Studying in Spain
Universities in Spain
Students' Experiences of Spain
Why study in Spain?
One of the biggest reasons students choose to study abroad is the opportunity to learn another language, and in this regard, you can’t beat Spain. With the national dialect the second most spoken language in the world, it’s certainly a good one to master and an ability to do so will likely enhance your CV significantly.
- Spain is the most popular destination for students on the Erasmus exchange programme, which allows them to spend a year away from their home university in a foreign country.
- Spain has 76 universities, with about two-third of these state-funded while the remainder are private institutions.
- While the majority of courses in Spanish universities are taught in Spanish, there are also a number of courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in English.
Entry and visa regulations
EU students do not require a visa to study in Spain, but they must apply for a residence permit from the Central Registry Office for Foreigners within three months of arrival.
- To apply as an undergraduate student, you will first need to contact the Spanish National University for Distance Education in order to have your documents validated and confirm any special requirements that apply to your home country. You can then apply directly to the university of your choice.
- Officially the cut-off date for applying to universities in Spain for autumn admission is in June, but it’s a good idea to apply much earlier as an international student due to the validation procedure.
- At postgraduate level, students should go directly to their chosen institution.
Funding your study
Fees for tuition at public universities are set by education bodies at a regional level, so these vary around the country.
- In all areas, however, the costs are much lower than in the UK, ranging from about £400 to £1,000 per year. Private universities are much more expensive.
- There are very few scholarship opportunities for foreign students in Spain. Student loans are generally not available to international students who’ve moved to the country to study.
- Many students work part-time while studying and no extra permission is needed to do so, but it will be harder to find work if you don’t have adequate Spanish skills.
- Universities usually offer some accommodation, either on or off campus, and some also help arrange homestays with local families for students wishing to improve their language skills. Flat-sharing is also common among students and many stay in hostels or use sofa-surfing sites when they first arrive in Spain and then seek more permanent housing.
The cost of consumer goods and services in Spain is below average in comparison with other European countries.
Typical costs in Spain (GBP, March 2015) include:
- Apartment rent, 1 bedroom: £259 - £346 per month
- Meal, inexpensive restaurant: £7.12
- Meal at McDonalds: £4.98
- Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught): £1.42
- Imported beer (0.33 litre bottle): £1.92
- Cappuccino: £1.14
- Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle): £1.22
- Water (0.33 litre bottle): £0.85
- Loaf of bread: £0.67
- Cigarettes: £3.38
- One-way ticket local transport: £1.00
- Cinema ticket: £5.34
Health and safety
- Spain is generally a safe country, but pickpocketing and bag-snatching can be a problem in many larger cities in Spain, especially Barcelona, and passport theft is a particular concern. Avoid carrying valuables around and be alert to your surroundings.
- UK students with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be entitled to access free healthcare in Spain in the same way as a local resident. Spain also has many private health providers, along with health centres that provide both state-funded and private treatment. Make sure you clarify you are being offered treatment on a state-funded basis and present your EHIC card at the first opportunity.
- You’ll have to pay 40 per cent of the cost of any prescriptions you get from a state-funded healthcare provider.
- Hotcourses Abroad
- For more information, see Study in Europe
- Spanish National University for Distance Education