How to study in Spain as a foreigner?

The University Student Statistics report, published by the Ministry of Universities last year, reveals that in 2022 there were more than 153,000 non-Spanish students enrolled in different universities. This figure confirms that our country is a great educational destination and that the administrations are working hard to promote the internationalization of Spanish universities. For all these reasons, today we explain how to study in Spain as a foreigner.

Of these more than 153,000 students, 71% come from outside the European Union, 109,104 enrolled. The remaining 48 341 are EU citizens. By region, 24.5 % of students come from Latin America and the Caribbean, 11.1 % from Asia and Oceania and 9.5 % from North Africa. The Ministry of Universities report also focuses on foreign students studying postgraduate studies in Spain.

Requirements to study in Spain as a foreigner

If we are talking exclusively about university studies, the requirements for entry into Spain are very varied and are influenced by the purpose and duration of the stay.

Passport and documentation

In any case, in all situations it is essential to be in possession of a valid passport and to comply with the travel documents.

In this sense, studying in Spain for foreigners requires a valid visa, an employment contract if entering the country for work purposes, a letter of admission to an educational centre and compliance with the required conditions of stay.

Central Register of Foreigners and entry test

In turn, after finishing compulsory education, it is essential to be registered in the Central Register of Foreigners and to undergo the same tests as Spanish students. Thus, another of the requirements for studying in Spain as a foreigner is to pass the PCE (specific competency tests), which is like a selectividad for foreigners.

This test serves to increase the grades before entering a university degree. However, there are countries that have a reciprocity agreement with Spain, and they are the following: Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, People’s Republic of China and Switzerland. In these countries, access to universities involves the same conditions as for Spanish students.

Other aspects to take into account when coming to study in Spain

The general bureaucratic requirements to study in Spain as a foreigner are the aforementioned. In short, you must be in possession of a valid passport in your country of origin, have previous studies that can be validated with the Spanish baccalaureate and have your foreign qualification recognised.

From there, students and families have to bear in mind other issues, which are not compulsory, but very relevant, such as the prestige of the centre and the possibilities for growth in both education and employment.

Studying at SLAM, a passport to success

At SLAM, we offer academic programmes based entirely on each student and closely related to high performance sport. In our facilities students can practice golf, football, horse riding or sailing, among other disciplines.

The school is designed to develop the leaders of the future and we pay special attention to elite education. We promote an ideal environment for both Spanish and foreign students who want to be introduced to a multicultural environment. And they will always be surrounded by other students pursuing the same goals.

In addition, at SLAM we have educational programmes ranging from compulsory education to university studies, therefore, we cover the entire educational stage of the students.

Health and finance

Another consideration that answers the question of how to study in Spain if you are a foreigner is the question of health and finances. Our country offers full health care for everyone, but it is worth taking out private health insurance, or checking both in your country of origin and in Spain to see what cover is included in case of any problems.

As for finances, this depends on the needs of each student. Try to organise the budget for your stay and how much you are going to spend on studies, accommodation, transport, leisure activities, sports and cultural activities, and all the necessary expenses.

Getting to know the customs of the country

Spain has cities with a strong university character, with spaces that make it easy for foreign students to adapt. However, to feel more confident, it is advisable to get to know some of the Spanish culture and customs, which can be very shocking compared to other countries.

For example, meal times are very late. On the other hand, research details about public transport beforehand, so that you know how to get around not only your destination city, but also the rest of the country.

Now you know how to study abroad in Spain. Beyond what you learn in the field more related to your studies, the most important thing is to live the experience and know how to take advantage of the cultural exchange to grow professionally, as we promote at SLAM.