Sun, tapas, flamenco and fiestas: Spain is the most popular foreign travel destination for Germans. And according to vaultedwatches, Spain is also becoming more and more popular as a destination for a semester abroad. No wonder with warm temperatures, bathing beaches and friendly residents.
But Spain has much more to offer than the typical holiday strongholds on the Mediterranean or the Balearic Islands. In the interior of the Iberian Peninsula you can find: mountains, volcanic landscapes, green forests and wine-growing areas. In addition, the home of Dalí, Goya, Gaudí and Picasso still has a vibrant art and cultural scene today.
In the cities of Barcelona and Madrid, visitors will find an abundance of museums and galleries, concerts, festivals, theater performances and street art. Both cities are in constant dispute over which is the prettier and which has the better football club. They also impress with their beautiful architecture, numerous lively squares and parks, excellent restaurants and a nightlife that other cities can hardly keep up with. A semester abroad in Spain is also worthwhile from a cultural point of view and enables you to get to know everyday life in the cities. But a semester abroad in Spain promises even more advantages.
Reasons for a semester abroad in Spain
Numerous students who want to do a semester abroad are drawn to Spain. There are several good reasons for this:
- In addition to sun, beach and culture, learning or perfecting the Spanish language is on the program. After all, Spanish is one of the most important languages in international communication. And where better to learn a language than in the motherland of the language itself?
- Another reason to spend a semester in Spain is the good level of the universities.
- The openness of the Spanish fellow students and a large university offer of typical leisure activities also make it easy to make contacts in Spain and to learn something from the relaxed Spanish way of life.
- A semester abroad in Spain is also the easiest way to make your dream of studying in the sun come true: Spanish universities offer various semester programs. These enable foreign students to study in Spain for one or two semesters.
Study programs: Spanish, Catalan or “Study Abroad”
On the one hand, students have the opportunity during their semester abroad in Spain to take Spanish or (in Barcelona) Catalan-language courses from the regular courses offered by the host university.
On the other hand, some universities in Spain have semester programs specifically tailored to international students. With these special semester offers, the foreign students mostly study in a purely international group. You will take language courses in Spanish as well as some specialist courses with or without a reference to Spain. Sometimes excursions are also included in the program. The language of instruction is mostly English.
Like German universities, most Spanish universities award ECTS points for successfully completing the individual courses. By prior arrangement with the German Examination Office students can the services during the semester in Spain study at the home university to acknowledge leave.
Application requirements for a semester in Spain
Registering for a semester abroad in Spain is relatively easy. The only prerequisites are a high school diploma and a good knowledge of the chosen language or languages of instruction (Spanish, Catalan, English).
There are semester programs especially for international students, the courses on which have a limited number of places. Therefore, early is recommended application.
Semester abroad in Spain: costs and financing
Participating in a semester program for “free mover” in Spain is usually with tuition fees connected. Depending on the university and the number of courses taken, these are usually between EUR 1,000 and 4,000 per semester.
Cost of living in Spain
Then there is the cost of living. In Spain, these are generally somewhat below the German level. One can assume a monthly average value of around EUR 750 nationwide. In metropolises like Madrid or Barcelona, the cost of living is generally a bit higher.
There are numerous financial aids for a semester abroad in Spain that make studying abroad even more affordable. For most students, the BAföG abroad comes first. This largely performance-independent federal funding is partially granted to students who are not entitled to domestic BAföG. This includes grants for tuition fees of up to EUR 4,600 as well as for travel and living expenses.
Scholarships, foundations and student loans
More performance-based funding for a semester in Spain is available from the DAAD and various foundations that support students with particularly good performance. Student loans can also be applied for. It is also possible to work in Spain during the semester break and thus increase your account balance a little.
Visa and entry requirements for Spain
EU citizens do not need a residence permit to come to Spain for a semester abroad. If you want to stay in the country for more than 90 days, you have to apply for a Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) at the Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjeria). A German passport or identity card and proof of Spanish residence are required for this. You have to register this with the residents’ registration office (Ayuntamiento) beforehand.
Health insurance for a semester abroad in Spain
Normally, German students can also use the services of the German statutory health insurance during their semester stay in Spain.
Students should clarify in advance with the German health insurance company whether additional foreign health insurance may be necessary for the semester stay in Spain so that there are no problems with the assumption of costs in the event of illness. Before the start of the trip, the health insurance company will then issue a European health insurance card.