Join us in Barcelona for an insider’s experience of Spain on this Pre-College summer program for high school students. Broaden your horizons with in-depth, field-based seminars as you become part of an inspiring and supportive community of instructors and students from around the world. Choose two seminars and dive into your subject matter through engaging discussions and hands-on projects that immerse you in Catalán life.
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Looking for a program this summer? View our Pre-College Vermont program!
Dates: June 27, 2020 – July 17, 2020
Eligibility: Completing grades 9 – 12
Duration: 21 days
- Photograph the colors of Barcelona’s Boquería market
- Interview locals on a Spanish scavenger hunt
- Check out the unique Catalán Modernista architecture
- Step on the pitch at F.C. Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium
Departure • Travel Day • Meet your fellow high school student travelers and a Pre-College representative at the Airport in New York, and fly together to Barcelona, Spain. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.
Our Barcelona Campus • Live among the bright lights and cosmopolitan bustle of Europe’s largest city on the Mediterranean. Barcelona is a gem, known for its unique blend of pragmatism, flair, and civic-mindedness. Located in the hip Raval neighborhood in Barcelona’s historical center, our residential dormitory is the perfect jumping-off point for discovering this fascinating and ever-evolving city. Students and staff reside in air-conditioned singles, doubles, and triples with en suite bathrooms and access to common meeting rooms.
Seminars • Choose two seminars—a major and a minor—and explore Barcelona and the surrounding Catalán countryside through the lens of your chosen subjects. Begin with classroom discussions that frame your seminar concepts and identify key issues. Take the learning beyond the classroom with site visits, meetings with local experts, and field trips. Barcelona’s rich historical, architectural, and cultural background makes it the perfect setting for our field-based seminars. Our dynamic seminars are designed to encourage hands-on, place-based, collaborative learning.
Photograph vibrant street performers, interview young Spaniards about the Catalán music scene, or meet with innovative entrepreneurs to discuss their latest business ventures. Explore Gaudí’s modernist masterpieces, including the Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell, and wander the cobblestone streets of the Gothic Quarter with your Art & Architecture seminar. Visit the Picasso Museum and the Museum of Modern Art to draw inspiration for your own drawing and sketching projects. Explore the Olympic Stadium in Montjuic, site of the 1992 Olympics, with your Sports Management seminar.
At the end of your program, showcase your work in a final project, installation, gallery, or performance. Display your photography or paintings in a pop-up gallery, present your findings from your International Business seminar, or prepare a feast to share with your group.
Afternoon & Evening Activities • Explore subjects outside of your seminars, relax, and have fun participating in enriching afternoon activities. Try your hand at chocolate-making at the Museu de la Xocolata. Bike through the beautiful Parc de la Ciutadella, or take in a film at an open-air cinema. Enjoy the panoramic views from the balcony at Parc Güell, and head to the beach to relax, swim, or kayak. Find a hidden café for a tertulia, or Spanish conversation hour. The entire group gathers for a community meeting each night before dinner. After dinner, venture out again in the company of your instructors to experience Barcelona by night. Attend live music shows or a theatre performance, or stay in for a movie night or talent show at the residence.
Weekend Excursions • On weekend excursions, escape the city and explore the stunning Catalán countryside. Travel to Castellar de n’Hug, a scenic mountain town nestled in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenées, for a weekend of hiking and exploring the quiet cobblestone streets. Spend a day relaxing on the turquoise beaches of medieval Tossa del Mar and experience the wild and surreal works of Salvador Dalí in his hometown of Figueres. Weekend excursions offer the opportunity to see a different region of Spain with your peers and instructors.
Return • Travel Day • Fly from Barcelona to New York with your group and a Pre-College representative, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.
This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.
We loved that work on the major and minor seminars was incorporated into field trips and exploration. I also loved that they ate all of their meals out— it added to the travel experience and made Barcelona feel like home. She gained confidence, an even greater sense of adventure, and fell in love with Barcelona and her wonderful tripmates.— Karen & Robert Lager, Chevy Chase, MD
A Day in the Life: Barcelona
Due to the traveling nature of this summer program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day in Barcelona.
9 AM • Enjoy breakfast on campus with your group
10 AM • Meet with your major seminar in the classroom to identify topics for the day
11 AM •Take these concepts into the field—on a museum visit, for example, or a meeting with an entrepreneur
2 PM • Break for lunch on the town with friends and your instructor
4 PM • Join a pick-up soccer game at Playa Barceloneta, followed by a dip in the Mediterranean
7 PM • Convene for Community Meeting to discuss the day and upcoming schedule
8 PM • Head out to enjoy tapas with a small group and instructor
10 PM • Attend a Spanish guitar concert or flamenco show with your group
Choose a major and a minor seminar and get an in-depth understanding of Barcelona and the surrounding area. Majors meet most days and minors meet twice a week. Capped at ten students, seminars are serious but fun, encouraging immersive, place-based learning. Frame your seminar concepts and identify key issues in the classroom. Take the learning beyond the classroom with site visits in and around Barcelona that add context and depth to the course material. Cap off your studies with a final project or installation to share your work.
MAJOR SEMINARS (click on seminar to read the full description)
MINOR SEMINARS (click on seminar to read the full description)
What to Expect
Seminars • Pre-College seminars are interactive and collaborative, taking advantage of the vast cultural and historical richness of Barcelona to enhance your experience. You can expect to meet with local and regional experts, artists, entrepreneurs, and guest speakers during the program. Each seminar works toward a final project—a short film, a business proposal, a performance piece, a gallery opening, or a dramatic reading, to give a few examples—which you present to fellow participants on the final night of the program.
Afternoons & Evenings • Outside of seminars, each day on your Pre-College program brings new adventures and a variety of activities from which to choose. Play pick-up soccer, see a flamenco show, head to a museum, relax on the beaches of the Mediterranean, and more.
Physical Activity • This is a physically active summer program. You can expect to spend most of each day outside and on the move with your seminar group, and to walk, swim, or play pick-up soccer or basketball. You do not need to be at peak fitness to participate, but it is important that you have a desire to be physically active, and that you are excited about trying all activities.
Accommodations • Our residence is located in the popular Raval district of the Gothic Quarters and a short walk from the beach. Accommodations here are dormitory-style, with air-conditioned single, double, and triple rooms, and ensuite bathrooms. We have access to common space and classrooms for community meetings and seminars. Leaders reside on the same hall with the students throughout the program.
Meals • We begin each day together with a traditional Spanish breakfast at our residence. For lunches, seminar groups may eat together or we break into small groups of three or more students to eat at a restaurant of their choice. Please note that lunches are not included in the tuition. We eat dinners at restaurants in small groups of staff and students to discover Barcelona’s culinary scene.
Audrey had an incredible experience. She will remember this summer for the rest of her life—and likely stay in touch with many of the friends she made on the program. She enjoyed the chance to speak Spanish with locals and loved feeling like she lived there, even if just for a few weeks.— Jennifer Kriz & Bob Mullen, San Francisco, CA