How to Choose the Best Study Abroad Program in Spain for You

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study abroad program in Spain

Getting the chance to study abroad is a privilege.

Getting the chance to complete a study abroad program in Spain? An unforgettable experience that will undoubtedly change your life.

Sunny beaches, vibrant nightlife, and world class education all make Spain a go-to university destination for a reason.

Keen to live along the stunning Mediterranean Sea and see what a study abroad in Spain program looks like?

We’ll go over all you need to know about how to choose the best study abroad program in Spain for you.

Study Abroad Programs in Spain – How to Choose

Choosing the right study abroad program for you will depend on a few different factors.

For example, does your degree require specific courses to graduate?

Are you hoping to increase your Spanish fluency?

Keen on living in a specific Spanish city?

These are all questions you’ll want to ask yourself before choosing a study abroad program in Spain.

Best Study Abroad Programs in Spain

Choosing the right university to study abroad in Spain is an exciting step forward in your university career.

To decide between the best study abroad programs in Spain, you’re likely looking at study abroad in Spain reviews, different universities, programs, and more.

Here are some factors that will be helpful to keep in mind as you decide which university you’d like to study at.

study abroad program in Spain

Academic Requirements

One step toward choosing a study abroad program will be to consider your academic requirements.

For example, does your degree course require you to take extra semesters of language classes? Perhaps you’re interested in taking elective courses while studying abroad?

It’s a good idea to check with your academic advisor prior to signing on to a study abroad course.

They will be able to confirm what courses you need to meet while abroad to satisfy your university’s academic requirements.

They will also be able to provide you with a list of approved programs at other universities that meet said requirements.

This will help you narrow down which university you may want to study at.

This leads us to…


A fairly simple question to ask yourself during this process: which city do you want to study in?

Creating a wish list of universities to study at might be a little bit easier when you’ve chosen a location where you’d prefer to study.

Madrid is often considered one of the best cities to study abroad in Spain due to its affordability, vibrant city life, and excellent universities.

Barcelona is another popular study abroad city with a range of world class universities to choose from. Barcelona also has excellent transportation and is located right on the Mediterranean.

Valencia is another city in Spain that also boasts excellent public transportation, top universities, but is slightly more laid back than the hustle and bustle of the major metropolitan cities like Barcelona or Madrid.

There are plenty of additional cities throughout Spain with top-rated academics.

With that in mind, your dream university might surprise you!

You might have your heart set on living in Madrid, but you may find that the ESIC Business & Marketing School in Barcelona has the perfect program for you.

Take stock of what you’re hoping to gain during your study abroad time, and you’ll be able to narrow down where you want to study.

How rigorous do you want your academic schedule to be? Would you prefer to take courses related to subjects you’re interested in? Maybe you’d like to find a university with full language immersion?

Would you like to be located closer to museums for weekend trips? Or would you prefer a city closer to the beach to get away after a long week of studying?

Asking yourself these questions will help narrow down which city in Spain you might be headed to!

Spanish Fluency

Speaking of language immersion, it’s important to make note of Spanish fluency.

Being fluent in the language is not a prerequisite for many university study abroad programs in Spain.

However, there are many courses that are taught completely in Spanish!

This type of full language immersion is helpful when trying to learn Spanish quickly and efficiently.

If you’re comfortable diving right in to a fully immersive course load, great!

If you’re still new to learning the language, plenty of universities, such as Universidad Carlos III de Madrid or EU Business School offer courses in both English and Spanish.

study abroad in Spain

Financial Cost

It’s no secret that studying abroad does come with its own set of financial challenges.

However, some universities do provide options for financial aid packages such as grants or scholarships!

This is another reason to check with your academic advisor prior to choosing a study abroad program in Spain.

They’ll be able to confirm whether you’re eligible for financial aid for studying abroad in Spain.

They can also help you apply for such programs to make sure financial costs don’t prevent you from fully enjoying the study abroad experience.

Various expenses and fees should be considered to understand what a program may cost overall.

A quick breakdown of costs will likely include:

  • Tuition
  • Textbooks
  • Passport
  • Housing
  • Food
  • Entertainment
  • Transportation
  • Airfare

Exact costs will of course vary from person to person.

You will also want to make sure you’ve accounted for exchange rates between your home country and Spain while sketching out a budget.

However, cost of living expenses such as food and transportation are fairly affordable throughout Spain, making it one of the top study abroad destinations for students for a reason!

Size of University

When it comes to the university itself, would you prefer learning at a smaller, private institution? Would you prefer taking classes at a larger public university?

University size might determine the type of one-on-one learning you receive. On the other hand, some larger schools offer more round-the-clock resources for international students.

However, no matter the size of university, Spain has dozens of different universities to choose from.

This means you won’t have a hard time finding a university that fits just what you’re looking for when it comes to getting the most out of your time abroad.


Are you hoping to stay on campus? Maybe you’d prefer to jump in with a homestay experience? Roommates? No roommates?

There are a lot of accommodation options when it comes to studying abroad!

Accommodation is one consideration to keep in mind when planning your study abroad program.

Some universities offer on-campus housing, whereas some require you to find an off-campus apartment.

No matter where you end up, Go! Go! España can help you find navigate finding the perfect place for your time abroad with our handy accommodation finder.

Length of Study

Length of study should also be something you consider before choosing which program to apply to.

For example, maybe your current university allows for a fully funded semester at the Complutense University of Madrid but you’d prefer to complete a year-long course of study. It’s a good idea to check whether your desired university allows for a year long program.

Most universities do allow for entire year programs.

However, it’s a good idea to check with your current advisor, as well as the advisors from each Spanish university, to confirm the length of the program you’re interested in before making a final decision.

study abroad in Spain

Top Study Abroad Programs in Spain

With dozens of universities throughout Spain, there are plenty of choices for top study abroad programs in Spain.

When looking at lists of study abroad programs, a “top program” might be subjective.

A program that allows full language immersion might land higher on your list than a program that contains a specific class you’re interested in.

Regardless, some of the top study abroad programs in Spain might just be included in any of these top-ranked Spanish universities:

  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • Universidad de Sevilla
  • Universidad de Alicante
  • Universidad de Granada

Let’s take a closer look at some universities with study abroad programs in Madrid and Barcelona.

Study Abroad Madrid

Madrid offers a whole host of exciting academic opportunities at a variety of universities for study abroad hopefuls.

One of Spain’s most prestigious institutions is the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

This university has an excellent study abroad program that satisfies academic requirements for a variety of universities throughout North America.

The Complutense University of Madrid is another highly ranked university that has a variety of exchange programs with locations in Europe, Middle East, Asia, America, and Oceania.

Nebrija University is an institution that also receives students from around the globe. To study with Nebrija University, students must currently be studying at one of their partner universities.

Study Abroad Barcelona

A Barcelona study abroad program is a popular choice for many.

It’s a city that has multiple universities listed among the best in the world!

One of which is C3S Business School, which is a private, top-ranked business school in Barcelona. All courses taught at C3S are taught in English.

GBSB Global Business School is a popular university choice for business students, with courses also taught in English. It accepts applications for either a semester or year abroad.

This institution also has a campus in Madrid.

While both universities offer courses in English, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to work on your Spanish while you travel around this exciting city.

LCI Barcelona, School of Design is a great choice for students who prefer more experiential teaching in smaller groups.

LCI Barcelona accepts applications from participants who are either directly enrolled with a current institution, as well as those who are not yet affiliated with a university of their choice.

university study abroad spain

Study Abroad Program in Spain – Invest in Your Future

A majority of the study abroad in Spain reviews say that taking the leap to study abroad in Spain is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your future.

We wholeheartedly agree!

Go! Go! España works directly with the university of your choice to help you get started on that journey.

If any of the schools above don’t quite fit what you’re looking for, let us know or take a look at the list of many universities we partner with.

Our team is dedicated to ensuring your time spent abroad is life-changing in the best way possible.

Contact us today for any questions you might have! We can’t wait to hear from you.

Every student will have their own path toward an ideal study abroad experience.

From a dream semester in Valencia to a year-long course in Barcelona, we want to help get you there.

Whether you’re seeking professional academic development or personal growth, studying abroad will undoubtedly change your life.

Why not experience it for yourself?

Where in Spain should I study abroad?

The city you study in will ultimately depend on a few different factors. For example, are you looking to study in a major Spanish city? You may want to choose Madrid or Barcelona. If you’d prefer a quieter pace, Bilbao or Valencia may be the city for you. To determine which city to study in, reflect on what you’re hoping to get out of your time spent studying abroad.

Are there common requirements to study abroad?

Requirements do vary from institution to institution. For example, both your home university and the university in Spain may require certain GPA levels before you might be considered eligible to study abroad. However, many universities offer partner exchanges, meaning they work closely with your home university to ensure all requirements are met before jetting off to Spain.

How do I budget for studying abroad?

There are a variety of tips and tricks available for studying abroad. These tips will also vary widely based on individual circumstances. It’s a good idea to first take stock of common budget needs like accommodations, transportation, and plane tickets. You may also want to ask your academic advisor if financial aid is available to use for your program of study. Aid packages are a common way to pay tuition, find housing, and more.

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