Every year, thousands of American students choose to travel in an effort to see the world and study abroad. Many of those who do so find that the decision to study in Spain was a rewarding one for many reasons. Because Spain is a beautiful country and a center of historical importance, students with interest in history and the humanities tend to enjoy studying in Spain a great deal. Of course, those seeking education in other fields may study in Spain as well and enjoy it just as much. Most Spanish colleges and universities instruct in English and Spanish, another reason that Americans who study abroad choose Spain.
The Spanish university system works very similarly to that of the United States and most other Western nations, with students choosing a major (asignaturas troncales) which will determine the required subject matter in all curricula that will lead to an official degree and university designated required subjects (asignaturas obligatorias) that all students must take. In the Spanish system, credits are earned for successfully completing coursework and demonstrating the knowledge learned through written or oral examinations, just as in the US. Most students will find the transition from domestic to Spanish university relatively seamless.
If you’re interested in studying in Spain, the best way to get started is to inquire with a domestic university about any study abroad programs they may offer. While it may be less costly to apply directly to a Spanish university, the assistance you’ll receive from a sponsoring domestic university can be invaluable. Applying without the involvement of a US university also may make it more difficult for you to get credit for your courses in the US because many US schools still require some form of payment for credits earned abroad.
There are several things to keep in mind when preparing to study in Spain. First of all, students planning to stay in Spain for longer than three months will be required to obtain a visa. If you’ll be in the country for a shorter duration, you’ll need only a passport. Spanish universities may have their own requirements for admission, such as a general knowledge of the local language and a minimum grade point average. Any trip abroad, in today’s day and age, must be carefully planned due to concerns of terrorism and international politics, but while those concerns need to be taken seriously, they shouldn’t be allowed to ruin your overall experience.
The choice to study abroad in any foreign country can serve to enhance and add value to the university experience of almost any student. If you have the means and opportunity to do so you should take advantage of it. Studying abroad helps the student learn so much more than just the information presented in class. You’ll learn first hand how peoples of another culture live, think, act, and perceive the world around them. By studying in Spain you’ll expose yourself to a life experience that you’ll never forget and which will serve you for years to come.