Spain

A beautiful day on the beach in Cadiz, SpainImportant visa information

Exchange students require a Spanish student visa if you are going to be in Spain for more than 90 days. You need to apply to the Spanish Embassy in your capital city.

To apply for a student visa you must produce evidence that you have travel insurance and several other documents. It usually takes three to four weeks for applications to be processed so make sure you allow as much time as possible. Exchange students also need to apply for a Student Residence Permit within 30 days of arriving in Spain. Your host university will explain how to do this when you arrive.

Autonomous University of Barcelona

Faculties: Communication, Arts & Humanities, Translation and Interpreting and Political Science and Sociology
Status: Faculty of Communication is LIMITED, other faculties are OPEN
Level: Undergraduate and graduate
Language of instruction: Catalan, Spanish, and some English
Minimum Grade requirement: WAM 70
Semester dates: tentative dates

  • Fall semester: September – February
  • Spring semester: February – June/July


Full time study load: 30 ECTS per semester
NB: At least 50% of study must be undertaken within one nominated faculty. There are limited English options in all available faculties. It is recommended applicants have some level of proficiency in Spanish language.

About the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) is a comprehensive, dynamic and modern public university founded in 1968. It is committed to society and to the environment, opened to the world and with a genuine academic atmosphere.

The UAB is among the best education establishments in Spain and the European Union in terms of the quality of teaching and research, and aims to prepare professionals with the profiles needed by society. It offers a wide range of courses, with 81 undergraduate programmes, 84 graduate programmes and 67 Ph.D. It is the house of 46.000 students, and 16% of them are international.

The UAB holds a leading position in the most prestigious international university rankings. According to the QS Ranking 2013/2014, the UAB is located at position 177thin the world, 79th in Europe and first in Spain. As regards academic ambits, the UAB is in the top 100 worldwide in the field of Social sciences. QS top 50 under 50 2013/2014 (which includes universities founded less than 50 years ago), ranks the UAB 9th in the world, 2ndat European level, and first in Spain. The Times Higher Education World ranks UAB among the best 226-250 world universities in 2013, while THE Top 100 under 50 2012/2013 ranks the UAB 22nd in the world. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) the UAB is listed in the 201-300 position.

They are one of the few universities in Spain to have a university campus and to develop its activities in natural surroundings. UAB's infrastructure was created exclusively for university life and the campus provides all the services for academic, leisure and everyday life. Strongly committed to international projection, they participate in a wide range of international projects and student exchange programs in Europe, America, Africa and Asia.

The specifics

The university has 3 campuses one in Barcelona, one in Sabadell, and the main one is located in Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès) 35 minutes by train from Barcelona downtown. A list of courses offered to exchange students are available in Catalan, Spanish and English. For a list of courses offered in English, please refer to their website. Exchange students at the UAB must enrol in at least 50% of their credits to the affiliated faculty and the other 50% of the credits can be taken with the rest of the UAB faculties. Student can have the option of undertaking intensive pre- or post-exchange program Spanish Language courses. However, students will need to pay tuition for the program and organise their enrolment independently.

Universidad Autonoma de Madrid

Faculties: All
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: Majority of units are taught in Spanish. Very limited number of courses in certain faculties are taught in English.
Minimum Grade requirement: WAM 65
Semester dates:

  • Autumn semester: late September – late January
  • Spring semester: mid-February – mid May

Full time study load: 30 ECTS per semester

About Universidad Autonoma de Madrid

The Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (UAM) has been a bastion of independent intellectual thought since its establishment in the late 1960s, which came as a result of ambitious national educational reforms. The main campus, which sits on the northern fringe of Madrid in Cantoblanco, was purposefully designed as a self-contained university town, as to keep the dissenting student population away from the Francoist dictatorship in Madrid. UAM has since remained committed to its ideals of intellectual freedom and revolution, and continues many of its traditions from its early political years, which include many festivals during the spring months to raise money for local causes.

UAM is also a highly prestigious university and considered one of the most selective in Spain.

The specifics

As UAM offers classes taught only in Spanish, you will be required to have at least an intermediate level of Spanish in order to apply. The UAM provides exchange students the opportunity to study Spanish for free for one semester, however these classes do not award any credit. For more information, the Guide for International Students outlines most basic information you will need, as provided by the Office for International Relations and Mobility.

Exchange students are offered the opportunity to apply for housing in the two university residence halls, Colegio Mayor el Luis Vives and the Residencia Universitaria Erasmo. Alternatively, there are three gender-specific student halls which are within close proximity to the university.

University of Navarra

Faculties: Business, Arts, Law and Education (Education students should first check their eligibility with the faculty)
Level: Undergraduate and postgraduate
Language of instruction: Mainly Spanish with some units taught in English
Minimum Grade requirement: WAM 60
Semester dates:

  • Autumn semester: early September – late December
  • Spring semester: early January – end May

Full time study load: 30 ECTS per semester

About the University of Navarra

The University of Navarra (UN) is a university based on Christian values, and was established in 1952 by St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, who also founded Opus Dei. Located in the north-eastern corner of Spain, in the historical city of Pamplona, the university has borne witness and received the benefits of the increasing industry and modernisation of Spain, and now Pamplona has been listed as having one of the highest standards of living and quality of life.

The city itself is a blend of 12th century Old World and new urban architecture, and is world renowned for its annual San Fermín festival, marked by the running of the bulls through the streets of Pamplona.

The specifics

The International Relations office provides guidance and support for incoming exchange students, will greet you upon your arrival in Pamplona with a Welcoming Week. Classes at UN are predominantly taught in Spanish; however there are some bilingual degrees as well as classes within the School of Economics and Business Administration that hold classes taught in English. The Institute of Spanish Language and Culture offers both intensive and regular courses in Spanish for international students, and it should be noted that students are required to hold a B2 level in Spanish before applying.

UN provides all kinds of housing for students in Pamplona, Madrid and San Sebastian, which range from halls of residence, a university residence or university club. The university housing service also has a register of apartments in Pamplona which may be privately rented.

Students can also get involved with many of the activities and associations on campus, as well as partake in many of the events organised for exchange students.