Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Tufts in Barcelona, 1979-1984
Founded in 1979, Tufts in Barcelona was designed to give students the opportunity to study in Spain and experience the cultural and social dynamics of life on the Iberian peninsula.
Tufts in Barcelona's first class of fourteen students arrived at the University of Barcelona in the spring of 1980. The university, founded in 1430, is one of the most famous universities in Europe, and attracts some of the leading authorities on the Spanish world. Students took classes both at the downtown campus of the university, and at a campus located in the western suburbs of Barcelona.
Under the direction of Angel and Joan Berenguer, visiting Tufts students were not only given a chance to explore Barcelona, the second oldest city in Spain, but were also taken on university sponsored tours to surrounding regions in Spain. Each year, students participated in group day trips and one weekend trip to historical monuments and points of interest in northeastern Spain. Visiting students were also invited to monthly lectures and receptions, held at the program center, featuring important figures in Spanish cultural and political life.
The program was forced to move to Madrid in 1985 because of the growing language barrier between the university faculty and students in the program. By 1984, the faculty at the University of Barcelona was conducting many classes in Catalan. For American students schooled in castillian or Latin American Spanish, this created obvious difficulties. The program was discontinued after 1984 and moved to Madrid, where Tufts began a partnership with the Autonomous University of Madrid.
Source: OBS, TD