Spain is one of the most visited European countries and a preferred study destination for many international students who wish to discover its interesting culture and lifestyle. The Kingdom of Spain has a rich history and provides enchanting experiences whether in large cities, the countryside or on the beach.
Universities in Spain are the kind of places where you can enjoy both a good holiday and a great Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programme. But is there more to know about Spain? Well, studying in Spain allows you to enrol at some of the best universities worldwide, including famous Spanish business schools. Student life is also very entertaining.
If you want to study in Spain, it’s important to know how much money you’d need as an international student. Keep on reading as we describe what kind of tuition you should expect and what are the living costs in this beautiful country.
University tuition fees in Spain
Tuition fees in Spain vary based on different factors, such as the type of higher education institution (private or public), the degree type, the number of credits, the region where you study, and your nationality.
Based on our research, we’ve noticed that non-EU/EEA students can encounter the following situations when they enrol in Spanish public universities:
- They are charged the same tuition as EU/EEA citizens
- They are charged tuition that is around 1,000 – 1,500 EUR higher than the tuition for EU/EEA citizens
- They are charged tuition that is two or three times higher
These situations are not rules, and they vary from one study programme/university to another. Before choosing a degree, always check the type of tuition that applies to students from your country.
Tuition fees in public universities
Public universities in Spain offer two types of degrees: official degrees and university-specific degrees. For official degrees, each Autonomous Community establishes limits for tuition. They usually range between:
- 150 – 3,500 EUR/year for Bachelor’s programmes
- 300 – 3,500 EUR/year for Master’s programmes
For university-specific degrees, each institution is free to set any tuition fee, because there are no limits imposed by the authorities.
Tuition fees in private universities
Private universities have higher tuition fees, but usually not exceeding 20,000 EUR/academic year. Some programmes offered by business schools can cost over 25,000 EUR/year. You’ll also find MBAs and International Management degrees that charge tuition fees of 30,000 EUR/year or more.
Most affordable universities in Spain
These are some of the Spanish universities with the most affordable tuition fees:
- University of Granada – the average tuition is 821 EUR/year
- University of Valencia – the average tuition is 2,600 EUR/year
- University of Santiago de Compostela – the average tuition is 1,600 EUR/year
- Universitat Rovira i Virgili – the average tuition is 2,900 EUR/year
Tuition fees at top-ranked universities
Here is a list of average tuition fees at the top-ranked Spanish universities:
- Autonomous University of Madrid – average tuition is between 2,000 and 3,000 EUR/year
- University of Barcelona – average tuition is 2,900 EUR/year
- Pompeu Fabra University – tuition ranges between 3,000 and 4,000 EUR/year
- Autonomous University of Barcelona – average tuition fees are 3,500 EUR/year
List of University in Spain
Prepare to apply
You should remember that each programme’s website should be your go-to mentor. Each Spanish Master’s application is customised by its university, so you should get the specifics directly from the source.
You will be charged an application fee with the submission, so be prepared and put money away especially for this first process. Also, although you could consider this advice redundant, you should apply to something you are sure you want to attend.
Try and think through and recognize what your needs and wants are, because it won’t be profitable to apply to a hundred universities and spend the Master’s money you saved that way.
After this soul-searching, the actual application to a degree in Spain will feel like a breeze.
Where to apply for a Spanish Master’s degree?
Although there are websites that can help you with your application for a University in Spain, the best route you can take is to check your choice programme’s website and follow the instructions there.
Language requirements for a Spanish university application
I’m going to blow your mind with this information, but Spain is a Spanish-speaking country. Shocking, I know.
Although there are many programmes taught in English, the majority of them are in Spanish and will require a Spanish language proficiency test and the submission of all your documents in Spanish, as well.
For the programmes in English, universities recommend you provide a certificate of proficiency. The most popular and requested tests are:
Required application documents
General application documents
Usually, all the lists of necessary documents for applying in Spain differ from programme to programme. A short list of common certificates you have to upload to your application is:
- Proof of earning your Bachelor’s degree
- A copy of your passport
- A copy of your transcripts
These documents are obligatory even if you are returning to a university you already studied at or if you studied abroad for your Bachelor’s degree.
It is very important to submit all these forms in Spanish, so, if they are in another language, search for a translator as soon as possible. If you provide the documents in any other language, the process will be delayed, and, by default, so will your acceptance.
Specific application documents
If you want the most of your experience, you should have these documents when you’re leaving for the Spanish Master’s degree:
- Your birth certificate
- Your Social Security Card
- Information regarding healthcare and insurances in Spain
- Information regarding the banks and credit institutions in Spain
- Contacts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and your country’s embassy
- A planned-out budget for your stay
University application deadlines for Spain
Master’s programmes in Spain don’t share a calendar, so it all comes down to your researching skills and the personal website of each institution.
As a rough guide, you should know that universities offer both autumn and summer semesters, the latter one being the main one.
A list of broad dates is:
- July: deadline for the main courses
- Middle of September or early October: first semester starts
- December or early January: first semester finishes
- January: final exam of the first semester takes place
- End of January of the first of February: second semester starts
- May: second semester ends
- June: final exam of the second semester
Final steps after receiving your acceptance letter
Start preparing for your Visa and Residence Card, like, yesterday.
It is very important to complete your Spanish Visa application, seeing how you will need one of each if you’re planning to stay in Spain for more than six months. If your staying period is for three months, you can acquire a Visa only.
The list of documents necessary for your Spanish Visa is quite comprehensive, so start preparing them early. They consist of:
- The proof you were accepted at a university in Spain
- Your passport (and be sure it is updated)
- Completed application
- Photo ID
- Birth certificate
Costs of living in Spain for international students
Generally, Spain is a relatively affordable country where international students should not feel financially pressured.
- You’ll need between 900 – 1,100 EUR to live in Spain. Costs are higher if you choose Madrid or Barcelona, which are the most expensive Spanish cities.
- In cities like Valencia, Seville or Cadiz, you can enjoy cheaper costs of living, around 700 – 900 EUR/month on average.
Cost of Living in Spain
Student accommodation costs
The main housing options for students in Spain are:
- Student residence halls – prices range from 360 to 650 EUR/month.
- Rent an apartment – Many students prefer this option. Prices start at around 200 EUR and go over 1,000 EUR/month. You can find websites like Uniplaces or Resa, which help you compare different living places. One way to reduce your expenses is to share an apartment with other students.
- Living with a Spanish family – Prices can vary based on region, living conditions, and so on. You can find online services that help you get in touch with Spanish families.
Other costs associated with student accommodation
Renting a private apartment or studio does not necessarily mean that its monthly cost includes all the expenses. You have to add:
- Basic utilities (electricity, water, heating, garbage): 115 EUR/month
- Internet: 30 EUR/month
Students in Spain will find plenty of choices from the local cuisine, such as “paella”, “escabeche” or “merienda”. For your monthly groceries, you would normally spend between 200 and 400 EUR. It depends a lot on your habits: if you cook or not, how often you eat out, and so on. Some of the cheapest supermarkets in Spain are Dia, Bally, Dani and Mercadona.
A meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs around 10 EUR, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant is 35 EUR.
A regular trip by public transport usually costs 1.5 EUR, and a monthly transport pass is 42 EUR and a little over 54 EUR in large cities.
You can travel around Spain and see its lovely cities with AVE (speed train): the average price for a trip is 75 EUR. With the youth travel card, you can get major discounts.
If you prefer private transport over walking, you can also rent a car from local companies.
- Books, supplies and other learning materials: 900 EUR/year
- Special classes with different fees: from 30 EUR to around 200 EUR
- Health insurance: between 70 and 180 EUR/year
3. Funding & student support
If you need financial support to build your future career through education, you have several options in Spain:
- Erasmus Mundus Scholarships for international students. The EU provides funds to international students enrolled in Erasmus Mundus Joint Master programmes, either for Master’s or doctoral degrees. The fund is equally provided to students coming from both EU and non-EU countries.
- African Leadership in Business. These MBA scholarships are offered to African citizens who are interested in studying a Master of Business Administration abroad and are committed to returning to Africa after their studies.
- You can explore other scholarships and financial-support programmes on the Gooverseas official website.