St. Ignatius

Barcelona–San Francisco Exchange Program


Moderator: Pedro Cafasso (

General information

Welcome to our information site!  The Saint Ignatius Barcelona - San Francisco Exchange Program started in August of 1999. Since that date, Saint Ignatius and Sant Ignasi-Sarrià have been sending delegations back and forth every summer and more than 200 students from both schools have been part of this exciting international experience.

Saint Ignatius sends a delegation of 5-8 students in early June to Barcelona and then these Spanish students come to San Francisco at the beginning of our academic year. The length of their stay is approximately four weeks.

Calendar of Events

  • November 15 - January 7: Application forms are accepted.
  • TBD: Students who have submitted full applications are being interviewed.
  • February: Students are being selected. Permits and checks are being collected and travel arrangements are being made.
  • March - April: Mandatory meetings for the SI students are held.
  • May: A mandatory meeting is held for parents and SI students traveling to Barcelona.
  • June 1-5: SI students depart for Barcelona.
  • June 28 - July 3: SI students return from Barcelona.
  • mid-August : Spanish students arrive in San Francisco.
  • mid-September: Spanish students return back to Barcelona.
  • November - December: SI students receive information about the program from their Spanish teachers and/or via this website. Students are invited to submit an application to travel to Barcelona and host exchange students. These SI students who travel in June will host the students from Sant Ignasi-Sarrià two months later.

(These are approximate dates and they may change.)

Barcelona Day Trips

While in Barcelona, SI chaperones, Sant Ignasi-Sarrià coordinators and host families organize several days of trips for the students visiting from the U.S.  Students will visit the following sites while living in Barcelona: Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, Olympic Village, Paseo de Gracia, Las Ramblas, Museum of Art of Catalonia and many others. Students will also have the opportunity to visit some important Ignatian sites including the Monastery of Montserrat and Manresa. Coordinators and host families travel with the SI students outside the city and in the past have visited places such as the Pyrennes mountains, the small villages on the Mediterranean in Costa Brava, Salvador Dali’s museum in Figueres, Sitges and many other incredible places.

Trips in late August and September

Each year the participants of the Barcelona – San Francisco Exchange Program take part in a camping trip and/or day trips for both host students and their exchange students. In the past we have visited Monterey, Carmel, Pismo Beach, Sacramento and Sausalito. We have also done camping trips to Yosemite National Park and Morro Bay.

Additional links

Take a look at some of the images from the Barcelona Exchange, below. Click on the photos to see them even larger!