Back in February, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Spain with 80 other college counselors from around the world and learn about the myriad of opportunities for international students to complete their college education at a Spanish university. Over the course of a week, I had the chance to visit IE University in Segovia and Madrid, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), TAI School of the Arts – Madrid, and St. Louis University – Madrid campus. Additionally, I learned about over a dozen more university programs throughout the country via a great collaborative resource – 

Studying abroad offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture, gain international perspectives, and expand their horizons. Spain, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and renowned universities, has become an increasingly popular destination for students seeking an English-speaking college experience. Additionally, studying abroad provides unparalleled opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. Living independently in a foreign country encourages students to step out of their comfort zones, develop resilience, and cultivate a sense of independence and self-reliance.

Throughout my week in Spain, I came to realize that the opportunities for U.S. students to engage in and benefit from an international college experience are not just abundant and potentially life-changing, but the education obtained overseas could also be more financially feasible for students and families in the short- and long-term. Many European countries offer lower tuition fees and living expenses, making higher education accessible to a wider range of students.

One of the advantages of studying in Spain is the availability of English-speaking programs at both private and public universities. Private universities, such as IE University and St. Louis University – Madrid campus offer a wide range of programs taught entirely in English, catering to the needs of international students. Public universities, such as UC3M offer English-taught courses, although the selection may be more limited compared to private institutions. Students pursuing English-speaking programs in Spain can choose from a variety of majors, ranging from business administration and international relations to engineering and computer science. These programs are designed to provide students with a high-quality education while also fostering a global perspective and cross-cultural communication skills.

Studying in Europe, and specifically in Spain, can provide American students with a competitive edge in the global job market. Employers value the cross-cultural communication skills, adaptability, and international experience gained through studying abroad. Additionally, students are exposed to different approaches to education and diverse perspectives, helping them develop critical thinking skills and a broader worldview—all of which are highly sought after by employers in today’s interconnected world.

For students from the U.S., admission requirements for English-speaking programs in Spain typically include a high school diploma or equivalent, standardized test scores (such as the SAT or ACT), letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Some universities may also require proof of English proficiency, either through standardized tests like the TOEFL or IELTS, or through an admissions interview. With the increased popularity of a European college education, programs are becoming increasingly more competitive, but nevertheless, students who pursue a rigorous high school curriculum and have a strong interest in a specific subject area will likely find success in this educational system. 

Overall, studying in Europe, and specifically Spain, offers American students a transformative experience that extends far beyond the classroom, equipping them with the skills, knowledge, and cultural fluency needed to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world. Whether it’s exploring historic landmarks, mastering a new language, or forging lifelong friendships with classmates from around the globe, the benefits of studying abroad are truly immeasurable.

To learn more about the college admissions process both here in the U.S. and abroad, please reach out to Dana at