International Business In Barcelona

La Boqueria

Spring Semester Study Abroad

16-19 credits towards the Pamplin International Business Minor

Date       Time    Location          Purpose/Guest 

Tuesday, Sept. 5          

   5:30-6:00 pm  


General discussion of program, completing application by deadline

Monday, Sept. 11 

   5:30-6:00 pm 

  ROB 116

General discussion, Q&A session

Tuesday, Sept. 12   

   5:30-6:00 pm 

 PAM 2002

Final questions on forms and application process

Wednesday, Sept. 13



Table at the Global Education Office Study Abroad Fair

Tuesday, Sept. 19


Pamplin Atrium

  Information booth

International Business Studies - Spring Semester

  • Study a broad spectrum of business in an international context: Marketing, Management, Finance -- while interacting with international businesses every day.
  • Learn about the culture of Spain and Barcelona in the international elective courses and through your host family.
  • All 16 credits count toward the VT International Business minor.

How Does the Program Benefit You?

  • Classes have already been approved for Pamplin degree requirements. No worries about transfer of credits.
  • Learn international business in-depth while having it all around you
    • You'll only need to take one class to complete the minor when you return to Blacksburg.
  • Discover Picasso, Gaudi, and Dali; tapas, horchata, and bocadillos.
  • Travel to locations in Spain and in Europe -- all easily accessible from Barcelona.
  • A unique chance to live on the Mediterranean and learn Spanish (prior language knowledge not required but a plus).
  • Get to know a Spanish family or señora who will be your hosts. They will turn Spain into your home away from home. (full video on Barcelona -- 66 MB .wmv)

Don't just dabble in international business and culture. Live it!

NOTICE: Once you are admitted to the Program, you are required to attend all pre-departure seminars, workshops, classes, and meetings prior to departure (see the schedule) and to submit all forms and information requested by IES by the designated deadlines.

  • International Business Minor Courses you will take at the IES Center and at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
Course Topic Course Location
International Marketing IB350

IES Center

International Business IB2007

Univ. Auton. de Barcelona

International Finance FI2008

Univ. Auton. de Barcelona

Spanish According to ability

IES Center

Culture Elective (choose one or two) From List

IES Center

Art History, Cultural, Hispanic, Intercultural Studies, Politics, Religion, Sociology, Urban Studies

From List  

The courses have been approved by the Pamplin College for transfer back to meet graduation requirements and for the minor. Grades will not be recorded on your transcript, but you must achieve a C or better in each of the classes. Credits are transfered through the U. of Rochester.

When considering the true incremental cost of this study abroad, you should examine what your expenses would be if you stayed in Blackburg. For example, if you don't do this study abroad, you are going to pay VT tuition and fees anyway which amount to over $14,500 if you are an out-of-state student. Barcelona tuition would be $1,100 less than if you stay in Blacksburg ! That pays for your airfare.

You would have to eat meals even in Blacksburg. You would have to buy books. You would have to pay rent.

So studying abroad will cost only slightly more than if you stayed in Blacksburg for the semester! But you'll be learning and living on the Mediterranean!

These are only estimates. Prices may change due to global economic conditions and changes in pricing by service providers. Cost is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.

Financial Aid is available by application to IES for merit-based scholarships.

Item Cost (all VT students) Comments
VT Program Fee $50  
Tuition & Fees (based on 2016 pricing)ª $13,400 IES tuition (same for in-state as for out-of-state) instead of paying VT tuition.
Less Grant for VT Students
($2,000) Automatic application for VT students
Lodging in Homestay (est.) $3,170 Priceless experience
Books $200-400  
Meals $1,700 (est.) 2 meals/day are included with homestay
Local Transportation $315 Barcelona has an excellent Metro system
Airfare $900-1,100  
Cell Phone (GSM for Europe) - does not include airtime/usage charges   $50 cell phone is required. Cost depends on phone selected
Spanish Consular Student Visa $160 You have to go to DC twice if you live in Virginia, MD, NC, West Va., or DC
Passport (estimated) $145 Assuming you don't already have one
Credit Transfer Fee $375 For U. of Rochester to give you credit
Other Personal Exp. (can vary widely)* $2,100-3,100 personal travel, entertainment, etc.*
Optional field trips (not included in total below) $40-1,640 special programs offered by IES

Total Costs (w/o optional field trips)



Total Costs (w/o optional field trips)


ª these figures are based on the published rates for 2014 as 2015 rates are not yet available.

Figures in blue are the expenses categories that you would not incur if you stayed in Blacksburg and are the gross incremental or marginal cost of approximately $4,720 (not including the cost savings on tuition for out-of-state students or increased tuition for in-state students - net $10,112 for in-state students).

Note: in addition, deposits may be required as specified in the agreements, some are non-refundable such as any VT application deposit and others are refundable such as any facility and equipment damage deposits. A damage deposit is not included in the above costs because it would be refundable at the end of the Program. IES has a confirmation deposit of $500 once you have been admitted. It goes toward tuition.)

*Personal Expenses includes many items of personal choice. The amount you spend will depend on your

  • Your personal, independent travel

  • The amount of gifts and mementos you purchase

  • What kinds of restaurants you chose to eat in during your unscheduled time, entertainment, and

  • How often you do laundry, use taxis, and so on.

  • Mobile phone rental (required for safety) beyond the $50 above, airtime charges on cell phones

The documents that are the official word on the costs and deposits are the Financial Agreement, Deposit Agreement and other forms that you will sign. The summary here is not legally binding and is provided for information purposes only. Consult the Financial Agreement/Contract and other forms for details.

Virginia Tech reserves the right to make cancellations, date, cost, and deposit adjustments, and other necessary changes in the program. Prices may change due to global economic or other conditions.

Who is eligible to participate?

Juniors of all majors in the fall of their junior year who are taking Intro to Management, Intro to Marketing, and Intro to Finance (and for finance majors, preferably Financial Analytics as well) can apply. Sophomores in the spring can also apply with the plan to take the prerequisite courses mentioned above in the following fall semester.

GPA of at least 3.00. Grade of at least "C" in the prerequisite courses.

"Participating in study abroad does not allow a student any exceptions to meeting Policy 91 requirements. It is the students’ responsibility to understand Pamplin’s specific Policy 91 requirements, which may be viewed at ."

Get a valid passport (from US Dept. of State). Apply for it before you start the application process.

Note: once you are accepted into the program, a student visa also is required from the Spanish consulate in DC (Step #7 below). You have to have a passport before you can get a visa.

Process for Applying (New: Early Bird Process)

  1. Apply directly to IES >> Complete the application at IES's web site for online application (no application fee) including a download of the Authorization Form. Complete the application form, SAVE it, print it,
  2. From this Pamplin site, download the FERPA Waiver , Student Conduct form, and the Records Release Waiver for VT plus the VT Application/Checksheet. Complete those forms
  3. By May 1st for Early Birds (September 15th if you are late), bring the two IES forms, an unofficial transcript (such as a DARS report), a statement of why you are interested in studying in Barcelona, and the four forms in #2 to the VT faculty liaison for approval/signature. (You can apply as early as the prior spring to reserve a seat.)
  4. Submit the online application and the PDF Authorization Form to IES in Chicago by email ( no later than May 15th (September 20th) -- not the deadline that IES has on its web site. (This should be in time to get you registered for courses at UAB. Earlier is recommended. You need to factor in time to get passport and visa. See below.)
  5. Go to VT's Global Education Office site >> register/apply for the Barcelona program. That will stimulate a series of contacts and information from VT regarding your program. (Sorry about this additional layer of applications, but VT provides some good services to you, and they need to know that you are still a student here but spending the semester in Spain.)
  6. IES will contact you mid summer (within a 3 week time in the fall) regarding the admission decision and further actions you need to take (including pre-registration in November to get the classes you want!).
  7. Within three weeks of notification from IES of acceptance in the program, submit your $500 confirmation deposit to IES. This is critical. Don't forget to do it!
  8. Apply for student visa for Spain. You have to go to the Consulate in DC to deliver documents and again to retrieve your passport and visa. From the Consulate's web site:

Student visa applications "have to be approved by relevant authorities in Spain. Therefore the process takes between 8-10 weeks to be approved. Taking that into consideration, we advise to apply in the Consulate as soon as possible."

IES offers a service to help get the visa at an additional cost of $100 that is easier than doing it yourself. If you live outside the mid-Atlantic states, this service may be available to you. If so, they will send you the information after you have been accepted. The service is not available to those in the mid-Atlantic states.

8. In addition to #4 above, you have to ensure that the College of Business knows and approves of your program. Although the courses have already been approved, you must submit the form for equivalency of courses to Pamplin 1046 (See Leanne Byrd). Here is an example of how to fill in the courses.

IES Center Excursions

IES offers a variety of excursions to its students. One excursion is included in the base tuition. Other excursions can be purchased as separate options. Here are some potential places you might want to visit during your semester in Spain.

Costa Brava Video

Montserrat Video

Costa Brava- Figueres, Girona, Cadaques

  • Dali Museum - the largest surrealist object in the world -- a riot of visual treats
  • Girona's large medieval cathedral - Old Jewish Quarter - beautiful quaint town, Roman walls surrounding the old city
  • Cadaques --Mediterranean fishing village with quiet beaches, next to Dali's home, artistic community and/or Empuries -- Roman & Greek settlements

Andorra (Escaldes)

Youtube video

Montserrat -- day trip

  • Monastery (business supports the monks)
  • Museum of Art preserving Catalan heritage
  • Black Madonna in stunning Basilica
  • Hermitages along the cliffs and rock formations (above)
  • Hiking on paths along top of ridge

Other Locations (day trips possible)

  • Sitges - coastal resort
  • Calella/Blanes - coastal vacation resorts
  • Alt Penedes - wine producing region
  • Tarragona - Roman ruins, beach, port city

Museums in Barcelona


Each student must have a valid passport from their home country. You can apply for a passport at the Blacksburg Post Office. You should insure that you have the proper vaccinations for this program. This can be done through the University's recommended travel clinic (Intravene), a county health department, or your family physician. Your familiy physician usually does not have the more specialized vaccines and should refer you to the county health department. You can see a list of recommended vaccinations and other health information at the CDC travel website.

These sites have additional information:

You will be living in a bedroom for 4 weeks. Do not try to take your entire wardrobe with you. A small suitcase or medium-size backpack is ideal for weekend trips. The airlines limit the weight of your luggage so pack light. The suggested packing list will help you choose what to take.

Electric Applicances

Spain and the rest of Europe uses 220 volt, 50 HZ electricity. Your standard USA hair dryers, curling irons, shavers and battery chargers will not work in Europe. You should check that your computer and any electronics that you take will work on 220 V/50Hz current.

You can take ONE (1) 22" rolling suitcase, or backpack and a small book backpack. You will not be allowed to take a larger suitcase. Almost every study abroad student brings back a lot of souvenirs so a collapsible bag to bring back your treasures is a good idea. Shipping items from overseas can be expensive and a hassle.

You will be expected to carry your own luggage. Therefore, it is important that you choose lightweight, yet sturdy luggage.  Bags with wheels are good for carting around luggage. An inexpensive folding luggage cart is also handy if you don't want to invest in rolling luggage or don't want to carry a large backpack all the time.

Comfortable yet functional clothing is key. Darker colors won't show the dirt as quickly as lighter colored items. Keep in mind: bring clothes that you can mix and match. Remember that rewearing clothes in the same week is acceptable.
SHIRTS Three to five short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirts in a cotton/polyester blend.
PANTS Bring two pairs: one lightweight cotton and another super-lightweight for hot and muggy big cities, and churches with modest dress codes. Jeans can be too hot for summer travel. Linen is great.
PANTS Bring two pairs: one lightweight cotton and another super-lightweight for hot and muggy big cities, and churches with modest dress codes. Jeans can be too hot for summer travel.
SHORTS Take a pair or two with plenty of pockets--doubles as a swimsuit for men.
SWIMSUIT For the beaches in Barcelona and Tarragona
UNDERWEAR & SOCKS Bring five sets (lighter dries quicker).
ONE PAIR OF SHOES Take a well-used, light, and cool pair, with Vibram-type soles and good traction. Needs to be suitable for business dress if this is the only pair you bring.
JACKET Bring a light and water-resistant windbreaker with a hood. Gore-Tex is good if you expect rain.
BUSINESS CLOTHES Students are required to wear appropriate business attire on visits to corporations and other organizations. This means a blazer/sports coat and tie for men and similar for women. We are not just a group of students, but business professionals.
It's essential for the peace of mind it brings. You could lose everything except your money belt, and the trip could still go on. Lightweight and low-profile beige is best.
This is a small nylon bag for carrying passport, money, and railpass. Much handier than rummaging through your money belt, and a LOT SAFER than carrying money in your pockets. Pickpockets can get inside any pocket.

Documents | Back to top
Make photocopies of all your documents. Leave one copy at home with friends or family and carry one with you but separately from the originals. Photocopies can help you get replacements if the originals are lost or stolen.



Back to top
COMPUTER DISK or FLASH DRIVE Save your work and email
CAMERA and FILM Put a new battery in your camera before you go. Bring a protective and polarizing lens, midrange zoom lens, cleaning tissue, and a trip's worth of film. It is easy to shoot up 10 rolls or more. Film can be expensive overseas.. Store everything in a low-profile nylon stuff bag, not an expensive-looking camera bag.
BATTERIES Especially if your camera uses lithium batteries
SEWING KIT Clothes age rapidly while traveling. Add a few safety pins.
TRAVEL INFORMATION (MINIMAL) Rip out appropriate chapters from guidebooks, staple them together, and store in a zip-lock baggie. When you're done, give them away.
MAPS Get a map best suited to your trip's overall needs, and pick up maps for specific local areas as you go.
ADDRESS LIST Use it to send postcards home and collect new addresses. Taking a whole address book is not packing light. Consider typing your mail list onto a sheet of gummed address labels before you leave. You'll know exactly whom you've written to, and the labels will be perfectly legible.
POSTCARDS OR SMALL PICTURE BOOK FROM YOUR HOMETOWN, AND FAMILY PICTURES A zip-lock baggie of show-and-tell things is always a great conversation piece with the people you meet.
JOURNAL An empty book filled with the experiences of your trip will be your most treasured souvenir. Use a hardbound type designed to last a lifetime, rather than a spiral notebook. Attach a photocopied calendar page to visualize your itinerary and jot down reminders. Keep a traveler's check and expenses log in the appendix.
SMALL NOTEPAD AND PEN A tiny notepad in your back pocket is a great organizer, reminder, and communication aid.
DOCUMENTS AND PHOTOCOPIES Bring your passport, airline ticket, railpass or car rental voucher, driver's license, student I.D., hostel card, and so on. Carry photocopies separately in your luggage and keep the originals in your money belt. 
SMALL DAYPACK A small nylon daypack is great for carrying your sweater, camera, literature, and picnic goodies while you leave your large bag at the hotel or train station. Fanny packs (small bags with thief-friendly zippers on a belt) are a popular alternative but should not be used as money belts.
ZIP-LOCK BAGGIES Get a variety of sizes for 1,001 uses. They're great for packing out a little lunch from the breakfast buffet, leftover picnic food, containing wetness, and bagging potential leaks before they happen. The 2-gallon jumbo size is handy for packing clothing.
WATER BOTTLE The plastic .5-liter mineral water bottles sold throughout the world are reusable and work great.
WRISTWATCH A built-in alarm is handy. Otherwise, pack a small travel alarm clock, too. Cheap hotels' wake-up calls are unreliable.
EARPLUGS If night noises bother you, you'll love a good set of plugs such as Sleep-well. 


Hygiene / Medical Back to top
DO NOT BRING HAIRDRYERS AND CURLING IRONS Non-US appliances use 220-240 volt electricity and a special plug.
PLASTIC BAG OR CARRYING CASE Zip lock bags can be great for storing lotions or hair products that may open in your bag. If it can leak it will and at the worst time.
EYE CARE Contact solution, Contact cleaner, Eye drops enough for the entire trip. These are hard to find in some countries.
GLASSES  Prescription and an extra set of lenses just in case
PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE AND/OR PRESCRIPTIONS FOR REFILLS Bring a copy of the prescription in case customs official get curious.
SMALL FIRST AID KIT Bandaids especially, disinfectant, tweezers, scissors
WET-WIPES  Perfect for freshening up on long train trips and for taking out some stains
SUNSCREEN Something with Aloe in it for burns is a good idea
FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS Hard or impossible to find in some area. It will be much easier to take enough for the entire trip.
TOILET PAPER Toilets can be a unique experience in international travel. Be prepared.
Take a small roll from home.
SOAP A plastic squeeze bottle of concentrated, multipurpose, biodegradable liquid soap is handy for laundry and more.
CLOTHESLINE Hang it up in your hotel room to dry your clothes. The handy twist kind needs no clothespins.
SMALL TOWEL You'll find small bath towels at all moderate hotels and most cheap hotels. But a spare towel and washcloth will be handy.


These are available, but more expensive and hard to find when you need them. Bring the ones you commonly use.


Nyquil®, decongestants, Cough syrup or lozenges


Tums®, Mylanta®


IMMODIUM AD® , or similar. Ask your physician for recommendations


Aspirin, Advil®, Tylenol®




Benadryl, Chlor-Trimeton


Athlete's Foot, etc.




Topical cream for itching, bites and skin irritation


Colds can be a problem when travelling


A few among the group might be handy

Optional Items Back to top
INFLATABLE PILLOW For more comfortable napping on trains, planes, and beaches. 
PILLOWCASE It's cleaner and possibly more comfortable to stuff your own. 
LIGHT WARM-UP SUIT Use for pajamas, evening lounge outfit, instant modest street wear, smuggling things, and going down the hall. 
LEATHER-BOTTOMED SLIPPERS These are great for the flight and for getting cozy in your hotel room.
SMALL FLASHLIGHT Handy for reading under the sheets after "lights out" in the hostel, late night trips down the hall, exploring castle dungeons, and hypnotizing street thieves.
A GOOD PAPERBACK There's plenty of empty time on a trip to either be bored or enjoy some good reading.
RADIO, WALKMAN, OR RECORDER Partners can bring a Y-jack for two sets of earphones. Some travelers use microcassette recorders to record local music, tours, or journal entries. Some recorders have radios, adding a new dimension to your experience. 
OFFICE SUPPLIES Bring paper and an envelope of envelopes. 
SMALL ROLL OF DUCT TAPE. Repair torn luggage, pack items to carry home.
TINY LOCK Use it to lock your rucksack zippers shut.
SPOT REMOVER Bring a dab of Goop in a film canister. 
GIFTS Local kids love T-shirts and baseball cards, and gardeners appreciate flower seeds. 
PONCHO Hard-core vagabonds use a poncho as protection in a rainstorm, a ground cloth for sleeping, or a beach or picnic blanket.

Students have a blast in Barcelona. There is time to explore and have fun. Being overseas for a month is a treat by itself, and Barcelona has a lot to offer. Traveling to France or other parts of Spain offers even more excitement. Over 85% of the 2009 participants felt that overall the Program was "Better than I expected." Here are a few student comments about the overall experience:

"All the visits were fantastic, and I had an amazing trip."

"I really enjoyed this program and would do it again immediately. Thank you."

All of students in 2009 on the Program Agreed (25%) or Strongly Agreed (75%) that they would recommend this program to other students. If you haven't been able to meet with some alumni of the program, here are some of their comments about the quality features offered by this program.

"The staff was very helpful. The IES center is in a great location to pursue
everything in the city. Our guest lectures and tour guides were amazingly
knowledgable. "

"The field trips were the best part of the study abroad experience. They
were activities that I would have not done on my own if it wasn´t scheduled."

"The teachers at IES ... were all amazing, so nice, and very helpful."

"we had great teachers both from IES and that came with us through VT. We also had so many resources at our hands that were very helpful throughout the trip."

"the staff was all very friendly and accommodating. I also really enjoyed living with a host family."

Here are some thoughtful comments about the long lasting implications of going on the Barcelona study abroad from students who have the perspective of being several years beyond graduation (written in 2009):

"... it is really difficult to find opportunities like this to live and study overseas in such a culturally integrated and useful way. ... living with a host family ... is often the best way to learn how to live and communicate cross-culturally."

"Simply put, in addition to the classroom studies, living overseas always gives you a unique chance to develop cross-cultural communication skills as well as ability to adapt and flex--very transferrable to any business setting. While I know the myriad reasons to be more short-term and practical about using the summer as a resume, I want to encourage you, as someone looking back, to never sacrifice the long-term benefits and the experiences that will impact you 5 or 20 years down the line."

"Dr. Shome and Dr. Morgan are great professors to work with and get to know. They always put a lot of hard work into designing a program that will add the most value to your experience both inside and outside of the classroom. "

Lace (Cosgrove) Fang
(2005 Program Alumnus)

"... by doing the classwork overseas, I received a different perspective due to the influence of being in a different culture, meeting new people, and visiting locations on-site that if I took the class at VT. In addition, by being in a different country, I could see the actual application of international business (for example, how a lot of the American companies have spread over the world in Barcelona). A first-hand experience on business and culture (and anything for that matter) has a lot more impact than learning it through a book."

Vicky Nguyen
(2005 Alumnus)

"... an experience that taught me a lot academically, culturally, and socially"

Kevan Moniri
(2005 Alumnus)