Study Abroad

The Top 7 Scholarships for Studying Abroad in Spain

Make your study abroad dreams a financial reality by applying for scholarships to study in Spain!

Spain welcomes approximately 34,000 American students each year, many of whom quickly find themselves consumed in the southern European country’s sundry geography, inimitable cultures, invigorating gastronomic experiences, and enriching language learning opportunities. It’s the third most popular destination for American students to study abroad.

But because neither studying abroad programs nor the cost of living in Europe are exactly cheap, there are scholarships to fund your study abroad experience in Spain. The United States and Spanish governments, and some universities and third-party providers, grant scholarships specifically for studying in Spain. And because the internet can be an overwhelming, gaping abyss of information, we’ve done the research for you.

Before we dive in, here are a few other resources here on Go Overseas, about the finances of studying abroad in Spain:

Okay, let's get to the scholarships!

1. Spanish Studies Abroad Merit-Based Scholarship

Spanish Studies Abroad has awarded over $230,000 in scholarships since 2001 via its two scholarships, the Merit-Based Scholarship and the Diversity Scholarship, for academic programs in Spain, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Argentina.

The Merit-Based Scholarship to Spain is awarded to one student who shares “a personal life story that demonstrates [their] dedication to learning Spanish and how [they] have gone above and beyond in [their] acquisition of the language,” in a 400-to-500-word essay. Preference is given to those who can verify a commitment to their Spanish studies both inside and outside the classroom.

In-person programs are cancelled through May 2021, and summer programs will only be available in Alicante, Spain. Fall 2021 programs are currently scheduled to be in-person.

  • Award: $500 (summer or January term) or $1,500 (semester/academic year)
  • Deadline: May 15 (academic year, fall semester), Oct. 15 (spring semester, Jan. term, Jan. term) and April 15 (summer programs)
  • Application: Learn More Here

2. International Studies Abroad (ISA) Diversity Scholarship

ISA has been granting scholarships for students to study in Spain since it launched its first program in Salamanca in 1987.

Today, ISA offers summer, semester-, month- and year-long programs in 15 universities across eight cities: Barcelona, Bilbao, Granada, Madrid, Málaga, Salamanca, Sevilla, and Valencia. Since the fall of 2008, for example, the ISA has been offering students of a broader cultural makeup $14,000 annually to use toward ISA programs.

  • Award: From $2,000 to $5,000
  • Deadline: April 30 (Fall), Oct. 30 (winter and spring semesters), Feb. 28 (summer programs)
  • Application: Learn More Here

3. The Fulbright Program (Spain)

The Fulbright Program offers grants to qualified U.S. students and young professionals to pursue independent research in Spain.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants to selected individuals to work, live, and learn in a foreign country like Spain for one year via the study/research grant and the English Teaching Assistant grant. The total number of grants distributed each year depends on the availability of federal appropriated funds. These are highly competitive scholarships.

4. CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant

CIEE’s need-based grants offer support to students who face financial barriers to studying abroad. The application processes for these grants all require proof of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), as displayed on the applicant’s FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR). That’s because CIEE awards need-based grants based on students’ EFCs and program selection. The Gilman Go Global Grant offers students $750-$2,000 toward airfare, plus $2,500 toward semester program costs, or $1,000 toward summer program costs.

Merit-based scholarships were suspended for 2020, with no update at time of publishing for 2021.

  • Award: Varies
  • Deadline: April 1 (summer programs), October 15 (spring semester)
  • Application: Learn More Here

5. Barcelona Study Abroad Experience (SAE) Merit & Leadership Scholarship

The Barcelona SAE scholarship awards one scholarship per semester of study, one scholarship per internship, and two scholarships per summer programs to those who have achieved academic excellence, demonstrated community involvement and require extra financial aid. If awarded the funding, they’ll participate in a Barcelona SAE semester, quarter, or summer program, or an internship program of at least four weeks in length.

Applicants must be undergraduate students in good standing at accredited institutions of higher education in the United States with a GPA of at least of 3.3 (on a 4.0 GPA Scale) during the time of their applications. They must also currently receive financial aid from a U.S. college or university or other independent sources, such as loans, and they must be able to show proof of financial need by submitting Barcelona SAE’s Financial Aid Form.

  • Award: $750 for semester/quarter study abroad participants, $500 for internship participants, $250 for summer study abroad participants
  • Deadline: Spring program – Nov. 1, Summer program – Apr. 15, Fall program – July 15
  • Application: Learn More Here

6. Global Experiences Generation Study Abroad Scholarship

Global Experiences offers scholarships for both summer and semester terms in any of the organization’s 11 global cities, such as Barcelona. They are currently accepting applications for summer and fall 2021 and 2022.

Full scholarships are available for semester-long programs, with special consideration given to those who are underrepresented in study abroad programs. Global Experiences also contributes to those who receive a Pell Grant or Benjamin A. Gillman scholarship, for both in person and virtual programs.

  • Award: $250 to $500, with $200 available for virtual programs
  • Deadline: Varies
  • Application: Learn More Here

7. Diversity Abroad AIFS Achievement Scholarship

These planning scholarships are awarded to students of diverse backgrounds at Diversity Network Member institutions, and they cover often overlooked costs like passport fees, visas, flights, program deposits, and more. The scholarship is specifically geared towards underrepresented populations. Applicants should be freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who are able to demonstrate financial need, and preference is given to those who've not yet studied overseas.

  • Award: $5,000
  • Deadline: April 15 for academic year or Fall semester, October 1 for Spring semester
  • Application: Learn More Here

These grants from the United States and Spanish governments, and some universities and third-party providers, aren't open to just anyone, however. Students should strive to prove that they're both disciplined and genuinely interested in learning the Spanish language or delving into Spanish culture to be considered. If you think you have what it takes, applying certainly can't hurt.

This article was originally published in June 2018, and it was updated in February 2021.