So, you’re considering studying in Barcelona? You’ve come to the right place! Barcelona students are amongst the luckiest in the world. Studying in such a vibrant and dynamic city promises to be one of the highlights of your life. The University of Barcelona (One of many Universities in Barcelona) provides education for in excess of 90 000 students so you can see that the city is serious about education. The Barcelona student lifestyle offers everything you could wish for and with a multitude of quality transport systems, everything is right on your doorstep!
You will be surprised with the scope of courses available in English and as you may have heard, the business schools in Barcelona offer many courses for English speakers. However, as a rule of thumb, the Undergraduate degrees in Barcelona tend to be taught in Catalan and/or Spanish so make sure you really do your research before you apply for a course. The last thing you want is to start your course only to realise that your lectures will all be in Catalan!
For the English speaker however, it really gets interesting when you start looking at post-grads in Barcelona. Masters degrees, Doctorates, PHDs etc are almost all available in English.
Generally speaking, you will need a student visa (type D) to study in Barcelona unless you are from an EU (European Union) country. EU citizens have complete freedom in Barcelona. It’s important to remember that you must apply for your visa BEFORE you arrive in Spain as you will not be able to apply for a student permit if you enter the country with a tourist visa. To apply, you will have to submit official documents to your local consulate, showing that you have been admitted to a university program.
European Union citizens studying in Barcelona for three months or more must register at the Central Registry Office for Foreigners to get a certificate of registration. You do not need to make an appointment to do this but you will have to do it in person. Go to the Central Registry Office for Foreigners at one of the many Provincial Administrative Offices around the city. IMPORTANT! When you get to Barcelona, non-Europeans will need to visit the Balmes Guadalajara Police station to apply for the student residence card. Be careful if you are studying for 6 months or less, the consulate or Spanish embassy may issue you with an “Estudios Total 180 Dias”. This visa allows you to stay in Barcelona for a maximum of (you guessed it) 180 days after which you must leave the country. If you do not speak Spanish, it may be a good idea to take a friend who can, many officials in Barcelona do not speak a word of English.
For EU members, you can work anywhere in Barcelona as long as you have your NIE and Social Security number, you will likely also need a Spanish bank account. So whether you decide to teach English in Barcelona or find a bar job, you are pretty much free to do so. See our other blogs about how to get these! For non-EU members, you have many more aspects to consider. If you have to do practical work placements as part of your studies and the company has an agreement with the University, you will not have to apply for a work permit. If however, you want to work in your down time whilst studying in Barcelona, you will need a permit. In this scenario, you are only aloud a part time contract (maximum of 30.8 hours per week) and the hours of work cannot interfere with your class hours. You can work for a maximum of 3 months and again the work cannot interfere with term time and classes.
NB – To get a work permit, you will first need a contract of work. The permit will be issued for the period of time that the contract lasts. A permit cannot be issued for a period of time longer than you are allowed to stay in the Spain.
It’s important to note, a lot of different sites offer different variations of the same information. What is important, is that you are seen to be making an effort to get your paper work done. which ever way you decide to do it. Just make sure you keep hold of any documents you obtain.
Good luck with your studying in Barcelona, get in touch and let us know how you get on.
Ben Holbrook – SuiteLifer