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Student Life and Education System in Spain

In this blog, we are going to share our regular knowledge exchange session about “Student Life and Education System in Spain” by Htet Oo Khaing.

We regularly hold knowledge exchange sessions not only for our community members but also for any English-speaking youths as we conduct the events in English. We did the following knowledge exchange session on Jan 6th, 2023, 6:30-7:30 PM JST time. Check out the event details at this link.

This blog covers the following topics:

Please check out for more details in the following video or in the following blog.

1. Speaker, Htet Oo Khaing Profile

The speaker, Htet Oo Khaing, or Emily, is a student currently studying Spanish Language in Valencia, Spain. With a background in Business and Administration from Strategy First University, she will be pursuing a Marketing Major (Top Up Degree) at UWE Bristol in the UK after her language program.

As an international student, Emily brings valuable insights on the experiences of living and studying in Spain. In this blog, she will be sharing her knowledge on the education system in Spain and the various majors available for students to study.

2. Top cities in Spain for international students

Spain is a beautiful country with a rich culture and history, making it a popular destination for international students. Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 cities in Spain for international students to consider when studying abroad.

  • Valencia: This city is often considered the best place to live in Spain as an international student. The education system is top and there are plenty of places to visit and explore. Valencia is also a popular tourist destination, known for its stunning architecture and delicious food.

  • Barcelona: This bustling metropolis is a popular destination for international students. The city is known for its use of both English and Catalan languages, in addition to Spanish. It is a big city with a lot of things to do and see, but it is also quite expensive.

  • San Sebastian: This coastal city offers a great education system and is a popular tourist destination. The city is known for its beautiful beaches and delicious food.

  • Seville: This city is similar to San Sebastian, and is known for its rich culture and history. It is one of the most Asian cities in Spain and is a great place to study and explore.

  • Madrid: The center of Spain, Madrid is a cosmopolitan city with a diverse population of international students and professionals. It is also quite expensive, but it offers a great education and job opportunities.

  • Granada: This small city may not be as well-known as some of the others on this list, but it offers a great education and a unique culture. The city is known for its stunning architecture and delicious food.

  • Salamanca: This charming city is like a village and is not as big as some of the others on this list. It is very rich in Spanish culture and has many tourist attractions.

  • Zaragoza: Living in Zaragoza is cheap, and many international students go there to study for their Master's or Ph.D. The city is home to many good universities, making it a great option for those looking to further their education.

Barcelona and Madrid are considered the most expensive cities in Spain, while Valencia is cheaper and offers affordable living costs and a good transportation system. It is important to weigh your options and consider what is important to you before making a decision on where to study in Spain.

3. Education pathways in Spain

For those looking to study in Spain, it is mandatory to attend a language school before enrolling in a university. The followings are the notable language schools in Valencia.

  • Emily researched and found Ados Spanish School, a private institution, to be the best option for studying the Spanish language. It is more expensive than public schools but has excellent teaching methods and professional teachers who teach in Spanish. This can be challenging for students who do not have a basic level of Spanish beforehand, making it crucial for them to study and practice regularly, both inside and outside of the classroom.

  • El Carmen Spanish School, which is well-known for its large number of international students

  • Costabde Valencia Escuela de Español is a bit more expensive.

  • Another popular choice among international students is Espanole International House Valencia.

It is important to research and compare the different options available, and to check the website for more information about the school, courses, and fees.

For those looking to continue their education in Valencia, there are several universities to choose from.

  • The first and most well-known is the University of Valencia, which is located in the heart of the city and offers a wide range of programs including medicine, nursing, engineering, and the arts. The campus is large and beautiful, and it is a famous and big university in Valencia.

  • Another option is the Polytechnic University of Valencia which is specialized in engineering and technology fields. Both the University of Valencia and the Polytechnic University of Valencia are public universities.

  • Alternatively, CEU Cardenal Herrera University is a private university located outside the city but close to Valencia. It might require the students to live in another town but it offers various programs.

The process of applying to language schools in Spain is relatively simple.

  • First, you have to decide where you want to live and then choose a school.

  • Most schools have an online application process, you can easily apply.

  • After submitting your application, the school will inform you of their decision via email.

  • Applying for a student visa is the next step, for which you will need a bank statement, proof of vaccination, your matriculation exam certificate, and a translated copy of your citizen card.

  • The visa processing time is typically two weeks to a month.

Applying to universities in Spain, especially in Valencia, is a bit more complex than applying to language schools. You will need to collect your previous school's transcripts, documents and have a high level of proficiency in Spanish as most universities in Valencia only offer courses in Spanish.

Public universities like the University of Valencia and the Polytechnic University of Valencia do not offer courses in English, whereas private institutions like CEU Cardenal Herrera University may offer a limited number of English-taught courses. For undergraduate students, it is mandatory to have a B2 level of Spanish and it is important to pay attention to the application deadlines and prepare your documentation accordingly. Additionally, for graduate students, it is important to check the language of instruction for each program as not all of them would be taught in English.

4. Part-Time job opportunities

Securing a part-time job in Spain can be challenging, as the job market prioritizes local citizens and EU citizens over international students. Additionally, having a strong command of the Spanish language is essential for most job opportunities. However, finding part-time work in Barcelona can be less difficult as many people in the city speak English. If traditional part-time jobs like serving or waitressing are not of interest, other options include dog walking or babysitting. These jobs are in demand in Valencia as there are many pets and families in need of pet care and child care services, and pay rates can range from 6 to 20 € per hour. These jobs can be found online, but it's important to note that fluency in Spanish is generally preferred.

5. Life in Spain

Spain is known for its unique and delicious cuisine, which often includes sweet and cheesy dishes. One popular dish is Paella, a rice dish that includes a variety of seafood, rabbit meat, and escargot. Valencia is also famous for its local wine businesses. Another traditional dish from Valencia is All i pebre, made with potatoes, fish and tomatoes. A traditional drink from Valencia is Horchata which is made from a seed and has a sweet and cheesy taste. Horchata can only be found in Valencia, it is not available in other cities in Spain. Another traditional dessert from Valencia is Flan de calabaza which is similar to pudding and is commonly served in restaurants after a meal. If you are visiting Spain, it is recommended to try Paella, All i pebre, Horchata and Flan de calabaza to get a taste of the traditional flavors of Valencia.

Valencia, Spain offers a diverse range of cultural and historical sites for visitors to explore.

  • One must-see attraction is the La Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciencies, a museum complex dedicated to science, history, and art.

  • Another popular event is the Las Fallas Festival. The streets are filled with elaborate statues and sculptures during the festival, often depicting cartoon and game characters. These sculptures are made by local artists and are set up all over the city. The festival also features spectacular fireworks displays and is celebrated for a month.

  • For those interested in marine life, the Oceanografic de Valencia is a must-visit, it is the second largest aquarium in Spain and you can study the underwater creatures there.

  • Another historical site is La Lonja de la Seda, a 15th-century mercantile building that offers a glimpse into the past and is free to visit.

  • Mercafo Central is a supermarket in the center of the city, where you can buy various kinds of meat, traditional food and cheese.

  • The Cathedral of Valencia is a beautiful church, it is a masterpiece and worth to pay a visit. Admiring the paintings and history of Christianity.

  • Plaza de la Virgen, has a pool in the center of it and it is believed that touching the water will bring luck for the rest of your life.

  • Bioparc Valencia is a great place to see rare animals, it is a bit expensive but worth visiting.

Valencia, Spain is known for its mild weather, with no distinct rainy season. However, it does rain throughout the year, with occasional rainfalls in the summer, autumn, winter, and spring.

The summers in Valencia are generally warm and dry, making it a popular time for tourists to visit. The autumn season is windy, with comfortable temperatures. Winters in Valencia can be cold, with temperatures dropping to around 10°C. Snow is rare, but the weather can be windy and humid. In spring, the weather can be cool in the morning and warm in the evening. The beaches in Valencia are popular destinations in the summer but are closed in the winter due to the cold weather.

Valencia offers a variety of public transportation options for its residents and visitors. The first option is the bus system, called ETM. The buses are well-maintained and driven by professional drivers. There are various ways to pay for bus rides, including using a prepaid card or paying with coins. For those planning to use multiple forms of transportation, a monthly card for 37 € can be purchased, allowing access to buses, trams, and the metro. The metro system is extensive and convenient for traveling to popular destinations such as the beach, shopping areas, and universities. In contrast, the tram system is smaller and runs on electricity, operating on main streets instead of underground tunnels. Taxis in Valencia can be more expensive, as they use a meter system to calculate fares based on the distance traveled. Overall, the public transportation in Valencia is reliable and convenient for getting around the city.

Feel Free to Comment if you have any questions!

The event ended well and we would like to thank to each and every one of the attendees, especially to the speaker, Htet Oo Khaing (Emily). After the event, there had been a Q&A session and the attendees could ask all of the inquiries related to the title to the speaker.

We will not put about the Q&A session here but if you have any questions or concerns, you could leave in the comment below. We will respond to your questions as soon as possible. However, we like to recommend you to attend the next coming event in person so as not to miss the insightful knowledge and you could also ask your questions to the speaker directly there!

You could always check all upcoming and past events here.

We hold this knowledge exchange session for the public for their interest titles by inviting relevant speakers. If you like to join our community and don't want to miss exciting events and announcements, please check out our social media pages Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

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