Of all the countries in Europe, the simple and affordable lifestyle of Spain, not to mention its excellent study opportunities, are why visitors want to stay. Thousands of international students come to study in Spain every year. If your dream is to study abroad, consider Spain as your next destination!
In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about studying in Spain. You will learn about the requirements to study in Spain, the types of courses you can take while there, and even some useful tips for planning and organizing your trip. Our job is to make sure studying in Spain is a memorable experience for you. So, if you’re eager to start packing your bags, continue reading!
Reasons to Study in Spain
If you read our article on living in Spain, you are probably convinced that this is a country worth exploring. From breathtaking architecture to its rich culture and cuisine, Spain is a popular country for many travelers. Studying in Spain gives you more time to stay and discover all that the country has to offer, especially for education.
In recent years, the educational system of Spain has significantly improved, where its universities receive both academic and professional recognition around the world. Spain ranks 12 in the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings 2018. With that said, over 20 of Spain’s universities list in the QS World University Rankings of 2019. Also, Spain is a leading country for innovation and technology. It is the first European country, and third in the world, for agricultural biotechnology. By studying in Spain, you are sure to receive a world-class education.
The tuition costs of higher education, especially in Europe, can be quite expensive. Fortunately, studying in Spain is more accessible than you might think. The cost of tuition in Spain is much lower in comparison to other European countries. So, if you are looking for quality education at an affordable price, look no further!
In Spain, there is a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses. Universities here offer disciplines across various programs, ranging from Business and Management to Civil Engineering. The best part is that programs here are constantly updating in response to the demands and needs of today’s job market.
Requirements to Study in Spain
Now that you have good reasons to study in Spain, let’s discuss the requirements to do so. Below, we will walk you through things you need to complete before your departure.
Approval of Studies
If you have chosen a university or vocational program in Spain, you may need to take an admission or entrance exam. In this case, you will need to submit your studies to the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports (MECD). Through the MECD, the government of Spain will verify if you meet the level required to study at that facility and, if not, the exams you will need to take.
Certain postgraduate studies may also need to approve your courses before admission. The approval process depends on the institution that you plan to attend. In this case, be sure to inquire about the admission requirements through the school administration office, which brings us to the next task.
Since every school or university has an admissions process, you will need to check this in advance. For example, they may request that you have completed certain previous courses, have a certain proficiency level of Spanish or English, among others. We recommend that you check with the educational institution of your choice about each admission requirement, depending on the program you are interested in studying.
Visa for Spain
Having a visa is without a doubt, the most important one to study in Spain. Without a visa, you cannot enter Spain. Depending on the duration of the course you want to take, you can apply for a few different types of visas, which we will explain in the next section.
Visa to Work and Study in Spain
To live, work, or study in Spain, you must have a visa. There are different types of visas that allow you to study while in the country. Let’s explore them below:
Visa for Students
The student visa for Spain allows international students to stay in the country for over three months, which is the limit granted on a tourist visa. If you enroll in a Spanish university or are taking courses in Spain that last longer than three months, you will need this visa.
Work in Spain as a Student
In addition to studying in Spain, if you want to work to save some money, you can do so on a long-term visa. The long-term visa is intended for individuals who plan to stay in Spain for a period of longer than six months. You will also need to obtain a Foreigner Identity Card (TIE) which certifies that you can live in Spain during your studies or employment.
Other Visas to Study in Spain
Depending on your plans in Spain during your stay, there are other types of visas that allow you to study: the tourist visa and non-profit visa.
The tourist or “Schengen” visa is what the government of Spain will issue to foreigners who wish to travel to Spain for tourism, visit, friends or family, and study temporarily. With a tourist visa, you can study in Spain as long as the courses are no longer than three months. This visa is ideal if you plan to take short, intensive courses.
If you are in Spain on a tourist visa and want to apply for a student visa, you can do so from Spain before your time as a tourist expires. Otherwise, if you are in your country of origin, you must process it at the Embassy or Consulate of Spain according to your jurisdiction.
The non-profit visa, better known as a non-profit residence, is an authorization issued by the Spanish government for foreigners who wish to stay for one year in the country with no intention of seeking employment. You can study in Spain under a non-profit visa.
Although you cannot work with a non-profit visa, you can participate in an internship agreement, just like with the student visa. Remember that the internship agreement is an agreement between your school and the company that offers you the opportunity. You can check out our article on how to work in Spain to learn more about internship opportunities and agreements.
Also, if you would like more information about visas and the application process, visit our article on visas for Spain for complete details!
Courses to Study in Spain
Finally, the information that you’ve been waiting for: available courses! Do you have an idea of what you would like to study in Spain? If not, there are plenty of options to choose from that may interest you. Let’s take a look.
If you want to study in Spain that isn’t a degree program, taking an intensive course that specializes in a specific job sector is an option. These programs, or vocational courses, generally last from three to six months, providing the skills and experience needed to prepare you professionally.
In the case that you want to pursue a degree program at one of the universities in Spain, there are many courses to choose from, whether you decide to take undergraduate or graduate courses.
Cost to Study in Spain
At this point, likely, you have already decided to study in Spain. Now it is time to evaluate how much money you will need to invest in this adventure. First, let’s review tuition costs.
At a public university in Spain, tuition can range from 150 to 3,500 euros per year for an undergraduate degree and 300 to 3,500 euros for a graduate degree. On the other hand, tuition at a private university in Spaincan double that, ranging from 800 to 25,000 euros per year. Keep in mind, tuition costs may vary depending on the institution.
Adding to these tuition estimates, you must take into account administrative and course fees, including school application fees and class materials, which can range between 200 and 500 euros per year. <Also, you will need to factor in the cost of your visa application, plane tickets, travel insurance, medical insurance. Last but not least, add in your expected living expenses once in Spain, which can range between 900 and 1200 euros per month.
Remember, costs vary depending on many factors such as your school, the city you will live in, and your type of accommodation. For a more exact budget, we can help you! We will explain this portion in a later section.
Steps to Study in Spain
As eager as you may be to move abroad, it is important to follow certain procedures before doing so. Let’s walk through the process together, step by step, so that you can you are fully prepared to study in Spain.
1. Decide on the City You Want to Live
Choosing a city is an important step because it will give you an idea of how much money you will need. The cost of living, as well as accommodation, differs per city. To learn more about different cities to explore and compare, you can read our complete guide on cities in Spain.
2. Choose Courses to Study
Now that you have an idea of where in Spain you want to live, take time to explore the different schools and universities within that city. Compare the available programs and the cost of tuition for each institution to choose which one is the best option for you.
3. Complete the Course Enrollment Process
As we mentioned in an earlier section, each university has different admission and enrollment processes. Once you have selected the university or institute where you want to study, you must fill out your application and start the corresponding procedures.
4. Apply for a Visa
Remember, you must have a visa to come to Spain unless your country is on the exemption list. If your course of study lasts more than three months, you must apply for a student visa or a non-profit visa to stay in Spain beyond the tourist visa limit.
5. Prepare for your Trip to Spain
Once you have obtained your visa approval and have completed all the corresponding procedures, it is time to plan your budget, purchase your plane tickets, and pack your suitcase. You are ready to embark on your new adventure!