Study in Spain | Best Schools in Spain

Study in Spain

Main advantages of studying in our country

Spain is an excellent educational destination due to the variety of high-quality educational options on offer. From an academic and educational perspective, the Best Schools in Spain hold a much higher than average position in the OECD’s annual PISA for Schools ranking. In Spain, education is one of the powers that is transferred to the different Autonomous Communities.

Certain curricular aspects and core elements are respected to ensure that a standard level of quality is reached in education.

One of the great advantages of studying in Spain is the language: Spanish is the second most widely spoken mother tongue in the world, behind Chinese and in front of English. In total, there are an estimated 500 million native Spanish speakers in the world.

Spain has a number of highly prestigious, long-standing private schools that are a worldwide benchmark and have quality educational programmes and international projection, use innovative methodologies, offer a wide variety of extracurricular activities and possess educational spaces and facilities that favour students’ learning. Almost all of them can be found in the Best Schools in Spain search engine, a tool to help you discover the institutions that are best prepared to offer educational programmes adapted to the needs of international students.

Characteristics of the Spanish education system

The Spanish education system is structured into general schooling and specialised schooling.

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Educational quality and excellence

Quality, satisfaction and results: how the Best School in Spain achieve educational excellence.


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An increasing number of families choose our schools so their children can study in Spain with the guarantee that they will receive an excellent education in a prestigious educational centre.

Our schools have ample experience and are a benchmark in our country, partly thanks to the efforts they make to stay at the forefront of educational and technological innovation by implementing new methodologies in the classroom, the personalized attention they provide to students and their steadfast commitment to continuous improvement. From an academic and educational viewpoint, our schools achieve extraordinary results. This can also be seen in internationally renowned evaluations such as PISA for schools, which not only ranks BSS centres above the majority of schools in Spain but also places them above centres from OECD countries such as Finland, Japan, Canada and Korea.

Spain has become one of the most in-demand educational destinations for students from both Spain and further afield.

Students at the Best Schools in Spain have access to quality international educational programmes and a wide variety of extracurricular and sports activities. They also enjoy a pleasant climate, a rich culture, top-class public services, a variety of cultural activities and the opportunity to learn one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

Schooling levels in Spain

What are the different levels of schooling in Spain?

The Spanish education system is divided into general schooling and specialised schooling.

The first category includes pre-primary education, primary education, secondary education and Bachillerato (the equivalent of “sixth form” or “high school” in Spain). We provide these stages at all of our schools. Vocational training courses and university also fall under this category.

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Pre-primary education

This stage is for children aged between 0 and 6 and is voluntary. This stage provides the education they need to acquire oral expression and language skills, develop emotionally, learn how to get along with others and socialise, and discover their surroundings. Students’ intellectual, physical, social and emotional development is also encouraged. It is structured in two cycles from 0 to 3 and 3 to 6 years of age.

Compulsory secondary education

This stage is for students aged 12 to 16 and is composed of four academic years separated into two cycles, one lasting for three years and the other for just one year. Students deepen their knowledge of basic cultural, humanistic, artistic, scientific and technological elements. They develop better study and work habits and receive educational and professional guidance. These aspects make them better prepared for the next stage of schooling.


This is the equivalent of “sixth form” or “high school” and lasts for two academic years. During this period, students (normally aged between 16 and 18) receive the education they need to mature both intellectually and personally. Students have a greater capacity to acquire knowledge and skills in order to develop social functions, which will prepare them for higher education or the world of work. Once they have finished this stage, students that want to attend university have to take a national-level entry exam. At our schools, we prepare students to successfully pass this academic test with excellent results. There are three different study paths: the arts, science and humanities, and social sciences.

Primary education

This stage covers from 6 to 12 years of age. It is compulsory and free in publicly funded centres. It lasts for six academic years in three two-year cycles. In this stage, children make continuous progress and acquire basic cultural elements, as well as reading, writing, oral expression and arithmetic skills. During this period, children also learn music and foreign languages, among other subjects.

Validating studies in Spain

Some families from other countries move to Spain to start a new life or because they want to give their children an international academic experience and opportunities. These students may validate their studies in Spain so they can continue their academic education. The Spanish Ministry of Education and Vocational Training is responsible for this process.

Centres from the Best Schools in Spain network welcome foreign students through their doors every year. Therefore, they are the best prepared schools in the country to provide educational programmes adapted to these students’ individual needs, offer support to help them make educational progress or improve their language skills. What’s more, our teams provide families with advice throughout the year to make the process easier and ensure their children can start studying in these prestigious schools.