Scholarships for Americans Studying in Spain

Thousands of international students worldwide decide to study abroad in Spain. In fact, the total number of international students in Spain has been on the rise during the last few years. There are a wide variety of things that attract students from abroad to pursue their studies in Spain, among them the quality of education, incredible climate, the cost of living, as well as the wide range of academic opportunities. Many universities and organizations offer scholarships for international students (either American or other nationalities) to pursue studies in Spain. Many students use these scholarships to finance their studies smoothly. 

Here are a few scholarships for Americans studying in Spain:

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1. The Fulbright Program (Spain)

The Fulbright US Student Program offers grants for study or research projects and English Teaching Assistant Programs. Qualified US students and young professionals can pursue independent research in Spain through the Fulbright Program and enjoy an experience like no other. The number of grants annually depends on funds; however, US students get to work and live in Spain for one year and pursue their research in the country. Those who have not previously held a Fulbright grant are usually given priority. In addition, preference is given to applicants who have primarily undertaken higher education at educational institutions in the United States.

2. Spanish Studies Abroad: Merit-Based Scholarship

The Spanish Studies Abroad Scholarship is designed for students who have a passion for Spanish. The mission of this scholarship is to encourage an understanding of Spanish-speaking countries. Students who show great dedication to their Spanish studies (not only within the classroom but also outside of it) will be given strong preference. The scholarship award is from $500 to $1,500, and applications are open in April, May, and October, of each year. To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must have a minimum 3.5 GPA, gain admission into a Spanish Studies Abroad program, and submit an original essay that meets the competition guidelines. 

3. Spanish Studies Abroad Diversity Scholarship 

The Diversity Scholarship is designed specifically for students from diverse backgrounds, including areas of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, disabilities, religion, socioeconomic background, etc. It also includes first-generation and non-traditional students. The scholarship award is from $500 to $1,500. To apply for this scholarship, students must submit an essay (between 400 and 500 words, written in English) where they describe a unique experience or part of their life that enables them to be eligible for this scholarship. To be eligible, students must have a minimum of 3.0 GPA and gain admission to a Spanish Studies Abroad Program.

4. International Studies Abroad (ISA) Diversity Scholarship

Another scholarship for American students in Spain is the ISA Diversity Scholarship. The main criterion for gaining this scholarship is admission to an ISA study abroad program or an ISA internship/Service-Learning program. This scholarship aims to enable students from diverse backgrounds to benefit from the advantages of global education. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must be US citizens with a minimum GPA of 2.50. This scholarship is aimed towards undergraduate students who will receive an award amount of $2,000-5,000. Application deadlines are at the end of February, April, and October. The program length can be from 1 month to a year.

5. CIEE Gilman Go Global and GAIN Travel Grant

The CIEE Grant is based on needs, and it is aimed at students who face financial difficulties when studying abroad. The grant requires students to submit proof of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as part of its application process. This grant offers students somewhere around $750-2,000 for airfare, $2,500 for program costs, or $1,000 for summer program costs. 

6. Barcelona Study Abroad Experience (SAE) Merit & Leadership Scholarship

The Barcelona SAE Merit and Leadership Scholarship is also among scholarships for Americans studying in Spain. This scholarship awards one scholarship per semester of study, one scholarship per internship, and two summer programs scholarships. The Barcelona SAE scholarship is aimed towards students who require financial assistance and have achieved academic excellence and community involvement. To be eligible, applicants must have a minimum of 3.3 GPA in an undergraduate program in the US at the time of application. Showing proof of financial need is also necessary. Semester awardees will receive $750, internship awardees will receive $500, and summer program awardees will receive $250.

7. AIFS International Scholarship

The American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) Study Abroad Scholarship Programs award more than $800,000 in scholarships, grants, and financial aid to students and institutions, in summer and semester programs abroad. An eligible applicant must have a minimum of 3.0 GPA, show leadership qualities, and be involved in extracurricular activities related to international and multicultural issues.

Scholarships and Funding Options in Spain for International Students

The cost of studying abroad in Spain is relatively low compared to other countries, such as the US, for example. The tuition cost in Spain varies depending on the institution and degree program and is usually charged per credit. Tuition fees for bachelor programs at public universities in Spain can go up to $1,550, while private universities generally charge more (up to $21,700 per year, depending on the institution and program). Find the cost of attending college in Spain here.

The two main types of funding options for international students in Spain are: 

Scholarships and Grants

Both scholarships and grants are a type of financial assistance you do not need to repay. Grants are usually based on financial need meanwhile scholarships are typically based on merit. However, if you are looking for budget-friendly ways to study in Spain as an American, make sure to apply for any scholarships/grants you think you are eligible for.

Individual universities also tend to offer scholarships to their students, so it is essential to consult the scholarship/study abroad office at your home university/college and inquire about any opportunities you might be eligible for. Spain is always looking to attract international students to its universities, and scholarships are plentiful for internationals. 

Part-Time Work

International students who need a student visa to study in Spain will be eligible to undertake part-time work during their studies in Spain. This means that you can study and earn money during your stay. Many students decide to work part-time (maximum of 20 hours per week) in order to support their studies financially and earn an extra income.