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5 reasons to study in Barcelona for international students

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“Is Barcelona a good place to study abroad?”

Thinking about studying in Barcelona, but not sure if it’s the right choice for you? Picking the city where you’ll study abroad is no easy decision. There’s a lot to consider. After all, it will be the place where you spend a year or more of your life. Your choice could determine the course of your entire professional career. 

So let’s look at five reasons why international students love Barcelona – and why you should consider doing your Bachelor’s, Master’s or MBA here. 

1. Study in English at the world’s best universities and business schools 

One of the main perks of Barcelona is that it’s practically a trilingual city. As the capital of Catalonia, its number one spoken language is Catalan. As the second-largest city in Spain, most of its inhabitants also speak Spanish. 

What might surprise you, however, is that as an international metropolis that’s home to nearly 300,000 foreigners (17,8% of the city’s total population). It is also the third most visited city in Europe – as such, it’s a place where English is widely spoken too. 

When in Barcelona, you’ll hear English spoken on the street, in offices and in classrooms. Many of Barcelona’s universities and business schools offer programmes in English to attract international students. The language barrier should not be an issue at any higher education institution with an international outlook. In fact, some courses – especially in the fields of technology and business – are offered exclusively in English, for foreigners and locals alike.

At ESEI, we pride ourselves on offering programmes taught 100% in English by international professors of eleven different nationalities. English is our working language, but we also help our students learn Spanish by providing language classes.

2. Become a part of an international community

As we’ve mentioned above, Barcelona is a highly international city – much more so than other Spanish student hubs like Madrid or Valencia. Not only is it a melting pot of different cultures, but it’s also a city that fosters its international community by constantly organising events, meetups and parties for expats. 

You’d never guess, but Barcelona is actually (probably) one of the most active cities on Meetup, with several get-togethers happening every single day. 

It’s almost impossible to feel lonely or isolated in a city full of friendly locals and outgoing foreigners who love to hang out together!

3. Study in Barcelona and be immersed in one of the most active startup scenes in Europe

In case you’re dreaming of a career in a technology-related field – for example, digital marketing – or in business, you must be curious about what opportunities a city like Barcelona has for you. 

We can tell you this: Barcelona is one of the best places to be for aspiring entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and anyone who wants to work with startups. The high concentration of startups (precisely 1,197 as of the latest report) and the ever-increasing startup activity (Barcelona startups raised a total of €871 million in 2018) make Barcelona one of Europe’s most active innovation hubs. 

We are committed to making sure that ESEI students get a taste of this exciting world. Everything we teach is practical and project-based. And we go out of our way to grant our students access to the hottest companies in the city, so they can see how they work (and how they’ll be able to apply their studies outside of the classroom) first-hand. We make sure that our students are well connected and familiar with the local startup ecosystem, whether that be through internships or guided visits to startups and tech hubs in the city. 

Who knows, maybe Barcelona will be the place where you start your first venture!

4. Live comfortably on a budget

Whatever your financial situation is, one thing’s for sure: you don’t want to be living in an expensive city when you’re a student. 

Life in Barcelona is not nearly as expensive as in other big European cities like London or Berlin. You can rent a small flat on your own or a room in a shared space (find a room for rent and your perfect flatmates with the help of the homegrown app Badi or one of our partner) without indebting yourself for the coming decade. 

You’ll also find that basic commodities like food, transportation and party tickets (yes, we consider that a basic commodity, too) are cheaper than in the Western or Northern parts of Europe. Best of all, since you’re coming here to study, tuition fees won’t break the bank as much as they would if you were to study in the UK, for example. Another reason to study in Barcelona!

In case you need a little boost in income, at ESEI, we provide evening classes so you can work during the day. It’s everyone’s personal choice, but having the option is always a plus. 

We also have scholarship opportunities for Bachelor’s and Master’s students. Get in touch with us to find out more. 

5. Find your home away from home

Last but not least, we can guarantee that if you decide to study in Barcelona, it will become your second home. 

The beach, the sunshine, the people, the excitement of the startup scene, the community that you’re now a part of… it all stays with you and keeps calling you back again and again after you leave.

Finally, should you decide to make Barcelona your new city, it will welcome you warmly. It’s got all the nice touches that make it an attractive place for expats: from supermarkets that sell your favourite foods from back home to events where you can meet people from all over the world. 


Are you more and more convinced that you want to study in Barcelona? Check out our programmes and see how ESEI can help you live your dream!

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