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Prior to departure, you will find and arrange your own housing for the duration of the program. The location and type of accommodations you choose is a personal decision that is up to you based on your preferences, lifestyle, and budget.

Plan to book your housing about 2-3 months in advance of the program. This timeframe should enable you to find a variety of available options. Spend time beforehand learning about the city and figuring out which neighborhoods may be a good fit for your lifestyle. Keep in mind that commuting is very typical and it is not unusual to have a 30-45 minute commute. The city and the surrounding areas are very well connected via public transportation. Familiarize yourself with the metro map to check out transportation routes from your potential housing to class, so you can make sure you have a fairly direct route.

The University of Barcelona has buildings spread throughout the city, so you may decide to live close to the faculty where you’ll be taking the majority of your classes, or you may choose to live in an area that provides activities you’re interested in on the day-to-day, and commute to classes. You’ll find that Barcelona is not a car-dependent city and many people take public transportation or walk.



If you seek to work on your Spanish skills, put yourself out of your comfort zone in everyday situations, or meet people, then any housing situation can lend itself to meeting these goals.

Residence halls are a great option for international students because the environment provides opportunities to engage with peers, which can help you settle into life in a new country. Residence halls in Spain are a bit different than you may be used to in the US, as not all residence halls are associated with a university. While the university has its own residence halls that can be difficult to get into, there are many private residence halls that are open to any student studying in the area, no matter which university they attend. This is an interesting option for meeting a variety of students who are having different experiences in the city.

Homestays can provide daily Spanish language practice and a link to the local culture. When looking for a homestay, it’s important to know what you’re looking for and communicate that with the homestay coordinator so they can do their best to match you with a host who can meet many of your needs. Some homestays will be very welcoming and include you in family meals and activities. Some will feel more like you’re renting a room. Some may be a family with younger or teen children, some may be a couple or a single person with grown children who have moved out and they are now renting the rooms either for a connection with students or for financial reasons.

Shared apartments can expose you to new ways of living and expand your social network. Select a single-room apartment for maximum independence and the opportunity to shape your own experience.



The Housing Guide is a resource put together by local UCEAP staff in Barcelona based on the experiences and information received from past program participants. All listings in the guide are not endorsed or guaranteed by UCEAP. You are solely responsible for your choice of landlord and rental unit.

The UCEAP Discord and TikTok are great places to connect with your peers and see if there are any students in your program looking for roommates. You may find current students who can share their experiences and challenges they faced. They may be able to help set expectations for your experience based on what surprised them and what they learned from their time in Spain.