Basic Information about Spain
Spain is situated on the Iberian Peninsula in South-West Europe. Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa that border Morocco (Ceuta and Melilla). Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and is one of the main tourist destinations worldwide. It has a population of 45 million people.
The landscape is extraordinarily varied, ranging from desert-like areas to lush, green pastures where mountains, valleys, rivers and beaches produce a wide variety of microclimates, which also contribute to its extraordinary beauty. Spain experiences all four seasons and has a generally temperate climate. Its location makes it one of the warmest countries in Europe and winter temperatures are generally mild.
Spain’s unique culture is the product of a heritage enriched by the many external influences which it has been subjected to over the course of its long history. The geographic location of the Iberian Peninsula makes it a natural bridge between the cultures of the north and south of Europe, America, Africa and the East. History has made it a meeting point for many different cultures, creating a rich and diverse cultural legacy in which an intense past is evident.
Spanish is the mother tongue of over 400 million people around the world and is the official language of 20 countries. Sharing a common language has, without doubt, made Spain a particularly attractive destination for Latin American and Hispanic and Spanish-speaking students from the United States. Spain is also one of the most popular destinations for learning Spanish as a foreign language, particularly in the case of English speakers from the United States and Asia who want to learn Spanish, and students from other European Union countries. Indeed, Spain is the first destination in Europe for ERASMUS students (main students exchange European programme).
The Higher Education System
Spain’s education system offers a wide range of college and university studies at all levels, as well as internationally renowned business studies at prestigious schools, and the best opportunities for the studying of Spanish as a foreign language, with a great variety of courses to choose from.
Higher education is mainly provided by both public and private universities. Spain is part of the Bologna Process, a Europe-wide co-operation to harmonize higher education in Europe. The new structure creates three levels of higher education.
First level: Undergraduate studies (Graduado) – 4 years, 240 ECTS
Second level: Master’s studies – 1 or 2 years, 60 to 120 ECTS
Third level: PhD programs or Doctorate – 3 to 5 years
The academic calendar in Spanish universities begins in October and ends in June. Examinations are held at the end of the first semester, in February, and at the end of the second semester, in June. However, there are some variations between universities.
Spain offers a great variety of scholarship programmes to foreign students and specialists. Among the most important ones are the scholarship programmes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación) through the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional) – Programas de Becas MAEC-AECID. Other ministries and administrative and territorial entities (Autonomous Communities, local organisms, etc.) or private companies also offer programmes.
Information about Public Scholarships and other fundings, please contact us
Scholarships of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) – Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECI):
Financial Assistance Opportunities, Scholarships and Donations of the Ministry of Culture:
Ministry of Education and Science Scholarships:
What is the Spanish University System like?
Undergraduate studies, leading to Grade degrees : These studies require a total of 240 credits consisting normally of three to four academic year programs.
Graduate studies, leading to University Master degree : These studies require 60 to 120 credits, to earn a University Master degree, consisting normally of one to two academic year programs, and the public defense of a thesis is required also.
Postgraduate studies, leading to a Doctoral degree : Earning a Doctoral degree requires the previous possession of a University Master degree.
What are the documents required for admission ?
- For an undergraduate program, a student should have successfully completed upper secondary studies with a valid school leaving certificate.
- For a Masters’ program, the student should have a relevant Bachelor’s or equivalent degree diploma.
- For a PhD program, the candidate must be in possession of a relevant diploma or Master’s degree program.
- For all the above courses, an English proficiency test needs to be taken
- A statement of purpose
- Another requirement in your admission procedure would be the letter of recommendation.
What are the documents required for student visa processing ?
- Valid passport.
- Letter of Acceptance
- The contents of the study, training or research syllabus that the applicant intends to pursue.
- A medical insurance policy covering medical expenses for the entire period of stay in Spain.
- A medical certificate specifying that the applicant does not suffer an illness requiring quarantine in accordance with international health regulations.
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover living expenses.
- A criminal record certificate issued by the authorities of the country of origin or the country in which the applicant has lived during the past five years.