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Studying in Barcelona

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

What are the main benefits of studying abroad?

Boosting your CV

Future employers will be impressed if they see that you’ve studied abroad.

International experience & network

Who wouldn’t want to gain international experience from studying in another country and meeting people from all over the world?

Becoming independent

Living abroad takes a lot of independence and resilience, both skills which employers look for in their employees.

Discover new cultures

If you want to work in a multinational company, then it’s important to develop your knowledge of people from different cultures from all over the world.

What is life like as a student in Barcelona?

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! 

Stories of students in Barcelona

Our Top Tips

Maud's Barcelona

What is the cost of living like in Barcelona?

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. When you first arrive in Barcelona you might think things seem much cheaper than other European countries, but then you factor in the fact that you’re earning less, your groceries start adding up and the rent prices are soaring, and all those things start to weigh up. 


You can always save money by shopping at cheaper grocery stores like Día, Lidl and Mercadona.


Download the ‘Too Good To Go’ app and help fight food waste in Barcelona! Simply download and choose a goody bag of surplus food from your local supermarkets. The best thing about this app is that you won’t know exactly what’s in your order until you pick it up. Receive great food at great prices, and do your bit for the planet.


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. 


We recommend purchasing the T-Jove ticket – a personalised travel card for under 25s which is valid for an unlimited number of journeys within 90 consecutive days from the first day of validation. This is also valid for Aeroport T1 and Aeroport T2 metro stations using line ‘L9 Sud’.



Barcelona Expat Life is offering discount codes from several companies to save you some money in your daily life. 

How can I find accommodation?

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!

Do I need to know Spanish/Catalan to study in Barcelona?

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.

How can I immerse myself in Catalan culture?

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:

How can I meet new people?

Take advantage of Facebook groups to reach out to fellow expats, or to search for events near you in Barcelona.

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.

I am looking for a part-time internship alongside my study, is this possible?

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.

I want to study a Master's degree in Barcelona, what do I need to know?

A couple of ‘good to knows’ include:

  • Tuition fees at public universities in Spain are typically set by each individual Autonomous Community, meaning they are more or less the same for every public university. On the other hand, private universities set their own fees and these are usually much, much higher than those of public universities.
  • You can choose to do a Master’s degree in English due to the large number of international business schools in Barcelona. This means you won’t be required to learn Spanish to study a Master’s degree in Spain.

If you want to read more about studying a Master’s degree in Barcelona, check out the ‘Relocation Guide – Studying a Master’s in BCN’ page.

What if you get in trouble?

Moving somewhere new means adjusting to a new culture and being surrounded by new experiences. If you have negative experiences in Barcelona, you have many resources for getting assistance. 


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