Merrimack College Business Students in Barcelona

The Experience

Explore and thrive in this eclectic city. Barcelona offers something for everyone – enjoy a Flamenco performance, tour Gaudi architectural masterpieces, or delight in a gastronomic adventure at La Boqueria, and much more! 

Latest Posts from Barcelona

  • Meet Andrew Truong: Official CAPA Barcelona TikToker for Fall 2022
    Meet Andrew Truong (he/him/his), an official CAPA TikToker in Barcelona, Spain for Fall 2022. University: University of Minnesota Twin CitiesMajor: Management Information SystemsStudy Abroad Location: Barcelona, Spain What are you most excited for during your study abroad semester?I’m excited to visit my friends Santana, Ventura, and read more
  • Meet Solomon Herring: Official CAPA Barcelona Blogger for Fall 2022
    Meet Solomon Herring (he/him), an official CAPA Blogger in Barcelona, Spain for Fall 2022. University: University of Massachusetts AmherstMajor: Political ScienceStudy Abroad Location: Barcelona, Spain What are you most excited for during your study abroad semester?I am most excited to explore and experience Spanish culture and read more
  • A CAPA Day Trip to a Port City in Spain
    Taylor Atkinson documents her journey to Tarragona in this CAPA Day Trip outside the city of Barcelona. A fun day filled with views of the beach, town, and historical Roman ruins...and food! read more

Latest Posts on Instagram

Multicultural Barcelona

A Brief History:

Barcelona was founded around 15 B.C., as the Roman colony Barcino. The city was then passed between the Visigoths, the Moors and the Franks where the region was divided into counties. Eventually the counties unified and became Catalonia. During the 17th century, with the help of France, Catalonia declared its independence and went to war with Spain. Some regions of Catalonia were successful in their quest for independence. Alliances changed during the era of Napoleon when French troops invaded. These territories were then given back to Spain after the fall of the French Empire. Barcelona emerged once again in the 19th century due to the Industrial Revolution. After establishing itself as an influential city once again, Barcelona and Catalonia pushed for more independence and proudly displayed the Catalonian culture.

Barcelona hosted the 1992 Olympic Games, once again putting the city and region on the map. Barcelona has become one of the most popular cities to visit. The city is still extremely proud of its Catalonian heritage, still pushing for independence from Spain.

Interesting Statistics:

  • Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain with 1.7 million people
  • It is the capital of Catalonia
  • 95 percent of people in Barcelona understand the Catalan language, whether they can speak it, write it, or read it.
  • In offices and schools, Catalan is the dominant language. Similarly, many lectures at the University are hold in Catalan.
  • Barcelona is also a leading cultural, sports, economic, tourism, arts, science, fashion and commerce center.
  • It is the fourth most economically powerful city in the European Union and one of the most successful city brands.


  • Majority of Barcelona considered themselves Roman Catholic, followed by Islam as the second most popular religion.
  • Barcelona is home to the largest population of Jewish people in Spain, at 3500 people.

People from Around the World

  • 62 percent of people living in Barcelona were born in Catalonia, while 24 percent were born in other areas of Spain
  • The remaining 14 percent primarily hail from Ecuador, Peru, Morocco, Colombia, Argentina, Pakistan, and China

The Food!

Spanish and American customs surrounding food are very different. Lunch is the largest meal of the day, including multiple courses and wine. Food in Spain is savored and lunch can last for over an hour. The siesta is not a myth! After enjoying a large midday meal, a short nap is taken before getting back to work. Dinner in Spain is much smaller and eaten much later than in the U.S. It is very common for dinner to be eaten between 9 p.m. and midnight!

Besides traditional Catalonian dishes such as Tapas, Paela, Allioli, and Escalivada; Japanese, Peruvian and Middle Eastern food is everywhere in Barcelona. Traditional Japanese cuisine such as ramen and shoyu are popping up across the city. Peruvian and Arabian spices are blending with traditional Catalonian dishes, creating a whole new flavor palate!

Festivals & Celebrations

With a rich history is Catholicism and religion, it’s no surprise Barcelona celebrates many Saints. Some of these festivals include Festival de Sant Medir de Gràcia, Easter week for Semana Santa, Sant Jordi and La Mercè. Barcelonans celebrate their Catalonian pride each year on September 11, Catalan National Day.

The Arts

Barcelona is home to many famous artists and architects and their works. The works of Gaudi, Picasso, Dalí and Miró can be found across the city. Gaudi’s mosaic-filled Park Güell and forever unfinished La Sagrada Familia are visited by millions each year. The Museu Picasso in Barcelona is home to the most extensive collection of his works in the world. Barcelona is also home to a Picasso fresco – his only open air work, found outside the restaurant he frequented   Two of the most defining surrealist painters, Dalí and Miró also once called Catalan home.


Go Beyond

At CAPA we appreciate the diverse backgrounds and interests of our students! We have compiled a list of resources to help you feel more at home in your new city. Included you’ll find information regarding major news sources and things to do in Barcelona. You’ll also find resources for students going abroad as an LGBTQ student, students with a disability, students who have dietary restrictions, and students who are wondering how their racial and ethnic identity may be impacted in their new city.

This is only a brief introduction to your city and all it has to offer so please reach out to your program manager with any specific questions or concerns. At CAPA we pride ourselves on our ability to meet individual student needs and go above and beyond to ensure we offer the best student experience abroad possible!

News Sources


Barcelona specific ” things to do”


Religious Resources in Barcelona


LGTBQ Community Resources


Race and Ethnicity in Barcelona


Disabilities in Barcelona


Food Restrictions Abroad

Have Questions?

Matthew Lawson

Program Manager or 800-793-0334

Erika Bass

Associate Director of Global Education or 978-837-5733


Ready to Take the Next Step?

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