Study Abroad

The Top 9 Scholarships for Studying Abroad in Spain

AnnaMarie Houlis
Topic Expert

AnnaMarie is a freelance writer who studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco during her time as a student at Gettysburg College.

Spain welcomes approximately 26,000 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, I’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.

  • Award: $500 or $1,500
  • 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 nine cities: Barcelona, Bilbao, Granada, Madrid, Málaga, Salamanca, Santander, 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: Varies
  • 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, for example, 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.

4. The Istituto Europeo di Design Creactívate Scholarship

The Istituto Europeo di Design is an international network in the fields of design, fashion, visual communication and management for creative industries with schools in Spain, Italy, and Brazil -- and it offers 17 grants to students on various university courses during the academic year of 2018-2019.

Applicants of all nationalities are eligible to apply for the Istituto Europeo di Design’s Creactívate Scholarship, which is intended for those pursuing undergraduate degrees, bachelors, and diploma programs. The only requirements are that applicants must hold a high school diploma or vocational training, and they must be 26 years old or younger. If accepted, they are tasked with developing a project related to the topic of the contest,

  • Award: Up to 100% of the tuition fee
  • Deadline: April 30
  • Application: Learn More Here

5. The University of Granada Athenea3i Research Fellowship Program

Athenea3i is a research fellowship program focused on attracting highly talented researchers to the University of Granada; the program intends to foster international, interdisciplinary, and intersectorial opportunities for researchers and students in research. The program is held at the University of Granada, which is among the largest universities in Spain with more than 60,000 students enrolled per year.

Applicants can choose their research topic within all academic areas, which are organized in Environmental Sciences and Chemistry, Economic Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities, Information Science and Engineering, Life Sciences, and Physics and Mathematics.

  • Award: About $6,800 per month (living, mobility, family/child if applicable, research/training costs and secondment if applicable)
  • Deadline: September 29
  • Application: Learn More Here

6. 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 the CIEE awards need-based grants based on students’ EFCs and program selection.

The Gilman Go Global Grant, for example, offers students a $750 to $2,000 toward airfare, plus $2,500 toward semester program costs or $1,000 toward summer program costs. Qualified applicants for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship are guaranteed a CIEE Go Global Grant and a GAIN Travel Grant, regardless of whether they receive the U.S. Department of State’s Gilman Scholarship, which is open to undergraduate U.S. citizens who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two- or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.

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

7. 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 o
r 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: Varies; Learn More Here
  • Application: Learn More Here

8. Global Experiences Generation Study Abroad Scholarship

Global Experiences has pledged $25,000 in scholarship funds to engage a more culturally-aware workforce by 2020, and these scholarships are for both summer and semester terms in any of the organizations 11 global cities, such as Barcelona.

Full scholarships are available for semester-long programs, but those interested should note that they’re required to make an appointment to speak with a member of the Global Experiences team to discuss their program options before applying.

9. Diversity Abroad & CISI Planning 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. 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.

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.