Applying for a Masters Degree (in Ireland?)

I have wanted to complete a masters degree in Spain. Whenever anyone asked me what my plan was, I always said “apply to a Spanish university and study art history.” I still very much want to do this, but right now, my best bet applying for a  masters course elsewhere.

Applying for a Spanish university is tough process as an American, and to be fair, I know it is for plenty of others as well (and can be worse). The system is very bureaucratic. There needs to be a lot of copies, but since my degree is from outside of Europe, then I need to prove that my degree is worthy/matches the standards of European universities. Even though 9 times out of 10, this process called “validation” is approved, the amount of copies, certified translations, and notarizations/apostilles needed is, well, excessive.

I recently moved away from my home/university state, and I am two hours behind. It has already been proven difficult enough getting into contact with references to write letters of recommendation. So, I can not imagine trying to do the whole degree validation process while in-limbo between two states (and not necessarily a resident anywhere.)

Therefore, I did some research on universities I could apply to that:

  • Allow me to take out federal loans or were free/low cost
  • Offered a degree where I had the opportunity to study abroad/continue Spanish
  • Was not difficult for me to apply to
  • Had an easy visa process

I found a degree in Ireland pretty early on in my search. The degree is “Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies,” which perfectly combined both my Spanish and art history studies into one single degree. I immediately thought it was perfect but had to calm down for the impending, soul-crushing realization that it was not. Though, once I read more about the degree/masters degrees in Ireland in general, I discovered that I could continue on with Spanish and not be severely in debt!

So, I applied for the degree!

As of right now, I do not entirely know what will result of my application, but I hope it is good news.




A Few Thoughts

I remember when I lost all motivation to write about Spain. And to be honest, the motivation still has not totally come back yet, but I am trying.

My entire life and everything I had planned out for myself changed within the past months. You know, continuing to go abroad to Spain despite what’s happening at home, everything going wrong in Spain (except: meeting some of the nicest people, which made it harder to leave), and then ultimately, having to return to America. And figure out what to do next.

My step-dad was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks before I left for Spain, and to say the least, the diagnosis was not good. He told me to go to Spain despite everything. To not stop living. And, more than anything, he wanted to see me get my degree.

To leave or not to leave. That was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I had never been so unsure about anything in my whole life. I remember getting onto the plane and wanting to run away, never mind, I can not do this. But, there was a whole line of people behind me. I was already on my way and could not turn back.

Of course, the program ended up not working out. Really, the program was not even close to what I expected. I tried to make it work out, tried to study directly in the university instead/tried to find another university to study in. I called and e-mailed so many people, but the fall term started throughout Spain. I could not enroll in classes now. Everything was telling me to go home.

And I did, without my degree and unsure what to do next.

Over the next couple of months, very condensed, I: helped out at home, picked up a job at a retail store, quit when my step-dad’s health was worsening, tried figuring out where I would go to college next and when, etc. And then, I decided to go back to Morris in the spring.

And actually, the decision was very sudden just like that. I woke up one morning and thought, I need to re-enroll for spring term at Morris. I need to stop trying to make the Twin Cities campus happen. And did all of that in a day, meaning re-enrolling, registering for classes, signing up for on-campus housing.

Did not know how everything would be paid for. Did not entirely know what I was doing, but I wanted to get my degree. I wanted to make my step-dad proud.

Financially, a tough semester. Emotionally, more difficult than anyone could ever imagine in a semester. I did not know until about a month into the semester on how to even begin to pay for my tuition bill. Thankfully, I finally received a positive response from the financial aid office.

A few weeks after that, on February 20, my step-dad passed away.

Long story, really really really short: this has been the most difficult semester of my entire life, but I finally did it. I am in my last week of undergrad, and my final exams are on Thursday and Friday. I think I can say “I am done” at this point.

I graduated.

Hope you are proud.

3 More Undergraduate Degrees in Spain Offered in English

If you are interested in finding out what I first recommended for 3 undergraduate degrees in English, check out the previous version of this post at 3 Undergraduate Degrees in Spain Offered in English.

If you are searching for an article like this, you probably already know the affordability of obtaining a college degree throughout Europe. Completing a degree in Europe, particularly in Spain, can leave you with less debt than you would obtain at an American university, or even debt-free. If you need, you may also be able to use federal financial aid, depending on the university you choose to study at.

Degree in Hotel & Tourism Studies, HTL International School of Hospitality, Tourism, and Languages, Barcelona

The following university is private, which typically  means the cost of attendance is a bit higher than completing your degree at a public university. I decided to include this degree on this list,  since you would be able to finish your degree in 3 years, rather than 4 years. Each year of study is 4,700 euro, so the degree will only set you back less than 15,000 euro, which could be just a semester or year of study in an American university.
This degree, as well as all the degrees offered at this university, are unique because they are strictly offered in English. You will have the opportunity to learn Spanish, through the courses offered by the university or during your internship period.
If you want to learn more about this degree, here is a link to it here.

Degree in Transportation Design, IED (Escuela Superior de Disseny), Barcelona

Another private university in Barcelona, but the degree, Transportation Design, is unique.  Even in American universities a degree in transportation design is not commonplace, so if you are interested in studying this, why not study in Barcelona? I would also argue that it’s one of the best places to study this degree, as you are surrounded by one of the best public transportation networks in the world

You have the opportunity to take the degree in either English or Spanish, and you will complete it in 4 years. For more information on how the 4-year course is laid out, read more here.

Since this university is a private university, tuition fees will be higher. Also given that it is a design school, materials fees will probably raise the cost. However, IED has many scholarships available that will help offset the extra fees associated with a private university.

Double Degree in Law and Political Sciences Administration, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia

Unfortunately, this degree is not completely in English, though there are plenty of course offerings in English. This would be a great degree option if you are interested in political science, and you also want the opportunity to learn more Spanish.

Since this is a double degree, the amount of time it takes to complete is five years. There is also a higher course load each semester to allow for the degree to be completed in this amount of time. If you find the double degree too difficult to manage, at any time you can choose to drop it to a single degree.

The university is public, which allows for cheaper tuition fees. The city of Valencia is also pretty affordable to live in, all while being connected by an excellent public transportation system. If you find yourself wanting to study law and/or political science administration, then Universidad de Valencia is the place for you to be. For more information, read the curriculum page.

Let me know if you have enjoyed this addition of Spanish undergraduate degrees offered in English. If you would like to know more about offerings in English for any particular degree, let me know in the comments below.