Choose to study in Spain, and one thing is for sure: your friends will be very jealous!
Stretching to the Pyrenees in the east, the Mediterranean in the south, the Bay of Biscay in the north, and Portugal in the west, Spain is one of the biggest countries in Europe.
Spain is also the fourth most popular tourist destination in the world, welcoming an annual volume of tourists which considerably exceeds its population. It’s also among the most popular destinations for international students, due to its winning combination of good universities, attractive lifestyle, and the fact that Spanish is one of the world’s most spoken languages.
Universities in Spain
Spain is a country of contrasts, where the affluence and cosmopolitan bustle of Western Europe is mixed with a distinctly southern extravagance and charm; where an expressive and flamboyant culture segues into afternoon naps and long languid evenings in bars and cafés; where distinct regional identities often take precedence over a unified national one.
Of course, lifestyle alone isn’t enough to draw in the punters – you need to have good universities too! And Spain has plenty, including 18 universities in Spain
featured in the 2012/13 QS World University Rankings
, of which 14 are within the top 500.
Applying to universities in Spain
There is no centralized application system for Spanish universities, and each institution will set its own entry requirements and deadlines – be careful to check with the university itself. You may need to sit an entrance examination, though EU students and others who have done International Baccalaureates will often be excused this part of the procedure.
Teaching, as you might expect, will almost certainly be in Spanish, so it’s important that you have a grasp of the language; in many cases you’ll struggle to even apply without this
Facts about Spain
- Spain is a kingdom. Current monarch is King Juan Carlos I
- Unicameral legislature, led by prime minister (currently Mariano Rajoy)
- Official language: Castilian, usually simply referred to as Spanish, which is the second most common first language in the world. Commonly spoken regional languages include Basque, Catalan and Galician.
- Composed of 17 regions: Andalusia, Andorra, Aragón, Asturias, the Basque Country, Cantabria, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, Gibraltar, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarre, New Castile, Old Castile and León, and Valencia.
- Population: 46,162,024 (National Statistics Institute figure)
- Capital city: Madrid
- Area: 195,364 square miles
- As well as the mainland, Spain is in possession of the Balearic and Canary Islands, and two autonomous cities in North Africa
- Religion: largely Roman Catholic
- Currency: Euro (€)
- Central European Time (UTC+1), changing to Daylight Saving Time in the summer (UTC+2)
- International dialing code: 34