How much time will I need to spend on the PEI?

This is an in-person programme that will require considerable dedication on your part, as sessions will be run four afternoons a week from 4.00 to 7.00 pm. It is structured on a monthly basis, with three consecutive weeks of teaching followed by one with no classes. In addition, you will need time for reading and study and for meetings with research groups, plus there will be occasional open seminars at the weekend. The teaching is organised into four quarters, with holiday breaks in December and in July and August. The last quarter will be given over to your end-of-course project.

What qualification is awarded at the end? How is it assessed?

The programme is not associated with a university, so no qualifications or diplomas are awarded. During the course, presentations of the state of research projects are made and processes are shared. In addition, individual studies benefit from the guidance of group tutorials. End-of-course projects are presented publicly to fellow students, PEI staff, project tutors and guests that you invite. After the presentation, tutors will give written feedback on the working process. At the end of the PEI, students will receive a certificate signed by the MACBA.

What is the PEI academic calendar?

The course lasts twelve to fourteen calendar months and is divided into four quarters. The holiday breaks are: July and August for the summer holiday; for Christmas; and for Easter. More information will be available when the course starts.

Costs and accommodation

To calculate how much money you will need to cover your basic costs during your time in Barcelona, bear in mind that rent, food, transport and leisure may amount to between €800 and €1,200 a month. The average cost for a room in a shared flat is €400-600.

Accommodation in Barcelona has become more expensive in recent years and it is difficult to find flats to rent and/or flats shared with other students. The following websites give information about the various accommodation options:

How can I get around in Barcelona?

The public transport network in Barcelona is extensive and the city is accessible and easy to navigate. In addition to the Metro and bus services, Barcelona is connected to the surrounding region by a rail network and a tram that travels along Avinguda Diagonal to places on the outskirts. There are numerous cycle lanes. If cycling is your preferred means of transport, you will be able to find second-hand bikes or use the Bicing (bicycle sharing) service. One piece of advice: leave your bike (and the wheels) chained up.

The T-casual is a non-transferrable pass valid for ten integrated journeys in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. It costs €11.35.

The T-usual is a monthly Barcelona transport pass. It is non-transferrable and is valid for an unlimited number of journeys on 30 consecutive days starting from your first journey. It costs €40 and can be used on buses, the Metro and the tram and in zone 1 of the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat and the Cercanías de Renfe train networks.

Safety and emergencies

Barcelona is a safe city and has lots of tourists. Even so, thefts of handbags and backpacks are frequent at outdoor tables of bars, inside restaurants and on the Metro. Bicycles must always be left chained up and it is advisable to do the same with the wheels. In the event of the loss or theft of your personal documents, you must report this at a police station.

Emergency phone number: 112
Police phone number: 091
Other emergency phone

Immigration issues

For non-EU students – study visa and other paperwork

To remain legally in Spain, you need to obtain the legal student residency permit (NIE). This document authorises you to live in Spain during your period of study and also enables you to travel throughout the European Union and in countries that have signed agreements with Spain or the European Union allowing the free movement of persons.

How do you apply for this permit?

Before arriving in Spain, you must apply for a ‘study visa’ at the Spanish consulates or embassy in your country of origin or place of legal residence. You will have to supply documentation proving you have been accepted on a study programme. Check this website to find your nearest consulate or embassy: Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is essential that your visa is a study visa (type D). No other type of visa entitles you to apply for a student residency permit. When you arrive in Spain, you must visit the National Police station within 30 days of your arrival in Spain in order to apply for your student residency permit (TIE).

Required documentation:

  • Application form EX. 17 (original and one copy)
  • Valid passport (original and one copy)
  • Tasa pagada Modelo 790. Código 012.
  • Proof of fee payment Model 790 form. Code 012. Model
  • Type D study visa (original and one copy)
  • Stamp in your passport on entry to the EU or plane ticket/boarding card (original and one copy)
  • Acceptance-enrolment letter from the study centre specifying the length of your course (original and one copy)
  • Enrolment and proof of payment (original and one copy)
  • Three passport-size photographs in colour against a white background
  • Up-to-date certificate of residency registration with your local authority issued within the last three months (‘no fixed abode’ certificates of registration will be accepted)
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources to cover your stay, such as: grant certificate, proof of payment into bank or other proof (original and one copy)
  • Medical insurance and policy (original and one copy)
  • Medical certificate
  • Negative criminal record check issued by the authorities in your country of origin or the country where you have resided for the last five years

The Immigration Act is subject to ongoing amendments. It is essential that you raise any queries you may have at your Spanish consulate or embassy, where they will be able to provide you with full information.

For students from the EU

Students from a member state of the European Union do not need to apply for visas or a student card before arriving in Spain, as they already have the right to free circulation and to reside in Spain.

However, all students from an EU member state who will be staying in Spain for more than three months must apply for inclusion on the Central Foreigners Registry, as a result of which they will receive a registration certificate and a Foreigner’s Identity Number (NIE).

This registration must be done in person at the National Police station in the city where you live. You can request an appointment in advance here.

Required documentation:

  • Application form EX.18
  • Valid passport or proof of identity (original and copy)
  • Enrolment at the study centre (original and copy)
  • European health card or private health insurance that covers all risks in Spain throughout the study period (original and copy). In the event that the policy has been taken out in your country of origin, you must also supply a translation.
  • An affidavit confirming you have sufficient financial resources to cover your stay in Spain. Participation in EU study exchange programmes is regarded as sufficient justification of financial resources.
  • Fee 790. Code 012. (€12) Option ‘EU resident registration certificate’ or ‘Residency card as a relative of an EU citizen’.

Can I work and study on a study visa?

Current legislation allows students to work on a study visa and legal student residency permit (student’s NIE) so long as you are not in full-time employment (maximum of twenty hours a week permitted) to ensure this does not interfere with your studies.