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A brief history of International House Barcelona

Some of the key dates on our journey

2016 We add a newly renovated building, on the other side of the street, with classrooms, an Auditorium and our Study Abroad Department.
2016 IH Barcelona is accredited by Jaume I University and can now offer ECTS credits for its Spanish courses.
2015 We become an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam centre.
2013 IH Barcelona becomes a centre accredited by the Universidad de Barcelona's Escuela de Idiomas Modernas (EIM).
2012 We open an office in Peking, China, which then opens as a school.
2011 IH Barcelona becomes an Authorised Centre for Cambridge English exams and teaching awards.
2010 A total of 33,000 local school pupils participate in the third edition of our Fonix English Competition, with a further 6,500 in the second edition in the Balearic Islands.
2009 We launch our online Spanish teacher training site FormacionELE in collaboration with three other IH schools in Spain.
2008 IH Barcelona becomes a member of EMAS, the European Union's Eco Managemanet Audit Scheme
2007 We become a Full Member of EAQUALS, The European Association for Quality Language Services. Further details of accreditation for our courses.
2007 IH Barcelona opens IH Belfast, a specialist English language school and teacher training centre and one of the first year-round quality schools to open in Northern Ireland.
2007 IH Barcelona opens IH Bogotá and starts Spanish courses in Colombia, in collaboration with IH Mexico and our Colombian partners.
2006 We launch The VIVA Group, a new brand name designed to help promote the Spanish language schools that operate in collaboration with IH Barcelona (Barcelona, Palma, Tarragona and Playa del Carmen).
2005 Our new Translation Service joins the other language services we provide.
2004 IH Barcelona opens a new school in Playa del Carmen (Mexico) in collaboration with IH Mexico. IH's first Spanish courses in Cuba are started.
2002 Spanish courses in Palma de Mallorca are offered for the first time, in collaboration with IH Palma.
2001 The school takes over another three floors in the building and undergoes a major refurbishment.
2001 The first summer Spanish course for teenagers is offered in Tarragona.
1998 IH Barcelona's Spanish teacher training courses are recognised by the University of Barcelona.
1998 Net Languages is started and develops into one of the world's leading virtual language schools, providing online English and Spanish courses.
1996 Our Teacher Training Department holds its first IH Barcelona ELT Conference, now an annual event.
1995 The school opens an 'electronic classroom' containing computers connected to the Internet. This was almost certainly the first Internet room opened by any language school in Spain.
1994 The Ben Warren Trust is established and an annual prize for the most significant contribution to the field of language teacher education is launched.
1993 IH Barcelona becomes a DELE exam centre.
1991 The first Conference for Spanish teachers is organised by our Spanish teacher training department. An annual event since, Encuentro Práctico has become the largest conference for Spanish teachers in Spain.
1991 After Ben Warren's death, Jonathan Dykes takes over the management of the school.
1985 The school opens the Spanish teacher training department and offers the first practical teacher training courses for Spanish language teachers in Spain.
1982 A new department dedicated to in-company language training is started. The school expands onto a third floor.
1980 The school opens an agency dedicated to sending students on language courses abroad.
1978 The school expands onto a second floor in the same building on Calle Trafalgar.
1976 A new department dedicated to training English language teachers is opened.
1973 IH Barcelona opens its Spanish Department.
1972 International House Barcelona is established by Ben Warren. The new school occupies one floor of a building in the city centre, and its main activity is teaching English to people from the local community.

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More information about IH Barcelona


IH Barcelona ELT Conference

IH Barcelona ELT ConferenceSince 1996 Held annually in February, our ELT Conference is one of the major Barcelona events for English teachers in the city, with many attendees from the rest of the world.

Ben Warren Prize

Ben WarrenSince 1994 Awarded for outstanding contributions to ELT literature, our annual Ben Warren Prize also commemorates the life and work of the man who founded IH Barcelona in 1972.

Spanish Teachers Conference

Encuentro Práctico BarcelonaSince 1991 Our Encuentro Práctico now attracts 450 Spanish teachers from around the world for two days in Barcelona in December.


Since 1972 IH Barcelona, one of the world's leading language schools and language teacher training centres


IH Barcelona is accredited by:

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