Urquinaona metro stop, providing access to the rest of the city and outlying areas. SIS is a five-minute walk from Plaza Cataluña, the centre of the city, and from the Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous street. To the north, a majority of Barcelona’s amazing Modernista architecture can to be found on the streets of the L’Eixample district with their distinctive grid-iron layout. A two-minute walk to the south of the school is the medieval district of Sant Pere, where the Palau de la Música Catalana is found. On the other side of Via Laietana, the historical centre of Barrio Gótico is found, which grew up around the location of Barcelona’s Roman forum (today the Plaza Sant Jaume).

The University

The CISaustralia January in Barcelona program is a short course based at Barcelona School for International Studies (SIS), a truly international institution allowing students exposure to many different nationalities.

SIS is in the L’Eixample district of Barcelona between the old city (Ciutat Vella) and what were once surrounding small towns, constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is an ideal location – just a short walk to Plaza Cataluña, one of the city’s main plazas, and about a 5-10 minute metro ride to Plaza España.

The campus facilities include spacious classrooms, multimedia equipment, Wi-Fi, common spaces and a cafe. If you have a passion for Spanish culture and/or business and management, this is a perfect program to immerse yourself.

While there is a primary study element to the program, you will have endless activity options to fill in any spare time. Barcelona boasts some of the best beaches right in the city centre and more just a short drive away, plus plenty of art exhibitions, theatre and dance performances, film festivals, museums, concerts and more. There really is something exciting and new happening every day!


Students can choose from either apartment accommodation or connect with a local family and enjoy the experience of a homestay.

We have carefully selected safe and adequate housing for each student. Each living arrangement is distinct and special in its own way.

If you choose to stay in an apartment, it could be located anywhere throughout the city of Barcelona, though it will be within a reasonable commute to the campus. Apartments are fully furnished and you will share a room with another student. There can be up to six students in each apartment so the opportunity to make new friends and have a great experience is all there for you to take advantage of. Apartments include a well-equipped kitchen, a shared living room and bathrooms. Located in the heart of the city means you and your new roommates will be able to make the most of your time living in this vibrant metropolis. You will find shops, cafés, bars, restaurants and just about everything you need right on your doorstep.

Each apartment will have the following:

  • Fully equipped kitchen with a stovetop, refrigerator and sink
  • Communal living space or kitchen with a table and chairs
  • Shared bathroom which includes a toilet and bathing area
  • Blankets, pillow and a towel

As a cultural bonus, you may share the apartment with international students or young professionals from around the world. The apartments are usually co-ed and generally shared with 3-5 other people. You will never share a bedroom with someone of the opposite sex but you may share the apartment.

Apartments are usually older-style and small. Do not be surprised if things stop working or are generally not as ‘modern’ as you may be used to.

In a homestay, you could live with a mature or senior adult or couple, a young professional or a lively Spanish family. Homestay is not for everyone, but it is a truly amazing way to completely immerse yourself in the Spanish culture. You will likely share a room with another student and you’ll have access to a shared bathroom and living space. Linen is provided and you’ll be spoilt with laundry service as well as home cooked breakfast and dinner. You may or may not be allowed to use the kitchen for your own cooking, however you will be provided breakfast and dinner every day. Via the application process, we will endeavour to match you with the right homestay family.

The homestay will include:

  • Bed linens, pillows and a towel
  • Communal living space or kitchen with a table and chairs
  • Shared bathrooms which include a toilet and bathing area
  • Two meals per day: breakfast and dinner
  • Laundry service once a week or access to a washing machine

You will find that the outside facades of some buildings are very old – many of them are 19th century and do not have elevators. The available storage and living spaces will be smaller than most Australians are accustomed to. You will find that many places do not have air conditioning or dryers. Such amenities are expensive to operate and are treated as a luxury in Spain.

You will need to make adjustments to what you are used to in Australia. This is part of your cultural immersion. Living conditions and expectations are different in every country in the world. Be flexible, patient and understanding.

Remember that you will be living in a shared flat or a homestay with a Spanish family. Therefore, you must conduct yourself as a responsible adult and observe certain courtesies, such as keeping noise to a minimum, turning off lights when they are not in use, shutting your windows when you have the heat on, etc. Be respectful of those who you will be sharing your accommodation with. The Spanish are very frank and will not hesitate to communicate with you if there is a problem, in return they will treat you with respect and equality.

Program Fee & Dates

January 2020
Application Deadline25 October 2019
Arrival Date02 January 2020
Departure Date18 January 2020
Program Fee A$ 5,399 - 5,599
OS-HELP A$ 6,791


Program fees include the following:
  • Tuition fees (one course)
  • CISaustralia support before, during and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial advice
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Health and medical insurance (if requested)
  • Pre-departure guide and session
  • Airport pick-up (on specified program arrival date within designated arrival times)
  • Accommodation – apartment (shared or single room*) or local homestay
  • Breakfast and dinner are included daily in homestay accommodation only
  • Cultural and recreational trips and activities in Barcelona
  • One guided weekend excursion outside of Barcelona
  • CISaustralia 24/7 on-site support – Site Director
  • Jacksonville University official transcript**
  • CISaustralia Certificate of Completion

NOTE: Please be advised that the Barcelona School for International Studies requires a student’s official transcript when considering applicants. Ordering an official transcript from a university can take up to a few weeks. Students applying near or on the program’s application deadline should plan to have their official transcript on hand.

*Please note that housing is limited, and we cannot guarantee a single room. If we are unable to assign you to a single room, we will refund you the additional fee paid.

**Jacksonville University will provide an official transcript as the School of Record (SOR). An SOR is a U.S. accredited institution of higher education that officially documents and awards credits for programs or institutions that are not accredited in the U.S., verifying appropriately all elements necessary for such official documentation.

What is not included:

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Vaccinations (if required)
  • Meals (unless mentioned above)
  • Extra travel/excursions (other than those mentioned above)

Dates are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

CISaustralia reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.

Adventure Awaits

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