Will my degree be recognised?
This is not really an issue with Spanish university degrees as all degrees within the European Union are seen as equal. If you choose a good quality university then there should not be any problems relating to recognition. However, it is fair to say that Spanish universities differ from British universities in many respects so even though the qualifications will be equal, the experience is likely to be quite different.
Does it make sense to study Spanish abroad?
It is often the case that it is easier to study foreign languages in the UK than in the country where they are spoken. Firstly, British university degrees will include a mandatory period of study abroad so British university students will have some time in the country of their language. Secondly, studying Spanish at a Spanish university will be highly different to studying at a British university because students have been prepared in entirely different ways; there is no comparison between a native speaker and a student who has only an A level in the language. Unless you are functionally bilingual, or close to that level, studying Spanish in Spain could be quite difficult. We advise students who are interested in doing this to consider a period of time living and working in Spain before commencing their studies.
Does it make sense to study Spanish in a country that is not Spanish-speaking? Usually it does not. However, many degrees will enable student to continue their languages alongside other subjects. For example, a degree in international business with languages at a Dutch university will allow students to study certain languages with English as the language of instruction. Should you wish to study Spanish as a full degree at a Dutch university, you will be studying Spanish in Dutch which might not be ideal. You could study Spanish in other English speaking countries.
There are a couple of exceptions where it is possible to study Spanish at university in English. These are:
- European Languages and Culture, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
- Modern Languages, Universidad Catolica de Murcia, Spain
What grades do I need to get in?
For Irish universities such as Trinity College Dublin you will need to achieve similar A level results as for British universities. For universities in USA there is a wide range of universities and admission criteria. In Australia and New Zealand, “good” A levels will usually be necessary but it is likely you would gain admission to a well ranked university in those countries with slightly lower grades than those required in the UK. For information on Spanish universities please visit the country information on Spain.
What else should I bear in mind?
If your primary interest is to live in Spain then it might be worthwhile considering a degree taught in English. In contrast to some other European countries, if you study in Spain your life will be in Spanish once you leave the classroom. This will offer you the chance to improve your language ability and study a different subject at the same time.
It is also possible to study some degrees at Spanish private universities that are taught wholly or partly in English. Some higher education institutions also offer British qualifications.
Where should I look for Spanish degrees abroad?
Spain or South America, although please bear in mind our previous caveat regarding the suitability of such options for A' level students.