Further Education in Spain: How To Decide What Options are Right for Your Child
Parents on the Costa del Sol, as in other parts of Spain, are constantly having to make decisions on their child’s future based on language, suitability for their personality and where you think they will want to live and work when they get older. When you’re considering what further education in Spain path is right for your child, it starts to become more complicated, as the world is their oyster and options are almost endless, however, they are still young and need your support and assistance.
If you’re debating this decision at the moment, here are some thoughts from the experts at the Schellhammer Business School, the first English-speaking business school in southern Spain, to help guide your thoughts.
When we speak to parents bringing their children up on the Costa del Sol about further education in Spain, they tend to be confused on whether to send them to Spanish Universities, send them abroad to keep their options open or keep them here to study. Of course, no child is the same and so there is no one solution for everyone.
So, in this blog post, we want to give you some pros and cons of these three common options.
Pros – There are options both big and small, with most bigger cities in Spain being home to one.
Cons – Teaching style may vary from students who have attended English schools all their life.
Ideal for – Young individuals who are looking to become a lawyer, doctor, dentist or other regulated profession and wanting to practice in Spain only.
UK or US Universities
Pros – The curriculum and teaching style will be familiar for students who have attended English schools all their life.
Cons – Tuition at UK universities have risen substantially over the past years and universities in the US can often cost several 100,000 USD. Moving to another country away from parents as well as starting a new chapter in their education can be too much for many young people and they can struggle without the support network.
Ideal for – Individuals looking to gain a degree in a regulated profession, such as medicine or dentistry to then practice in that country and very independent, confident youngsters with good life skills.
Local Universities teaching in English
Pros – No need to travel abroad or live in an unfamiliar environment and follow a teaching style and curriculum that pupils coming from English educated backgrounds will be familiar with.
Cons – Since they are private and not funded by government, they are fee paying institutions, but there are also scholarships, grants and financial aid that students can apply for.
Ideal for – Young individuals who wish to stay in Spain but gain academic qualifications suitable for business, hospitality and other related fields in social sciences in Spain and abroad.
About the authors
This guest post was written by Evangelos Zographos, Head of Studies at Schellhammer Business School.
Schellhammer Business School offers a range of higher education programmes including a pre-University Foundation Program, undergraduate Bachelor of Business Administration and postgraduate Master of Business Administration aligned and validated via the European Bologna Treaty Norms, as well as an Executive Program. From September, Schellhammer Business School will also be expanding its educational offer with Cambridge International AS & A Levels.
Founded in 2009 and expanding into a stunning new campus in Estepona a year ago, they are the only British accredited business school in Spain that teaches in English. In 2018 they were recognised with the prestigious British accreditation by ASIC (Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges and Universities). This is an important accreditation, recognised by the British Government’s Home Office, approved by Ofsted and leading educational bodies in the USA and Europe.
All courses are taught in English and offer a personalized approach to learning, with small class sizes and attention on developing the strength and self-knowledge of the individual. The business school is located on a secure 200-hectare estate featuring an 18-hole golf course, gym, three swimming pools and a unique natural environment.
They are currently accepting applications for the upcoming academic year.
Find out more and apply at www.schellhammerbusinessschool.com or schedule a campus tour by calling (+34) 952907892.
About Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart, By Alan Cuthbertson
Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart is the humorous but true story of what happens when the Cuthbertson family decides to sell everything (including the family business), load the family car, and move from England to Spain.
As author Alan Cuthbertson and wife, Heather, begin their move, daughters Ashlie and Stacey have other ideas and take off on their own adventure to Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. The girls swim with sharks and work in a gold mine, their enthusiasm and naivety shown in the e-mails and texts received by their parents, who themselves are finding Spanish life a very steep learning curve. Who knew fried sparrow was a delicacy? And Alan’s first hunting trip is not a completely successful expedition, but a very funny one.
We are giving away 3x copies of Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart in Kindle format and 3 copies in audio format.
For a chance to win answer the following question.
What did Heather pull from her mouth?
(The answer can be found in the excerpt below)
Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart can be purchased from Amazon.
For more information, please visit www.alancuthbertson.com
Excerpt from: Fiestas and Siestas Miles Apart
Antonio and Encarna are good friends from our village. Antonio is referred to as Lee Van Cleef, getting the nickname after I pointed out his similarity to the spaghetti western star
A couple of days later we sat with Van Cleef and his wife Encarna and the conversation got onto the subject of food once again. “Rabbit is my favourite,” confessed Van Cleef.
“I’ve never had rabbit,” admitted Heather.
“Mi casa, Domingo próximo.” Van Cleef’s invitation to Sunday dinner will have been the first time we have eaten with a proper Spanish family in their own home. It was something we looked forward to with mixed emotions.
Not knowing Spanish etiquette for such an occasion, we dressed casually and before leaving the house, selected a bottle of wine to take. “I’ve just remembered. Encarna doesn’t drink and Van Cleef only drinks whiskey,” said Heather, so I swapped the bottle of wine for one of whiskey.
During the short walk to their house, Heather and I mulled over the possible menu.
“He said it was going to be rabbit,” I pointed out.
“I’m just thinking back to the bar when they were all eating sparrows and snails,” Heather said nervously, her nose curling a little.
“We have to eat whatever they put in front of us,” I said, “it would be rude not to.”
We knocked on the door and were greeted by Van Cleef himself. I passed him the bottle of whiskey. He looked at me, then the bottle, then back at me. His expression said, “You have a drink problem my friend.” Inside the house it was quite dark, as most Spanish houses are. Alfonso, Van Cleef’s son, was engrossed in a cartoon on the TV and seemed to be finding it hysterical, a little unusual when you consider he is 19 years old.
We took our positions at the table and right on cue in walked Encarna carrying individual plates full of assorted vegetables and…animal. Heather and I glanced at each other recalling our vow to eat, or at least try, whatever was put in front of us.
Now I know this was to be Heather’s first taste of rabbit, but I just don’t ever remember seeing a rabbit with wings, so presumably some kind of last minute substitution had been made. We all picked up our knives and forks and began to dig in. Encarna saw me pushing the meat around, got up and disappeared in to the kitchen. When she returned she passed me a pair of scissors. “What the hell are these for?” I whispered to Heather. Across the table from me, Alfonso had rejected the knife and fork and was pulling the animal on his plate apart with his fingers, so I did likewise. The wing looked tempting, so I gave it a tug. It came away from the body. Unfortunately, where it had been joined hung the veins and tendons, still dripping with blood and bodily fluids.
“Antonio, no conejo?” Not rabbit? I asked.
“No,” he replied. He then stood up, hooked his thumbs under his armpits and waved his elbows up and down. From this I deduced he was either trying to tell me we were eating bird, or we had progressed on to charades and this was his Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.
Heather, who had been sitting at the side of me throughout the meal, let out a faint squeal that fortunately only I heard. As I turned my head I saw her pulling something from her mouth. Was it a bone? A bit of gristle maybe? Or even a filling? No, it was a piece of buck shot the size of a small rock. “I guess he shot it himself,” I said.
After the main course, a bowl of fruit was brought from the kitchen, and Heather selected a pear and took her first bite. “No, No,” called Encarna thrusting a knife toward Heather.
“I think she wanted the pear,” I said a little worried. As it transpires, the knife was to peel the pear, as they never eat the skins of fruits concerned about what they may have been sprayed with.
As we said our goodbyes I returned the invitation and promised that next time they would have to come to our house for a meal. Van Cleef turned his nose up and curled his top lip. A rough translation of what he said would be. “I don’t think so; I don’t eat that English muck.”
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No matter how excited you are about moving to Spain, there is very little that can distract you from the daunting process of packing up your whole life to move abroad.
In our article How To Calculate the Cost of Moving to Spain, we provided you with a free online calculator to work out your own personal costs when planning your relocation. In this article, we are going to show you how to save money by using removal companies who will make the packing process a lot less stressful.
This guide of tips compiled by award-winning removal comparison company, Compare My Move. They’ve put together a few hints and tips on what to leave behind, what to donate to charity and how to help the removal company.
Step 1 – Have a Clear Out
Moving to a new house in the UK is a great way to have a thorough clear out of the rubbish you’ve built up over the years – but when you’re moving the items that make up your life overseas, you become brutal with what you must get rid of. Packing up and moving to Spain is the perfect opportunity to go through everything you own from clothes, hats, shoes to books, kitchen appliances and cutlery and decide if you really need it.
Most of your stuff can go to charity shops, be sold on eBay/Gumtree or pass on to a friend or family. You could even have an American style ‘yard sale’ for your neighbours, friends and family to truly give your unwanted items to a good home. Alternatively, any unwanted toiletries, towels or shoes can be put to beneficial use in a local women’s shelter or a homeless organization.
‘Flamingos Vintage Kilo’ in Malaga is an opportunity for you to replace the clothes you donated or sold with the chance to grab some bargains as you’ll be charged per kilo, not per item. ‘La Señora Henderson’ in Valencia is another affordable vintage, second-hand clothing shop.
- TIP – Let the removal company know any additional services you wish to use such as packing services or dismantling/reassembling furniture and the number of items you’re taking, for an accurate quote.
Step 2 – Plan Your Move
It’s highly recommended to hire a removal company to help get your items to Spain quickly and safely. Most companies offer a packing and unpacking service designed to make your life easier.
After you’ve figured out what’s going to charity and what’s coming with you that’s when you can arrange your move to Spain. You can tell the removal company exactly what they can expect to be packing and unpacking. If you don’t choose a dismantling/reassembling service, make sure you dismantle all the furniture you plan on taking abroad.
We understand it can be awkward to take every item of furniture with you. It could be useful to keep some of it in storage, which is a service widely offered by removal companies. The idea could be that these items could be sent over to you in Spain once you’ve settled in, giving you a bit of time to put aside money for the second removal delivery.
If you’re worried about not taking enough furniture with you, then the money you make from donating and selling your unwanted items gives you the opportunity to buy second-hand furniture from charity shops or local upcycling businesses once you’ve moved to Spain.
Like Martha’s Homestore and Cow and Ghost Vintage, both independent shops selling upcycled furniture and vintage homewares in Wales, ‘Mercat del Encants’ in Barcelona offers you the chance to help furnish your new house with over 500 stalls to get stuck into.
- TIP – Don’t surprise the removal company on the day with an extra item you decided to pack, this will only delay the process, cost more money and most likely annoy them.
Step 3 – Hire a Removal Company
A removal company will do most of the hard work for you to ensure you have everything covered for your move to Spain, but you should know in advance if there’s anything they don’t cover.
International movers will pack your items professionally for a safe arrival in Spain, offering high quality and strong packing materials. Most companies also offer a dismantling/reassembling service for your furniture, saving you a lot of work.
However, when getting a quote for your move, it’s essential you check the optional add-ons the company provides. International Removals Insurance is a specialist type of insurance that will cover your belongings during transit when moving from one country to another. It’s vital you have this insurance as it covers any damages your items could face travelling via sea freight etc.
Questions to Ask –
- Communicate with the removal company on what exactly you can and can’t take, this will make packing easier for both you and the removal firm.
- If you’re planning on taking your pet with you, find out if the removal company will provide a service for this.
- Find out exactly what you’re paying for. Ask how much each additional service is and avoid any hidden fees.
Step 4 – Leave Behind
- Toaster, kettle, microwave, TV etc. Don’t take up space by packing kitchen appliances that could likely already be in your new house in Spain if it’s furnished.
- Furniture. You can sell most of your furniture and start fresh in Spain with new items.
- Consider putting items into storage such as wardrobe, bed, sofa, heavy and bulky furniture, photo albums/personal keepsakes.
- Books, DVDs, old birthday cards that you’ve kept over the years shouldn’t all be coming with you to Spain.
Step 5 – Don’t Forget to Pack
Important Documents – driving licence, birth certificate, marriage certificate, tax documents, payslips, details for your new home, a map of the area in Spain, passport, credit and debit cards, mixture of pounds and euros.
- TIP – These should all be kept together in one folder and in your hand luggage in case they get misplaced during the move.
Essentials – tablets or medication, sun cream, plug adapters until you sort out appliances and sunglasses.
- TIP – Don’t worry about packing toiletries like shower gel, shampoo or soap. These are all things that are widely available in most shops in Spain and will take up unnecessary room.
Travel Bag – deodorant, face and body wipes, toothbrush, tissues, pain killers, phone and laptop along with the chargers, and all the important documents stated above.
- TIP – It’s always a good idea to pack a travel bag separate from your items that are with the removal company to reassure yourself you know where they are if you need easy access.
Clothes – moving abroad is a good chance to donate a lot of your unworn clothes to charity.
- TIP – vacuum pack the clothes you wish to take to Spain so you’re not taking up too much space.
Furniture – if your personal belongings are moving via airfreight, your items need to be professionally packed.
- TIP – Don’t forget to dismantle furniture if you’re not opting for a dismantling/reassembling service
Get a Quote Now!
This guest post was written by Martha Lott. Martha is a content writer for UK house removal comparison website Compare My Move. Last year, Compare My Move helped more than 65,000 movers save time and money on their house removals costs.
I’d decided when was the best time to switch to bilingual education in Spain. Or so I thought …
I cannot believe that it is almost two years since I started writing this post. This is what happens when I want to write about something that is so important to me. That something is our children’s bilingual education in Spain.
March is decision time. In Spain, school enrollment starts in March for intake in September of that year (read more here).
Both our children have enjoyed Spanish state education in primary ( infantil) and junior (primaria). And I must say that we have been extremely happy with the education provided at CEIP San Sebastián in Mijas Pueblo. Francesca, in particular, has had a few inspiring teachers who have helped her grow and develop in a beautiful way ( Thank you Ruba, Marie Tere, Encarni and last but in no way least Carolina).
Our decision to switch to a private international school in secondary education (ESO) was made based, almost entirely, on language alone. Despite the fact that our children have always spoken English at home, they have only been educated in Spanish. Hence our decision to opt for a change to bilingual education in Spain.
In the year they turn twelve, in Spain, the children move from primary to secondary school. This often means a physical change of school and consequently a division of classes and school friends. An ideal time to make a change without to harsh an impact … or so we thought!
I am writing this post having just been to speak to the director at Joshua’s bilingual school. The meeting was to help me decide whether Francesca’s decision ( yep, you read that correctly!) was the best one.
Mis niños 🙂
Our strong-willed and determined little ten year old had decided, last summer, that starting her new school one year earlier than we had planned was the best idea. Not only did she have her reasoning clear in her head, but she also informed her best friend that that was what was going to happen.
You can imagine my surprise when her best friend’s mum asked me if it was true that Francesa would be changing schools before the end of the course. I am not saying I was disappointed. I was genuinely surprised and very impressed. My little shy girl is growing … in many beautiful ways.
Factors I considered when deciding if bilingual education in Spain was the best option for our children…
- Which subjects are taught in which language?
- Majority language in the school
- Other languages
(I will expand on these points in a later post.)
This Wednesday we are attending the initial interview and entrance tests at Josh’s school. I will report back and complete this post …