Universities in Spain for international students

Spain is an exciting country with nice climate, great food and beautiful nature. Here we look at different study options and universities in Spain for international students.

Why study in Spain?

Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. It is a destination full of sunshine all year long, with a rich landscape from beautiful coasts to high mountains. The cityscapes are outlined by world famous buildings and churches. Spain has a long history of talented architects and artists like Gaudi and Picasso.

Spain offers a vibrant and exciting lifestyle where the vacation and party never stops. Enjoy fantastic food like Tapas, Paella and Iberico ham and pour it all down with a glas of Sangria. Spain is famous for their citrus fruits and other fresh fruits and veggies.

The country has a long history, rich culture, and provides high quality university education with reasonable tuition fees and an affordable living cost, especially out of the biggest cities. Spanish language exert cultural influence in more than 20 countries across the world, historically and at present. It is one of the most spoken and widely used languages in the world, and there is no better place to learn Spanish than in Spain.

What can international students study abroad in Spain?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is for how long you want to study at a university in Spain. Do you want to study:

Windmills in Spain  

Semesters in Spain

For many international students taking a full degree abroad can be a big commitment. In that case study abroad semesters is the perfect solution. This can be arranged in two ways:

Exchange semesters in Spain through your home university

If you are enrolled in a university where there is an exchange agreement with your desired university in Spain, you are able to apply for the exchange program from your home university. Then you would usually pay your home universities tuition fee and get to study in Spain at no extra cost. But you are limited to the the Spanish universities that your home university has exchange agreements with, and there is no guarantee that you will be nominated for the exchange program. And, depending on where you live, your tuition fee at your home university might not be cheaper than going directly to a Spanish university.

Study Abroad semesters in Spain on your own

If you are not enrolled in a university in your home country or if they can't offer exchange programs to the locations and universities that you are interested in you can arrange your semesters in Spain on your own or with the help of DreamStudies. You can study at a Spanish university for one or two semesters taking courses of your choice. Some universities don’t demand that you are enrolled in a university at home so you can even do study abroad semesters as a Gap Year directly after High School to see the world and experience life in Spain.

At the large universities many courses are available in English for study abroad students. You can take preestablished certificate programs or just selected courses at your convenience. If you speak good Spanish you will have many more courses to choose from. If not you can often combine study abroad courses in English with a Spanish language course. Prices are reasonable where high ranking Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona charges about 3500 Euro per study abroad semester with 30 ECTS credits.

We can help you with study abroad semesters at the following Spanish Universities:

Fill out an info request to get help and more information about study abroad semesters in Spain.

Experience life in Spain  

Master’s or Bachelor degree in Spain

For international students who wants to study for a longer period of time in Spain a degree program is the best choice. You can take a degree either in English or in Spanish. Here we will have a closer look at both options as they both have their pros and cons.

Study in English in Spain

To study in English is the easy way for international students to take a Bachelor’s Degree or a Master’s Degree from a college or university in Spain. The drawback is that the number of available programs are much fewer than if you study in Spanish, and the tuition fee is often higher. The advantage is that you don’t have to worry about the language, as long as your English is good. However, if you are going to live a long time in Spain we recommend that you learn some Spanish. This will make life in Spain much easier and more enjoyable.

At the moment we can help you with degree programs in Spanish at the following schools:

Universitat Politècnica de València - after a preparatory Spanish course you can take degrees in many subjects at very low tuition fees ranging from 850-1250 Euro per year!

EU Business School Barcelona
Experience life in exciting Barcelona and take a Bachelor or Master's Degree. Choose between subjects like Business Administration, Communication & PR, Tourism Management, International Relations, Sports Management, or Digital Business, Design, and Innovation.

Istituto Europeo di Design in Barcelona, Madrid and Bilbao
IED is an Italian design school who have had campuses in Spain since 1994. They offer degrees on all levels in English and Spanish in all kind of design fields including Graphic Design and Visual Arts, Fashion and Textile Design, Interior and Industrial Design and much more.

Many more programs are available in English at other schools in Spain. We have a partner who can help you apply to all universities in Spain for a fee of 1200 Euro. Fill out an info request to get help and more information about degree programs in English in Spain.

Study in Spanish in Spain

If you are willing to study in Spanish the opportunities are almost endless. At public Spanish universities the tuition fee can be quite low if you study in Spanish usually somewhere between 1000-4000 Euro/year, while private universities often charge 9000-25000 Euro/year. The drawback is that it can be harder to get accepted to the public universities.

To get accepted and keep up with classes you will need a high level of Spanish and you will usually need to pass the Spanish University Entrance (EBAU) which takes place in June and September. This is usually needed even if you choose to study in English at a public university in Spain. We have two language school partners Academia Guiu in Barcelona and Hablo at Universitat Politècnica de València who are specialized in helping international students prepare and apply for studying in Spanish at universities in Spain and we have another partner who can help you to apply to all unversities in Spain. Fill out an info request to get help and more info.

The highest ranking Spanish universities, according to Times Higher Education, are:

  1. Pompeu Fabra University
  2. Autonomous University of Barcelona
  3. University of Barcelona
  4. University of Navarra
  5. Autonomous University of Madrid
  6. CEU Universties
  7. University of Valencia

Here you can find a list of all universities in Spain.

Spanish bar  

Spanish courses in Spain

Spanish has more native speakers than English. Only Mandarin Chinese has more native speakers. Spanish is also a top 4 language for Second Language speakers so it is one of the most influential languages in the world. Spanish language is an essential asset in any CV.

If you want to study in Spain for a longer period of time, we strongly recommend that you start by learning some Spanish. Knowing the language will make your stay in Spain so much more enjoyable, you will understand the culture better and you will be more likely to get an extra job and meet Spanish friends.

You can take Spanish Language courses at universities and private language schools. The courses are available for all levels and you can study from two weeks to one year.

Private Spanish language schools are fun and easy to apply to. They have flexible start dates and course lengths without big commitment. Our highly recommended language schools provide different courses to fit your goal. We can recommend good language schools to prepare for language tests such as the DELE-exam and schools that offer university pathways and help you prepare for the university entrance exam EBAU.

When you study Spanish language at a university in Spain you can sometimes earn ECTS-credits for your language course. You have access to the universities facilities and it is often possible to combine language studies with other courses.

We can help you free of charge to find a suitable Spanish course in Spain. Fill out an info request to get help and more information.


Working as a student in the Spain

EU-nationals can work without restrictions in Spain. Non EU-students are allowed to work part-time during academic semesters for up to 20 hours a week with a work permit. However, a job cannot be guaranteed and is only to be seen as a way to earn an extra income. In order to get a student visa and study in Spain you will need to prove that you can support yourself without an extra job.

Scholarships for international students in the Spain

With lower tuition fees than the English speaking countries scholarships are not quite as common, but many schools offer some scholarship that their international students can apply for. Here are some examples:

CSN Discount - Expanish Barcelona, Madrid, and Malaga (deadline 2024-12-31)
20% Scholarship on Spanish courses w ECTS Credits! - Universitat Politècnica de València (deadline 2024-06-03)
Scholarships and Facilitation - Istituto Europeo di Design (deadline 2031-12-23)
Start Your Language Journey with a 5% Discount! - Language Campus Gran Canaria (deadline 2025-12-31)

If you apply to study at one of our partner schools starting next year you can apply for DreamStudies’ scholarship.

You might also want to check out the Spanish governments scholarships.

Read more advice on how to find scholarships for Spanish universities in our scholarship guide for studying abroad.

Student visa to study in the Spain

EU-students don’t need to apply for a visa to study in Spain. However, students of other nationalities will need to apply for a student visa to study at a university in Spain. Shorter language courses can in some cases be taken on a tourist visa.

Read more about student visas to study in the European Union.

Alcazar de Seville

Insurance in Spain for international students

It is very important to have a good insurance when you study at a university in Spain. EU citizens should get the European Health Insurance card, but you also need an insurance that covers liablity, transports, theft etc. Read more and find recommended study abroad insurances.

Can you help me to study in Spain?

Yes we have long experience of helping international students to study in Spain at universities, business schools, design schools and language schools. We have a partner who can help you apply to all universities in Spain. Fill out an info request to get help.

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