Professional Education in Spain

For students, goal-oriented activity and the possibility of receiving an application specialties, there is an opportunity to get a professional education.

There is a four-stage structure of vocational education

Level 1 corresponds to the two high school (post-compulsory secondary education, at the age of 16 to 18 years), after a certificate of secondary education. A college student has the right to choose subjects – at least five in the last trimester. This is a preparatory level, which still does not give a professional certificate. At the 2nd level, you can learn from 18 years or after the 1st level in college or post-secondary school. In the first year at this level study four subjects in their chosen specialty. On one of them at the end of the year must pass a qualifying exam.

In the second year there are three items and, therefore, three exams. The results of these exams is diploma authorizing work on a specialty, but does not occupy managerial positions. Final exams at this level can be granted admission to the University on the first stage of higher education.

After that, the student can go to work, go on to college or enter the university.

At the 3rd level college study for one year. Here come the young people who want to grow up to managers and executives of the first link. At this level are also those who want to improve their skills or change career to the adjacent.

Level 4. After years of study is awarded a bachelor’s degree, which gives the right to hold mid-level positions or manage a small company. For example, a lawyer can open his office, and medical – treatment room.

With regard to employment, the students are allowed to work in Spain after the third level

Academic higher education in Spain

Higher education in Spain is available in both public and private universities and business schools. Today Spain has 47 public and 10 private universities. Spanish universities have a long history: the first university was founded in Salamanca in 1218, University of Barcelona – in 1450, and Granada – in 1526.

The educational process at Spanish universities includes three cycles.

First – Diplomatura – lasts 3 years and leads to a qualification Diplomado, or Arcquitecto Tecnico, or Ingeniero Tecnico (the last two are the architecture and technical skills). Learning content in this period is practical and can continue to work as practitioners middle managers. For example, a manager in a travel agency, a teacher of primary school, social service workers.

At the end of the second cycle – it takes 2-3 years – Awarded qualification Licenciado, Arquitecto or Ingeniero.

Licenciatura (first plus second cycle education) include law, business management, economic, and engineering, pharmacy, mathematics, education and other fields. Licenciatura programs can be offered either as a separate two-year courses of the second cycle, or as a five-year program, covering both the first and second cycle education. The third – a two-year – a cycle of preparing for a degree Doctorado and can be correlated with the master’s and doctoral.

The University usually includes a large number of professional schools of different specialties (design, hospitality, art, etc.).

There are four types of training units that make up the university

  • university departments (facultades universitarias) – universities, where we study non-technical theoretical subjects. Education for them covers all three cycles of higher education;
  • School of Engineering (escuelas tecnicas superiores), which are, on the contrary, technical orientation, but also provide for all three cycles of higher education;
  • university schools (escuelas universitarias), having a definite orientation and can only bring the student up to the first level of higher education (although they may be offered by the program and the second and third cycles, for which they receive a diploma at the University, which are accredited);
  • university colleges (colegios universitarias), as well as schools that provide education to the program only the first level.

These programs are generally similar to traditional university programs, and do not give career guidance. Tuition and fees at public universities in Spain, most of the large autonomy set by local authorities and usually varies from 700 to 2,000 euros a year, rarely rising above 4,000 euros. In private universities, the cost per year ranges from 4,000 to 10,000 euros per year.

In addition to public and private universities, Spain has a large number of well-known business schools such as ESADE Escuela Superior de Administracion y Direccion de Empresas, IEDE, Institute for Executive Development, etc., the quality of education that is at the level of world standards. Usually business schools offer a number of programs in the English language, which allows you to get a quality education in Spain, not only for students fluent in Spanish.

Procedure of entrance in Universities in Spain


In order to enroll in higher education for the first year, as the Spanish and foreign students must pass the exam PAAU (Pruebas de Aptitud para Acceso a la Universidad), which is often called the Selectividad. Passes the exam is usually in secondary schools – for their graduate or preparatory courses at institutions of higher education – for graduates of these courses. You can take it in absentia – in UNED (Universidad Nacional de Education a Distancia), but for foreigners without specific training it is rarely possible.

The exam consists of two parts:

In the first determine the general level of education, the second part of the exam – testing in subjects selected entrant – a humanitarian or natural. Grade is on a 10-point scale, but it turns out as the average for the answers to questions. And the certificate is exposed aggregate result, which also takes into account and the average score of the school-leaving certificate.

Selectividad guarantees admission to state universities, but the more prestigious universities, the higher pass rate.

There are several ways to prepare for the exam Selectividad

  •  training in Spanish secondary school (not in public – there do not accept foreigners) in two-year Bachillerato followed by an examination in the same school;
  •  training on a one-year program of accelerated training to pass Selectividad in private Spanish schools or boarding schools after high school;
  •  training in Spain for long-term language courses to attend classes to prepare for the exam Selectividad in the evening.

In addition to passing the exam Selectividad foreign applicants must also to document their knowledge of the Spanish language.

The official exam is DELE (Diploma de Espan ~ ol como Lengua Extranjera), you can prepare for it in many language schools in Spain and abroad. The exam may be taken only twice a year – in May and November, the registration of candidates is carried out in good time, on schedule and according to certain rules.

It should also be borne in mind that the foreign citizens for filing documents in higher education in Spain (as in programs of higher and postgraduate education) is required to undergo the procedure of recognition of education attained (homologacion) in the Ministry of Education of Spain (Ministerio de Educacion, Cultura y Deportes, MECD). This is a long process that can take up to six months, so preparation for university you need to start early.

Secondary education in Spain

In planning their children’s lives in the long term, some parents prefer to send their children beginning to study Spanish at school, so then they do not experience any difficulties with any language, or with the arrival to the Spanish universities.

There is an extensive network of public and private schools as well as schools funded church. For the Spanish primary and secondary education to 16 years is compulsory and free, but for foreign nationals to enter the  free education in public school eis not real. Preference is given to students from poor Spanish families, whose parents can not afford to send their child to a private school.

Of particular note is the presence in Spain of a large number of private secondary schools, teaching the double programs. Typically, this is English – or American-Spanish schools (Caxton College, King’s College, etc.). These programs are of particular interest to foreign children, as they give the opportunity to learn two languages ​​and received two certificates of secondary education – English and Spanish, and the cost is almost two times lower than, for example, in the UK. To enroll in English-Spanish schools boarding enough knowledge of English, but also welcomed the initial and in-depth knowledge of Spanish.

Stages of school and pre-school education in Spain

  •  Kindergarten (Jardin de enfancia) – 2 to 4 years;
  • Pre-school training (Escuela de parvulos) – 4 to 6 years;
  • primary education (Educacion Primaria) from 6 to 12 years;
  • secondary compulsory education (Educaion Secundaria Obligatoria) – 12 to 16 years; upper
  • secondary education (Bachillerato) or first level of professional education (Formacion Profesional I) – from 16 to 18 years.

Students learn core subjects (geography, history, Spanish, mathematics, art, music, science and elective courses and basic training in any area).

Upon completion of compulsory education graduates can continue their education or vocational education, or after successfully passed testing to enter the two-year program Bachillerato, necessary for the subsequent admission to the university and to complete upper secondary education. During the training program Bachillerato are separated by streams with specialized subjects in the area in which the student plans to specialize in the future. Usually schools offer four areas of specialization: art, science, humanities and social sciences, and technology. After graduation you need to take an examination Selectividad, which is the key to entrance to the Spanish universities.

Spain, more than any other country in Europe, features a large number of English-language schools where tuition is in English or American system. They are united by the National Association of British Schools in Spain NABSS and are accredited by the British Council as well as the Ministry of Education of Spain.

The main obvious advantage of such schools is the possibility of both the British (or American) and Spanish classical education, with the subsequent issuance of two certificates. This opens the door student in almost any English-speaking university in the world and provides an opportunity to enroll in Spanish universities.

Also provides an education to foreign students proficiency in two foreign languages – in English and Spanish, that  can provide good career opportunities in the future. Moreover, training in Spain for many children more comfortable than in England, due to climatic conditions and cuisine of the country, the psychological characteristics and attitudes of Spaniards that a relation of heat and relate to students, foreigners and provide continuing psychological support.
Note, however, that this is not only a promising and exciting, but complicated programs as they fit together very different training schemes related to the peculiarities of the content of national education systems.

Formally compulsory secondary education (Educacion Secundaria Obligatoria-ESO) in the Spanish schools took 4 years – from 12 to 16 years, after which students take tests and assigned skill from Insuficiente (poor) to Sobresaliente (excellent). Spanish program for time parameter is identical to the English – at 16 students enrolled in the British system, take an examination for a certificate GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education), basic training which is conducted over 2 academic years – from 14 to 16 . In both countries, this can put a full stop – compulsory schooling is completed, you can begin working career. However, for admission to the university in both countries, educational attainment is not enough – need 2 more years of training under the program post-secondary: Six Form (England) and Bachillerato (Spain).

The main differences are observed in the training at this stage. This is not only a feature of the national programs, but also the limitations of the tests and rules of admission to higher education institutions in the UK and Spain.

Education in Spain

Primary and secondary education in Spain

  • Pre-primary education (Educacion Infantil) from 0 to 6 years (divided into 2 cycles – from 0 to 3 and from 3 to 6 years) and is not necessary;
  • Primary education (Educacion Primaria) from 6 to 12 years (divided into 3 cycles, 2 courses) – required for all at this stage, given the basis for all subjects.
  • Compulsory secondary education in Spain (Educacion Secundaria Obligatoria) is also divided into cycles: the first cycle – 12-14 years – two courses and two second cycle – 14-16 years old – two courses and is the last link in the basic cultural, social, and technical training.

In Spain, there are special centers where you can pass the exams for this degree. School, college (Undergraduate), vocational training centers, as well as all centers have this authority. This exam can be a state, and in this case, it is held in May and October. But it can also be put in a private institution, which has on it a license.

In post-secondary education the student can: continue education (further education and obtain a bachelor’s or go on to secondary school and vocational training).

Higher education in Spain

Academic year runs from October to June.

After passing the baccalaureate, students can enter the university. It should be borne in mind that in some universities, not like two-year training, here is required to pass an additional one-year training (COU). This course is intended for university-equivalent to our preparatory courses at universities. (Usually COU needs to enroll in medical, mathematical universities).

The structure of Spanish universities are four types of training units:

  • University faculties (facultades universitarias) – universities, where we study non-technical theoretical subjects. Education for them covers all three cycles of higher education.
  • School of Engineering (escuelas tecnicas superiores) have, on the contrary, technical orientation, but also provide all three cycles of higher education.
  • University School (escuelas universitarias) have a certain orientation and able to bring the student only to the first stage of higher education.
  • University colleges (colegios universitarias) as well as schools that provide education to the program only the first level. These programs are generally similar to traditional university and do not provide professional orientation.

Entrance Exams

Entrance Exam to Universities complex, called “selectividad” and includes compulsory subjects and sample (human or technical, depending on the university and the complex part of the Spanish (for foreigners))

Postgraduate education

Postgraduate education is an additional 2-3 (in some universities more) training. Encouraged not to keep in mind that in Spain a few universities to offer graduate degrees in all subjects, so you should be prepared to continue their education in another province or city.

Entry Requirements

The definition of equivalence under the jurisdiction of Spanish Ministry of Education. For admission to the date of entrance exam in Spanish Universities, you need a positive response from the Ministry of Education. Entrance Exam selectividad – a comprehensive exam consisting of mandatory deposit Spanish (more jobs) and either human or technical parts (items can be selected incoming).

If the applicant has a diploma of passing the language exam DELE (Diploma de Espanol como Lengua Extranjera / English as a Foreign Language), for admission to the University, he may be released from the  language test.

Required language skills

For admission to the Spanish Universities you need a high level of knowledge of Spanish, otherwise it is impossible to pass the entrance exams. At some universities, there are Spanish courses for foreign students.

Financial assistance and training costs

Scholarships in Spain is practically impossible, since many universities simply can not pay for your training.

Tuition in the state university – 700-1000 dollars a year in the private sector – from 3,000 to 10,000 dollars a year. The cost of graduate – from 1000 to 7000 U.S. dollars per year. The State University tuition, usually includes classes, use of the university library (for little money you make library card), computers, language laboratories, laboratories, textbooks and books. Additionally you have to pay for dictionaries and if necessary for additional classes in Spanish. Group lessons are cheaper than  individual. One hour private lesson about 17-20 dollars + living expenses (based on $ 15 per day), transportation, clothing, food. In Spain, the food is inexpensive and of high quality. For 7 -12 dollars you can eat in any restaurant.

Accommodation (rented apartment) in Madrid, Barcelona – 350-400 dollars a month, in Salamanca, Avila – 200-300 dollars a month.

Language Schools in Spain

Spain is one of the countries, especially the favorite holiday makers of all ages and social groups, and nationalities.  But the most fertile this wonderful country has always been for the students – youth holidays in Spain, full of diverse experiences and rich opportunities for learning – perhaps the best thing by far is able to offer Europe.

Spaniards – extremely friendly and hospitable people, so students stay here can bring incomparable pleasure sociable, inquisitive young people, and holidays with children and youth tours of Spain, will turn into a real adventure, thanks to its mild climate and beautiful nature . The unique location of this blessed country will allow children and student groups not only to expand their knowledge of history, but also geographic: many with interest would know that Spain owns the Canary and Balearic Islands, and its boundaries touch not only with Portugal, but also in France, Andorra and Gibraltar.

Those travelers who look at this sunny country, not only as a place where you can spend a wonderful vacation with children or youth recreation, but also as a place where one can take seriously the development of Spanish, opened the doors of the world famous language schools, with a true Spanish hospitality. They are always ready to accept new students in the major cities and famous educational centers and language schools in Spain. Every year thousands of students from all over the world come to Madrid, Barcelona and Granada in order to gain the knowledge of teachers of schools.

School EF

EF Escuela Internacional de Español is located in Barcelona and offers the following options for Spanish: Elementary Spanish, Spanish general, intensive Spanish test preparation. The EF school in Barcelona is located in one of the most picturesque town Barcelona.  Summer students have the opportunity to live in the residence, which is located near the center and the school.

For a small fee your service university sports center where you can get acquainted with Spanish students. EF offers accommodation in the family or from July to mid-September – the international college dorm San Jordi, which is only a 10-minute walk from the school. There is a library, internet, gym, laundry, snack bar, restaurant and cinema.

Enforex school

It is located in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Marbella, Salamanca, Valencia, Granada, Almuñécar. Training programs: Intensive Spanish Individual Spanish, Spanish in small groups, Christmas Course, Spanish + Art and History, Spanish + Literature, Business Spanish, Exam Preparation, Training for teachers, Spanish + Flamenco Spanish + golf or tennis, Spanish 50 +.

Enforex school was recognized by the Ministry of Education of Spain and the “Instituto Cervantes” and a member of organizations such as FYTO, NAFSA, ALTO, UNION LATINA, AEEM, AMACFE, FEDELE, AECAE. All training centers have been certified Enforex CEELE (Certificate for Excellence in Teaching Spanish as Foreign Language) and have been recognized by the Department of Philology of the University of Alcala (University of Alcala) in Madrid and Spanish Economic Resource Association.

All teachers have higher linguistic education and experience in teaching Spanish. Improvement in work and enthusiastic approach to solving problems – part of the philosophy Enforex.

DELE – Diplomas de Espanol como Lengua Extranjera

DELE developed in 1988 by the Cervantes Institute and the University of Salamanka together with the Ministry of Education of Spain. DELE – the only recognized in the world of official document proving ownership of the Spanish language. Each stage of any level DELE evaluated in Apto (put) – No Apto (not delivered).

International exams in Spanish have a common name DELE (Diploma de Espanol como Lengua Extranjera). Certificates presented below examinations of official recognition Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture of Spain. They are also approved by the Government of Spain and recognized in almost all the countries, governments, employers and various educational institutions. These certifications allow  not only to confirm knowledge of the Spanish language, but also provide the opportunity to receive grants to study abroad at universities in Europe, Asia and the USA.

International exams in Spanish DELE certificates include three levels:


Initial Certificate in Spanish CIE confirms of Spanish at the elementary level. This international exam is the only officially recognized by the examination of Spanish as a foreign language at this level. CIE certificate recognized by various educational institutions, the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations at the international level.


International exam in Spanish DBE performed at an average level and evaluates the possession of various language skills, including grammar and vocabulary. DBE international exam recognized by various educational institutions, Chamber of Commerce and other organizations at the international level.


International exam in Spanish DSE conducted at an advanced level and evaluates the possession of various language skills at a professional level. Exam DSE – the only officially recognized international examination of Spanish as a foreign language at this level. DSE International Certificate recognized by various educational institutions, Chamber of Commerce and other organizations at the international level.

Each stage DELE consists of 5 parts:

  • Reading;
  •  the letter;
  •  listening comprehension;
  •  grammar and vocabulary;
  •  spoken language.

Exam DELE (CIE) lasts 3 hours. Tests the ability to understand speech and explained in everyday life. Test DELE (DBE) lasts 3.5 hours. Free communication skill is checked on various topics. DELE test can be taken at 16. Exam DELE (DSE) lasts 4 hours. Checked not only Spanish at a high level in a variety of circumstances, but also an understanding of cultural traditions.

Exam D.E.L.E. provided by two organizations: the responsibility for the development of materials examination, evaluation and certification of the results lies with the University of Salamanca (Universidad de Salamanca), and for the organization of examinations – the Cervantes Institute (Instituto Cervantes). Cervantes Institute was founded in 1991 by the Spanish Government in order to spread the Spanish language and culture around the world.

Certificates D.E.L.E. divided into the following levels:

  • Nivel Inicial (B1 corresponds to the scale of the Council of Europe),
  • Nivel Intermedio (level B2)
  • and Nivel Superior (level C2)

In order to pass the exam DELE, you should:

1. Being a citizen of a country where Spanish is not the state;
2. Be over 16 years old, if you want to register for the exam at the highest level (DELE Superior)
3. Register and pay the fee in one of the examination centers.

To register, please fill in the registration form, a copy of the passport or other document, which shows the name, nationality, date and place of birth and a photograph, to provide proof of payment.

After submission of the documents, you will receive a copy of the registration form and an individual identification number. Later, you will receive a formal invitation, which will specify the exact date and time when you need to appear for the exam.

On the day of the exam you have to come with this invitation and with the same identity document with which you were registered. Registration should take about 2 months before the exam date. A month before the exam registration is terminated. Exams are usually held in May and November.

The examination results are published in the University of Salamanca within 60 days of receipt of the test examination centers. After that, the Cervantes Institute will send you information about your results.

Diplomas approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain. The approval process may take several weeks. As soon as the test center received diplomas from the ministry, it will send it to you at the address you specified in the registration form.

Advanced Diploma

Advanced Diploma:2-3 years

Some Diplomas are also available in the universities.
The curriculum for the advanced diploma level provides in-depth analysis, diagnosis, design, planning, execution and evaluation of a wide range of technical and management functions. Skills include developing new criteria, areas of knowledge and procedures. You will learn to apply the basic principles and complex techniques across a wide and often unpredictable circumstances, in different and sometimes highly specific functions. Also involved is contributing to the development of large-scale plans, budgets and strategies. You will learn to take responsibility for the results of their own and others’ work.

Certificate of vocational training.

Universities also offer training in technical and vocational training, with the assignment of appropriate certificates.
The training program suggests that, based on previously acquired knowledge and skills students will develop their own skills and acquire knowledge in general and / or specific subject areas.
The program allows the student to significantly expand the horizons and acquire in-depth knowledge of complex subjects, teach him to take the initiative, analyze, develop solutions and plan, implement and evaluate the technical and / or management functions in a variety of standard and / or highly specialized activity.
Based on the knowledge students will be able to independently make a serious and responsible decisions on planning and development, operations, carry out technical and / or management functions in a variety of standard and / or highly specialized activity. The program generates a personal commitment and taught to take responsibility for the organization, management and the work of other people and / or functions.

Diploma of passing vocational training.

Universities also offer a training program of vocational training by assigning the appropriate qualifications.

The training program suggests that, based on previously acquired knowledge and skills students will develop their own skills and acquire knowledge in general and / or specific subject areas.

The program allows the student to significantly expand the horizons and acquire in-depth knowledge of complex subjects, teach him to take the initiative, analyze, develop solutions and plan, implement and evaluate the basic functions of both a technical and / or managerial nature in a wide variety of standard and / or highly specialized activities.

Among other things, students will acquire skills in a completely self-serious and responsible decision-making in a variety of standard and / or highly specialized activities related to the planning, development and operational activities, and learn how to perform the technical and / or management functions. The program generates a personal commitment and taught to assume full responsibility for the work of others, planning, budgeting and strategy.