We’re a month into the new year of 2021, and very happy to have drawn a close to the chaotic year that was 2020. The global coronavirus pandemic drew normal life to a sudden halt last March, and although all corners of society were affected, it’s had a particularly big impact on students all across the globe. Online classes and zoom calls became the norm across schools and universities across Spain and many other countries, with many foreign students having to return to their home countries.
Fast forward to the present, and there’s hope that this year, with the roll out of global vaccinations and with experience of all the past months behind us, the situation will look somewhat different. Despite all the obstacles faced, students have persevered to handle the cards that they have been dealt and look forwards to the future with a positive outlook.
Many students have still come to Barcelona to study in the winter of 2020, and many more have arrived for the spring semester of 2021 too. If you’re considering making the jump to study in Barcelona in 2021, then read on to find out what it will be like to study here this year to decide what to do.
Why study in Barcelona?
Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations in the world for students to come to every year. It is a city that is famed for its culture, architecture, gastronomy and, of course, its beautiful beaches. It is the perfect place for any student regardless of their particular interests. It’s a very cosmopolitan city with residents from all over the world, meaning you’ll always find someone that speaks your language too.
Being in Catalonia means you also have the opportunity to experience not only Spanish culture, but Catalan too. The region has its own fascinating traditions, dishes and, of course, language, so it’s a great way to come to learn about the Catalan lifestyle too.
Even with varying restrictions being in place, thanks to the beautiful scenery and the outdoor space here you can still have so much fun studying here.
How safe will it be for me to come?
Thinking optimistically, as Barcelona begins to see positive steps towards the end of the pandemic, these are the reasons for which we believe Barcelona is safe for you to come and study:
- We’ve had a year of experience: as the pandemic has reached its year mark, the universities have plenty of experience in how to best deliver their courses safely. That’s to say, classes have been developed to ensure resources are available online, and face-to-face classes have been meticulously organised to ensure that classes are not crowded, adhering to health and safety measures. Similarly, there’s a wealth of information now on symptoms and detecting the virus, so students and staff alike know what to look out for in order to limit the spread.
- Hybrid learning: the majority of universities here understand the importance of having face-to-face learning, but not at the expense of safety. So, they offer hybrid learning, where one week can be in person for classes, and the next being online. This way there’s never overcrowding of students and it can even be viewed as a positive that there is more one-to-one experience with your teacher.
- Vaccinations: Spain began its vaccination programme on the 27th of December 2020, with hundreds of thousands of people having received their first dose at the time of writing. Once the most vulnerable members of society have been vaccinated during 2021, normal life can start to commence once more.
- Controlled movement: studying is classed as essential travel for most countries across the world, as well as providing a negative coronavirus test upon arrival, meaning there is peace of mind about travelling into the country. Similarly, Catalonia has controlled mobility both in and out, to limit unnecessary trips and halt the spread of the virus.
What universities are there in Barcelona?
The city offers a wide range of universities to choose from, all of which are open to international students and offer many courses that are taught in English. There’s a great mix of old universities and modern campuses, specialising in technology, business, engineering, sciences and much more. Many students come to study in Barcelona on the Erasmus program, or by partnerships that their home university has with places here.
The best and most popular universities for international students in Barcelona are as follows:
- University of Barcelona (UB)
- Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)
- Pompeu Fabra University (UPF)
- Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC)
- Ramon Llull University (URL)
- Esade Business School
- Open University of Catalonia (UOC)
- EAE Business School
We recommend browsing each of the individual institution’s websites to get a feel for what they offer, where they’re located in Barcelona, and which would be a best fit for your studies.
Where should I stay?
Once you’ve decided which university would be the best fit for your studies in Barcelona, now it’s time to start planning the logistics of your study abroad. Renting apartments in Barcelona has always been the most popular option, as well as also being the safest option in regard to COVID. Going with a trusted and reliable agency is also another key piece of advice we would give to any prospective student, to offer peace of mind and protection during your stay.
At AB Apartment Barcelona we offer a wide range of excellent seasonal rental apartments, from 32 days to 11 months. This takes all the hassle out for your stay, as all of our apartments come ready equipped with WiFi, bedding, and kitchen utensils & appliances. We’re here to help you before, during and after your stay with us, with our friendly team being available 24/7 to help with any queries you may have.