In today’s material, we talk about the structure of the education system in Spain. We will consider education for all ages, from babies to adults. Especially for readers, we have learned the difference between Spanish kindergartens, schools and universities from Russian ones, and also found out what it takes to enter certain educational institutions.
Many of our compatriots, buying property in Spain, choose for themselves and their children schools and universities in Spain. Let’s look at this issue in more detail in our new material.
Several advantages of studying in Spain:
- Low tuition fees (compared to continental Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom), both at university and in schools.
- Guaranteed “acquisition” of one or two foreign languages in the learning process.
- The diploma, which is officially recognized in most European countries, and which in the eyes of a potential employer will look much more solid than a diploma of any Russian university.
- The opportunity to learn in a more comfortable environment.
You can also remember the Mediterranean climate, rich culture, history and, of course, the cuisine of the Spanish kingdom, but perhaps they are not the main reason for choosing a country to study.
How the education system in Spain is structured.
The levels of education in Spain can be roughly divided into four groups.
The education system in Spain:
- Pre-primary education for children from the youngest age to 6 years.
- Primary school education, for children from six to twelve years.
- Secondary education, for adolescents from the age of twelve and up to sixteen (general) or up to eighteen (vocational education or preparation for university entrance).
- Higher education.
Education for kids in Spain
Pre-primary education is not compulsory in Spain, but when a child reaches the age of three and up to six years of age, parents can count on specialized schools for babies. Such schools are public (and free of charge), private (the cost of education is paid by the parents, and private with partial financing (part of the costs are borne by the State and part by the parents).
It is difficult to distinguish some certain features of kindergartens in Spain: both private and municipal kindergartens are different from each other – in some kindergartens, children are fed a hot lunch, and in some are not; somewhere, teachers put children to sleep during the day, and somewhere the kids do not sleep at all. The main feature of preschool education in Spain is the desire of teachers to teach children independence.
Child and school education in Spain
There are three main types of schools in Spain: private, semi-private (usually funded by the Catholic Church) and public. The quality, methodological programmes and various regulations (number of students in class or teachers) are monitored by the Ministry of Education. School education in Spain itself can be divided into several main stages.
The stages of schooling in Spain:
- Early school education for children aged 3-6, in Spanish – educación infantil. It is not compulsory, but almost 100% of Spanish children go through this period: this is where they begin to learn to write and count, and in some schools they even teach English from an early age;
- Primary school education for children aged 6 to 12, in Spanish – educación primaria;
- Secondary school education, for adolescents aged 12-16, in Spanish – educación secundaria obligatoria;
- Bachillerato. It is also optional for teenagers aged 16-18 who want to go to university.
Pupils are assessed on a ten-point scale. Every two years the composition of school classes changes, students in the parallels “mix” – it is believed that this way children will start to appreciate more friendship and old acquaintances and learn to adapt more quickly in a new team, and in general, will be more resistant to changes in life.
As in Russian schools, in the first years of study in Spain in junior classes is responsible for only one teacher, aka the class teacher. He teaches children mathematics, language, nature, music and other subjects. In secondary school, the number of subjects and teachers is certainly increasing.
The timetable of the school day differs from school to school, but usually includes two long breaks for eating. Parents will have to pay for the school canteen as well as for the purchase of textbooks. However, in some cases there is a separate subsidy for meals.
Some schools also provide a “school bus” service to free up parents’ time and car. There are also fees for all kinds of mugs and school extensions. It is difficult to name the average cost as the price of all the extra options will vary from school to school.
Separately, it should be noted that applying for admission to one of the Spanish schools in advance – the most favorable in this sense is the month of March. Most Spanish schools have an ‘open house’ in the spring, just in March, which includes excursions and tours of the teachers. Visit several of these events with your children and you will be able to decide more quickly on your school.
At the age of 16, with a high school education and diploma, a Spanish student is determined on his or her way through life: he or she can continue his or her schooling at the Bachierato level, attend a vocational training course – the equivalent of our colleges – or simply start working.
What is bachierato?
For children going to university in Spain, school education ends with two years at the bachillerato level – supplementary and voluntary education. The program of this course is a little bit like the high school program in Russian schools. In the second year, children will have to choose a specialty in which they will continue their studies: humanities and social sciences, exact sciences, economics and management, or art.
It is mandatory that children also study foreign languages, as well as add one or two subjects to their curriculum in the program chosen for admission to the university – the final exams are combined with the university entrance exams.
Besides higher education, numerous courses are very popular in the context of studying in Spain among our compatriots. Studying design at one of Barcelona’s leading design schools is not the dream of a young and ambitious artist? But there is also a wide range of business schools, dance schools, cooking courses – the choice is very large.
A significant plus of additional education is also the opportunity to issue a student residence permit in Spain, that is, to obtain a residence permit is not necessary to obtain a university education, you can limit yourself to long-term courses.