Study Abroad

Design is an increasingly complex profession where the limits between traditional speciality areas have become blurred. Nowadays designers must be capable of covering every base in this extensive market and mastering the diversity of services they can offer. If you want to Study Abroad in Barcelona, Elisava’s Study Abroad programme is an ideal option for a Spain study abroad experience, as it offers a comprehensive look at the design and the new opportunities that are appearing with it. And it does so in a multicultural environment during a Semester abroad in which different disciplines and knowledge areas merge. So that, students of Elisava's Study Abroad can complement their training according to their interests to be able to materialise projects in any area by becoming an student abroad.

At Elisava we understand design and engineering as instruments to question and construct the social, technological, environmental and ethical dimensions of the world in which we live through creativity and critical reflection. Elisava is the strength of its students and a perfect study abroad experience for every international student. More than 20,000 students from around the world have left and continue to leave their mark on the School and now work as designers and industrial design engineers to meet future challenges and generate new scenarios in the world. So, if you are looking for a short term study abroad and a design study abroad experience and want to become part of a community of international students abroad, Elisava is the perfect option for you.

Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava


Study Abroad is a 15 weeks programme in Elisava, in the heart of Barcelona, Capital City of Design. Free Elective Programme:

Track A: For students without design background

  • 3 mandatory subjects (45 hours and 6 ECTS each)
  • Plus a choice of electives (45 hours and 6 ECTS each)
  • Plus optional Spanish language lessons (45 hours and 6 ECTS)

Track B: For students with design background (Elisava will require a portfolio)

  • A choice of electives a minimum of 3 (45 hours and 6 ECTS each)
  • Plus optional Spanish language lessons (45 hours and 6 ECTS)

Academic Year 2023-2024

  • Study Abroad - Fall Semester: September 4 to December 21
  • Study Abroad - Spring Semester: January 9 to April 26


Study Abroad is a programme entirely taught in English.

Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava
Study Abroad Elisava

These are the courses that the programme Study Abroad offers:

Design contexts. Culture, history, art and architecture (Mandatory Track A)

The objective of Elisava's Study Abroad is to relate the different branches of human knowledge: architecture, sociology, history, anthropology and art with the aim of developing a cognitive map of the world we live in.

The establishment of theoretic bases and social knowledge that allow the permeation of design in a global and historic context, The purpose is to give the student analytical and discursive tools to develop their own project from a of critical and innovative point of view.

This course will analyse the basic theories of art, architecture and design culture since the industrial revolution up to the present day. The first phase will study the emergence of industrial design as a specific discipline in Western European culture. This will be followed by an investigation of modern design language in daily life, the value of brands and consumer habits in a new world of mass communication, new technologies and sustainability.

Using the extensive resources of Barcelona with visits to the cities museums such as MNAC, MACBA, Joan Miró Foundation and the Picasso Museum, emblematic buildings by Gaudi, Mies Van Der Rohe, Richard Meier and Jean Nouvel as well as design stores like Vitra and BD, and restaurants and leisure spaces around the city.

Digital Representation Principles (Mandatory Track A)

The capacity of communicating trough images and expressing the relevant aspects of a project, from the idea to the final proposal, is a fundamental aspect of design. This course is aimed at providing students with representation Concepts and techniques that are broadly applied in design fields.

Based on exercises, talks and workshop sessions, the course embraces the ability of students to define and show their ideas by learning about the options and features that Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Indesign and Adobe Illustrator offer as a powerful suite specifically conceived for design professionals.

Mandatory for participants to the Study Abroad programme without experience in digital representation and visual narrative, the course is also recommended for those design students who want to deepen their knowledge of digital tools and learn more about the Adobe Suite.

The course approaches also the basic concepts of video editing and production, as well as fundamentals of presentation techniques, in order to provide students with a complete range of options that they will put into practice in many visual communications required by the Study Abroad programme as well as by their future design projects.

Advanced Principles in Design (Mandatory Track A)

Elisava's Study Abroad is centered on the assimilation of procedures that allow understanding of a design language that examines the relationship between necessity and function of objects and the interaction between objects and their environment. The student is also introduced to the semantics of form, colour and materials.

Fundamentals of Design has a global focus, with a theoretic and practical profile, synthesising and integrating the different areas of communcation, humanities and scientific techniques. The multidisciplinary personality implies a parallel understanding of graphic design and practical interior design, sharing content that is clearly defined yet flexible in their final applications.

Interior Spaces

The Interior Spaces course introduces design students to the complexities of the development of the interior spaces, as well as putting them in touch with the local architecture and design culture. The course structure is designed to provide a general framework for the development of a range of projects, from small scale briefs to a larger scale proposal for a residential interior. The program provides the student with knowledge and skills in all areas of space planning, theory and concept, model-making and freehand drawing as well as communication.

Priority is given to learning strategies that foster critical thinking, problem solving and decision-making capabilities. As a result, students will increase their creative skills and get a substantial vision in all areas related to interior space design. With an active participation of the students, several practical exercises integrated within the course promote a conceptual and experimental approach to design through a hands-on learning method. It usually begins with a presentation to provide the theoretical foundation that aims to deepen the comprehension of a specific subject. During class, students will develop a quick draft resolution, PowerPoint presentations, and/ or a physical model.

Typography and Graphic Design

Graphic Design is the discipline that uses visual concepts to communicate ideas. This course aims to practice the Graphic design tools, Colour, Image, Composition and Typography and the relation between them. Typography is one of the most important tools for graphic designers. Students will experiment from movable type fonts to digital typography movement. In this course students will learn how to design projects that will range from artistic and experimental calligraphy, typography, poster composition, branding, or editorial design to digital interaction. The students will also learn basic communication skills, considering that contemporary narratives require the capacity of dealing with static and dynamic images.

Furniture and Product Design

This course focuses on the areas of product and furniture design. Covering the whole process from conceptualisation, formalisation, development and pre-production of a designed object from the human, domestic or work environment.

The course will study the social, ergonomic and esthetic environment of the user, the ways of producing the final work and the impact of this on the environment as a whole. Students will approach the semantics of objects, their functional and communicative capacity along with the integration of materials and technology.

Visits to factories, showrooms and design boutiques as well as using the school’s workshops form an important part of the development of the designed products.

Retail Design and Visual Merchandising

Retail is naturally the showplace for new ideas, new concepts and new products. As such, the store environment serves as the selling stage for the latest merchandise offerings of the day, and a tool of communication used to create a dialogue with the targeted customer. The specific design of the retail space in terms of the adequacy of the interior layout and the study of the public fluxes, a suitable choice of materials for the walls, flooring and ceilings, as well as the graphic applications and the lighting, determine the spatial quality of the store. Through effective visual merchandising, the retailer communicates both the attributes of the brand and the attributes of the products offered.

The main goal of this course is to introduce students to the importance of retail design and visual merchandising as an integral component of a successful retail strategy. The principles, philosophies and technologies of both, retail design and visual merchandising will be studied through exploration of the marketplace, visits, and hands-on classroom experimentation.

Motion Graphics and Visual Communication

In the last years moving images have become the new graphics in the digital world. The net is full of Graphics animating fonts, illustrations and pictures that move creating the sensation of dynamism. The main goal of this subject is to introduce students to the motion graphics field and also learn visual communication as the tool to facilitate the communication of the ideas. The content will focus on Storytelling, Digital Illustration, Digital filmmaking and the Digital tools that help to build it all.

Design for Packaging

Modern-day packaging needs call for professionals with the power to communicate—both formally and graphically—the attributes of a product.

With the aim of training professionals whose design is nurtured in a sense of social and environmental responsibility, the program shows the right tools for conceptualising and developing comprehensive packaging projects.

The goal is to understand the factors affecting production and selection of a package for a specific product, its possibilities and materials.

Food Design

This course focuses on food from its origins to the present, in order to understand the complex system behind the fact of “feeding” people. The course will approach this subject from gastronomy, anthropology, history, etymology and food systems amongst other disciplines, thus the course has the aim of giving the students diverse approaches and tools to make them capable not just to understand this interdisciplinary subject but to create design objects or services in relation with food and gastronomy with sense and content.

The course will introduce students to the interaction of design, as a creative process, with food and health, as a fundamental part of the human being. As part of the development of the aims of the course, the class will visit exhibitions, culinary centres and food designers’ studios in Barcelona’s area.