Plan to study for masters in Spain, and one thing that you will be doing indeed is making your friends very, very jealous. Stretching to Portugal in the west, the Bay of Biscay in the north, the Mediterranean in the south, the Pyrenees in the east,
Spain is one of the most-visited and biggest nations on the European continent.
Do you know that Spain welcomes a yearly volume of tourists, which is way more than its population? It is also among the most famous destinations for foreign, exchange, and international students due to its win-win combination of attractive lifestyle, good universities, and the fact that the Spanish language is 1 of the most spoken languages globally.
If you like the idea of studying master’s in Spain, continue reading below to find out more about the best universities in Spain, fees in Spain, student accommodation in Spain, Student Lifestyle in Spain, Job and Career Opportunities in Spain, and Funding and Student support.
Top Universities in Spain
This nation has a long, long history of higher education, with Universidad de Salamanca (its oldest university) dating back to 1218. Spain’s higher education system was overhauled some 15 years back to embrace the 3-cycle approach of the Bologna Process, ensuring the EHEA (European Higher Education Area) with compatibility.
There are 76 universities (or universities) in the nation, 31 of which are private or run by the Catholic Church, while 45 are run and funded by the state. 25 Universities of Spain were featured in the Top World Rankings QS 2019, of which 13 are within the global best 500. The largest concentrations of top universities in Spain are found in Madrid (the capital city), and 2nd in Barcelona.
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
The Universidad Autónoma de Madrid was founded in 1968, and it is sometimes known as the Autonomous University of Madrid or the UAM. Currently, the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid is ranked at the 159th spot in the World University Rankings of QS 2019 and featuring in the Top 50 Under 50 of QS. The Universidad Autónoma de Madrid is home to over 36000 students across its eight facilities and is especially famous for its Faculty of Law. The Universidad Autónoma de Madrid has three campuses, of which the Cantoblanco Campus is the main one and is situated 9 miles (15 km) north of the capital city. The prestigious university of Spain prides itself in being the alma mater of Spain’s His Majesty King Felipe VI.
Universitat de Barcelona (University of Barcelona)
This old, prestigious university of Barcelona is the 2nd highest ranked Spanish university in the world. The Universitat de Barcelona (University of Barcelona) is one of the oldest higher educational institutions globally, dating back to 1450 (Medieval Ages) with rich traditions. Currently, almost 63000 students are enrolled in a wide array of master and bachelor courses across the 106 departments and 16 faculties.
Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona
The Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona is the 3rd representative at the international level of Spain. It ranked at a joint position of 193rd in the world in 2019 and was established in 1968. The Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona remains in the world’s top 50 universities consistently.
40,000+ students study here, and the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona is one of the few universities in the country to have a centralized campus, built for promoting a strong university community, with all social, cultural, research, and academic activities in the same place. The Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona’s integrated campus is situated about 12 miles (20 km) from Barcelona’s centre.
Complutense University of Madrid
The Complutense University of Madrid is the oldest in Spain and is one of the world’s oldest higher educational institutions. The Complutense University of Madrid dates back to 1293, and it received its current name in the year 1499. The former name of the Complutense University of Madrid was the Estudio de Escuelas Generales de Alcalá.
The current ranking for this university stands at the 206th spot and is also within the top 50 if we talk specifically about the subject area of dentistry. The Complutense University of Madrid is home to over 86000 students. Do you know that the 1st university in the world is to give a PhD degree to a female student in 1785? Keep guessing, mate!
University of Navarra
The University of Navarra is a private university. Saint Josemaria Escrivá de Balaguer established in 1952. Over 11400 students (home, foreign, exchange, and international students) are enrolled in the master’s and bachelor’s degree programs. The students at the University of Navarra are international students who want to pursue a master’s degree program.
The main campuses of the university are in San Sebastian and Pamplona. Simultaneously, the old, prestigious IESE Business School has its office in São Paulo, Munich, New York, and Barcelona. The University of Navarra inaugurated a contemporary art museum in 2015 designed by the well-known architect Rafael Moneo.
Fees in Spain
Spain is a preferred study destination for many foreign, exchange, and international students who wish to discover its exciting lifestyle and culture. It is one of the most-visited European nations. The Kingdom of Spain provides enchanting experiences, whether in the beach, the countryside, and the large cities, and it has a rich history.
The universities in Spain are the type of places where you can enjoy both a great master’s and bachelor’s degree program and a good holiday. But, is there something more that you need to know about this nation? Studying in this country allows you to enrol at some of the best colleges and universities globally, including world-renowned business schools in Spain. The cherry on the cake: Student life in Spain is also very, very interesting.
If you want to study master’s in Spain, then it is of vital importance that you should know how much money you require as an international student. Continue reading as we will describe what type of tuition you should expect and the living, education, and food costs in this beautiful nation.
Tuition fees in Spanish universities
Tuition fees in Spain vary based on different factors, such as your nationality, the region where you study, the type of degree, the type of higher educational institution (public or private).
Based on our research, we have noticed that non-EEA/EU students can encounter the following situations when they enrol in public universities in Spain
- They are charged tuition fees that are 2 or 3 times more significant as compared to EU/EEA citizens
- They are charged tuition fees around 1000 EUR to 1500 EUR higher than the tuition fees compared to EU/EEA citizens.
- They are charged the same tuition fees.
These situations are not rules and can vary from one university and study program to another. Always check the type of tuition that applies to students from your nation before choosing a type of degree.
Tuition fees in public universities
Spanish public universities offer two kinds of degrees – University-specific degrees and official degrees. Each autonomous community establishes tuition limits for official degrees. They typically range between –
- 150 EUR per year to 3500 EUR per year for a bachelor’s degree program.
- 300 EUR per year to 3500 EUR per year for the master’s degree program.
Each educational institution is free to set its tuition fees for university-specific degrees because the authorities impose 0 limits.
Tuition fees in private universities
Private universities have higher tuition fees. However, it typically doesn’t exceed 20000 EUR per academic year. However, some of the top private business schools’ programs can cost more than 25000 EUR per year. You will also find International Management degrees and MBAs that charge 30000 EUR per year tuition fees or more here.
Most affordable universities in Spain
There are some of the universities in Spain with the most affordable tuition fees –
- Universitat Rovira, I Virgili – The average tuition fee of this university is 2900 EUR per year.
- University of Santiago de Compostela – The average tuition fee of this university is 1600 EUR per year.
- The University of Valencia – The average tuition fee of this university is 2600 EUR per year.
- The University of Granada – The average tuition fee of this university is 821 EUR per year.
Tuition fees at top-ranked universities in Spain
Below is a list of average tuition fees at the top-ranked universities in Spain –
- Autonomous University of Barcelona: The average tuition fee of this university is 3500 EUR per year.
- Pompeu Fabra University: The tuition fees at this university ranges from 3000 EUR per year to 4000 EUR per year.
- University of Barcelona: The average tuition fee at this university is 2900 EUR per year.
- Autonomous University of Madrid: This university’s average tuition fees are between 2000 EUR per year to 3000 EUR per year.
Student accommodation in Spain
One of the most vital things for a foreign exchange and international student is to find adequate housing in Spain. However, finding the correct place which you can call home while you are studying isn’t easy. You must be aware of your options, weigh pros and cons, and look around. Continue reading to find out the correct accommodation for foreign, exchange, and international students in Spain.
Accommodation for foreign, exchange, and international students is typically provided in student apartments or student residence halls by Spain’s universities. Accommodation and rent costs can vary based on the location that you choose, other factors such as amenities offered. It would help if you also made a note of transportation, food, and other utilities when selecting the correct student accommodation beside the rent.
The good news is that there are plenty of accommodation options available. Therefore, we recommend starting your research as early as possible and considering all the options before choosing a place you will be calling your new home.
Costs of living in Spain for foreign, exchange, and international students
Are you wondering how much it will cost you to reside in Spain as a foreign, exchange, and international student? We have compiled some of the most common prices encountered by foreign, business, and international students studying in Spain.
Average living costs in cities of Spain
Typically, Spain is a relatively affordable nation where foreign, exchange, and international students should not feel financially pressured.
- You will require anywhere between 900 EUR to 1100 EUR to reside in Spain. Costs will be typically higher if you pick Barcelona or Madrid as these 2 are the most expensive cities in Spain.
- Generally, a Barcelona apartment costs around 850 EUR, while a one-bedroom apartment is 1000 EUR per month.
- In Spanish cities like Cadiz, Seville, or Valencia, you can enjoy cheaper costs of living. You will need around 700 EUR to 900 EUR per month on average if you reside in any of these cities.
Student accommodation costs
The main housing options for foreign, exchange, and international students in Spain are –
- Living with a Spanish family: Costs will vary based on living conditions, region, and many more things. You can easily find online services that will help you get in touch with families in Spain. Host families welcome foreign, exchange, and international students to live with them throughout Spain, offering a highly immersive and rewarding experience for your education in the country. You can get the first-hand experience in Spain’s culture and learn and study Spanish in a natural environment.
- Rent an apartment – Many foreign, exchange, and international students prefer this option. Costs start at around 200 EUR per month and can go over 1000 EUR per month. Websites such as Resa and Uniplaces will help you compare different living places. Another hack to reduce our expenses is to share your apartment with other students. Townhouses, flats, and apartments are also available as a means of housing option for students. They are usually more expensive and difficult to obtain. It is best to contact an agent if you prefer to select this housing option in Spain.
- Studio apartments: These tend to be a little more expensive than other housing forms and are a more independent form of accommodation. You do not have to share a room with other students as they are typically smaller in size. But as mentioned earlier, they tend to be naturally more expensive, specifically those closest to the centrum.
- Finding a roommate: It is a cost-effective and excellent accommodation option for students willing to have a pleasant living arrangement. Many foreign, exchange and international students opt for this option because it is a more affordable housing option. Also, you are bound to meet new people with this housing option. So, pick this option if you are willing to pay less and get a friend included in this offer.
- Student residence halls: The costs of living in student residence halls generally range from 360 EUR per month to 650 EUR per month.
Other costs related to student accommodation
Renting a private studio or apartment doesn’t necessarily mean that its monthly cost = all the expenses. You have to add –
- Internet charges that are worth 30 EUR per month.
- Essential utilities such as garbage, heating, water, and electricity – 115 EUR per month
Foreign, exchange, and international students will find many local cuisine choices like merienda, escabeche, and paella in Spain. You would typically spend between 200 EUR per month to 400 EUR per month on your groceries. It depends much on your habits – How often do you eat out, cook or not, and many more. The list of the cheapest supermarkets in Spain includes Mercadona, Dani, Bally, and Dia.
A one-time meal in an inexpensive restaurant in Spain prices around 10 EUR, while a 3-course dinner for two people at a mid-range restaurant costs around 35 EUR.
A regular trip by public transport in Spain typically costs around 1.5 EUR. The monthly transport pass is 42 EUR and 54+ EUR in big cities.
You can travel around the nation and visit its lovely cities with AVE, a speed train – The average price for such a trip is 75 EUR. If you want to avail of significant discounts, travel with your youth travel card.
You can also rent a car from local companies if you prefer private transport over walking.
- Learning materials such as supplies and books cost 900 EUR per year.
- Special classes with different fees cost between 30 EUR to 200 EUR.
- Health insurance costs anywhere between 70 EUR per year to 180 EUR per year.
Numbeo site will help you to check other costs and prices in Spain.
Student Lifestyle in Spain
While you are excited about your new student life in Spain, you probably also have many reservations about how your life would be once you arrive in Spain. After all, it will be a new experience, quite different from what you are used to currently living. You are 1000 miles away from home and around people who will be strange to you: Believe me, it can get terrifying at times.
But it would help if you relaxed as living in Spain as a student will be something that you will find quite enjoyable. Throughout the nation, you will find beautiful, serene lands filled with inspiration and nature. The country offers a fun environment day out and day in, and all of the universities and colleges provide an array of activities for students to engage and participate in. Student life in Spain will be of utmost pleasurable, and it doesn’t matter if you are a girl or a boy.
Your daily schedule as a student in Spain will vary according to the university you are enrolled in. Universities and Colleges offer both part-time and full-time programs, with much time for students to enjoy, learn, and study their lives. You may find yourself attending the university or college for 1 or 2 hours per day, or as many as 5 to 7, depending on the choices you make.
Typically, most classes in the country are taught in Spanish. However, with the ever-increasing number of foreign, exchange, and international students entering schools in Spain, it is becoming easier to find classes available in the English language. Be prepared to learn the Spanish language anyway, even if you opt for the English language classes. Simply being around your fellow students and in the nation will help you quickly adapt to the language and, of course, the culture as well.
Life as a student in Spain is more than exciting and something worthwhile. You will enjoy every single day of your new life as you study abroad in Spain.
Job and Career Opportunities in Spain
If you want to experience the Mediterranean way of life, there is no better place to share it than Spain. Although there is tough competition for jobs and career opportunities is intense, you will benefit from a vast ex-pat community’s support.
The nation ranks 4th as the destination for ex-pats, and it is estimated that more than 300000 UK citizens currently reside in Spain.
The cost of living in Spain is low compared to other European nations, implying that you will be able to enjoy all the culture the country has to offer in your spare time.
Working and living in Spain, you will also get the chance to learn the 2nd most common language globally, which will impress employers all over the world.
While there is much positivity to working in Spain, you must also note that the nation has explicitly been hit hard by the economic crisis. The country is recovering at a slow and steady pace. However, the rate of unemployment remains the highest in the continent at 14.4 per cent. Also, youth employment is relatively high in Spain at 30.6 per cent.
There is fierce competition for jobs in the market, and workers tend to gravitate towards more prominent cities, where jobs and career opportunities are readily available. Famous destinations for ex-pats include Barcelona and Madrid, the two biggest cities in the nation, and Seville and Valencia.
Securing work in Spain can be challenging as you will be competing against Spanish graduates for jobs and career opportunities. However, there are many things that you can do to increase your chances of success.
The service sector dominates the Spanish job market, and major industries in the nation include –
- Apparel and Textiles
- Ship Building
- Metal Manufacturing and Metals
- Medical Equipment
- Food and Beverages
Spain is also home to a no of big international companies that include –
- Logista (Logistics)
- Inditex (Apparel)
- Telefónica (Telecommunications)
- Iberdrola (Utilities)
- Ficosa (Automobile Production)
- Ebro Foods (Food Processing)
- Banco Santander (Banking)
- Almirall (Pharmaceuticals)
- ACS Group (Civil Engineering)
- Abertis (Infrastructure)
- Abengoa (Telecommunications)
Some sectors of the economy in Spain currently experience skills shortages, and these shortages could lead to job and career opportunities for foreign, exchange, and international workers.
Shortage occupations typically occur in highly-skilled professions like teaching, shipping, medicine, sales, engineering, and IT. The tourism, energy and banking sectors also need skilled graduates.
Funding and Student Support
If you require financial support for building your future career through education, you have the following options available for you in Spain –
- The European Union offers funds to foreign, exchange, and international students enrolled in Erasmus Mundus Joint Master programs, either for PhD or master’s degrees. Such a fund is equally distributed among students from both European Union countries and non-European Union nations.
- African Leadership in Business – Such MBA scholarships are provided to African citizens committed to returning to their nation after their studies and are interested in studying MBA (Master of Business Administration) abroad.
- You can also explore several other financial support programs and scholarships on the official website of Go overseas.
Picking where to study in a foreign land is an exciting yet incredibly overwhelming adventure process, so 1st of all, I want to congratulate you on selecting Spain for your masters, as it is a great choice. I hope you have narrowed down the location of your study abroad experience, and you may have known till now that the country offers plenty of excellent universities and colleges to pick from. Do not fear as you did land on the correct article.
It would help if you kept in mind while picking up a Spanish university because no matter which Spanish university or college you choose for your masters, your mind will be filled with new and exciting knowledge. It would be an overall wonderful experience.
Earning your master’s degree doesn’t have to be always stressful, tedious, or an event to trudge through, specifically if you leap to study abroad at 1 of the many Spanish universities or colleges in this beautiful nation. Whether you are looking for the hustle-bustle of cities, a new perspective from the top of rolling mountains, the soft breeze of the coast, or the tranquillity of sandy beaches, Spain has got you covered.
With 17 autonomous regions, you can experience the culture and the striking differences in Spain’s natural landscapes. With world-class universities and colleges everywhere you look, you will learn as you adventure and eventually walk away with excellent and world-class education.