Barcelona is by far one of the greatest destinations in Europe for foreign students and is full of many exciting prospects and opportunities. As the capital city of Catalonia, a region with its own unique identity, Barcelona is definitely one of Spain’s most intriguing cities historically, culturally and politically.
Deciding whether to study abroad can be a tough decision, just the thought of moving thousands of miles away from your home comforts, friends and family is very daunting. But fear not, we’re here to reassure you that Barcelona is one of the best destinations for studying abroad.
The student culture in the city is unlike anywhere else, there is always something to see or do (or eat), making it the perfect place to embark on your study abroad journey. With it’s world-renowned universities, amazing weather, stunning scenery and vibrant nightlife, Barcelona is the dream city for any student!
Studying in Barcelona
Stories of students in Barcelona
Our Top Tips
Although the cost of living in Barcelona does tend to be more expensive than most Spanish cities (with the exception of Madrid), it’s still much cheaper than other popular study destinations such as New York, London and Paris. It’s definitely possible to live on the cheaper side, but it all depends on the kind of lifestyle you want to have when you get here. How much you pay for your accommodation will depend on how much you’re willing or able to spend, along with taking into factors such as the location and how many people you choose to share with. For more information, check out our ‘Cost of living’ blog.
As a student, one of your main priorities will probably be to have a great social life alongside your studies, so we would definitely recommend renting a room in shared accommodation as opposed to living by yourself. We would recommend finding short-term accommodation to avoid any potential problems such as not liking the area, or even worse, your flat mates. Your university may require you to study/learn from home so bear these things in mind when finding a place to live. Remember, the key is to do your research and not to rush into anything!
English is widely spoken in Barcelona but, considering Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world, it would be wise to get this language under your belt too. If you’re keen to learn Spanish or Catalan while you’re in Barcelona, you should first see whether your University/Business School offers language lessons alongside your course. If this isn’t an option, there are a large variety of professional institutions in the city to choose from, offering classes for beginners through to experts. Some of the top language schools in Barcelona are: Linguaschools, Speakeasy, Olé Languages Barcelona and the Universidad de Barcelona. We would also recommend checking out tandem events!
When it comes to everyday language learning, simple things such as listening to Spanish music, watching local programmes or binging Netflix series and reading books in Spanish are all great ways to practice.
Catalonia is an extremely proud region, boasting its own dialect and regional history. Catalonians even celebrate their own regional holidays and festivals, such as ‘La Mercè’ and ‘La Diada Nacional’. Our advice on how to truly immerse yourself in the Catalan culture would be to:
- Try the local cuisine
- Celebrate every festival
- Check out Barcelona’s hidden gems
Take advantage of Facebook groups to reach out to fellow expats, or to search for events near you in Barcelona. It’s also a great way to stay up to date regarding the latest Covid developments in Barcelona and you can ask for advice from other expats.
ESN (The Erasmus Student Network), is another site that provides a service for Erasmus students in most major European cities. Definitely check out the Barcelona ESN Page as it’s a great way to meet new people, find people to share accommodation with and find out about cool events in the city.
Even though some restrictions may be starting to ease, it’s still wise to stay up to date on the rules of the area/city you’re living in. We would suggest checking the City Council website, following the news and also any official channels to avoid breaking the rules and receiving a heavy penalty.
The answer to this question is yes. Most masters programs offer internships as a part of the course, or the university will help students to get one if the student expresses an interest. This is an option for all students who wish to get experience related to their studies. Internships can be full-time if the study schedule allows it and can be both paid and unpaid.
Failing this, as a student you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week or full-time as long as your contract is for a maximum of 3 months. The key thing is that this kind of work does not interfere with your studies.