If you live in the EU, the European Economic Area or Switzerland then you don’t need to apply for a student visa in order to study in Spain, but you will be required to register with local authorities in order to gain a residence certificate.
If you live outside these areas then you will need to apply for a student visa if you want to study, research or train for more than three months. In order to be approved for your visa, you will need to already be accepted on a course or programme with an officially recognised institution in Spain.
As with most European countries, there are a plethora of student accommodation options for those wanting to study in Spain, ranging from large private companies to University operated accommodation.
Availability and quality will depend on where in Spain you are studying and at which institution, but most Universities will be able to advise foreign students on the best area for them to look at or provide accommodation services themselves to help those who want to study abroad in Spain find a home before starting their studies.
In Spain, there is no centralised application system that is used by all institutions so you will need to research the Universities you want to study at and learn their submission guidelines and deadlines.
In some cases, there may be an entrance exam you will need to sit in order to have your application accepted, but this will vary depending on where you are currently resident, which course you want to study and which institution you are applying to.
If you are a citizen of the EU then you will pay the same tuition fees as local students, which will vary depending on if you want to study at a public sector University or a private sector University.
Private sector tuition fees range from between €5,500-€18,000 per year depending on level, field and institution, with public sector Universities being considerably cheaper at between €700-€1,400 per year.
With regards to student loans, students from the EU are able to apply for grants on the same basis as students who are from Spain, which vary in value from €244-€6,240 p/year. Students from outside of the EU are unable to apply for Government funding but may be able to take advantage of funding from their resident country – seek more advice by contacting your University.
If you want to study Business, read this article: The 6 Best Business Schools in Spain.
The main language spoken in Spain is Castilian Spanish, which is spoken by around 99% of the general population.
There are however numerous other Spanish languages spoken which are more regional, such as Catalan, which is spoken by around 20% of the population and is regionalised to the North East/East coast of Spain and Galician, which is spoken by around 5% of the population and is popular in the far North West of the country which sits above Portugal.
As a country with large tourism industry, many places also speak other European languages like English, French and German. This is mainly limited to the popular tourist destinations of the East and South Coast, large cities of the interior like Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia and the Balearic Islands.
Spanish culture differs from much of Europe in that the daily routine takes on a different shape – this used to be due to the traditional ‘Siesta’ in the afternoon that is still synonymous with Spain.
Although the Siesta isn’t as prevalent anymore, especially in big population centres, it is still a big part of the culture. The working day in Spain is typically from 08.30 am to 1.30 pm and then from 5 pm-8 pm to ensure citizens aren’t working in the hottest part of the day in the mid-afternoon.
Religion plays a big part in Spanish culture with around 68% of people identifying as Roman Catholic, although there is an increasing number of Spaniards who identify as being non-religious. This cultural aspect of Spain means that many Holy holidays and festivals coincide with religious figures, one of the most popular being the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, where the famous running of the bulls takes place.