La Academia de Barcelona

Grades 9-12
July 4 – July 31, 2018
Tuition: $7995

The Academia de Barcelona is a program for students interested in studying in English or in Spanish in one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cities. La Academia takes place in the Residència Josep Manyanet, in Les Corts, an affluent neighborhood of Barcelona. Students are taught by local researchers, academics, and artists. They choose two courses - a major and a minor – which are taught either in English or in Spanish. Theses interactive courses, coupled with a full calendar of program activities – including field trips to Girona, Figueres, and Montserrat - provide them with an unrivalled introduction to Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain. Students can also opt to add on the Paris Connection and spend 4 days in Paris before heading home. Scroll down to read course descriptions, faculty bios, and apply now!


Students on La Academia de Barcelona can choose from 18 academic and creative courses taught either in Spanish or English. Students with two or more years of Spanish can also opt for immersion courses, which are taught entirely in Spanish. All the courses experiential, and are designed to make the most of Barcelona’s extraordinary historical and modern resources. Popular courses in recent years have included Architecture, Marine Biology, Cultura y cocina, and, of course, Spanish Language from beginner to fluent. Descriptions for these are below, and you can follow the link to read more about all our courses.


Barcelona is an architect’s dream: from Gothic churches to Modernist homes and buildings, the city boasts some of the world’s most distinctive edifices. Students discover two thousand years of urban development, from the Roman ruins in the city’s ancient Gothic Quarter, to Gaudí’s spectacular Modernismo, to FC Barcelona’s majestic stadium, while learning how to transform their own ideas into models. Materials fee of $175 US for the Major; $75 US for the Minor. 

Marine Biology

The oceans are a scientific frontier that is in urgent need of deeper understanding. As Barcelona is a major seaport, students are able to combine trips to the coast with visits to the renowned Institut de Ciències del Mar and the city’s world-class aquarium. Course topics include indigenous marine life, the local ecosystem, species differentiation, engineering, coastal preservation, evolutionary biology, the environmental challenges the oceans face, and possible solutions.

Cultura y Cocina

De la mano de chefs, críticos gastronómicos, nutricionistas e historiadores, esta asignatura es un placer para los sentidos. Los estudiantes ganan confianza con el español mezclándose con locales visitando mercados, panaderías, pastelerías y carnicerías. Los estudiantes descubren la rica diversidad gastronómica española y catalana, de gran relevancia en la actualidad, pues cocineros españoles como Ferrán Adrià y los hermanos Roca son reconocidos mundialmente. Al mismo tiempo los alumnos aprenden sobre la dieta mediterránea y sus bondades para la salud. La cuota de laboratorio es de $300 US para la clase Major; $250 US para la clase Minor.

Culture and Cuisine

Students learn about the history of Spanish cuisine by focusing both on regional specialties such as paella, Andalusian gazpacho, and pintxos, and on the role that Barcelona has come to play in the culinary world. Students gain confidence in their Spanish skills via regular visits to Barcelona's produce markets, including the spectacular Boquería, built in 1836, pastelerías, carnicerías, and panaderías, while learning to make the most beloved and delicious traditional Spanish delicacies. In the last week of the program, students participate in several hands-on cooking workshops given by local experts. Lab fee of $300 US for Majors; $250 US for Minors.

Spanish Language: Conversation and Composition

Taking full advantage of Barcelona, and using innovative and interactive teaching methods, this course offers a review of tenses and structures, as well as vocabulary-building exercises with a strong focus on conversational proficiency. Language learning is approached through a variety of activities, such as storytelling and role playing, and short thematic units that integrate museums and cultural sites, and bring students into contact with local native speakers. Students work on pronunciation, intonation, and public speaking. They are evaluated on the first day and placed in a group with others of a similar level. 

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Our teachers are academics and researchers drawn from the best universities in Barcelona and Spain and established creative professionals. A few biographies are listed below, and you can follow the link to meet all our faculty.

Dr. Arianna Bucci

BA Università dell'Insubria, DEA, PhD Universitat de Barcelona

Dr. Bucci is a marine biologist. She works for Environmental Consulting Enterprises as a specialist in conservation and education. Her research focuses in particular on small-scale fisheries, IUU fishing, benthic ecology, microalgae diversity and dynamics, and biogeochemical cycles. She is also active with the Marimurtra Botanic Garden, where she helps to raise awareness about plants, their adaptations to the environment, and their habitats. Dr. Bucci is also the co-founder of "La Casa del Mar," an Environmental Interpretive Center based in Costa Brava and managed by the NGO Xatrac. The institution helps spread scientific knowledge and conservation awareness. In this role she is responsible for project design, fund raising, engagement with private stakeholders, budget management, and media communications.

Dr. Alessandro Demurtas

MA, PhD Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona

Dr. Demurtas is a lawyer and business consultant. He specializes in all areas of civil, criminal, and labor law. He often works as a mediator too. Dr. Demurtas is also active as a pedagogue, and currently teaches courses in security, conflict resolution, and peace negotiations at graduate level at the Instituto de Barcelona de Estudios Internacionales.

Dr. Anna Zineko

MA, PhD Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Dr. Zineko is a Professor of International Business, Marketing, and International Strategy for the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). She specializes in corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and communication strategies. Beyond her experience in academia, she has also worked with Danone and the UNEP in Geneva.

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Our Residence

Academia de Barcelona students reside, eat, and attend classes in the Residència Universitària Josep Manyanet, a purpose-built residence that lies in a quiet neighborhood within easy reach of the city’s main attractions.  Students generally share en-suite doubles with air-conditioning.  


In addition to program-wide field-trips, and numerous outings to Barcelona’s famous beaches, our Activities Directors organize a full program for the month.  On a daily basis, students can opt to attend concerts or recitals, watch Catalan and Spanish dance performances, visit one of Barcelona’s many world-class museums, or go on expert-led tours of its many culinary marvels and architectural oddities. Whether exploring the Sagrada Familia or Roman ruins in the Barri Gòtic, attending a classical music concert in the glorious Palau de la Música Catalana, or visiting the Picasso Museum or Miro Foundation, students always have a range of stimulating activities available to them.

Students keen to exercise can join a running group or take part in the many sporting activities that use the Residència’s facilities for 5-aside, basketball, volleyball, and dodge-ball.

Paris Connection – July 31 – August 4

The Paris Connection is a 4-night extension to the Academia.  Students are taken, by train, to Paris on the final day. They are housed at the MIJE, in the Marais, a beautiful historic district on the rive droite. The area is home to art galleries, cafés, and boutiques, and is within easy reach of, among others, Notre Dame, the Île Saint-Louis, the Louvre, the Tuileries, the Picasso Museum, and the Pompidou. The schedule is carefully designed to make the most of our students’ time while blending study and fun. Activities include expert-led visits of world-famous museums and monuments, outings to Montmartre, the catacombs, fun-fairs, shopping, and sampling different French cuisines in a selection of traditional restaurants. Paris becomes the perfect place for discovery and learning.

Paris Connection

Useful Info for Parents


Students are all met at Barcelona's airport, El Prat, and escorted to the Residència.  At the end of the program, they are accompanied back to the airport where we oversee check-in and see them to customs. A representative stays at the airport until every flight has departed.


The Residència lies in an extremely quiet, upmarket neighborhood.  Access is strictly controlled and there is twenty-four hour security. Day-to-day life is overseen by teams of Deans - professional educators drawn from leading schools in the US, Canada, and Australia. The residence has a program office, in a central location, which is open and permanently staffed by Deans from before 8am until well past midnight. Every student checks in personally, every evening, with the Deans on duty. The Program Director, Deans, residential staff, and some members of faculty live in the residence, ensuring round-the-clock care and supervision.

Student Safety, Rules, and Behavior

Program Blog

Every summer, students and teachers on La Academia de Barcelona maintain a blog, which provides unparalleled insight into daily life, classes, and activities.  Last summer’s blog is available here!

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