Spain's powerful world empire of the 16th and 17th centuries ultimately yielded command of the seas to England. Subsequent failure to embrace the mercantile and industrial revolutions caused the country to fall behind Britain, France, and Germany in economic and political power.Spain remained neutral in World War I and II but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39). A peaceful transition to democracy following the death of dictator Francisco FRANCO in 1975, and rapid economic modernization (Spain joined the EU in 1986) gave Spain a dynamic and rapidly growing economy and made it a global champion of freedom and human rights. More recently Spain has emerged from a severe economic recession that began in mid-2008, posting three straight years of GDP growth above the EU average. Unemployment has fallen, but remains high especially among youth. Spain is the Eurozone’s fourth largest economy.
Study cities and universities
There is not only Barcelona and Madrid in Spain, although these two cities provide countless cultural, historical, and educational as well as recreational factors! Some of the best universities in Spain are located in these two cities.However, Spanish universities’ reputation comes from the many universities positioned in worldwide high-ranking lists that are spread in other beautiful, yet highly educational cities, such as Malaga, Valencia, Salamanca, Granada, Bilbao, Saragossa, Santiago de Compostela, and Pamplona. Salamanca has one of the oldest universities – over 800 years old!Leading universities with the highest numbers of international students include Universidad de Alcalá, Universidad de Navarra, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).
The Spanish are student friendly
Spanish people are known to be very friendly and open. They enjoy starting a casual conversation and being helpful towards one another. It is considered one of the easiest places to make new friends!However, coming to this friendly environment comes with a few preparations, especially if you are coming from an area that would require you to get a visa in the first place. In this case, you should definitely start getting ready a bit earlier than the rest!Here you can find more in-depth explanations about Spanish Visa Requirements and ways how to apply from your home country.
History and Culture
This is a country abundant with historical and cultural qualities! Some of the distinctive pearls to enjoy while in Spain include:
The Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, Granada
Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Sites
The Great Mosque of Cordoba (Mezquita)
The Prado and Paseo del Artes, Madrid
San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
Seville Cathedral and Alcazar
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
Plaza Mayor, Madrid
Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, Valencia
Costa del Sol Beaches
La Rambla, Barcelona
Toledo’s Old City
The White Towns of Andalucía
El Teide, Tenerife
The Spanish attitude is the Fiesta attitude! There are many festivals throughout the year, making life all the richer and merrier for many inhabitants, students, and visitors! But, this does not imply that the Spanish are not hard-workers.After going through the roller-coaster of partying and celebrations, the amazing Spanish cuisine will clear out all the buzz left behind!
As a student in Spain, you are allowed to work part-time while studying or full-time for less than three months in total, as long as it does not interfere with your study routine. What’s more, the Spanish are known to have a long lunch-break, around 3 hours, during the heat peak time.You can use this time for various personal reasons – visits, family meetings, running errands or NAP. The short nap is the meaning of the Spanish Siesta, and it is acceptable to do so while there. Who would’ve thought?
Studying in English
Teaching in English is Spain’s national strategy to attract a larger number of international students so, there are many study fields available entirely in English. Although, becoming fluent in Spanish is another major goal for students studying in Spain.
Expand your horizons
You can travel by booking your flight earlier and getting cheap tickets to countries and continents surrounding Spain. This can be a cheap task for you to easily take advantage of and please your curiosity! Africa, Portugal and France are among the beauties you can enjoy during your study breaks!Also, traveling within Spain alone could keep you busy for the full semester. Spain is one of those countries where you can ski and surf on the same day. Composed of beautiful beaches, vineyards, and mountains as well as historical sites – Spain is one large territory to explore!
Learn a new language
Spanish is the third most-spoken language in the globe and the second most spoken language in the Western world. Getting your head around it may open many doors for your future career. Plus, Spanish is the language of Romance – do take your time!