Barcelona SAE

Calle Diputació 92 ,Barcelona, , 08015 Spain

About Barcelona SAE

Year Founded: 2009

Barcelona SAE is not your typical third party provider. Barcelona SAE offers semester, summer, and year-long study abroad and internship opportunities in the beautiful and dynamic city of Barcelona. Our sole focus is Barcelona and our programs are among the most affordable. At Barcelona SAE, we understand that study abroad programs are about more than just the best academics available. That's why our programs facilitate cultural immersion and our students leave feeling as though they have a real connection with the city of Barcelona and its people. All aspects of our program incorporate experiential learning in order to open the eyes of our students to an ever-growing global world. We also offer pre-professional internships, direct enrollment, faculty-led and customized programs.

Discover Programs

Intern Abroad Through Barcelona SAE Internships: Experience Culture and Boost Your Resume

Spain : Barcelona

Imagine working in an international company in Barcelona, improving your Spanish, experiencing the culture and boosting your resume. You can do it all, with Barcelona SAE! The...

Study Abroad at the BIC for the Summer with Barcelona SAE

Spain : Barcelona

Spend some time this summer improving your Spanish skills and earning credit for classes you take in English at The Barcelona International College (BIC) through the Barcelona...

Study Abroad at the UB for the Summer with Barcelona SAE

Spain : Barcelona

In the language and culture course, you will make Barcelona your classroom with city visits by local professors as an integral part of the class. Program duration is four...

Study Abroad at the BIC for the Fall Semester with BSAE

Spain : Barcelona

Imagine learning a little more about the history of Spain through a cooking class, or learning about Southern Spain's traditions while enjoying a Flamenco show. Get to know...

Study Abroad at the UAB for the Spring Semester with BSAE

Spain : Barcelona

The Study Abroad Experience through the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona gives students the chance to study intensive Spanish language and take electives in your major,...

Barcelona SAE's new programs at UPF!

Spain : Barcelona

Check out Barcelona SAE’s new programs at the Universidad de Pompeu Fabra (UPF)! BarcelonaSAE offers four new programs at UPF: Hispanic and European Studies (HESP),

Study Abroad at the BIC for the Spring Semester with BSAE

Spain : Barcelona

Imagine learning a little more about the history of Spain through a cooking class, or learning about Southern Spain's traditions while enjoying a Flamenco show. Get to know...

Study Abroad at the UB for the Fall Semester with BSAE

Spain : Barcelona

The study abroad options through the Barcelona SAE at the University of Barcelona are for those students with at least some Spanish language background who want to take all...

Study Abroad at the UAB for the Summer with Barcelona SAE

Spain : Barcelona

The Study Abroad Experience through the Barcelona SAE and Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona gives students the chance to study intensive Spanish language and take electives...

Study Abroad at the UAB for the Fall Semester with BSAE

Spain : Barcelona

The Study Abroad Experience through the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona gives students the chance to study intensive Spanish language and take electives in your major,

Summer Multi-Country Program: Barcelona & Rome

Spain : Barcelona

The Summer Mediterranean Culture Studies Program in Barcelona and Rome is an 8 week program that allows you to spend the summer in two well known and beautiful cities in

January Term at Barcelona International College

Spain : Barcelona

The January term (J-term) program offered at Barcelona International College (BIC) is held for three weeks in January and perfect for students looking to study abroad over...

Professional Development Internship Experience

Spain : Barcelona

The 4-week Professional Development Internship Experience will maximize students' time to help them gain work experience and build a job portfolio while they have an experience...

Summer Program at the European Institute of Design

Spain : Barcelona

The European Institute of Design opened its headquarters in Barcelona in 2002. During Barcelona SAE's summer 4 week program students will take classes taught by top experts...

Experience a Living Classroom in Barcelona this Summer!

Spain : Barcelona

Get ready to pack more into a summer in Barcelona than you could ever imagine! Not only will you improve your Spanish, but you will also experience Barcelona through fun

Study Abroad at the UB for the Spring Semester with BSAE

Spain : Barcelona

Barcelona SAE offers study abroad options at the University of Barcelona for those students with at least some Spanish language background who want to take all of their courses...

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Alumni Interviews

Staff Interviews

  • Rich Kurtzman - Executive Director

    Rich Kurtzman - Executive Director

    Rich Kurtzman is the Executive Director of Barcelona Study Abroad Experience (BSAE), a study and internship provider based in Barcelona, Spain. With a graduate degree in Spanish Applied Linguistics from the University of Illinois – Chicago, Rich has been a resident of Barcelona since 2002 though he is originally from Chicago. Teacher, presenter, and program organizer are all a part or Rich’s extensive background and experience. His studies of Spanish and Russian led him toward the field of international education, and he has been in the field ever since.

    Rich cooking up a mean paella for 15 students.
    Rich cooking up a mean paella for 15 students.

    You studied Spanish and Russian at Illinois Wesleyan University as an undergrad. Where did your interest in these two languages come from?

    People always ask me if I grew up with other languages because of my love of learning them, but the only Spanish my mom speaks is hola, gracias, café con leche, and that´s it. I started studying Spanish in 7th grade because that’s what you did back then and it came easy to me so I continued on through college. My freshman year at Illinois Wesleyan University I had an extra class to take, so I decided to try Russian since my sister was studying abroad in St. Petersburg. I was hooked. Next thing I knew I was organizing a summer study abroad in St. Petersburg too!

    The highlight of studying these two languages has to be when I took an upper division Russian class while studying abroad in Madrid. If you didn’t understand in Russian, you had to get the explanation in Spanish. 

    You’ve taught Spanish to international students, you’ve directed study abroad programs, and acted as resident director in Spain. What is the most important lesson you learned as a teacher, which you now use at BSAE?

    While teaching, I learned the importance of really getting to know each student as an individual. That is the great thing about teaching is that you get to know the students so well through the classes and homework assignments. When you do that, you can tailor a program to their needs and interests, which is what we try to do at Barcelona SAE even though I’m not currently teaching.

    You are an American expat married to a Brit, with a young son. Is your son Catalán first?

    Our son is only 15 months old, so I’m not sure he’s old enough to know yet, but the cultural identity confusion will come soon. We speak to him in English at home (my wife speaks in British English and I in American English), he goes to daycare five days a week in Catalan, and he hears us speaking Spanish with our friends and out-and-about. He’ll be trilingual by the time he’s four years old – one of the amazing things about living in Barcelona and a truly bilingual city. 

    You have worked for many of the prestigious larger study abroad organizations in Spain, how does Barcelona SAE differ from those programs?

    I have learned a great deal from the other companies I worked with and respect them tremendously. Barcelona SAE is unique in that we are the Barcelona specialists and focus all of our resources on this fabulous Mediterranean capital. Because we specialize in one geographic region, we can keep our costs low to students and we can include more cultural activities than most others. For instance, we have weekly cultural activities that range from getting to know a different neighborhood of the city, to a cultural dinner with a local mentor eating pulpo (octopus), to salsa dancing classes and Spanish cooking classes.

    Your study abroad focus seems to be on acculturation and providing cultural immersion for your students. Barcelona is a popular destination for study abroad students and interns; how do you provide cultural immersion surrounded by so many international students?

    One of our main areas of expertise is increasing the students’ cultural immersion and awareness. Barcelona is a city that you can fall in love with after spending just a couple hours there – the social atmosphere, the gorgeous scenery, the food, the beach, the mountains, the city’s activities and so on. This is why it’s such a popular destination for not just US study abroad, but it’s a top destination for European university students on exchange programs. The thing about Barcelona is that there is more than meets the eye and I’ve gotten to see that over the last 12 years living there.

    All of the on-site staff are so passionate about what Barcelona has to offer and it is obvious to all of our students. This passion is what makes it so easy for us to bring that to the students and fit it into every aspect of Barcelona SAE programming.

    What did your own study abroad experience as an undergrad in Illinois mean to you?

    I had never left the country until I studied abroad as a sophomore in St. Petersburg, Russia. That experience opened my eyes to how narrow our views can be if we don´t get out and experience other cultures. This means: finding meaningful interaction with people of other cultures, learning new languages, getting lost, struggling with and then overcoming culture shock.

    My own experiences showed me the beauty of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. I love that first feeling of confusion and challenge when entering a new culture, then getting to the point where it feels comfortable.

    Did your parents support you in your study abroad dreams? Do they support you living abroad?

    I think my parents just want me to be happy and they know that living abroad, and especially in Barcelona, is what makes me happy. They support the opportunities that I have and the opportunities that Barcelona SAE is giving so many students to live their dreams. And, let’s face it; Barcelona is a great place for them to visit. 

    If you hadn’t studied overseas in Spain and Russia, what other country would have been at the top of your list?

    Where to begin?! My work as an intercultural consultant helping executives from multinational companies from around the world makes me want to visit every country they come from. I have worked with men and women from about 15 different countries and I would love to jump on a plane right now and visit any one of them.

    But if I had to choose one, at the top of my list would probably be China. It’s a culture that has always fascinated me and I’ve heard from other Americans who have lived there that it’s very hard to acclimate. I want to experience that and observe it for myself. I’ve also been practicing a martial art that comes from China for about 7 years – it´s called Wing Chun Kung Fu. I’d love to go there and have them show me how it’s done.

    The majority of college students studying in Spain are women, why should more guys study abroad?

    Why don’t more guys study abroad? It’s a question that I haven’t been able to answer. Why wouldn't you see the world while it’s logistically so easy? Improve your resume with the skills you gain while abroad? Build intense, life-long friendships? Learn a new language? Become more independent? Challenge yourself? More guys should study abroad for the same reasons everyone should study abroad! Come on guys, this is your chance.