IES Abroad Barcelona Academic Program in Political Science & International Relations

Globally Recognized
Delivery Method:
Single Term

If you go to college/university in the United States and are interested in this program, check it out on the IES Abroad website—designed for students like you looking to study or intern abroad outside of the United States.

About the Program

During this program, you can take courses on a wide range of topics including politics, regionalism, international security, international business and relations, and more. Imagine taking in all that Barcelona has to offer while taking exciting courses, like Campaigning in Europe: From Propaganda to Political Marketing or Globalized Economy & Migration. 

Learn Outside of the Classroom

Our courses feature course-related trips to government offices.

Study at a Local University

Take Spanish- or English-taught courses at local universities.

Gain Hands-On Experience

Participate in an internship placement and seminar.

Follow Your Academic Interests

Supplement your study with courses from our other programs.

Fall 2024 Academic
Program dates:
September 02 - December 14
Application Deadline:
Fees Starting From:

Program Advisor

Saffy Winter
Your Student Counselor is your study abroad ambassador and supporter. They join your application journey when you’ve confirmed you’re interested in studying abroad. At this point, they guide you through each stage of the application, notify you of the documents you need, let you know when your admission results are in, and walk you through the next steps, including class enrollment and organizing pre-arrival tests.
Schedule a Consultation

At a Glance

Language of Instruction:
English, Spanish
Language Prerequisite Level:
GPA Requirements:
Academic Level:
Academic Strengths:
Political Science & International Relations
Apartment, Homestay, Residence Hall
Part-Time Internship (Optional):
Included in program fee
Visa Required:
15 to 19 per Semester

Stay Healthy & Safe While You Study Abroad

About IES Abroad Barcelona Center

The IES Abroad Center in Barcelona is near Plaza Catalunya, a lively square and a locals’ favorite, alive with shops, department stores, and cafés serving traditional Catalan dishes. From your spacious multimedia classrooms and the center’s study lounges and large outdoor terrace, you’re steps from the sculptures, lawns, fountains, and memories of the city’s most well-to-do addresses.


Our mission is to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. 

We offer unique courses that explore Political Science and International Relations through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives in class each day. 

Get To Know Our Application Process

From academics to visa requirements, our structured process helps you choose the right program and university for your goals. Complete a strong application, and prepare for success abroad.

Personalize Your Study Abroad Plan With Your SAF Counselor

Each student has unique academic goals for a study abroad experience. As you think about studying abroad, your SAF Counselor will help you plan for success and support you every step of the way.

Partner Institutions

Universitat de Barcelona's campus that features lush gardens and outdoor seating.
  • UAB
  • UB
  • UVic
  • UPF
  • URL

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) was established in the late 1960s and since then has become one of the most dynamic universities in Spain. Made up of more than 25 schools, faculties, and associated centers, it is the only real campus-based university in Barcelona.

Visit Website


Create your own academic experience by selecting from the following program components. You take 15-19 credits per semester, and you must register for one course within the disciplines of Political Science and International Studies.

  • IES Abroad Spanish language course at your proficiency level (required, 3-7 credits) 
  • English- or Spanish-taught IES Abroad area studies courses (optional, 3 credits each)
  • Research Methodology Seminar (optional, 4 credits) 
  • Partner university courses: For international students only (optional, 3 credits each); with local students (optional, 2-3 credits each) 
  • Internship placement and seminar (optional, 3 credits) 

NOTE: This is a list of planned course offerings. After you are accepted, you will see a list of final course offerings in your  account. Additionally, SAF and IES Abroad reserve the right to cancel a course due to insufficient enrollment or circumstances beyond our control.

IES Abroad Courses

Disciplines (39)

Anthropology (8)

Course name Term Language Credits
SO/AN 360 - Banditry and Mafias in the Mediterranean Fall, Spring English 3
AN/CU 338 - Barcelona: The Culinary City Fall, Spring English 3
HP/AN 345 - Catalan Cultural Studies Fall, Spring English 3
PS/AN 340 - Self and Identity in a Postmodern World Fall, Spring English 3
SO/AN 320A - Sports and Society in Spain Fall, Spring English 3
SO/AN 320B - Sports and Society in Spain Fall, Spring Spanish 3
WS/AN 336 - Women and Culture in Spain and the Mediterranean Fall, Spring English 3
AN/GS 215 - Sexuality and Gender Fall, Spring English 3

Partner Institution Courses

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) requires a minimum enrollment of two courses. 

The courses that are offered at the Sant Pau (20 minutes by Metro from our Center) campus, located in the central area of Barcelona, are primarily in the disciplines of Business, Economics, Politics, and the Humanities. Courses are taught in English and Spanish.  

Please note that registration for UAB courses takes place before the application deadline. Students interested in enrolling in UAB courses are encouraged to apply early. 

University Courses in English & Spanish: 

  • Art History 
  • Architecture 
  • Business Administration & Management 
  • Communications 
  • Economics & Finance 
  • History 
  • International Business 
  • International Finance 
  • Literature 
  • Marketing 
  • Political Sciences 
  • Sociology 
  • Urban Studies 

Visit Website

Universitat de Barcelona

Universitat de Barcelona (UB) offers an Estudios Hispánicos program, based on Spanish and Latin American culture, that is taught in Spanish and English for students with intermediate and advanced levels of Spanish. UB also offers a Food Studies and Gastronomy program taught in English, which examines local gastronomy through the lens of business, nutrition, sustainability, and architecture. These programs and all Spanish and Latin American culture, media, business and finance courses are located at a central UB campus, which is a 10-minute walk from the IES Abroad Barcelona Center. 

University Courses in English & Spanish: 

  • Art History 
  • Economics & Finance 
  • Food Sciences & Nutrition 
  • History 
  • International Business 
  • Literature 
  • Management
  • Marketing 
  • Political Sciences 
  • Sociology 

Visit Website

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) requires a minimum enrollment of two courses. 

Courses are offered by different university departments and are taught in English and in Spanish. Course availability and language of instruction is dependent on the program you are enrolled in and your language level. UPF is a 15-minute commute by Metro or a 20-minute walk from our Center. 

University Courses in English & Spanish: 

  • Archaeology 
  • Art History 
  • Business Administration & Management 
  • Communications 
  • Economics & Finance 
  • Environmental Sciences 
  • Film Studies 
  • Gender Studies 
  • Health Studies & Neuroscience 
  • History 
  • Law & Criminal Studies 
  • Math & Statistics 
  • Marketing 
  • Political Sciences & Government 
  • Sociology 

Visit Website

Universitat Ramon Llull

At Universitat Ramon Llull (URL), courses are designed for Spanish students at the undergraduate level. Courses are taught in English and Spanish and are available to you in a variety of disciplines. Course availability and language of instruction is dependent on the program you are enrolled in and your language level. Classes are taught at different campuses, and range from a 10-minute walk to a 30-minute Metro ride from our Center. 

University Courses in English & Spanish: 

  • Accounting 
  • Anthropology & Sociology 
  • Business Administration & Management 
  • Economics & Finance 
  • International Business 
  • Law 
  • Marketing 
  • Political Sciences 
  • Public Relations 
  • Tourism 
  • Urban Studies 

Visit Website

Universitat de Vic

At Universitat de Vic (UVic), you can enroll in courses taught in English for international students. Courses are available to you in Business, Design, and Innovation. All courses take place in the BAU School of Design, located 20 minutes by Metro from the IES Abroad Barcelona Center. 

University Courses in English: 

  • Business Administration & Management 
  • Communications & Psychology 
  • Design & Fashion 
  • Innovation 
  • Marketing 

Visit Website

Application Requirements

When applying to study abroad, you must meet the entry requirements of the program—and SAF is here to set you up for success.

The requirements outlined in this section include the language proficiency scores you may need to demonstrate your language skills, a guide to the GPA range and other academic prerequisites required by the program, and a list of documentation and other application materials you will need to finalize your application. You will need to supply additional information throughout the process, and our helpful team will alert you via email or your MyIESAbroad Student Portal whenever this is necessary.
  • Language Proficiency
  • Academics and GPA
  • Application Documents & Materials

Language Test Score Requirements

To prove your language proficiency, you can use any of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5
  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • TOEFL pBT: 548
  • Duolingo (DET): 105
  • iTEP: 4.0

Learn More About Language Requirements

Program Dates

When studying abroad, you will want to consider the time of year and how long you are away. Most programs follow the host university's academic calendar.

The dates shown below are general estimates, and as you get closer to the start of the term, you will get more detailed information from SAF. If you have any questions, your Student Counsellor and Program Specialist are always here to support you and point you to the correct information.

Spring 2024

Program dates:
January 08 - April 26
Application Deadline:
Fees Starting From:

Fall 2024 Academic

Program dates:
September 02 - December 14
Application Deadline:
Fees Starting From:


A minimalist living space featuring bright red furniture, a large window, a television, and a dining room with red chairs.
  • Apartment
  • Homestay
  • Residence Hall


Student Apartment – You live with up to 12 other IES Abroad students in a single or double room. The student apartment offers the communal vibes of a residence hall with the comfort of an apartment. Apartments have fully equipped kitchens, Wi-Fi is included, and meals are not included but optional meal plans are available for purchase onsite. Laundry is coin operated and an additional fee applies to this housing option.

City Apartment – You live with up to 7 other IES Abroad students in single or double rooms in a typical Barcelona style apartment. These apartments are located in residential areas throughout the city. Apartments have fully equipped kitchens, Wi-Fi is included, and meals are not provided. Washing machines are available for free but dryers may not be, as they are not commonly used in Spain. An additional fee applies for this housing option. This is not student housing so there will be no onsite staff. This option is recommended for students who are more independent and outgoing. 

About Barcelona

Barcelona Image 01

Home to one of the most famous soccer teams on the planet, Barcelona is larger than life. With curiosities and standout moments—think Park Güell, Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló— around every corner, the Catalan capital is intoxicating. Beyond tourism, it is also an industrial and commercial powerhouse as part of the European Riviera belt of high-tech industry.   

Learn more about Barcelona

The Student Experience

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Field Trips

Even though your adventure starts in Barcelona, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. All trips are included in the program fee unless otherwise noted with ($).

NOTE: IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability. 

a group of students pose for a photo during a paella cooking class

The Basque Country & Navarre

4 Days ($) Fall & Spring

Discover the unique gastronomy of the Basque Country, learn from artisans who elaborate local delicacies, and attempt to create the meals that make up this rich culinary tradition.

an aerial view of Arco de la Victoria in Madrid at night


3 Days ($) Fall & Spring

Discover the vibrant capital of Spain! See the works of El Greco, Goya, and Velázquez firsthand in the world-famous Prado Museum.

a student looking out over monterrat


1 Day ($) Fall & Spring

Spend the day hiking the mountain of Montserrat and visit the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey.

a group of students holding wine glasses and smiling at the camera

South of France

3 Days ($) Spring

Visit Carcassonne to learn about its rich history, and enjoy a boat ride nearby. Next, head to Lastours to see castles and the Fontfroide Abbey. The last stop is Perpignan, where you can compare the Spanish Catalan and French Catalan cultures.

three students jumping on a boardwalk with clear blue water and a white building in the background


3 Days ($) Spring

Enjoy a guided tour around the city and make paella, the most famous dish in Spain. Then visit the nearby town of Peñíscola to see the Papa Luna’s Castle, a medieval building constructed by Templar knights that was home to the Pope during the 13th century.

Part Time Internships

Did you know that, while in Barcelona, you can intern as part of your study abroad experience? With a part-time internship, you’ll gain global work experience that will increase your job readiness and give you an advantage after graduation. With an internship, you will: 

  • Take an important step in your career development by navigating the professional world with our support. 
  • Learn more about yourself both personally and professionally and build confidence in the process. 
  • Experience what working in Barcelona is really like and gain an authentic understanding of the workplace culture while developing real, applicable job skills that will bolster your career readiness. 
  • Begin building an international network by making connections with coworkers and peers. 

All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a 3-credit seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship for a greater understanding of work life in your host country. 

Placement Examples

a business student walking in Milan
Business Development & International Business
Three students in front of the European Council in Brussels Belgium
International Relations
health students in santiago
a studio audience behind a camera in Milan
Media & Communication
a student plays rock, paper, scissors with children in Cape Town
Charities & Nonprofits
Two students sit outside at a table on their college campus working from a laptop.

Volunteer Opportunities

When you volunteer in Barcelona, you have the chance to make a difference in the local community while meeting new people and gaining a new perspective on the world. If you are passionate about volunteering abroad, just let the on-site staff know at the beginning of your term.

Past volunteer opportunities in Barcelona include:

Children’s Health

Engaging with and supporting kids and their families at a children’s hospital (bilingual Spanish and FBI Background Check required)

Food Security

Volunteering at a soup kitchen


Being a teaching assistant at a public school

Student Health & Safety

We champion health, safety, and security. As part of IES Abroad, the largest study abroad organization in the United States, we have set the standard for health and safety in study abroad for decades. We plan for the ‘what if’, so you can get on with the experience of a lifetime.
International Health Insurance

International health insurance included in the cost of your program

24/7 Emergency Phone Support

Total coverage to support you while traveling and in your new city

Location-Specific Information

Health and safety information prepared based on your destination

Health In Your Language

Highly trained multilingual staff to connect you to healthcare providers

Secure Housing

Quality, safe, secure housing within close proximity to your classes

Dedicated Expertise

Protection by a Dean of Students Office advocating for your interests


Before You Leave

Your study abroad experience starts well before you travel. We talk through your program choices, guide you through application, and support your preparations for leaving

On Arrival

We’re by your side from the moment you arrive, for campus orientation, getting you to your accommodation, and helping settle

Home Sweet Home

We transfer you from the airport to your university campus or nearby accommodation and help you settle in

Settling In

Talk to SAF Staff on the ground whenever you need support. Living in another country can be disorientating – we have the answers you need

Find Your Way Around

Where to shop, what to eat, how to see a doctor or a dentist, which bus or train to catch – ask us. We’re your friendly locals

Keeping You Safe

We enroll you in the SAF emergency alert system, so you hear safety concerns relevant to you

In the Classroom

The IES Abroad Center has classroom, computer labs, and academic facilities to support your coursework and academic development

Get Social

We arrange social and cultural events, so you meet other international SAF Scholars and local students

Advising and Support

The process of studying abroad could quickly feel overwhelming, but we have been doing this for decades and do everything we can to support you through it. 

Many SAF staff are alumni and have walked this path. They have real-life experience to draw on as they advise and support you through every step of our comprehensive services. They’re in your corner, taking care of all the details and explaining what you need to do next.

Take the first step in your study abroad journey by scheduling a consultation with your closest Student Counselor. You can discuss your for-credit academic courses and language programs and explore internships, research programs, and study tours. When you know what you want to do, we guide you through the pre-program steps, help you arrange your visa and transport, and finalize your accommodation or digital experience.

Get To Know Our Application Process

From academics to visa requirements, our structured process helps you choose the right program and university for your goals. Complete a strong application, and prepare for success abroad.

Personalize Your Study Abroad Plan With Your SAF Counselor

Each student has unique academic goals for a study abroad experience. As you think about studying abroad, your SAF Counselor will help you plan for success and support you every step of the way.

Commonly Asked Questions about IES Abroad Programs

Commonly Asked Questions About Studying Abroad

Student Blogs

Why Travel With SAF?

Studying abroad is an unforgettable experience, one that stays with you in your career, your contacts, your future. It can define you. At any of our prestigious university partners, you can build personalized for-credit programs that can last up to a whole year.

Girl Standing in Arch