Studying in Spain: What you need to know as an International Student


Whether you prefer the peace and quiet of sand-covered beaches or the gentle air of the coast, Spain provides what you’re searching for. While sipping coffee in Barcelona, keep an eye out for the Moorish influence while touring the Alcazar in Seville.


Source: Verbalists education


Program Types in Spanish Higher Education

  Bachelor’s – (Grado), four years, 240 ECTS

Bachelor’s degree programmes in Spain are four years long. You will receive the title of “grado” as a professional after graduating. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is the norm for all universities in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
You must complete 240 ECTS credits of study in order to receive your BA in Spain.

  Master’s – (Posgrado), one to two years, 60–120 ECTS.

Spain is an excellent place to hone your research and originality skills. In Spain, master’s degrees typically involve a significant amount of independent study. You have the option to continue on and enroll in a PhD program once you have earned your master’s degree (third-cycle studies).

  PhD – (Doctorado), three to five years, 60 ECTS.

In Spain, only official courses offer access to a PhD program. An MBA in Spain will provide you with all the in-demand skills of the contemporary business world. The Spanish economy is the 5th largest in Europe and among the top countries in exports and imports globally

Most affordable universities in Spain

These are some of the Spanish universities with the most affordable tuition fees:

■ University of Granada – the average tuition is 821 EUR/year

■ University of Valencia – the average tuition is 2,600 EUR/year

■ University of Santiago de Compostela – the average tuition is 1,600 EUR/year

■ Universitat Rovira i Virgili – the average tuition is 2,900 EUR/year

  Universities we recommend in Spain

■ EU Business School

■ University of Deusto

■ ISDI – Digital Business School

Study Visas & Permits

How can you obtain a student visa if you have been accepted to study in Spain after submitting an application? The response is contingent upon where you are from. Following your acceptance into a Spanish university, obtaining a student visa in Spain is typically simple.

● The majority of foreign (non-EU) students require a long-term visa to enter Spain, which can be applied for at a Spanish consulate or embassy in the nation where you currently reside.

● US students do not require a study visa if they plan on being in the country for less than 90 days.

Read on to find out if you need a visa to study in Spain and what documents to submit to get one.

EU Students

Students from the EU and EEA do not require a student visa to study in Spain. You must apply for a residence permit or Foreigner Identity Card within 30 days of arrival if your stay in Spain will be more than 90 days. Click here for the list of regional offices where you can apply in person.

Non-EU Students

Non-EU students must work a little harder to get a student visa, but once you’ve registered in a Spanish university, it’s usually simple to get one.
The best course of action is to contact the Spanish Embassy in your nation via phone or email and request particular information.

Find the full list of consulates and embassies here. 

Usually, the requirements for a student visa consist of the following:

● A valid passport.

● Health insurance that will cover all expenses while you are a student in Spain. In the event of an unexpected sickness or accident, having student medical insurance is crucial.

● Evidence showing you have the means to pay for the accommodations and the period for which you are applying for the visa, as well as, if necessary, the money to ensure your return to your country.

● Bank statement that is proof you can support yourself during your studies

Unless you are doing a shorter course, your program will last longer than six months, so you will also need:

● A criminal record certificate for Spain and your previous countries of residence in the last five years for crimes included under Spanish legislation.

● A medical certificate attesting to your lack of any conditions that might have major effects on public health under the norms of international health legislation.

The fact that you cannot enter Spain on a tourist visa and subsequently apply for a student visa should be well known. You will need to travel back home and submit your application there.
Apply well in advance, ideally two to three months before your trip, as the processing of paperwork can take some time.

Visa Application for Family Members

Along with a request for a study visa, applicants are permitted to submit visa applications for their spouse, domestic partner, child or children (under the age of eighteen or with a disability). This entails that they are permitted entry and are permitted to reside with you while you are a student in Spain.

Working While Studying

Spain offers flexible student visas that allow students to combine employment with their studies, according to the country’s tourism ministry.

Find out more about working in Spain here.

Costs of living in Spain for international students

Average living costs in Spanish cities

In general, overseas students shouldn’t experience financial hardship in Spain because it is a reasonably affordable country.

■ You’ll need between 900 – 1,100 EUR to live in Spain. Costs are higher if you choose Madrid or Barcelona, which are the most expensive Spanish cities.

■ In cities like Valencia, Seville or Cadiz, you can enjoy cheaper costs of living, around 700 – 900 EUR/month on average.

Student accommodation costs

The main housing options for students in Spain are:

■ Student residence halls – prices range from 360 to 650 EUR/month.

■ Rent an apartment – Many students prefer this option. Prices start at around 200 EUR and go over 1,000 EUR/month. You can find websites like Uniplaces or Resa, which help you compare different living places. One way to reduce your expenses is to share an apartment with other students.

■ Living with a Spanish family – Prices can vary based on region, living conditions, and so on. You can find online services that help you get in touch with Spanish families.

Food costs

Students in Spain can expect to spend between 200 and 400 euros on groceries each month. A three-course lunch for two at a midrange restaurant costs 35 EUR, whereas a meal in a cheap restaurant costs about 10 EUR. The Spanish grocery chains Dia, Bally, Dani, and Mercadona are among the least expensive.

Transportation costs

It’s also possible to rent a car from local businesses.

  Extra costs

■ Books, supplies and other learning materials: 900 EUR/year

■ Special classes with different fees: from 30 EUR to around 200 EUR

■ Health insurance: between 70 and 180 EUR/year.

You can also use the Numbeo website to check out other prices and costs in Spain.

Funding & student support

If you need financial support to build your future career through education, you have several options in Spain:

■ International students enrolling in Erasmus Mundus Joint Master programmes who are pursuing master’s or doctorate degrees receive funding from the EU. Both EU and non-EU students are given the same access to the fund.

■ African business leadership. These MBA scholarships are available to African nationals who are determined to return to Africa after completing their studies and who are interested in pursuing a Master of Business Administration overseas.

■ You can explore other scholarships and financial-support programmes on the Elitedigest official website.

You can also check out the Elite Digest scholarship articles to get some help financing your studies abroad.

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