Barcelona, Spain

The Barcelona Field Studio - Barcelona, Spain

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Application documents

About the program

Coursework: PLAN 545C – 6 Credits 

This course will explore Barcelona as an ideal location to learn about, analyse, experience and discuss urban design and planning as it has evolved over time. Through immersing themselves the life of the city and partaking in series of tours and activities, students will gain a historical understanding of the rich history of urban design and transformation within the European context and its relationship to local culture and social circumstances.

Barcelona is one of the world’s major global cities. As one of Spain’s main nodes of culture, tourism, finance and economic trade, its contemporary importance is undisputed. Like any other urban centre, its current status developed incrementally over time; one that dates back to over 2000 years ago and saw it develop as the most significant industrial centre in Catalonia.

As with all settlements, Barcelona’s long and interesting history has had a direct impact on its form—etched itself into the city’s urban fabric. However, unlike many other cities in the world, the built remnants of over 2000 years of cultural, social and urban development remains largely intact. From the medieval planning of the original roman settlement of Barcino, to the medieval streets of the Gothic Quarter, Ildefons Cerdà's unique Eixample grid—one of the largest planned housing projects in history—to the popular waterfront of the Port Olimpic, redeveloped 1992 Summer Olympics, the urban structure of Barcelona stands out as one-of-a-kind. Change continues today, as evident in the ambitious urban transformations of the  “Superilles” or Super Blocks—which entails street pacification and the recovery of major streets for public space.

Instructors         Jordi Honey-Rosés and Erick Villagomez

General timeline

Program Dates: 

June 1 - 16, 2018

The following summarizes the larger sections covered in the course:

Pre-flight (Planning and Preparation) - The class will hold four pre-trip sessions prior to the field component of the course. These sessions will cover introductory course content and logistics, as well as the research and presentation of the Pre-flight assignments that will investigate Barcelona from different, but complementary, perspectives and scales. One assignment will focus on the create of a Timeline explored through five different, but related themes—Land-use, Transportation, Natural Systems, Cultural History and Global Historical Context—while the other will focus on researching and presenting specific sites of significance. These exercises will ultimately serve to ground our experience within a broader physical and cultural framework across scales and give us a relatively comprehensive understanding of the Barcelona area, prior to visiting the city.

On-site Field Studio (14 days) - The field component of the course will take place during the first two weeks of June 2018, focusing on cultural and contextual immersion. Student will explore the city and region from an urban design and planning point of view while debate and discussion of research compared to experience will be engaged. Within interdisciplinary teams, students will observe, collect information on and analysis critical aspects of the built environment: visually recording and documenting significant sites, pertinent details, important design concepts and ideas observed on location. Connecting design and planning solutions to site and context (cultural, historical, geographical, climatic) will be critical, as well as recognizing similarities and differences with Vancouver.


Prospective applicants to the course should be graduate students at UBC. Familiarity with the Spanish language is preferred.

Program fees and costs

The program fee is between $2,700 - $3,100. The final fee depends on the number of students in the program. Students do not pay the Go Global fee when applying to a Global Seminar. The Go Global fee is built into the Program Fee and is payable upon acceptance to the program.

All qualifying students will receive a $1000 Go Global Award. The Award is provided after all Program Fees are received by Go Global.



In country group accommodations

Program related travel (public transportation, group train tickets, etc.)

Entrance fees to program related activities (museums, site locations, etc)

On-site guest lecturers


Some group meals

Go Global Fee




*UBC Tuition – Not included. Part of your costs.

This amount will differ for domestic and international students. This amount will be assigned to you on the Student Service Centre (SSC) according to normal UBC tuition timelines. Read about tuition fees.

This amount is not determined or applied by Go Global.

All students participating in a Global Seminar will have tuition applied to their SSC account.

*Flights - Not Included. Part of your costs

Travel to Barcelona is a separate cost.  You are responsible for arranging your own travel. You should not book your flight until you are notified to book. All Global Seminars only run if there is a minimum number of students enrolled.

*Incidentals - Not Included. Part of your costs

Some examples include: personal mobile communication, personal transportation that is not related to the learning outcomes of the program, additional meals that are not already identified as part of the Program Fee, immunizations, Visas, etc.


Global Seminars refund policy

Refund on deposits

Students are eligible for a refund of their deposit minus the administrative fee ($415) if they withdraw from the program within 30 days of paying the deposit; this provides time to fill vacated spots so the cost to other students does not increase. After 30 days, the deposit is non-refundable. Exceptions may be determined at the discretion of Go Global. Any funds allocated to students through the ARA program must be returned in their entirety.

Refund on program fees

Students who withdraw from a Global Seminar after having paid the remaining program fee are not eligible for a refund of their deposit or the program fee. Exceptions may be determined at the discretion of Go Global. Any funds allocated to students through the ARA program must be returned in their entirety.

Students who decide to withdraw their application must submit a request in writing by email to the Global Seminar Advisor at


Global Seminars Advisor

Global Seminars Advisor

Telephone: 604 822 0942

Fax: 604 822 9885

UBC Life Building
6138 Student Union Blvd
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1


Mon9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Tue9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Wed9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Thu9:00 am - 4:15 pm
Fri9:00 am - 4:15 pm