Useful information

Study Spanish in Madrid

Visas

Documentation and procedures

Study Spanish in Madrid

According to the Cervantes Institute's annual report Spanish in the world for 2019, 580 million people speak Spanish in the world. Of these, 483 million are native Spanish speakers, making Spanish the second mother tongue in the world by number of speakers. In addition, it is the third language on the Internet and is studied by 22 million people in 110 countries. Every year thousands of students, more than 20.000, choose Madrid to study Spanish, which makes this wonderful city the world capital of Spanish and the best option for many reasons: its rich historical, artistic and cultural heritageit's one of the safest cities of Europe, their people friendly and open, its neighborhoods and its parks, its stores and shopping centers, its various leisure options, its night life, its gastronomy and its markets, your location in the geographical center of Spain, its large network of public transport, its many Libraries and spaces where you can study and many other reasons that you will discover and that will surprise you...

If you have already decided to come study a Spanish course at our school in Madrid, welcome! We are looking forward to meeting you and helping you discover this incredible city while learning to speak Spanish like a native with the best teachers in Madrid. If you are still undecided, what are you waiting for? Don't think about it anymore, you won't regret it!

Madrid, a beautiful life

Let's go Madrid

Madrid embraces you

Madrid. way of life

Historical, artistic and cultural heritage

Madrid's rich history and heritage attract millions of visitors every year. He Royal Palace, Cathedral of the Almudena, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Madrid of the Austrias, Puerta de Alcalá, Fountain of Cibeles…are just some of the main places of interest from an endless list that will accompany you during your stay in Madrid. Walking through the center you will be surprised by admiring the excellently preserved architectural heritage. You will find historical buildings in perfect condition everywhere, each with its own history and legend, typical of a city that for centuries has welcomed different civilizations and cultures.

You can visit more than 30 museums of all themes and for all ages. Some of them with free tickets for those under 25 years of age and students during certain days of the week. The Prado, Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza They are located on the so-called Art Walk, one of the most interesting artistic routes in the world with works of fame and universal recognition such as Picasso's Guernica or Velázquez's Las Meninas.

Thanks to the fact that our school is located in the heart of Madrid, you will be able to visit and explore all these places on foot and without having to use public transport. Furthermore, in the activities that we organize every Friday, we include many visits and walks around the most emblematic sites of the city that you can discover with other students and our teachers while practicing the language.

If you want more tourist information, visit the official website of the Madrid City Council.

The people of Madrid

Madrid is a cosmopolitan and multicultural city where approximately 3.200.000 people live, and welcomes people from all parts of the world and all cultures. Without a doubt, anyone who comes from outside (whether from other places in Spain or from abroad) will feel completely integrated in Madrid. The people of Madrid are friendly, hospitable and open who like cultural exchange, and if Madrid is characterized by something, it is by this great cultural diversity that you can find on the street at any time of the day. You will quickly find yourself immersed in the life and rhythm of the city: streets always full at all hours, bustling bars and cafes, the constant coming and going of shops...

As soon as you arrive in Madrid you will be encouraged to speak in Spanish. Don't be embarrassed in any way to talk to anyone on the street, whether to ask for help, ask the time or ask for advice or recommendations... Language level will never be a problem, because people in Madrid will do everything possible to understand you even if you don't speak Spanish.

Neighborhoods and parks of Madrid

If something makes us Madrid residents feel proud, it is the diversity of our neighborhoods and our numerous parks and gardens. Madrid is the city in Spain with the most kilometers of parks. He Parque del Retiro, House o Madrid River They are the most popular, but practically all neighborhoods have a park or garden where you can play sports, rest, walk, have a picnic or simply sit and read under the shade of a tree.

Each neighborhood has its own character. He Sol-Gran Vía neighborhood, a dynamic, diverse neighborhood, full of shops, theaters and life, with Puerta del Sol being the most central point of Madrid and kilometer 0 of all the roads in Spain. He Los Austrias neighborhood, one of the most classic, cultural, historical and monumental neighborhoods in Madrid. He neighborhood of the letters, an illustrious and bohemian neighborhood, full of literary and theatrical art. La Latina, a traditional neighborhood where you can get lost among its narrow streets and full of taverns where you can have some tapas and some beers. Lavapiés, one of the most traditional and authentic neighborhoods, full of color and multiculturalism. Malasaña, one of the most alternative, young, independent and rebellious neighborhoods in Madrid. He Chueca neighborhood, an elegant, open, tolerant, modern and fun neighborhood. He Neighborhood of salamanca, the golden mile of Madrid, a luxurious, sophisticated and stylish neighborhood. And many other neighborhoods and corners that you will discover as you discover the city.

Nightlife

Madrid, the city that never sleeps. If you are a night owl and you like to party, Madrid is your city. Madrid is one of the European cities with the best nightlife and one of the favorite destinations for young people throughout Europe. The nightlife offer is incredibly varied so, whatever your style, you will be able to find your place here. Whatever time it is and wherever you are in the city, you're sure to find a party somewhere. From the most alternative bars in Malasaña, or the terraces on Argumosa Street in Lavapiés, to the most glamorous and modern fashion clubs or small concert halls... It doesn't matter what you prefer, because Madrid offers alternatives for everyone. Some of the neighborhoods best known for their nightlife are Malasaña, Chueca, La Latina, Huertas and Lavapiés.

Shopping and leisure in Madrid

Without a doubt, Madrid is one of the European capitals with the most shops, shopping centers and leisure options. You will find national and international fashion stores with the latest trends, second-hand and antique stores, alternative markets, department stores, shopping centers...

In Madrid there are options for all tastes depending on the neighborhood or area you move through. As for leisure options, the possibilities are endless: cinemas, theaters, concerts, sports shows, bars, art galleries, sports centers, zoos, amusement parks, cultural centers, ski slopes, swimming pools... The list is enormous and It's impossible not to find something to do, free or with an entrance fee.

Markets and gastronomy

Madrid's gastronomic offer is also very wide. From fast food restaurants or traditional food restaurants where you can enjoy a menu for an affordable price, to gourmet and haute cuisine restaurants, some of them recognized with Michelin stars. Additionally, if you like to try exotic flavors and international food, you will find restaurants that offer food from all over the world.

But if there is something that Madrid residents love, it is going out with friends to have some beers (small glasses of beer) and some appetizers or tapas in a bar or on a terrace, or ordering some portions of food. Tapas are a centuries-old Spanish tradition that consists of accompanying the drink (beer, wine, vermouth...) with a small plate of food or canapé that is usually served free. The tapas, pincho bars with serrano ham, olives, squid and patatas bravas as the protagonists, are part of this ritual in most Madrid establishments, where modern and traditional are mixed at the same time. La Latina, Lavapiés, Sol, Malasaña... are just some of the places where you can find many options for good tapas and that will never cease to surprise you.

Another option is the markets. Don't worry! We are not suggesting that you go to a market to buy food... In recent years, markets have become fashionable in Madrid as authentic gastronomic spaces where you can have some “cañitas” or some “vinitos” and at the same time taste an enormous variety of tapas or dishes of Spanish or international food. There are something for all tastes and budgets. Some of the best known are the San Miguel market, the San Fernando market or the San Antón market. And of course, if you like sweets, you should not miss trying a delicious and warm chocolate with churros, especially at night or at dawn, before returning home after going out partying.

Location of Madrid and climate

The geographical location and climate are other reasons that make Madrid the ideal city to take a Spanish course.

El Escorial - Luis Vives Spanish School

Madrid is the capital and the financial and business heart of Spain, making it one of the best connected cities in the entire country. It has an airport and different train and bus stations, which, together with the fact that it is located in the center of the country, will allow you to easily travel to any part of the peninsula and Europe in just a few hours. Also, if you like driving, you can rent a car with your friends and explore the pretty towns of Spain, as the road network is excellent.

Just an hour away you can discover historic cities such as Toledo, Segovia, Ávila, and San Lorenzo del Escorial. In two hours or two and a half hours you can reach Cuenca y Salamanca. If you want to visit Sevilla o Barcelona, with the high-speed train, the AVE, you will be there in just under 3 hours. If you feel like taking a swim at the beach of Valencia and discover this beautiful city, in one hour and thirty-five minutes the AVE will leave you there. In addition, you can visit many European capitals with flights of between 2 and 3 hours at very reasonable prices...

Madrid has a public transport network that will allow you to move around the city easily and economically, although Luis Vives Escuela de Español is in the heart of Madrid, 5 minutes from Puerta del Sol, so from the school you can go to any museum or monument by walking, without having to use public transport.

As for the climate, Madrid enjoys a fairly pleasant climate throughout the year. It is a continental climate with an average daytime temperature of 19° C (67° F). The climate is drier than other cities in Europe, with hot summers, especially some days in July and August, and cold and windy winters. Spring and autumn are very mild seasons. In Madrid it does not usually rain very frequently and when it does rain it is not usually very intense rain. In general, throughout the year, it is possible to enjoy many sunny days on one of its many terraces and squares having a coffee and observing city life. You will surely love it!

Plaza Mayor - Luis Vives Spanish School

security and crime

Madrid is considered one of the safest cities in Europe, with crime rates well below the European average. Thanks to the security measures available in the city, both Madrid residents and visitors can feel safe in Madrid, both during the day and at night.

However, due to the millions of tourists who visit the city each year and the crowds in the center of Madrid as well as in some means of transport (metro and bus), in recent years the presence of pickpockets who try to take advantage of any oversight has increased. . Therefore, it is advisable to take into account some basic safety tips to avoid scares:

  • Carry backpacks and bags in front and always tightly closed to avoid theft.
  • Do not leave your mobile phone on the table while we eat or have a coffee, or at least do not lose sight of it.
  • Do not carry all our documentation with us or only carry a photocopy of our passport.
  • Do not carry a lot of cash with you if it is not really necessary. Remember that any business in Madrid accepts debit or credit cards as a means of payment.

Public transportation

The majority of students in Madrid use the public transportation system daily. The most comfortable and cheapest way to get around by public transport is by obtaining a transport card or monthly transport pass, with which you will have full access to all means of public transport in Madrid. Therefore, the first step will be to request your transport card and then you will only have to load it with a monthly credit called a subscription (valid for 30 days).

The price of your monthly pass depends on your age and the area of ​​Madrid through which you are going to move. You will have to choose between the Youth Pass (under 26 years old, only €20 and all areas included) and the Normal Pass (between 26 and 65 years old). The zones are: A, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2. Zone A includes the central areas of the city. Check this link for more details on the different zone subscription rates.

You can request the transport card online at the following link or you can request an appointment in person at one of the Transport Consortium offices.

Another alternative is the “Multi Card”. The “Multi Card” is a prepaid, non-personal and contactless public transport card. You can recharge and use the “multiple card” to store all your transport tickets, such as single Metro and Light Metro tickets, or ten-trip tickets (metrobús). The price of the card is only €2.50, and it is available at metro stations and tobacconists. You can find more information in this link.

Maps of Madrid's transport networks

Madrid metro map - Luis Vives Spanish School

Madrid suburban map - Luis Vives Spanish School

Libraries

In the Community of Madrid there is a wide network of public libraries available to all citizens. In each neighborhood of Madrid you will find a library where you can study, borrow books, movies, use their computer rooms and Internet connection, etc... To be able to access many of these services you will need to obtain a card. You can request the card in person at the library closest to your home, or online through this link. In a few days you will be able to pick it up at the library you have selected.

If you want to find the public library closest to your home, you can use the library search engine of the Community of Madrid.

Visas

Visa application

If you're citizen of a member country of the European Union (EU) you do not need any visa to be able to study any course at our school.

If you're citizen of a country not belonging to the European Union, We recommend that you inform yourself about all the necessary requirements at the Spanish embassy or consulate closest to your home. You can obtain more additional information about study visas by visiting the website of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Generally, if your intention is to take a course of less than 3 months, you can come simply as a tourist. However, it is advisable to verify that due to your nationality you do not need a visa to enter Schengen territory, since it will depend on the bilateral agreements between your country and Spain.

If your intention is to study for more than 90 days, in this case you must obtain a study visa. Remember that processing a visa requires some time and varies depending on the country and consulate where you apply, so we recommend that you start preparing everything at least 2 or 3 months in advance.

In general, some of the requirements that you must meet may be the following:

  • Obviously, having been admitted to an authorized educational center to carry out a full-time program.
  • Have sufficient financial means throughout the stay.
  • Have no criminal record (for study stays longer than 6 months in Spain).
  • Obtain a medical or health certificate (for study stays longer than 6 months in Spain).
  • Present authorization from parents or legal guardian when the foreign student is a minor.
  • Have paid the corresponding fee.
  • Have your passport valid for the entire duration of your stay.
  • Hotel reservations, rental certificate for a house or room, return ticket, etc…

This information is only indicative and Luis Vives Escuela de Español is not responsible for the use made of it. The requirements to obtain a student visa may vary from one country to another, which is why we insist that you consult with the Spanish consulate or embassy closest to your home.

You can expand the information about the entry requirements in Spain by visiting the following link to the page of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior.

In relation to the first requirement: “having been admitted to a teaching center authorized to carry out a full-time program”, full-time means a course of 20 hours a week and must be face-to-face (online courses are not valid or semi-face-to-face). Luis Vives Spanish School is a Center Accredited by the Cervantes Institute, so we are an authorized teaching center. The courses we offer that are valid for obtaining a study visa, since they are the only ones that meet the minimum weekly hours requirement, are:

Acceptance Letter

If you need an acceptance letter (enrollment certificate) from the school to apply for the visa, the requirements are as follows:

  • Copy or photo of passport.
  • Show the acceptance and compliance with the conditions of the contract.
  • Indicate the exact start and end dates of the course, which will be added to the registration certificate.
  • Send by bank transfer the net course deposit amount. This amount remains as a deposit, and is 100% returned to the student once the course is completed.

Once we have received the transfer, we will send you the confirmation letter in electronic format (PDF) to the email address you provide us or by certified mail or by courier if you prefer. In the latter case, you will have to bear the cost of shipping costs.

Remember that the student will be responsible at all times for the application process and for complying with all the requirements of his or her visa. Luis Vives Escuela de Español will not be responsible for any damages that the student receives in case of denial.

Visa refusal

In accordance with the terms and conditions included in our contract, if your visa is denied you will receive a refund of the amount paid, retaining only 200 euros for registration, to which all expenses derived from the management would be added (bank commissions, mail, etc.) provided that you notify us in writing of the impossibility of attending the course at least 15 calendar days in advance. If said communication occurs within a period of less than 15 calendar days from the start of the course, or once the course has started, the Center will not return any amount to the student. To return the advance payment to obtain the visa, the student will have to communicate in writing the cancellation due to visa denial and attach the official denial document (with date, signature and stamp) issued by the Spanish Embassy or Consulate. The official denial document must clearly reflect the student's name, her passport number and the requested visa.

Documentation and procedures

If you need help for any procedure (Residence permits, NIE/TIE identification and registration at the Town Hall/Region, Procedures related to the DGT (Traffic Office), sworn translations, legalization of Spanish documents and apostille certificates, accompaniment services and counseling), we can recommend the Papeleo agency (www.thepapeleo.com). If you go as a Luis Vives student you can enjoy a 10% discount on their prices.

EU citizens

If you are a citizen of a member country of the European Union, you have all the necessary information in the following document.

pdf
Spanish
pdf
English

Non-EU citizens

If you are a citizen of a country outside the European Union, you have all the necessary information in the following document.

pdf
Spanish
pdf
English