Why International Students Are Choosing to Study in Spain | Top Universities

Why International Students Are Choosing to Study in Spain

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Stephanie Lukins

Updated Mar 13, 2021



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In 2018, almost 110,000 students flocked to Spain to embark on an academic journey of a lifetime. With the number of international students studying in Spain rising year on year, it begs the question, what is it that makes the country such an attractive study destination?

Hint: it’s not just its Mediterranean climate, outstanding cuisine, or friendly locals either. 

Its long-standing tradition of top-class academic institutions

Spain’s long-standing reputation for offering some of the best education in the world dates back to 1218. Since then, it’s continued to strive and make waves in the world of academia, producing world-class research and some of the best business schools not just in Europe, but around the globe.

One in particular is IE Business School, which is renowned for employing a ‘technology-based learning eco-system’, as it continuously adapts and evolves its curriculum to reflect the current trends and realities of the business world.

Having landed a spot in the world’s top ten universities for its innovation in technology and teaching, IE Business School also continues to dominate university rankings and receive accolades for its undergraduate and graduate business degrees, including its International MBA, Master in Finance, and Master in Management programs.

You’ll gain a wider and more international perspective

Although this point is relevant to basically any country you can study abroad in, it’s particularly worth highlighting here.

Studying in Spain exposes you to elements and experiences you wouldn’t usually encounter if you were to study in your home country. Having to immerse yourself in a new culture, acclimatizing to a new way of studying and working, and in some circumstances, learning a new language, can have a significant impact on any future job applications you make, and Spain opens you up to career possibilities in not just Europe but Latin America too.

Speaking of languages…

Despite many Spanish institutions offering English-taught degree programs, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world. Not only is it an extremely useful language to have when it comes to ordering food in a local restaurant, or asking for directions, you’ll be able to get to know your classmates better too.

Oh, and employers consider being multilingual a valuable skill as well. After all, the Spanish language dominates global business communications, from Latin America to Europe, and everywhere in between.

Don’t panic if you can only master the basics (for the time being, anyway). A large number of institutions in Spain, including IE Business School, offer English-taught degree programs.

A bustling hub for tech startups and ambitious entrepreneurs

Barcelona may take the crown as Spain’s answer to Silicon Valley, but Madrid’s tech startup scene is starting to take off as well. Over the last five years, the sunny Spanish capital has grown rapidly, become home to over 1,200 tech startups, and has come to be considered one of the EU’s “fastest growing economies.”

If you’re looking for a place where you can turn your ideas into a genuine reality, Spain is the place to do it. In fact, IE Business School has developed its own Venture Lab which fosters fresh entrepreneurial talent that comes through its doors.

Students are assigned their very own mentor, who has a wealth of sector-specific knowledge and experience, in order to help students prepare their projects to present to potential investors and fellow entrepreneurs.

The land of living the good life

From tapas to sangria, football to the flamenco, there’s no denying there’s an abundance of rich history, art, and culture around every corner.

Despite the clichés, Spain is able to offer a quality of life like no other. The second most-visited country in the world in 2017, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Spain’s ability to entice and excite is hard to rival.

In between lectures and studying, students can bask in the warm sunshine, take in the magic of local fiestas, wander the welcoming streets, tickle their taste-buds with the sweet taste of sangria or spicy tones of tapas, as well as discover the country’s miles of golden beaches and picture-perfect landscapes.

Plus, with a cost of living that’s relatively low compared to its European counterparts, softer visa restrictions, and a reputation as a safe and secure country, it’s no wonder Spain is extremely appealing to students from all over the world.

This article was originally published on June 18th, 2019.

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