In 2020, Spain recorded around 125,675 international students enrolled in its higher educational institutions (HEIs), a huge increase from its 2017 count of 94,962. Although not as high as the other top study destinations in Europe, such the UK and France, Spain’s increasing number of foreign students every year is a good sign that the Spanish education system is thriving.

Spain is home to top-notch institutions. In fact, 29 of its HEIs have ranked in the latest QS World University Rankings, while 50 ranked in the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. These rankings cement Spain’s reputation as a country that offers world-class education.

international students in spain

Planning to study in Spain? You must learn how much a Spanish education and living expenses cost as part of your financial preparation. 

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees in Spain are relatively lower than other countries in Western Europe. The Spanish government sets them and subsidizes tuition fees for the majority of its universities. 

However, certain fees may still vary depending on the institution, its location, the program the student chooses, and whether the student came from other European countries or not. Generally, EU and Swiss students pay lower tuition fees than international students from other continents. 

In general, public universities in Spain may have tuition fees that cost as low as €750 per year or as high as €2,500 per year. On the other hand, private institutions’ tuition fees may cost around €5,500 to €18,00 per year. 

Living Cost

Despite having a high quality of life, and a safe environment, the cost of living in Spain is also cheaper than its neighboring countries to the north. In fact, according to Forbes, even in the capital city Madrid, the rent and food are cheap, and one does not need a car to go around the city. 

Aside from tuition fees, international students must also take into consideration the living expenses, such as rent, food, transportation, utilities, and entertainment. Below is a breakdown of some of the basic necessities (plus other common expenses) that students should note: 

Food (restaurant)€10.95
Utilities (electricity, heating, water, cooling, garbage)€116.01
Accommodation Rent (1 bedroom apartment)€496.72 to €646.49
Transportation (1-way ticket)€1.40
Clothing (dress)€28.73
Clothing (a pair of jeans)€70.70

Financial Assistance, Part-Time Work and Discounts 

There are various financial assistance options for international students who need support for their Spanish education. The options include scholarships and grants from the Spanish government, organizations, and institutions. Some assistance may be specific to the student’s country of origin, while some might be program-specific. 

Aside from scholarships and grants, students eligible to work can also supplement their living costs with the salary they get from work. Moreover, students can also use their valid IDs or international student identification card (ISIC) to get discounts from restaurants, transportation, and even in buying study materials such as books or laptops. 

Want to study in Spain? Browse through MSM Unify’s courses in Spain to start your journey now.