Coming to the Costa del Sol as a Student

This guide was written by Manzanares Abogados S.L. (info@manzanaresinternational.com) in collaboration with Guides.Global (office@guides.global).

It was written on 09 May 2016. The law and practice in Spain change all the time. Our guides are updated as frequently as possible - typically every three years - but may be out of date.

Our guides are prepared by professionals from many countries. They are, of necessity, both brief and general and can take no account of your personal circumstances. They are intended to be a good introduction to the subject BUT ARE NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PROPER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE, which our contributors will usually be happy to provide upon request.

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The scope of this guide

This guide is about coming to the Costa del Sol to study - the visas available and whether you're eligible.


Spanish further (tertiary) education is high-quality and its courses are relatively cheap. Spain, and the Costa del Sol, has embraced the idea of the international student, so it is easy to study there.

Student visas on the Costa del Sol

graduate looking abroadSpain hosts a lot of international students that come to our country for a wide range of educational approaches – from simple Spanish-language courses, to the highest level university degrees.

A student visa will last for the duration of the course (whether it's just a few days, months or up to 1 year). If you continue studying in Spain for at least three years and you renew your student visa every year, if you wish to remain in the country you can apply for a work visa (see our Guide to Coming to the Costa del Sol to Work).

In order to be eligible for a student visa you need to:

What does it cost?

A long-term student visa in Spain costs €60.

Working on a student visa

Foreign students over 18 years old can work for 20 hours a week on the Costa del Sol. Many students work a few hours a week at a bar or restaurant that caters to expats - of which there are plenty in the area!

Will a student visa include your spouse or children?

Yes, for an extra €60 for each person. You will also have to prove that you can support all of them.

How long does it take?

Student visas usually take about a month to process. You can apply three months in advance, however, and I thoroughly recommend that you do.

Expats' Tips

Have you got experience emigrating to Spain? Tell us about it by emailing office@guides.global.


Studying on the Costa del Sol is likely to be a great experience. The weather and social scenes are great, the standard of education is high and you're sure to make some fantastic friendships!

Other guides of interest

 Description Link 
Cultural Differences on the Costa del Sol
This guide is about some of the main cultural differences you're likely to come up against on the Costa del Sol.
cultural differences in the Costa del Sol
Immigration, Visas & Residence in the Costa del Sol
This guide gives details of the immigration rules in Spain. It covers immigration for settlement when joining relatives, immigration to work or do business, immigration based on investment in Spain and immigration for retirement. It also covers short term visits to Spain.
golden visas in the Costa del Sol
Education on the Costa del Sol
This guide is about the education system in Spain - state schools, Spanish private schools and international schools. It does not cover tertiary (university) education.
education in the Costa del Sol

You may also want to read:

 Description Link 
The University of Malaga
Information from Andalucia.com on a very popular university.
University of Malaga

Readers' Comments


Further information?

We hope you have found this guide useful. If you need any further help, please contact us.

Manzanares Abogados S.L.

09 May 2016


This guide was co-authored by John Howell (Email: John.Howell@Guides.Global or John@jhco.org. Web: www.jhco.org or www.Guides.Global)

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