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About Barcelona

History and Location

 History and Location

The Barcelona Center, operated by one of Pepperdine’s local program partners (CAPA), is situated in the city’s central square, Plaça de Catalunya. This large square is generally considered to be both the city center and the place where the old town and the Eixample (pronounced eh-SHAM-plah) meet. Some of the city's most important streets and avenues intersect at Plaça de Catalunya: Passeig de Gracia, Rambla de Catalunya, and Puerto de Ángel, to name a few. It is especially known for its fountains and statues along with its proximity to some of Barcelona's most popular attractions. The plaza was established in the late 19th century and was further modified in 1929, due to the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.

 Program Dates

Exact dates have yet to be determined and the below timeline will provide general guidance. The timeline is similar to our other program dates.

Fall 2022: Beginning of September through mid-December

Spring 2023: Beginning of January through mid-April

 Program Office

The Barcelona Center is located at Pl. de Catalunya, 20, 2, 08002 Barcelona, Spain. 

Normal office hours are Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.



Living in Barcelona


Arriving in Barcelona

Students will fly into the Barcelona airport. Upon arrival, you will have to pass through Immigration or Passport Control before leaving the airport. You will be asked to show your passport and visa. 

Transportation to Your Facility

Transportation from the Barcelona airport to the Pepperdine facility by coach will be provided at points of time on the arrival date communicated by Pepperdine. There will be a staff member from the CAPA Barcelona Program to greet you outside of the Barcelona airport customs hall. Students that are unable to arrive within the required timeframe will receive detailed instructions on how to travel from the airport to their accommodation and will be responsible to pay for transportation. 


Traveling to Student Center from the Airport

The main airport in Barcelona is the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport. It is located approximately 40 minutes by train and about 20 minutes by taxi from the Barcelona Center.


Jumping on the  Aerobus is a great option for travel to and from the Barcelona airport. The stops are conveniently located, it’s reasonably priced, and, traffic permitting, it’ll get you to the Barcelona city center in about 35 minutes. The buses are blue and have AEROBUS in large letters on the side. The airport stop is just outside of Terminal 1 (flights from the US arrive at Terminal 1). The service runs every 5 to 10 minutes and you can either buy your ticket at one of the machines – they take both cash and cards (Mastercard or Visa only) – or on the bus. Please note that the bus drivers will not accept bills of over €20. Alternatively, you can get a ticket in advance online (they are open for any day of travel and are valid for one year). A single ticket costs €5.90.


The TMB (Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona; Transportes Metropolitanes de Barcelona) is the main public transport operator in Catalonia and a benchmark public mobility company in Europe and the world. TMB tickets provide access to all public transportation in Barcelona, including subways, metros, trams, and more. With so many ways to connect throughout the city, the TMB makes getting to your destination quick, easy, and efficient. More information can be found here.  

You will be given a TMB Ticket as part of your program that covers all forms of transportation within Barcelona (i.e., trains, buses, streetcars, ferries, and even a cable car taking you to nearby mountains). The TMB is a paper ticket that will have your passport number written on it, allowing you to show ticket inspectors that you are the owner of that ticket. Your ticket will provide you with unlimited travel within Zone 1 (this includes all of Barcelona and many of the surrounding areas) for the duration of your program. This will allow you to easily travel from your program housing to the classroom facility, along with getting you wherever you need to be in Barcelona.

Bus System 

  • The TMB Metro Pass, provided by the program, will cover single bus fares.
  • If you do not have your TMB pass with you, the Barcelona buses will take both cash and card. A single, one-way bus ticket is €2.20, and clerks will accept bills of €10 or less.
  • Barcelona’s bus system covers the entire city and runs 24/7. The night bus schedule is from 10:40 PM until 6:00 AM.
  • If you are interested in taking a tour of the city, there are also several different Barcelona tours by bus.

Metro System 

  • The TMB Metro Pass, provided by the program, will cover metro fares.
  • If you do not have your TMB pass with you, the Barcelona metro determines costs based on the zone(s) you are traveling to and from.
  • The 8 Metro lines in Barcelona run on the following schedule (hours are subject to change for public holidays):
    • Monday - Thursday: 5 AM to Midnight
    • Weekends: Non-stop from Saturday at 5:00 AM until Sunday at midnight



During your time in Barcelona, you will be required to have an operating smartphone that can make/receive calls, text messages, and that has a data plan. This is important so that Pepperdine can contact you via phone in the event of an emergency. You will also be asked to download safety apps that can be used in emergency situations. 


To fulfill this requirement, you have three options: 

  1. Get your U.S. phone unlocked PRIOR TO YOUR ARRIVAL IN SPAIN, into which you can then insert a Spanish SIM card when you arrive. IMPORTANT: If you choose this option, make sure you have comprehensive insurance for your phone in case it gets broken, lost, or stolen.  
  2. Come to Spain with an international plan from your U.S. provider. This plan must include data so that you can access the program’s safety apps wherever you are and at any time. 
  3. Come to Spain and buy a cheap cell phone and SIM in-country. This plan must include data so that you can access the program’s safety apps wherever you are and at any time. 


No matter which option you choose, you will need to ensure that your phone (including data) is always on while in Spain so that you can be contacted at any time by Pepperdine staff.


In-house Communications

Important Phone Numbers 

  • Barcelona Center: +34 93 268 1393– call to be connected to the Front Desk staff and other staff members 
  • CAPA 24/7 Emergency Phone: +34 653 70 71 23 please contact in emergencies and housing maintenance issues only  
  • Pepperdine 24/7 Emergency Phone: 310.506.4441
  • International SOS 24/7 Emergency Phone: 215.942.8226 (US), +34 91 572 4363 (Spain) 


E-mail Communications from Program Staff to Student Participants

  • Mondays: Monday Memo (Weekly Program Updates)  
  • Wednesdays: My Global City  E-mail (“What’s On” and sign-up info!)


Student Mail

All students are encouraged to have mail sent to the program center addressed as follows: 


c/o CAPA: The Global Education Network 

Pl. de Catalunya, 20, 2 

08010 Barcelona 


Following these guidelines will ensure that you receive your items in a timely fashion and can prevent any unnecessary fees or lost mail.  

The CAPA Center Front Desk staff personally receive and look after all mail that comes through the office and securely store parcels/letters for students as well as sign for items, if necessary. 

CAPA cannot accept FEDEX/DHL/UPS deliveries for packages (only flat document envelopes and letters will be accepted if absolutely necessary!) due to the unpredictable duty charges incurred by these methods – which are then attributed to the receiver, often weeks after delivery. These items will be refused and will be automatically deferred to the depot, where they can be picked up and paid for. 

For packages (and all mail, if possible), please ONLY use the US Postal Service (which also has options for international expedited & registered parcel deliveries). 

 Program Facilities

Secure Entry

Students will enter their residence with their fingerprints to ensure secure entry. This also eliminates the need for keys.


Classroom Facilities

Students will have access to fully equipped academic facilities during normal business hours including:

  • 11 classrooms with PC/Projector/Screen and Whiteboard
  • Student computer lab space with 15 computers, internet access, and printing access
  • Multipurpose rooms, resource center, study area
  • Wireless internet
  • Student Lounge and kitchen area


Student Housing         

Students in the program will be living with other Pepperdine students in a student residence hall. All dorms will have shared bedrooms, bathrooms, and access to common areas. The residence hall is an approximately 20-minute commute to the Barcelona Student Center by public transit or by walking. Please note that students studying in Barcelona for the entire academic year will have access to their accommodations during the individual semester dates only and not during the winter break.



Laundry facilities are available in the housing facility for a fee of approximately 5 euros per load (washer and dryer).


Students will be provided three group meals each week either at the Barcelona Student Center or at a local restaurant. Local staff can provide students with information regarding grocery stores, markets, and other places to grocery shop and eat.


You’ll want to pack light to make your travels easier, and because you are sure to pick up plenty of new clothes, local snacks, and items from your travels that you’ll want to bring back with you to the States. A good tip is to pack your suitcase, then take half out, and repack!


Prescription drugs/contact lenses – make sure you have enough of this to last your entire semester! Make sure all medications and their respective prescriptions are stored in your carry-on along with any other important devices and documentation related to your health.

Clothes for all seasons – the transition from season to season brings a multitude of weather changes in Barcelona, so make sure you pack some cool clothes for September when it’s generally still quite hot. You will also likely need some warm and waterproof clothes. Although winters in Barcelona are quite mild, it can still get very chilly!

Copies of your important documents – as a precaution, be sure to make copies of your important documents, such as your passport, driver’s license, student ID, and so on.

Plug adaptors – the plugs are different in Spain, so make sure you bring adaptors for your chargers, computer, etc.

Money belt/zip purse – or any safe means of carrying around your valuables for the semester. Small wallets and bags with zip closures are ideal.

Do Not Bring:

Hair straighteners,hair dryers, and electronic razors – due to the voltage differences between the USA and Europe, high voltage items such as hair straighteners and hair dryers will malfunction if you use them through a regular plug adaptor (and sometimes even a voltage converter). CAPA Barcelona staff can give you information on where to purchase a cheap hair straightener,dryer, and other high voltage items in Barcelona.

Bedding, pillows, blankets, etc. – you will be provided with fresh linens in your accommodation. You can buy extra pillows and blankets easily in Spain.

Towels – you can buy these quite cheaply upon arrival and you won’t have to worry about it taking up valuable room in your luggage.


“I’m so glad that I packed…”

  • Extra socks
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Clothes for layering
  • Sunglasses
  • Portable phone charger


“I brought it with me but haven’t used it…”

  • Rain boots
  • High-heeled shoes
  • Half of my clothes and shoes!
  • Toiletries


My Packing Strategy for a Semester Abroad in Barcelona


 Electrical Appliances

Voltage and plugs differ in Europe. Using an American appliance (110 volts) on European electricity overloads the appliance, which burns up internal wiring and can cause an electrical fire. Voltage converters that are sold widely with plug converters often do not work, despite manufacturers' claims. Do not bring electronic equipment that might be damaged by even the slightest voltage change unless they are battery operated. 

In Spain, the power is 230V/50hz, and the electrical sockets are “Type C” and “Type F.”

 Student Employment Opportunities

Residential Advisors (2) and a Media Coordinator. International Programs will communicate position details and application procedures to program participants.


Due to contractual obligations in Spain, students who are not enrolled in the Barcelona program cannot stay overnight in the Barcelona housing facility.