Immigration. Travel. Living.

Higher education: Spain

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For international students, this country is one of the best places to receive a quality education in Europe.

With over 70 active universities, Spain is one of the best places to study in Europe as an international student. It has 45 universities listed in the Times Higher Education Global University Ranking. The most notable Spanish universities are located in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Granada. Each institution has its own method of application, course of study and lifestyle.

One of the biggest reasons why international students choose to study in the Kingdom of Spain is because it gives them the privilege to learn another language. Spanish ranks as the second most spoken language in the world.

While the majority of courses are taught in Spanish, there are also several courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels taught in the English language to accommodate students from overseas.

University education

blue and white academic hat

There are more than 70 universities in Spain, 50 of these institutions are public and the rest are private. They are distributed throughout the Spanish territory. Tertiary institutions are classified into organized university and non-university provisions. 

Some universities also have centers that offer advanced vocational training and specialized education. Most public tertiary institutions in this part of Europe are made up of colleges, faculties, departments, university schools, university institutes for research, doctoral colleges and bursary. The requirements needed to establish and maintain these institutions are legislated by the federal government.

Three levels of higher education in Spain:

University education in Spain operates according to a system similar to Bologna:

  • Undergraduate. In Spain it is called Grado. Education lasts on average about four years, but it all depends on the specialty;
  • A master or master’s degree. It can be obtained by graduating from a bachelor’s degree and completing an additional specialized 1 to 2 year course. Such a degree in Spain is called Máster;
  • Doctorado. It’s Doctorado degree in Spanish: a few more (from three) years of study at the university after receiving a master’s degree. Education in it resembles in the finale implies the defense of a dissertation.

University fees in Spain

Higher education in Spain is fee-based for foreigners. It is paid, however, for citizens too, but citizens of the kingdom can receive subsidies and scholarships for training. All foreigners can also receive a grant to study at the Spanish University, but for them this process will be more complicated.

Public university & tuition fees in Spain are inexpensive compared to other European countries. In the Kingdom of Spain, you can spend less than €1,000 per year studying at a public university. But private universities are much more expensive, tuition in these institutions can go as high as €5,000.

The cost for a master’s program can take up to €7,000 to €18,000 per year or €30,000 for an MBA. Language requirements are reasonable since most of the classes are taught in English.

Financial assistance and training costs

To get scholarships in Spain is almost impossible, because many universities are simply not able to pay for your tuition.

At a state university, the cost of training, as a rule, includes classes, use of the university library (a library card will be made for you), computers, language laboratories, laboratories, textbooks and books. Additionally, you will have to pay for dictionaries and, if necessary, for additional classes in Spanish. Group classes are cheaper than individual ones. The cost of an hour of an individual lesson is approximately $ 17-20 + living expenses (at the rate of $ 15 per day), transportation, clothing, food. In Spain, food is inexpensive and of high quality. For $ 7-12 you can have a snack in any mid-range restaurant.

The cost of accommodation (rented apartment) depends on the city: in Madrid, Barcelona – 350-400 dollars per month, in Salamanca, Avila – 200-300 dollars per month.

Application steps

Each institution has its own admission requirements, application procedure, deadline, and eligibility for application. Most universities can only accommodate about 25% of international students. To enroll in a Spanish university, you generally must possess a diploma and pass proficiency tests.

In order to participate in the competition for admission (preinscripción) to state universities, applicants submit an online application and attach the required documents to it – all in Spanish.

Online applications are submitted for universities in each province separately. In each application, you can specify several universities (or several study programs of one university) in order of priority. So, if an applicant wants to enter three universities in Aragon and two universities in Andalusia, then he submits two different applications for admission.

Each province of Spain has its own electronic application platform, which can be found on the websites of City Halls (ayuntamiento) or universities in each province.

Foreign students who want to study in this part of Europe must validate/certify their studies by writing a tertiary institution entrance/matriculation examination (Selectividad), and begin their studies at any public or private tertiary institution of their choice once they have passed their exam.

Foreign students under 28 years of age in any Spanish university enjoy a free insurance benefit (Seguro Escolar) that covers all accidents and illnesses during his course of study. 

To complete your enrollment into a Spanish tertiary institution, you must possess a student visa. All applications for student visas are completed in your home country and your school administration.

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