Winter Term

Studying abroad in Barcelona has always been a popular choice for students, as they can change their colder home campuses for the sun and warmth of the Mediterranean and Barcelona. This Winter quarter is also a great opportunity to enjoy Europe away from the crowds and take advantage of the lower cost of traveling.

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ALBA has recently partnered with Universitat Pompeu Fabra, which is according to many studies, the number one Spanish university. Allowing us to offer an even wider range of classes and an even richer Study Abroad Experience.

Winter Term Program: Unique in Many Ways

  • ALBA winter quarter is at the end of Christmas break and before Easter week which means there are a few extra weeks to travel around Spain and Europe.
  • Although it is not exactly beach season, the beach –just minutes walk from ALBA– is still a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy the sand and boardwalk cafés and take a walk or jog.
  • There are many music and cultural festivals and the cooler weather is great for sports and leisure both inside and outside of Barcelona.
  • Getting around the rest of Spain and to other cities in Europe is easier and very affordable in the winter months.

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.

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 November 1st to make sure you have the grant in time.

Winter Term Course Offering

Review the courses and strongly consider combining your ALBA courses with at least one of the University of Pompeu Fabra courses!

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

Highlighted Intercultural Competence Courses 

The ability to function effectively across cultures, to act appropriately, communicate and work with people from different cultural backgrounds is a key aspect of being a global citizen.

AT ALBA we firmly believe that gaining Intercultural Competence is a fundamental part of any Study Abroad Experience. Therefore, we are determined to offer you courses that will deepen your knowledge in this aspect and prepare you for the future:

Political Science, History and Geography Courses

5 quarter credits – 3-4 semester credits

(SOC 410 PSU)

Highly recommended for all ALBA students. Getting to know the local culture and history from an intercultural perspective is a key part of your study abroad experience. Students will benefit greatly from understanding Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and the European Union.

This 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.

University of Washington students have the possibility of receiving additional writing credit for this course.

Download the syllabus

(PS 399 PSU)

This course explores issues of development, the state, and democracy within the Mediterranean region with a special attention to Southern Europe, North Africa, Turkey, and the “Balkans” (from a comparative perspective). In this exploration we will pay attention to issues of Modernity and its significance and connection to development, the state, and democracy. The religion-politics duality is of essence throughout the semester; 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 Mediterranean political issues) will be part of this course.

Download the syllabus

(PS 316 PSU)

Art is inherently political. Politics have forever shaped art – a universal phenomenon – constant throughout history and culture. Entire cities have been shaped by this symbiotic relationship over the centuries. Art is truly an integral, irrefutable part of the metropolis, and not limited to museums, but alive in the actual fabric of the city and streets themselves.

This course is divided into three sections, each examining the historical relationship between art and politics and the repercussions within the metropolis, the city of Barcelona.

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(WS 375u PSU)

The purpose of this course is for students to learn about the history of sexualities, the complexity of gender in the Spanish-speaking world over the course of time, how repressive laws have affected individual experiences of sex and gender, and how more recently both activists and scholars have challenged normative sexualities, offering new opportunities for community and support. While based in academic theory and readings, this course encourages student experiential learning onsite in Barcelona.

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(GEOG 331u PSU)

The subject covers main issues on globalization and territorial change worldwide. Main discussions on global economy, digital technology, environmental, social and cultural transformations in regions are introduced and illustrated with specific readings. The contents focus on how postindustrial economies and postmodern cultures are defining a real functionally integrated world. Particularly, how the process of internationalization of places which synthetically represents globalization can be explained as a negotiation between the global and the local. Key study cases are offered regarding both the increasing capability for global transportation, telecommunication or consumption and the new importance of local peculiarities. Finally, the city of Barcelona is presented as an urban laboratory to observe and understand how these global dynamics affect and interact with local places.

Download the syllabus

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.

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

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

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

Nivel Intermedio-Alto: Habla español bien.
Cada clase tiene lugar FUERA DEL 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.

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.

Liberal Arts Courses

5 quarter credits – 3-4 semester credits

(COM 415 PSU)

This course maximizes students’ intercultural experience in Barcelona by helping them recognize the explicit connections between the skills developed while being abroad and the ones highly demanded in the job market. To achieve this purpose, this course bridges the gap between how the new culture is presented in this digitalized era and the means by which students can effectively acquire intercultural skills while being in a new home, Barcelona, as well as his/her trips across Europe. Students will study critical concepts in order to enhance their familiarity with academic notions of intercultural, interpersonal communication and global competence, as well as the relationship between psychology, culture, and new technologies. This will help students understand why being abroad is a life changing experience related with the process of identity formation: intercultural scenarios are perfect to anticipate real-world situations and practice skills needed to succeed in their professional and personal life.

On the one hand, this course uses several Spanish, Catalan, European and US artistic examples in order to practice intercultural skills as well as the aforementioned academic notions (Films, TV Shows, TV Commercials and Documentaries). As a result, students will also be able to compare and examine concrete cultural paradigms from the US, Spain and Catalonia. On the other, since students will be in Barcelona, this course offers several field studies that are meant to understand local culture, to motivate the idea of experiencing intercultural communication first-hand and from their own personal experiences while living in another culture.

Download the syllabus

(ART 410 PSU)

A survey of Spanish and Catalonian art and architecture using the city of Barcelona as the classroom. From Ancient Rome through the Middle Ages, including Romanesque and Gothic art and architecture, the Golden Age of Spanish Painters, where the influence of Humanism, the Enlightenment, the Reformation, and other political and social changes influence the works of Velázquez, El Greco, and Goya. The course deals with the Art Nouveau movement in Barcelona, where the works of architects such as Gaudí and Puig i Cadalfach are seen as a direct reaction to the spoils of the Industrial Revolution, the early 20th Century Avant-Garde movements, with Picasso, Dalí, and Miró all playing major roles, and finally, Barcelona’s urban transformation from major, industrialized city to its post-Olympic status in the 21st century.

Download the syllabus

(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 is taught by Professor Craig Markarian.

Download the syllabus

International Business and Economics Courses

5 quarter credits – 3-4 semester credits

(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.

Download the syllabus

(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.

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(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.

Download the syllabus

(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.

Download the syllabus

(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.

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(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.

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(BA 199/PHIL 314 U)

This course introduces students to the digital business model of the so-called AI economy in order to understand and learn its ethical and real-world consequences by watching films, documentaries, and TV shows. While we will focus on key questions about the effects of new technologies, the course seeks to identify and forecast future ethical issues at the intersection of human behavior, psychology, democracy, society, science, the world of business and digital marketing. The purpose is to recognize the moral limits of certain business practices that use infallible predictive models or AI systems; these have. transformed our everyday life and modified the key human qualities. Ultimately, this course is also designed to help students to acquire and learn skills for making personal and professional ethical decisions, with their digital future always in mind.

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(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.

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(EC 410 PSU)

The principal objective of this course is to understand the nature and significance of trade – flows of goods and services – between countries. This task will involve asking why these flows arise in the first place and what effects they have on the countries involved (usually, two in our analyses). Beyond that, we shall also ask whether, and under what conditions, these effects are good, bad or indifferent and what policies might therefore be deployed to improve or alleviate the situation – and in turn, what effects these policies may have on the other countries.

Then, following the mainly theoretical analysis, we will look at trade policies in historical perspective, particularly the evolution of the world trading system under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GAIT) and its successor, the World Trade Organization (WTO). Much of the history of trade relations over this Post-World War II period has been a struggle between national commitments to free trade and more immediate short run (SR) domestic considerations.

Download the syllabus

(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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UPF courses are included in the ALBA tuition fee.

And that’s not all, taking courses at the UPF has plenty of benefits for you, make sure you don’t miss out on this unique oportunity

Universitat Pompeu Fabra Courses

Combine classes at ALBA with classes at UPF, to make the perfect study abroad experience.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra’s course dates differ slightly from ALBA’s. Make sure you check the specifics of your desired courses on the UPF website so you can plan accordingly.

Applications Open

Receiving applications for academic years 2024 and 2025