Spain is one of the world's most popular study abroad destinations. Every year thousands of students from across the world descend on Spain for a term or year of studying and taking advantage of all the amazing food, weather, and culture it has to offer.
But what if you want to do more than that? What if you want to do more than a study abroad exchange, and actually do a degree in Spain?
Is that possible? What if you don't speak Spanish? Can you study in English in Spain?
The short answer is yes. Spain has a whole range of English-language course options from undergraduate all the way up to the Phd level.
For many foreigners, the lure of the Spanish lifestyle in combination with the high quality education and comparatively low cost of both fees and living makes studying in Spain a particularly enticing option.
Tuition fees in Spain are among some of the most affordable in Europe, and back in 2007 the Spanish government changed its higher education system to bring it in line with the Bologna Process, which made Spanish degrees part of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) framework.
That means you can study in Spain and easily put your degree to use elsewhere around Europe.
There are two types of higher education institution in Spain: public and private.
Of the 75 Spanish universities, 50 are public, and 25 privately owned or partly run by the Catholic Church.
According to Matersportal.com, Spain offers over 500 English-taught undergraduate programmes, 750 English-taught Masters degrees, and 80 English-language PhDs. Be sure to check each university's entry requirements for the course, and which courses they actually offer in English.
Note that many degrees in Spain include English modules as elective units geared towards learning English as a foreign language, and are not part of a broader degree taught in English.
As for many foreigners living in Spain, one thing that attracts people is Spain's affordability. In Spain, university tuition fees are no different, and are likely much cheaper than your home country.
Undergraduate programmes roughly range from €750 to €2,500 per year, and masters programmes can reach up to €3,500 per year - making Spain a comparatively cheap destination for many international students.
Private universities, however, can cost as much as €20,000 a year.
But where can you study in English in Spain? Which are the top universities? Which courses are on offer, and how can you apply?
According to recent rankings, the most prestigious Spanish universities that offer English-language courses are largely concentrated in Madrid and Barcelona, with Navarra and the University of Valencia also known for their English taught degrees.
Top Spanish universities offering English-language courses
University of Barcelona
Autonomous University of Madrid
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Complutense University of Madrid
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona)
University of Navarra
Polytechnic University of Catalonia – BarcelonaTech (UPC)
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M)
Universitat Politècnica de València
American Universities in Spain
One option available in Spain is to study at an American university but in Spain. That means you'd be studying through an American institution (and would therefore receive your degree from them) but on a Spanish campus.
There are a surprising number of American campuses in Spain, including Washington DC's American University Madrid campus, Suffolk University's Madrid Campus, and Schiller International University.
Many of Spain's business schools also offer English language courses. Some of the most respected are:
The EU Business School (Barcelona) - Established in 1973, the EU Business School has earned a reputation over the years. Currently, the institution has campuses in Geneva, Montreux and Munich.
ESEI International Business School (Barcelona) - ESEI is a respected business school known for its English taught undergraduate and postgraduate business degrees.
UIBS (Barcelona & Madrid)
The United International Business Schools organisation (known as UIBS) is a private training institution with several campuses in Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain. The UIBS offers bachelors, masters, and Phd level courses based on the American university system.
EAE Business School (Barcelona & Madrid)
Founded in 1958, EAE and has campuses in Barcelona and Madrid in Spain and not only offers courses in English, but is considered one of the best business schools in Spain.
ESADE Business School, Barcelona
The ESADE Business School offers graduate business programs including a MBA, both full and part time, a one-year MBA, and an MSc in International Management all in English.
Málaga Business College
For those of you who might fancy getting out of Madrid or Barcelona, Málaga Business College in the Andalusian coastal city makes up part of the Madrid Management Centre, and offers courses in Economics, Social Sciences, Management and Finance.
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