Thursday, October 2, 2014

Know how to study in Spain

Higher education in Spain has its origins in the middle Ages. The University of Salamanca, founded in 1218, is the first University established in Spain. Obviously, history has changed the way the system has worked, and the current system derives from the French model of the 19th century. 
However, Spanish Universities have recently gone through important changes that have led to a self-governing and decentralized system. In addition, the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) is forcing Spanish universities to converge into one common system compatible with all European Universities.
The educational policy is controlled by the Ministry of Education together with the departments of higher education in the universities. Within this framework, the Consejo de Universidades outlines the requirements to create new universities, centers and institutes. In addition, it helps regulating advanced graduate studies.
Within the higher education level, Spain has public and private Universities. Universities are organized in Schools (Facultades), and within each School there are different Departments, which specialize in a specific part of the corresponding science. Currently, the Spanish university system comprises 49 public universities, 14 private ones, and 4 Catholic Church universities.
Regarding its content, the Spanish university system displays an equilibrium between scientific disciplines included in the social sciences and humanities (History, Economics, Literature, Philosophy, etc.), and the pure sciences (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc). Likewise, within the different Universities we may find scientific disciplines specifically applied to the society. An adequate equilibrium between theory and practice is carefully achieved in disciplines like Architecture, Medicine or Law.
Also, it is becoming very common to see Universities that offer a higher university degree which interlaces academic contents from several scientific disciplines (economics and law, business and Tourism, Languages and Marketing etc). This option generates professionals with a very high level of training, who are very sought after by national and international companies.

History: The first settlers on the Peninsula were the Celts and the Iberians. It is said that Hispania (the name the Romans used to describe the Peninsula) is a word of Semitic origin from Hispalis (Seville).In the 15th century, during the reign of the Catholic King and Queen and under their auspice, Columbus discovered the New Continent (America), new boundary of what would be the largest Western empire. The 16th century represents the zenith of Spanish hegemony in the world, a process that would last until the middle of the 17th century.
The Courts of Cadiz thereby enacted one of the first Constitutions of the world which ratified that sovereignty would reside in the nation. The conflict between liberalists and absolutists, or in other words, between two different ways of perceiving the establishment of the state, would be one of the longest Spanish conflicts throughout the 19th century.
Despite the interruption of the First World War in which Spain remained neutral and following the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, the monarchical crisis returns, resulting in the exile of King Alfonso XIII. The ballot box is introduced into Spain and with it the first democratic experience of the 20th century: the second Republic, a brief attempt to introduce the reformations the country needed, frustrated by General Franco's military rising and the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936. The military victory of General Franco gave way to a long dictatorial period that would last until 1975; it was an era characterised by an iron control of interior politics and isolation from the international environment, which did not however prevent an incipient economic development in the sixties. Following the death of General Franco, the Spanish people peacefully made the transition from dictatorship to democracy in a process known as 'the Spanish model'. Don Juan Carlos I, as King of the Spanish people, became the chief of a social and democratic state of law, which moulded the Constitution of 1978.
Full Country Name: Kingdom of Spain
Surface Area: 504,784 squared km.
Capital: Madrid
Regions: Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities.
Time zone: GMT/UTC + 1 hour in winter or two in summer (from last Sunday of March to last Saturday of September)
Religion: 94% Catholic
Government: Parliamentary Monarchy
Electricity: 220V, 50 Hz.
Weights and measurements: Metric System.
Telephone dialing: From Spain: 00 + country code + city code + phone number.
Population: 40,448,191 (July 2007 est.)
Age Structure:
·         0-14 years: 14.4%
·         15-64 years: 67.8%
·         65 years and over: 17.8%
Median age:
·         total: 40.3 years
·         male: 39 years
·         female: 41.7 years (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: total population: 0.956 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Life expectancy:
·         total population: 79.78 years
·         male: 76.46 years
·         female: 83.32 years (2007 est.)
Languages: Castilian Spanish (official) 74%, Catalan 17%, Galician 7%, Basque 2%, are official regionally
National holiday: National Day, 12 October (1492); year when Columbus first set foot in the Americas
Constitution: approved by legislature 31 October 1978; passed by referendum 6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Source: CIA The World Factbook

Living Cost in Spain
It is quite difficult to give anything more than a rough guide to the cost of living in Spain. Prices vary greatly by area, with the cost of living much higher in the urban centers such as Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona than in the rural Spanish villages and towns.
In the Spanish urban centers, the price of housing is high relative to the other costs of living. Spaniards who did not buy housing when prices were lower now find it necessary to pay more than half the average income to get average housing, which is a very high percentage. On the other hand, a good cup of café con leches can be had in many cafes in Spain for an Euro or less, and the cost of fruit and vegetables can be a bargain. As a consequence, many Spaniards in the big Spanish cities live packed into quite small apartments and observe a social life centered in cafes and restaurants rather than their homes.
Since the introduction of the Euro, there has been a perceived inflation in prices in Spain. With the conversion, some prices were rounded up to the nearest Euro equivalent, with more increases coming in time.
With all those caveats, here are some very rough costs for you that can be used for gauging the cost of living.
Electricity: For two people bills are around 30 to 35 euros per month.
Telephone: Flat-fee of about 20 euros per month with the calls that you make on top of that.
Food: For two people bills are generally 300 Euros a month. An average restaurant bill is eight to fifteen Euros (much cheaper at lunch), with a glass of beer or wine one to two Euros.
Cinema: Around five to six Euros to see a movie.
Nursery: To look after a child it is about eighty Euros per month for 5hrs a day, but the price will vary depending on the qualifications of the caretaker.
Schooling: Public schools in Spain are often Catholic parochial schools supported by the state. Charges are nominal.

Application deadlines in Spain
Although application deadlines may vary depending on the institution, there are usually 3 intakes for studies at Spanish universities and colleges:
·         First week of June: for studies beginning in the fall semester (October).
·         First week of September: late applications for studies beginning in the fall semester (October).
·         First week of December: for studies beginning in the spring semester (February).


Spanish Universities and Colleges with link to their respective websites:

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