Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Fall Semester Elective 2024
12 - 15 credits

SAI semester students in UPF’s elective programs enroll in upper division courses in one of two concentrations: Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS) or International Business (ESCI). Students enroll in 4 or 5 courses for a total of 12 to 15 US credits. Courses are available in both English and Spanish. While there is no requirement to enroll in a Spanish language course, UPF offers all levels of Spanish language, which can be combined with subject courses.

Application open until: May 1, 2024

Application Requirements
Complete online application
Personal statement (300-500 words)
Official transcript
Passport scan (photo page)
Digital photo (JPEG; passport style)
EU privacy consent form


  • Study liberal arts, Spanish language and culture, business, or international relations
  • Courses integrate site visits, tours, and speaker sessions
  • Earn a Global Leadership Certificate alongside your coursework

Program Dates
BaPIS: Late Sept 2024 – Early December 2024
ESCI: Late Sept 2024 – Mid December

Eligibility Requirements

Age: 18+

Academic Year: Junior (3rd year) or above.

Cumulative GPA:* 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)

* contact SAI if you don’t meet requirements

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

0.0 Credits
TBA | Course #: TBA | Open
Courses are coming soon. In the meantime, please check previous terms for information on courses generally offered at this school.
Contact Hours: 0

Global Leadership Certificate
Students can supplement a regular semester of studies with the SAI Global Leadership Certificate (GLC), designed to enrich students’ experiences and to acknowledge their academic and service work by providing an additional credential beyond a university transcript. Students enrolled in the Global Leadership Certificate program broaden their awareness of global issues and deepen their knowledge of the host community’s role in an increasingly interconnected world through exploration of research, engagement in community service and interaction with experts and leaders. Students interested in applying for the GLC should select the program at application. Your Admissions Counselor will help guide you through the process of selecting GLC-approved courses at the time of registration.

International Service Certificate
The SAI International Service Certificate is awarded to SAI semester students who are motivated to engage with and give back to their host community. Supported by SAI on-site staff, students who earn the certificate gain valuable skills collaborating with local community groups, and obtain a unique perspective of their host city. Volunteers are able to explore a field of their interest, and build skills that can transfer into their future careers. For more information see SAI International Service Certificate.

Semester students at UPF select from the following three programs:

  • Barcelona Program for Interdisciplinary Studies (BaPIS): BaPIS brings together students from a variety of majors, nationalities, and backgrounds. By breaking down the barriers between knowledge areas, BaPIS encourages an interdisciplinary approach. With its hands-on approach and combination of STEM disciplines, Communication, Humanities and Social Sciences, BaPIS provides a unique environment for developing intellectual tools to address today’s most pressing challenges.
  • International Business Program (ESCI): This program is aimed at undergraduate business students who wish to acquire an international perspective and a better understanding of the management practices needed to compete in the global economy. The program offers insight into international business from a multicultural perspective and helps students to improve their professional qualifications. ESCI students are required to take International Management and at least one additional Business course from the program schedule. Students can complete their schedule with additional Business courses, or may choose to take electives from the BaPIS program.

Courses & Schedule
UPF Semester courses are generally offered Monday through Thursday. SAI students are free to enroll in any combination of elective courses, but prerequisites must be demonstrated through students’ transcripts. Students wishing to enroll in content courses in Spanish must be heritage speakers or have at least completed three semesters of college level Spanish.

Course Registration
As soon as the UPF semester schedule is confirmed, students are asked to complete a Course Approval form, which is used to specify first-choice and alternate-choice courses. SAI’s Barcelona Admissions Counselor will help guide students through this process. Students choose classes based on a preliminary schedule that is subject to change. The final course days and times are published just ahead of the program start date.

Placement Tests
Students who register for Spanish Language courses and for courses taught in Spanish must complete a placement test upon arrival in Barcelona.

Pre-Departure Calendar
May 1 2024
Application Closes
Applications accepted after closing as space permits.
Within 1 week of acceptance
SAI Deposits Due
$500 Enrollment Deposit (applied toward program fee)
$300 Security Deposit (refundable)
May 1 2024
50% of Total Program Fee Due
Students who are accepted and submit SAI deposits after this date will have an amended pay schedule. Either 50% or 100% of Program Fee will be due within 5 business days, based on the deposit payment date.
May 15 2024
Enrollment Closes
Students must complete their enrollment, including paying deposits, by this date.
June 1 2024
SAI Scholarship Application Deadline
Students wishing to apply for a SAI scholarship must have all application items submitted by 11:59pm Pacific Time on this date.
June 15 2024
SAI Financial Aid Verification Deadline
Students wishing to defer payment until financial aid disbursement must submit the financial aid verification forms to SAI by this date.
July 1 2024
Balance of Total Program Fee Due

On-Site Calendar
Coming soon
Arrival & Housing Check-in: All Programs
Students arrive at El Prat Barcelona (BCN) airport. SAI airport pickup is provided between 10:00am and 3:00pm, and students are transferred to SAI housing.
Coming soon
SAI Orientation
Mandatory SAI orientation is held at the SAI Barcelona office and introduces students to their city while covering safety, policies, housing, and culture.
Coming soon
Academic Orientation & Spanish Placement Test
UPF orientation provides details on academic policies, and allows students to meet one another and their professors. Students enrolled in Spanish language courses also complete the placement test.
Coming soon
ESCI & BaPIS Courses Begin
Coming soon
BaPIS Final Exams End
Coming soon
BaPIS Program End & Housing Check-out
Students must move out of SAI housing by 10:00am to return home or pursue independent travel.
Coming soon
ESCI Final Exams End
Coming soon
ESCI Program End & Housing Check-out
Students must move out of SAI housing by 10:00am to return home or pursue independent travel.
SAI Program Fees* USD
Application Fee $120
Security Deposit
Refundable at the end of the term.
Program Fee: 12 credits
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI 360° Services (see What’s Included).
Coming soon
Program Fee: 15 credits
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI 360° Services (see What’s Included).
Coming soon
Optional / Additional Fees:  
Optional Private Room Housing Supplement
Private room in a shared apartment, with a shared bathroom.
Coming soon
Optional Homestay Housing Supplement
Family homestay in a private occupancy bedroom, breakfast & dinner included.
Coming soon
Optional Visa Processing Fee (if applicable)
Available for some jurisdictions.
International Mailing Supplement
When applicable, students are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.

*prices are subject to change

Note: certain SAI-affiliated US universities require specific payment arrangements. These may require that some fees are paid by the student directly to SAI, and other fees are paid to SAI by the affiliated university on behalf of the student. If you attend a SAI-affiliated university please contact your study abroad office or speak with your SAI Admissions Counselor for details.

Budget Low Est. High Est.
Airfare to/from Barcelona
$950 $1,500
Visa~~If required. $160 $360
Books, Supplies & Course Fees $100 / course $200 / course
Includes groceries and eating out.
$700 / month $1,000 / month
Personal Expenses $300 / month $350 / month
Transportation within Barcelona
Public transportation with some taxi rides.
$100 / month $150 / month
Weekend Travel
Cost varies greatly by student.
$300 / month $1,000 / month

This is a SAI 360° Services Program; it includes our full services!

  • Program tuition and U.S. academic credit
  • Accommodation in carefully selected student housing
  • Airport pickup on arrival day
  • Welcome reception and events
  • Orientation to the host city and school
  • On-site staff who foster a welcoming community and provide assistance when needed
  • SAI Viva Experience: cultural engagement, excursions & wellness activities
  • Student health insurance providing full coverage and medical emergency evacuation
  • 24-hour on-site emergency support
  • Farewell event

Pre-departure and Re-entry services

  • Knowledgeable Admissions Counselor dedicated to you, providing friendly assistance
  • Helpful pre-departure tools and resources
  • Parent & family resources
  • Online student groups to acquaint you with other SAI students
  • Student visa advising
  • Assistance with financial aid processing
  • Need-based SAI scholarships
  • Alumni Ambassador Program, with paid internship opportunities
  • SAI alumni network

SAI offers all students the Viva Experience: frequent cultural activities, at no extra cost, for participants to get to know their community, city and country. Following is a sample of the activities included in this program. Please note that actual activities may differ.

Welcome Dinner
Students receive a dinner delivered to their new apartment to kick off their semester.

Cultural Workshop: Navigating the Spanish Culture
Through this workshop, students learn habits (European differences), traditions, food and language tips.

Walking Panoramic Tour and Chocolate Con Churros
Students start off their stay in Barcelona with this popular tour. The first part of the tour introduces students to Gaudi’s symbolic Modernist architecture by discovering the Sagrada Familia and the Casa Battló, among other famous buildings. Later, students explore the Gothic quarter, its cathedral, squares and narrow maze-like streets. No visit to Barcelona is complete without a stroll through the Gothic quarter! At the end of the tour, students enjoy local delicious churros with chocolate.

Survival Spanish Lesson
Get a head start on overcoming the language barrier! SAI offers a survival Spanish class that covers basic conversation and useful phrases. Students learn to ask for directions, shop with local fruit vendors, or order a café con leche at the local cafe. These lessons provide a practical and hands-on approach to learning Spanish.

Visit the Bunkers of Carmel
A visit to one of the most astonishing viewpoints in Barcelona. These anti-aircraft batteries from the Spanish Civil War have become a popular spot amongst locals and visitors.

Sitges Beach Day
Students visit the town of Sitges, which is a paradise of sun, sea and mild temperatures year-round, and a venue for international film and music festivals. Beautiful views and long beaches make Sitges a wonderful day trip.

Montserrat Day Trip
Students take a day trip to Montserrat, a spectacularly beautiful Benedictine mountain retreat. Its unusual rock formations and its natural beauty have made it a Catalonian icon. Students take the cable train up the mountain to visit the monastery and wander the mountain paths, with amazing views of the Catalonian countryside.

Catamaran Cruise
A cruise onboard a Catamaran is the best way to see the skyline and beaches of Barcelona, as well as enjoy the sun and relax.

Born Neighborhood & Gothic Street Art Tour
Students learn about the emergence of the Barcelona street art scene while exploring some of Barcelona’s most beautiful neighborhoods.

The SAI Re-Orientation is a way for students to come together and reflect on their experience so far, and make plans for a successful second half of the term. Food included!

Gracia Neighborhood Tour
Gracia is one of the most characteristic and beautiful neighborhoods of Barcelona. For a long time, it was its own town just outside Barcelona, and even today it still maintains its independence and free spirit. Students discover the many secrets of Gracia, its history, its hidden corners, and some favorite tales about the neighborhood.

Say Cheese!
Spain is a country of great culinary diversity, especially when it comes to its profusion of native cheeses! During this activity, students are able to taste and learn about various types of Spanish cheeses.

Parc de Collserola Hike
Behind Tibidabo’s iconic outline, there is a wealth of woodland and fields: a protected park where a wide variety of Mediterranean flora and fauna can be found, just 15 minutes from the bustling city. During this easy two hour hike at Collserola, students discover the secrets of this beautiful natural space.

Volunteering with a Local Elementary School
Students volunteer at a local Barcelona elementary school by participating in English activities for children ages 5 – 12.

Farewell Dinner
Students celebrate the end of a successful time abroad and say their goodbyes over a delicious Spanish meal.

Standard Housing: Student apartment
SAI student apartments are convenient and well equipped, with shared occupancy bedrooms (option to upgrade to private bedroom, if available). Typical residences house 2 – 8 students and contain a combination of private and shared bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and living areas. Furnishings, a washing machine, basic kitchen supplies, bed linens and towels are provided. All apartments are equipped with wireless Internet. Housing configurations are designated as female, male, and in some locations, gender-inclusive. SAI on-site staff is available to respond to any maintenance needs that may arise.

Optional Housing: Family homestay (additional fee applies)
SAI homestay families are thoroughly screened and are accustomed to welcoming visiting students into their homes. Homestays provide a private occupancy bedroom in the family home with basic furnishings. Daily breakfast and dinner are included, as is weekly laundry. Mostly Spanish is spoken in the home, granting students an excellent opportunity to practice their language skills. Please note that some homestays may be outside of the city center.

Passports should be valid for at least 4 months after planned departure from Europe.

Student Visas
In accordance with Spanish law, U.S. students studying in Spain for 91 days or more are required to obtain a student visa. The UPF Fall program dates are not yet confirmed, but they are typically very close to this length. We will update this section once program dates are confirmed to provide guidance on whether a student visa will be required. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.