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Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

Program Terms:

Fall Semester, Spring Semester, & Academic Year


Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona is a public university located in Bellaterra, Spain, just 25 minutes by public transportation outside of Barcelona’s city center. It is ranked second among Spanish Universities by the QS World University Rankings 2020 and ARWU 2019, as well as within the top 200 worldwide by The World University Rankings (#157) and  Best Global Universities (#168). It is a young university founded in 1968 with enriching programs in the fields of Social Sciences, the Humanities, Experimental Sciences and Bio Sciences, Technology and Engineering, and Health Sciences, with courses offered across 13 faculties and schools.

The academic year is split into two semesters, Fall and Spring, and both contain a gap period. If students choose to study in the Fall semester, final exams can often occur after Christmas, however some departments will make exceptions to allow students to take their exams earlier. The University is well known for its excellence in research, offering students the chance to participate in various research activities, working closely with the surrounding scientific and industrial community. For example, students are able to conduct research with the Alba Synchrotron Light Facility, one of the most important scientific facilities in Southern Europe. Research opportunities are also available to students in one of five UAB-affiliated hospitals.

The UAB attracts a large population of international students, with over 7,000 currently in attendance from countries all over the world. The campus features a number of resources and services to provide students with an exciting campus life as well as an enriching educational experience in one of the largest metropolitan cities in southern Europe. Students wishing to improve their Spanish language skills may also receive a 50% discount on special Spanish courses offered before or during the Fall and Spring semesters.

(Source: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona website)

Academic Details:

The majority of courses offered at UAB are taught in Spanish or Catalan, however there are many classes offered in English across the faculties of Education, Arts & Humanities, Translation & Interpreting, Communication Studies, Political Sciences & Sociology, Law, Economics & Business, Sciences, Biosciences, Psychology, Medicine/Veterinary, Engineering, and Tourism & Hotel Management. More details about courses taught in English can be found here.

Exchange students can take between two and five courses per semester, each consisting of 45 lecture hours each. Classes are held Monday through Thursday at UAB campuses, centrally located in the city of Barcelona in an enriching international environment. Places are limited to 30 students for electives and 15 for language classes. Students can enroll for programs starting in September, January and June.

Exchange students are welcome and encouraged to enroll in optional Spanish language courses offered in 9 different levels of proficiency.

(Source: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona website)

Housing Details:

UAB offers student accommodation through Vila Universitària, for international students who wish to stay in the city of Barcelona, or on campus. The residence is located in a belt of  parkland and forest so students feel at home in a relaxing environment, while also being a short walk away from UAB campus and Bellaterra train station, making classes and Barcelona’s city center easily accessible. These rooms are fully furnished with mattresses, study desks, dining tables, book shelves, sofas, a fridge, a microwave, and more. All students need to purchase are linens, towels, and kitchen utensils. Bookings must be made at least one month prior to arrival in Barcelona. Students can choose single or shared rooms ranging from doubles to 5-shares. Minimum contracts are 4 months, but students are welcome to extend their stay beyond this period. If students stay less than 10 months, water and electricity are covered in rent costs, however if a student stays 10 months or more, their monthly price will vary depending on their consumption of water and light. To apply, students simply need an application, deposit payment, and letter of acceptance to UAB.

Alternatively, Vila Universitària can also provide students with accommodation outside of student housing through families and students wishing to share their home with international students. Generally in Barcelona, staying in a shared flat costs between €300 and €500 per person per month.

(Source: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona website)


  • Sophomore standing
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA

Useful Links for Exchange Students:

Program Budgets:

  • Fall Semester Budget
  • Spring Semester Budget
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