Those who travel to study in Spain will be able to enjoy the unique culture that the country offers during their stay. International Students are likely to experience a completely different way of life in Spain than in their home country, including the traditions of having a lot of small dishes for a meal (tapas) and a relaxing nap in the afternoons to break up the hot days (siesta).
Students will also be able to travel around Spain and discover cosmopolitan cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, and Valencia. There are a huge number of historic and cultural sites to discover in the country, including the El Prado and Reina Sofia Museums in Madrid, and the works of Anton Gaudí in Barcelona.
Students traveling to Spain are able to obtain a comprehensive discount card which will let them enjoy everything Spain has to offer while spending as little as possible, either through an online application before departure or in person after arriving in Spain.
Advantages and Discounts for Being a Student in Spain
Students planning to fully embrace the culture of Spain and take in as much of the country as possible should apply for an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) either before departure or while in Spain. This international discount card is valid in over 135 countries, including Spain, and will save students a significant amount of expenses while abroad.
The ISIC was created in 1953 by an initiative of the Student Union of Norway and Holland and recognized by UNESCO in 1968. ISIC initiatives in Spain began in 1979 when the first contacts between the organizers and students from different autonomous communities in Spain were made. ISIC was fully established in Spain in 2012 when regional headquarters opened in Madrid.
The ISIC grants more than 150,000 discounts with over 40,000 partners. It is also recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), so ISIC holders are able to receive discounts at all of the World Heritage Sites in Spain, such as the Alhambra in Granada, and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
An approved ISIC is valid for 1 year from the date of issue and has no age limit: you can apply for an ISIC for Spain no matter your age. As well as being available for university students studying in Spaun, the international discount card is also available for those enrolled in a course online.
How to Get the International Student Card for Spain
It is possible to apply for an International Student Identity Card either online or in person. In order to complete the online application for an ISIC, it is necessary to:
- Fill in personal information such as full name, name of University, date of birth, and current email address
- Attach the required documents
- Select the type of shipment with which to receive your ISIC card.
It is necessary to have the following documentation to apply for an ISIC:
- A document certifying student status
- A photograph of the applicant taken against a white background, passport-sized and either in JPG or PNG format.
Those who wish to apply for the ISIC in person are required to present physical copies of the above documentation. It is possible to obtain an ISIC from over 1,500 vendors across Spain. If applying through the web option, it can take between 5 to 15 days to receive an approved ISIC via mail. Those who need the ISIC urgently are recommended to obtain the card in person once in Spain.
Before applying for an ISIC and traveling to Spain to make the most of their discounts, students are first required to check if they need a visa for Spain to undertake a program of study in the country. Students of a number of nationalities, including EU countries, are able to study in Spain without a visa, as well as citizens of visa-exempt countries for periods of up to 90 days.
All other foreign nationalities, as well as visa-exempt citizens who wish to study for longer, are required to apply for a student visa for Spain, which permits the holder to study or train, take part in a student exchange, or work as an unpaid intern for more than three months. There are two types of Schengen visa to study in Spain: a student visa for between 3 and 6 months, and a long-term student visa for more than 6 months. After obtaining the latter visa, students are also required to register for a residence card within a month of arriving in Spain.