Spain is one of the most famous choices for places that students would want to be in if ever they had the chance to study abroad. This is not a surprise as the country offers a brilliant quality of student life with its attractions, culture, environment, and quality of education. The community is also very welcoming and the students would feel at home with them. Let us take a look at the cost of living and studying in Spain for aspiring international students!

Cost of Studying in Spain

Let us look into some of the top universities in Spain to have an idea about the possible tuition fees that you would encounter if you are planning to study in the country.

The University of Barcelona is among the highest-ranked Spanish universities in the World University Rankings. Aside from this, it has also ranked high in different subject areas among universities all over the world. It is said that the tuition fees may vary depending on the degree program of the student. For international students who are not from the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA), the fees are higher. There is an average range of around 4,000 to 6,000 euros for the annual tuition for the students.

In the Complutense University of Madrid, which is one of the oldest institutions all over the world, the cost of the study would depend on the program of the students, and whether they are undergraduates or postgraduates. There are also other fees that need to be taken into accounts such as the following: office expenses, the opening of the records of the student, and student insurance. These are all the fees, along with the academic expenses or the tuition fees. The tuition fees are calculated based on the credits that the student is going to enroll in.

Cost of Living in Spain for International Students

1. Madrid

Madrid is the capital of Spain, and it is known for the beautiful architecture and culture that the students may be engaged in. As it is the capital city, it should be expected that the housing, or even the overall living costs, would be higher compared to other cities.

There are accommodations that could be arranged with the university that you are going to study in, but there are also other options for housing. You may choose to stay in a private studio apartment on your own or share with your friends. There is a monthly average of 800 to 1,300 euros for a single-bedroom apartment. If you opt to share a place or rent a room in a shared place, it may cost you between 350 to 700 euros per month. Public transportation is very efficient in the country, and a one-way ticket would cost you around 1.50 euros. You may purchase a monthly pass, and you could also get discounts as a student. The monthly expense for groceries in Madrid is an estimated budget between 200 to 300 euros.

2. Barcelona

The city of Barcelona itself is quite a popular choice for international students. If you are planning to stay in Barcelona, prices for the average monthly rent for a private apartment are not that far from that of Madrid’s, but it is more affordable. With around 750 to 1,200 euros for monthly rent, you could rent your own private single-bedroom apartment located in the city center.

For transportation, public transport is your best friend in this country as well. A one-way ticket would cost you around 1.40 to 2.50 euros, and a monthly pass is around 40 euros. Do not forget to show your student pass to get discounts for all your travels. Your food expenses would vary, especially with the number of amazing restaurants that you would encounter in the city. However, if you opt for cooking your meals and buying your groceries, you may set a budget of around 150 to 250 euros.

3. Valencia

Valencia is said to be one of the most affordable cities in Spain that a student could live in. The cost of living in this city is lower as compared to both Barcelona and Madrid. If you would choose to share an apartment, the monthly rent would be around 200 to 300 euros. A single-bedroom private apartment where you could stay by yourself will cost you between 500 to 900 euros per month.

Transportation is also said to be more affordable in this city where a single-ticket ride will cost you around 1.00 to 1.50 euros only. There is also the monthly pass available which costs around 30 to 45 euros. It is said that rides around the city are also cheaper. For your own food expenses, a monthly budget of 150 euros may be enough, but it is best that you would put in extra money for yourself.

4. Seville

Another affordable student city to live in the country is Seville. Here, you will be able to rent an apartment for yourself for around 450 to 750 euros. This monthly rent would already consist of a place that has one bedroom, and it is located within the center of the city. Housing that is just outside of the city center would cost even less.

Your best mode of transportation is just similar to the other cities—public transport. You have different options, like buses, trains, and taxis. For a one-way ride around the city, it would cost you between 0.85 to 1.50 euros. A monthly pass for public transport is around 30 to 35 euros, but this is for the regular price. As a student, you could get discounts for your rides. As the cost of living in this city is also more affordable compared to cities like Madrid and Barcelona, a monthly food budget of 150 to 200 euros may be enough.

5. Granada

Just like the previously mentioned cities, the city of Granada is also another affordable city to stay for students in Spain, without sacrificing the wonderful experience of studying abroad. The city has a friendly environment and a lot of tourist attractions that would keep the students interested.

A one-bedroom apartment located in the city center costs around 450 to 700 euros monthly if you choose to live on your own. Your accommodation expenses would cost less if you share with others, stay in university housing, or find a place that is just outside the city center. Public transport is also more affordable, with a one-way local trip that costs between 0.80 to 1.40 euros. There is also the monthly public transport pass that can be purchased for between 30 to 40 euros. If you choose to do your own groceries for your monthly meals, a budget of around 150 to 200 euros is appropriate. However, it is better if you would have an allowance.


We hope that this article on the Cost of Studying and Living in Spain for International Students was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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