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Office of International Programs

Brown/Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA) in Spain-Barcelona

At a Glance
City: Barcelona
Partners: Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universitat Polytecnica de Catalunya, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Housing: Dormitories
Language requirement: Advanced
Calendar: Fall, spring, or Academic Year
Accepts Non-Brown students: Space-Available Basis

Overview

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 CASA Spain in Barcelona program offers a full-immersion learning experience 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. The Brown + 1 option is available at Pompeu Fabra University (UPF).

Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA)

The Brown/CASA Barcelona program is offered by the Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad, which is comprised of 10 leading research universities in the US and abroad. CASA member institutions are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, Trinity College Dublin, The University of Pennsylvania, and Vanderbilt University. Brown/CASA programs currently are offered in Argentina, Chile, Cuba, and Spain. Brown University is the administering institution for the CASA Barcelona Program.

Orientation

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 and 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. CASA Spain/Barcelona offers a small range of full-semester courses that 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.

Academics

The typical course load each semester consists of three university courses plus one course offered by CASA. CASA partners with four 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, 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 Autònoma de Barcelona 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. 78 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 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.

*Fall semester students choose courses offered through the UPF and, with prior approval of the student's home university and course professors, the UB, UAB, or UPC. Full-year students choose courses offered through any of the four partner universities. Spring semester students choose courses offered through the UB, UAB, or UPC. Due to academic calendar differences, UPF courses are not available to spring semester-only students.

Program Calendar

Approximate dates are provided based on past programs; students should expect them to vary by year. Please refer to the program calendar for more specific information about program dates. 

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

Housing

Residencia Melon-District Marina has 427 individual rooms that cater to a mixed Spanish and international student population. CASA students have an individual room with a private bath. The single rooms open up to a common living room and kitchens that CASA students share with 8-9 flat mates (Spanish or other international students), creating an apartment like atmosphere. Amenities include Internet access, television, closet space, shelf space, a desk, a double bed and bed linens. The facility also provides a swimming pool on the roof terrace and the option of a meal plan at the Melon Café. The residence is beside the "Marina" metro station and the tramway line, 10 minutes from UPF and the city downtown.

On-Site Support

A resident director and two program coordinators coordinate orientation, advising, CASA classes, and housing. A visiting faculty member from the CASA consortium is in residence at least one semester every year and teaches a course for the program.

Eligibility and Requirements

The Brown/CASA Barcelona program is open to undergraduate students from Brown and from other CASA member schools. Applications are encouraged and open to visiting students outside the CASA consortium.

Students must be in good academic standing and have completed Advanced Spanish II/HISP 0600 (sixth-semester college-level Spanish language), or the equivalent, before beginning studies in Spain. Visiting students must have completed at least one upper-level content course in Spanish (typically a third-year course in literature, history, culture) beyond the elementary and intermediate language sequences. 

Application Instructions

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

Additional Information

For more detailed information about the CASA program in Barcelona, please visit the CASA website.

Grant Opportunities

Our grant database offers a wide range of funding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and researcher in different fields of work.

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