Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona)
Universidad Pompeu Fabra is an exchange destination for University College Utrecht students, located in Barcelona, Spain.
Universidad Pompeu Fabra is especially interesting for philosophy and politics.
We recommend going in Spring semester to avoid credit shortage due to the trimester system.
|Number of places available|
2 per semester
Fall Semester: September to December
|Language of instruction|
This destination has a language of instruction other than English. This means that you need to have at least a language proficiency level of CEFR B2 Spanish. You need to complete Spanish Language and Culture II (UCHUMSPA21) or get an exemption from the UCU Language & Culture coordinator, and it is your own responsibility to achieve at least B2 Spanish. This language requirement is partly for your own protection, so you can take courses at the same level as you do at UCU, and partly because we believe it allows you to have an experience abroad that is more immersive, enriching and culturally valuable to you.
At Universitat Pompeu Fabra there are English courses available, but UPF students are allowed to communicate in Spanish and Catalan as well in these courses. The Spanish language requirement ensures you are able to participate in class discussions and group projects in case your classmates do not / cannot speak English.
First term: 30th April
UPF offers courses in social sciences and humanities, communication and information technologies, and health and life sciences. More course information.
UPF uses ECTS.
The academic year at UPF is divided in three terms: September – December, January – March and April – June. Each term consists of 10 weeks of classes and 2 weeks for the exams. Each term is worth a maximum of 20 ECTS, so you will need to take 2 terms. Exchange in Fall semester therefore results in credit shortage.
UPF uses a scale from 10 to 1, with 10 as the highest grade and 6 as the lowest passing grade. Below you can see how this translates to UCU grades.
UPF does not provide any accommodation service directly. However, UPF is a member of the BCU, a public service that assists international students coming to Barcelona. It manages the Resa Housing Service, which offers a wide range of flats and rooms to rent and information about student residence halls. Moreover, UPF has direct agreements with some residence halls.
The university breaks down the cost of living as follows:
Orientation days are planned to welcome exchange students at the beginning of each term. Attendance to these sessions is compulsory. A language tandem program is organized so international students can meet with local students.
The university is located in the city of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain. The city has over 1,5 million inhabitants, over 200,000 of which are students. It is a popular tourist attraction because of its many historical and architectural sites, as well as its beaches. Find out more here.
UPF has 15,000 students. It has three campuses with only academic buildings, all in the city center. The university doesn’t have sports facilities, but it does offer certain courses in e.g. Yoga. It also has discount deals with gyms in Barcelona. There are sports, social and cultural activities organized by the university.
Previous exchange students have indicated that Barcelona is a great city for your semester abroad. There are lots and lots of museums, cultural events and festivals, as well as bars and the beach. As teachers have quite some liberty regarding what they teach, courses can differ in content but the general quality is fine. For academic and social reasons, you are advised to know Spanish before you go there, even if some courses allow you to read and write in English. Your classmates and teacher will often speak Spanish and it is useful if you know what’s going on. Public transport in Barcelona is not expensive at all, and you can get a good deal on housing if you put some effort in looking for a place. The Erasmus Network organises Welcoming Days which are great to get to know the city and other exchange students.