Want to make the most of your youth? You want an international experience? Want to visit Europe?
Are you tempted by the idea of a university exchange program and traveling to progress in Spanish?
Do you like the sunny countries of southern Europe, where it is sweet to live and learn?
In this case, why not head to one of the top 5 student Spanish cities?
With this small guide, no doubt that you will very much want to try the experience of a study abroad program, the opportunity to become bilingual in Spanish – or at least, work on those language skills and live in total immersion!
1 student out of 5 using the European exchange program Erasmus to go to Spain selected Madrid as destination. If you wish to study in Madrid or in the surrounding area, you can choose between 19 universities, private or public.
Among the public institutions, you have the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid which trains future engineers, the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, that is well known for sociology or journalism classes, or the Universidad Complutense of Madrid located in Madrid itself which counts the most students and teaches in many branches.
On the private side, you can choose between 12 faculties, including the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca (University of Madrid), Universidad Antonio de Nebrija (letters, communication, social sciences, architecture), Universidad Francisco de Vitoria with the restaurant “the blue cordon”, languages, international business school).
To find out more about expatriation in Madrid, visit easyexpat.com.
Rey Juan Carlos University (URJC)
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a bilingual city par excellence where Catalan and Castilian echo. It is located in Northern Spain, in the Basque country, on the seafront which will make many students dream of lounging in the sun after Spanish lessons. It’s a jewel of architecture thanks to the astonishing works of the architect Gaudi.
Once you’re there, you can chose where to study spanish from numerous and accessible places, from age 16 and over. For example, EF Centro Internacional de Idiomas Barcelona, located just two stops from the famous Sagrada Familia, helps you to become bilingual for a period of 6 to 11 months. As for universities and schools, the city has more than a dozen (non-exhaustive list):
With all that, hard not to find available spots to study in Barcelona! Don’t stay there waiting, discover the differences between Spanish and Catalan. By the way, which is better, going to Barcelona or Madrid?
Nice view of the park Güell!
Valencia has 8000 inhabitants and 2000 years of history. It is a city privileged by students who seek to study in Spain.
The University of Valencia dates back to the 15th century and is divided into 3 campuses. It is a pioneer in the research of rare diseases and has an impressive geological museum that celebrated its 20th anniversary. The University of Valencia has about 8% foreign students. It has already welcomed more than 2,000 foreign students through exchange programs.
Otherwise, you have CEU Cardenal Herrera University, which offers a curriculum in veterinary medicine, general medicine, physiotherapy, dental surgery, or architecture. 800 foreign students have already chosen the first private Catholic university in the Valencian Community.
Languages are a big part of all programs, and you have to choose between English, Chinese, Spanish and German. This establishment can be summed up in a word: excellence.
Bonus: the city of Valencia is known for its City of Arts and Sciences which has a futuristic architecture. Don’t miss out on it! Especially since it counts no less than 320 days of sunshine per year and that it takes only 1h30 of train to reach Madrid.
Other important arguments, Valencia has 1700 restaurants, 300 historical monuments, 40 museums and 7 km of beach. So, are you seduced?
City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia!
Outside of Spain, what are the places to go to study Spanish?
Seville is the destination in Andalusia for those who love heat and warm weather. While studying in Seville, you will be able to discover many of the city’s treasures, inherited from the Arab period (like the cathedral of Seville or the Torre del Oro, to name just those two).
The University of Seville, also known as The Hispalense, is the most important student community in Andalusia and the second after that of Madrid on a national scale.
From Seville, you can make a short detour by Marabella, Malaga or even drive to the end of Europe in Gibraltar till the Meditterranean sea.
As for events, try not to miss Holy Week which is one of the most important religious festivals in Spain, if not the first in the world. Between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, the city breathes the rhythm of the processions of the 60 brotherhoods and festivities. A kind of Rio Carnival in Seville!
Fortified Palace of Seville!
Salamanca has the chance to welcome the oldest university in Spain, created in 1218, and the 4th in Europe, a hell of a reputation. In the golden city, you will never stop being amazed by the architecture and charm of the streets and monuments.
The Colegio de España is a university specially designed for foreigners who want to learn Castilian and Spanish culture in general (Spanish and Latin American literature, architecture, art history, etc.).
Students say that the pace of life is very relaxing and the atmosphere is friendly. Feel at home in no time!
Life can be very simply rhythm of the few hours of Spanish classes and moments with friends, not to mention the evenings in one of the very many discotheques you can find in this young city. Studying in Salamanca also means giving yourself the means to broaden your horizons as students come from the four corners of the globe. A place also recommended for holidays and learn Spanish under the sun!
The city is full of treasures with a historical center classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, its house with shells (the casa de las conchas), the Plaza Mayor, or the Convent of the Dueñas.
It is a very good starting point to visit points of interest not to be missed, such as Ledesma, Ciudad de Rodrigo, Avila or La Pucelle (Valladolid) with its convents, palaces and the house of Cervantes.
Head to Andalusia! It is the animated cultural and festive life you could wish for. The Spanish university in Granada is the one that receives the most foreign students from the Erasmus program.
Founded by Charles V in the 16th century, it remains in the top 10 best universities on the Iberian Peninsula.
Most of the University of Granada: its historical heritage as the Madrasa of Granada. Each year, there are 2,000 foreign students enrolling there, making it the first destination for European students!
Good to know: The Center for Modern Languages in Granada organizes Spanish courses for foreigners, including DELE (Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language). The University of Granada is well known for its training in Traduccion e interpretacion.
For a cooler stay to sunbathe and discover, we advise you however to revise your Spanish before the holidays.
First, take a look at the Spanish phrases to know at all costs.
To study in Spain, you must apply for an equivalence of diplomas with the Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (UNED) to apply for the Credencial. You’re university will have dealt with this in your abroad program. But if you wish to do your entire degree in Spain you’ll need to learn more about it.
Good to know: you will be asked for an academic certificate, it is up to you to create a document that includes all of your high school grades (translating the professors’ assessments). That’s only fair!
Then, you will be able to make a selection of the Spanish universities that interest you, examining for each course the Nota de Corte (a minimum mark set by the university to welcome new students).
Remember to pre-register between the end of May and the beginning of June to guarantee a place, provided that you’re accepted. Find here the list of all Spanish universities. Chose wisely and accordingly to your subject preferences (humanities, language and culture,…). You can also find out if it’s possible to get financial aid.
Now you know which are the 5 best student cities in Spain (plus Granada) to take some Spanish lessons. All you have to do is make your choice and submit your application to a Spanish faculty to hope to study in the sun in one of these cities of art, history, and festivities! And then why not finish up with an intership?