Studying and Living for International Students in Spain

Life as a student in Spain is fascinating and valuable. The very first thing you notice and feel when you just step in Spain is the pleasant climate. Spain possesses an excellent cultural heritage. Another of Spain's major attractions is its infrastructure and top-class healthcare system: up-to-date and outspread. Also, Spain has an extended system of interlinked transport modes.

As a student, you have tons of things running through your mind like accommodation, living expenses and other necessary things.


The accommodation arrangements must be made before your arrival. There are many accommodation facilities available in Spain for students. Various types of housing in Spain for Students are-

Host Families: Students who come to study in Spain have the option of staying with the host families. It is a great opportunity to experience the Spain culture and lifestyle first-hand.

Dormitories: Many of the Spain Higher education institutions provide dorm housing and on-campus housing to students. They are affordable, nearby to the institution and give an opportunity to meet and interact with other students attending the institution. 

Studio Apartments: Studio apartment rentals are available throughout Spain, and are also called as extended-stay hotels. They are expensive, but provide many facilities from living space to a bedroom area, a kitchen, on-site laundry facilities, cable TV, telephone and more –all at one price. These are accessible for a time span of 30 days to 12 months.

Apartments/flats: You can even rent your own place. Apartments or flats are available throughout Spain. These are handled by the private owners. The agents can help you find a better flat or apartment. 

The amount of rent in Spain varies depending upon the type of accommodation, location, and amenities provided.

Living Expenses in Spain

The average monthly expenses of a student are about –euro-900 to –euro-1,000. Costs are higher in large cities, particularly in the city centre. But, all in all, it depends upon your lifestyle, location and needs. Here is a tentative list of average prices of the basic everyday needs- (varies depending upon location) 
  • Coffee: €1.25
  • A full breakfast: €2 to 4
  • Soft drink or beer: €2
  • Loaf of bread: €0.70
  • A set menu in a normal restaurant: €10-15
  • A single ticket for the bus or underground: €1.35
  • 10-ride pass: €9
  • Monthly pass : €40
  • Newspaper: €1.20 (costly on Sundays)
  • Cinema ticket: €7
  • Internet connection: €40 a month, approx.  
The three economical places to live in Spain are Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela and Granada, and the most expensive ones are Madrid and Barcelona.

Tuition Fees 

The tuition fees vary depending upon the institution, however, on an average you can expect the average tuition fee to be roughly 1000 Euros per semester.

The average costs for the different degree levels are-

Bachelor Degree: A bachelor’s degree ranges between 680 and 1,280 Euros per school year when attending a public university. Fees for attending a private university to get a bachelor’s degree vary between 5,500 and 18,000 Euros per school year.

Post-Graduate Studies- For Master’s or Doctoral degrees, university fees at public institutions are regulated by government, and vary between 17 and 65 Euros per credit.

HealthCare and Medical Treatment in Spain

The health and medical treatment in Spain is of top-class.

European Health Card (EHC)

As a student in Spain, you are required to have a European Health Card (EHC). With this card, you are entitled to the medical treatment in Spain at a reduced cost. Most medical services are covered with this card, except dental services. Around 60% is of the prescriptions are included under this card, and the remaining 40% have to be paid by you. 

Many health centers are available for to receive dental services at no cost. You are required to have your social security number in order to take advantage of the free dental care. 

Whether you are visiting a health center, a doctor’s office or a hospital it is mandatory to show your EHC every time you make a visit. If you do not have this card with you while you visit the doctor or hospital, you have to pay the full sum of the invoice. The European Health Card (EHC) is valid for the entire duration of your stay in Spain.

EHC Card Applying Procedure: You can apply for the EHC card either online or through phone. You are required to provide your name, NHS number and your date of birth for applying. There are no charges of applying.

Private Insurance

Students in Spain can opt for private insurance. There are several companies that provide private insurance to students in Spain and each company's proposal/offer varies. When you go for private health insurance it is indispensable to compare the insurance plans and take the best one.  The amount to obtain private insurance varies depending upon the service you need to be covered in the plan, company you buy from, and other things, so choose carefully.

With private insurance, you will have shorter wait times for health and medical treatment; can choose from different hospitals or doctors and more.

Transportation for Students in Spain

Spain has an extensive network of interlinked transport means. 

Travelling In and Around by Bus 

 In Spain, there are several routes and buses that lead you to different parts of the city. In many cities there is also a night bus services. Buses in Spain are managed and regulated by City Council. Bus fare varies depending upon the city.  

Underground - Metro

 To avoid above-ground traffic this is the best mode of transport. There are metro systems in Spain. This is the fastest means of transport. Big cities in Spain have a very good tube network and Madrid is known to have one of the best metro systems in Europe. You can get the tickets for the metro from the station stand or designated machines.  

Getting Around by Train 

In Spain, there is a huge rail network. The trains are run by RENFE (REd Nacional de Ferrocarriles Espanoles). You can either take "Cercanias" or suburban commuter railway network for short journeys, or the medium- and long-distance trains if you are planning to explore other parts of the country and want to travel reasonably fast.  Also, you can get student discounts on ticket.
Also, there is a high speed railway- AVE (Alta Velocidad Espanola) in Spain that runs only from Catalonia to Andalusia and crossing over Madrid. 

Travelling In and Around by Taxi 

Taxis in Spain are available throughout the Spain. You can get the taxi on the spot or can book it in advance by calling the taxi provider. The fare is charged according to speed and distance and is measured through a device installed at the dashboard where it can be easily monitored by the customer. 

Rental Car

Rental cars are available to students in Spain. A rental car can be rented for any period of time with huge discounts. 

Getting Around by Bicycle

The best way to travel in and around Spain is through bicycle. Bicycles are picked up from special designated areas. You are charged the moment you unlock the bicycle from its collection point till it is locked again. Fees are pre- or post-paid.

Working in Spain While Studying

You can work up to 20 hours a week, with a condition that your work schedule is compatible with your studies.

For EU students-

If you are a student coming to Spain for higher education from the European Union, then you need to be registered at the Social Security Office, and should have a DNI Extanjero. For registering as well as DNI Extanjero, you require to have your passport. Once you’re registered you can easily get a job in Spain.

For Non-EU students-

If you are coming from NON-EU country, you are required to get a work permit from the Spanish Consulate in your country of residence. If your stay period is more than 90 days, you’ll require applying for residence visa.
Most jobs in Spain are 40 hour, 9 to 6 positions, finding part-time work is difficult. It is in your best interest to start the search as early as you possibly can.

Internships in Spain

You can get internship in Spain as a university student. Contact the Association of International Students for Economics and Commerce for internships.

Discounts Required for International Students in Spain

International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

International students should get the International Student Identity Card to avail the discounts on accommodation, transport, telephone and more. This card is valid in more than 120 countries. You can apply for it online or get it directly in Spain. For this you are required to submit academic credentials, a recent passport-size photo and your valid ID proof (ID card or passport).  The minimum age to apply is 12 and there is no maximum age. It is valid for 16 months only. To apply or know more about the card see  

European Youth Card 

European Youth Card is for young individual in the age group 14 to 30, valid in more than 40 countries. In Spain this card is promoted by the Youth Institute (Injuve) and the youth organisations of the Autonomous Regions. With this card, you can get discounts in accommodation. To know more see official website

International Youth Travel Card (IYTC)  

International Youth Travel Card (IYTC) is valid for young individuals who are not full-time students and fall in the age group 12-25. With this card, you can get discounts in rail or international air tickets and more. This card is valid for 12 months from the issue date. 

Spanish Youth Hostel Network (REAJ) Card

Spanish Youth Hostel Network (REAJ) card is acknowledged internationally and can be used in many national and foreign hostels. This card helps you to get national and international discount in accommodation and other things. To apply for this, you are required to have a valid Identity card or passport, and pay the required fee. To know more visit
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