- Contribute to the community while studying abroad in Barcelona! You’ll work with a well-respected service organization and complete a volunteer project, gaining valuable skills and working alongside locals.
- Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, but taking the time to live and study in this famous city means you’ll be able to discover lesser-known places as you make it your second home. Find your own favorite spot to grab a morning espresso, your favorite bar for tapas, the best beach for relaxing after class, or your favorite barrio for a quiet stroll before a late-night dinner.
- ISEP’s on-site Resident Director, Maria Mateu, will help ease your transition into Barcelona and can provide endless recommendations on things to do, restaurants to try, or new cities to explore.
- Be sure to check out some of Barcelona’s many festivals—there’s usually one every weekend! Some of the best are La Mercé in September (honoring the patron saint of Barcelona), Santa Eulàlia in February (winter festival with light installations), and Sant Jordi in April (similar to Valentine’s Day).
There’s just something undeniably special about Barcelona. In this world-class destination, you’ll live within walking distance of sandy Mediterranean beaches, study at one of the best universities in Europe, and enjoy spectacular architecture, art, music, and food—frequently just on your walk to class!
Resident Director Maria Mateu will match you with a service organization and project that fits your interests, and you’ll spend about 45 hours volunteering with them during the program. A for-credit course will help you reflect on your experience through discussions on community engagement theory and independent sociological research. See examples of service placements here:
Maria Mateu is the Resident Director of ISEP for Barcelona, Spain. She has more than 15 years of experience as intercultural trainer and diversity management consultant for a wide range of organizations in the social, private and public sectors. Originally from Catalonia, she has lived and worked in Tanzania, the United Kingdom and the U.S. She holds an MA in Intercultural Communication and Relations from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an MA in International Development, and a BA in Journalism, both from Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona, Spain. She speaks Catalan, Spanish, English, French and basic Kiswahili.
What We Love About UPF & Barcelona
UPF is super easy to navigate, and great public transportation makes it easy to get around. Past ISEP students have loved the housing and location of campus, and everyone enjoys being integrated into a Catalan university. The professors care about their students and make an effort to create a positive learning environment. Local students love to chat and give recommendations on where to go. Plus, ISEPers LOVE Maria, our resident director. A recent student shared, “Maria was so hands-on, she was always checking in and planning events for us! She was like our Catalan mom, always there for us.”
Visit the Program Page for Study & Serve in Barcelona
to learn more.
You can meet with the ISEP Coordinator at your home campus or speak with an ISEP Student Services Officer, who will guide you through the application process, pre-departure, your time abroad, and your return. To connect with ISEP, visit our website