Study Abroad in Spain

11/11/20

Why Study Abroad in Spain?

Do you want to study abroad in Spain? This may be an option for those looking for an European experience. Students may learn about the culture, people, history, and lifestyle of those living in Spain. A Spain program allows students to explore Spanish culture up close. It may allow Spanish students to embrace their language skills. It may involve attending a school like the Universidad de Salamanca.

These skills may be beneficial later in life. Some students may be able to use their Spain study abroad experience on a grad school application. Others may use it as they apply for a job.

Spain sits on the Mediterranean. It is between France and Portugal. It is a prime opportunity for those who wish to spend a semester here. Some students may wish to spend just the summer or a gap year here. Others may want to spend a full academic year studying abroad. Students doing so may gain valuable insights into the world around them. They may explore the art, history, and people that make Spain such a beautiful place to live. Students with decent Spanish language skills may learn how to speak more fluently as well.

There are 44 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain. There are numerous religious and culturally important structures and events here. Spain’s history mixes with the Spanish Empire and Ancient Rome. Students may wish to explore the region’s archaeological sites to bring this to life.

Other students may wish to study in Spain to learn about modern life and culture. It may also include learning about the government, politics, and businesses here. Attending a Real Madrid game or Barca soccer event may be a must for any soccer lover. Others may love to shop or earn about modern art in the area.

What are the Benefits of Studying Abroad in Spain? 

There are numerous benefits to study abroad in Spain.

You get to see the world. This may be one of the best reasons to study overseas. You may be able to see new regions of the world in a bit more of an inexpensive way while you are young. You may have the time to do so now.

Receive a different type of education. Live overseas to learn in new ways. You could study topics about international business or religion. Study history where history was made centuries ago. Explore the country’s educational system to get a new or higher quality of education than what you are getting now.

Benefit from potential career opportunities. Some businesses need employees with international relations skills. They may value this quality in you if you have spent time studying overseas. This may open the door for career opportunities later.

Gain confidence in yourself. You may get to live on your own. You may be able to set your own path. Studying abroad may let you explore what is important to you. Some people love to experience new things like this. It may help give you confidence in who you are.

Explore your future. Some students find studying overseas like this opens the door for learning about themselves and their ideas, likes, and interests. It may help you to find your way forward with a career. It may help you to learn what you want to do with your future.

How Much Could It Cost to Study Abroad in Spain?

The cost to study in Spain depends on many factors like meals, transportation, tuition, personal expenses and others. Spain’s major cities, such as Bilbao and Granada may cost less than cities in other countries nearby, such as Paris or London. It still affords students with the European experience, though. Students who wish to attend one of the schools may learn about the cost of the program on most websites. It may also be possible to call the school for more information.

The cost of living in Spain varies from one region to the next. Those living along the Mediterranean Coast, such as in Costa del Sol, may be more likely to spend more than those living in the countryside areas. It is also typically less expensive to live outside of the big cities like Madrid and Barcelona. It is important for students to consider the costs of living here carefully before choosing a Spanish city to study in during their trip.

How Can I Study Abroad in Spain?

You could study abroad in Spain through your college, third party provider, or directly with a Spanish University. The college’s study abroad office or Spanish language program may offer some more detail about these options. Here are a few options to help you study abroad in Spain.

Your School’s Enrollment Program

Students may wish to find university led programs and student exchanges. Some U.S. schools work with Spanish schools to offer this type of exchange. Students may be able to pair up with a Spanish student to exchange study through the school.

A faculty led program is often necessary for students who wish to learn and earn credits for doing so. The credits earned in the Spanish school may transfer back to their U.S. school. This type of program may be shorter, such as for just a quarter or semester of study. The setup of such programs typically ranges widely. Turn to your school to learn how this may work.

Enroll Directly in a Spanish University

Another option is to directly enroll into a University in Spain. Some students may wish to enroll in a program directly with a school. That may work well for students who are not interested in their school’s study abroad program. Some Spanish schools allow foreign enrollment. This may be a good option for students who wish to enroll for a year or longer.

Check Out Neighboring School Programs

Some students may be able to check neighboring college study abroad programs. A Spain study abroad program may be available through a private school. Not all programs allow students to enroll in these if they are not in that school.

One way to do this is through a school that runs a Spain-based campus. For example, in Boston, Suffolk University has a Madrid campus. This campus typically allows students who speak English to attend classes. The classes are numerous. They are likely to include math, history, and social sciences. Some may include a focus on art or culture as well. Arcadia University typically runs a program like this. It has campuses in Barcelona and Granada. This could help students to gain access to their program.

Choose a Third Party Provider for Study Abroad in Spain

A study abroad provider may be another option. These programs offer students help in finding overseas programs. For example, International Studies Abroad (ISA) runs a program. Students can study abroad in a range of locations in Spain. This may include Malaga, Sevilla, and Salamanca.

Another provider is CIEE. There are numerous European program options. Some of these include Sevilla and Malaga. These programs may change often. Be sure to check them out to learn what the current options are for the upcoming year.

AIFS Study Abroad is another program. It typically offers a range of every changing programs. This includes semester programs, summer programs, and internships. Locations in Spain include Madrid, Valencia, Seville, Salamanca, Granada, and Barcelona.

There are many options available. Programs like this change often. Be sure to reach out to your college as a starting point. Spanish studies programs tend to offer a range of support.

10 Things to Know About Studying Abroad in Spain

The more you know about Spain, the better. A study abroad program in Spain may provide a range of opportunities for you. Don’t choose one just yet. Consider a few tips to help you.

1. Get the Official Language Down

Good Spanish speakers may do well in these programs. However, those at just the start of their language courses may not. It helps to have a number of years of language classes behind you. Keep in mind that the official language is Spanish. However, several dialects typically exist throughout the country. What is spoken in Galician may be different than what is found in Sevilla.

Language immersion courses may help. These programs at Spanish schools may help English students to get a bit of help. They also provide the support needed for overcoming language barriers.

2. Choose the Perfect Location

Where you learn is usually a big decision. Some students may wish to study in Catalonia.  This region, towards the northeast, is one of the most affluent in the country. It is also one of the most modern areas. Madrid is the country’s capital city. It has some of the most interesting museums and government buildings. Many other English speaking people are likely to be in this area.

For those looking for a more historic option, choose Granada. It is in the southern portion of the country with medieval architecture. It may be one of the more student friendly areas of the city. Some students study in Cadiz. It is typically known for its beaches and the nightlife it offers.

Seville is another option. It has a unique culture and artistic heritage that makes it quite unique. It is also where flamenco, the Spanish form of dance, originates. Some people love this city in the South of Spain for its nightlife, too.

3. Know Where You Plan to Live

The program you choose may help you with this. Many programs have sponsors. A student lives with a host family in Spain while studying abroad. This may mean living in a Spanish home during your stay. A local family like this may be ideal. It allows you to study and experience everyday life here. Many students wish to do this during their experience. Language immersion may be significant here. Living, eating, working, and exploring the world with a host family can feel like being at home but in a brand new country. A homestay is just one option, though.

Some students choose to attend a university directly. In these cases, they may live in a dorm at the school. This usually creates an educational experience somewhat like what you may find in the U.S. A dorm like this may allow you to live with other people who speak English. Some may be others from the U.S. as well. This may make it a bit easier to meet new people if Spanish speaking is a bit more difficult.

Some students may wish to choose a different option. It may be possible to find student housing near to the school or in a specific city. One option is to look into the Erasmus Programme. It is a type of EU exchange program. If you are enrolled in a Spanish university, you may be able to use this program. It lets you move from one university to the next to explore the various cultures.

4. Take Courses to See the Differences

When you are in Southern Spain and exploring the country, taking a liberal arts program here is generally going to be very different than what you may expect in the U.S. Explore a range of different programs and classes.

Look at the differences in the way students in Spain are taught and the way U.S. students learn. Another difference is to get a brand new viewpoint of the topic. For example, an international business course in Spain may offer a very different experience than taking one in the U.S. Viewpoints, topics, and insights may differ significantly. For some students, this may be a very refreshing and interesting way to explore the world around them. It may help you to see how culture impacts so much of what you learn and do.

5. Explore the Food

The cuisine in Spain is wonderfully refreshing to many people. It may be possible to find some of your favorite foods here. That includes English franchise restaurants and fast food. Most people may find options that fit their needs.

This may be the best time to explore your tastebuds a bit more, though. This may be a good time to try local dishes and cuisine made from fresh, local ingredients. Eating a home cooked meal in a Spanish home may give you a better idea of what living in this area is like. For that reason, many students should check out those local events and enjoy meals with people welcoming them in.

Learn about the local favorites here. Tapas, for example, are very common. They are some of the most commonly found foods. You may find them as street foods at a local market. Families make them in large groups and share them with others. Visiting a bar or nightclub may also mean finding taps. This is a very easy to find option.

Don’t stop there. Look for other cuisine. If you get to do some traveling, choose a variety of dishes so you could explore the differences in regions. Madrid food is very different than what you may find in Valencia in cities like Alicante. There, fresh fish is very common throughout the country. Yet each region uses different flavor combinations and spices.

6. Check Out the Architecture

Spaniards are passionate about the quality of workmanship they create in everything they do. That includes in maintaining their homes and architecture. Spanish students may get to explore much of this.

The Moorish architecture present here may be stunning and quite unique. It is also possible to find Neoclassical, Romanesque, and Baroque styles present. Renaissance architecture dots the landscape as well. Historical properties date back hundreds of years in some areas. There are various modern areas as well. Barcelona and Madrid have more traditional modern homes and buildings. Yet, the history present in the buildings here is well worth exploring firsthand.

7. Check Out the Festivals

You may be lucky enough to be in a city during one of the Spanish festivals when you are studying abroad in Spain. There are many celebrations throughout the year. Many cities, including smaller cities, have their own festivals as well. These special celebrations may be an exceptional way to get to know the culture and the history of the area.

The Semana Grande of Bilbao is one of the largest. Bilbao is one of the cities many visitors may wish to visit. It hosts a nine-day festival. There are concerts. There are fairs. Exhibitions and music is everywhere. There may also be a lot of food, performances, and singing.

Another important cultural event is Carnival. This happens during February or March leading into the Easter season. The colors, music, and celebrations are typically known around the world.

8. Watch a Sports Game

Many Spaniards love sports. The way they celebrate and become passionate about their sports is somewhat different than what may happen in the U.S. One of the largest sports in terms of popularity in Spain is soccer, or futbol. The FIFA World Cup and the games leading up to it are often watched by locals. These are some of the largest sporting events in the city. Getting tickets for an in person match is usually hard to do. Many times, people stand outside the stadiums watching these games just to be a part of it.

Other sports are popular here, too. This includes basketball and tennis. Spain also is a part of the Olympics. These events are a big part of the culture of this country. Be sure to find a way to attend even a small, city or local sporting event if possible. The chants, music, and excitement is something unique to take in for many people.

9. Connect with People on Social Media

When studying abroad in Spain, remember that you could still meet people and get to know the region with the use of the internet. What you do at home may often be done here, too. For example, there are various Facebook groups dedicated to overseas travelers. You may wish to find a student Facebook group for Spanish visitors. If not, look for expat groups. Do this with other social media sites as well.

That is just one option. Be sure to turn to your school and host family to learn more about the ways you can meet people. Sometimes it is just about asking people what they do for fun or where they explore the region. You could work on your Spanish skills while meeting new friends. They may also help you to avoid some of the mistakes or answer your questions during your trip as well.

10. Check Out a Few of the Universities 

Before you make a decision on where to study, check out the country’s most notable universities. The University of Barcelona is one. The University of Valencia is also well recognized. Some students may wish to study at the Universidad de Salamanca or Nebrija University.

Students who plan to attend the university in Spain directly may need to spend some time planning this experience. After you choose a school, contact them about international admission. Many require several steps in your application. You may also need to apply for a student visa and work through the legal process. This may include meeting financial aid needs. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. Give yourself as much time as possible. Try to apply to these programs at least three to four months in advance of when you wish to attend.

Why not use your Spanish skills to study in Spain? Perfect your Catalan dialect while there. Fill in the gap year after high school by learning art in Barcelona. Use this summer study opportunity to explore an internship with an oversea company. There’s so much to do and see. For those interested in learning about Spain and its people, these programs are some of the best opportunities available.

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