- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 3.0 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Rising sophomore standing or above at the start of the program
- None; an entry level business, economics, or an equivalent technical background is recommended, but not required.
The metropolis of Barcelona, with its distinctive culture and fascinating history, also offers a rich business environment to engage students in international perspectives on their areas of study. This three-week, three-credit Maymester program will immerse students in Spain while furthering their business knowledge of the region. Students often have the opportunity to incorporate this study abroad experience into their summer in conjunction with a domestic or international internship which typically begins the first week of June. (Please note that it will not be permitted to leave the program early due to conflict of dates with summer internships or other obligations.)
The course will be taught by Smeal business faculty, but will be open to all Penn State majors from all campuses. An entry level business, economics, or an equivalent technical background is recommended, but not required. Smeal business students may use the course towards the International Business minor requirements in addition to the minimum 6 credits, 6 weeks required. This course can serve a wide range of students from exploring first-year students to sophomores seeking multiple abroad experiences to juniors accommodating internships. Liberal Arts students in Economics, Spanish, Political Science, Statistics, Energy Business Finance, Information Science and Technology, campus students in 4 year business programs, and students pursing business minors or certificates in any major are encouraged to apply. For more information, please visit the host program website.
Summer: May 8 - May 28, 2022
This program may have limited space, so we recommend that you identify an appropriate backup program and complete the Education Abroad Backup Questionnaire in your Penn State Application when applying to this program. Should you not be accepted for your first-choice program, you will automatically be reviewed for your backup choice. For help on choosing an appropriate backup, please contact your education abroad adviser.
Program Leader Information
- Nancy Mahon, Associate Clinical Professor, Smeal College of Business
- Contact Elizabeth Labrin in the Smeal Office of International Programs for more information.
All students will be enrolled in MGMT 399: Business in Barcelona: Intercultural Communication for a Global Economy, for 3 credits.
Beautiful Barcelona—with sunny Mediterranean beaches, fantastical Gaudi designs, unique neighborhoods, and landmarks like La Sagrada Familia and La Rambla, is a renowned business hub. As the capital of the Catalonian region of Spain, Barcelona has a diverse population and a distinct culture characterized by an array of traditions and customs. Additionally, its strategic position, both geographically and in a variety of industrial sectors, make the city an ideal environment in which to explore intercultural business communication.
Using Barcelona as a vibrant example of a complex and cosmopolitan business environment, Business in Barcelona will position students to better understand intercultural communication to meet global business challenges. This ability is paramount in today’s international economy as professionals work with colleagues and clients from cultures all over the world. While new cultures offer exciting opportunities, the need to successfully manage intercultural communication can challenge even the most experienced professionals.
Through guided corporate and cultural visits and classroom activities, Business in Barcelona will examine cultural context, intercultural communication norms, and differences in nonverbal communication in professional and personal contexts. After completing the course, students will have greater cultural and communication competence in professional and social settings. Students will leave with the skills needed to analyze intercultural communication factors that shape business practices, the ability to craft business cases for international audiences, and be better positioned to work and thrive in dynamic intercultural environments.
Students are required to take the prescribed course listed above as participants on the program. The Education Abroad Office will register you for this course. To determine how this course will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
- Research courses offered on your program
- Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements.
- Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options
- You must enroll in 3 credits
- You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
- If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation
- You must attend the entire length of the program.
Students will be able to choose between two housing options:
Students can choose to stay with a host family for an immersive cultural experience. This is the most economical option and includes breakfast and evening meals with the homestay family, 7 days a week. Typically, twin-bedded rooms with shared living space and a weekly load of laundry. Linens, weekly cleaning and WiFi access are included.
For a supplemental fee of $545, students can select a twin-bedded room in an apartment instead of the homestay. Between four and six students will share an equipped kitchen, bathroom(s) and living areas. Linens and WiFi are included. Students selecting the apartment option also receive a meal allowance onsite of 175 euros.
Independent housing is not permitted on this program.
Airport: Group transfer to/from airport upon program arrival/departure to student housing.
Travel pass: A TMB T-Usual for unlimited travel on the metro, buses, trams and regional trains in the central zone of Barcelona for the duration of the program.
Welcome and farewell group meals are included. Day-to-day meals depend on the housing options (see details above).
Program costs are estimates and subject to change up to the program commitment deadline. If Penn State tuition rates are adjusted for summer 2021, then the education abroad program fee would be scaled accordingly to arrive at the same total billable amount listed on the budget sheet.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.
Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid.
Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies.
Withdrawal & Refund Policy
Students interested in participating in his program must Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred.
Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. For faculty-led freestanding programs, there is a specific withdrawal penalty schedule.
Education Abroad makes every attempt at keeping the program and administrative costs to a minimum. However, when you commit to participating in a program, Education Abroad begins to make financial commitments on your behalf. In case of withdrawal, the following fees will be charged to your Bursar account
Upon Commitment - 90 Days Prior to Departure: 25% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
30 - 89 Days Prior to Departure: 50% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
29 Days - Departure Date: 100% Program Fee + EA Admin Fee
Following the start of the summer semester, any adjustment of tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. More information can be found on the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.
If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.
After the Start of the Program
For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.
Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.
Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Global Programs Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.
Gender and LGBTQA Considerations
There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.
Race, Ethnicity, and Faith Considerations
When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.
It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.
Steps to Study Abroad
The planning stages outlined on the Global Programs website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.
How to Apply
Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!
Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Global Penn State website.
You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Global Programs website.
Contact Education Abroad
If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website.
Education Abroad Advisers
Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Global Penn State website.
For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!