Barcelona & Madrid

Trip Details


October 13 - 19, 2019

Deadline to Apply

June 7, 2019

Cost of $800 Covers:

  • Participant airfare
  • Accommodations
  • Some meals
  • Cultural activities
  • Ground transportation

Program & Location Highlights


The CEA Barcelona program offers a wide-range of options to enable students to choose the most suitable experience abroad. The variety of offering includes a vast academic curriculum, experiential learning opportunities, a rich menu of cultural activities, and a choice of housing options that goes from host families to independent living.

The academic portion of the program entails a full curriculum of Spanish Language courses for students of all levels together with courses taught in both English and Spanish in areas of study such as:

  • Business
  • Communication
  • Cultural Studies
  • Economics
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Political Science
  • Pyschology
  • Sociology

In the business field, our course offering includes courses in areas such as international business, marketing, finance, operations and entrepreneurship among others.

Alongside our extensive academic curriculum, CEA Barcelona also partners with local universities to offer our students hybrid programs in different areas. Over time we have expanded our business hybrid offering partnering with institutions that offer different approaches to the discipline:

  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra:
    • Business and European Studies
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
    • Pre-Law
  • Universitat de Barcelona
    • Spanish Language and Culture
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
    • International Business
  • Universitat de Vic
    • Business, Innovation and Design

All the cultural activities are carefully embeded into the academic curriculum so students are constantly engaged with the cultural surroundings with an analytitical and reflective purpose. The Academic Integrated Cultural Activity Program (AICAP) – awarded by the National Society for Experiential Education for Outstanding Experiential Education- was designed to enhance the cultural activities and bring value to the program and the curriculum thru a variety of active learning opportunities. The program currently includes anywhere between 12 to 15 cultural activities per semester that require the active engagement of the student, leads to reflection and facilitates the transformation of experience into knowledge.

Aside from the AICA Program, the experiential learning opportunities offered at CEA Barcelona include:

  • Language Exchange Programs
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Service Learning course and placement
  • Second Language Acquisition course and placement at local schools

In our effort to enhance student´s intercultural competence and future employability, our courses offer a variety of case studies, guest speakers and company visits to give students a real prospective of the international business world. Moreover, we also offer students the possibility to enroll in our internship program onsite during any given semester: spring, summer or fall.


Spain’s capital and largest city has a sophisticated vibe evident in its world-class culinary culture, never-ending nightlife, and thriving art scene.

Madrid is home to a large number of public and private universities. Some of them are among the oldest in the world, and many are the most prestigious universities in Spain. CEA Madrid partners with two of these universities: Universidad Antonio de Nebrija & Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

Universidad Antonio de Nebrija is a small university, with an annual student population of about 5,000. UAN prides itself in being "the smallest of the great Spanish universities." This highly ranked private university was founded in 1995 and named after the first grammarian of the Spanish language. In 1492, Nebrija presented the first-ever Spanish grammar book to Queen Isabel; today, teaching Spanish as a foreign language is a key activity, and the Center of Hispanic Studies at Nebrija is dedicated exclusively to Spanish language training.

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid was founded in 1989 and has since grown into one of the leading higher education institutions in Spain. This public university offers a range of courses to a culturally diverse population of more than 19,000 students. Over 3,400 international students participate in exchange programs through the university each year. UC3M´s philosophy is to create responsible, free-thinking people with a sensitivity to social problems and a commitment to progress based on freedom, justice and tolerance. The undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Economics are ranked first among those offered by public and private universities in Spain.

In the CEA Madrid Program, students can choose from a variety of subject areas, each of which takes advantage of the city and the unique and valuable learning opportunities it offers. Beyond the classroom, CEA organizes cultural activities that foster academic and personal growth abroad. Housing options include host families, shared apartments, and independent living.

Courses are offered in English & Spanish at both institutions.

Our programs at-a-glance are:

  • Spanish Language & Culture
  • Liberal Arts & Business
  • Engineering & Social Sciences

Experience CEA through your students' eyes

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Unique Student Benefits in Barcelona & Madrid

Both Locations

  • Rich and varied academic offerings
  • Experienced and attentive staff who will assist students in academics, housing, and student affairs


  • Manageable city that enjoys a very efficient public transportation system
  • Located on the beach. The city offers mild weather all year around – considered the best beach city in the world by National Geographic
  • Cosmopolitan, energetic and dynamic vibe, but yet with a very lively and evident local feel
  • Rich art and architecture heritage – from Gothic to Modernist masterpieces- and home of many talented contemporary architects
  • True bilingual (Catalan and Spanish) and multicultural environment
  • Fashion, innovation, design, and music are very present in today´s Barcelona social and business scene
  • One of the European capitals for start-up companies and entrepreneurs
  • Exceptional gastronomy; from traditional cuisine to the latest world renowned chefs
  • Well communicated with main Spanish and European destinations: high-speed train and international airport
  • Home of one of the top soccer teams in the world: FC Barcelona


  • Landmarks include the Royal Palace of Madrid; the Royal Opera House; the National Library building (founded in 1712) containing some of Spain's historical archives; a large number of national museums, and the Golden Triangle of Art, located along the Paseo del Prado and comprising three art museums: Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía Museum of modern art, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. The Cibeles Palace and Fountain have become symbolic of this dynamic city. 
  • Perfect location to study the Spanish language due to its pure Spanish  
  • Modern infrastructure preserving the historic neighborhoods and streets  
  • Big city but very manageable 
  • Best public transportation system in Europe 
  • Perfect starting point to tour Europe 
  • Largest hot spot for LGBT culture. Madrid has become a “Gateway of Diversity,” which led the city to be declared World Pride Capital in 2017 

Academic & Partner Institutions

University of Barcelona

Founded in 1450, the University of Barcelona (UB) is the oldest and largest university in Catalonia with a student population of over 90,000. UB emphasizes international relations and has been a leading host of study abroad students for many years, welcoming 5,000 international students each year. The university awards more than 10,000 bachelor’s degrees and 450 doctorates annually.

UB operates four campuses throughout the city. Classes are instructed by university faculty through Estudios Hispánicos at both the main campus—centrally located in a 16th century building—and a secondary campus located just outside the city center and easily reached by metro or bus.

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) was founded in 1968. Today, UAB offers undergraduate, master’s, and doctorate programs in the fields of humanities, social sciences, health sciences, experimental sciences and engineering. UAB’s links with local institutions, industry, and businesses provides students with practical experience helping them to be better prepared as they enter the professional world. More than 17% of UAB’s 50,000 students are international.

UAB encompasses several campuses; CEA students may attend classes at la Casa de Convalescencia in the city center, close to Gaudi's famous Sagrada Familia. The building was completed in 1930 and granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1997. CEA students may also attend class on the Eixample campus, located on the same metro line (and within walking distance) of the CEA Study Abroad Center.

Pompeu Fabra University

Since it was founded in 1990, Université Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) has had two goals: to train responsible professionals and citizens who are committed to civic values, and to contribute to the development of research. UPF welcomes approximately 10,000 students each year, 800 of which are international, and offers coursework in three areas of knowledge: social sciences & humanities, information technology & coding, and health & life sciences. The university operates six campuses scattered around Barcelona's city center. CEA students take most classes at the campus located near Olympic Village.

Unlike most Spanish institutions, UPF follows a trimester-based academic calendar. The university prides itself on offering small class sizes, dedicated teaching staff, and advanced technological and information systems. Spanish language and elective courses for international students are instructed by university faculty in both Spanish and English through the Hispanic & European Studies Program, the Pre-Law Honors Program, and International Business. In addition, you may choose to take integrated courses in Humanities, Business, Communications, and more alongside Spanish students.

University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia

The University of Vic - Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC) is an independent, state-supported, educational institution with a distinctive international focus. UVic-UCC is committed to the economic and social development of Barcelona and Catalonia through teaching, research, and knowledge transfer. The university emphasizes multilingual training as a key to increased mobility of university students and staff, and views the study of language and culture as an excellent vehicle for gaining a wider awareness of today’s world.

UVic-UCC offers 32 bachelor’s degrees in the fields of arts, humanities, science, health sciences, social sciences, and engineering, 15 master’s degree programs, and six doctoral programs. UVic-UCC’s compliance with European directives on higher education, and the more-than 20,000 students who have put their trust in the university over the years, is testament to UVic-UCC’s dynamism, innovation, and quality. The UVic-UCC International Campus, an umbrella organization for UVic-UCC activities aimed at an international public, provides mobility and exchange programs, postgraduate courses, research programs, continuing education, and international cooperation projects.

The UVic-UCC campus is on the same metro line as the CEA Barcelona Center, just a 10-minute ride away.

Universidad Antonio de Nebrija

With an annual student population of about 5,000, Universidad Antonio de Nebrija prides itself on being "the smallest of the great Spanish universities." This highly ranked private university was founded in 1995 and named after the first grammarian of the Spanish language. In 1492, Nebrija presented the first-ever Spanish grammar book to Queen Isabel; today, teaching Spanish as a foreign language is a key activity, and the Center of Hispanic Studies at Nebrija is dedicated exclusively to Spanish language training.

In addition to Spanish language and Hispanic Studies, the university also offers a wide range of academic subjects taught in Spanish and English, such as art history, cultural studies, political science, and sociology. Courses are instructed by Antonio de Nebrija faculty through Centro de Estudios Hispánicos. Nebrija's small student population allows for personal attention and specialized studies.

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Since its founding in 1989, the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) has grown into one of the leading higher education institutions in Spain.  The public university offers a range of courses to a culturally diverse population of more than ­­­­­­19,000 students.  More than 3400 international students participate in exchange programs through the university each year.

You will have the opportunity to take courses from two different campus locations.  Each campus is about 15-25 minutes train ride from Puerta del Sol in Madrid.  There are also buses that run between the campuses.  The Getafe campus is where students take their Social Science and language classes while the Leganés campus is where students take their Engineering, Science, and Math courses.

You will have access to the same university facilities and will be able to take courses in English with local Spanish students, allowing you to fully appreciate UC3M student life. By sharing the campus with local and other international students you’ll have the opportunity to meet and interact with your peers.

Barcelona Staff

Enric Figueras

Vice President, Spain
Barcelona & Madrid, Spain
As Vice President, Spain, Mr. Figueras establishes a country strategy to ensure consistency among all sites, and to lead and support all program development initiatives geared toward enhancing quality. Mr. Figueras also monitors the academic standards of our programs and ensures that CEA policies are in place to serve the CEA community and deliver study abroad programs of quality and rigor.
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Ana Martínez

Academic Director
Barcelona & Madrid, Spain
Dr. Martinez ensures academic quality, supports faculty to guarantee academic excellence, and facilitates the award-winning, experiential Academic-Integrated Cultural Activities Program. She holds a Ph.D. in Spanish Applied Linguistics from Georgetown University. Before joining CEA, Dr. Martinez was Assistant Director of the Advanced Spanish Language Program at Georgetown University, Teaching Associate at Universidad Antonio de Nebrija, and Director of Middlebury College’s Spanish House.
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Laura Salvadó

Program Director
Barcelona & Madrid, Spain
As Program Director, Laura's role is to provide leadership to the Student Support team at CEA Barcelona. She is responsible for management of staffing, financial logistics, student services, students accommodation, and Health & Safety issues.
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Sonia Priego

Spanish Language Coordinator & Senior Academic Advisor
Barcelona & Madrid, Spain

As a Spanish Language Coordinator & Senior Academic Advisor, Sonia manages the Spanish language courses to ensure high academic standards and course quality, as well as students’ registration in Spanish courses at CEA and our partner universities. She also manages the tutoring program, and organizes and supervises cultural activities designed to enhance language acquisition. In addition, Sonia teaches several Spanish language courses.

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Blanca Alvarez

Senior Academic Advisor
Barcelona & Madrid, Spain
As a Senior Academic Advisor, Blanca works across different fields at CEA, including academic administration, teaching Spanish, and coordinating cultural activities. The combination of these three things allows Blanca to explore and develop her main passions: culture, arts, and languages.
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Sandra Tomás

Senior Student Services Advisor
Barcelona & Madrid, Spain
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Mónica Rodriguez

Senior Program Administrator
Barcelona & Madrid, Spain
As part of the Student Support Team, Mónica's role is to oversee and coordinate all logistics related to Student Services. She focuses on health and safety issues, acts as procedures and Health Services liaison, contributes to the organization and operation of student arrival and orientation, and to the execution and continuous improvement of the Academic-Integrated Cultural Activities (AICAP) program. By creating initiatives to facilitate global competence and personal growth, Mónica works to ensure CEA students receive the quality assistance and guidance they need to make the most of their experience abroad.
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Beatriz Rovira

Housing Advisor
Barcelona & Madrid, Spain
Bea is responsible for creating the best experience for CEA students while in Barcelona. As part of the Student Support Team, she focuses on student accommodation, ensuring the commitment and enthusiasm of our host families as well as the quality and suitability of our apartments and residencias. Bea provides students with the assistance and guidance they need to become familiar with their new surroundings and adapt to life within a new community. Creating initiatives to facilitate global competence and personal growth, Bea also participates in the onsite Academic-Integrated Cultural Activities (AICAP) program.
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Maria Mateu

Experiential Learning Coordinator
Barcelona & Madrid, Spain
As CEA Barcelona’s Experiential Learning Coordinator, Maria's role is to ensure the good process of daily operations related to experiential learning programs, including volunteering, international service learning, and career mentoring. Maria teaches Cross Cultural Management and Career Development courses at the CEA Barcelona Center. Along with her work at CEA, Maria delivers intercultural training workshops to individuals and groups, helping them develop and enhance their intercultural competence so they can work and live effectively across cultures.
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Madrid Staff

Silvia Martínez

Program Director
Barcelona & Madrid, Spain
Silvia Martínez ensures that all CEA standards are maintained in Madrid. Silvia oversees all educational programs, including short- and long-term program planning, products, and services, and maintains the financial plan for Madrid. She also manages student services, host institution relations, local vendor relations, program improvements, and staff.
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Álvaro J. Sanjuán

Student Services Advisor 
Barcelona & Madrid, Spain

Álvaro J. Sanjuán studied English Literature, History and Linguistics at University of Oviedo (Spain) and continued his studies on Applied Languages at Dublin City University (Ireland). After being an Art History professor in UNIPEC in Burgos (Spain) he worked as Web Manager and Community Manager until he began to collaborate for several years as a tour guide with CEA Madrid where, eventually, he became Student Services Coordinator. He loves arts, history, opera and classical music and also running and outdoor sports.

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Familiarization Trip Nomination

Nomination Form

Sample Itinerary




Welcome Dinner



City tour

Tour Facilities, Meet CEA Staff



Tour Student Housing

Meet with Current Students, Observe Courses



Visit Partner University

Meet with Faculty and participate in Academic Field Trip



Activity with Students

Cultural Site Visit



Final Day

Depart for U.S.


Competence and Efficiency
Working with CEA has been a pleasure for students, faculty, and administrators at Illinois State University. All logistic and programmatic matters, both in the U.S. and abroad, are handled by CEA staff with efficiency, competence, and friendliness. We couldn’t be happier and greatly appreciate CEA’s superb service.

Rachel L. Shively , Associate Professor of Spanish & Applied Linguistics
Illinois State University

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