In Spain, we often say that we don’t appreciate what we’ve got. Although we sometimes criticise many aspects of our own country, from politics and the economy to society or sports, we also value the safety, healthcare, culture, quality of life and educational options it offers.
In the words of our great universal poets, Antonio Machado, in Spain, “out of every ten heads, nine go charging in and only 1 thinks”. This is why we don’t always realise all the good things about our country until someone from elsewhere points them out. And who better than a teenager visiting our country for the first time in search of an international education experience, with the fresh eyes of a person that wants to learn and grab hold of all opportunities, to tell us the countless opportunities on offer in Spain.
Education, culture, quality of life and opportunities
For any foreign family, Spain is a country full of possibilities. There is an immense number of educational opportunities offering a wide range of different systems and models for all ages with top-quality teaching and parent participation, which places us at the top of global educational rankings year after year.
Furthermore, many of the Best Schools in Spain regularly and voluntarily participate in the OECD’s PISA for Schools, obtaining results that are well above the average for all other countries.
Apart from these academic opportunities, Spain also has a vast cultural offering, not only thanks to its great national museums or famous monuments — many of which are internationally recognised symbols or emblems — but also to the excellent climate throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Gastronomy is another fundamental pillar. Each town and region has its own flavours and accent. By travelling throughout the peninsula or discovering the islands, we unearth a rainbow of beautiful landscapes and one of a kind music. With all of its differences and similarities, Spain welcomes visitors with open arms and proudly waves the flag of help and cooperation with others.
The Spanish education system
Our education system is made up of three types of schools:
- Free public schools, totally funded by the state.
- Charter schools, which receive both public and private funding and normally require the payment of a monthly or initial enrolment fee.
- Independent private schools, as is the case of the Best Schools in Spain network. These schools charge a tuition fee as they are directly responsible for their own funding. They have independence in decisions related to their educational offering and, therefore, they are the first to implement educational innovation and invest more heavily in educational, social, and labour transformations that benefit their students.
In Spain, the school year starts at the beginning of September and normally ends towards late June. On average, the school timetable runs for seven hours per day from Monday to Friday, although this may differ slightly between different schools and age groups. Moreover, students can take part in non-mandatory extracurricular activities offered by the schools, and the Best Schools in Spain offer students an outstanding range of possibilities in this respect.
In Spain, education is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16. Nonetheless, the Best Schools in Spain also offer previous stages of schooling from 0-6 years so that students can attend pre-primary Educación Infantil.
At the age of 6, children start Educación Primaria, or primary education. This stage lasts for six academic years, until children are 12.
After this, students continue their learning in secondary education, or Educación Secundaria Obligatoria, which lasts for four academic years from age 12 to 16.
After studying and successfully completing this educational stage, students obtain their secondary diploma, which allows them to continue on to Formación Profesional (vocational training that prepares students directly for the job market) or the Bachillerato, which lasts for two academic years before advanced vocational training or university studies. There are 4 types of Bachillerato on offer in Spain, and students can choose which one they would like to study depending on their preferences or what they would like to study afterwards: Arts, Science and Technology, Humanities and Social Science, and Natural Science and Health.
The best international educational experience
We must by no means forget that Spanish is currently the second most spoken native language in the world. The best presentation for those who come to study with us is to have already discovered our language through series, cinema or, let’s face it, football and its international standing.
It is also a great academic destination for students from Spanish-speaking countries as they can study in one of the Best Schools in Spain, which guarantee a top-quality education and share the same language, while also offering the possibility of studying in Spanish or English.
All of these aspects not only make our country a fantastic destination to live, but also an excellent place to study. At the Best Schools in Spain, foreign students will find the cooperation of their classmates, the support of an entire education system, the attention of all our teaching staff and, possibly the best aspect, the first page in a book of experiences and friendships that they will undoubtedly take home with them. Needless to say, this is the best gift that a person can receive.