Study abroad for a semester in


Spain, located in Southwestern Europe, is a country known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes. It consists of 17 autonomous regions, each with its own unique traditions and customs. Spain is one of the most popular destinations for international students due to its high-quality education system, affordable living costs, and lively student life. The country’s major cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Seville, offer a dynamic blend of historical charm and modern amenities, making it an ideal place for studying and exploring.

Spain is best known for

Vibrant Culture and Arts 🎨: Spain is known for its rich cultural heritage, including world-renowned festivals, art, music, and dance. Cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville are cultural hubs with numerous museums, galleries, and cultural events.

Beautiful Landscapes 🌄: From the beaches of Costa del Sol to the mountains of the Pyrenees, Spain offers diverse and stunning landscapes. The country is perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and beach sports.

Great Weather ☀️: Spain enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters, making it an attractive destination for students who appreciate sunny weather and outdoor living.

Table of contents

1. Visa and Health Insurance 🛂

Obtaining the correct visa and health insurance is essential for international students planning to study in Spain. The visa process ensures that students meet the necessary requirements to stay in the country for their studies, while health insurance guarantees access to healthcare services. Comprehensive health insurance is mandatory for all international students and is a critical factor in the visa approval process.

Visa Types

  • Student Visa (Visado de Estudiante): Required for non-EU/EEA students who plan to study in Spain for more than 90 days. This visa covers the entire duration of the study program.
  • Short-Term Study Visa: For non-EU/EEA students attending courses or programs lasting less than 90 days.
  • EU/EEA Students: Do not require a visa to study in Spain but must register with local authorities upon arrival if their stay exceeds 90 days.

Application Process

  1. Research Visa Requirements: Understand the specific requirements for the type of visa you need.
  2. Gather Necessary Documents:
    • Completed visa application form.
    • Valid passport.
    • Proof of acceptance from a Spanish university.
    • Proof of financial resources (approximately €6,000 per year).
    • Health insurance coverage.
    • Academic transcripts and certificates.
    • Proof of Spanish or English language proficiency (if applicable).
    • Visa application fee payment receipt.
  3. Submit Application: Submit your application to the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country.
  4. Attend Visa Interview: If required, attend an interview at the embassy or consulate.
  5. Wait for Processing: Visa processing times can vary, so apply well in advance.

Required Documents

  • Proof of Enrollment: Acceptance letter from a Spanish university.
  • Financial Proof: Bank statements or proof of financial support showing sufficient funds.
  • Health Insurance: Proof of valid health insurance coverage.
  • Language Proficiency: Test scores or certificates if required.
  • Passport Photos: Recent passport-sized photographs.
  • Visa Application Form: Completed and signed application form.
  • Academic Documents: Transcripts, diplomas, and certificates from previous education.

Application Timeline

Start Early: Begin the application process at least 3-6 months before your intended departure.
Processing Time: Visa processing can take several weeks to months, depending on the country and application volume.
Important Deadlines: Be aware of university application deadlines and ensure your visa application is submitted in time.

Tips for Success

Complete Documentation: Ensure all documents are complete and accurately filled out.
Financial Proof: Clearly demonstrate financial stability and sufficient funds.
Interview Preparation: Prepare for potential visa interviews by understanding common questions and having clear answers.
Health Insurance: Secure a visa-compliant health insurance plan early in the process.

Importance of Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for all students in Spain. It ensures that students have access to medical care and covers a wide range of health services, from doctor visits to emergency care. Having valid health insurance is also a prerequisite for visa approval.

Types of Health Insurance

  • European Health Insurance Card (EHIC): For EU students, the EHIC provides access to necessary medical treatment in Spain under the same conditions as Spanish residents. It covers emergency and necessary healthcare but does not cover private healthcare or repatriation costs.
    • Advantages: Provides basic coverage for necessary medical care.
    • Limitations: Does not cover private healthcare, non-urgent medical care, or repatriation costs.
  • Public Health Insurance: Available to students who meet specific criteria, such as those enrolled in long-term courses. Public insurance is generally comprehensive and covers a wide range of medical services including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions. However, it requires registration with the local health services (Seguridad Social).
    • Cost: Typically around €60 to €70 per month for students.
    • Advantages: Comprehensive coverage including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions.
    • Limitations: Requires registration with the local health services, typically limited to public healthcare providers, and may involve longer waiting times for non-urgent appointments.
  • Private Health Insurance: Often chosen by non-EU students and those who prefer additional coverage options. Private insurance plans can be tailored to individual needs and often provide quicker access to healthcare services. These plans must meet the minimum coverage requirements set by Spanish authorities to ensure they are visa-compliant.
    • Cost: Can vary significantly based on the provider and plan. Innoinsure offers competitive and comprehensive plans that are visa-compliant.
    • Advantages: More extensive coverage, faster access to services, flexibility to choose from a broader range of doctors and specialists, and some plans include travel insurance benefits.
    • Limitations: Generally more expensive than public health insurance and requires careful comparison of plans to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Country-Specific Requirements

Public Health Insurance: Generally more comprehensive but may require eligibility criteria. Students need to register with the local health services (Seguridad Social) to access public health insurance. This insurance covers a wide range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions, but may involve longer waiting times for non-urgent appointments.
Private Health Insurance: Must meet the minimum coverage requirements set by Spanish authorities. Private health insurance plans often provide faster access to healthcare services and more flexibility in choosing healthcare providers. It is essential to ensure that the chosen plan is visa-compliant, offering sufficient coverage for the duration of the stay in Spain.

Finding the Best Health Insurance

Innoinsure Partnership: Find the best visa-compliant health insurance for your stay in Spain with our Insurance Finder. Innoinsure offers tailored health insurance plans that comply with Spanish visa requirements, ensuring you are covered throughout your stay.

Choose Innoinsure

Innoinsure is our suggested visa-compliant health insurance for Spain

Or discover other insurance options

Thanks to our Insurance Finder


What happens if my visa application is denied?
If your visa application is denied, you will receive a notice explaining the reasons for the denial. You can address the issues mentioned and reapply, or appeal the decision if you believe it was incorrect. It’s important to carefully review the reasons for denial and seek guidance from the embassy or consulate if needed.

Can I change my health insurance plan after arriving in Spain?
Yes, you can change your health insurance plan after arriving in Spain. However, ensure that the new plan meets the mandatory health insurance requirements for students. It’s advisable to compare different plans and choose one that offers comprehensive coverage and fits your needs.

What should I do if I need medical care and don’t have insurance?
If you require medical care and don’t have insurance, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for all medical services, which can be very expensive. It’s highly recommended to have valid health insurance to avoid these costs. If you find yourself without insurance, immediately contact a health insurance provider to enroll in a plan.

Additional Resources

Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Provides detailed information for foreigners looking to study in Spain, including visa requirements, application procedures, and living in Spain.
Spanish Academic Exchange Service (SEPIE): Offers comprehensive information on studying in Spain, including available programs, scholarships, and practical advice for international students.

2. Cost of Living 💰

Embracing the vibrant lifestyle of Spain means understanding the cost of living to manage your budget wisely. Spain offers a reasonably affordable cost of living compared to many Western European countries, but expenses can vary significantly depending on your city of choice and lifestyle.

Detailed Breakdown of Living Expenses

Accommodation: Average monthly rent.
€250 – €900/month
Food: Average monthly cost for groceries and dining out.
€150 – €350/month
Transportation: Average monthly cost for public transportation and other modes of travel.
€40 – €70/month
Utilities: Average monthly cost for basic utilities (electricity, water, internet).
€80 – €150/month
Entertainment and Leisure: Average monthly cost for leisure activities.
€50 – €200/month
Miscellaneous Expenses: Average monthly cost for personal items and services.
€50 – €200/month

3. Accommodation Options 🏠

Finding the perfect place to live is a crucial part of your study abroad experience. Spain offers a wide variety of accommodation options, each with its unique benefits and price ranges.

Types of Accommodation

Student Dorms: Typically provided by universities, these offer a vibrant social environment and convenience.
Price: €250 – €450/month
Shared Apartments (Pisos Compartidos): Sharing an apartment is a popular and cost-effective option.
Price: €300 – €600/month
Private Apartments: Renting your own place provides the most privacy and independence.
Price: €500 – €900/month
Homestays: Live with a local family to experience cultural immersion and a home-like environment.
Price: €300 – €600/month
Specialized Student Housing: Purpose-built student accommodations managed by private companies, offering a range of amenities and services tailored to students.
Price: €400 – €800/month

Find accommodation in Spain

Find the best student housing options with our Accommodation Finder

Tips and Resources

Start Early: Begin your search well in advance to secure the best options.
Budget Wisely: Include utilities and internet in your budget when planning for accommodation costs.
Consider Location: Proximity to your university, public transportation, and local amenities is important.
Use Reliable Platforms: Ensure you book through reputable platforms to avoid scams and ensure quality accommodations. The ones you see on wearefreemovers have been preselected by us, so you can be more at ease choosing them.

4. University Information 🎓

Choosing the right university is a significant decision in your study abroad journey. Spain boasts some of the world’s nicest institutions, offering a diverse array of programs and a dynamic academic environment. Our University Finder can help you discover the best institutions with a user-friendly interface. Access detailed information on institutions and effortlessly filter them by country, subject, and other criteria to find the perfect match for your study abroad semester goals.

Find universities in Spain

Try our University Finder and discover the best universities for your needs

5. Further Practical Information 🛠️


Spain has an efficient and diverse transportation system that makes getting around both easy and enjoyable.

Public Transportation 🚆: Most cities feature reliable public transport networks, including buses, metros, and trams. Monthly passes typically cost between €40 and €60, with student discounts available. Cities like Madrid and Barcelona have extensive metro systems that are both efficient and convenient.

Bicycles 🚴: Many Spanish cities are bike-friendly, with dedicated lanes and bike-sharing programs. Seville and Valencia, in particular, are known for their excellent cycling infrastructure.

Long-Distance Travel 🚄: The Renfe train network connects major cities, and discount cards like the Tarjeta Joven offer reduced fares for young travelers. Budget airlines and long-distance buses are also popular for traveling across Spain and to neighboring countries.

Tips 💡: Always check for student discounts on transportation passes and consider buying a multi-trip pass or semester ticket if available. For intercity travel, booking train or bus tickets in advance can secure the best rates.

Banking and Finances

Managing your finances effectively is crucial for a stress-free study abroad experience.

Opening a Bank Account 🏦: Most banks in Spain offer special accounts for students with low or no fees. Popular banks include Banco Santander, BBVA, and CaixaBank.

Documents Required 📑: To open a bank account, you will typically need your passport, proof of enrollment, residence registration, and visa.

Currency 💶: The currency in Spain is the Euro (€). Having a local bank account helps avoid foreign transaction fees and simplifies everyday transactions.

Tips 💡: Look for student-friendly bank accounts and make use of online banking apps to manage your finances efficiently. Consider using services like for seamless international transactions.

Local Culture and Etiquette

Understanding local customs and social norms will help you integrate smoothly into Spanish society.

Punctuality ⏰: Spaniards tend to be more relaxed about time compared to some other cultures, but it’s still important to be punctual for academic and formal appointments.

Greetings 🤝: A common greeting in Spain includes a kiss on each cheek, although this can vary by region and context. Handshakes are also common in formal settings.

Mealtimes 🍽️: Spanish mealtimes are typically later than in many other countries, with lunch around 2-3 PM and dinner around 9-10 PM. Meals are often long and social, especially during dinner.

Public Behavior 🤫: Spaniards value social interaction and can be expressive in public. However, it’s important to maintain respectful behavior in public spaces, particularly in quieter residential areas.

Do you still have doubts?

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We would be glad to help you guiding step by step in every application you have to complete or to simply solve your doubts.