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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Barcelona, Spain; Madrid, Spain
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: Abbey Road Programs 
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English, Spanish Click here for a definition of this term Class Status: 1-first year, 2-sophomore, 3-junior, 4-senior
Housing Options: Apartment (shared), Hostel/Hotel Click here for a definition of this term Areas of Study: Architectural History, Architecture, Art, Art History, Arts, Catalan Language & Literature, Culinary Arts, Culture, Dance, Film, Gastronomy, History, Iberian Studies, Literature, Photography, Spanish, Studio Art, Studio Arts
Program Type: study abroad
Program Description:
Spain Study Abroad Barcelona

Residential Cultural Immersion 
Spanish Studies in the Arts, Language, History and Culture

The largest European city on the Mediterranean coast, Barcelona is recognized as one of Europe's chief centers of commerce, entertainment, media and the arts. The city's fast-paced lifestyle, wealth of artistic landmarks and exquisite cuisine make it a truly exciting place to study abroad. Our summer Spanish immersion program in Barcelona is a pre-college residential program designed for high school students interested in taking a wide range of classes with the option of improving their Spanish. During this month-long high school study abroad program, students benefit from a variety of class and activity options ranging from studio art to literature, film, history and Spanish conversation and culture. Each day brings with it new opportunities to experience the diversity of Spanish culture and lifestyle, all while benefiting from a pre-college residential environment. 

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, an independent-minded region that produced such ground-breaking artists as Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró, and served as Pablo Picasso's home for a number of years. However, the breathtaking works of master architect Antoni Gaudí and his modernist contemporaries truly define Barcelona as a center for creative expression. Building on this history, the city prides itself on being one of the top European centers of design and innovation, whether in architecture, art, fashion, or cuisine and is a haven for free thinkers. For students interested in the arts, international studies, architecture, European history and everything in between, Barcelona is an inspirational place for study


Students choose one major course for their daily focus and one afternoon elective. Major classes meet Monday through Friday for three hours, while elective classes meet three times a week for two to three hours per class. Certain courses can be taken as either a major or an elective, while others are dedicated specifically to one or the other option. See below for availability: 

Spanish Language (major)
The experiential nature of our Spanish Language course allows students to practice their Spanish in real settings rather than spend every morning in the classroom, making the learning process both practical and fun! Students are placed in the appropriate level upon arrival. All levels welcome from novice to advanced.

Spanish Conversation and Culture (elective)
Strengthen your communication skills and increase your vocabulary with this conversational Spanish language course. On-site discussions and "coffee talk" are geared toward the practical improvement of pronunciation, syntax, and oral comprehension, while fostering a deeper understanding of contemporary Spanish culture and civilization. All levels welcome.

Contemporary Spanish History, Politics, Society and Culture (major/elective)
Discover the fascinating story of a nation whose diversity was forcibly hidden for decades behind the legacies of flamenco dancing and bull fighting during this introduction to contemporary Spanish history, politics, society and culture. Students will discuss Spain's transition from dictatorship to democracy and the unique challenges its rapidly changing society faces today as a result. No knowledge of Spanish required. 

Survey of Spanish Literature (major/elective)
Considered an introduction to Spanish literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, students will read selected works from key authors of the time followed by in-class discussion. Intermediate and advanced levels. 

Art History and Architecture of Barcelona (major/elective) (major/elective)
Barcelona houses arguably Europe's most extensive collection of Early Modern Art and Architecture. During this introduction to the Art and Architecture of Barcelona, students study the history of the Art Nouveau and Modern Art Movements paying particular attention to the works of Antoni Gaudí, Domènech i Montaner, Juan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. The course combines site visits to monuments and landmark buildings with museum visits. No knowledge of Spanish required. 

Studio Art: Drawing (major/elective)
Barcelona serves as inspiration, while students learn the basics of drawing such as lighting, shading, dimensionality, movement and the human form. The course covers a variety of drawing techniques, ranging from the classical to the contemporary. Throughout the course, students work with a variety of materials and are encouraged to utilize their skills in capturing the essence of the city. All artistic levels welcome. 

Digital Photography (elective)
Learn the basic principles and applications of digital photography as an artistic medium. Classes emphasize visual concepts, as well as basic image capture and camera functions. Important topics covered include the manipulation of camera settings, controls, lighting, and exposure. No knowledge of Spanish required. 

Survey of Spanish Cinema (elective)
Acquaint yourself with a broad range of Spanish cinematic styles and directors in this introductory course in Spanish cinema. Classes will follow the development of post WWII Spanish cinema with a special focus on the region of Catalonia and its portrayal in modern and contemporary Spanish and International films. Students will also have the opportunity to take part in the creative process developing their own short group film!

In addition to their weekly major and elective courses, students have the option of participating in cultural workshops and seminars. Enrollment is optional, and space is available on a first-come, first served basis. Summer workshop and seminar topics include:
• Introduction to Spanish Film
• Spanish Tapas Tasting
• Art History and Architecture of Catalonia
• Introduction to Salsa Dancing
• Spanish Cuisine
• Introduction to Flamenco Dance: Las Sevillanas
• Antoni Gaudí Arts Walk


As part of the pre-college component, Abbey Road students and staff live together in a centrally located residence. While in the residence, students will learn how to live with a group of peers and share house responsibilities thus developing important skills to prepare them for the upcoming college experience. Female and male students will live in separate apartments, while the staff will live in the same complex. The pre-college experience is enriched by daily activities such as shopping for groceries in local markets, preparing group meals using traditional Spanish recipes and college-style "residence nights."


Students begin each weekday with their daily Major course. After morning classes students have a midday recess to enjoy lunch and the surrounding neighborhoods. Three days a week during the afternoons, you will attend your elective course. On days when elective courses do not meet, you will have the option of participating in a variety of workshops, seminars and activities. Evenings provide additional options for cultural, athletic and social activities taking full advantage of the city center and surrounding areas, as well as options for group meals and free time.


Weekend excursions expose students to some of Northern Spain's most celebrated towns and cities. Among the many weekend trips offered, in Sitges, students will spend a day at a picturesque seaside town where they can relax at the beach and shop at the upscale boutiques. Figueres offers the opportunity to discover the birthplace of Salvador Dalí and experience the world famous Dalí museum.


At the program's end, students have the option of extending their stay in Spain by participating on a four night travel extension to Madrid for an additional fee. Spain's capital city offers a very different portrayal of Spanish culture and identity than that of Barcelona. These two urban centers have a healthy rivalry dating back to the early 1900s, with Barcelona often representing the independent-minded Catalonia and Madrid the unified Spanish nation. Bordering the regions of Castile-La Mancha and Castile and León, Madrid is home to the Spanish Monarchy and is the country's political center. Contrasting the modernist cityscape of Barcelona, Madrid and its many neighborhoods have maintained a historic look and feel. It boasts one of the world's most impressive art collections housed at the Prado Museum, one of the world's top professional fútbol clubs, Real Madrid, and was the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes- author of arguably the world's first modern novel and greatest work of modern fiction, Don Quixote. During the extension, students will explore every corner of this exciting city visiting its multitude of historical landmarks and attractions while also having free time to enjoy its many diverse neighborhoods, exciting café scene and shopping districts. Space is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. 


Click here to view this program's dates and fees.

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