How to Study in Spain for International Students

Spain is a must-go destination to study abroad. While quality education is among the top reasons, international students will find themselves enjoying its rich history and culture, cuisine, and stunning outdoors. Besides these, the country is the best place to learn Spanish, one of the most spoken languages in the world, with over 530 million speakers.

When it comes to the choices that are available, Spain currently has 75 universities, from which 49 universities are a part of the public sector and 26 universities are private institutions.

Suppose you’re not just looking for any school but a well-performing school. In that case, the top universities in Spain you should definitely check out are IE University, University of Barcelona, and Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Being able to study in Spain as an international student starts with planning ahead of time, as the process of researching your institution, filling out forms, and completing your paperwork can take a vast amount of time. In this article, you will find out the application process to study in Spain, along with information on tuition, language requirements, and visa applications. So, let’s dig in!

1. Cost of Studying in Spain

When choosing a university, you also need to consider the tuition fees and your budget. Before applying to a university in Spain, it’s best to have a general knowledge of the tuition fees there. The annual tuition fees for international undergraduate students range from 591 Euros to 25,000 Euros, while for master’s degree studies, the yearly tuition fees are between 205 Euros and 26,100 Euros.

Cost of Studying in Public Universities in Spain

To give you an idea of how much it costs to study in Spain, here are the tuition fees in these public and private universities:

Institution Bachelor’s International Tuition Fee Master’s International Tuition Fee
Rovira i Virgili University 1,061 Euros - 1,108 Euros 1,108 Euros - 2,767 Euros
Menéndez Pelayo International University 1,581 Euros - 3,300 Euros
University of Girona 1,061 Euros - 1,108 Euros 2,470 Euros - 3,952 Euros
University of Lleida 1,061 Euros - 1,107 Euros 553 Euros - 830 Euros
University of the Basque Country 724 Euros - 1,980 Euros
University of Huelva 757 Euros 205 Euros - 410 Euros
University of the Balearic Islands 671 Euros - 1,205 Euros 610 Euros - 1,801 Euros
King Juan Carlos University 1,015 Euros - 1,241 Euros 1,015 Euros - 1,241 Euros
University of A Coruña 736 Euros - 1,044 Euros 736 Euros - 1,044 Euros
University of Santiago de Compostela 591 Euros - 836 Euros 591 Euros - 836 Euros
University of Valencia 710 Euros - 1,040 Euros 658 Euros - 1,342 Euros
Complutense University of Madrid 3,026 Euros
University Charles III of Madrid 6,822 Euros - 8,186 Euros
Polytechnic University of Catalonia 2,253 Euros - 6,360 Euros 2,593 Euros - 4,150 Euros
Technical University of Valencia 935 Euros - 1,156 Euros 578 Euros - 1,178 Euros
Autonomous University of Barcelona 1,061 Euros - 1,107 Euros 1,980 Euros - 4,980 Euros
Technical University of Madrid 2,522 Euros - 4,544 Euros
University of Granada 758 Euros 821 Euros
Pompeu Fabra University 6,800 Euros - 8,779 Euros 5,750 Euros - 6,740 Euros

Cost of Studying in Private Universities in Spain

Institution Bachelor’s International Tuition Fee Master’s International Tuition Fee
University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia 5,046 Euros - 5,616 Euros 1,440 Euros - 5,352 Euros
University of Deusto 5,544 Euros - 9,446 Euros 9,000 Euros - 18,000 Euros
Nebrija University 4,850 Euros - 11,200 Euros
IE University 25,000 Euros
Loyola University 6,000 Euros - 7,200 Euros
UCAM Catholic University San Antonio de Murcia 4,800 Euros - 14,700 Euros 5,150 Euros - 18,000 Euros
CEU San Pablo University 4,800 Euros - 16,800 Euros
University of Navarra 10,100 Euros - 13,400 Euros 9,600 Euros - 26,100 Euros
CEU Cardinal Herrera University 4,620 Euros - 7,995 Euros 2,000 Euros
International University of Catalonia 4,500 Euros - 10,400 Euros 7,200 Euros - 10,400 Euros

If you’re looking for the most affordable universities in Spain, check out the Cheap Universities in Spain!

Besides tuition fees, you also need to consider other expenses like books, accommodation, and living expenses.

2. Requirements to Study in Spain for International Students

Once you have an idea of how much tuition fees are to study in Spain, it’s time to consider preparing the paperwork to apply to those universities. Academic institutions have varying admission requirements, but the ones you should always prepare in advance are your academic records, such as a transcript of records or diploma from a previous academic level, and travel documents, such as your passport and visa.

Some institutions that offer master’s programs might also ask for a statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae or résumé, and letters of recommendation. There are also degree programs where you need to take an admissions test before you can apply. Besides these, universities might also require you to submit proof of language proficiency.

In Spain, English and Spanish are the languages of instruction. If you’re looking to study in any of the academic institutions here, you might need to prove language proficiency by taking standardized tests, such as TOEFL, IELTS, and Duolingo for English. Depending on the institution and the language of instruction for your program, you might also have to prove your language proficiency by submitting for Spanish.

To give you an idea, here are some universities in Spain and their required minimum scores for each program level.

Autonomous University of Barcelona

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

CEU San Pablo University

Master’s degree

Complutense University of Madrid

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Typically, you can find information about language requirements on the admissions requirements page of the university. You can also check out if the university has a dedicated language requirements page for international students.

Application Procedure to Study in Spain

The specific admission process may vary depending on the university. The good news is that most institutions in Spain have online applications available on their websites, like IE University and University of Barcelona. To help you with this, we also compiled the official websites and admission pages of some of the top institutions in Spain.

IE University

University of Barcelona

Autonomous University of Barcelona

Make sure to gather all the information you need for the admission process. As you apply to these institutions, expect that they may ask for additional requirements depending on your nationality, degree, or program. So, it’s best to keep your lines active.

After completing your academic and language requirements, it’s time to apply!

The admission process in Spain differs from one university to another, so it’s best to contact your chosen school beforehand. Please note that the admission process for international students may take some time, so be sure to know the application dates and apply early.

The application process may take weeks or months, depending on your timing, nationality, degree, and other factors. To make the most of your application, make sure to completely follow the admission steps and submit the necessary requirements to ensure that you’ll be accepted to your chosen university in Spain.

The key to being admitted to your chosen school will depend on your punctuality and the quality of your application. So make sure to complete the requirements beforehand and follow the steps in applying. After this, you’ll wait for a week or a month for the results.

4. Visa Application for International Students in Spain

Now that you’re accepted into your chosen institution, it’s time to apply for a student visa in Spain. A student visa is an essential document for studying abroad. It’s an important government document that you need to present before going to Spain as an international student.

In this section, let’s briefly discuss the requirements needed and how you can apply for a student visa in Spain. If you’re going to stay here for your studies, you will need to obtain a Long-Term Student Visa.

To start your student visa application in Spain, you will need to present the following:

  1. Completed and signed visa application form
  2. Passport-sized photos
  3. Valid and unexpired passport
  4. Proof of acceptance to an accredited school or university
  5. Proof of financial capability
  6. Health insurance
  7. Criminal record check and medical certificates
  8. Proof of residence

Kindly take note that these requirements may vary depending on your nationality. So, please expect that may ask for additional requirements. Moreover, you will be required to pay a student visa application fee. The visa application fee in Spain is 60 EUR.

After preparing your requirements and application fees, it’s time to apply for a student visa! The first steps in getting your student visa are:

  1. Submit visa application and requirements at a nearby embassy or consular within 90 days before the planned travel date.
  2. If requested, submit supporting documents and appear at the consulate or embassy for an interview.
  3. Wait for a decision.
  4. Once approved, wait for the consulate or embassy instructions on how to collect your visa, passport, and other original documentation.

For more information regarding the specific steps in applying for a student visa, visit or contact the nearest embassy or consulate in your home country. They are the ones responsible for processing your student visa application.

That’s it! After getting your student visa, you can now officially study in Spain. Make sure to book a flight early, before your classes start, so that you’ll have ample time to explore and familiarize yourself in your new place!