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Barcelona at a Glance

Education and Architecture in Barcelona

Living in Barcelona is incredibly popular, particularly among younger expats. This is mostly due to the mild climate, the rich culture, and the exceptional architecture dominating life in Barcelona. Read our Barcelona guide and learn about neighborhoods, housing, healthcare, and more.

A Spanish Education: Public, Private, or a Mix of the Two?

Although Spain’s public education system has a great reputation, academic standards might vary between cities, neighborhoods, and even schools. On the upside, education is free for all children who are legal residents in Barcelona. For kids between the ages of six and sixteen, schooling is obligatory. However, many also attend kindergarten and preschool from the age of three onwards.

Schools in Barcelona are grouped into three stages, designated by their student’s age: the colegio (primary school), the instituto (secondary school), and the bacchillerato. There are three different types of colegio, namely público (public), concertado (semi-private), and privado (private). It is not compulsory for children to attend the bacchillerato. However, here students receive a degree which allows them to pursue higher education.

International Schools in Barcelona

Would you prefer a more global environment for your child where different cultural backgrounds are taken into consideration? If this is the case then Barcelona is the perfect spot for you and your family. The city boasts a wide selection of international schools. Please remember that international education comes at a price and that the tuition of the school of your choice should be considered when planning your budget.

Most international schools in and around Barcelona are country-specific schools, catering to the American, British, French, or German expat community, for instance. An example for this is the Benjamin Franklin International School, the Kensington School, or the Instituto Italiano Statale. However, the offering of international schools doesn’t end here and you should see for yourself which school and which style of educational you prefer. It should be noted, that most international schools in Barcelona are offering parts of their curriculum in Spanish or Catalan.

Gaudí’s Legacy

Barcelona’s architecture is significantly characterized by the designs of Antoni Gaudí. Few other artists represent the character of modernism like Gaudí, and buildings and sculptures of his style can be found all over the city of Barcelona. What’s characteristic for his work is the adaption of natural forms, his metal sculptures, as well as colorful ceramic mosaics and bright colors.

Apart from Park Güell and Casa Batlló, the Sagrada Familia is the most famous example of Gaudí’s architectural designs. Located in the Eixample disctrict, the construction of this church began in 1882 and is still under way and is expected to only be finished in 2026. However, Antoni Gaudí is responsible for most of the look of the Sagrada Familia and his designs are the main reason this church has become so popular among visitors and locals alike. Its popularity is reflected in the fact that the whole reconstruction is financed by donations and entry fees alone.


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InterNations Expat Magazine