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6 Reasons To Study in Spain

When a student, StudyFree account manager Anna Golikova won an Erasmus+ scholarship and went to study in Spain.

Oldest Universities in Europe

If you are looking for a quality time-tested education, Spain is the right choice. The university tradition in this country dates back to the Middle Ages. The University of Salamanca, which is the oldest Spanish university in continuous operation, was founded in 1218. Together with the University of Bologna, Oxford, and Sorbonne, it is one of the four oldest universities in Europe.

The University of Valladolid in the autonomous community of Castile and Leon has been operating since 1241. The University of Barcelona, one of the country’s most popular institutions, was established in 1450. The University of Valencia, where I studied political science and public administration, opened its doors to students in 1499. Today, about 60,000 people study here, with 67 degrees being offered to them.

Also founded in 1499, the Complutense University of Madrid is another ancient institution. Some of Spain’s most prominent intellectuals were students and professors here at different times. Among them are poet Francisco de Quevedo, writers Miguel de Cervantes and Lope de Vega, theologian Ignacio de Loyola, and philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset.

Affordable Costs of Living and Studying

Spain is a member of the Bologna process. Workload within any course of study is expressed in a certain amount of credits that a student is awarded upon its completion. The cost of studying at Spanish public institutions depends on the number of credits you take for a semester or year.

Prices for higher education at public universities in Spain are among the lowest in Europe. For instance, a year of a bachelor's degree will cost an international student  €750—2,500. A year of a master's degree will be €1,000-3,500. A year of a postgraduate program amounts to about €3,300, with one credit in a Ph.D. program costing €55 on average.

To live for a month in large cities like Madrid or Barcelona, an international student will generally need €900—1,100, including rent costs. Life in Cadiz or Seville is cheaper — about €700-900 per month. With a student visa, you can work up to 20 hours a week in Spain.

Friendly Atmosphere

Everyone who has been to Spain mentions that local people are friendly and hospitable. They are nice and respectful both to each other and to foreigners. Spanish students are very helpful. When I studied at the university, I could always ask them for help and count on their support.

Even when you’ve just arrived here, you don't feel like a stranger. The Spanish love to meet new people, have a good time together and invite them to their houses. They like to go to bars and party after classes. Even if you don't speak Spanish very well, making friends with the locals will help you adjust and integrate into daily life here.

100% Chance to Start Speaking Spanish

Spanish is the third most spoken language globally and the second-largest by the number of native speakers. According to the Cervantes Institute, over 580 million people speak Spanish around the world. It is one of the UN's official languages and one of the most popular languages to learn. Excellent command of Spanish will increase your chances of getting an esteemed and well-paid job in international relations, education, medicine, and sales.

Statistics say only 27% of Spanish people speak English at a level that is enough to understand and be understood. This means that even if you study in English, you won’t be able to stay away from Spanish in your everyday life. The more distant your city is from the popular tourist attractions, the more often you’ll need Spanish to communicate in stores, cafes, gyms, or just on the street when you get lost and have to ask people for help, for example. When talking to each other, Spanish students use their mother tongue exclusively, which gives you lots of occasions to practice.

Elective Course System

Universities in Spain have compulsory subjects and electives. You can pick the subjects that you find really interesting. These can even be courses that are not directly related to your field. Physicists taking an art history course or mathematicians listening to a lecture in Latin American literature is a common thing here. It allows you to acquire knowledge in different fields and majors, thus enriching your horizons.

Also, elective courses make it possible for students to adjust their schedules according to their needs. For example, many students prefer to have their Fridays free of classes so that their weekends are longer and they can travel around Spain or other European countries. 

Vast Opportunities for Travel

Spain is a country of contrasts. In Marbella, the temperature hardly ever drops below +15-16 even in winter, while the Sierra Nevada, which is just 124 miles away, is a popular destination for skiing. 

Art lovers can visit world-famous museums such as El Prado in Madrid, the National Art Museum of Catalonia in Barcelona, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The Dalí Theatre and Museum is a must for those visiting Figueres, and the Picasso Birthplace Museum is one of the landmarks in Malaga.

Spain is home to popular summer resorts such as Ibiza, Palma, the Canary Islands, and Tenerife. Although these places are generally considered expensive, in summer, you can get a plane ticket here from mainland Spain for only €30-50. Those who love good food should go to San Sebastian in Basque Country where there are almost two dozen Michelin restaurants. If you prefer an active holiday, you would enjoy taking the traditional hiking route of the Camino de Santiago together with pilgrims from all over the world.