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Study in Spain: International Student Experiences

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According to international student testimonies, universities in Spain offer top higher education experiences in Europe. In the StudyPortals International Student Satisfaction Awards 2014, more than 7,000 students reviewed their international study experience on the world’s largest database of international student experiences . More than 1,100 students reviewed their experience of what it was like to study in Spain, commenting on subjects such as university organization, teaching, social and cultural experience, costs and more. Overall, Spain reached a total score of 8.6 out of 10.

23 universities in Spain received an award based on international student impressions. Polytechnic University of Valencia was considered an excellent study destination and received the highest student ratings, placing first among universities in Spain. It was followed by the University of Cadiz in second place, University of Vigo in third place and five other Spanish universities, which all received the rating of “excellent” study experience. A further sixteen universities in Spain were rated “very good”.

Study in Spain

Why do students recommend studying in Spain?

According to student reviewers, Spain is a great international study destination for a variety of reasons. First of all, most students are really pleased with the friendly people (local and foreign), relaxed environment and warm weather. When mentioning Spanish cities and the local culture, students usually have only good things to say. They are pleased with the tourist attractions, the history and the architecture of the cities.

Most of those reviewing the experience of studying in Spain seem to enjoy the laid-back living style in the cities during the day, as well as the vibrant nightlife. The open atmosphere, with a great variety of student activities, creates many opportunities to learn Spanish. Many students were impressed by the natural beauty of Spain and were happy with the fact that the seaside is within easy reach. A lot of students are also very pleased with the living costs in Spain.

“The social life is perfect. A lot of sports, nightlife, the beach, bars. The city is perfect for skating and longboarding. There is also a lot of football and beach-volley.” – student from Norway

“Granada is the city with the biggest number of international and exchange students in Europe, so the ambient here is fantastic. Granada is also the city of great cultural, historical and gastronomic traditions, and the home of the University with more than five centuries of history.” – student from Russia

“Salamanca is the most recommended Spanish city to learn and speak Spanish and has one of the oldest universities in Europe. The environment is perfect to come in touch with students/working people from all over the world. The people living there are always kind and in a smiley face mood. The rent is low and eating outside is also very affordable.” – student from Greece

Student in MadridInternational students in Spain place a greater importance on personal development than the European average, with special attention given to learning a new language. Many students consider teaching staff in Spanish universities to be open-minded and fair. Most students are also pleased with the modern facilities provided by universities in Spain, and the atmosphere on campus. Overall, students remember their time studying in Spain as a unique, unforgettable experience.

“There are a lot of activities for exchange students and you are never alone. At the university, they are used to teach foreign students. They treat you as they treat Spanish students and I think that’s a good thing.” – student from Italy

“They have a very good science infrastructure. Good libraries, good teachers who are really helpful and involved in what they do. Teachers are really tolerant and understanding when it comes to their students.” – student from Poland

“It’s a very interesting experience that helps you to grow, develop, discover places, meet new people, learn a new language, and to learn about yourself.” – student from France

Reasons for not recommending Spain as a study destination

More than half of the complaints of international students who studied in Spain refer to the low level of education at some universities. While teachers are generally friendly to students, their teaching methods are not as popular. Although Spain offers a wide variety of English-taught programs, many reviewers mention that students coming to the country should have at least a basic knowledge of Spanish language or be ready to enrol in language-learning courses. Because of the high number of international students, university services may be inadequate in some cases.

For more information about the Student Satisfaction Awards and universities in Spain, visit the StudyPortals . Students who plan to study in Spain can also compare over 400 master’s programs taught in English, and other English-taught bachelor’s programs, as well as many other programs delivered in Spanish.

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Written by Tiina Niemi
Tiina comes from Finland and currently lives in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. She works in research and PR at StudyPortals. Before moving to the Netherlands, Tiina lived in Germany and in Italy. In her free time she enjoys baking cakes and doing all kind of sports. 

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1 Comment

Your article is very interesting !
I dream to study in Spain !
Nathalie