In 2019, Spain had just over 194,000 international students (from around the world) in its higher education sector. This is a lot higher than two or three years ago, attributed to the fact that Spain has become increasingly popular as an attractive country in which to pursue a degree for international students. There are numerous factors that contribute to the increase in international students in Spain, and these range from the quality of education all the way to Spain’s wonderful climate.
Read on for a few tips for international students already studying in Spain, or for those considering an education in Spain in the future. This advice will likely help you make the very most of your Spanish experience. Although at the moment the Covid-19 pandemic is making it difficult for travel plans, Spain will always be there to welcome international students.
Here are some pieces of advice for international students in Spain:
1. Practice Spanish
Speaking another language has a lot of advantages, especially when that language happens to be the second most spoken language in the world. Spanish is also one of the easiest languages for English-speakers to learn as it’s a Romance language, which derives from Latin, just like many English words. Living in Spain offers you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and the language.
Even if you are studying on an English-taught program, take the opportunity to learn Spanish – hang around with Spanish speakers, get to know the locals – Spanish people are generally great company and very friendly. To practice your language skills, order food in Spanish, buy groceries in Spanish, or start singing or watching television in Spanish.
Endless possibilities… Learning a new language can be fun.
2. Learn How to Save Money
As an international student, you are likely on a tight budget. Learn how to, and practice, managing your finances. Plan your budget at the beginning of the month, allocate money for necessities, recreation and extras.
To avoid having unexpected expenses due to medical emergencies, lost luggage, travel cancellations, make sure you have a good insurance such as policy, such as Spain travel insurance policy, which covers all aforementioned expenses. Insurance is usually a requirement for the visa application process.
3. Explore the Outdoors (and Spanish Culture)
Take advantage of your time in Spain to explore as much as you can! Spain has so much to offer; amazing landscapes, varied scenery and architecture, history, and, of course, sunny beaches. As an international student you’ll have plenty of opportunities to visit vibrant cities, try different foods, relax in quiet villages, and be amazed by the architecture.
You’ll be immersed in a country that is famous for its rich culture, defined by colourful festivals, delicious cuisine, beautiful music, and the home of Flamenco dancing. There’s also plenty of nightlife in the cities, for instance Madrid or Barcelona. Make new friendships, memories, and experience all that Spain has to offer.Travelling and meeting new people is, after all, one of the greatest advantages of studying abroad.
4. Socialize, Socialize, Socialize!
Making friends and socializing won’t be difficult in Spain, especially for international students who will spend a lot of their time on campus. Socialize, make friends – it’s always more fun to explore with other people. On campus, you’ll meet people from around the world, and will learn about different cultures. Creating friendships will help you integrate and keep you from feeling homesick. Do not underestimate the importance of creating new connections and friendships.
This saying is so true: “Be genuinely interested in everyone you meet and everyone you meet will be genuinely interested in you.”
5. Grow Academically
As the main purpose of your travel is to study, make sure you make the most of the academic opportunities. Spain is known for its world-class education, efficient teaching methods, and globally-recognized qualifications. Keep up with your classes and university assignments. Spanish universities will help you become the best version of yourself in your professional life, but you also need to play your part.
6. Find a Balance
Finding a balance between being a tourist in Spain and committing to your studies is essential. Schedule your time to get your studies done, while allowing time to have fun off campus. Plan longer trips for the weekends or holidays, and explore locally during the week. Plan trips around your university schedule and you’ll be able to create the balance you need and travel stress-free. Besides, in a foreign country, even a trip to the coffee shop is a new adventure.