10 Of the Top Reasons You Should Choose to Live and Study in Spain
Stunning blue skies, a burning bright sun, dry, dusty days or balmy summery nights can cause you to need an ice-cool sangria or sparkling mineral water to quench your thirst. Spain equals one word - sunshine - to most sun-worshipping or sun-deprived visitors. The magnificent light and the natural heat are two of the main reasons why international students choose to study in Spain. In recent decades the mercury has been hitting the high 40s (degrees centigrade) in summer but outside of those months the country still has a good year-round climate especially in the south that sees retired people warm their bones in the starry winter months. A land of spectacular sunrises and sunsets is to be found in Iberia and it's all down to its sunshine. One popular destination, Marbella in Andalucia, has a microclimate that sees it receive only about 30 days or rainfall a year!
2. Active outdoor lifestyle
Variety in outdoor pursuits is a key reason why such a broad range of students choose to study in Spain every year. Where else in any one European country can you find all sorts of imaginable healthy outdoor activities - beachside from paddle-boarding, scuba diving, volleyball, body surfing, water-skiing and wake-boarding to banana boating, swimming and sailing. Inland the hills offer hiking, walking or biking, swimming in turquoise lakes or skiing and snowboarding opportunities on snow-capped mountains. The country also boasts a long tradition of horses and equestrian activities. Add to that the country's successes in international soccer, golf and tennis tournaments of late and you are definitely in a place that is positively in love with all that an active, outdoor lifestyle can offer the young and young at heart who choose to study in Spain.
3. Party time!
If the day-time life is filled with health and fitness oxygen highs and kicks then the nightlife is also intoxicating in its hot and hip offerings. Spain is the country of choice for party-goers - from its traditional festivals and fairs to its trendiest cool clubs - the country is the capital of dusk-til-dawn dance culture. Ibiza, Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Marbella are just five of the must-visit, chic places in Iberia that offer options from beachside beats to groovy tunes in air-conditioned, city dance clubs. From tapas bars to cocktail bars, pubs to clubs there is a wide range of Spanish socialising and partying to be experienced in a place that is a party paradise here on earth for those who select to study in Spain.
4. The Mediterranean lifestyle
For years health gurus promoted the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. A diet full of olives and olive oil, lemons and citrus fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, fish and seafood and less dollops of dairy, meat and processed foods along with a glass or two of red wine were in vogue. For that alone who wouldn't want to study in Spain? But qualitative research into the longevity that people experience in Mediterranean countries showed that it wasn't their diet alone but also the lifestyle that goes with it that accounts for example for why Spanish people live longer than their EU counterparts, according to a 2015 Eurostat study. Included in the lifestyle are sharing meals with family or friends, walking in the outdoors, shopping for smaller quantities of fresh food daily, laughter, sunlight and sunshine.
Spain was for years identified with tapas and paella and has up until now played a cinderella role to its world-famous gourmet neighbour to the north. But the trend for television foodie programmes, books and websites opened up its world of foods. A slew of award-winning restaurants have put Iberian gastronomy firmly on the world map with visitors flying in to celebrate its food and to mark those special events in life in this culinary paradise. Its food culture also makes for a great experience for gourmand students who choose to study in Spain. In the most recent Opinionated About Dining awards for Europe four of ten top spots were garnered by Spanish chefs. (2) Azurmendi east of Bilbao and (7) Etxebarri both in the Basque country, (8) Diverxo in Madrid and (10) Restaurant Quique Dacosta in Dénia, Alicante garnered the prestigious places with the latter featuring "culinary expressionism and modernist Paella" on its menu.
Fashionistas flock to Spain for the rag trade's luxury end Madrid Fashion Week. But whether it is for designer brands, high-street retail therapy or ethnic and alternative chic the canny shopper wants it is all to be found - from the upmarket boutiques to the bohemian shops that dot the major towns or cities or in the market stalls that proliferate around the country. Deluxe brand names such as Manolo Blahnik, Paco Rabanne and Adolfo Dominguez are all Spanish-born designers. Students who come to study in Spain may know popular high-street brand Zara but how many know that Desigual, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear, Mango and Springfield - chains that dress many of us in the latest trends - are also Spanish? And the long opening times of city stores plus the abundance of markets on Sundays and other days means students can indulge their love of shopping while studying in Spain!
Spain makes up 85% of the Iberian Peninsula which it shares with Portugal, Gibraltar and the principality of Andorra in southwest Europe. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on its west and the Mediterranean on its east coast. North Africa is less than 16 km south of the Straits of Gibraltar where its southernmost territories of Ceuta and Melilla are. The Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, part of its 17 autonomous regions, are also a short flight away while France lies to its northeast and links it to the rest of continental Europe by road, rail and air. Spain's geography alone makes it an ideal location to go on short-hop trips north, south, east or west while its own vast size and distinctive regional differences makes it more than an ideal place for short trips within the country for students who opt to study in Spain.
Spain's reputation as a safe and secure country for holidays was initially popularised by the glitterati but has been celebrated by millions of holidaymakers ever since. Its tourism product was developed in the 1960s and 70s and has gone from strength to strength despite blips caused by either economic upswings or downturns. Spain’s extensive anti-terrorism provisions - which evolved in response to internal violence - saw it well placed to deal with international anti-terrorism efforts in the wake of the September 11 attacks in 2001 and others since. The counter-terrorism measures of the UN Security Council's Resolution 1373 which created the Counter Terrorism Committee to monitor states’ compliance, has seen active participation and expertise from Spain. All governments since have carved out a two-pronged role at combining anti-terrorism efforts with respect for human rights provisions. The rising threat of terrorist attacks in Europe and other Mediterranean resorts saw it and Portugal deemed safer destinations by global security experts in 2016. The Spanish government's rigorous approach to security is another reason why students prefer to study in Spain.
Going to university at undergraduate or post-graduate level boosts job prospects, a 2014 EU study showed. Apart from the educational, cultural, social and other soft skill benefits of studying abroad a foreign university stay not only opens minds to all kinds of new experiences away from the student's home but it utterly promotes labour market mobility. The research found that the risk of long-term unemployment halved for mobile students - those who moved to study or learn in other countries - compared to those who had stayed at home for third-level studies!
The country of lyrical love poet Lorca has long been the destination of choice for students to study in Spain. All the elements that make people fall head over heels with Spain itself also contribute to some of the most amazing young people's romantic outcomes ever! European data shows that one third of all intercultural exchange students meet their lifelong partners while studying at university level away from home. As Spain itself has the largest student body in the whole European Union today and is also the most popular destination for students from other countries...well then how can anyone not expect love in the Iberian air!
Studying in Spain is a great option when it comes to studying abroad. Its rich cultural and historical heritage, added to its affordable cost of living, has made Spain a main destination of choice for international students. Broaden your horizons and live an incredible experience, studying in English, in one of the most beautiful countries in southern Europe.
Studying abroad in Spain is a truly enriching experience that happens once or twice in a lifetime. No matter what your background is, you can make the most of your new surroundings and get exploring.
Situated at the heart of the Costa del Sol, Marbella is very well connected with the rest of Spain. There are daily trips to bustling towns of Malaga, Sevilla and Granada, and Morocco is just a half an hour away
Marbella is famous for its vibrant nightlife, with restaurants, bars and nightclubs spread out across the riviera. From the Old City to the glitzy Puerto Banus, you will find no shortage of excitement