CIEE Barcelona Architecture & Design
About the Program
CIEE designed this program with Maria Aiolova, award-winning educator, architect, urban designer, co-founder of Terreform ONE, and chair of the ONE Lab NY School for Design and Science. It is designed to develop a language of technological design that links individual responsibility and the global environmental crisis through study of places, cities, and cultures. The program includes the Future Cities Design Studio, a seminar, and science, engineering, and technology workshops. Students have full access to cutting-edge facilities at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC).
Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. This international center applies research and development to architecture and urbanism, welcoming students and investigators from more than 60 countries. IAAC collaborates with the City Council of Barcelona, Collserola Natural Park, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Centre for Information Technology and Architecture, Southern California Institute of Architecture, and companies like CISCO, Endesa, and Kuka Robotics. Together they develop research programs that bring together experts in architecture, engineering, biology, sociology, anthropology, and other fields.
Courses are taught in English by CIEE-contracted IAAC faculty members who also facilitate collaborative projects with local professionals and peers.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain with its own distinctive history, culture, and language. Its metropolitan area has a population of 2.8 million and is set between the mountains and the Mediterranean. Walking though the city, one can observe 2,000 years of architectural history—Roman remains, the network of narrow streets in the Old Town, the 19th Century Eixample district with its original examples of Modernista architecture—contrasting with the ultramodern showpieces that continue to redesign its skyline.
- 3.0 cumulative GPA
- Architecture Track: Architecture or related major or minorDesign track: Design or other art-related majors and minors and 4 semesters of college-level Spanish or equivalent
Fields of Study
Architecture, Art History, Design, Graphic Arts, Internship, Spanish Language
The CIEE Study Center is located in a historic building located in Passatge Permanyer, a historic passageway near Plaza Catalunya, Barcelona’s main square.
While CIEE courses are designed to follow the American academic culture, courses at the host institutions are characteristic of the local university system. Syllabi are not as detailed as American syllabi and students are often expected to decide for themselves which readings from the syllabus they need to study to fill in gaps missed during the lectures. It is common to share notes with Spanish students and study together, which can benefit students in their language learning as well. Relatively less emphasis is placed on participation and much more on papers, projects, and exams.
Students are encouraged to inquire, debate, collaborate, conduct experiments, and consider the role of today’s architects and designers. Students need open minds, a readiness to collaborate and exchange ideas, and motivation.
Through academics and CIEE-planned site visits, you will see how designs translate from the page to real life during visits to local studios and architectural projects under construction. CIEE will plan overnight trips to explore other architecturally-significant cities such as Madrid, Seville, Bilbao, Copenhagen or Berlin. In addition, you are able to take advantage of volunteer opportunities to connect with Spaniards, whether working with special-needs children or at a food distribution center. CIEE also facilitates your collaboration on design projects with different locals from diverse backgrounds.
Students can live in either Spanish homes or in a student residencia (residence hall) with other Spanish and international students. Students living in a homestay have breakfast and dinner at home, while lunch is at the students’ expense, and many eat at the several university-run cafeterias. Meals are not included in the student residencia option, but students share fully equipped kitchens where they can prepare their own meals. All homestays and residencias are located in the city of Barcelona, and students take public transportation to their classes; the average commute to the city center, by metro or bus, is 30 minutes.
As space in the residencias is limited, students who are not placed there are placed in a homestay. Students who are not assigned the housing option of their choice will be notified by the resident staff prior to arriving in Barcelona.
CIEE Barcelona Architecture and Design Program
Contact Past Participants
Click HERE to contact recent study abroad alumni in this region.