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ESADE Law School

This semester-long study abroad program undertaken in a student’s 3L year engages Penn Law students in the rich international business law curriculum offered by ESADE Law School in Barcelona.

Jackie Diaz L’14 (right) visits Barcelona’s famous Park Güell during her semester abroad at ESADE.

Program Description

ESADE ranks prominently among university institutions in both Spain and abroad.  The program aims to provide visiting students with an education in legal foundations grounded in an economic-business oriented focus.   ESADE offers an internationally-focused education and strives to prepare students to work in a global world. Two students from Penn Law are nominated annually for this exchange program.


Penn Law participants in this program must possess a high level of Spanish proficiency.  At least two of the law courses completed at ESADE must be conducted entirely in Spanish.


Prior to their departure, students must ensure they are on track to complete the necessary upper-level semester hours to meet their JD degree requirements.  Penn Law students will receive 12 credits for their semester at ESADE Law School. 

Below is a sample of courses taken at ESADE by former Penn Law participants:

  • Introducción al Derecho Español
  • Derecho del Mercado: Competencia y Propriedad Intelectual
  • Derecho del Mercado de Valores
  • Inmigración y Extranjería
  • Gestion de Personas
  • Comparative Business Corporate Law
  • Private M&A: Acquisitions and Joint Ventures
  • Diplomatic & Consular Law & Practice
  • Self Determination and Minority Rights
  • Competition Law
  • European Union Internal Market
  • International Environmental Law
Grading and Evaluation

Academic performance is assessed by various methods, including written exams, oral presentations, and papers.  ESADE courses are graded on a scale of 1 to 10 points; with a passing grade ranging from 5.0-6.9.  All classes must be taken for a grade (i.e., not pass/fail) but will not be factored into your Penn Law GPA.

Academic Calendar

Although the program dates vary from year to year, the ESADE academic term generally begins in mid-September with an exam period running from early to mid-December.  At the beginning of September, ESADE Law School organizes an orientation program for all new exchange students, including a Spanish language module at no additional cost.

Cost of Living

Estimates for living expenses in Barcelona are provided in the International Student Handbook.

Housing Information

ESADE does not have housing facilities for students in Barcelona, but students have the option to stay at the Residencia Sarria, which is a 15 minute walk down to the Pedralbes campus.

There are many housing options in Barcelona in both the city and the suburbs. However, looking for an apartment on your own requires knowledge of the different areas (barrios) as prices can vary substantially from one area to another.  The neighborhoods which are most popular with ESADE students are Sarria, Sant Gervasi, La Vila de Gràcia and l’Eixample.  Pedralbes, where the Law School is located, is the most expensive district in the city.

Visa Information

If your stay in Spain is for 180 days or less, you must apply for a short-term, type D Student Visa, also referred to as a Schengen Visa, which allows you to remain in Spain / the Schengen area for up to 180 days. It does not allow for extensions nor can you apply for a Student ‘Residence’ Card when you arrive.  Additional information is available in the ESADE International Student Handbook.

Everyone living in Barcelona for longer than 3 months, is required by law to register with the local town council. This registry is called Padró or Empadronamiento.  Non-EU citizens staying in Spain for more than 3 months are required to apply for a ‘Certificado de registro de ciudadano de la union’ which includes your NIE (número de identificación de extranjero). Depending on your age and the program you’re registered in, you are required to provide ESADE Program Management with your NIE within 30 days of the start of class.

Health and Safety

All incoming students are required to have adequate medical insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in Spain; for visa application purposes, €30,000 of coverage (no deductible; no co-payment) plus repatriation insurance is considered standard. ESADE recommends that you request complete information from the Spanish Consulate and your insurance company before coming to Spain. Upon arrival at ESADE you will be required to confirm that you are covered by such an insurance policy for the entire time you will be studying at ESADE.

Please review the Health and Safety information available on the Penn Global Support Services website.  Details on Travel Warnings, if relevant, are posted under International Travel Guidance.

Disability Access and Special Needs

For several consecutive years, ESADE has been awarded the Disabled Certificate for Organizations (DisCert), the leading European certification recognizing organizations’ commitment to support people with disabilities.  ESADE’s access mission is an important component of their social responsibility policy.  For guidance on specific disability access that may be available in Barcelona, please contact the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange

Contact Info for Foreign Institution

Ms. Araceli Domènech
Law Exchange & Themis Program Manager
Building 1, Deans’ Office, Law International Relations Unit
Avinguda Pedralbes, 60 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Phone + 93 280 61 62


Remember to read the Study Abroad Guidelines for answers to the most frequently asked questions about studying abroad.