International postgraduate study has a raft of benefits both for your career and your own personal growth. Picking where to go can be a toughie so here are five great reasons to pick Spain for your postgraduate program.
1. Great Universities
Spain has some historic and well-respected institutions with 76 universities in total dotted all over the country. For postgraduate study, Barcelona is a good place to start your search as it has a high number of well-respected institutions. The city has a long tradition of the study of Art and Design but it also has an increasing number of highly rated schools offering Business and Economics courses like the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
2. Climate, Culture and Cervezas
If you are heading south from Northern Europe, then the attraction of the weather in Spain has to be recognised. It's a holiday hotspot for a reason and by spending just a little time at the beach you'll quickly understand why – and Barcelona is right on the sea so is a popular choice for international students. But just because you're further inland doesn't mean you miss out on any of the fabulous Spanish culture or a chance to drink some of those famous Spanish beers and wines. There are festivals held all over Spain throughout the year so you'll definitely have the chance to experience at least one of them. After China and Italy, Spain has the largest number of Unesco World Heritage Sites so soaking up some historical culture is unavoidable.
3. Cost of Living
Accommodation and eating out are both cheaper in Spain than in much of Europe, but you'll need to avoid the main cities like Barcelona and Madrid if you want a real bargain when it comes to paying rent. You'll also need to avoid the holiday hotspot of Mallorca if you want to live cheaply at the beach. Transportation costs tend to be lower than the rest of Europe so getting about will be cheaper, but heading back home might not be so cheap if you are competing with all those holidaymakers for flights. Not everything is cheaper and you'll need to keep a close eye on your budget particularly when you are food shopping in the supermarket.
4. Learn a New Language
Learning a new language is a great advantage and picking up some Spanish will benefit you around the world as Spanish is spoken all over North and South America. There are more than 400 million Spanish speakers worldwide which is more than the total number of native English speakers.
5. Travel Opportunities
Hand in hand with learning such a useful language is the chance to travel. Many universities in Spain have links to other institutions in the Americas and the Caribbean. If you go to Spain looking for beach life, then a trip to the Caribbean is a must do! Of course being in mainland Europe also allows you to travel easily by road or rail to see large parts of this diverse continent. Visiting neighbouring countries like France and Portugal will give you the chance to see other cultures and learn other languages as well.