Student Guide: Stay Safe While Studying in Spain

Student Guide: Stay Safe While Studying in Spain

Best Ways To Travel in Spain as an International Student

For the most part, Spain is a safe country. In fact, it is one of the safest countries in the world, as evidenced by its rank in the 2020 Global Peace Index, at rank 38 among 163 countries. However, for international students, it still pays to practice vigilance while staying in this beautiful European country, especially if you don’t speak that much Spanish, or are just starting to study the language. 

To help you stay safe while studying in Spain, here are some tips you can follow. 

Keep Your Valuables On Your Person

The most likely crime you may experience if you are not careful enough in the country is pickpocketing. Spain is a country that is rich in culture, history, and beautiful sceneries. Thus, it has always been a favorite holiday destination. In fact, in 2019, Spain ranked as the second most visited country in the world, per the World Tourism Organization. 

However, due to the many tourists in the country, Spain’s big cities, especially Barcelona and Madrid, are a target for pickpockets. In those cases, always remember to keep your valuables on your person or at least close to your body. Put them in places where you can easily see them, especially in the metro. In case you are carrying a purse, always make sure that it is zipped. If you are carrying a wallet or a phone, put them in your front pocket, never the back. 

Try to Stay Low Key and Blend in with the Locals

The best way to avoid being a target of some crimes, especially pickpocketing or even scams is to blend with the locals. Try to not make yourself stand out, especially in big cities in Spain. This will make you an unlikely target for pickpockets and scammers. Some tips to blending in with the locals include the following: 

  • As much as possible, wear muted clothes
  • Wear clothes based on the weather 
  • Try not to bring your camera too much, as cameras are the usual item that tourists have with them
  • Be courteous to people around you
  • Learn about Spain’s currency so you won’t fumble when transacting 

Learn the Language

Although many study programs in Spain are being offered in English, try to learn Spanish as much as you can. Although many cities in Spain usually speak Spanish or Catalan, it is ok to focus on Spanish instead. This can make you more aware of your surroundings, making you more comfortable to go around and understand what people are talking about. 

Moreover, if you know the language, it will also be easier to ask for directions in case you get lost. 

Avoid Civil Disturbances

Spain is a progressive country that respects protests and such. However, although most protests in Spain are not as bad as it seems, do not join them, even if some of your friends ask you to (they will understand). Moreover, you won’t know what’s bound to happen in case things become more serious. In case you get arrested, it might become a problem to your status as a foreign student. 

As an international student, it is part of your responsibility to stay safe while studying in Spain. However, know that there are various mechanisms, groups, and people you can ask for help in case of an emergency or if you face some issue, such as the police, your friends, and the international office in your institution. 

Know more about Spain as a study destination such as activities you can do as an international student. Check out MSM Unify’s article on this topic to learn about them. 


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