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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Barcelona, Spain
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: Spanish Language Prerequisite: 6 or more semesters of college level language (or equivalent)
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: Wharton
Other Eligibility Requirements: Grades of B or better in Spanish Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Housing Options: Apartment/Off-Campus, University Residence Hall/Apartment Application Deadline: Fall/Year: February 15, Spring: September 15
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

BES LogoRamon Llull University (ESADE)
ESADE is an independent nonprofit university institution, founded in 1958 in Barcelona when a group of entrepreneurs and Jesuit Society members joined forces. In 1995, it formed an alliance with the Ramon Llull University, a relatively new but highly regarded private university, in providing undergraduate programs in business and law. The University has offered a bachelor's degree in business studies (Bachelor of Business Administration [BBA]) since its inception, and later introduced executive education, MBA, and executive language programs.

The University currently enrolls about 11,000 students, half of which are in the business school. The undergraduate student body is approximately 1,000 and the University has over 180 exchange students.

ESADE's research into key issues such as business management is internationally renowned.

ESADE Business School

In February 2010, the BBA students moved to the recently developed Sant Cugat campus on the outskirts of Barcelona. The new campus' layout and installations of the teaching rooms allow for greater student-teacher interaction and the building has lecture halls, study areas, groupwork rooms, a library, computer rooms, secretary's office, career services, cafeteria, restaurant, and research areas. The campus is also wireless.

ESADE is a world-class business school, which is consistently at the top of international rankings compiled by prestigious publications (Business Week, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal). However, the growing globalization of management training, especially in postgraduates and executive education, creates new challenges for ESADE. These can be divided into three main categories: the challenge of making full use of the opportunities derived from the European Higher Education Area (EHEA); the challenge of having a global presence; the challenge of constituting a global brand.
For additional information, visit the Ramon Llull University (ESADE) website
The City of Barcelona

Barcelona is the bustling capital of Cataluña, the northeastern province of Spain. Nestled between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, Cataluña continually seeks to distinguish itself from Spain and assert its autonomy, a fact that has contributed significantly to modern Barcelona's identity. A city of 1.5 million people and Spain's second largest city, Barcelona adds a unique flavor to Spain through its distinct history, language, and rich contributions in art and architecture. Historically underappreciated, Barcelona hosted the 1992 Olympic Games, and the event launched the city onto the global stage.

Did you know…?

The official languages of Cataluña are Catalán and Spanish, and the majority of the city's residents are fluent in both. A semester or year in Barcelona will present students with the unforgettable opportunity to live and study in this distinctive bilingual and bicultural environment.



The program at Ramon Llull University (ESADE) is for Wharton students for business and College credit.

There are a limited number of spots for Penn students. All candidates should identify a second choice program.  Priority will be given to juniors and first semester seniors.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0

Language Prerequisite: Successful completion of SPAN 219 or 223 with a grade of B or better in all Spanish courses at Penn required by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure. Students must be enrolled in a Spanish course during the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure.

Other Requirements: Completion of at least two full years of undergraduate study by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure is required.


Language of Instruction



All students will enroll in 5-6 courses (25-30 ECTS) while at ESADE. Interested students can take advanced Spanish courses taught by instructors from the Executive Language Center. Internships are possible, though not guaranteed, through the ESADE Career Services.

ESADE organizes an orientation program for students at the beginning of each term which includes a Spanish language course, a Welcome Session that informs students about registration procedures, courses, housing and library resources, and a city tour around Barcelona with International Student Association members.

ESADE International Students Site
Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.

Courses will receive grades based on the Spanish university ten point scale (including decimal points, e.g. 7.5). The scale is not based on an equal distribution of points nor on a percentage. Grades are reported on the Spanish scale and are converted to Penn grades according to standard Spanish - U.S. grade equivalencies.

Grades are reported to Penn from Ramon Llull University (ESADE) and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
ESADE Grade Penn Grade
10-9 A
8.99-8 A-
7.99-7.6 B+
7.59-7.0 B
6.99-6.6 B-
6.59-6.0 C+
5.99-5.6 C
5.59-5.0 C-
4.99-4.5 D+
4.49-4.0 D
3.99 and below F

Special Features

BES Special Features
Orientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by Ramon Llull University (ESADE) when they arrive to Barcelona.  


BES CampusStudents are responsible for finding their own housing. ESADE will assist students in finding accommodation in a student residence hall or shared student apartment. In the event that a student is unable to obtain housing in one of these facilities, ESADE will provide information and assistance in locating off-campus housing similar to that provided to its regularly enrolled and visiting students.

ESADE applicants need to research their housing options well in advance of their semester abroad. ESADE recommends BBA students to live in the residence located on the Sant Cugat campus. Click here to find information about Resa Roberto de Nobili.

Students may research other ESADE-affiliated housing options, which are located throughout Barcelona.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.
Budget Sheets


Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Barcelona, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.