ACA @ The International College of Barcelona


Join ACA the Summer-of-a-Lifetime!


  • Overview
  • Courses
  • Campus Life & Activities
  • Weekend Adventures
  • Greek Isles

Welcome to ACA @ Barcelona, Spain!

¡Bienvenidos a Barcelona!

Set on the warm shores of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is a city of contrasts. Its Roman foundations reverberate with rich history. Its arresting art and architecture celebrate the modern masterpieces of Gaudí and Dalí. Barcelona delivers a truly mesmerizing Spanish experience!

Quaint streets lead to modern architectural marvels. Legendary monuments stand in the midst of bustling plazas. Marvel at the sharks at L’aquarium Barcelona or get swept into the stars at CosmoCaixa. Sample cuisines from around the world, or savor Catalan staples. Experience the surreal art of Dali and the architecture of Gaudí. Barcelona never ceases to astonish and amaze!

Palau Nacional, Barcelona, Spain

Weekday Schedule

Classes run Monday through Friday.


At ACA, we believe safety comes first. That’s why we maintain an eight-to-one student-to-staff ratio – one of the lowest in the industry! This lets us offer unmatched attention and unique personalized programs.

As part of our commitment to student safety, ACA staff members live on every student-occupied floor and accompany students on all activities and excursions. ACA also uses chartered coach and taxi services to get around town, never public transportation. All ACA staff members are always equipped with cellphones.

For additional safety, ACA provides all students with local cellphones, allowing them to maintain easy contact with directors and staff!

The hotel adds an additional element of security, as well. The front desk is staffed 24 hours a day with trained personnel for your comfort and convenience.

Parents will be reassured to know that Barcelona is a friendly city with all the modern medical and safety resources one would expect of a popular European tourist destination.

ACA COVID Policies*

  • Rest assured that ACA will adhere to all state, local, university, CDC, WHO, and American Camp Association COVID guidelines to protect the safety of all ACA students and Staff.
  • All students and staff will be required to self quarantine at home for 7 days prior to the program and COVID test. We will ask that all families share their student’s results with us prior to the program. This will allow peace of mind knowing that all students and staff arrive at the program COVID-free. 
  • Upon arrival to the program, ACA medical personnel will screen all students and staff for symptoms. 
  • ACA personnel will regularly monitor students and staffs temperatures throughout the each day of the program. 
  • Students or staff with signs of a fever or symptoms relating to COVID will be temporarily removed from the program’s general population and placed into alternate sleeping rooms monitored by ACA staff and local medical professionals. Parents will be kept in the loop at all times.
  • Masks will be required in public spaces and based on all guidelines. Masks will also be required in ACA vehicles. Activities, electives, classes, and meals will take place outside as much as possible throughout your ACA program.
*Covid policies are based on ACA’s successful experience running COVID free programs in Summer 2020 and 2021. Modifications to these policies may be updated prior to Summer 2022. 

Travel to Barcelona**

Students traveling to Barcelona have the option to fly on ACA-staffed group flights from the New York area to Barcelona. 

We are also happy to make arrangements for students connecting to our ACA overseas group flight. Please contact the ACA office for additional information.

Students enrolled in the Greek Isles Extension will also fly on ACA group flights, accompanied by ACA staff.

Please Note: For your safety and convenience, we require students traveling to our international programs to fly on ACA group flights.

**Transportation is not included in tuition.

Our Courses

Barcelona International College

ACA’s Barcelona programs combine a community-service opportunity, a college-level language class, an SAT or ACT prep course or your choice of select enrichment courses.

ACA courses in Barcelona are held at the prestigious Barcelona International College. Celebrated for its outstanding language program, the college boasts internationally respected faculty and a vibrant location right in the heart of the city with its many modernist architectural marvels. Courses meet five days a week and are graded on a conventional grading system.

Students can earn 3 college credits upon completion of this comprehensive language program. In addition, high schools often grant credit for ACA courses as well. We’ll be happy to work with your school ahead of time to determine whether your ACA coursework qualifies for such credit. The community-service component can be applied toward high school graduation service requirements.

College credits are conferred through Jacksonville University and are transferable to most universities, according to a school’s specific standards. Official university transcripts, including course credit and grades, are available to each ACA student. As an added benefit, ACA’s professors are always happy to write recommendation letters for college.

Course Options: 

You will be able to choose two of the following options for stay in Barcelona:

*Please Note: There is a $295 fee for the 3 credit option. 

2-week students cannot earn college credits. 

Course Selection:

You will attend Spanish classes geared to your skill level, learning to master conversational and written communication as you practice linguistic structures and tenses, with a focus on proper pronunciation. Students with more advanced skills can focus on more complex sentence structure and verb tenses. The emphasis is on reading, writing and comprehension.

But most of all, you have the entire city of Barcelona as your classroom! Remember most citizens of Barcelona are bi-lingual speaking, both Spanish and Catalan, so some words may seem a little different from what you learn in the classroom. And whether you’re a total beginner or practically fluent, you’ll be amazed at how much better your Spanish becomes and just how much fun learning a language can be, when you immerse yourself in the culture.

The program offers three levels of classes to choose from, with placement dependent upon previous Spanish-language experience, as well as your own comfort level:

Elementary Spanish – The beginning class covers basic pronunciation, sentence structure, numbers, present-tense verb conjugation and the introduction of past tense.

Intermediate Spanish – This class picks up where the elementary class ends, covering more in-depth use of the past tense, along with the imperfect, future and conditional tenses, as well as subjunctives.

Advanced Spanish – The ideal class for students who desire a greater proficiency in Spanish conversation as well as composition. The course employs readings and discussions on contemporary subjects to put the student’s speaking and writing ability to use.

Conversational Spanish – Encouraging basic conversation, this course will take your Spanish beyond the grammar and language focus of intro classes to the next level of fluency! Learn how to order from a menu or shop with conversational confidence. Discuss Spanish periodicals, appreciate popular Spanish music and discuss the lyrics. A fun, informative way to absorb and appreciate a great Romantic language! (Intermediate and Advanced students only.)

Getting Involved, Giving Back

“Only a life lived in the service of others is a life worth living.” So said Albert Einstein, and we think you’ll agree that these opportunities provide rewarding ways to spend some of your time, reaching out to the less-advantaged residents of Barcelona. ACA’s carefully crafted program exposes you to multiple aspects of service, ensuring fulfilling projects that leave a positive mark. Earn 30 hours of community service in three weeks. Upon completion, every participant receives an official certificate highlighting the total number of hours volunteered and projects completed.

Examples of ACA Service-Learning Projects Include:

  • Helping children at a local day-care center
  • Helping teach English to Spanish children
  • Serving at soup kitchens
  • Distributing food at food pantries
  • Playing games and engaging in conversation at a senior center  

Please Note: Public transportation accompanied by ACA staff is permitted if you are enrolled in this course.

History comes to life in this incredible class, and the city of Barcelona itself becomes your primary text! In short lectures held twice each week, you learn about the waves of conquest and colonization that shaped Spain, from its Roman foundations to the indelible influence of the Moors. You’ll also see how this diversity gave Spain a unique atmosphere conducive to creativity and made it one of the world’s great sources of inspiring art and incredible architecture. Three days a week, you visit the sites discussed in class days before! This is interactive learning at its best. You get a perspective of Spain unavailable in any book.

This inspiring look at Spanish art and architecture will introduce you to world-renowned galleries and take you on tours of legendary buildings. Focusing on the awesome accomplishments of the many great artists and architects from Barcelona, you’ll enhance your understanding of the Spanish influence on painting, sculpture and construction, which still resonates with architects and engineers worldwide. Marvel at the ornate Gothic influence still seen in buildings today and examine the works of modernist masters who revolutionized the appearance of skylines around the world

It’s no surprise that such a vibrant, colorful culture has such amazing cuisine. Here’s your chance to learn some kitchen fundamentals that will make you the star of the next family feast! Learn from excellent professional Spanish chefs who know how to satisfy big Barcelona appetites. Of course you get to enjoy your efforts, so show up hungry! Please note: This course provides unique opportunities to train with culinary instructors preparing truly gourmet and authentic meals.

Please Note: Public transportation accompanied by ACA staff is permitted if you are enrolled in this course. 

Supplemental fee: $495

The Spaniards may be the most dedicated fútbol fans around (but don’t tell the Italians or Brits we said that). This is the home of Real Madrid, after all! If you want to add some Spanish flair to your footwork, this course is a must. An expert local coach will put players through intense yet informative practice sessions. You’re game will get better, whether you’re the team star or just getting started!

Get a close look at the way the world really works! Learn how world markets interact and how investors learn to profit as a result. The euro has changed the way the European Union, and therefore the world, does business! Examine the interaction of currencies, which play a huge role in the health and wealth of the world’s economy. You’ll learn about the distinct challenges of running a successful company in the dynamic international arena.

Improve your picture-taking ability in a city that demands to be photographed. The city of Barcelona provides you with centuries of artistic and architectural beauty – remarkable subject matter that will give you plenty of inspiration! This course will help you develop an understanding of how to create unforgettable photos using proper lighting and composition. Please note: A darkroom is not featured in this course, and students must supply their own cameras.

If you need to indulge your artistic side, this course is ideal. Select either the drawing or the painting concentration, then view legendary works of Italian art and use them to inspire your own skills. Pursue painting and watercolor techniques, or try your hand at both surreal and traditional Spanish-inspired drawing and sketching. See if you can tap the Picasso within!

These passionate people have taken swirling, dramatic dance movements and matched them to pulsating guitar and powerful percussion. Will you be able to keep up? Find out if you have the footwork and the fire to dance Flamenco, and understand a bit more about the energy and intrigue that define Spain itself. You’ll study the steps and get a chance to check out lavish gowns and colorful costumes as vibrant as Spain itself.

This course focuses on the skills you need to improve your SAT score. Offering three complete SAT diagnostic exams, students will receive the practice they need to prepare for this challenging exam. In addition to practice tests, intensive classroom instruction will focus on helping students tackle all three sections of the test (math, reading and writing). This complete SAT review includes all books, diagnostic exams and classroom materials. It can be the key to your best SAT performance!
Supplemental fee: $795

This intensive course builds the skills you need to improve your ACT score. Offering three complete ACT diagnostic exams, students will receive the practice they need to prepare for this challenging exam. Intensive classroom instruction will help students prepare for all test sections, which can be the key to decreasing test anxiety, increasing test preparedness and maximizing test performance. The full ACT review includes all books, diagnostic exams and classroom materials. Kaplan is renowned for consistently helping students earn the scores that reflect their true ability, helping secure admission to the schools of their choice!
Supplemental fee: $795

* A supplemental supply or lab fee will apply.

Barcelona Life

You’ll be staying in the heart of Barcelona, in the midst of all the excitement that makes this city one of Europe’s favorites! From the inescapable artistic energy to the delicious variety of its international cuisine, everything about Barcelona is unforgettable. Check out the breathtaking view at the top of the world-famous Montjuïc. Stroll Barcelona’s famed streets and wind your way through a panorama of historic gothic buildings contrasted by arresting contemporary architecture and the unique works of Gaudí. Shop it up at great European department stores and quaint local boutiques. You’re sure to fall in love with the stunning setting and the stylish, sophisticated culture. Summer in Barcelona? ¡Es magnifico!

You can count on outstanding accommodations – this is ACA!

Unlike ordinary international pre-college programs, ACA’s experience in Barcelona is not a homestay! Your Spanish home, an upscale hotel, is a modernist landmark located in the heart of Barcelona’s cosmopolitan town center. It’s an ideal location for exploring this incredible city, and it’s also a great place to relax after you’ve had a day in the Spanish sun. The building is secure and supervised at all times, and the clean, comfortable rooms have televisions, daily housekeeping service, and air conditioning. Of course, ACA staff live on-site, ensuring a safe, comfortable stay. 

Tapas, Treats and Eats

ACA serves up amazing meals throughout your stay in Spain! Start your days at the hotel breakfast buffet, a serious spread of eggs, cereal, pastries, baked treats, and fresh juices and fruits. You’ll have no problem fueling up for the day.

For dinner Monday through Friday, you’ll enjoy ACA’s exclusive Dining-on-the-Town-Plan, which lets you choose from a variety of ACA-selected restaurants – and it’s included in your tuition! Whether you want to tackle some local delicacies or would rather stick with American-style favorites, you’re sure to find a restaurant that suits your taste.

Once a week, if you want, you can also venture beyond the Dining-on-the-Town-Plan and visit additional restaurants of your choice. It’s an additional opportunity to sample outstanding local restaurants featuring authentic Spanish cuisine, especially the trademark local tapas – a flavorful variety of small dishes similar in size to American appetizers. Bring plenty of friends so everyone can sample and share! Need help translating the menu? Don’t worry, ACA staff are always at the restaurant ready to recommend a few favorites.

Around Town & Beyond

Take a flavor-filled walk through the Old Town markets. Browse chic boutiques and traditional tiendas. Discover quaint plazas, stunning galleries and magnificent museums. Sign up for a soccer tournament to try serious Spanish fútbol! Take in the combination of Gothic and ultramodern architecture, and don’t miss the beauty of the marina! Of course, a stroll down Las Ramblas, one of the most famous bustling boulevards in all of Europe, is a must!  

From the energetic streets to the dramatic architecture, the sights and sounds of Barcelona will fill your senses. This is Spain at its most international and energetic, with dramatic architecture of Gaudí, the acclaimed art of Picasso and Dalí. Ride to the top of the Mirador de Colon, a monument to Christopher Columbus that has Barcelona’s most incredible ocean view! Then stroll up the famous Rambla – be sure to stop at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, one of the most legendary theaters in Europe.

Barcelona nightlife might be the most vibrant in all of Europe! Find a spot at a hip street café and watch the beautiful people stroll by. Get swept up in the passionate performances of street musicians and dancers, and bask in the city’s illuminated energy. Many of Barcelona’s architectural landmarks come alive with light at night. If you think they are incredible during the day, just wait until you see them when the stars are out!

Staying in Shape, Spanish Style

Worried your new-found taste for tapas might pack on some extra pounds? No sweat! ACA makes it easy to maintain your fitness routine, or even kick-start a new exercise habit! During your stay in Barcelona, you’ll have access to a swimming pool, weight room, treadmills, Stairmasters and other popular exercise machines and equipment at our local gym. If you need some competition to fuel your fitness efforts, team up with new friends for a game of soccer, tennis, or basketball. If you would rather get out on the town, you can always join ACA staff for a sight-seeing run through the streets of Barcelona, a great way to burn calories and get a closer look at Spanish culture. And if you’re really feeling game, our annual Spaniards vs. Americans fútbol tournament is a must!


Complete your ACA Barcelona experience with exciting weekend adventures.

TOSSA DE MAR (4 Week Program)

This coastal village was founded in the 8th century – B.C.! The first settlers arrived from Greece some 3000 years ago and fell in love with this scenic beach location. You’re sure to as well! The beach scene here is a funky, fun blend of Spanish and French. (The French border is mere minutes away.) The combination of seaside sun-worshiping and eclectic cultural mix makes for one of ACA’s most unique beach stops!

MONTSERRAT (4 Week program)

Take in the beautiful views of this mountain retreat, home to a 1,000-year-old Benedictine monastery; a museum featuring rare works by Picasso, Dalí, and El Greco; and a surprising collection of treasures from ancient Egypt. There’s even a mummy! Montserrat is most famous, however, simply for its stunning views of the Pyrenees and coastal islands. We’ll take an adventurous hike through the most scenic spots, followed by a hearty picnic 725 meters above sea level!

Designer outlet excursion

Serious shoppers will have to visit the Gucci, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana outlets. You’ll find great deals on the best names in fashion. Bottom line: Don’t overpack if you want to bring some Spanish fashion back!

Girona (3 & 4 week program)

This fascinating ancient city is located where five rivers come together. Girona has been buffeted by the winds of history for thousands of years – and it has the character to prove it! Its original inhabitants were the Iberians themselves, who were followed by the Romans, who were conquered by the Visigoths, who were conquered by the Moors, who were then kicked out by Charlemagne. The old Jewish quarter, which thrived for hundreds of years, is one of the best preserved in all of Europe, and was home to Catalonia’s great Rabbi Nahmanides.

FIGUERES (3 & 4 Week Program)

The birthplace of Salvador Dalí, this Catalonian capital is home to the Teatre-Museu Dalí – a museum celebrating the artist’s life and work. Within its strikingly modern walls sits the town’s original theater, which was one of the first to feature Dalí’s works. It was bombed during the Spanish Civil War and rebuilt to honor the city’s most famous son. Dalí himself is actually buried in a crypt below the museum, adding an appropriately cryptic touch to what is sure to be a surreal experience!

SITGEs (3 & 4 Week Program)

Our weekend in Sitges takes you to a true “hidden gem” among European resort towns. Celebrated for the many artistic events and a popular film festival, Sitges is also one of the most naturally beautiful locations you’ll ever encounter! It’s has a postcard-perfect beach with incredible seaside views and beautiful rolling hills that provide a breathtaking backdrop. It may be the most scenic stop in Spain!

The French Riviera (3 days)
(2, 3 & 4 week program)

Catch a glimpse of the royal family in Monaco or the hottest A-list celebrity. It’s all possible in the fabulous French Riviera. You’ll visit . . .

Nice– Believed to be one of the oldest settlements in Europe, Nice has been a cultural crossroads for thousands of years. A beautiful blend of Italian and French, ancient and modern – no wonder it’s one of the most cosmopolitan places in the world!

Eze– A charming hilltop town on the Cote d’Azur. Explore its beautiful cobblestone streets and hot-pink bougainvillea. Shoppers will delight in the many local perfumeries and art galleries.

Monaco– Grand prix racing, famed casinos and a bastion for beautiful people – this independent nation is ready to give you the royal treatment!

Cannes– Famed for its international film festival. Its Boulevard de la Croisette, curving along the coast, is lined with sandy beaches, upmarket boutiques and palatial hotels. It’s also home to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, a modern building complete with red carpet and Allée des Étoiles – Cannes’ walk of fame.

Please Note: The excursion to the French Riviera replaces the day trip to PortAventura Amusement Park for students who select this excursion. (Supplemental fee: $495)

Universal’s Port Aventura Amusement Park (2, 3 & 4 WEEK PROGRAM)​

About an hour from Barcelona, this is Spain’s largest and best-loved theme park! It features a series of internationally themed regions highlighting the Mediterranian Sea, Mexico, China, the Wild West, and Polynesia among others. Roller-coaster fans won’t want to miss the famous Furious Baco, a wild thrill machine that can reach speeds of almost 85 miles per hour! Another favorite is the Stampida, a classic dueling wooden roller-coaster.

High School Summer Study Abroad in Spain

The Greek Isles Extension

Add 5 days to your European Adventure

Add to your European experience and explore the wonders of Greece, from Athens to Santorini to Mykonos!

You’ll remain in the secure company of trusted ACA staff members, as well as many of the friends you’ve made on your ACA program. Of course, you’ll also enjoy the comfortable accommodations and superior guidance you’ve come to expect from ACA.

The best part? ACA students from our European adventures will be together for our time in Greece! (supplemental tuition required)

Catch some rays on the black sands of Santorini, check out the scene at the party resorts of Mykonos, and soak in the rich historic legacy. It’s all possible in the fabulous Greek Isles. You’ll visit . . . 




What Alumni are Saying

"I spent two of the best summers of my life on ACA trips! Barcelona and Florence were both incredible. I made amazing friendships and memories that will last forever!"

Samantha Locker
New York

"ACA Barcelona was amazing, seriously it was SICK!!! It was unbelievable! I love my new friends and definitely all the staff! I am so glad that i was able to experience ACA!"

Jin-uh Jung

"My trip to Barcelona was absolutely amazing. Being able to experience a cultural immersion while still in high school was the best experience of my life!"

Millie Hoffman

The most Personalized program

LEt's start
your Summer!