Brown in Spain: CASB Program

At a Glance
City: Barcelona
Affiliation: Consortium for Advanced Studies in Barcelona (CASB)
Housing: dormitories
Accepts Non-Brown Students: space available
Language Requirement: HISP600



Long considered Spain’s most progressive city, Barcelona is proud of its well-established reputation as a center of political, social and cultural activism. This activism is not only apparent in its approach to intellectual life, but also in the visual arts and architecture. Gaudí, Miró and Tàpies are among the many internationally renowned figures who have called this city home. As a crossroads of Roman, Visigoth and Islamic civilizations, Barcelona is justifiably proud of its past. At the same time, its progressive spirit has made it one of the most modern and cosmopolitan cities in the world. Students who wish to learn about the contemporary political, social, cultural, linguistic, and economic challenges facing Spain and Europe will find Barcelona to be an ideal venue for study. 

The Consortium for Advanced Studies in Barcelona (CASB) offers a full-immersion program in one of the leading cities of the world. This program is designed for students in all disciplines with advanced Spanish and/or Catalan skills. 

 Students are immersed in the local university environment and take most of their courses at one or more of Brown's partner universities: the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). Comprehensive student services support the academic and social experience. Brown + 1 option available at Pompeu Fabra University (UPF).


A mandatory credit-bearing Cultural ProSeminar is offered at the beginning of the semester. The Cultural ProSeminar introduces students to Catalan history and culture in the context of Spanish and European history. It focuses on the language needs of students in Spanish and Catalan to prepare them to meet the academic expectations they will face as students in Spanish university classrooms. The Center will also offer a small range of full-semester courses that will use the city and the region as classroom and text. All lectures are conducted in Spanish. Students with knowledge of Catalan or with particularly strong skills in Spanish may have the option of attending lectures in Catalan.


The typical course load each semester consists of three university courses plus one course offered by the Consortium Center. CASB partners with three distinguished universities whose combined course offerings provide students with an array of opportunities in the humanities, social sciences, physical and natural sciences, art and architecture and business.

The Universitat de Barcelona (full year/spring students only), founded in 1455, boasts well over 70,000 students. Offering 75 undergraduate degrees, over 90 doctorate programs and 390 postgraduate courses, the UB is the largest of the ten universities in Catalonia and the second largest in Spain.

The Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (full year/fall/spring students) was established in 1968 and has over 50,000 students. The state-of-the art Bellaterra campus, in Cerdanyola del Vallès, is home to most of its departments, institutes and services. Seventy-eight degree programs are available at the UAB, covering a wide range of fields, including the humanities and arts, social sciences, health sciences, experimental and technological sciences.

Founded in 1971, the Universitat Polytecnica de Catalunya (full year/fall students only) is a public university that specializes in the fields of architecture, health sciences, engineering, merchant seamanship, economics, and applied mathematics.  It offers 68 official undergraduate degrees within its 11 campuses and regional centers, 23 schools, and 42 departments.  Recognized as a Campus of Excellence by the Spanish Ministry of Education, the UPC is at the cutting-edge of research and scholarship.

The Universitat Pompeu Fabra (full year/fall students only) is a dynamic institution that was established in 1990. Today it has 11,000 students, courses in all fields – from experimental, health and life sciences to human and social sciences and technical studies – and an expanding campus in the heart of the city, stretching between the Ramblas and the district of Poblenou, site of the 1992 Olympics.

Academic Calendar

  • Fall: Early September - Late December
  • Spring: Early January - Late June


Residencia Melon-District Marina has 427 individual rooms that cater to a mixed Spanish and international student population. CASB students have an individual room with a private bath. The single rooms open up to a common living room and kitchens that CASB students share with 10 flatmates (Spanish or other international students), creating an apartment like atmosphere. Amenities include internet access, television, closet space, shelf space, a desk, a single bed and bed linens. The facility also provides a swimming pool and access to a fitness gym. The residence is beside the "Marina" metro station and the tramway line, 10 minutes from UPF and the city downtown.

Application Instructions

Apply by the deadline using Brown's online application system via the "apply now" and "return to application" buttons on the right side of this page.  Applications typically require faculty recommendations so it is important to begin the process early.