Institute for American Universities, Barcelona

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semester abroad
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About the University 🏫

The Institute for American Universities was founded in 1957, and is one of Europe's oldest universities based on the American system. The university is known for being one of the largest study abroad programme provider. You can also study abroad at IAU campus in Madrid.

The Institute for American Universities specializes in humanities, social studies, business and arts. The courses are taught in English, as the vast majority of the students are Americans. In addition, many international students from all over the world are coming each semester to study at IAU.

The teaching takes place in smaller classes which means that your learning is in focus. Furthermore, an important and interesting detail for many students is that IAU incorporates field tours into their study program, which is well organized by the lecturers.

IAUs campus in Barcelona is centrally located in the downtown Plaça de Catalunya area, near a metro stop, Las Ramblas, the Gothic quarter and many of Barcelona's famous attractions. The facilities are completely renovated to adapt the necessities and needs of students in the 21st century.

About the city 🌇

Be lying in northeastern Spain on the Mediterranean coast, you will find one of Europe's oldest cities, Barcelona. Yet it boasts cutting-edge style, exquisite food and culture, as well as some of the most stunning modernist architectures in the world. No other city in the world looks like Barcelona. Staying abroad in Barcelona will forever change your perception of the world around you.

Barcelona's architecture ranges from medieval to surreal. From the centuries-old Gothic Quarter to the sophisticated, tree-lined boulevards of the Eixample district, Barcelona's architecture is from a variety of styles and eras.

Barcelona's landscape was forever changed by the Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, he built a series of modernist parks and buildings that, although built over a century ago, look surreal and futuristic, even by today's standards. Gaudí built the majestic Sagrada Familia Cathedral as well as Parc Güell - a true wonderland with gardens, mosaics, winding park benches, hidden paths and whimsical cottages that look like something from an adventure.

But don't worry, if you're not interested in art and architecture, there are still plenty of experiences. When the weather is warm, the Olympic Village or the beach is always a sure winner. Experience the local football team, Barça, in a match at the Camp Nou, or take a bite outside at one of the city's many tapas bars. Barcelona's fast and efficient public transport system makes it easy for you to explore every corner of this amazing city.

Housing 🏡


In the total cost of reading at The Institute for American Universities, homestay is included. Students are given accommodation with a Spanish host family. Living in a Spanish home is an ideal option for those who want to be introduced to Spanish life. The families are carefully selected host families and have many years of experience hosting international students.

Each student get their own room with the family. In addition, breakfast and further 6 meals a week are served by the family. For lunch, which you take of yourself, there are countless affordable cafes, brasseries as well as small sandwich and grocery stores with a wide selection. It is also possible to visit the many food markets around the city.

Not only are you provided with weekly cleaning of your room, you'll also get a bed, linen, pillow and blankets included. However, you must bring your own towels. You have access to one piece of laundry in the machine per week. If there is an interest in being placed with a fellow student with a family, this is also possible if you apply for it.

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What the students say

"This experience was life changing. You will learn so much not only about a different culture but about yourself too" - Emily P.

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