Culture Shocks for International Students in Spain

Culture Shocks for International Students in Spain

4 Ways to Overcome Culture Shock in Barcelona
Who is not fascinated with Spain? With its great weather, stunning beaches, delicious cuisine, and approachable locals, you will definitely enjoy this country.

If you choose to study in Spain, you will surely have some of the best years of your life. But this doesn’t come easy. Once you move in, you will face a few culture shocks before fully adapting to the country. We have listed some of them.


Generally, Spain is an affordable country to study and live in. It would cost only a fraction of what you would spend for a room in Paris, London, or Munich.

It is also inexpensive for groceries. For example, a bottle of red wine would cost around USD $3 and a pint of beer along with tapas costs USD $1–3.

This is probably the nicest culture shock you’ll encounter. So, prepare your money because you won’t need to break the bank to buy Spanish goods.

Hours in class

It may be usual to spend only 12 to 16 hours per week in class. This is the typical duration of what you would spend class time in the UK.

In Spain, it is totally different. For some, 20 hours of class per week is a curse, but for others, it is a blessing. If you are studious, two-hour classes that start at 8 in the morning and end at 9 pm will do you good.

Prepare for this to avoid messing up your timetable. But what’s the real deal here is: when it is free time, it is free time. You won’t be studying during the breaks and the holidays. Also, Spanish instructors are very considerate toward students. They can ask you to write an essay rather than taking an exam.


Make sure you haul liters of water in your dorm or apartment. While tap water is safe to drink in most parts of Spain, some portions of it such as Valencia have tap water that tastes like chemicals and chlorine.


Spain has vibrant nightlife. Expect to go out at 2 am and go back home at 7 or 8 am. That is how fun and wild Spain’s nightlife can get.

If you want to taste the foods in Spain, go to restaurants at 9 pm at the earliest. Paella is normally served only at lunchtime, which is around 3 pm. It is normal to go for coffee at 7 pm.

Notice how Spain operates in its own time? The key here is adapting. You will have more time to finish tasks in the day then take a siesta in the afternoon then do some more tasks.

Culture shock is natural for first-timers to any country. Learn how to cope and remember that things will feel foreign, but this is only in the beginning.

Spain is a wonderful place to study in. Discover the wonders of Spain regarding education and lifestyle by browsing through MSM Unify portal.


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