Spain has a developed university system. The system of education in Spain is working cooperatively with other institutions. In addition to millions of Spanish students, there are thousands of foreigners studying in Spain.

We always think about the sun, sand, and holiday trio in Spain. But in reality, Spain offers countless more things. The country has developed infrastructures in many fields. Starting from healthcare to transportation, people live comfortably in Spain with these developments.

Throughout history, Spain had a long-time kingdom. It was a wealthy and developed kingdom. Also, the kingdom had one of the first universities in Europe.

The University of Salamanca was founded in 1218. The university is still in operation today. It is example of one of the first universities in Europe.

Next, we will look deeper into the Spanish high education system. The contexts will include both the general education system and education for foreigners.

Higher Education System in Spain

people studying and working in a building with large windowTo attend universities in Spain, students must complete 11-12 years of study. After this period, they become available to apply to universities. Universities in Spain offer to study in Spanish and English.

There are more than 75 universities in Spain. Many of these universities are supported by the state. There are also private university options in Spain.

International students easily choose Spain to study thanks to the language options. The language options change between the parts of Spain. In some parts of the country, there are many more languages that can be studied. For example in Catalonia, students can study the Catalan language.

Undergraduate degrees in Spain take 4 semesters. For Bachelor's in Spain, it is a minimum of three years of the full study. In Spain, a Master's degree can take from 10 months to 24 months. And lastly, doctoral programs take a maximum of three years.

Also during these study periods, students can join the various student exchange programs. The most famous one is the Erasmus program. The application process is easy. It can be done through the university.

In addition to the millions of Spanish students, international students can benefit from scholarships. There are various scholarship options available in Spain for international students.

The cost of tuition at universities in Spain is between from 1.200 € to 6.000 € for one academic year. For private universities, it is between 6.000 € to 20.000 €. The general cost of living for an international student in Spain is about 1.000 € per month. The cost of living mainly depends on the location.

Employment rates of recent graduates in Spain have high rate. In 2022, %72.8 of recent graduates have been employed. So, the employment opportunities for international students in Spain are also high.

What Are the Requirements for Admission to Universities in Spain?

students studying in a classHigher education in Spain has an easy process for local students. After secondary school, students take an exam for university education. The official name of the exam is Spanish University Admission Test.

The exam consists of two parts. The first one is the common parts. The common part exam is required for all students.

The second part is more oriented on specific topics. Also, the exam point can be used to apply to universities in the USA with TOEFL.

The process varies depending on the country of origin of the student. For students from countries outside the EU/EEA, Switzerland, and China, there is a different process. First, their high school certificate must be recognized. They also need to take the exam.

What Is the Admission Process for Universities in Spain?

The admission process to universities in Spain is not hard. Let’s start with the required documents for university application in Spain.

young female smiling while in a classDocuments for International Students’ Admission Process for University in Spain

  • Application form
  • Academic records from all educational institutions
  • English language proficiency (TOEFL-IELTS)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Letter of motivation
  • CV
  • Passport-size photo
  • Passport photocopy

These are the required documents that will be asked for in the embassy interview. Additional or alternative documents can also be asked for.

The application process for international students in Spanish universities admission is also easy. Applicants who want to study in Spain start the process at the Spanish embassy in their country. After they declare the demanded documents, the process continues accordingly with Spanish universities.

Student Life in Spain for Expats

woman opens arms to a view in spainHigher education in Spain for international students is vibrant and quality as it is for tourists. There are thousands of students who choose Spain to study. While there are many more reasons, the most popular are vibrancy and wide amenities.

Spain is an amazing country for foreigners. With the help of the developed infrastructure, living in Spain is easy. Also, starting from healthcare in Spain, many fields have private and state institution options.

Higher education in Spain for international students is easy with the different study language options. Also, the admission requirements for international students in Spanish universities are not hard to overcome.

Another thing that draws the attention of international students is the budget. The cost of living in Spain for expat students is relatively lower than in other European countries. Also, there are many options for scholarships for international students in Spain.

In many programs, Spanish universities offer courses in English. While some universities offer partial English courses, some offer full. Therefore, Spanish universities have a high reputation in the international community.

Starting from the undergraduate programs in Spain, there are education opportunities for each level. Graduate programs in Spain get an increasing number of students each year. Also, the extensive variety of doctoral programs in Spain is drawing high-level students’ attention.

Top Universities in Spain for Expats and Locals

traditional building of spainThere are many universities in Spain. But, some of them offer more qualified education than others. The best universities in Spain are;

#1 University of Barcelona

The University of Barcelona is one of the largest universities in Spain. The university has a large number of both local and international students. The university offers more than 73 bachelor’s degree courses, more than 140 master’s degree courses, and 48 doctoral programs.

#2 University of Valencia

The University of Valencia is one of the oldest universities in Europe. It was first founded in 1502. The university today consists of 18 faculties and 10 research institutes. For education, it offers more than 50 bachelor’s degree programs, 110 master’s degree programs, and 60 doctoral programs.

#3 University of Granada

The University of Granada is the fourth largest university in Spain. It was founded in 1531. Every year, the university hosts more than 80.000 students. There are 22 faculties and 116 departments in the university.

With the Erasmus program, the University of Granada welcomes more than 2.000 international students, the highest number in Europe.

#4 Technical University of Cartagena

The Polytechnic University of Cartagena is one of the newest universities in Spain. But, it has increasing popularity among international students. Ideal location, high educational quality, and many more amenities make the university one of the most attractive.

#5 Miguel Hernández University of Elche

The Miguel Hernández University of Elche is located in the Alicante province. The university consists of 5 campuses. The university was founded in 1996.

From this date, more than 35.000 thousand students graduated from the university. It is ideal for international students who are looking for high-quality education in an ideal place.

You may also take a look at the schools in Costa del Sol and schools in Costa Blanca. These are some of the most popular places in Spain for international students.

Student Visa for Spain

students smiling to the cameraInternational students from countries outside of the EU/EEA or Switzerland need a student visa to study in Spain. There are two types of student visas in Spain, for students from countries outside of the EU/EEA or Switzerland. These are;

Short-Term Student Visa

The short-term student visa in Spain is available for up to 180 days. It has an easier process than a long-term student visa in Spain.

Long-Term Student Visa

It is the most demanded student visa type for international students. For studies over 6 months, a long-term student visa is required. With this visa, international students become eligible to enroll in undergraduate or graduate programs and live in Spain.

Getting a visa for Spain non-EU students is easy. The students should first get admission from the university. An admission letter is necessary to get a student visa.

There are some required documents for applying for a Spanish student visa. These documents are;

  • Student visa application form
  • Valid passport
  • ID card
  • Two passport-size photographs
  • Letter of admission from the university
  • Health insurance proof
  • Sufficient funds proof
    • Bank account statement
    • Financial aid/scholarship proof
    • Notarized letter from parents or legal guardian
    • Letter from the university about financial responsibility
  • Fee payment proof
  • Medical certificate
  • At least three months old criminal record certificate

Students should apply for a Spanish student visa at the Spanish embassy in their country. After getting the admission letter, students should apply for a Spanish student visa. The Spanish student visa cost is about 60€ generally.

In short, Spain offers a developed higher education system. It is one of the ideal countries to study abroad, with enjoyment and getting an education at its finest.