Spain is an immensely popular study abroad destination, known for its cuisine, art and architecture, literature and music – making for a vibrant lifestyle and offering students an ideal environment.
No matter if you choose Madrid as the capital or Barcelona as the Mediterranean citadel, both places boast vibrant university communities that welcome international students. Beyond its esteemed academic credentials, Spanish universities are now more accessible than ever thanks to an increased offering of English language programs and courses.
Spanish universities follow an application process similar to that found in the United States: students must apply directly to each university and may need their qualifications verified prior to making an application. Most universities reserve about five percent of their spots for international students and it’s not unusual for some of the more renowned institutions in Spain to have waiting lists of over 500 applicants.
To gain entrance to a Spanish university, one must achieve certain academic achievements during secondary school and pass an entrance exam called EBAU (Evaluacion del Bachillerato para el Acceso a la Universidad), which averages results from your last two years of high school. Furthermore, some fields require specific entrance exams which must also be passed successfully for admission purposes.
Once accepted into a Spanish university, course curricula are strictly structured with few optional elements. Students cannot switch universities midway through their studies or pursue undeclared degrees – however Spain boasts an amazing student culture which often results in close bonds among international classmates.
Not only can Spain offer friendly and welcoming international student communities, but there is also an array of social activities, clubs, and excursions that will help you adjust to life here. Living costs should be kept in mind – major cities like Madrid and Barcelona tend to be more expensive than smaller towns. Also bear in mind the climate in each city is an important factor as some may prefer living in busy metropolitan environments while others prefer quieter lifestyles in smaller towns. Finally take note of local language differences as these could significantly alter your experience and learning outcomes.