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Age Range: 19 Plus
Number of Students: 800
Percentage of International students: 70%
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Transport: Euro 100
Food: Euro 300
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The education system in Spain is divided into four stages (all mentioned below), two of which are optional, preschool and upper secondary education, and the other two are compulsory, specifically primary and secondary education. Learn more below:
Nursery and preschool education in Spain are completely optional. Nursery school (guarderia) is usually not funded by the state, which means parents/guardians will be required to pay fees to take their children to nursery schools. Nurseries take children up to three years.
Preschool, on the other hand, is free of charge, and takes children up to six years of age. During this time, children develop their physical and mental skills, learn reading, writing, and the alphabet. This stage is not academic as much as it teaches children numerous real-life skills.
Primary education is mandatory in Spain, it begins at 6 years old and ends at 12 years old. It is made up of three cycles, each of which lasts 2 years. This stage of education is free and students usually learn general subjects like languages, mathematics, literature, natural and social sciences, and arts. Students also have physical education classes during primary education. Primary education allows students to develop subject-specific interests while offering a wide range of subjects.
During primary education, students are graded on each subject, with the highest grade being sobresaliente (SB), which means outstanding and the lowest grade being insufficient (IN). The year should be repeated in case students do not earn the necessary grades/results at the end of each cycle.
Secondary education (Educación Secundaria Obligatoria) is the third stage of Spanish education system and, as so, it is also compulsory. Secondary education includes students in the age range between 12 and 16 years old. The secondary education system in Spain includes state schools, private schools, or state-funded private institutions. Unlike primary education, secondary education has only two cycles, lasting two years each, specifically from 12-14 and 14-16 years old. Obligatory secondary education in Spain ends at the age of 16.
During secondary education, students get to learn the same subjects as in primary education, but on a more advanced level. Specifically, students will likely still have to go through language subjects, literature, mathematics, history, biology, and geography. Students can also choose from a wide range of optional subjects, which can be in fields like music, foregin languages, sciences, or the arts. Just like in primary education, students who do not receive sufficient results at the end of the year, will be asked to repeat the year.
After finishing obligatory secondary education in Spain with sufficient results, students are awarded a Graduate of Secondary Education Certificate or a School Certificate.
Upper secondary education is optional for students in Spain. After finishing obligatory secondary education, students in Spain may either choose to undertake 2-year studies for the Bachillerato certificate, which makes them eligible for university education, or vocational training which will make them eligible for the skilled-job market.
The upper secondary education in Spain includes the following:
In order to earn the Bachillerato certificate (Spanish Baccalaureate), 16-year olds who have finished secondary education in Spain, should go through a two-year period of studies and undertake an exam at the end. This certification will allow students to enter university and proceed to further stages of higher education. Specifically, after earning the Bachillerato, students may choose to undertake vocational training or take the tests for admission to university, known as “Selectividad”.
Bachillerato is organized in a flexible way, allowing students to receive specialized training in numerous branches like sciences, humanities and social sciences, as well as arts. For the duration of two years, there are three sets of subjects including core subjects, specific subjects, and subjects that are structured by the Autonomous Communities.
Vocational training (Ciclos Formativos) in Spain allows students to obtain training in numerous working skills, lasting for the duration of four years. Students may either undertake Grado Medio, which provides basic training and lasts for two years, or undertake Grado Superior, and thus go through an additional two years. The latter can only be started when the student is of 18 years of age, meaning even students who have passed Bachillerato may have access to it in case they want to receive vocational education.
Higher education in Spain comprises 76 universities, 45 of which are funded by the state. To enter university in Spain, students must have received their Bachillerato certificate as well as have passed their university entrance exams known as ‘Selectividad’.
Spain’s higher education sector is largely attractive not only to Spanish students but also students from abroad. From approximately 1.6 million students in the higher education sector, there are around 194,743 international students enrolled in Spanish universities, out of which 56,892 are international students on mobility programmes.
The education system in Spain has a variety of benefits by properly preparing students for the labour market and providing high quality education, and qualifications recognized worldwide.
Yes, one of the main characteristics of the education system in Spain is its decentralisation. This means that Spain’s education system shares educational competencies between the General State Administration (Ministry of Education and Vocational Training) and the authorities of each of the autonomous regions, respectively their Departments for Education.
Largely, Spanish state schools teach students in the Spanish language, with occasional exceptions when they use Catalan or Basque, meaning certain places in Spain teach in the co-official language of the region. Schools usually provide extra lessons for students who need help with the language, especially in areas where there are a lot of internationals.
Universities in Spain offer degree programmes taught in Spanish, but there are also options for international students where classes are offered in English. There is also the option of bilingual classes, which use both Spanish and English.
Yes, you will be able to find international schools in Spain, although most families send their children to local schools, which are free of charge. An international school, however, makes it easier for foreign students to continue education in their language before learning Spanish.
Country Name: Spain
Monthly Maintenance: 1000
Life in Country:
Through the ages the governments may have changed, but the state’s climate remained the same. There are three types of climate zones prevailing on the Iberian peninsula. The Mediterranean climate is characterized by warm and dry summers. It is the predominant climate in Spain. Although mild in nature, the Mediterranean climate in the central and northern-central Spain tends to be more extreme, hot in summer and cold in winter. In the southeastern section of the country dry season extends beyond the summer because of the semiarid climate. In the north of the country, winter and summer seasons are influenced by the oceanic climate relieving the region of seasonal drought. Parts of Spain such as the Pyrenees, Sierra Nevada and Canary Islands are subject to the alpine and subtropical climate.
As far as the population was concerned, in 2008, the numbers reached 46 million. With a population density of 91/km2, Spain’s population is lower than most western European countries. Native Spaniards make for 80% of Spain’s total population. Many international students can also be found in Spain. Around 10% of those students are from European countries, and the numbers of students from other countries, including the U.S., continue to multiply in rapid numbers year after year.
Health and Medical Treatment
From the common cold to influenza and broken bones to allergies and everything in between, many different ailments can cause an individual to become ill and see a doctor or make a visit to a hospital or emergency facility. You can become sick, even as a student studying in Spain. The healthcare system in Spain is much the opposite of what you will find in other countries, making it essential that you familiarize yourself with it should Spain be your university destination.
You will find comfort in knowing that health and medical treatment in Spain is top notch. There are many fine doctors, hospitals and healthcare providers found throughout the country, making it easy to get the appropriate treatment needed for your condition and get back to your normal life. If knowing that you are going to receive the best of care were not enough, take comfort in knowing that healthcare costs are also very affordable.
The hospitals, doctors offices and specialty centers in Spain are all state-of-the art facilities that use the latest in technology and equipment to ensure the best of care for each and every patient that is seen by the doctor. You can expect professional doctors and friendly staff members willing to help you with all of your medical needs small and large.
European Health Card
If you are a student in Spain you need the EHC, or the European Health Card. This card titles the recipient access to the great healthcare found in the country. When you have the card you can get all of your healthcare costs reduced, and sometimes at no cost. While most medical services are covered with this card, dental services are not covered. Prescriptions are covered under the plan, with 60% paid and the remaining 40% your responsibility to cover. If you need emergency services while in Spain you will be covered only when you use the public health facilities near you.
Many health centers are available for individuals to obtain dental services from at no cost. You must have your social security number readily available to take advantage of the free dental care. Some Spanish hospitals also offer emergency dental treatment. Because of the excessive waiting periods most people coming to Spain for a short while choose private health insurance to cover their dental insurance coverage needs.
Whether you are visiting a health center, a doctor’s office or a hospital it is necessary that you show your EHC every time that you visit. If you do not have this card available to show you are responsible for the entire amount of the bill and the amount will not be covered under the European health care system.
With the EHC you can obtain treatment for both new and existing medical conditions. Also, the card is usable for the entire duration of your stay in Spain, so once you have the card you have nothing to worry about.
To obtain the EHC card you can apply online. Phone applications are also accepted if you prefer to use this route. In order to apply you will need to provide your name, NHS number and your date of birth. There is no cost to apply for or receive the card.
It is a good idea to start the application process for the EHC several months before your intended arrival. It can take up to two months to process the application, but of course you do not want to push things this close to the time limit.
If you prefer, private insurance is also available. You may wish to attain private insurance for any number of reasons, including to gain more or better coverage for your health care needs. People also choose to get private insurance when they want more freedom in the selection of the doctors and hospitals they will use.
Many different companies offer health insurance to students in Spain. Each company will offer a variety of services included in the plan, as well as those that are not. It is imperative that you check with a few different companies in order to find the best plan for your need, including that which meets your budget requirements.
When you opt for private health insurance it is essential that you always make comparisons. You can easily make comparisons on the web, and with those comparisons you can easily get an insurance policy at a cost affordable to your budget. A comparison makes it possible to learn the different companies and what they offer so you are never disappointed with the end results.
The amount that you will spend to obtain private insurance will vary according to the services that you wish to have covered in the plan, the company that you purchase from and a number of other things, so make sure that you choose carefully.
There are a number of benefits associated with private insurance. As we mentioned the ability to choose from a larger array of doctors and hospitals is one of those benefits, and you will also enjoy shorter wait times for health care and more.
Getting Treated in Spain
Take a look at the average costs of some of the most common medical procedures being performed.
Compare those costs to others in Europe and other areas of the world and you will see that healthcare in the country is more than reasonable.
Spain has amazing healthcare services throughout, whether you have a minor medical issue or a chronic health problem, and with the great options for health care coverage you can be certain that your time as a student in Spain will be spent in the best of health.
It is a good idea that you take a look at the European health card, as well as private insurance, just to be on the safe side. While we never plan for a medical emergency or need coming our way It is something that you just cannot predict. With these options you can be certain that you are always covered.
How will you get around while you live and study in Spain? There is certainly no shortage of transportation options available to you, and here we will look at those options and help you learn just a little bit more about them. With this information you can easily get anywhere that you need to go, any time that you need to get there.
Rental cars are available to students in Spain, although there may be restrictions on what can be rented due to your age. A rental car can be rented by the day, the week or the month, with tremendous discounts the longer that you have the vehicle. Many different types of vehicles are available for rental, and the good thing about a rental car is that you always have access to transportation so you can easily get where you need to be without delay. Another great thing about a rental car is that you can travel more, visiting nearby cities if you so choose to do so.
Public transportation is also available in cities throughout Spain and one of the most common ways that students get around. There are several options for public transportation throughout Spain. Do keep in mind that the public transportation available to you may vary.
Walking is an option that you can use in many different cases. While it is certainly not possible to walk everywhere you want to go, you can walk to your destination oftentimes. When you walk you are saving yourself money, as well as providing yourself with a number of health benefits. Walking is a great way to get out and enjoy the fresh air and explore the city while you are at it.
Most students in Spain will find they use several of the different methods of transportation, so It is best to get familiar with all of them so you always know just what to do when you need to get out and about.
Also keep in mind that Spain has about 70 different airports that can help you get to and from your destinations both inside and outside of the country.
Many international students in Spain work part-time alongside their studies to help support their education and living expenses. Although the cost of studying and living in Spain is generally reasonable and relatively affordable compared to many other countries, many students still find the need to earn a bit of extra money. Studying in Spain is an extraordinary experience, meaning students get to grow academically, create friendships, travel around, pursue world-class qualifications, and earn a bit of experience in the job market as well.
International students on a student visa can work in Spain during their studies and earn an extra income. You can work part-time in Spain with a student visa, which means up to 20 hours per week while pursuing your studies in Spain. If part-time work is deemed to likely impede your studies, chances are you will not be allowed to work while being enrolled as a student in Spain. In general, non-EU international students have to go through more procedures and formalities than EU/EEA students.
As a non-EU/EEA international student in Spain, you can only work part-time until your student visa expiry. Your employer will need to apply to the Foreign Nationals Office in Spain to receive permission to hire you (your work permit). Remember that you must follow all regulations to not risk your right to live/work/study in Spain. Many international students take up part-time work during their studies in Spain. It is actually an efficient way to earn money and cover the living and studying costs (at least partially).
The requirements for working in Spain during studies differ for EU and non-EU nationals. Both parties will have to go through certain formalities to enter the job market in Spain. Still, non-EU nationals also need to follow the regulations/limitations set by their Spanish student visa. Of course, there are certain requirements to meet if you want to work in Spain as an international student and certain rules you need to follow.
Requirements to work in Spain for non-EU/EEA students include:
Keep in mind: You can only work full-time for a time limit of three months (and it should not be during university term time when you are supposed to engage in academic activity).
Requirements to work in Spain for EU/EEA students are the same as for home students. Nationals of EU/EEA member countries are free to work in Spain without any restrictions. Generally, if you are from the EU/EEA, you will be treated the same as Spanish nationals upon finding employment in Spain during your studies. You will not need a work permit to work in Spain, even in full-time positions. What you will need, however, is a signed work contract between you and your employer.
Working in Spain after graduation is possible for international students, but not quite simple. After graduating, with either an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Spain, you will be allowed to apply for a “post-study work visa,” which will enable you to stay in Spain for up to one year after graduation and look for employment. You should apply for this transitory residence permit at least 60 days before your student visa expires at Spain’s immigration offices (Oficina de Extranjería).
To apply for the post-study work visa in Spain, you generally need to apply the following documents:
During this one year, you are not allowed to work, and the main goal should be to secure an employment contract or start your own company. Once you secure a full-time employment contract, you should initiate the process of obtaining a work permit to begin working.
There are several types of work visas for internationals in Spain. To work in Spain as a highly-skilled employee, your employer must request a work visa from the Ministry of Labour in Spain. If/when the Ministry of Labour has approved the work visa, the Spanish embassy will issue it.
It is not easy to find a job or get a work visa to Spain as a highly-skilled employee; however, priority is usually given to applicants who apply for jobs listed as ‘shortage occupations.’
U.S. citizens who want to work in Spain must also obtain the appropriate visa to be allowed to do so. When the work visa is issued, they are supposed to apply for the residence and work permit at the Spanish authorities in Spain. American citizens are also subject to the same conditions as other non-EU citizens wishing to work in Spain. On the other hand, EU citizens do not have to obtain a work visa to work in Spain.
Your student visa expires after you graduate from your degree program in Spain, which means you cannot continue to work in Spain with a student visa after graduating. What you can do, however, is apply for a post-study work visa in Spain at least 60 days before your student visa expires. This way, you will have one year to look for a job in Spain (during which time, you will not be allowed to work). When you secure employment, you can obtain the proper work visa/permit and work in Spain.
It can be a challenge to find a job in Spain as an international student because you will be in competition with Spanish nationals. Most work that is available for college students in Spain is temporary. Since most jobs in Spain are full-time, finding something to work part-time around a university schedule can be somewhat difficult. It is in your best interest to start the search as early as you possibly can.
University students usually go for jobs in industries that do not require a great deal of experience or expertise. Such jobs include waiting, front desk operations, bartending, leaflet distribution, or other employment types at supermarkets, department stores, restaurants, and bars. You will have more employment chances in the major Spanish cities, where there are vacancies more regularly.
You can apply for a (part-time) job in Spain as an international student by submitting your CV/resume to the hiring manager. Often, a cover/motivational letter is also required.
Skill shortages in Spain include professions like IT, medicine, engineering, teaching, or sales. You can find other shortage skills in sectors such as banking, tourism, or energy. The majority of the jobs facing skill shortages are in high-skilled professions.
Speaking Spanish can help find employment in Spain, whether it is part-time or full-time work. As an international student looking for a part-time job, you might not necessarily need to speak Spanish to find a job. However, many employers prioritize students who can speak Spanish (especially in jobs that require communication with customers/clients).
Generally, Spain’s average annual salary is €23,000 (~$28,100), while Spain’s minimum monthly wage is around €1,000 (~$1,200) per month. The monthly salary for part-time jobs is, of course, lower. Basically, the minimum salary for international students working part-time in Spain is €450 ($550). As a requirement to work part-time during studies, international students must have another means of financial support. Part-time work is only supposed to be complementary.