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Studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain is an excellent opportunity to learn, enhance your career, and create an outstanding study abroad experience. Barcelona is sunny, dynamic, multicultural, vibrant, and home to magnificent landmarks. While Barcelona’s rich history, incredible culture, and delicious food are enough to brighten up your study abroad experience, its higher education expertise complements it in the best way possible. Compared to many other Spanish cities, Barcelona is more expensive. Still, it is the ideal study abroad destination for students wishing to live in a dynamic city with plenty of explore-worthy opportunities. 

Here’s everything you need to know about studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain:

Reasons to Study Abroad in Barcelona

Home to the Top Universities in Spain

Some of the top universities in Spain, such as the University of Barcelona, Pompeu Fabra University, and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, are in Barcelona. Studying in Barcelona provides a great chance to learn from some of the best in a wide range of fields, from engineering sciences to the humanities. The University of Barcelona is, in fact, one of the largest universities in Spain, welcoming more than 63,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, of which 12,000 are students of foreign nationality.

Outstanding Cosmopolitan Atmosphere

Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe, which means you will be part of an international environment daily. Apart from tourists and visitors, Barcelona is also home to thousands of expats and international students. This city is actually one of the top study abroad choices for international students, who are highly attracted to its educational expertise, cosmopolitan flair, and friendly atmosphere. Generally, you will meet people from around the world while in Barcelona, and you are likely to make great friends.

Mesmerizing Outdoors 

Barcelona’s outdoors is simply mesmerizing! There is something for everyone here, from golden beaches, mountains, popular landmarks, sights, and architecture. Whether you are feeling adventurous and want to go for a hike or want a relaxing kind of day and decide to go to the beach, you are likely to never get bored in Barcelona. Maybe you are feeling touristy, and you want to visit all the famous hotspots (Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Sagrada Familia, Park Guell or Camp Nou Stadium, or Camp Nou Stadium)? There are plenty of places to visit here. Just take your pick. 

Countless English Study Programs

Being an international student hub, many higher education institutions in Barcelona provide programs entirely in English. Students can choose from a wide range of prestigious universities with excellent international reputations. English-speaking students will find plenty of programs where the medium of instruction is English or bilingual. Generally speaking, communication is not an issue even outside of the classroom. English is also is widely spoken around the city, so do not be surprised if you overhear random conversations entirely in English.

Cost of Studying in Barcelona 

Tuition fees are generally higher in Barcelona for international students compared to domestic students; however, the cost of studying at Spanish public universities is comparatively more affordable than in many other famous study abroad destinations. Tuition fees at Spanish universities are calculated on a pay-per-credit basis, and an academic year has a total of 60 ECTS credits. 

Tuition fees at public universities in Barcelona range as follows:

  • EU/EEA students: Somewhere between €2,800 to €3,600 per year.
  • Non-EU/EEA students: Somewhere between €4,000 to €6,000 per year.

Studying at private universities in Barcelona is more costly. Students can expect to pay over €10,000 per year for a bachelor’s program at a private university. 

Cost of Living in Barcelona

According to recent estimates, an international student will need approximately €900 per month to live comfortably in Barcelona. It is essential to consider the cost of rent, food, and everyday expenses before heading to Barcelona. Being among the larger Spanish cities, you can expect the living costs to be more expensive here than in the smaller cities. However, the experience of studying abroad in Barcelona will be worthwhile. 

The average cost of everyday expenses in Barcelona includes: 

ItemAverage Cost
Meal at an Inexpensive Restaurant€12
Three-Course Meal (Mid-Range Restaurant)€25
One-Way Ticket (Local Transport)€2.30
Cup of Coffee€1.87

For students who like to prepare their own meals, the cost of groceries is reasonable in Barcelona. You can purchase a loaf of bread (€1.24), a dozen eggs (€2.06), 1kg of chicken fillets (€6.37), 1kg of tomatoes (€1.90), 1 kg of potatoes (€1.35), 1kg of apples (€1.78), and 1kg of bananas (€1.74), at an affordable price. A 0.33-liter water bottle will cost around €1.32, while the same bottle of Coke or Pepsi will cost approximately €1.80. 

Student Accommodation in Barcelona

International students can choose from a variety of student accommodation options. There are plenty of options available for all international students studying abroad in Barcelona. The type of accommodation you choose depends on factors such as your budget and preferences. While accommodation in the city center is more convenient, it is also more expensive than, let’s say, accommodation outside of the city center.

Student accommodation in Barcelona includes: 

  • University Halls of Residence: Universities usually have their own halls of residence, which house thousands of students. University of Barcelona halls of residence, for example, house around 2,000 students, and many of these halls also have integrated sports facilities. The halls cater to the needs of students and their study requirements.
  • Rented Room in Shared Apartments: Renting a room in a shared apartment is an affordable accommodation type for international students. The cost of renting a room in a shared apartment can be as low as €400 per month, depending on the location and other amenities.
  • Private Rental: Renting private apartments is expensive if you are on a student budget in Barcelona. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost around €894 per month, while the same apartment outside of the city center will cost approximately €713 per month. A three-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost around €1,526 per month, which would be an excellent option for students who want to share the apartment (and rent) with their friends or other students. 

Top Universities in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is home to highly-ranked universities, some of which have been operating for centuries. The higher education sector features the latest technologies in state-of-the-art campus facilities. Hundreds of programs and courses to choose from, outstanding excellence, and a vibrant and international student population – are just a few of the things characteristic of the higher education sector in Barcelona.

Some of the best universities in Barcelona are:

  • University of Barcelona (UB): Operating since 1450 (one of the oldest universities in the world).
  • Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB): Founded in 1968, located just outside the city of Barcelona and known for its research and teaching excellence.
  • University Pompeu Fabra (UPF): A relatively young university founded in 1990 and highly valued in political sciences, business, and law. 
  • Polytechnic University of Catalunya: Founded in 1971 and one of the best polytechnic universities in Spain.

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