Study in SpainStudy in Spain

Study in Spain

Spain, a country of an extraordinary beauty, is home to some of the most ancient universities in Europe and the cradle to one of the most important languages in the world: Spanish. Member of the European Union since 1986, Spain has become the most popular destination for students within the educational exchange program Erasmus and for summer study abroad programs.

Why Study in Spain

No matter you plan to study in Spain a Bachelor's (in Spanish Grado), Master's (in Spanish Máster) or PhD degree (in Spanish Doctorado), or enroll in a summer study abroad program, you will find programs to suit your personal preferences and academic background. With 49 public higher education institutions and 29 private institutions, Universidades, Spain offers a wide range of programs in all fields of study.

International students are welcome to study in Spain. According to the latest statistics released by the National Ministry of Education), over 51,000 international students chose to study their degree in Spain or almost 25,000 students decided to study their master’s degree in the academic year 2014/15. While more up-to-date figures have not yet been published, the trend shows Spain is a preferred study destination in Europe.

One of the main reasons for students to come study in Spain is its culture. World renowned painters such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Diego Velázquez, or Joaquín Sorolla; Nobel Prize Laureates such as Severo Ochoa, Juan Ramón Jiménez or Santiago Ramón y Cajal; or writers such as Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Lope de Vega, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, or Miguel de Unamuno, are all Spanish and have greatly contributed to the world’s literature, medicine, arts, technology and social fields.

Another reason for students to study in Spain is the language. Spanish is the second language in the world in terms of native speakers population. It is also one of the most popular choices for many students around the world when studying a foreign language. While most programs in Spain are offered in Spanish, there is an increasing number of programs offered either in English or in bilingual mode, Spanish and English. This represents a great opportunity for you to adjust to your student life in Spain and earn a degree while learning one of the most important languages in the world.

Whether it is its vibrant lifestyle, its international population, or its amazing balance between modernity and history, Spain offers international students like you an experience of a lifetime!

The Education System in Spain

The Spanish education system is divided into 4 main stages:

  • Early Childhood Education (Educación Infantil): from 0 to 6 years.
  • Elementary Education (Educación Primaria): from 6 to 12 years
  • Secondary Education (Educación Secundaria): from 12 to 16 years.
  • Tertiary Education (Educación Superior).

Both Elementary and Secondary education are compulsory and free for all children in Spain.

The Tertiary Education is provided at Universities and Vocational and Arts Colleges.

Application deadlines to study in Spain at University

At Universities, the academic year runs from September to June of the following year. Although application deadlines may vary depending on the institution, there are usually 3 intakes for studies at Spanish Universities:

  • First week of June: for studies beginning in the fall semester (October).
  • First week of September: late applications for studies beginning in the fall semester (October).
  • First week of December: for studies beginning in the spring semester (February).

Each academic year is worth 60 ECTS in accordance with the European Credit Transfer Scheme. As a result, a Bachelor’s Degree (Grado) is worth 240 ECTS (4 years of study); a Master’s Degree (Máster) is worth from 60 to 120 ECTS (1-2 years of study); PhDs (Doctorado) don’t have an ECTS range.

Visas and Residence Permits in Spain

  • Residence permit in Spain for non-EU students

    Quick guide

    If you are not an EU student and you plan to study in Spain for a period of time longer than 3 months, you have to apply for a national visa (Visa type D) for Spain. If your study period is over 6 months, you will also be required to apply for a "Tarjeta de estudiante extranjero" (Foreign student card).

    Before you come to Spain

    You will have to submit your application for a national visa for Spain at your local Spanish embassy or consulate. In general, you will be required to submit the documents as listed below:

    • A filled-in application form for a national visa in Spain.
    • A letter of acceptance from your higher education institution in Spain indicating that you have been admitted to full-time studies.
    • Your passport, which must be valid for the entire time you will be staying in Spain.
    • A copy of your health insurance plan.
    • A bank statement or copy of your grant/scholarship stating you can support yourself financially throughout your time as a student in Spain.
    • Medical certificate (for stays in Spain of over 6 months).
    • Criminal record certificate (for stays in Spain of over 6 months).

    We recommend you contact the Spanish mission in your country to learn whether you need to submit additional documentation.

    The cost of the application is 60 EUR and the usual processing time is no longer than 1 month. If you don't receive any response after 1 month, your application is considered to have been rejected.

    In order for your student residence permit to be granted, you will need to prove you have, at least, 532.51 EUR per month fo support yourself financially while you study in Spain.

    After you arrive in Spain

    Once you have been granted a national visa, you may enter Spain. Within 30 days of your arrival, and only if you plan to stay in Spain for a period of time longer than 6 months, you must apply for a "Tarjeta de estudiante extranjero" (Foreign student card) at your local Immigration Office in Spain.

    Below is the list of documents you will be required to submit:

    • The filled-in application form for student residence permit in Spain called "Solicitud de Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero - TIE" (form EX 17).
    • Three recent passport size photos.
    • Proof of fee payment, which is the fee you have to pay for your application to be processed. The fee is 15.45 EUR.


    Sources: Ministry of Employment, Migrations and Social Security of Spain, Spanish National Police.

  • Residence permit in Spain for EU students

    Quick guide

    EU students are allowed to enter and reside in Spain for up to 3 months without the need for a visa or permit. However, if you intend to study in Spain for a period of time longer than 3 months, you are required to apply for an "EU Citizen Residence Permit" at your local Immigration Office in Spain .

    Below is the list of documents you will be required to submit:

    • The filled-in application form for an EU student residence permit in Spain called "Solicitud de Residencia Ciudadano de la UE" (form EX 18).
    • Three recent passport size photos.
    • Proof of fee payment, which is the fee you have to pay for your application to be processed. The fee is 21.44 EUR.

    Please, note that you will be required to prove you have sufficient funds to support yourself financially while you stay in Spain. At the moment, you are required to have 532.51 EUR per month.

    Sources: Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social de España - Ministry of Employment and Social Security of Spain, Spanish National Police.

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