Study in Spain as an International Student
10 Key Facts
- There are 76 universities in Spain – 45 public and 31 private. The majority of programmes are taught in Spanish, but an increasing number also offer programmes delivered fully in English (see below).
- Around 3% of the total student population of 1.6 million are international students, according to the Spanish Ministry of Education.
- Many Spanish universities are highly ranked. 50 Spanish universities were listed in the 2021 Times Higher Education World Rankings.
- Undergraduate degrees are typically 4 years – known as ‘grado’ in Spanish.
- There are typically two semesters. The first starting end September/early October and running until the end of December. The second begins at the end January/early February until the end of May.
- Students apply directly to universities and deadlines vary – check individual websites carefully.
- Tuition fees vary considerably between public and private institutions. For EU/EEA students public fees range from 800-3,500 Euro and private from 5,000 to 20,000. Non-EU/EEA students may pay the same or slightly higher depending on the university. On average you may be charged 1,000-1,500 Euro more per year of study.
- Spain is generally considered an affordable country for international students. Living costs will vary depending on where you live. In the major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona expect to pay between 900-1100 Euro per month. Cities like Valencia and Seville will be slightly cheaper: on average 700-900 Euro per month.
- Full-time students can work up to 20 hours per week alongside their degree programme. If you are a non-EU/EEA student your employer will have to apply for a work permit on your behalf.
Spanish Universities offering programmes taught in English:
- ESADE Business School, Barcelona (Private) – a prestigious global institution offering programmes through its Business School and Law School.
- ESCP Business School, Madrid (Private) – one of six European urban campuses offering a highly regarded 3 year BSc in Management. All students complete compulsory internships and social impact projects.
- EU Business School, Barcelona (Private) – one of four European campuses with undergraduate business courses: including leisure and tourism management, sports management, communications and PR, international relations, and digital business.
- European University of Valencia (Private) – 47% international students with both on campus and offline study options across a range of faculty areas.
- IE Business School, Madrid (Private) – very highly regarded with a range of single and dual Business Administration focused degrees. Extensive global alumni network.
- IE University (Private) – campuses in Madrid and Segovia with 75% international students. Offers a wide range of degree options across many faculties, including: Design and Architecture, Law, International Relations, Economics, Design, Behavioural and Social Sciences, PPLE, and Data and Business Analytics.
- Marbella International University (Private) – all bachelor and masters degrees are taught in English. Includes: International Relations, Business Management, International Business, Psychology, Marketing and Advertising, and Political Science. Degrees are Bologna accredited and students can spend time at the University of West London and get a fully accredited Uk degree.
- University of Navarra, Pamplona (Private) – bilingual programmes in a range of fields, including Business, Economics, and International Relations. The first two years are taught fully in English so students can enrol with zero Spanish, take classes and then should be confident by year 3. Students graduate being academically proficient in Spanish.
- Ramon Llull University (Private) – degrees in Business Administration, International Business and Tourism and Hospitality are taught fully in English. Many other multilingual offerings across the School of Engineering and the School of Management. Located in Barcelona.
- Toulouse Business School – Barcelona Campus (Private) – multi campus business school with a 3 year Bachelor of Management focused on business administration in the corporate international context. 12 months of internships and the opportunity for multi campus study.
- United International Business School (Private) – located in Barcelona offering undergrad degrees in design, and 3 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degrees (Business Design, Fashion Marketing and Communication, and Fashion Design) validated by the University of Westminster (London)
- Universidad Católica de Murcia (Private) – options in Psychology, Business Administration, Modern Languages, Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, and Dentistry (practicals in Spanish).
- Universidad Europea de Madrid (Private) – many bilingual courses, but also a few offerings fully in English: Tourism and Leisure Management (Valencia), International Relations, International Business, Business Management and Entrepreneurship, and Industrial Systems Engineering (2022).
- University of Barcelona (Public) – one of the largest universities in Spain with a small selection of programmes taught fully in English, including: International Business, Tourism, Bioinformatics, Physiotherapy, English Studies, and Business Administration and Management.
- Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Public) – based in Barcelona offering a small selection of courses including Global Studies, International Business Economies, and Computer Engineering. They also offer a 4 year double degree in English common law and Spanish law taught jointly with King’s College London – the first two years are spent in London so application is via UCAS.
Note: there are a number of other institutions that offer multilingual programmes for students who wish to learn in English alongside Spanish – and often other languages
The following American universities also have campuses in Spain:
- Schiller International University, Madrid (Private) – programmes in Business and Economics, Tech and Data, International Relations and Diplomacy, International Tourism and Hospitality, and Sustainability
- Saint Louis University, Madrid (Private) – US Liberal Arts style education in the Jesuit tradition.