Navigate Up
Sign In
Travel Resources
Barcelona, Spain
Approx. Time Difference
Add 9 hours
International Business Economics, Pompeu Fabra Univ.

   - Spring
   - Winter
   - Winter + Spring

This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.
Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
"The native Spanish professors not only taught us lessons in their class, but also taught us about the way of life in Spain and their culture. It was really great to apply what I learned in class directly to the real world, especially the language and grammar classes that helped me communicate with locals and my Spanish roommates.”
~ Richard Lee, UCLA
Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network

UCEAP Online

Bookmark your Participants program page. This resource lists requirements and policies you need to know before you go abroad, including your Predeparture Checklist, UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad, Program Calendar, UCEAP Student Budgets, and payment instructions.
Connect with us! Join our Facebook network via the UCEAP Spain page.

Join the UCEAP Pompeu Fabra Facebook group to communicate with past and present participants of the program.


Study Centers Abroad

UCEAP programs in Spain are administered by UC faculty and staff. Every program in Spain has a corresponding UCEAP office that is staffed to assist program participants with academic, logistical, and personal concerns. The Study Center Director, who is a UC faculty member responsible for all UCEAP Spain programs, maintains an office at the Centro California/Illinois in Barcelona.

Contact Information

UCEAP in Spain
Prof. Stephen Small, Study Center Director
Gemma de Blas, Coordinator
Centro California/Illinois
Facultad de Filología
Universitat de Barcelona
Gran Vía de les Corts Catalanes, 585
08007 Barcelona, Spain
Phone: (+34) 93-317-5018
Pompeu Fabra University (UPF)
Lucía Conte, Director of Study Abroad Programs
Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
08005 Barcelona
Phone: (+34) 93 542 1935
Fax: (+34) 93 542 2860
Academic Information
Program Overview

​University Information

The Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) is dedicated to internationalization in all ways and none is more important than this program, opened in 2009 by the Faculty of Economic and Business Science. Since all UPF students in the International Business Economics (IBE) program are required to take coursework in English, you will find local students in all your classes.
The UPF’s Campus de la Ciutadella is located near the city center of Barcelona. This beautiful, urban campus combines renovated historic buildings with modern facilities. The library is open 360 days a year and offers extended hours of operation during examination periods. In addition to its own impressive collection, the library also has an inter-library loan system that can access any university library in Catalonia within 24 hours. There are computer rooms for student use across the campus, and some 300 wireless hotspots.

Academic Program

While the IBE program offers a wide range of courses in English to choose from, it is important to remember that this is an impacted program and class spaces for international students (including UC participants) may be limited. Be flexible with your schedule and try to incorporate second- or third-choice courses into your schedule if it becomes necessary to do so.
Remember that you will ultimately be responsible for your course selection and preparing in advance:
  • Familiarize yourself with your own academic requirements before departure. UPF will not be familiar with the requirements of every major at every UC campus.
  • Meet with your UC campus departmental advisor before leaving California and determine the types of courses that will best fit your UC academic program.
  • Take the e-mail address of your major department advisor to facilitate consultation on coursework for the major.
Academic Culture
As one of the first universities to embrace the implementation of the Bologna Process, UPF’s four-year degree (grado) system will be familiar to American students. It is also one of the few universities in Spain that follow a quarter rather than semester calendar. Each term is divided into a ten-week class session plus another two-week examination period.
Professors may supply a syllabus at the beginning of the course and in some cases, course syllabi (also referred to as "subject programmes") for the IBE program may be available online on the degree web page. Note that although a course may be offered in English, it is possible that the syllabus posted online is in Catalan.
A syllabus may include a bibliography and additional recommended reading list that may seem to be extremely long. You likely will not need to read every book on the list, but you will need to find out which ones are essential and how they relate to each other. Note-taking skills are important, and you may find that you are required to do more preparatory work on your own outside of class than you are accustomed to at UC.
Course Information

Courses & Units

You will primarily select courses from the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences, although there is some flexibility to add a Spanish language or Hispanic and European Studies course to round out the program.
Specific business and economics course offerings and schedules may be found through the International Mobility page for the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences
  • Follow the "Grado course offer" links for each degree page to see the available courses.
  • Note that term/trimestre 2 on the Oferta Docent table corresponds to winter quarter and term/trimestre 3 corresponds to the spring quarter.
  • Courses with one or more sections taught in English will have "anglès" noted in the Llengua (Language) column.
  • A PDF of all English course offerings is also linked on the International Mobility page and may be helpful when seeking out specific course schedules on the Oferta Docent pages.
Note that specific course schedules may not be available until shortly before the start of the quarter.
You may select one course from the UPF Hispanic and European Studies Program (HESP) to supplement business administration and economics courses. HESP courses cover various topics, including a multidisciplinary overview of the city of Barcelona, contemporary Spanish art, business organization in the current European Union, and culture and imperialism of the Ancient Mediterranean.
The UPF also offers an internship seminar and placement opportunity for qualified students attending both the winter and spring quarters. UPF requires that you have a 3.3 GPA and the equivalent of 2 years (5 semesters) of college-level Spanish in order to participate in an internship. Heritage language students or those without university level Spanish may need to take a placement test at UPF to verify that they meet the language requirement before being permitted to register for the internship seminar.
Spanish language courses are also offered at all levels during the winter quarter. A placement test will be offered on-site to determine your language level. If you are attending UPF for both quarters and are considering the internship option, you are encouraged to take a Spanish language course during the winter quarter to prepare for your internship placement.
  • Most courses offered in the International Business Economics program are listed at 5 ECTS credits, equivalent to 4 UC quarter units.
  • Descriptions of courses previously taken by UC students may be found in the MyEAP Course Catalog.

Registration & Requirements

Because this is a highly impacted program, and both UCEAP and UPF are working together to help ensure spaces for UC students in the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences, it is essential that you regularly check your e-mail for messages from UCEAP or the UPF. You will be asked to provide preliminary course selections through an online survey prior to the official UPF registration. Instructions for the UPF online registration will be provided during the required predeparture webinar.
In addition to enrolling in host university classes, you must also fill out your MyEAP Study List each quarter. The UCEAP Academic Specialist and Program Advisor in California will contact you via e-mail in order to lead you through the UC registration process; they will also be able to respond to any questions that you might have.
It is important that you adhere to the established deadlines for adding and dropping courses at your host university and for submitting your MyEAP registration. Be sure to review your MyEAP Study List carefully; the course information listed—subject area, title, and units—is what will appear on your UC transcript.
You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad. Plan on taking a normal UC load of 12 to 16 UC quarter units (equivalent to 8 to 10.7 UC semester units) per term and a minimum of three UPF courses.
If you are a student from Berkeley or Merced (semester campuses), you will successfully complete a full-time course of study and meet the semester requirements as long as you register in the minimum number of units and courses each quarter. Note to UC Berkeley Students: You must complete both quarters to receive credit at your home UC!


  • 12 to 16 UC quarter units (equivalent to 8 to 10.7 UC semester units) per term and a minimum of three courses.
  • Only one-third (33.3%) of your total units may be taken for pass/no pass credit.
  • Only one HESP course is permitted.
  • Instructions and information is regularlysent by e-mail: ensure that the e-mail address listed in MyEAP is one that you will check regularly.
While Spanish professors may not usually take formal attendance, repeated unexcused absences from class will be noticed. Exams may concentrate heavily on material presented in class and failure to regularly attend can result in a lowered or failing grade.
Although the Spanish university system has an additional examination period (segunda convocatoria) for their students to retake exams in September, UCEAP students must take final exams during the normally scheduled examination period at the end of each quarter. UC Academic Senate policies specifically prohibit re-taking final exams.
  • You may not request early exam dates and early departures from Spain are not allowed.
Be advised that the number to letter grade conversion scale suggested by the UPF is not the same scale used by UCEAP. The UPF will forward your transcripts directly to UCEAP and your final grades will be reviewed by the faculty director before being forwarded to your home UC campus.
For detailed information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.
Placement in an academic internship is an optional component of the program for students who participate in both winter and spring quarters.  Any UC student that meets the UPF language and GPA requirements will be eligible for an internship that combines weekly seminars with workplace placement specifically based on his or her area of study. Students will receive individual advising and supervision at the internship location and may pay a fee for the placement. ​Other independent research projects or independently arranged internships are not available for academic credit on this program.
Extending UCEAP Participation

​Planning for Back-to-Back Programs

Although extension options are not built into this program, you do have several options when considering the length of time you want to spend in Spain; however, you must plan in advance. At the time of application, you must select to participate in the International Business Economics program for winter quarter, spring quarter, or winter + spring quarters. You may not apply for winter and then decide later to stay for spring quarter.
It may also be possible for you to participate in two different UCEAP programs consecutively. For example, if you are a spring quarter IBE participant, you might choose to apply to the summer Language & Culture program in Madrid, where you may focus on Spanish language acquisition.
If you would like to participate in two programs, you must submit an application for each program by the campus deadline (before you leave the U.S.). You will  go through the regular UCEAP selection process for each program, which may include an interview. You must meet all selection criteria for both programs and your UC campus must select you to participate. The Campus EAP Office may have other requirements as well.
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself

​Educate Yourself

Get acquainted with your new host city, country, and culture before you leave California. Travel guides and travel-related websites, such as Lonely Planet or Time Out, are excellent resources. Bring a travel guidebook; they are more expensive and harder to find in Spain.
Read about the Spanish lifestyle so you will have some idea what to expect. Keep up with current events by reading articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals that have to do with Spain. Take a look at El País to see what is featured in Spain’s most widely distributed newspaper (in Spanish).
An especially valuable resource for Spain is the Spanish government website, which provides video clips as well as plenty of other visuals and text as context for its suggested travel routes.
If you have not studied Catalán, get a head start on your language skills by checking out a list of resources for learning Catalán online.
Social Conduct
Intolerance & Harassment
Improve Your Language Skills
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation


You are required to attend all orientation sessions.
Your program in Spain begins with a required orientation in Barcelona. During one or more sessions of the orientation you will receive:
  • Introductions to the Spain Study Center Director and UPF staff.
  • An overview of the program.
  • Print materials containing program calendars, information about facultades, expected behavior, and health & safety.
  • Academic information and introductions to services available to international students at Pompeu Fabra University.
  • General tourist information about your city regarding transportation (including maps), banking, and other logistical concerns.
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
You are responsible for reserving and purchasing your tickets (even if you are on full financial aid). Your Financial Aid Office is not responsible for purchasing tickets. You are strongly urged to purchase a changeable airline ticket. Standby tickets are not appropriate for EAP.
Travel Documents

Visa for stays under 180 days

The University of Pompeu Fabra Administration is allowing the Winter 2014 quarter only students to be exempt from the student visa requirement since the San Francisco and Los Angeles Consulates may reject student visa applications for the Winter 2014 quarter only program due to the short length of the program.
All Winter+Spring 2014 and Spring 2014 students must apply for and receive a 180 day student visa to study at the University of Pompeu Fabra.
Details on requirements and the visa application process will be provided in your Predeparture Checklist.
Packing Tips
Insurance for Personal Possessions
Return Travel
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Handling Money Abroad
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
Pompeu Fabra University has free WiFi in all campus buildings. You will receive an access code and password to access the network upon arrival. There are computer labs and study rooms available to students in the library. It is best to bring your own laptop. There is also a laptop borrowing service which allows you to reserve a laptop for a few hours on days when you forget your own laptop at home. There is no guarantee that a laptop will be available to borrow when you need one, so it is best to plan to use your own computer.
Mail & Shipments
Housing & Meals
​Residence Halls and Apartments
As a participant of the UCEAP International Business Economics, Pompeu Fabra University Program, you will need to make your own housing arrangements prior to your arrival in Spain.
Students attending the Pompeu Fabra University will have a choice of housing: student residence hall or an apartment in the city. There are two halls that have agreements with the university to house international students. Information about the halls can be found online on the university housing website and through your predeparture checklist. You will apply directly to the residence hall or apartment of your choice after being placed into the International Business Economics program. Arrangements for arrival and departure will be made between the residence hall or apartment staff and you, as well as any necessary payment. UCEAP will not bill you for housing and any payments made to UCEAP do not include housing costs.
All rooms in the residence halls are furnished and include kitchenware and Internet access. Monthly rental rates range from €350–500, and various levels of cleaning and washing services can be added individually for additional fees.

 La Ciutadella Residence Hall

La Ciutadella Residence Hall offers 192 single rooms with a kitchen, 24 single rooms with a shared kitchen, and 18 double rooms with a kitchen. All the rooms have a private bathroom, telephone, heating, computer connection with Internet access, television antenna, and a satellite receiver. The residence hall also has rooms to accommodate people with disabilities.

Campus del Mar Residence Hall

Campus del Mar offers 84 single rooms with a kitchen. All the rooms have a private bathroom, telephone, heating, computer connection with Internet access, television antenna, and a satellite receiver. The residence hall also has rooms adapted to accommodate people with  disabilities.


Each apartment is unique and will vary in size, condition, and location. Keep in mind that living standards in Europe are different from those in the U.S. and apartments tend to be smaller and older.
Apartments are usually rented furnished (including some kitchenware). Prices vary greatly depending on the area. You will be required to pay a deposit and/ or first and last month’s rent in advance. Make sure to request a receipt stating the conditions for return of the deposit, or you will likely lose it. If you rent through an agency, be prepared to pay a non-refundable agency fee.
All residence halls provide kitchen facilities within individual apartments, and most students will cook at least some of their meals at home.
University restaurant cafeterias are designed specifically for students and the food is cheap, filling, and nutritious. Spanish students eat the basic fare of an appetizer, main dish, dessert, and a drink for approximately €5,50. Vegetarians may substitute the main dish with a salad, bread, or another vegetable. Sandwiches or baguettes are between €1,50 and €4, and other options include coffee with milk, €0,85; croissant, €1,50; Coca-Cola, €1,10; combined dish, €3,50. You may be able to buy a 10-meal coupon to save some money. University restaurants are open from early October to mid-June and closed during all official holidays.
In areas of town near university campuses there are often shops and bars that serve cheap bocadillos, sometimes for as little as €2.
Spanish Fare
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation

Travel Within Barcelona

Barcelona’s public transportation system is excellent, user friendly, and inexpensive. The Metro system is clean and punctual; there is rarely more than a five-minute wait between trains. For areas not served by the Metro, an efficient bus service serves the city center and commuter rail systems provide links to the areas outside the center. You will most likely use these public transport options on a regular basis.
Extracurricular Activities


Students can participate in activities and excursions organized by the Linguistic Exchange Volunteering Service. These events take place throughout the academic term and provide students with great opportunities to interact with the university community and to get to know Barcelona and Catalonia. The events are free, and a schedule for each semester is listed on the Linguistic Exchange Volunteering Service website. Events include tours in local museums, historical and cultural sites, and day trips to towns and unique areas around Barcelona.
Students with Disabilities
Travel Sign-out Form
Travel Within Spain
UCEAP Insurance
As part of your Education Abroad Program, you have been enrolled in the ACE/USA health insurance plan, which will provide you with service and protection in the event you become ill or injured during the program. The required UCEAP Insurance Plan premium is paid by UC. More details about the plan are available in the UCEAP Insurance Plan brochure. The plan provides for up to $500,000 medical expense benefit per occurrence, no deductible or copays, worldwide 24/7 access to the Europ Assistance USA multi-lingual network for emergency assistance, prescription medication, emergency reunion benefit, medical evacuation/repatriation, etc., and many non-medical benefits. Your coverage starts 14 days before the official start of the UCEAP program and ends 31 days after the last official day of the program. You will be covered anywhere in the world.
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
If you are in need of non-emergency medical care while overseas, contact Europ Assistance/USA (EA/USA) directly at the phone number or e-mail address on your insurance card for 24/7 service and assistance (or see below for contact information). EA/USA is UCEAP’s assistance provider with a dedicated UC line with 24/7 trained staff.
If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention and contact EA/USA /immediately.  
Contact information for EA/USA is or call international collect at 1+202-828-5896.
UCEAP students can go to the Clínica Tres Torres or Sant Jordi. They are open 24/7 and offer walk-in, primary and specialist care. Their services include translation services and direct billing so students don’t have to pay up front.
If your condition does not improve and an extended absence is expected, inform both UPF and the on-site UCEAP coordinator so they can make arrangements with your professors. It is also a good idea to let the on-site UCEAP coordinator know of any medical services received, even if it was not an emergency.
Generally, doctors and hospitals abroad will not bill insurance companies for services rendered. If you haven't contacted EA/USA, be prepared to pay for services up front and file a claim for a refund of eligible costs with the UCEAP insurance company. Save all bills and receipts and keep copies of all documentation sent to the claims adjustor.
Physical Health
Prescription Medications
Mental Health
The UCEAP Insurance Plan covers outpatient visits as any other illness up to $500,000; there is no co-pay or deductible, and you can make an appointment with any doctor.
Health Risks
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
Crime & Prevention
Civil Unrest

Demonstrations & Protests

Traffic & Transportation Safety
UCEAP Contingency Planning
Fire Safety

Forest Fires

Forest fires occur frequently in Spain during the summer months, especially in southern areas of the country.
In An Emergency
The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action office.

* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.