I want to study in Spain: what should I do?
Before studying outside your home country, there is paperwork you need to do. Your age, the duration of the program, the type of study and a visa for studying are factors that may influence the easiness or difficulty of your paperwork. It’s not the same going to Spain for a Spanish course in the summer break than doing it for a master degree. The important thing is to plan ahead all the possibilities and keep some important legal factors in mind.
Before traveling, the first paperwork you need to do is the one to obtain the visa for studying in Spain in the consulates in your home country. You could check in the web page of the Spanish ministry of foreign affairs for the location of their office in other countries.
In order to obtain the visa, you need to previously have been accepted in a program to study. If you are an exchange student go to the OMA (office of mobility and reception); however, if you are planning to study a master or a doctorate, the UPF office of admissions is where you have to send the papers. It’s important to know that the visa for studying is only valid to study in the university you have applied for.
During the first month
If you are going to be there for more than six months, you should personally ask for a foreign identity card during the first month of residency. This is easier than the student visa since you only have to go to the local police department. You need to take there some basic documents and fill in a form with your information.
Two months before your card expires
The identity card is valid for a year and you can have it renovated if you are going to continue with your studies. However, it is recommended to do it two months before it expires, and to do it, as previously you need to go to the local police department.
If you have to travel out of Spain and your identity card is in process of renovation, you can ask for an authorization that will allow you to enter again to the country. This authorization allows you to go in and out of the country for 90 days.
Remember you need to plan for success, so do it in advance and be prepared before arriving to Spain. There is a lot of information you can find online in the official web pages.