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Best American Schools in Barcelona, Spain

Best American Schools in Barcelona, Spain

Are you looking for a secondary or higher education in Barcelona, where the courses are accredited from the USA? Today we are going to talk about the American schools in Barcelona so that you can choose the best one!

We take into account some factors in order to do the best Ranking of American Schools in Barcelona:

  • Location
  • Fees
  • Teachers
  • Administration
  • Method of Learning
  • Flexibility
  • Social life

5 American Schools in Barcelona

There is the list of the best 5 American Schools in Barcelona:

American School of Barcelona, ASB

It’s a private and international non-profit school. It serves students from 3 to 18 years old, all these students obtain a diploma from the American school, although there is also the possibility of choosing the international diploma.

This school has an extraordinary score, above the IBDP world average. It’s true that ASB has a good academic program, but it’s also recognized for the personal approach it gives to students, thus creating a very familiar and close environment.

The students come from different nationalities, up to 50 different ones. The most popular are the United Kingdom, Spain, the United States, France, and Germany.

Benjamin Franklin International School

It was founded in 1986, and it’s an American school located right in the center of the city of Barcelona. It has approximately 700 students between the ages of 3 and 18.

The atmosphere and environment are multicultural since it has students of more than 50 different nationalities. All classes are held in English and the school is divided into:

  • Elementary school, which is from kindergarten to 5th grade
  • Middle school
  • High school

The lessons are highly differentiated and offer very strong academic programs, some even include language and learning support.

Graduate students have three diploma options:

  • American High School
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Spanish Baccalaureate

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Barcelona High School (BHS)

This innovative and American school also does 6th-12th grade American college prep (students ages 11-18).

BHS is located in the center of Barcelona and is recognized for being a non-traditional school. It has highly advanced courses accredited by the USA and helps students to be inspired to achieve the best academic levels.

The constant accompaniment of the student is one of the best advantages of this school, they focus on improving the habits and routine of studies, skills, and time management.

Something very interesting is that this school also focuses on emotional support so that students can have emotional confidence that also benefits their studies. To achieve this, they do, for example, group projects in the open air.

Gresol International-American School

Gresol focuses on being an exemplary and innovative school for students ages 3 to 18. It offers an American diploma and is located in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona.

The main language they use is English, but one of the goals of the school is for students to graduate with at least 3 different languages. The main objective of Gresol is that students achieve many things by themselves and that they become great leaders in the future.

It’s specifically located in Terrassa, the only school located in the Vallès Oriental that offers an American curriculum. They focus a lot on problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills.

ES International School

ES International School has an American High School program to prepare students to enter American universities.

It’s located outside of Barcelona, specifically in Castelldefels. Its location is good because it’s near the airport.

In addition to a great curriculum and excellent preparation, they also focus on sport and the importance of exercising it. For example, the school is located within a tennis academy.

Spain schools vs American schools

There are great differences between the Spanish and American educational systems, mainly in structure. But culture also makes the differences even more palpable on a daily basis in the classroom.

Educational system in Spain

In Spain, the educational system is divided into different levels. The first is Early Childhood Education, it’s made up of three courses, and ranges from 3 years to 6 years. Then Primary Education begins, with a total of 6 courses, from 6 to 12 years. After this stage, the Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO) begins, with four school years. ESO is the last compulsory educational level, since in Spain compulsory education ends at age 16, although many young people drop out of education without completing this stage.

When ESO is finished, students have the option of continuing their education with the baccalaureate, opt for a Middle Degree or start working.

If young people opt for high school, it’s the most common previous step to access university, it’s made up of two years and there are several modalities or branches. There is the Baccalaureate of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, and then the branch of Sciences and Technology. After high school, students have different educational options, study a Higher Degree or take the Selectivity or University Access Test (PAU) to start a university degree.

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Educational system in the United States

The preschool stage is the first step in the American educational system, from 3 to 6 years old. This isn’t compulsory and consists of three courses being ‘Head start’, ‘Pre-kindergarten’ and ‘Kindergarten’.

After preschool, compulsory education begins. The first level is Primary Education or ‘Elementary School’ which has five courses or grades and begins at 6-7 years old until 10-11 years old.

Subsequently, the next stage is called ‘Middle School’, which would be more or less Secondary Education and includes adolescents from 11-12 years to 14-15 years. This consists of three courses: sixth, seventh and eighth grade.

Then the so-called ‘High School’ or preparatory would come. It consists of four courses: ‘Freshman’ or ninth, ‘Sophomore’ or tenth year, ‘Junior Year’ or eleventh, and ‘Senior Year’ or twelfth. High school begins at age 14-15 and ends at age 17-18.

After the ‘High School’ they have different educational options, either opt for the University or the ‘Community College’ or ‘Junior College’, they are usually two-year programs and would be the equivalent of the Higher Degree in Spain, although it can be the basis for study after university courses of longer duration.

To access most universities, students have to pass an admission process consisting of the SAT Reasoning Test or the alternative entrance test, a kind of Selectivity, but not only the grades are important to be accepted into a university. American universities take into account the activities that young people carry out outside the classroom, as they look for committed, passionate, curious, and forward-thinking people.

School year

Another of the big differences between the two educations is about the school year. While in Spain the course always begins in September and lasts until June, in the United States it goes a bit differently, it frequently begins in August and ends in May.


The difference between the subjects in both educational systems is remarkable. In Spain, all students have practically the same study plan, with only a couple of optional subjects such as the third language.

But in the United States, it’s not like that, students can choose the subjects according to their tastes, so in each class, the students will be totally different.

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