Studying in Spain can be a crucial step towards discovering the Spanish culture. However, you may need to obtain a study visa to be able to do so. Find out more in this article.
Student life in Spain
Studying in Spain is a great opportunity to get knowledge of the third most spoken language in the world, Spanish, and enjoy a vibrant student life in a Mediterranean atmosphere. The country provides a quality education within over 80 universities, technical schools, polytechnics and engineering schools.
Tuition fees in Spain are relatively low compared to other European countries and are generally fixed around €1,000 per year of study. To register with a Spanish university, it is necessary to hold a secondary school diploma (or equivalent) and pass the Spanish university entry tests for foreigners (plus Spanish language tests if necessary). You may also be required to take regional language courses depending on the Spanish province where you intend to study!
Formalities for nationals of the EU-EEA
Citizens of the EU-EEA can freely come and study in Spain with very few formalities to undertake. European students are exempted from university entry tests provided that they comply with basic entry requirements.
European candidates must then obtain authorization from the UNED (Universidad Nacional a Distancia) which will check students' eligibility. You can find out more information on the UNED website.
The next step is pre-registration with a Spanish school or university (eg of pre-registration at the University of Barcelona).
Citizens of the EU-EEA can also benefit from the ERASMUS programme in Spain. The ERASMUS programme is designed for students of the EEA-EU plus Turkey wishing to study in an other EU-EEA country. Diplomas and degrees obtained abroad in the framework of the ERASMUS programme are valid in your home country via the European Credit Transfer and accumulation System (ECTS). ERASMUS grants are also available to students who carry out studies in another european state via the programme.
You can find more information about the ERASMUS programme and the ERASMUS grants available directly through your home university or by visiting the European Commission website.
Formalities for citizens from outside the EU-EEA
Before applying for a sudent's visa, it is necessary to have your diplomas recognized by the Spanish Ministry of Education, and register online to take the Spanish university entry test (the "P.A.U") with the UNED. You will then be in a position to carry out pre-registration with the Spanish university of your choice.
Citizens from outside the EU-EEA must apply for a "D" visa "Visado Estudiante - Abierto" in order to attend a course of more than 90 days in Spain. Visa applications should be sent from outside Spain to a Spanish embassy or consulate abroad. The visa application documents' checklist includes: a passport valid six months after return, 3 Schengen visa application forms duly completed, 3 passport-sized photos, proof of enrollment in a Spanish school or university; a medical certificate (required if you intend to study in Spain for more than six months), attestation of health insurance, financial statements and proof of payment of tuition fees.
Once in Spain, you will have 90 days to apply for your student resident permit, valid for the duration of your studies. To get your resident permit, go to the nearest police station with your student visa. You can find more information on the University of Barcelona website.