Many students from Africa and particularly Nigeria have been applying to Spain as a favourite destination for their bachelor or master degree certificate programs. The reasons for this new trend are numerous. Firstly, the country is home to several top-ranked tertiary and research institutions in the world.
There are also many disciplines and certificate courses that one can study, ranging from research methodology to the sciences and humanities. Like other European countries, Spain has a good prospect and labour market for work and business opportunities. These are some reasons students from Nigeria and other parts of Africa are applying for educational opportunities in the country.
They are open to receive students from all over Africa and the world at large at all times.
Several scholarship opportunities afford any Nigerian student the chance to run undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs at European universities. One of such is the Erasmus+ scheme.
When it comes to lifestyle, Spain is relatively adaptable as their culture, food, housing, and clothing are not so different from what happens in other parts of Europe.
You'd easily get used to the country in a few days or months after your arrival. The cities are beautiful and filled with stunning scenery and landscape. Their citizens are also warm and welcoming to outsiders.
If you've chosen to have your bachelor or postgraduate education in a Spanish university, you must be equipped with certain information concerning your impending trip.
You must also be ready to adapt to a new lifestyle and environment different from what you see in Nigeria. In this article, we intend to look at the necessary preparations for every Nigerian student who wishes to join their counterparts in the Spanish nation and other study in Spain requirements for Nigerians.
What are the Language Requirements for a Prospective Student in Spain?
Since you're going to a country that speaks a different official language, it is pertinent that you make yourself familiar with their Lingua Franca. The official language spoken in most parts of the country is Spanish. However, some universities teach in English, especially in the preliminary years. Even if your university teaches in English, you might end up living among locals who do not understand English.
As such, you should start practising or get enrolled in a language school and take a course before you travel. You can contact several centres in Lagos that can help you with this skill.
If you stay outside Lagos, some universities and training centres can teach and help you with Spanish for non-native speakers. Also, you can easily contact a Superprof tutor near you for private lessons at a very minimal cost!
Most language lessons also teach the country's culture as an added benefit. Hence, one of the best preparations you can make as a Nigerian is to get acquainted with Spain's lingua franca.
It is also pertinent to note that some Spanish cities speak Catalan, making them have more than one official language. Therefore, universities in such cities may teach in Catalan. You will find universities like this in Barcelona.
Aside from that, most institutions in Spain require that you have some level of Spanish proficiency as part of their requirements for any undergraduate or postgraduate degree certificate course. You are expected to have written a proficiency exam with a certificate to show.
It is best that you have some certificate to prove your level of proficiency. You can get a certificate if you attend a language training school. Some people have also successfully enhanced their Spanish prowess through movies. Whatever means you wish to acquire this skill, it is pertinent that you practice and speak as much as you can to make quick progress.
What You Should Expect Concerning Living Cost in Spain
The living cost in Spain is similar to what we have in most parts of Europe. Things get more expensive in the big cities than in the outskirts. As such, you should have a budget that is commensurate with the average monthly income of the residents in the city you wish to go to.
Compared to Nigeria, the cost of living in Spain is higher for most cities, which will affect your financial standing if you lack support.
If you're going over there for an internship or work, your wage or salary should cater to most of your needs. On the other hand, those who wish to sponsor themselves for courses would need to bring enough money along.
If you're on a scholarship like Erasmus+, you probably won't need to worry much about your living costs as the grant would cover basic monthly needs and free accommodation.
People who gain entry through the Erasmus+ option for international students enjoy this privilege. Another advantage for those who go via the Erasmus+ option is security and safety. In the long run, you can even save some if you're prudent enough with your spending. You can also set up a business while you're there to serve as an extra source of income.
You must also note that the use of official titles and pleasantries is not too strict over there. You can refer to your teachers by their names without necessarily putting a prefix.
This trend is not familiar in Nigeria, but that's what you'll see, especially in the south. The people from the south are less formal than people in other parts of the country and tend to be warmer and more welcoming. As you drift away from the south, the formality returns.
The Available Foods and Cuisines in Spain
Any discussion about study in Spain for international students must say something about food. Food is an essential part of people's culture, which is also the case for Spanish folks. As an international student, you should be ready for dishes that are different from what you're used to at home.
Most universities in Spain have a regular timetable for meals, and the dish type varies from time to time. Spanish foods are based on fat and fat products like olive oil. They also consume lots of spices, fish, and garlic. Since there are many water bodies around them, you should expect lots of seafood in your meal routine.
The typical dish of the residents varies from region to region, but most people are familiar with tapas. The famous UK restaurant, the Ivy in Glasgow, makes these meals for Spaniards living outside their homeland. If you're familiar with the Glasgow menu, you would have no problem settling into the new setting.
Those that aren't familiar with the Glasgow menu should be ready to try new meals and cuisine. You will love them as they are made with perfection and expertise.
If you live within a university, your meals will come at regular breakfast, lunch, and dinner times, especially if you are on scholarship or other forms of support.
On the other hand, if you're sponsoring your travel or live outside the university walls, you must know that the meals tend to come later than what you're probably used to. The dinners are especially late as this is the predominant culture over there.
Sometimes, the restaurants close early, even in the afternoon. As such, you must be ready to make your meals in cases like this.
Lifestyle and General Living in Spain
Spaniards like a simple and fun-filled life, and this reflect in their interpersonal relationship. They do not joke with some aspects of their lives, such as football. An average Spaniard is a skilful footballer because they take it as serious business. As such, your study shouldn't make you unavailable for some fun and soccer. It is an excellent way of increasing your immersion and having a fun-filled experience.
Accommodation is another crucial part of what you must know about when studying in Spain as an international student. The cost of accommodation in Spain is a bit on the high side as most international students need to pay monthly whether within the school or outside.
If you have scholarship support or gained entry through a grant, this aspect shouldn't be much of a concern to you as you'll enjoy some free privileges. Hence, you must prepare for the number of months or years you wish to stay and plan appropriately.
As part of your preparations and study in Spain requirements for Nigerians, you must ensure that your travel documents, passport, and study in Spain visa are ready and up to date. The number of months or years you wish to stay should also be ascertained.
Apart from the study in Spain visa and passport, you must also ensure that your application is granted and successful before you embark on the journey abroad. It would be best to ascertain that there are available slots for the undergraduate or postgraduate degree you wish to apply for.
The application requirements for getting an education abroad, regardless of the entry route, are similar. You must apply as soon as the advert for any free scheme comes out or you hear information about a grant. Before you apply to study abroad, ensure that your passport and other documents required for your preferred course are signed and up to date.
Since Nigeria is not a member of the European Union, you need a visa to travel and study in Spain. The European Union is a group of countries that have totally abolished all forms of border control documents at their mutual borders. Citizens of the European Union countries can travel within the countries in the union without a passport or visa.
Furthermore, it is essential to have adequate health insurance as you prepare for your study in Spain. If you are an Erasmus+ beneficiary, your health insurance would also be covered in the grant.
You must also ensure that the course is being offered at the prospective institution. Usually, this information is available on the school's website, or you can get a printed list of programs from your faculty. If you cannot get a list of programs, you can contact your level adviser to help with the required items for your application.
To sum it up, you can further or start your education outside Nigeria if you have the right opportunity, visa, documents, and required information. The world is filled with institutions that have several research programs and courses for enthusiasts within and outside Europe.
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