Country Properties Spain


Spain is one of the cheapest countries. If the average price in Europe is 100, the cost in Spain is 88. Spain is also among the European countries with the lowest price variation. The difference in price for the same food or toiletry product between the most expensive and the cheapest retail outlet is 19%. In Norway, however, the difference can be as high as 57%, in Sweden 47% and in Italy and Portugal up to 41%. For a university student, the comparative advantage of studying in Spain is considerable in financial terms, as can be seen in the table below. The average cost of tuition fees charged by universities in the United States (30,000 dollars) would cover the entire cost of living in Spain for a year (a university residence in Madrid, including accommodation and meals, costs less than 800 euros per month, and average tuition fees in a private university are around 6,000 euros).

Spain is situated on the Iberian Peninsula in South-West Europe. Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa that border Morocco (Ceuta and Melilla). Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and is one of the main tourist destinations worldwide. It has a population of 45 million people.

The landscape is extraordinarily varied, ranging from desert-like areas to lush, green pastures where mountains, valleys, rivers and beaches produce a wide variety of microclimates, which also contribute to its extraordinary beauty. Spain experiences all four seasons and has a generally temperate climate. Its location makes it one of the warmest countries in Europe and winter temperatures are generally mild.

Spain's unique culture is the product of a heritage enriched by the many external influences which it has been subjected to over the course of its long history. The geographic location of the Iberian Peninsula makes it a natural bridge between the cultures of the north and south of Europe, America, Africa and the East. History has made it a meeting point for many different cultures, creating a rich and diverse cultural legacy in which an intense past is evident.

Spanish is the mother tongue of over 400 million people around the world and is the official language of 20 countries. Sharing a common language has, without doubt, made Spain a particularly attractive destination for Latin American and Hispanic and Spanish-speaking students from the United States. Spain is also one of the most popular destinations for learning Spanish as a foreign language, particularly in the case of English speakers from the United States and Asia who want to learn Spanish, and students from other European Union countries. Indeed, Spain is the first destination in Europe for ERASMUS students (main students exchange European programme).

Spain's education system offers a wide range of college and university studies at all levels, as well as internationally renowned business studies at prestigious schools, and the best opportunities for the studying of Spanish as a foreign language, with a great variety of courses to choose from.

Higher education is mainly provided by both public and private universities. Spain is part of the Bologna Process, a Europe-wide co-operation to harmonize higher education in Europe. The new structure creates three levels of higher education.

  • First level: Undergraduate studies (Graduado) – 4 years, 240 ECTS
  • Second level: Master's studies – 1 or 2 years, 60 to 120 ECTS
  • Third level: PhD programs or Doctorate – 3 to 5 years

The academic calendar in Spanish universities begins in October and ends in June. Examinations are held at the end of the first semester, in February, and at the end of the second semester, in June. However, there are some variations between universities.

The costs of living in Spain are not the same for everyone. It really depends on where you live and the lifestyle that you want to lead. Living in Spain can be very affordable, or it can be very expensive, and you are the determining factor to which you will receive. As a student you are probably wanting to live as affordable as possible, and this means conducting as much research as you possibly can concerning housing options, shopping, schools and more.

The costs of attending college in Spain are not the same, as you may have already expected. The tuition costs vary by institution, however, on an average you can expect the average tuition rate to be around 1000 Euros per semester.

Student living costs in Spain

Generally, Spain is an affordable country, where international students should not feel the financial pressure.

Madrid and Barcelona claim the titles of the most expensive Spanish cities, where you would need around 1,300 EUR/month for all your monthly expenses.

On the other hand, in cities like Valencia, Seville or Cadiz, you can enjoy cheaper living costs, 800 – 850 EUR/month on average.

Tuition fees in public universities

Bachelor degrees: between 12.50 to 36 EUR/credit (the equivalent of 750 – 2,100 EUR/year)

Master and PhD degrees: between 15 and 55 EUR/credit (the equivalent of 900 – 3,300 EUR/year)

Tuition fees in private universities

Private universities have higher tuition fees, but usually not exceeding 18,000 EUR/year for any degree programme. However, business schools may sometimes charge tuition over 20,000 EUR/year.

Most affordable universities in Spain

Scholarships: A scholarship is an amount of money given to an individual on a need or a merit basis. This could be related to your current financial situation or your major in college. Scholarship amounts vary and can come from various sources, including the government.

Keep in mind that if you are an international student attending college in Spain you must complete the financial aid package and information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Spanish Embassy in your country. You should apply for several different options for financing your college education as well. You may be surprised at what is available to you, and only when you look at all of your options will you be able to find the funding that you need.

The Ministry of Education and Culture administers the scholarship system in Spain and for the UK. Latin American students should apply for aid with help from the Instituto de Cooperacion Iberoamericana.

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