What you MUST know before to study a master in Spain if you are not from an EU/EEA/CH country 🎓🇪🇸

Tiempo de lectura estimado: 3 min

Are you thinking to study a Master in Spain?
Are you from a non-EU/EEA/CH country and you don’t hold a citizenship from these countries?
Would you like to find a job in Spain after graduating?

If you have answered yes to all my previous questions, then fasten your seatbelt 💺 because this is important for you to know!

Before to start… Warming up! What’s about?

Spain🇪🇸! A beautiful land known for miscellaneous words such as Playa, Siesta, Fiesta, Cerveza, Tapas, and Toros – well, this one is bullsh*** (and never better said🤣).
For so many people, coming to Spain to study a master may sound like an idyllic plan.
It’s an exotic land. A paradise inside Europe. A place where talent is highly paid and is enough to see Real Madrid and Barcelona for understanding this.

These are just some nonsense statements I have heard before.

Year after year, so many students leave their home countries to pursue their studies abroad hoping to get the chance to find a job after graduating.
This is becoming something normal among the millennials, in order to immigrate to a more developed country and improve their lives.

This post is made for people who are thinking to study a Master in Spain and don’t hold a European citizenship or an EU permanent residence permit. More specifically, this information is for those who belong to the previous description and also would like to get a chance to work after graduating.

An important answer to an obvious question: What does EU/EEA/CH mean?🇪🇺

  • EU: European Union. It is composed of 28 members.
  • EEA: European Economic Area. They are just 3 countries ⇒ Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
  • CH: Switzerland🇨🇭.

Here you have a list with the EU and EEA members:

study a master in spain

Why should I be aware to study a Master in Spain if I am not from these countries?

Imagine the following situation:

You decided to study a Master in Spain.
You have invested 20.000$ on an expensive Master degree at the prestigious ESADE in Barcelona.
You have presented your Master thesis and you have got amazing grades, but your luck does not finish there, because, among the people who were watching your project presentation, there is a manager of an important company who approached you at the end and offered to you a job position in his team as a Junior Export Manager (actually this is a true story).

In simple words, this is what in baseball is called a home run! You nailed it!👌🏼

Everything looks great and you start to do the maths to know in how many months you will get back your investment.
I am sorry, but you won’t have it back. At least in Spain 💸.

I can listen to your mind asking why.

The reason is simple: Spanish immigration law and its lovely bureaucracy.

The Spanish government has a nonsense law that requires students to spend at least 3 years living (legally) in the country to be able to apply for work permit.
I say and affirm that is a nonsense law for a simple reason:

In the same way that you did not put up barriers to accept me in your country and took all my money, you should (but obviously not must) give me the right to be able to work if I want. It’s not a labor market matter, it’s a human matter. Supposedly it is a European country, where human rights are above all, and I underline the word supposedly.

What can I do after I study a Master in Spain?

Hmmm🤔…Well, mainly you have 2 options:

  1. Leave Spain, its lovely and efficient bureaucracy and look for a better living somewhere else.
  2. Study other masters/degrees/courses until you complete the 3 years requirement.

Am I eligible to work after 3 years living in Spain?

Yes, but you must have finished your studies, all of them (except in some provinces like Granada, where you can apply if you have completed only 1 degree).
And here comes a second problem: In Spain, there is no visa extension, which means that your residence permit usually expires one month after your graduation.
Only one month.
A month to start looking for a job, apply, make some interviews, start preparing the paperwork, get an appointment at immigration office…
Definitely, an impossible goal.

Summarizing: Ending up with a global overview…

Spain is a cool country, with good weather and not extreme temperatures (except some places), where you can enjoy a year of Master, learn a new language and culture, discover new places, meet interesting people and enjoy one of the best experience you can ever have💃🏻.
However, if you are willing to study a good master and have the chance to get a well-paid job, Spain is not your place, especially if you are not from EU.

Before to bring to an end this post, below you can see the wages in Europe in 2018.

PS: Note that Scandinavian countries, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are not included in this list, which means that Spain is actually 6 places below.

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