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Study Master in Spain 2023

Study in Spain

Spain occupies 85% of the Iberian Peninsula, which it shares with Portugal, in southwest Europe. Africa is less than 10 mi (16 km) south at the Strait of Gibraltar. A broad central plateau slopes to the south and east, crossed by a series of mountain ranges and river valleys. Principal rivers are the Ebro in the northeast, the Tajo in the central region, and the Guadalquivir in the south.

Spain is a European country located on the Iberian Peninsula in the Mediterranean region, making it a bridge between Europe and Africa. The country has a long and rich cultural history and boasts a wide variety of terrain including beaches, pastures, mountains, and desert- like areas. Known for art, music, cuisine and other cultural activities, Spain is also a leader in renewable energy development, particularly in the areas of solar power and wind energy. Spain also produces nearly half of the world’s olives.

Spain has one of the warmest climates in Europe. Although the country experiences all four seasons, the overall climate is very mild, with winter temperatures often rising to 15 degrees C during the day. Temperatures in Madrid are usually 25-36 degrees C in the summer and 9-15 degrees C in the winter.

Spanish culture emphasizes the arts and healthy cuisine inspired by Mediterranean foods such as olive oil. Castilian Spanish is the official language, but several other Spanish dialects are also recognized throughout the country. Regional identities are very strong in some parts of the country.

Spanish nightlife is known for continuing well into the next morning. A typical evening might begin with dinner and drinks or a movie followed by a trip to a bar or disco. There are many all-night discos and after-hours clubs where festivities can continue into the next day.

Cost of Living
Spain has one of the lowest costs of living in Europe, with rent and food costing about €800 per month. To help with defraying expenses, international students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours a week.

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Basic monthly living cost

  • Rent in a shared flat

  • Share of utilities

  • Internet subscription

  • Local transportation


Sample lifestyle cost

  • Fast food combo

  • Cinema ticket

  • Pint of local beer


About Spain

Higher Education

Spain uses the European Higher Education Space (EHES) and divides degrees into three stages:

  • Grade degrees – undergraduate studies

  • University Master degrees – graduate studies

  • Doctoral degrees – postgraduate studies

Spanish universities also offer “unofficial Master degrees” called Maestrias. These degrees usually involve 1-2 years of study and focus on practical studies for specialized professions.

Before applying for graduate studies, in addition to an undergraduate degree students are usually expected to have 2-3 years of experience working in their field.

International students who wish to study in Spain must pass the Selectividad, the Spanish university entrance exams. These exams are available twice each year in many countries. Once a prospective student has passed the exams, they may apply directly to any Spanish university.

Why Study in Spain?

Spanish institutes of higher education have grown rapidly in the past two decades. As a result, many schools have very modern facilities that incorporate advanced technologies into the learning environment. At the master’s level, MBA degrees and other business-related degrees are especially popular and are recognized world-wide for their high quality.

The Spanish international student body is multi-cultural, with 31 percent hailing from Latin America and another 5 percent from North America. Studies are conducted in Spanish, the native tongue for more than 400 million people. Students not already proficient in Spanish may want to consider attending a course of instruction in Spanish before beginning their master’s studies. Spanish institutions offer a wide variety of courses for learning Spanish, from one - month long immersion courses to full academic courses.


Spain has 81 universities; about 50 are public and the rest are private. Universities are located throughout the country and all welcome international students for both graduate and undergraduate studies. Students can obtain a master’s degree from all academic disciplines in Spain including arts and humanities; science; health sciences; social sciences; law; engineering and architecture.

Spanish universities are recognized for their quality, with five universities appearing in the top 400 schools ranked by the 2012-2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. These schools include the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the University of Barcelona, the University of Valencia, the Polytechnic University of Valencia, and the University of Vigo.

Tuition and Program Duration

Annual tuition fees at a private university are about €6,000. Masters programs require 60-120 credits, which normally takes 1-2 academic years. A thesis of 6-30 credits with a public defense is also required.

Academic Year

Most institutions begin the academic year in October and finish in June. Most schools have two semesters, with exams at the end of each semester.

Post-Graduate Opportunities

Due to the current economic situation in Spain, post-graduate employment within Spain is less likely than before. However, employers throughout the world hold the master’s degree obtained from a Spanish university in high regard.

Graduates of master’s programs may also want to consider follow-on work in a doctoral program or applying for research positions at officially recognized research centers.

Visa Requirements

International students from EU member states, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland are not required to have visas. All other international students who will be staying for more than 90 days must apply for a long-term student visa. Prospective students must apply for a visa at the Spanish Consulate or Embassy in their home country.

To obtain a student visa, students must provide proof of their program of study along with a medical certificate, a certificate of solvency for the period of studies, and a criminal record certificate from their country of residence for the past five years.

Health Insurance

International students under 28 years of age are eligible for a student health insurance plan. Students older than 28 may use the national health system, which guarantees services to all legal residents in Spain.


Spain uses the euro for currency and all major international credit cards are accepted at most shops.

Tipping is a common practice in bars, restaurants, hotels, and taxis. Tips are usually about 5-10 percent of the total price.

Students who want to drive a car in Spain must have an International Driver’s License unless they are from an EU member state, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

Visa Requirements

For students outside of the EU/EEA or Switzerland who wish to take part in a student exchange, carry out research or training or work as an unpaid intern or volunteer in Spain for more than three months.

What type of Visa do you need?

Visa name

Student Visa (Type D)

Price and currency

EUR 160

The prices for a student visa to Spain are around EUR 160. The visa application fee is subject to change at any time.

Who can apply for the visa?

Citizens from the EU/EEA or Switzerland do not require a student visa regardless of the length of their stay in Spain. EU/EEA/Swiss students don’t need a visa to live in Spain, but will have to register with the local authorities and get a residence certificate.

Citizens of all other countries require a student visa if they plan to stay and study for more than 90 days in Spain. This visa is granted to those students who have already been accepted for admission by a recognized educational institute in Spain.

Where can you make the application?

Spanish consulate or embassy

You can apply for a study visa at the Spanish consulate or embassy in your home country.


How to make the application?

Before you can apply for a study visa you have to find a course or program with an officially recognized institution in Spain. You will then need to get official confirmation from the organization outlining that you have been accepted on the course or program, in the form of a certificate or letter of acceptance. Once you have this, you can contact the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country and apply for a student visa.

Exactly what is required may vary from consulate to consulate but in general, you’ll need to show your passport, as well as the following:

  • details of the study, training, or research that you’ll be doing in Spain, including the hours of study per week (20 at least);
  • proof that you have medical insurance;
  • a medical certificate confirming that you don’t have any diseases that would require you to be quarantined;
  • proof that you have the funds to support you for the duration of your stay in Spain (eg. scholarship details, a Spanish bank showing sufficient funds, or letter from parents/guardians assuming full financial responsibility);
  • information about where you’ll be living;
  • a criminal record certificate issued in the last five years by the relevant authorities in your home country.

If you are staying in Spain for more than six months to study, you must apply for a student residence permit within 30 days of entering Spain. You apply for it at your local Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or a police station. The card is valid for a year and you can renew it every year for five years as long as you are continuing with your studies.

When should you apply?

You’ll need to apply for your visa between two and three months before you intend to travel to Spain to allow time to process your application.

Generally, a student visa in Spain is granted for the entire duration of the course of study. You can renew your student visa to further extend your studies or take up a new course of study in Spain. Do not attempt to submit your student visa application more than four months in advance or less than 7 weeks before the departure date, else the application will not be accepted.

If your studies in Spain are for more than six months, you must apply for a student residence permit that lasts one year. The student residence permit has to be renewed every year.

Processing time

Work opportunities

The Spanish residence permit entitles you to work either part-time or in a temporary position, so long as you’re not using the money you earn to support yourself while you’re in Spain. You are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week while you are studying, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your studies. The company that employs you will need to get a work permit for you from the Foreigner’s Office. Your employment contract cannot exceed the duration of the study visa.

If you’ll be undertaking an internship as part of your course for which your residence permit was granted, you don’t need a work permit.

Hours per week


Why do you need this type of visa?

Here are some of the reasons why a student visa to Spain may be denied:

  • Past or current criminal actions
  • Insufficient explanation for the purpose and circumstances of the planned stay
  • Insufficient means of subsistence
  • Invalid travel insurance
  • Lacking to present a proof of accommodation
  • Unfavorable Schengen visa situation - Failing to previously respect Schengen Visa limitations (i.e. Overstay in the Schengen Area, failing to follow the presented travel itinerary – by skipping to stay mostly in the main country of destination in the Schengen Area, and so on).