Brown Experiential Education: Barcelona

Immerse yourself in Spanish language and culture as you explore the historic and vibrant city of Barcelona.

The 2024 BEE program is at or near capacity and is no longer accepting applications or enrollments. You may choose to enroll in any other available course in the 2024 Course Catalog provided that you meet the age requirements.

Barcelona is a vibrant mediterranean city well known for its abundance of culture, food and architecture. You will engage with the past and present of the city through its buildings and language by exploring its neighborhoods and learning about specific sites that helped make the city what it is today. Barcelona’s urban design reflects a commitment to honoring its roots as a community of Catalonia while embracing its place as the second largest city in Spain. As you explore Barcelona you will experience the presence and connection between the cultures and languages of Catalonia and Spain, while gaining a deeper understanding of how modern European cities have developed.

Program Snapshot


Students completing grades 10 to 12, ages 16 to 18 by June 16, 2024


12 day program


Monday, June 24 to Friday, July 5, 2024


Barcelona, Spain


  • Immerse yourself in Spanish language and culture.
  • Learn about Barcelona’s history through exploration of ten of its most iconic buildings.
  • Join a community of young scholars discovering the interconnectedness of the global community while experiencing another country.
  • Develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to approach the complexities of the 21st century as you discover new places and consider varied perspectives. 
  • Concentrate on learning without the pressure of formal grades.
  • All students who successfully complete their course will receive a Certificate of Completion and a Course Performance Report.


You will participate in two courses during your time in Barcelona: Intermediate Immersive Spanish and Barcelona in Ten Buildings, offered in affiliation with Brown's Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad.

Intermediate Immersive Spanish

Prepare for an enriching experience in this Intermediate Spanish course. You will advance your Spanish proficiency by enhancing your everyday communication abilities. Beyond traditional grammar and syntax exercises, classroom sessions will delve into diverse topics related to Spanish and Catalan social and artistic life, fostering interesting and fun discussions. These activities aim to refine your abilities to express yourself in the past and the future and also to talk about hypothetical situations. In the concluding days of the course, you will be assigned projects that will offer the opportunity to engage with the local community in Barcelona.

Barcelona in Ten Buildings

An intriguing overview of the history of Barcelona through the analysis of ten iconic buildings, representative of the social, economic and political evolution of the city. These architectural sites represent a showcase of the evolution of European and International architecture through time. The ten buildings; Santa Maria del Mar, Drassanes, Parlament de Catalunya, Mercat de Sant Antoni, Palau de la Música, Parc del Laberint or Parc Güell, Pabellon Mies Van der Rohe, Fundació Miró, Sagrada Familia and Torre Agbar are each located in a specific neighborhood, so that the tour through the history of the city also introduces the territorial aspect in the analysis of Barcelona. The selection of the buildings also offers different types of functions of architecture from religious, to political or industrial. This is an abbreviated version of a course that Brown undergraduate students take when they are studying in Barcelona.

  • Students will reside at the Yugo Garbí residence in the Sants-Montjüic neighborhood, in single rooms with private bathrooms. 
  • The On-Site Director, On-Site Coordinator and Student Life Managers reside in the residence hall with students, providing an atmosphere that supports student success by emphasizing community building and individual responsibility.
  • During the week, you’ll have most meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) on campus. A few meals will be taken at local eateries. 
  • Students will engage in cultural events and activities, such as a paella cooking class.

Site visits are opportunities for you to immerse yourself in the Spanish language and culture. Please Note: this is a sample of planned activities and is subject to change.

  • Santa Maria del Mar: Considered the most beloved church in Barcelona and a fine example of the Gothic Architecture of Barcelona. Located in the Born district, Santa Maria del Mar represents the expansion of the city during the middle ages and the important role of the church during those times. 
  • Drassanes: An important example of civil Gothic architecture in Europe. The old shipyard of Barcelona is indicative of the significance  of trade and navigation during the Middle Ages and the importance of coastal cities.
  • Parlament de Catalunya: The building that now hosts the Parliament of the regional government of Catalonia was designed as the Arsenal and the Military Governor’s Residence, home to military/political infrastructure built after the war of the Spanish Succession 1700-1714. 
  • Mercat de Sant Antoni: Hailed as one of the most beautiful markets in the city of Barcelona, Mercat de Sant Antoni is located in the neighborhood of Sant Antoni near the old walls of the medieval city.
  • Palau de la Música: An important example of the Modernist Movement in Barcelona. A magnificent auditorium represents the puissance of the new industrial bourgeoisie. 
  • Parc del Laberint or Parc Güell: As the new industrial bourgeoisie created a new city outside of the main city,  their summer mansions in the foothills of Collserola were designed to showcase the social position of each of these wealthy families. 
  • Pabellon Mies Van der Rohe: Barcelona has a long tradition of hosting international events such as the Universal Exposition of 1888 and the International Exposition of 1929 or the Olympic Games in 1992 that were held at this site. 
  • Fundació Miró: An example of modern architecture in times of dictatorship and the role of museums in the image of the city of Barcelona. 
  • Sagrada Familia:The history of the Sagrada Familia and its neighborhood serve as a metaphor for the city of Barcelona and the role of religion in a multicultural city. 
  • Torre AGBAR: The new economy of the city in the 21st Century and the neighborhood of Poblenou.
  • The city of Tarragona: A coastal city, Tarragona, is one of the oldest Roman settlements in the Iberian Peninsula. Tarragona is known for the UNESCO World Heritage site Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco.

Program Photos

Program Director

Note: This information is for Brown Pre-College’s BEE Program for high school students. If you are looking for information about Brown Semester Internship Programs, Brown’s semester-long internship program for undergraduates, please follow this link.