Spain is one of those ever-popular destinations — for students just as much as holidaymakers. It consistently ranks in the top 5 countries to study in. With a quality education system, hot climate, top cuisine, and relatively low cost of living, it isn’t hard to see why.
If you are considering studying in Spain, make sure you get the paperwork sorted before you go. While citizens of EU countries may be able to study in the country visa-free, other foreign nationals will need a national Schengen visa for Spain.
For those of you wondering “what is a Schengen visa?”, it’s a visa giving access to countries in the Schengen Area, of which Spain is a member. The standard tourist Schengen visa won’t let you study, though; for that, you’ll need a national visa.
With several Spanish universities ranking highly in the QS World University Rankings and so many other great aspects of the country to take into account, it is well worth considering Spain to study abroad. Read on to find out more.
High quality education
Spain’s education system is known for its high quality. It is well-organised, with an emphasis on preparing students for real-life situations and experiences. There are courses available for all levels, with a broad range of opportunities for graduates and postgraduate students.
The nature of Spanish higher education is very internationalised. The country forms part of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). This means that if you get an official degree from any of the country’s universities, it will be recognised in over 50 countries around the world, including 45 European nations.
There are 87 universities, around 480 research institutes, and around 70 science and technology parks in Spain’s higher education system. Five Spanish universities rank in the top 300 in the world according to the QS World University Rankings: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Complutense University of Madrid, and the University of Navarra.
The quality of education and the many other great things about the country are why Spain is the favourite destination for ERASMUS students and among the top choices for students from the US, UK, France, and Italy, among others.
Improve your Spanish
It is impossible to understate the importance of Spanish as a global language. It ranks 2nd in the world in terms of native speakers (more than English!) and 4th in the world by overall speakers.
Studying in Spain is the perfect opportunity to learn or improve your ability to speak Spanish. Not all courses in Spain are conducted in Spanish — it is usually possible to study courses in English at most Spanish universities. However, even if you are not studying in the language, you can easily find classes, tutors, or simply practice with the friends you make. There will be native speakers everywhere, making it easier to pick up.
Learning another language is a great way to make your resume more attractive and open up career opportunities. Spanish is one of the most important ones for international business and working abroad.
Low cost of living
One of the most important things as a student is keeping living costs down. You most likely won’t be able to work full-time while studying, and for many students, this could mean living on a budget.
Luckily, Spain is regarded as being very affordable, with relatively low living costs. Even the biggest, most cosmopolitan cities like Madrid and Barcelona are fairly cheap to live in compared to other European capitals like London and Paris. Smaller cities are even more affordable.
You can keep costs even lower by living out of the city centre and/or flat-sharing. However, many Spanish universities offer student accommodation at reasonable rates to international students — often located centrally.
Experience history and culture
As a country with a long history dating back to before the Roman Empire, Spain has a wealth of fascinating historical sites, incredible buildings, and interesting cultural heritage.
Studying in Spain gives you the perfect opportunity to experience Spanish history and culture first-hand.
Explore the epic scope of the Alhambra fortress in Granada or walk the medieval walls of Girona, filming location of Game of Thrones. Marvel at the Great Mosque of Córdoba, the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela, and Gaudí’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
Admire the works at some of the world’s top art museums like the Prado and Paseo del Arte in Madrid and the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Wander the atmospheric streets of the old towns of Toledo and Barcelona or relax with glass of wine in a plaza in Sevilla or La Rioja.
Experience authentic flamenco music and dancing and discover the many other regional forms of Spanish music. Dive into the wealth of delicious Spanish food there is on offer.
Living and studying in Spain is sure to open your eyes to so many new things and will be an unforgettable experience.