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Spain has been known for being the perfect address for international students who are planning to try something new. You can find numerous study abroad programs in Spain, including exchange programs. International students always feel comfortable continuing their studies in Spain, because of the multiple opportunities to study in English and learn Spanish as a bonus experience

When you join an exchange program in Spain, you will be introduced to a wide variety of courses, extracurricular activities, excursions, and plenty of entertainment possibilities to explore in your free time. The students’ future careers are considered a priority by Spanish universities. If you are wondering how to pursue an exchange program in Spain and learn more about it, you can read the rest of this article. 

How to Become an Exchange Student in Spain? 

Studying abroad, especially as an exchange student, can be intimidating considering you are moving to a foreign country where English is not the official language. However, studying in a country like Spain, with their exciting way of living and a multicultural background full of history, there are plenty of opportunities to learn as an international student. Picking a region in Spain for the first time as an exchange student can be a difficult task, but we are here to help you through the entire process.  

Find the School 

The first thing you want to do when beginning your exchange journey is to find the university and program of your choice. Spain includes a lot of regions that offer exchange programs for international students. It is important to find all the information needed before applying, such as deadlines, requirements, and any additional documentation they may ask for. 

You should contact the school of your choice and inquire about any information you must have. Understanding their curriculum, the courses they offer, and the university’s regulations in general, is crucial before you make your decision. 

Check Credit Transfer 

Exchange programs all over the world usually require students to make sure that they have information about the credit transfer process, prior to their new academic year. You should make sure that the exchange program you are applying for in Spain, has a relationship with the university you are currently enrolled in. The credit transfer process is needed for when you return to your home university, in order to graduate with full credits. 

Universities, where students are enrolled before applying to exchange programs, are usually in close contact with the universities in Spain. This relationship between institutions helps students have a smooth transition from one university to another. 

The method of credit transfer depends on the university’s grading system. Some of them may use the system of pass or fail, while others may use the GPA as a point of reference. 

Here are two alternative options on how to proceed, when the exchange university in Spain does not recognize your home university: 

  1. Find another university in your home country. This option is not the most popular one or the easy one, for many reasons. It requires you to do research on a university in your home country that has an exchange agreement with the chosen university in Spain. Furthermore, you need to apply to said university, through which you can apply for the exchange program. However, students who prefer this option, in most cases, do so to escape the international fees and pay the exchange fees instead. 
  1. Apply as an international student. The second and most reasonable option is to apply for the exchange program as an international student individually. It may cost more than the previous choice, however it is a simpler method. It is important to have information on whether the courses can be transferred and accepted at your home university. 

Keep in mind: Even if your home university has a relationship with the university in Spain, it is not certain that they will consider you for the exchange program or that the tuition fees are cheaper. 

How Much Do Exchange Programs Cost in Spain? 

Studying in Spain as an international student may be a costly experience if you do not do your research beforehand. Like in most countries, studying abroad can be expensive considering you do not know the surroundings and the cheapest places to live and study. Choosing which region of Spain to study is a challenging task. You should factor in the amount of money needed to cover basic expenses – plus entertainment and make your decision accordingly. 

As per the tuition fees in exchange programs in Spain, it all varies on the city and university of choice. You will be paying your home university for its partnership with the university in Spain. This usually means that you will be spending approximately the same sum that you would have paid regardless of the exchange program.

The average tuition for an exchange semester in Spain ranges between $7,000 to $11,000 which depends on two factors: whether you are applying for direct enrollment or through a third-party provider. 

Here are the tuition fees for some of the universities in Spain that accept exchange students: 

UniversityAverage Fee per semester
Schiller International University Madrid$7,100
Universidad de Nebrija$5,500
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid$780-$930
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona$500
UCAM – Catholic University of Murcia$4,200

Tuition fees with a third-party provider:

ProviderAverage Fee per semester
CEA Study Abroad in Granada  $10,700
ISA Study Abroad in Barcelona$13,000
USAC Spain in San Sebastian$11,500

Exchange Student in Spain Requirements

Requirements for exchange students in universities of Spain vary depending on your past experience. Spanish universities look for two main qualifications when listing the requirements. The first one is for students who have previously studied in a Spanish university, and the second one is for students who have previously studied in universities outside of Spain.

Previously Studied in Spanish Universities 

If you have finished a semester or more in a Spanish university prior to applying to the exchange program, you must submit proof of at least 30 recognized ECTs, to be eligible. Furthermore, you must go through the process of course recognition from one university to the other. 

Other documents needed include: 

  • Academic transcript. A complete transcript of the previously earned grades, courses you have taken, and the year in which you completed them.
  • Application request. The application request in written form, issued by the university you are currently enrolled in.
  • University syllabus. The university syllabus showcasing all the courses you have passed successfully along with the ones you have yet to take. 

Previously Studied in Universities Outside of Spain

If you are an international student who has completed a part of the classes in your home university, the next step will be to start the process of credit recognition with the new university. You must have at least 30 ETCs, to be considered for admission. 

Other documents needed include: 

  • Academic transcript. The academic transcript which includes your courses, grades, and the year of completion. 
  • University syllabus. A copy of your syllabus with the courses you have passed and the ones you have yet to take. 

Best Places For Student Exchange Programs in Spain 

Student exchange programs in Spain are incomparable, because of the endless possibilities for entertainment and learning opportunities. Spain contains numerous cities which are welcoming to international students. Some of the cities in Spain may be too expensive for student life such as Madrid or Barcelona, regardless of how irresistible they may be.

Studying abroad in Spain, even for one semester, may be the perfect opportunity for you to spice up your language skills. In whichever city you choose to pursue your exchange studies, you will have plenty of opportunities to practice your Spanish. 

A few of the most suitable places for exchange students in Spain are:

  • Malaga. For students who enjoy the occasional night out. In the University of Malaga you will meet all kinds of nationalities, both international or local students. If you are in your third year of Spanish and are interested in European studies, this program is perfect for you. 
  • La Rioja. In comparison to the aforementioned institution, the University of La Rioja welcomes students in the field of Political Science as well, aside from European Studies. It is well known for its wine-producing lands, attracting students who are interested in the culture of winegrowing. 
  • Colegio Delibes, Salamanca. Last but not least, Colegio Delibes is one of the most popular university towns in Spain. Students from all parts of the world will soon feel at home, because of the inevitable radiant energy of the youth. Pursuing an exchange program in Colegio Delibes is an experience like no other, with history and modernity living in harmony. 

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