- Which is the best university for....?
It's not that we want to show off, but Spain has a long tradition on Education and some of its Universities are among the oldest in Europe (click here or here to learn more), meaning that we have tough times choosing only one. You can check this website, which has the complete list of Spanish Universities and where you can filter your search based on location and field of studies. From there you can see which your options are and which one is more appealing for you.
- Can I get a scholarships?
There are some scholarships and grants you can apply to, like those offered by the EU (Erasmus +) that are open to graduates and post-graduate students of all backgrounds.
Many universities and business schools also have their own scholarships or tuition reduction policies. Remember to check if you can apply for any of them.
If you are applying from Indonesia, the LPDP scholarchips are a very good option, cause they cover not only the tuition fees but also the full board during your stay abroad. Check the full list of universities that are recognized by this program here.
- How do I get my visa?
If you are planning to stay longer, a semester or a full year, then you need to apply for a student visa. In order to do so you must present some documents, among them are, a valid passport for the complete duration of your studies, the acceptance letter from your host university, an insurance (make sure that the insurance company is allowed to operate in Spain) and a police record. You can visit the Spanish Embassy in Jakarta for the whole information, they are at Jl. Haji Agus Salim, 61 Yakarta Pusat - 10350 (Tel.: +62-21 314 23 55).
- Is it easy to find accommodation?
- Students residences and colegios mayores:
These are highly recommended as they tend to be located near the campus (so you can save money on transport) and because in addition to accommodation, they also tend to offer dining and laundry facilities, among other amenities. There are different types available (women's, men's or mixed), and some are private while others depend directly on the universities. The main difference between student residences and colegios mayores is that the last one also provides the opportunity to develop your cultural and sporting abilities. You can use this website to choose the one more suitable for you.
- Staying with a family:
There are an increasing number of families who are interested in receiving foreign students as lodgers. All things considered, this can be an excellent way of experiencing the Spanish way of life and saving money.
Ask about this option at your university or in your language school.
- Renting a flat:
You can rent a whole flat or a room in a flat shared with other tenants. This last option is very popular with Spanish students and quite affordable.
You'll find specialised agencies on the Internet, and you're also bound to come across advertisements that may be of interest on notice boards around the campus. Pay particular attention to details such as whether the flat is near an underground or bus station.
- Living with elderly people:
Several Spanish cities have intergenerational programmes in which young students are given lodgings in elderly people's homes. In exchange for free accommodation, all you have to do is offer your company and enjoy sharing the person's experience.This option can show you a different face of Spain, and be a wonderful experience, but we recomend you to have some knowledge of Spanish language
Check with the voluntary work or community service offices in your university.
Anyway, the office of International Relations from your host university can help you and advise you on this.
- What about the cost of living in Spain?
- Rented room in a shared flat in Barcelona city center: 300 - 350 € (approx. You can check this website yourself and fine better deals in other areas of the city)
- Transport: 45 € (yearly subscription, if needed)
- Food: 160 - 200 €
- Leisure/entertaiment: 100 €
You get a total cost of approximately: 645 €/month, not bad considering you are studying in one of the most popular destinations around the world, right?
- Language concerns
If you have chosen one of the universities that offered English Programs, for sure you won't need to learn Spanish for your studies. Nevertheless we encourage you to learn some basic Spanish, you will find it more than useful for your daily life and sure you will enjoy it (check out our post "Some things you've never realized about the importance of learning Spanish"). All the Spanish Universities offer language courses to their foreigner students, and there are many private academies that sure can help you if you need to put some extra effort. We can recommend you some depending on where you are going.
- I know Spain has more than one official language, what about that? do I need to speak Catalan, Galician or Basque?
True, Spain has more than one official language, four to be more specific. However, Spanish is official in the whole territory and all the locals speak Spanish. Furthermore, and as example, a city like Barcelona (where Spanish and Catalan are official languages) receives every year more than 12.000 foreigner students, meaning that sometimes even only speak English it's fine.
- Can I study and work?
- Religious concerns
If you are coming from a Muslim country and are a muslim practitioner you might be worried about finding worship places in Spain. Well, be worried no more. Spain not only has a shared historic link with the islamic religion but it's also very close to North Africa, where Islam is the most practiced religion. In the last two decades many workers from these countries have chosen Spain to live and have brought with them their traditions and customs. Meaning that it will be easier for you to find mosques or praying groups.
As it's said above, the Muslim community has grown a lot in the last years so every day is easier and easier find Halal butchers and groceries stores, especially in the biggest cities.
- Is there any discount for International students? (information provided by the official website of Study in Spain, very useful website, you should check it out)
1. Get the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). It is valid in over 120 countries and you will be able to get discounts on travel, restaurants, museums, accommodation, transport, telephony, sports, etc. You can apply for it online or get it directly in Spain even if you are a foreign student (you will need a document that proves you are enrolled in a school or university, a recent passport photo and your ID card or passport). The minimum age to apply is 12 and there is no maximum age. It is valid for no more than 16 months. Follow this link for more information.
2. Get the European Youth Card (promoted by the European Youth Card Association – EYCA), for young people aged 14 to 30, valid in over 40 countries.
In Spain this card is promoted by the Youth Institute (Injuve) and the youth organisations of the Autonomous Regions.
We suggest you to visit the following website, where you find where you need to go, depending on the autonomous region you are studying in. It also includes requirements and fees.
3. Get the International Youth Travel Card (IYTC). It is valid for young people aged 12-25 who are not full-time students. It is especially useful for getting discounts on international air travel, rail tickets, and others. It is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
More information: https://es-online.aliveplatform.com/index.php
4. Get the Spanish Youth Hostel Network (REAJ) card. This card is recognised internationally and you will be able to use it in many national and foreign hostels. To apply, all you need is your ID card or passport, and to pay the fee. More information here.
Other things to remember:
Get information on the discounts that RENFE (Spanish National Railway Network) offers if you have one of these card:
Many universities have their own student card with which you can borrow books, get discounts, etc. Most of these cards can also be linked to a bank account. That is, they can be used as a cash card.
Even if you haven’t got any of these cards, if you prove you are a student you can get discounts on many services such as transport, car hire, housing, etc...
Take a look at the proposals on the official page of the Youth Institute (Injuve)
So...what do you think?, is everything clear now?, have we missed anything? please let us know, we will be delighted to answer all the questions you have, so all comments are welcome. And if you find this post useful don't be shy and share, cause sharing is caring.