Scholarships in Spain

Study in Spain for International Students: Step by Step Guide

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Spain is located in southwestern Europe and shares its border with Portugal and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and the Mediterranean Ocean to the East.

It is a land of stone castles, vast monuments, and modern cities. Spain’s geographical location makes it the ideal destination if you wish to get the most out of travelling while you study abroad.

Spain is a student paradise for anyone wishing to relax on the beach after exams! International students who decide to study in Spain come from all over the world.

Spanish is its official language and it is the second most commonly spoken language in the world. It is the perfect chance to learn the language during your time as a student in Spain. You would gain a new way of understanding the world and expressing yourself.

Spain has Euro as currency. Madrid is its capital which is a very advanced and modern city. Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Bilbao are its other famous cities.

The weather in Spain is warm. Winter in Spain is not too cold like in other countries of Europe.

 Spanish people are quite friendly. Tuition fees for universities in Spain are some of the lowest in Europe and the cost of living is fairly affordable compared to other European countries. This is especially important if you are looking to study abroad.

Spanish universities are very open and welcoming, and hold a multitude of student events throughout the year, offering opportunities to explore the city, indulge in the culture and connect with fellow international students from all corners of the globe.

Education System in Spain

The higher education system in Spain dates back to the Middle Ages. The oldest and most reputable universities offer courses and programmes to local and international students. Spanish institutions maintain the same level of quality as across the higher education institutions in Europe.

Spain follows Bologna Process like all other EU countries. which means that Degrees are recognized across the EU and follow the standard three-cycle format drawn out by the Bologna Process.

Spain has both publicly and privately owned universities. Currently, Spain has 45 public universities and 31 private universities. The education system in Spain is regulated by the Ministry of Education. Most courses at Spanish universities are held in Spanish and some can be taught in a regional language such as Catalan. Most of the language courses are offered by universities and as such, they can vary in length.

Spanish Universities attract international students, as bachelor, master and doctoral programmes are offered in English. 

The undergraduate and postgraduate courses cover a variety of fields. The teaching system is a balance between theory and practice. In Spain, you can combine your studies with work, enrolling as a part-time student.

Undergraduate programs have a duration of four years and are known as Grado in Spanish.  To get your Undergraduate degree in Spain, you must earn 240 ECTS credits during your studies. 

Master’s programs have a duration of 1 to 2 years in Spain and are known as Posgrado in Spanish. Master’s degrees in Spain tend to require a lot of research and individual work.

Doctoral-level programs or PhDs have a duration of 3 to 5 years in Spain and are known as Doctorado in Spanish. In Spain, only official courses offer access to a PhD program

Spanish Academic Year

There are two primary intakes for Universities in Spain for international students. The format tends to be similar throughout the country.

Lectures begin in October and end in June. Examinations are held at the end of the first semester, in February, and at the end of the second semester, in June.

Fall Intake

The Fall intake for Universities in Spain starts in October. There are two deadlines to apply for fall intake. The first one falls in early June, and the other one, called the late application deadline for the Universities in Spain falls in early September. However, it is always better to apply during the first deadline.

Spring Intake

The Spring Intake for Universities in Spain starts in February. There is only one application deadline for the spring admission cycle in Spain, and the application deadline falls in early December for the Spring intake in Spain.

Undergraduate degree Programs for Non-EU Students

If you are looking to earn a bachelor’s degree in Spain, the process of applying might vary, based on which country you’ve obtained your secondary education in. The admission requirements vary for each University and course.

If you’re from a non-EU background, you need to have a recognized high school certificate to get admission to the undergraduate programme. This certificate serves as a confirmation that your diploma is valid according to the requirements in Spain. You can easily have your diploma validated at the Spanish embassy in your country. Spanish embassies will provide you with a Volante Accreditation which can be used to apply to the university of your choice.

Almost all the public and private higher education institutions offer bachelor’s degree programs in various study fields to local and international students including Arts & Humanities, Sciences, Business Law, Engineering, Social Law, literature, commerce, finance, engineering, medicine, dentistry etc.

International student need to fulfil following English Language Criteria to get admission in bachelor’s degree course.

  • TOEFL iBT = 90 to 100
  • IELTS = band 6.5

Required documents for admission in bachelors

As mentioned earlier, admission requirements vary for each course and university. We have mentioned required documents generally for students from Non-EU backgrounds.

  • Secondary school leaving certificate (Intermediate).
  • Official Transcripts.
  • English language proficiency certificate, TOEFL or IELTS.
  • Application form by University
  • Percentage of marks in secondary education should be equal or above university’s merit.
  • Entrance Exam (Few Universities demand during admission process)

The Entrance Exam consists of four different components.

It can be Text Analysis in Spanish. Brief information about Spain’s History of Philosophy. You can pick between French, English, German, Portuguese or Italian as a foreign language test. The final part of the exam is up to you, choices offered include subjects related to your field of study. It can be Art, Fine Arts, Dance and music or Subjects related to Science and Technology.

Master’s Programs for non-EU Students

Like undergraduate programs, entry requirements for a master’s program will depend on the university and field of study. Almost all the higher education institutes of Spain offer master’s degree programs in different study fields.

Master’s programs are in Journalism, Advanced English, Business Law, Neurosciences, Economics, Advertising, Aerospace Science, Human Language, Accounting, Language Processing, Family Intervention Master’s, Microbiology, Chemistry, International MBA, Biotechnology, Archaeology, Art History Advanced, Ecology, Gastronomy, Anesthesia, Engineering and Business marketing etc.

Most universities offer both fall and summer semesters that have different application deadlines. Universities may also ask for documents submission in Spanish. You will need an official translator who can translate documents into Spanish.

Please be aware that universities receive many applications throughout the year. You submit your application before deadlines.

The gap is also acceptable for a master’s degree course to Study in Spain. 

Required documents for admission in Masters

Admission requirements vary for each course and university. We have mentioned required documents generally for students from Non-EU backgrounds to get admission in a Master’s degree course. 

  • Secondary school leaving certificate (Intermediate).
  • Bachelor’s Degree (16 year education)
  • Official Transcripts.
  • English language proficiency certificate, TOEFL or IELTS.
  • Application form by University
  • Entrance Exam (Few Universities demand during admission process)

The Entrance Exam consists of four different components.

It can be Text Analysis in Spanish. Brief information about Spain’s History of Philosophy. You can pick between French, English, German, Portuguese or Italian as a foreign language test. The final part of the exam is up to you, choices offered include subjects related to your field of study. It can be Art, Fine Arts, Dance and music or Subjects related to Science and Technology.

What is Application Process to University in Spain?

Here are the steps you should follow to Apply to Universities in Spain for higher education.

The application process varies for all Spanish Universities and will change with the programmes. The best way to prepare for the admission process is to go through the programmes on the University websites.

Research thoroughly for the courses you are willing to attend. You would need to pay an application fee to register an application for admission to a Spanish University. The registration fee is nonrefundable.

Submit your application online on the university web portal. Another important thing is the Language Requirements for the programmes. If your previous education is in English, You would not need to submit English Language Certificate. You can attach English Proficiency Letter, which shows you are fluent in English.

At the time of submission, upload all required documents. If the documents listed should be translated into Spanish or English before submission. Get them translated.

Again, the requirements for the documents will change with courses and Universities.

Study in Spain without IELTS

Many universities in Spain allows international students to get admission without an IELTS certificate. It is required for students to show the English Proficiency Certificate issued by their last institution clearly stating that the previous degree they studied taught in the English language.

How can I get Spanish Student Visa?

You have an admission letter now and want Spanish Student Visa. The Embassy of Spain can take some time to process your visa application. Apply for a visa as early as possible to avoid any delay.

Spanish  Student Visa Types

 A student visa in Spain can depend on the duration of your course. 

With the duration of the courses ranging between three to six months, The Embassy of Spain grants the 180 days Visa for the short length courses. Short-term Student Visas are not extendable under any circumstances.

With the duration of the courses lasting more than six months, the Embassy of Spain will grant a one-year residence permit. A residence Card for Foreign Students is called TIE. Students have to apply for a student residence card (TIE) at an immigration office within a month after arriving.

TIE is valid for one year. It is renewable for subsequent academic years until students’ complete courses in Spain.

The fee for a Spanish Student Visa is currently 60 Euros per application. 

Remember, you cannot apply for a study visa when you are in Spain for any reason. You can apply for a study visa only from the home country with proper documents.

Once your Spain visa application for the study is accepted, immediately contact the Spanish embassy and get the details about the documents for the application for a visa. The requirements for visa application may vary with each Consulate or Embassy. 

Documents Required for Spanish Student Visa

  • Duly filled visa application form
  • Valid Passport
  • 2 recent passport size photos
  • Information about the study programme
  • Letter of acceptance from a Spanish university
  • Medical certificate
  • Health insurance
  • Proof for financial support during your stay
  • Visa application fee
  • Criminal record certificate

Depending on the location, your student visa processing time for the Spain Study Visa will change. On average, the student visa takes 30 to 60 days to process. The students should apply for the visa as soon as possible.

What is total cost of Spanish Student Visa?

The cost is the Tuition fee and living charges. We break down the total cost of a Spanish student visa. You can get the idea, either you should make up your mind and choose Spain as your future destination.

What is Tuition fee in Spain?

Tuition fees for universities in Spain are some of the lowest in Europe. The public universities of Spain are very affordable for students.

Tuition fees in Spain will depend on certain factors, the university you choose to study and the type and subject of your study program.

Annual tuition fees in Public Spanish universities are generally between 2,000-3,500 Euros.

Many Universities charge annual tuition fees for bachelor’s degree courses. While for master’s degree courses, tuition fees are per credit hour.

The disadvantage to studying in Spain is that the tuition fee in Spain is in a pay-per-credit format. That means that you might end up paying more if you withdraw and enrol for the second or third time in the same program. That does not happen in other EU countries. For example, Swedish Universities charge only once. For example, you have withdrawn from a registered course or failed in any particular subject. You can try to pass the exam three to the four-time. 

A Bachelor program can cost between 680-1,280 Euros per year at a public university.

Tuition Fees vary between 5,500-18,000 Euros per year for a Bachelor program in a private university in Spain. 

Masters or Doctoral degrees at a public university can vary between 22-36 Euros per credit.

University application fee varies between 40 to 50 Euros. 

Books and supply costs should come in your budget plans. How much money you will have to spend on them vary.

What is Living Cost in Spain?

The cost of living in big cities is always more than in small. In general, if you pick Madrid or Barcelona, the prices are higher than in other cities. Typically, an apartment in Barcelona is around 850 Euros, while in Madrid the one-bedroom apartment’s cost is 1000 Euros per month.

Suppose you are sharing an apartment or room in Barcelona or Madrid then you would have to spend almost 500 Euro to 1300 Euro per month. That is an average cost as spending habits differ for each individual.

You are living in a small city in Spain, then you may need 300 Euro to 850 Euro per month to fulfil your expenses. These lowest estimates are calculated for living in sharing and the maximum amount for the students who want to live alone in a dormitory or in a flat.

Student accommodation is generally provided by Spanish universities in student residence halls or student apartments. Rent and accommodation costs vary depending on the location you choose, amenities offered and other factors.

Besides the rent, you should think of the cost of public transportation, food, and other utilities when picking the right student accommodation.

Scholarships in Spain for international students

There are different scholarships to study in Spain. Universities and the Spanish Government offer scholarships to international students. 

Universities in Spain sometimes offer various study grants for international students coming to their university to study. Students should check the university’s official website to get exact information about their chances for scholarships.

The Ministry of Education in Spain can provide financial aid assistance. An application form must be completed and submitted to the ministry of Education.

Erasmus offers a grant for exchange students (EU only) pursuing a Bachelor degree (first and second cycle) and Master program who meet the general, academic and financial requirements.

International students pursuing a Master or Doctorate program can apply for the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship.

Students from Africa can apply for the ALB Foundation MBA Scholarship to fund their MBA studies in Spain.

Student loans are available from different lenders to study in Spain. These loans help to pay tuition fees and some other education expenses. Students need to repay these loans with interest after completion of the degree.

There are study grants for needy students by different organizations in Spain. Students do not need to repay these grants. All you have to do is to show you are in financial trouble. Submit required documents that support your cause. 

Part time jobs Spain for international students

Students enrolled in a full-time program in Spain can also work part-time at different establishments in the country. That is a good way to make more income towards tuition and living expenses.

Students can work up to 20 hours per week and even more during the summer holidays.

Students should seek out information through their university and many other online platforms. Consult the main recruitment organizations on the internet, many of them are pretty straightforward and direct.

Spain includes part-time opportunities as; Cleaning, Maid services, Bar work, Waiters and Waitresses, Manual labour, Shop work, Front Desk Operations, Leaflet distribution, and Entertainment. Etc.

Universities in Spain for International Students

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