If you are hoping to attend high school in Spain as a study abroad student, you are certainly not alone in choosing this popular host country! In the 2013/14 school year, over 189,000 international students studied abroad in Spain. Attending Spain high schools for a couple of weeks, a semester, or even an entire school year may be a great opportunity to brush up on your Spanish language skills, learn about a new culture, and make new friends. Of course, you probably have a few questions before embarking on your study abroad adventure. Here are a few helpful FAQs about attending high school in Spain.

Do high schools in Spain host American students?

Sure! There may be a number of study abroad programs for high school students to choose from. Often, students live with host families so they have a chance to experience day-to-day life in Spain. They may benefit from language immersion, in addition to learning about the history, politics, and culture of Spain.

One thing you’ll likely discover is that high school in Spain is structured differently than in the U.S. education system. For example, after attending eight years of educational programs, Spanish students may opt to enroll in a two-year technical training program. Alternatively, they may choose to pursue a three-year program, followed by a fourth year of college prep required for attending a university. And that’s only two of the options Spanish students may have. You’ll likely have plenty of questions for your Spanish host family and classmates about how high school works in Spain!

Why study abroad at a high school in Spain?

There may be many great reasons for choosing Spain as your study-abroad destination. For example, you may hope to hone your Spanish-speaking skills in preparation for future international business studies. Or, you may want to experience Spain’s exciting art and music scene before pursuing a possible fine arts degree. For potential history majors, just imagine walking in the footsteps of medieval royalty or visiting Christopher Columbus’ tomb in Seville! Bringing your studies to life is just one potential reason to choose Spain. It may even be possible to earn college credits while studying abroad.

Of course, you’ll need to make some decisions when it comes to choosing a study abroad program and an area of Spain to visit. From historic Madrid to bustling Barcelona, Spain is home to many diverse cities and regions—each with different local delicacies, traditions, and dialects! Choose the one that best suits your interests and goals.

Do I need a visa to study at Spain high schools?

That depends. If you are planning to study in Spain for longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for a student visa. Your study abroad program should have more information about how to apply for a visa, or you may contact your nearest consulate. Keep in mind that a visa can take up to two months to process, so be sure to apply in a timely manner to make sure you are ready to embark on your study-abroad journey.

The good news is that if you will be studying in Spain for fewer than 90 days, you do not need to obtain a visa. Of course, some students hope to study abroad for a semester or even an entire school year. If you’re planning to stay in Spain for longer than 180 days, you must apply for a “certification of absence of police records.” Upon arrival, you’ll exchange your 90-day student visa for a residency permit in order to remain in the country for the duration of your program. It may be a good idea to check with your study abroad program for more information about what is required for your stay in Spain!

Find Spain High Schools to Study

Have you decided that studying at a Spanish high school may be the perfect choice for you? Here are a few programs worth considering.