Spring Term

You are set to arrive just as the air begins to warm, and the cherry blossom trees begin to bloom. The springtime is a perfect time to explore all that Barcelona has to offer; from sprawling beaches and parks to tiny tapas bars filled with unique aromas and culture.

Studying abroad with ALBA this spring term will provide you with many opportunities, as well as the chance to get to know the lifestyle in Barcelona. Scroll down and learn more about what we offer you at ALBA, the courses you can take and life in Barcelona this spring.

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Safety Plan

Find out what measures we have adopted in order to provide you with a safe, intercultural experience.

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Spring Term Program: Unique in Many Ways

  • The city comes alive with the change in season. As the air begins to warm the festivities increase, and more people can be found flocking to the beach. By the middle of April, temperatures reach an average of 70 degrees.
  • The list of festivals and events to attend is extensive, and weather is perfect for practicing all sorts of sports.
  • Forget about packing heavy winter clothes, this is the best time to bust out the shorts and travel light around Europe.
  • Getting around the rest of Spain and to other cities in Europe is easy and affordable.

Affordable and Flexible

We are very proud to say that we offer one of the most affordable progams out there. In many cases, studying abroad with ALBA could even be more cost-effective than staying at you home institution.

View Dates and Costs

Financial Aid

If you are on federal financial aid or you consider yourself elegible for it, go ahead and request your aid through Portland State University (ALBA’s School of Record and accrediting body). Make sure you begin the process before December 1st to make sure you have the grant in time.

More info on financial aid

Spring Term Course Offerings

 Students should see their academic advisor about all classes of interest.

ALBA Courses

International Business, Finance and Economics Courses

5 quarter credits – 3-4 semester credits

(FIN 456 PSU)

This course focuses on the two essential elements of international finance, often called “multinational” finance because in reality the flow of funds across national boundaries is conducted almost entirely by large corporations and large banks with international operations.

5 quarter credits / 3.3 semester credits

Download the syllabus (PDF)

(EC 441 PSU)

International economics is divided into two broad subfields: international trade and international money. International trade focuses on real transactions in the international economy, that is, on those transactions that involve a physical movement of goods. On the other hand, international money focuses on financial transactions and refers to the monetary side of the international economy. This course deals with the second aspect of international economics.

5 quarter credits / 3.3 semester credits

Download the syllabus (PDF)

(MKTG 376 PSU)

This course is designed as an introduction to the study of global business. We will examine contemporary issues regarding the political, social, and economic consequences of the globalization of markets and industries. We will also examine the responses of multinational enterprises to the challenges of globalization. Topics include: national business systems, regional and multilateral integration, international trade and investment, the global financial system, culture, ethics and international operations. Because of its introductory nature, the course will introduce a large number of key issues whose understanding can be deepened through subsequent courses or readings.

Course Objectives:
In today’s environment many companies operate globally. This class will expose students to the challenges and opportunities managers face when conducting business internationally. The goal is to provide students with the frameworks and tools to …..

5 quarter credits / 3.3-4 semester credits

Download the syllabus (PDF)

(BA 385/MGMT 399 PSU)

Organizations do not exist in a vacuum. Every day, businesses and their employees face a wide range of pressures and constraints that comprise the political, social, legal, and ethical environment of business. The purpose of this course is to dramatically increase your understanding of these forces and prepare you to become a more effective member of the international business community. The course is organized into three modules:

1. Making Ethical Decisions
2. Managing Relationships
3. Building Socially Responsible Systems, Practices, and Policies.

5 quarter credits / 3.3-4 semester credits

Download the syllabus (PDF)

(BA 302/MGMT 399 PSU)

The field of Organizational Behavior has evolved to help organizations manage and lead their people in a way that maximizes the organization’s success and employee wellbeing. This course is an introduction to the basic concepts and topics in leadership and organizational behavior (OB). We will survey several topics that are related to managing and leading people in organizations, including personality, decision making, motivation, leadership, team dynamics, negotiations, and organizational culture. Throughout this course, we will examine how individuals in organizations function across different contexts and levels of analysis: individually, inter-personally and in groups, and in organizations.

5 quarter credits / 3.3-4 semester credits

Download the syllabus (PDF)

(BA 311/MKTG 399 PSU)

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental marketing concepts and their application by business and non-business organizations. The goal is to expose the students to these concepts as they are used in a wide variety of settings, including consumer goods firms, manufacturing and service industries, and small and large businesses. The course will give you an overview of marketing strategy issues, elements of a market – company, customers, and competition, as well as the fundamental elements of the
marketing mix – product, price, placement (distribution) and promotion. In addition, the course adopts a modern, customer-centric view of marketing and will, via managerial marketing models, prepare students to comfortably apply the marketing strategies in a quantitative, precise, and informed fashion. As with any class, the knowledge that you take away from the class will be determined in large part by the degree to which you rigorously pursue an understanding of the materials covered. This includes reading the assigned materials, asking informed questions, and productively interacting with your peers in team assignments.

5 quarter credits / 3.3-4 semester credits

Download the syllabus (PDF)

Political Science and History Courses

5 quarter credits – 3-4 semester credits

(PS 399 PSU)

This course deals with the politics of development from a comparative perspective. We will be addressing development issues across different points in time and across different world regions. Two main topics/concepts will be analyzed throughout the semester: development and the state. We will study Latin America, Africa, and Asia, which form part of what is known as the developing world or Third World, which in fact we will challenge this labeling. We will as well present a comparative overview of the Latin American, African, and Asian regions in general; and address and familiarize ourselves with the debates surrounding the virtues & vices of market economies (and globalization); and the role and relevance of ontological thinking for the purpose of understanding and explaining social reality will be a common intellectual thread throughout the semester. A cultural component, (films, related to development politics), will be part of this course.

5 quarter credits / 3.3 semester credits

Download syllabus (PDF)

Geography, Art, Architecture, Sociology and Communications Courses

5 quarter credits – 3-4 semester credits

(SOC 410 PSU)

This core course introduces the student to contemporary issues in Barcelona and Catalonia by paying close attention to its cultural, historic, and artistic patrimony. It begins by exploring the pressing issues of today — the question of independence in Catalonia and the widely acclaimed “Barcelona Model.

*This is our ALBA core class that all ALBA students take and greatly benefit from in understanding Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and the European Union. Course substitution may be granted under special consideration.

5 quarter credits / 3.3 semester credits

Download the syllabus (PDF)

(INTL 399 PSU)

The course aims to initiate students to the history and culture of 20th and 21st Century Spain through the filmic and literary perspective conferred by Spanish filmmakers and novelists to the socio-historical events that took place from 1936 to the post global financial crisis age. This course offers the possibility of exploring how cinema and literature can be a lucrative method of learning Spanish contemporary history, politics, culture and society, a key factor for a successful integration to the host culture while studying abroad. Therefore, while this course invites to experience and interpret films and novels produced under the Franco’s censorship and during the democracy, it also offers an astonishing space to value Franco’s overall impact on Spanish society, both during the totalitarian regime (1939-1975) and since the restoration of the democracy. Finally, this course also pays a close attention to the transformation of Spanish culture after the 2008 crisis by analyzing the Golden Age of Spanish TV Shows, when we will address topics related with the dichotomy between global firms and national governments, the idea of liberty in a consumer society, the moral and ethical choices in business and political parties as well as the concept of the crisis of democracy.

5 quarter credits / 3.3 semester credits

Download the syllabus (PDF)

(ART 410 PSU)

Modern Spain: the “Golden Age” and the spread of Renaissance humanism from Italy. Foundations of Spanish art: El Greco and Velasquez; Goya, Zurbaran, Murillo, Valdes, Leal. Baroque architecture and scuplture. Goya; art nouveau and modernism (Gaudi, Jujol); the avant garde(Picasso); surrealism (Dali); Miro, Gris.

5 quarter credits / 3.3 semester credits

Download the syllabus (PDF)

Starting Summer 19. Visiting artist and instructor Terrence Gasca (Portland, Oregon)

(ART 299 PSU)

A hands-on course (limited to 10 students per course) with an on-site approach that employs art as a tool for developing a historical understanding of modern Spanish and Catalan masters, including five of Spain’s most prominent artists and their work, representing Impressionism, Costumbrismo, Cubism, Surrealism, and New Realism. Through analysis, interpretation, art and architecture, on-site sketching, lectures, and discussion, students will challenge their visual skills with drawing, painting, collage, and journaling using the city of Barcelona as a backdrop. The course provides a strong foundation for future courses in art history, art theory, and the making of art in general. See the syllabus for further description.

This incredibly innovative, hands-on approach to learning, experiencing and enjoying Barcelona’s art history will be taught by veteran artist and art instructor Terrence Gasca (Portland, Oregon) See some of Terrence’s art at terrencegasca.com

5 quarter credits / 3.3-4 semester credits

Download the syllabus (PDF)

(COM 415 PSU)

Being abroad is a life changing experience. It offers a stimulating opportunity to explore a new culture
and reflect upon how becoming a sojourner can be a key factor of the process of identity formation.
Encountering a new culture reveals something of the culture from which the sojourner comes from as
not being at home also entails a constant reinterpretation of home values and traditions.
For this reason, this course aims to interrogate until what extend the sojourner needs to evaluate the principles by which he/she obtains an understanding of a cultural phenomena as well as the methods and techniques used to question these.

This course is an exceptional tool for abroad students. While it aims to maximize student’s intercultural experience, it also helps them to explore and bridge the gap between how the new culture is presented in this globalized era and the means by which a sojourner can effectively acquire a communicative competence while being in a new home, Barcelona, as well as in his/her trips across Europe.

5 quarter credits / 3.3 semester credits

Download the syllabus (PDF)

(MGMT 446 PSU)

This course focuses on the notion of communication competence in multicultural settings for managing organizations effectively. It aims to explore what intercultural communication and pragmatics are, and more importantly, the extreme value that good intercultural communicators add to organizations for cross-culture relations both internally and externally. The course encourages contemplation of the nature of the communicative process across organizations, among management and representatives of different cultures, speaking different first languages.

5 quarter credits / 3.3-4 semester credits

Download the syllabus (PDF)

(GEOG 399 PSU)

The main aim of the course is to offer an overview of how information and telecommunications technologies are changing both urban spaces and human behavior in cities.

More specifically, the course is organized into three parts:

Firstly, some preliminary definitions are presented. Concepts such as ‘digital technology’, ‘real-time communication’ or ‘smart city’ are explained.

Secondly, key evidence and facts are presented to illustrate how information and telecommunication technologies have definitely changed the nature of many different economic, social and cultural processes and, as a consequence, the whole urban life and lifestyle. A wide range of examples are presented to explain how digital technologies have provided with innovation and creativity the urban planning and management.

Thirdly, some conclusions are presented on how digital technologies can have a stronger influence on cities future urban life.

Finally, the course approaches these contents using the city of Barcelona as an urban laboratory where testing the previously mentioned ideas on the basis of existing on-going projects to develop Barcelona as a future smart city.

5 quarter credits / 3.3 semester credits

Download syllabus (PDF)

Spanish Language & Culture Courses

6 quarter credits – 4 semester credits

Spanish language classes are taught in Spanish for all levels. These classes are designed to develop and sharpen Spanish language skills by exploring local Spanish and Catalan culture including its geography, history, art, architecture, music, film and traditions. The class uses innovative materials and tasks to provide the optimum context for acquiring greater knowledge of the Spanish language and culture. A significant amount of class time is spent out of the classroom in the streets, markets and monuments of Barcelona for contextual learning which emphasizes and develops communicative strategies which lead to greater autonomy and fluency.

6 quarter credits / 4-5 semester credits

SPAN 199 – Beginner: Very little to no previous Spanish Download the syllabus

SPAN 299 – Intermediate: Have a good base of comprehension and expression Download the syllabus

SPAN 399 – High Intermediate: Ya tiene un buen nivel de español y quiere mejorar. Download the syllabus

(SPAN 330 PSU/399)

Taught in Spanish and completely outside of the classroom in the streets of Barcelona, monuments, museums and markets. This class is designed to develop and sharpen Spanish language skills by exploring local Spanish and Catalan culture including its geography, history, art, architecture, music, film and traditions. The class uses innovative materials and tasks to provide the optimum context for acquiring greater knowledge of the Spanish language and culture. The class is built around out-of-class activities with an emphasis placed on communicative strategies which lead to greater autonomy and fluency.

6 quarter credits / 4 semester credits

Nivel Intermedio-Alto: Habla español bien.
Cada clase tiene lugar FUERA DE LA AULA. Se trata de tareas linguisticas y culturales por las calles, museos, monumentos y mercados de Barcelona
Download the syllabus

(SPAN 299 PSU / SPAN 399 PSU)

This course is designed for intermediate students of the Spanish language. Students will practice their language skills and design a professional portfolio. Readings will provide models for practice in writing resumes, job applications, professional letters, interviews and marketing materials necessary in today’s international professional environment including NGOs.

This course is guided by the national standards, known as the five Cs: Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Community. This second year Spanish course is an intermediate level four-skills course designed for students with one year or more of previous study of Spanish at the university level. The main objectives of this course are to increase students’ reading and writing skills, oral production, and listening comprehension with focus on professional development. In class the students will have the opportunity to…

6 quarter credits / 4-5 semester credits

Required: a good base of comprehension and expression.
Designed for business and non-business related majors
Download the syllabus

  • Classes conducted in Spanish
  • All levels of Spanish are accommodated
  • Level tests will be taken during orientation
  • Course work (papers, presentations, projects) in Spanish. English if granted exception.

(Classes will be added or dropped based on demand)

University of Washington (UW) students receive direct UW credits for all classes taught by ALBA. Students from all other universities receive transfer credits from Portland State University.

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