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Education Abroad Office

Institute for American Universities (IAU)

Area: Global Direct
Location: Barcelona
Country: Spain
Term: Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer
Website: IAU Barcelona Direct Program

IAU offers a semester-long study abroad program in the vibrant city of Barcelona, Spain, during which students can take classes, participate in internships and service-learning programs, and immerse themselves in this lively cultural capital. Building on IAU's history as a study abroad school in the Mediterranean Basin, IAU's Barcelona semester program uses its site-specificity and influences of the Spanish and Catalan to aid students in delving deeper into Mediterranean and European cultures. Over the years, IAU has modified and enhanced its study abroad programs and curriculum to meet the needs of the students it serves. IAU's courses are rigorous and unique, incoporating region-specific content and experiences.

Cost: IAU tuition rates + in-country costs

Requirements: minimum 3.0 GPA

Students will pay IAU directly for the program fee. This program fee will include tuition, housing, daily breakfast/dinner (homestays only), activity fee, textbook rental, orientation, health, liability and repatriation insurance, excursions, and scheduled cultural activities. Additional student costs include round-trip airfare, lunches, and personal expenses. There are many IAU scholarships that you can apply for to help offset these costs.

USC students will receive the following automatic discounts for IAU programs:

  • SEMESTER PROGRAMS: 22% off tuition (except IAU's Florence, Italy program: 28% off tuition)
  • SUMMER PROGRAMS: 15% off tuition
  • VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES/INTERNSHIPS: 20% off tuition (semester, summer) 

USC students who receive Federal Pell Grants will receive the following automatic discounts:

  • Pell Grant Plus Program – In an effort to encourage socioeconomic diversity in study abroad and expose more undergraduate students to international academic experiences, IAU will award a $3,000 grant to Federal Pell Grant recipients to be used for any of its on-site semester programs and a $650 grant to Federal Pell Grant recipients to be used for any of its on-site short-term programs (summer and January term).
  • Please submit the following form to the Office of Admissions in order to confirm your eligibility in the Pell Grant Plus Program. Students must have full-time student status at IAU, partake in demi-pension housing, and be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program to be eligible. Kindly note that students would not be eligible for other IAU scholarships or grants by receiving the Pell Grant Plus.

IAU Barcelona offers a broad array of options with courses in architecture, art history, business, communication studies, economics, history, geography, international relations, philosophy, political science, psychology, religious studies, sociology, Spanish language and culture. Students do have the option of taking content courses in Spainsh at IAU if they choose.

To see courses USC students have taken at this university, please reference the Registrar's Course Equivalency Table*.

*note that all IAU courses are listed under France as the host country, not Spain, as France is the location of IAU headquarters. This will not affect how the courses transfer back.   

Students will engage in daily classes which are enhanced by local field studies tours around Barcelona and Catalunya. The Barcelona semester program includes activities that integrate Spanish cuisine, music, dancing, language and culture. Students meet daily with teachers, local artists and scholars. Study tours may include: Montjuic, Parc Güell, Center for Contemporary Culture, MACBA (Modern Art Museum), The Gothic Quarter, The Born District, Museum of the History of Barcelona, Picasso Museum, and the Sagrada Familia Basilica. Trips in the region may include: Costa Brava, Cadeques, Sitges, Tossa del Mar, or Figueres.

Per university policy, all USC students will be charged for  emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance of  for their time abroad. Students will be enrolled in this insurance by the education abroad office prior to their departure. Contact the Education Abroad Office for more details.

Students will have the option to be housed in shared homestays with Spanish families, which include daily breakfast and dinner, or in shared apartments or residence halls,  where students will be responsible for their own meals. Students may request roommates on the housing application form.

IAU's semester dates line up with USC's academic calendar so the Fall term runs from late August to mid-December, and the Spring semester runs from early January to late April. There are three different session times for summer programs.

There will be a mandatory two day orientation for all students after your arrival date and before classes officially begin. Orientation dates are listed on the calendar for each semester.

Semester and academic-year students will need a student visa to study in Spain. All visa processes go through the Spanish Consulate in your home juristdiction and must be obtained within 90 days prior to departure. To find out which consulate you will visit, please refer to the Spanish embassy website.  IAU will provide the necessary documentation needed to prove you will be a student abroad, but the remaining application and materials are the responsibility of the student. Planning ahead is vital as many consluates require students to drop off and/or pick up their visa materials in person. Please contact the Education Abroad Office for information on the Spanish visa process.


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