Learning Spanish for International Students

Informing international students the importance of learning Spanish and how to do so before arriving to study or live in Spain.


As an international student planning to study or live in Spain, learning Spanish is crucial for a successful and enjoyable experience. Knowing the language not only helps to break down the language barrier but also opens up opportunities for cultural immersion, academic advancement, and career development. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of learning Spanish for international students and provide tips on how to start learning the language before arriving in Spain.

Benefits of Learning Spanish for International Students

Enhancing Communication Skills

Communication is essential when living or studying in a foreign country. Knowing the language allows you to express yourself, understand others, and build relationships with locals. Learning Spanish can improve your active listening skills and help you to communicate effectively with native speakers. It also allows you to navigate daily activities such as shopping, banking, and transportation with ease.

Cultural Immersion

Understanding Spanish culture is an important aspect of living or studying in Spain. Learning the language allows you to immerse yourself in the culture, build relationships with locals, and participate in cultural events. It also helps you to appreciate the nuances of the language and understand the customs and traditions of the Spanish people.

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Academic Advantages

Knowing Spanish provides access to Spanish-speaking universities and opportunities for internships and research. It also improves academic performance by enhancing cognitive function and memory. Additionally, it demonstrates a commitment to learning and a willingness to adapt to new environments, which is highly valued by academic institutions. Specifically most Public universities in Spain require international students to learn Spanish for the admission tests before enrolling in public university. Even though the program you then apply for, after taking these Spanish Language and foundation exams, might be in English they are still mandatory for applying to public Spanish University. In StudiesIn we make sure to inform Students of all the necessary steps for apply and shortlisting spanish universities. Check out the following premium services that we offer if this is something that interests you.

Career Opportunities

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, making it an essential skill in the global job market. Industries such as tourism, hospitality, and international business require Spanish proficiency. Knowing the language also provides advantages in job applications and promotions, as it demonstrates cultural awareness and the ability to communicate effectively with Spanish speakers.

How to Learn Spanish Before Arriving in Spain

Spanish Language Learning Tools for Kids - DFWChild

Enroll in a Language Course

Language schools offer a variety of courses for students of all levels. These courses can range from intensive programs to part-time classes, depending on individual needs. It is important to choose a course that fits your schedule and learning style.

Practice with Native Speakers

Finding language exchange partners is a great way to practice speaking Spanish and improve your language skills. Language exchange programs are available both online and in-person, and allow you to practice with native speakers while also helping them to learn your native language.

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International Students Socializing

Utilize Online Resources

There are many websites and apps available for learning Spanish, such as Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone. These resources offer interactive lessons, quizzes, and games to help you learn at your own pace. Online language tutors are also available for personalized instruction.

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Immerse Yourself in Spanish Culture

Watching Spanish movies and TV shows, listening to Spanish music and podcasts, and reading Spanish literature are all great ways to immerse yourself in the language and culture. These activities help to improve your listening and comprehension skills while also exposing you to the nuances of the language.

Spanish Slang from Spain for International Students

1. Guay:

Definition: Awesome, cool.
Example: ¡El concierto estuvo guay! (The concert was awesome!)

2. Tío/Tía:

Definition: Slang for guy, girl.
Example: Conocí a un tío interesante en la clase. (I met an interesting guy in class.)

3. Guiri:

Definition: Term for foreigners or tourists.
Example: Soy un guiri, pero quiero aprender español. (I'm a foreigner, but I want to learn Spanish.)

4. Vale:

Definition: Okay, sure.
Example: ¿Vamos a la playa este fin de semana? - ¡Vale! (Shall we go to the beach this weekend? - Okay!)

5. Ligar:

Definition: Slang for flirting, making connections.
Example: Intenté ligar con alguien en la fiesta. (I tried to flirt with someone at the party.)

Check out more coloquial terms in the following link.

Spanish Language World Statistics

Spanish, also known as español or castellano, is a Romance language originating from Vulgar Latin on the Iberian Peninsula. With approximately 486 million native speakers, it holds the status of the world's second-most spoken native language, following Mandarin Chinese. The language is global, serving as the official language in 20 countries, primarily in the Americas and Spain. Spanish ranks as the fourth-most spoken language worldwide, after English, Mandarin Chinese, and Hindustani. Notably, it is the most widely spoken Romance language, with Mexico boasting the largest population of native speakers. The widespread use and cultural significance of Spanish make it a compelling and important language for international students to learn.

Notably, Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina, located in North and South America, have Spanish as their official language, with language distributions of 90.0%, 99.0%, and 96.8%, respectively. In contrast, the United States, with a 10.7% language distribution, does not have Spanish as its official language. Spain, in Southern Europe, and Peru, in South America, also embrace Spanish as the official language, with language distributions of 74.0% and 84.1%, respectively. These figures provide insights into the prevalence of Spanish in diverse regions.

Spanish language | History, Speakers, & Dialects | Britannica


Learning Spanish is essential for international students planning to study or live in Spain. It provides numerous benefits, including enhanced communication skills, cultural immersion, academic advantages, and career opportunities. By enrolling in a language course, practicing with native speakers, utilizing online resources, and immersing yourself in Spanish culture, you can start learning the language before arriving in Spain and make the most of your learning experience.

For international students aspiring to study in Spain, navigating the complex process can be overwhelming. Enter StudiesIn, the premier end-to-end study abroad portal dedicated to simplifying your journey. Having assisted over 6,000 students from 80+ nationalities with an impressive 96% visa acceptance and university admission rate, StudiesIn is your trusted guide.

Embark on your Spanish journey with StudiesIn – your partner for success in Spanish education. Contact us today to book your 15-minute free call and discover how StudiesIn can elevate your academic aspirations.

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Living in Spain guide

Written by

Lourenço Almeida

Postgraduate, 2023

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