Masters Programs in Spain Where You Can Use or Defer Your Federal Student Aid

For U.S. students, federal student loan debt is a real problem. And unfortunately, we have a lot of it.

I did not even truly consider completing my undergraduate degree abroad to avoid massive tuition fees until after nearly completing my degree, since my high school never encouraged completing your degree in another country — and that is the case for a lot of other U.S. students around my age. Fortunately, if you want to continue your education past your undergraduate degree, you can still take advantage of the many affordable options for completing your masters (or beyond) U.S.

In this post, I will be writing about the five universities that all you to use federal student aid and/or allow you to use in-school deferment in Spain. I will also provide  basic information about the university, in order for you to see if the university is a good fit for you. If you need any additional information about the masters programs I mentioned in this post, I have tried to put all the programs’ webpages below for you to learn more.

Defer Only Universities 
If a university only allows you to do in-school deferment that means that they will not allow you to take out U.S.  federal student loans to fund your degree. Though, if you have previously taken out student loans, you do not have to start paying them back while attending university abroad. You receive in-school deferment, as you had during your four years of undergrad.

ESADE (Escuela Superior de Administracion y Direccion De Empresas), sponsored by Ramon Llull University, in Sant Cugat, Barcelona
ESADE is a private business school with a full-time and part-time master’s of business administration degree. They also have the multi-national MBA, which allows you to attend several universities throughout the world. Both programs are taught in English, though continuing to learn a language such as Spanish, German, or French is needed. These programs are equally great for those interested in global business. For more information on types of programs available, check out their website at: Programs at ESADE.

UPV (Universitat Politècnica de Valencia), in Valencia
Since this is a polytechnic university, there tends to be a focus on science and technology programs. In terms of master’s degrees, although dominated by these fields, there are also options for those interested in art and business. There are some programs available in English, but the majority are offered in Spanish. For more information on the programs offered: Master’s Programs at UPV.

Universidad Jaume I, in Castelló de la Plana, Valencia

They focus on science and technology programs, but there seems to be an extensive amount of programs in humanities and social sciences as well. They are a strong research university. Most courses appear to be in Spanish, though some are offered in English. For more information on the available programs, take a look at Master’s Programs at UJ1.

Financial Aid Eligible Universities 
In this category, you are eligible to take out U.S. federal student loans to fund your education. You also receive in-school deferment, so you do not have to worry about paying back loans while completing your degree.

IESE Business School, of Universidad de Navarra, in Barcelona and Madrid
IESE specifically offers post-graduate degrees relating to business. If you are interested in global business, their masters programs have often ranked among the top 10 in the world. They have campuses in Barcelona and Madrid, as well as other campuses for study abroad opportunities throughout the world. The programs are in English. You can find out more about the programs they offer at IESE Business School.

Universidad de Navarra, in Pamplona
“A private university with an international focus” is how the Universidad de Navarra describes themselves. At the Pamplona campus, there are many departments (called “faculties” in Spain) offering masters degrees, which makes finding a masters program perfect for you. A few programs offered in English, though the majority are in Spanish. For more information on the masters degrees offered, check out Master’s Programs at UN.

Although there are limited universities in Spain that are eligible for financial aid or in-school deferment, there are plenty of degree options available, in both English and Spanish and in many departments. There are options for everyone.

If you are interested in (or currently) studying a master’s degree in Spain, please let me know in the comments below. I would really love to hear your stories and experiences.

Why You Should Study Abroad in Spain

I would recommend studying abroad anywhere, as I believe that going abroad gives you a unique set of opportunities that you can not receive staying at home. Yet, here are 7 reasons why you should specifically plan to study abroad in Spain!

  1. Learn a second language.

When living and studying in Spain, you will be introduced to the Spanish language like never before. You will be hearing Spanish everywhere you go, and finally, you will have opportunities to speak the language beyond the classroom. Just think, you will have the chance to hold real conversations in Spanish. It does wonders for building Spanish fluency.

2. Or even, pick up a third language.

You might even be introduced Catalan, Valencian, or Galician (depending where you chose to study.)Studying abroad in an autonomous community with a co-official language will allow you to be exposed to a new language, likely one that you may not have otherwise been able to learn at home.

3. Uncover Spain’s incredible history, just by walking around town.

Spain’s history is long, traveling the way back to pre-historic times. By far the best part about being in Spain, though, is seeing this history come alive right before your eyes. Throughout history, Spain has been influenced by many cultures. Anywhere you go in the country, it is fascinating to see how history comes together, and you can see this by examining the architecture and historic town centers.

4. Expose yourself to the complexity of “Spanish culture.”

A common misconception is that Spain has a singular culture. Everywhere you go in Spain, you will experience another interesting way of life. Expose yourself to every aspect of Spanish culture in the regions they prosper. Go to a flamenco show in Andalusia, experience the running of the bulls in Pamplona, and enjoy a paella in Valencia.

5. Enjoy the delicious food.

No matter where you are, you have to try the “staple foods,” tortilla española and patatas bravas. Arguably the best part about Spanish food, however, is trying the unique dishes of each region. Discover the tastes of each region, such as Galician seafood or Valencian paella.

6. And sip on the best coffee.

Nothing beats café con leche from a local café (alongside a tostada and fresh orange juice) to start your morning.

7. Explore the rest of Europe, and beyond.

Spain puts you in the perfect spot to travel to other countries in Europe, and possibly even beyond. Continue learning more about world by traveling outside of Spain, exposing yourself to new cultures. Traveling is an essential part of studying abroad. And being in Spain, which is not only a great starting point, but can also be quite affordable to do as well.

Lastly, I have a bonus reason. I would say that studying abroad in general, whether you are in Spain or elsewhere, will allow you to become more aware of the world around you. Study abroad gives you the opportunity to travel to a new place, and if you make the most of your time abroad, then you will exposed to a new way of life, language, traditions, and more. In the end, you will have a more expanded worldview, and this is beneficial in our increasingly globalized world.

To be fair, the reasons should go to Spain are endless, yet I had to stop myself at 7 reasons or this would go on forever. To my readers who have been to Spain, what are your 7 reasons one should go to Spain? Feel free to add on in the comments below, I would love to hear your reasons, too!