Capital City: Madrid
Area Size: 504,782 sq km
Official Language: Castilian Spanish
Type of Government: Constitutional monarchy with two legislative houses
Currency: Euro (€)
Population: 47, 362,000 (2020 estimate)
The country occupies more than 80 percent of the Iberian Peninsula and is made up of 17 self-governing regions, 50 provinces, and two autonomous cities, Ceuta and Melilla.
Spain is one of the favourite destinations of students when it comes to international education. Not only is Spain one of the most progressive countries in Europe, but its official language is one of the most widely spoken in the world. Students will get a chance to hone their Spanish skills while earning a degree.
Spain has no shortage of attractions and every year it welcomes a throng of international students eager to call this Mediterranean gem home.
Spanish tertiary education is recognized and respected the world over. International students can choose from among Spain’s more than 70 universities distributed across the country. Several of these institutions are mainstays in prominent world university rankings.
One of the reasons why some students get discouraged about studying in Europe is the high cost of living. Spain, however, has one of the lowest costs of living in Europe, another reason why many students choose it as their host country.
Food and leisure especially are quite affordable, making a student’s stay in the country more pleasurable. Of course, the price still varies per region, with Madrid and Barcelona being the most expensive.
Another attractive feature about studying in Spain is its surprisingly affordable cost of education. The state subsidizes the majority of the cost of education in the country. So, despite being located in Europe, and despite its reputation for world-class education, Spain has one of the cheapest tuition fees on the continent.
Those looking to study in Spain can rest assured because it is not only one of the safest countries in the world, it is also one of the most tolerant. They can expect to experience a secure and accepting environment that will greatly benefit their overall student experience.
Those who dream of staying in Spain to look for a job after graduation have the option to do so because of a law specific to international students. They have the option to stay for a maximum of one year through a residence permit. Best of all, family members can join them during this duration.
Holders of a student visa are eligible to work for up to 20 hours a week. They may also apply for internships related to their field of study.
International students will need to apply for a work permit at the Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) to get started. For unpaid internships, only a student ID is required.
Students studying in Spain might be surprised by the country’s relaxed attitude about time. Arriving late for social gatherings is considered quite normal. This attitude is in stark contrast to many other European cultures, but Spaniards know how and when to slow down and take their time.
Spain’s love for the laid-back lifestyle does not mean idleness and inactivity. In fact, sports are an integral part of the daily life of Spanish people. Many famous athletes worldwide are of Spanish descent such as Pau Gasol (basketball) and Rafel Nadal (tennis).
Each region has its own favourites depending on the landscape. For example, winter sports including skiing are popular in Catalonia. In Valencia, surfing and scuba diving and other watersports are more popular. Football and basketball are also favourites across the country.
Festivals or fiestas are an inextricable part of the vibrant Spanish culture and they’re celebrated all year round. In fact, each village and town have its own day of celebration and fiestas.
Students, no matter where they are in the country, will get to experience and even participate in an authentic Spanish fiesta during the duration of their stay. Some of the more interesting and prominent festivals in Spain are the following:
International students applying for a Spanish undergraduate programme, at the minimum, only need a recognized high school certificate. Students can have their high school certificate validated at the Spanish Embassy located in their home country. They will also need to pass an entrance exam to get into their school of choice.
For postgraduate studies, students need a four-year bachelor’s degree or equivalent as a minimum.
Students have to apply for a student’s visa to study in Spain, unless they are citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland.
Application is through the Spanish consulate or embassy in their home country. Here are the general requirements needed for a student visa:
Spain has one of the cheapest tuition fees in Europe; no wonder many students choose it as their higher education destination. Students pay depending on the number of credits they are taking and are required to complete at least 60 credits annually.
Below is the tuition students pay per level, from the cheapest to the most expensive programmes:
Note that new students also have to pay the following:
Spain ranks above average in OECD’s Better Life Index when it comes to work-life balance, housing, health status, income and wealth, security, and social connections. Even with this above average quality of life, Spain has one of the lowest cost of living in Europe.
Below are the estimated costs of necessities students need to take note of while studying in Spain.
|Type of Expense||Estimated Cost|
|Accommodation||€400 to €600 per month|
|Food||€7.50 to €10.50 per meal|
|Transportation||€44 a month|
Students looking for financial aid to support their education in Spain have various options. Scholarships or grants in Spain are usually offered by the Spanish government or by the schools. There’s Erasmus+ for students from EU member countries, but there are many other scholarships and grants that are global, country-specific, or programme-specific.