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Study In Spain - International Students

Study in Spain, and find the best universities in Spain.

This study guide will give you all the information you need to find universities and study in Spain.

Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world – so why not stay a little longer than a holiday and study a degree in Spain?

Spain has a long tradition of excellence in education, with the first university being set up in the 13th century.

It is an extremely popular destination with international students, with nearly 4% of Spain's entire university population coming from abroad. With a wide range of excellent courses on offer, you should be considering a study degree in Spain.

Spain is the most popular destination for students on the Erasmus exchange programme, which allows them to study away from their home university for one year.

Bachelor Degree In Spain

Find the right Bachelor Degree in Spain with our comprehensive guide.

Universities in Spain

Spain is currently home to 78 universities and 51 one of these are state run, roughly a third are private, and several are directly connected to the Catholic Church.

There are four different kinds of university that you can study at in Spain, each offering a different style of undergraduate degree and different options.

The four are:

• University schools (escuelas universitarias) – short-term courses
• University colleges (colegios universitarios) – Five year degrees leading to professional employment
• Faculties (facultades) – offers all courses except technical degrees
• Higher technical schools of engineering and architecture (escuela superior de ingeniera y arquitectura)

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-2017 rates the Autonomous University of Barcelona as the best in Spain, ranking it 163 worldwide.

These rankings put Pompeu Fabra University at second (ranking 175 worldwide) and the University of Barcelona third (ranking 201).

Tuition Fees in Spain

Explore tuition fees in Spain for bachelor's degrees and find the right bachelors degree at the right tuition cost for you.

Undergraduate study in Spain is covered by the Lisbon Convention, so if you are an European Union student who has completed school study in your home country, you’ll also qualify for higher education study in Spain.

Non-EU students will need to pass the Selectividad which is the Spanish university entrance examination. This includes tests on text analysis, the history of Spain and a foreign language exam.

Spain’s current degree system was not developed until Spain came under the European Higher Education Area. Spain now has the same general bachelor’s degree and master’s degree found in many other countries.

Like elsewhere in Europe the majority of undergraduate programs in Spain last for three years, with more professional degree subjects such as medicine taking longer.

The majority of courses are taught in Spanish, but there are also a number of undergraduate courses that are taught in English.

Immigration & Visa in Spain

Advice on Immigration & Visa in Spain, where you can make sure you get the right documents to make a successful application to your ideal university.

EU students are able to study a degree in Spain providing they are studying at an approved institution for more than three months and have sufficient income to support themselves.

EU students don’t need a visa to study in Spain but will need to register with the Central Registry Office for Foreigners. They will provide a certificate confirming your right to study in Spain.

In order to get this they will need a passport or national identity card, and proof they have been accepted on to a course.

Non-EU students will need to apply for a student visa type D in their home country.

You will generally need to show the following, regardless of your nationality:

• You have a confirmed place on a course at a recognised education institution.
• You are not already in the country on a tourist or business visa.
• You have paid all relevant visa fees.
• You have sufficient funds to support yourself.
• You have comprehensive health insurance cover.

After arriving as a non-EU student you must also apply for an Autorización de Estancia por Estudios, a temporary permit which gives you right of residence in Spain, within 30 days. This must be renewed on a yearly basis and will be judged on academic performance.

Advice on Accommodation & Living Costs in Spain

Advice on Accommodation & Living Costs in Spain.

Accommodation in Spain is generally quite cheap for students, although costs depend on where you choose to live and the type of housing you want.

In general, international students live in two contrasting types of accommodation when studying an undergraduate degree in Spain:

• University accommodation – such as halls of residence
• Private accommodation – such as house and flat rentals

Most international students coming to study a degree in Spain will live in university accommodation, as this is the easiest way to settle into university life. You’ll normally live on or near the campus, be able to meet other students quickly and easily and not have to worry about setting up your own bills.

Living costs/rent: Accommodation in Spain is cheaper than many other European countries, but many apartments are offered unfurnished so you’ll have to find your own furniture. Eating out is cheap if you stick to neighbourhood restaurants and local bars, whilst public transport is plentiful in big cities but limited in smaller ones.

Advice For Parents

Advice For Parents whose children may be looking to study in Spain. You can find complete information on costs, safety, security and tips on keeping in touch during their time away.

How safe is Spain?

Spain is generally a safe country is used to welcoming people from all around the world, whether as students or tourists. The main crimes students suffer are pickpocketing and bag snatching, particularly in larger cities like Madrid and Barcelona. Passport theft is also a concern, so make sure you keep yours locked in a safe or hidden on your person.

Spain has both private and state-funded medical care. EU students are entitled to state-funded healthcare providing they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), but it’s vital you also have your own insurance.

Students should always take care to protect their own personal safety in order to avoid becoming victims of crime. They can do this by:

• Avoiding carrying around large amounts of money
• Staying in groups, especially at night, and never walking alone
• Not making valuables obvious
• Always having a route home planned and never getting into unlicensed taxis
• Being wary of strangers
• Being careful of traffic

Staying in touch

Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips:

• Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection

• Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date

• Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill

Apply to Study in Spain

Apply to Study in Spain and get free online and telephone support with your application. The advice here will help you find the right bachelors at the right university in Spain.

If you would like to study overseas but are not certain as to where is the best fit in terms of country, course and funding you can register for free with the International Student Admissions Service (ISAS) where a dedicated admissions team will be able to help you every step of the way.

You can find out about studying in other countries with our country guides.

Cities in Spain



Bilbao in northern Spain flows with Spanish, French and Basque culture and with a long tradition in university education is perfect for overseas study.

Situated on the coast in the Bay of Biscay in northern Spain, San Sebastian is perfect for international students to study in and explore Spain.

Barcelona is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, with nightlife, culture and amazing food. But did you know it's also a great place to be an international student?

The capital of Spain, a centre of culture and home to Spain's most prestigious universities - choosing to study a degree in Madrid makes perfect sense for international students.