Spain 1Spain is a popular destination for international students who seek quality and affordable higher education. Those who wish to study abroad in Spain are welcomed at Spanish institutions of higher education, joining the other 85,000 international students that study in Spain each year.

Spanish universities offer numerous opportunities for international students who wish to obtain a quality education with excellent research opportunities. Spain is a welcoming country of extraordinary beauty and has many opportunities for relaxation, a rich culture, and excellent lifestyle opportunities for all who choose to study there.

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Spain has 76 universities, and about two thirds of them are state-funded, with the remainder being private institutions of higher education. Spain has a long and rich tradition of higher education, and the nation’s institutions are well-respected and highly ranked on the QS World University Rankings. Out of all of the institutions of higher education in Spain, 14 are in the top 500 best ranked in the world. The highest ranked of them are UniversitatAutónoma de Barcelona (176th place) and Universitat de Barcelona (187th place).

It is therefore not surprising that Barcelona is one of the most popular destinations for those who wish to study in Spain. Another popular student destination is the capital city, Madrid. The best ranked universities in Madrid are Universidad Autonoma de Madrid and University Complutense Madrid. Barcelona and Madrid are in the top 20 QS Best Student Cities ranking, however other Spanish cities also welcome international students and are proud of their international student body.

Spain offers a wide range of courses and programmes at all levels of higher education, from undergraduate to Master’s, PhD and even post-doc. Health-related programmes are a particularly popular choices for those who wish to study abroad in Spain, which is not surprising as Spain is among the EU countries with comparatively fewer restrictions on entry to the medical profession. However, there are many other fields and programmes that international students may be interested in, from sciences to humanities and arts.

Spanish universities work hard to maintain relationships and collaboration with other universities in Europe and around the world. For example, Spain is the most popular destination for students on the Erasmus exchange programme.

The majority of courses in Spain are taught in Spanish, but there are also many courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level that are taught in English, and the numbers of such courses are growing.

Most undergraduate programmes in Spain last for four years, except Medicine and the double degrees, which usually span six years. Universities use the ECTS credits scale as the measure for the modules, with students typically taking 60 ECTS each year. Therefore, a typical undergraduate programme has 240 ECTS. Find out what the ECTS is from Anna, our study abroad expert.

After passing every subject and getting the 240 ECTS credits, the student obtains an academic degree (Grado), architecture or engineering qualification. Postgraduate (graduate) degrees in Spain are Master’s degrees (Máster), and Doctoral degrees (Doctorado). Some universities also offer unofficial postgraduate degrees

Spain is a developed nation and one of the largest economies of the world. Education system of the country has played a very significant role in the present economic status of Spain. The current education system of the country is known as LOE after the Ley Orgánica de Educación, which means Fundamental Law of Education. In Spain, education is compulsory and the Government provides free education to all children from 6 to 16 years of age. Spain’s education system is quite flexible and organized, providing large number of opportunities for personal growth and academic achievement to students. In past two decades, the education system of Spain has witnessed several changes. The current higher education system of Spain offers wide range of study options to address diverse academic aims of students, and their varied interests, abilities and attitudes. In Spain, education system is divided into various categories such as infant education, primary education, compulsory secondary education, Spanish baccalaureate and university education. Read further to know more about the education system in Spain.

Education System in Spain

Infant Education

Pre-primary education begins as early as one year of age and continues up to the age of six years. It is divided into two cycles. The first cycle is up to the age of three years while the second cycle is up to the age of six.

Primary Education

Primary education in Spain consists of first six years of compulsory schooling and is divided into three cycles of two years. Primary education generally runs from the age of 6 till the age of 12.

Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO)

Compulsory Secondary Education, also known as ESO, covers the four years from the age of 12 to 16. It consists of two cycles of two years. After successfully completing this stage, students are given the Certificate of Secondary Education. Secondary education is free in all state schools and in some private schools which are public funded.

Spanish Baccalaureate (Bachillerato)

After completing ESO, students can apply for this stage of education. Bachillerato last for two years and usually covers the age of 16 to 18. It leads to Bachillerato Certificate. Successful completion of this stage can help student to apply for various courses at university level or move on to vocational training.

Vocational Training

Students can apply for vocational training after ESO or after the Spanish Baccalaureate. Vocational training provides two different types of programs: Middle Grade Training Cycles (CiclosFormativos de Grado Medio), which require the ESO diploma and Superior-level Training Cycles (CiclosFormativos de grado Superior), which need Spanish Baccalaureate. Students, who successfully complete Superior-level Training Cycle, can directly apply to several related University degrees.

Universities in Spain


In Spain, the first level of university education is known as Primer ciclo and these undergraduate courses last for 3 years. Institutions across the country provide short and long term courses in various disciplines. There are 2 year courses available which can give diploma degrees.


The graduate degree in Spain consists of two levels. The graduate degree is awarded only after the successful completion of both levels, along with the final project known as master thesis. The master degree is called as Segundo ciclo and covers minimum of 2 years.


In Spain both bachelor and master degree holders are eligible for doctorate degrees. The Doctorate degree also known Título de Doctor is awarded after at least three years further study in case of masters degree. If the candidate is a bachelor degree holder, he has to study for more than 5 years to get his PhD. Candidate are also required to submit and defend a thesis related to his research to complete the PhD program.

Study Abroad in Spain

Study Abroad

Spain is famous destination for international students, particularly for students from US and Latin American countries. There are students from 80 countries of the world, studying various courses at universities of Spain.

Summer Programs

There are various summer programs available in Spain, which are very popular among students from European countries and American countries. Universities offering summer programs also provide facilities of accommodation and leisure activities along with the studies.

Learning Languages

Spanish is one of the widely spoken languages of the world. For international students or those who are interested in internships in Spain, learning Spanish can be very helpful. There are a number of institutions in Spain that provide summers courses for Spanish.

Cost – Tuition/Living/Transportation and other costs

Tuition fees
Public universities from Germany do not charge tuition fees for Bachelor and Master programmes.(except if you plan to pursue a Master’s degree that focuses on a different subject than the one you studied as a Bachelor student).

Most of the German universities are public, so you will only have to pay an administration fee which usually costs around 100 – 200 EUR/year. This fee covers the Student Organisation services and your enrolment. Also, you will have to re-enrol every semester and pay this tax.

There are exceptions to this rule, however. If you don’t finish your degree course on time and you study in Bremen, Lower Saxony, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt or Turingia, you may have to pay tuition fees. Also, private universities from Germany are financed from tuition fees, so some international students will have to pay up to 20,000 EUR/year.

living costs
Germany is a pretty accessible country where you will need around 800 EUR/month, including accommodation, which also is the largest expense you will have.

Larger cities, such as Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt or Dusseldorf require total living costs of 800 – 950 EUR/month while smaller cities are cheaper. If you will study in Oldenburg, Siegen or Duisburg, you will need 500 – 650 EUR/month. The most expensive study destination is Tarnow (950 – 1,050 EUR/month) and the cheapest is Wolfsburg (350 – 450 EUR/month).


Housing is the highest monthly expense you will have and it represents 34% of the total budget. Cheaper options for international students are in residence halls or in shared private rental apartments. You can also rent a single apartment. Below you will find the average accommodation costs for a student in Germany:

  • Living alone: 363 EUR/month
  • Living with partner/child: 351/month
  • Living on-campus: 237 EUR/month

However, rooms in student residence halls are pretty difficult to secure, since only 11% of the international students find on-campus accommodation, according to a European study. Also, 55% of the students are satisfied with the accommodation in student halls.

Other costs associated with accommodation

During your stay in Germany, you will have to pay for utilities such as electricity, heating, garbage and water. These usually cost 218 EUR/month. Also, an internet pass (10 Mbps, unlimited data) is around 24 EUR/month.

Food costs

As a student in Germany, you will pay a bit below 100 EUR/month on food. The price varies on the circumstances – you can either share it with your colleagues or decide to cook and shop from grocery stores. Some of the cheapest supermarkets you will find around the country are Aldi, Lidl and Netto.

If you wish to have dinner in a restaurant once in a while you will pay 10 EUR for food in a cheap one. A three-course meal for two in an average restaurant costs 40 EUR and an additional light drink will be 3 EUR.

Transportation costs

According to a DAAD study, around 10% of the total monthly student budget is spent on transport. Students, visitors and locals mostly use bicycles, buses or rails, especially for travelling outside the city they live in. The public transport pass costs around 70 EUR/month.

Bicycles are not expensive in Germany. However, you will also find many stores that include used bicycles for sale.

Extra study materials

Throughout your university degree course, you will need additional materials such as books, research magazines and other products. You are advised to purchase them from bookstores that also sell old or used products.

Funding & student support

The German state strongly supports higher education. It finances the universities by covering the tuition fees and it also includes programmes of financial support for students.

  • The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a programme of financial aid that focuses on German and international students.
  • Awards of 300 EUR/month for talented students given by the government. Read more here!
  • Scholarships for researchers and targeted fellowships

List of Universities

  • TechnischeUniversitätM?nchen
  • Otto Beisheim School of Management
  • Universität Heidelberg
  • FreieUniversität Berlin
  • Georg-August-UniversitätGöttingen
  • Aachen University of Technology
  • BerufsakademieRavensburg
  • Christian-Albrechts-Universität
  • Dortmund University
  • Dresden Technical University
  • Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University Greifswald
  • Europa-UniversitätViadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
  • Fachhochschule Fulda
  • Fachhochschule Karlsruhe
  • Fachhochschule Reutlingen, HochschulefärTechnik und Wirtschaft
  • Frankfurt University
  • Friedrich Schiller Universität, Jena
  • GISMA Business School
  • Heinrich-Heine-UniversitätDässeldorf
  • Humboldt-University, Berlin
  • Institut f. SemantischeInformationsverarbeitung
  • Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz
  • Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Wärzburg
  • KatholischeUniversitätEichstätt
  • Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg
  • Medical University of Luebeck
  • Otto von Guericke Universität, Magdeburg
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • TechnischeHochschule Darmstadt
  • TechnischeUniversität Berlin
  • TechnischeUniversitätBraunschweig
  • TechnischeUniversität Chemnitz-Zwickau
  • TechnischeUniversitätClausthal
  • TechnischeUniversität Dresden
  • TechnischeUniversität Hamburg-Harburg
  • TechnischeUniversitätIlmenau
  • University of Oldenburg
  • Universität Augsburg
  • Universität Bamberg
  • Universität Bayreuth
  • Universität Bielefeld
  • Universität Bonn
  • Universität Bremen
  • Universität Duisburg
  • Universität Freiburg
  • UniversitätGesamthochschule Essen
  • UniversitätGesamthochschule Kassel
  • Universität Hamburg
  • Universität Hannover
  • Universität Hildesheim
  • Universität Köln
  • Universität Kaiserslautern
  • Universität Karlsruhe
  • Universität Konstanz
  • Universität Leipzig
  • Universität Mannheim
  • Universität Passau
  • Universität Potsdam
  • Universität Regensburg
  • Universität Rostock
  • Universität Stuttgart
  • UniversitätTübingen
  • Universität Trier
  • Universität der BundeswehrMünchen
  • Universität des Saarlandes
  • Universität, Hohenheim
  • Universität-GH Paderborn
  • Universitaet des Saarlandes
  • University of Giessen
  • University of Marburg
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-UniversitätMünchen
  • TechnischeUniversitätMünchen

Private Colleges and Universities in Cyprus for International Students

Private universities are founded as private law organizations of speculative or non-speculative character, registered with the Ministry of Education. These private universities raise their funds from tuition fees. Here is the list of private colleges and universities in Cyprus for international students :

  • Alexander College
  • American College
  • ARTE Music Academy
  • City Unity College Nicosia
  • College of Tourism and Hotel Management
  • D.A. College
  • Cyprus International University
  • Frederick University
  • Mesoyios College
  • MKC City College
  • The Philips College
  • A. College
  • Neapolis University
  • Near East University

As an international student you may need an entry visa for Germany depending on where you come from and how long you plan to stay here. For more information about visa requirements, contact the German embassy or German consulate in your home country. You can find the address on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office.

When applying for a visa, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  • Submit your application early enough! Visa processing can take several months and you won’t be able to enter the country without a valid visa.
  • Apply for the correct visa! Tourist and language course visas cannot be converted into a student visa. With the wrong visa, you will be forced to leave the country at some point and apply for the correct visa at home.
  • Schedule your trip to Germany so that you have sufficient time to enrol at your university and take care of the administrative obligations. Enrolment is a prerequisite for obtaining the “residence permit for purposes of study”.
  • Make sure your passport is valid for your entire stay! If your passport expires while you are in Germany, you will have to return to your home country and extend the validity of your passport there.

Visa Requirements For Your Country

To enter the country, you will most likely need a visa, which you can apply for before your trip at a German diplomatic mission in your home country. There are exceptions for specific countries, depending on the duration and purpose of your trip.

Visit the website of the German Federal Foreign Office for the latest visa requirements for all countries.

The German embassy or consulate in your home country will provide more information about all visa application matters. You can find the addresses of all German diplomatic missions on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office.

The Correct Visa
The type of visa you need depends on whether you have already received your notification of admission from a German university. (Do not enter the country as a tourist! A tourist visa cannot be converted to a student visa or student applicant visa!)

There are two types of visas:

  1. Student applicant visa („Visum zur Studienbewerbung“)
    If you have not yet received notification of admission to a university or foundation course, you should apply for a student applicant visa.
    This three-month visa allows you to meet the requirements for admission to a German university. If you find that three months is not long enough, you may extend your visa to a maximum of six months. If you are admitted to the university or foundation course within this period, you may apply for a student visa.
  2. Student visa („Visum zu Studienzwecken“)
    If you have received your notification of admission to university or a foundation course, you should apply for a student visa. Student visas are usually valid for three months. Within these three months, you will have to apply for an extended residence permit at the Alien Registration Office in your university town.

Required Documents For A Visa Application

You can obtain a complete list of documents required for a visa application from your German diplomatic mission in your home country. Normally, you are asked to present:

  • Certificate confirming health insurance coverage
  • Proof of financial resources
  • Certificates of past academic work and achievements
  • Certificate of German language proficiency or proof that you intend on attending a language course in Germany
  • For a student applicant visa: university entrance qualification recognised in Germany
  • For a student visa: notification of admission from your German university (or a statement from the university confirming that your prospects of gaining admission are good).

Residence Permit

You have to apply for a residence permit if you

  • Are not a citizen of an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, and
  • Intend to study longer than 90 days

You have to apply for a residence permit at the Alien Registration Office in your university town within your first three months in Germany.

Make sure to take the following documents with you when you apply:

  • Confirmation of registration from the Residents’ Registration Office
  • Confirmation of private or public health insurance coverage
  • Student ID from your German university (certificate of enrolment)
  • Proof of financial resources (if you didn’t present it earlier when you applied for a visa)
  • Valid passport and current visa, if you have one
  • Certificate of health (if applicable)
  • Your tenancy agreement (if applicable)
  • Biometric passport photos (if applicable)
  • Money for the residence permit fee (inquire at the International Office about the current rate)

You initially receive a two-year residence permit which can be extended if necessary. The approval of an extension depends on whether your studies have proceeded “properly” (i.e. you are keeping within thestandard period of study for your degree programme). You have to present a letter of confirmation to this effect from your university. And remember: You must apply for an extension before your residence permit expires!

Overseas Education

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