The Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain offers an interesting Visting Student program to international students from countries outside of Spain.

Visiting Students can take courses similar to those they are taking at their home university. The Pompeu Fabra university offers courses in communications (advertising, public relations, journalism, etc.), Economics and Business (Business Management, Economics, International Business, etc.), Humanities, Life Sciences, Political Science, Computer Science, and others.


Price per credit: 90 euros (2012 – 2013 prices)

We looked at humanities courses offered by the Pompeu Fabra University and saw that courses were worth either 4, 5, or 6 credits.

Cost per course

4 credit course – 360 euros

5 credit course – 450 euros

6 credit course – 540 euros

Semester in Barcelona, four 4-credit courses: 1440 euros (tuition)

Academic year in Barcelona, eight 4-credit courses: 1880 euros (tuition)

If you visit the Visiting Student Program pages at the Pompeu Fabra University you will find more plenty of information regarding the program.


As is often the case with universities (in contrast to most language schools abroad, which offer housing placement) housing assistance only  is offered). Contact the Mobility and Welcome Office at Pompeu Fabra university for housing assistance.

From what we have seen in 2012, prices for a room in a university residence in Barcelona run between 315 euros per month (long stay, double room) to 507 euros a month (single room, short to intermediate stay).

To see a student university residence in Barcelona  (selected at random) click here. Click on the “English” link to view the site in English.

1. What does it mean to be a visiting student at UPF?

A visiting student at UPF takes a number of subjects as part of a bachelor’s degree, but does so independently of official exchange programs (so you enrol directly into the Pompeu Fabra University visiting student program – you don’t go via a US university program, for example).

2. Who is eligible to participate in the undergraduate visiting student program?

Any student who is matriculated as a university student in his or her home country can enrol in the visiting student program. In general, visiting students can take courses in Barcelona that correspond to their college-level course work at home.

So, if you are a sophomore or junior at your home university, and you are studying Literature (for example), you could take sophore or junior level courses in Literature while you study abroad in Barcelona. You could also take other humanities courses or courses for which you have already completed the corresponding pre-requisites.

But you couldn’t dabble in civil engineering or law…

3. What is the registration process?

Once you have been admitted to the visiting student program at the Pompeu Fabra University, you must formally register for the courses you want to take in the school or faculty that you applied to.Successful registration depends upon the availability of the courses in which you wish to enrol.

4. Required documents for application

(a)  A letter explaining why you want to attend the Pompeu Fabra University – you also have to indicate in which faculties you want to study

(b)  your latest official university transcript, along with an explanation of the grading scale used at your home university

(Keep in mind that international students from all over the world participate in this type of program – students from China, Japan, Australia,  Chile … and each country might use a different grading system.)

(c)  A copy of your resumé

(Don’t sweat the resumé requirement – if you’re still in college you are not likely to have tons of work experience – and they know that. So create a resumé showing what you have done – even if it’s only been going to school.)

(d)  A letter of reference from one of your university professors.

(e)  A document that shows your level of Spanish 

(remember, to participate in courses given in Spanish, you have to have a minimum level of Spanish)

5. Admission

Admission to the Visiting Student Program is at the discretion of the dean or the director of the university school to which you are applying. Admitted students receive an accreditation as his/her status as a visiting student. Visting students are entitled to use the same services as those offered to official exchange students (those participating in the study abroad programs offered by their home university, etc.)

6. Certification

In the same manner as regular students at Pompeu Fabra University, visiting students are allowed to attend classes and to take course exams for the subjects they are taking, Visiting students are also entitled to a certificate from the university outlining any qualifications they have obtained.

(Remember, you may have to attend a minimum number of classes and obtain passing grades in your exams.)

Helpful Links

International Students – Includes application requirements, contact information, fees, and other info.

Living in Barcelona