Conversations on Studying Abroad

CAPA Barcelona Global Cities Curriculum

Oct 15, 2021 9:22:00 AM / by Cara Pizzorusso

Barcelona is a global city full of rich history and culture, fascinating architecture, flavorful food, a thriving art scene, and much more. CAPA Barcelona students make the city their classroom through courses that allow them to engage with and learn from the city. Continue reading to learn more about the CAPA Barcelona Global Cities curriculum.

Barcelona is an eclectic global city that offers something for everyone, from scenic beaches and hikes with panoramic vistas to Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces and gastronomic adventures.

Why Study Abroad in Barcelona - Photo 2-1

Through courses, excursions, My Global City events, internships, and more, CAPA Barcelona students gain insight into the ways in which Barcelona has been transformed by globalization. Students can choose from courses in a range of disciplines, including business, Spanish language, the arts, political science, and more. Many of the courses offered take students outside the classroom on relevant field studies, providing the opportunity for experiential learning. 

Below, we’ll explore the courses offered at the CAPA Barcelona Center as part of the Barcelona Global Cities program curriculum. The same curriculum is offered in the spring, summer, and fall semesters, giving students the flexibility to take their choice of courses in any semester. CAPA’s Student Learning and Development Outcomes: Globalization, Diversity, Social Dynamics, Urban Environments, and Personal & Professional Development are incorporated into all aspects of students’ coursework, as well as through internships, activities, and more. 

Courses feel more like discussions than lectures, and they are filled with activities, debates, and LOTS of field trips. A big focus in our courses is learning how to accept and embrace new cultures, and how that can be implemented to other subjects. The many field trips we take give us a chance to take what we are learning in the classroom and apply it to the outside world. 

-Maya Crawford, CAPA Barcelona student fall 2018 

CAPA Barcelona Global Cities Courses by Discipline: 

Arts and Art History: 

CAPA’s variety of art and art history courses include:

Picasso, Matisse, Dali and the Mediterranean

This course will investigate the work of early 20th century modern artists in relation to Mediterranean myth and culture, with particular emphasis given to the work of Picasso, Matisse, and Dalí. Students will explore the elements that impacted the work of these artists, such as climate, vegetation, quality of life, and lifestyle; examine particular treatments of themes such as nudity, landscapes, and life along the sea; and develop an understanding of the impact of regional influences on these artists and their work. 

Plus, the following: 

  • Architectural History of Spain
  • Capturing Barcelona through Photography 

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CAPA’s variety of business courses include: 

Intercultural Management 

This course will introduce the concepts and fundamentals of international management in a diverse and culturally complex workplace. Students will develop an understanding of the qualities and benefits of effective leadership, team dynamics, motivation, and power; examine cultural dynamics as they apply to intercultural work environments; explore methods for implementing management strategies, structures, and systems; and prepare themselves for future management roles that involve multicultural challenges. 

Plus, the following: 

  • Marketing and Distribution Channels
  • Global Marketing
  • International Finance 
  • The Business of Social Media
  • Transportation and Logistics Management  

The classes I am currently taking are Spanish Architecture, Intercultural Management, and the Global Internship Workshop. Architecture is a really fun course because we get to look at a bunch of different structures and buildings in Spain made by famous artists like Gaudi, and then go field trips to visit some of the sites we’ve learned about in class. Intercultural Management teaches us about understanding other cultures, and how we can apply our knowledge and willingness to learn to the business world. 

-Maya Crawford, CAPA Barcelona student fall 2018

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CAPA’s variety of business courses include: 

Intercultural Communication   

This course allows students experiencing the challenges of cross-cultural communication in an international setting to explore intercultural communication theory and research within both broad and interpersonal contexts. Students will come to appreciate the complexities of intercultural interactions, and will be able to define and explain concepts related to intercultural communication and the components of intercultural competence. Plus, the course will enhance students’ self-reflection, flexibility, and sensitivity in intercultural communication. Topics include similarities and differences in values, norms, interethnic/intergroup communication, and adaptation. Students will bring these theories to bear on their experiences in the field. 

Plus, the following: 

  • Advertising and Society   
  • The Business of Social Media 
  • Media and Conflict 

Creative Writing: 

Writing the City Barcelona  

This course will explore the craft of creative writing in relation to the city and the particular challenges of writing about place. Students will examine different aspects of the city in relation to Barcelona narratives including travel, urban spaces, solitude, politics, ethnicity, and particular boroughs and characters (both fictional and real); and participate in both practical exercises and field work. 


Spain as Seen Through Its Movies: 1980s to Today

This course will investigate the creation of contemporary identities through “Spanish” films and cinematic form. Students will critically examine the notion of a “national cinema”; the role cinema plays in constructing our stories; cinema’s impact on shifting ideas of what constitutes the human condition; and where and how issues of gender, sexuality, class, and ethnicity surface in cinematic articulations of the relationship between national identity, global trends, and personal history. 


Global Internship Course 

The Global Internship Course is designed to be completed alongside an internship placement, allowing students to earn academic credit. Students will attend weekly, discussion-led sessions that include educational support and mentoring in a classroom environment; develop personal and professional skills; contextualize their internship experience socially and culturally; and employ Globally Networked Learning technology to conduct a comparative global analysis with other CAPA students. At times, this analysis will be facilitated through CAPA Masterclasses led by professionals in a diverse range of fields. 

CAPAStudyAbroad_Summer2019_Barcelona_EmmaPyron_Ambers internship with Women Ambition

As a student studying journalism and political science, the CAPA program in Barcelona helped me to connect with the Barcelona Metropolitan Magazine - the only English Speaking Magazine in Barcelona made primarily to serve the interest of expats in the city. Since Barcelona is known to be a mecca for these diverse cultural groups, working for this magazine was a perfect way to engage with this diversity that contributes to this deep-rooted cultural character of the city.  

-Isha Mahajan, CAPA Barcelona student fall 2019 

Political Science: 

Nationalism in Comparative Perspective 

This course will examine the relationship between states and nations, taking students on a deep dive into the state of nationalism in Spain, particularly in the Basque and Catalan regions. Students will explore the topic of nationalism as it manifests itself globally alongside other ideologies and attitudes, such as internationalism, racism, liberalism, and communism; and analyze specific case studies that demonstrate different contemporary types of nationalism as well as the types of institutions addressing the surrounding issues. 

Spanish Language: 

CAPA’s variety of business courses include: 

Spanish 202   

After completing this course, the student will understand extended speech and readings (TV, movies, newspapers, …) and will be able to communicate with a degree of fluency that will allow them to interact with natives with spontaneity. The information presented will be precise when talking about a field of interest and quite clear when writing or speaking on a range of subjects. 

Plus, the following:

  • Spanish 101 
  • Spanish 102
  • Spanish 201


Urban Studies: 

Analyzing and Exploring the Global City: Barcelona

Cities around the world are striving to be ‘global’; Barcelona, the capital of Catalunya, is one of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in Spain. It is globally-renowned for its art and architecture, possessing no fewer than nine UNESCO-designated ‘world heritage’ sites, and has become a major destination for global tourism. In this interdisciplinary course, students will examine the emergence of this elegant, creative city as Spain’s gateway to the Mediterranean; analyze its history and evolution since its foundation by the Romans; explore the role of population dynamics, industrial change and globalization in shaping the city and the lives of its inhabitants; and investigate the ways in which the interplay of urbanism, politics, and society has addressed challenges of social, political, and technological change in the past and today. 

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Topics: International Education, Internships Abroad, Barcelona, Spain