To study abroad is to immerse yourself in another culture, challenge your comfort zone, and ultimately become a citizen of the world. Spain is a very popular country to discover your independence and has some beautiful places to call home while you do. Besides the country’s capital Madrid, and the cosmopolitan Barcelona, Salamanca is an incredibly popular Spanish city to study in. From centuries old universities claiming their part in Catalan history, to modern facilities overlooking the Tormes River.
Thanks to its popularity as a university city, Salamanca stays young ad exciting, with a vibrancy and enthusiasm that defies her years. A population of about 180,000, Salamanca has the size and comforts of a bigger city, but her intimate feel as everyone goes about their lives surrounded by the old city (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), provides a more smaller town sense.
Though only two and a half hours by bus or train from Madrid, fortunately Salamanca is not completely overrun with tourists, yet still easily accessible from the capital’s airport. Those studying here can enjoy the freedom to explore and live their lives amongst an authentic Spanish city, which caters for the many local and foreign students from around the globe who flock to her borders.
To study at the University of Salamanca (USAL) is to join a prestigious institution founded in 1218, being both Spain’s oldest and third oldest Western university, while surrounded by history at every corner you turn throughout this UNESCO listed campus. With language instruction programs from beginners to the more advanced, their immersive programs achieve maximum results. If complimenting your studies at USAL, do investigate whether you can take advantage of their Consortium Agreement program to utilise your home school’s financial aid here. The four-week Spanish language and culture courses start from $1,995, and the minimum age is 16 years.
Salamanca is described as one the easiest places in Spain to learn Spanish as the dialect spoken is the easiest to understand. Estudio Sampere Salamanca offers language studies in a less historical setting, but their advantage is their smaller class sizes. You can learn through small intensive groups within just eight classrooms, fitted with modern equipment. One-to-one studies can also be arranged.
THE places for student housing in Salamanca
With so many international people studying in Salamanca, the city’s residents are quite multicultural adept and it’s more than manageable to live with a local host family, stay in student accommodation, or board within the community. Costs vary from $250 per week to stay with a host family, to $350 for a student residence including meals. Budget rental rooms and properties are available, and the cost of eating out is very affordable.
Normally students will live within the central part of Salamanca, within 20 minutes walk to campuses, and located not far from the Plaza Mayor and the café and bar scene of the city.
Shared rental properties are the budget option for many students, especially those not wanting to live in designated student accommodation. Salamanca has many such rental properties turning over as each new group of international students descend and the price will reflect the level of comfort on offer. As the city is not all that large, and landlords recognize the needs of students, most accommodation is centralized and walking or cycling is the easiest way to get around. Expect to pay between $250 and $280 per month for a room.
The cost of education in Salamanca
Besides your travel and cost of living expenses, your fees will be one of the next big ticket items you’ll need to budget for. Depending whether you’re coming from another European country or elsewhere, will determine your fee structure.
As a EU student you will be paying the same fees as the Spanish students, so budget between $861 – 1,620 per year at the public universities, and between $6,964 - 22,791 per year at a private-sector university. Also you are eligible to apply for any of the grants or scholarships that the Spanish students can.
Non-Eu residents pay a international rate for their fees which are slightly higher and dependent on your chosen study establishment. An example of an all-inclusive semester (tuition, orientation, housing, insurance, cultural activities/excursions, plus metro and bus passes for the first month) would be from US$7,541 – $11,675 for an apartment, and from US$7,861-$12,825 in a homestay with some meals included.
Do check with your learning program or university to see if they offer any financial assistance or can support your financial package from your home school.
You’re here now, so what’s next?
Once you’ve chosen your program and study institution, and you’ve arrived in the wonderful city that is Salamanca, where can you go for a bit of assistance? Though the city’s university and colleges may not be as large as those in Madrid and Barcelona, it is its size, which plays to your advantage. With smaller class sized, professors may be able to give you the added attention you won’t find in the larger cities.
Salamanca’s thriving student community is an openly welcoming environment. They’re all there for the same thing as you, and going through the same changes and growth. Take advantage of your peers by joining groups, excursions and sharing the knowledge that you have.