Case Studies is an ongoing series on Scholar Escolar where foreigners who have taken the graduate school plunge in Spain share their experiences. Today’s case study focuses on Laura, from the US, who did a Master’s in Spanish as a Foreign Language in Oviedo, Asturias.
Country of Origin: United States
Time in Spain: 3.5 years
Master’s in Spanish as a Foreign Language at the Universidad de Oviedo (one year)
B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from Queens College
3 years as an EFL teacher, a few months as a primary school Spanish teacher
What made you decide to go to graduate school in Spain?
I was living in Spain and wanted to do something to work towards my career. I was also getting tired of teaching EFL.
Why did you pick that particular program?
I was living in Asturias and I wanted to stay in the area, so I chose the program that best fit my needs at the Universidad de Oviedo. It’s the only university in all of Asturias, so in a way it made the decision much easier.
What was the application process like?
The application was very simple compared to university applications in the States. I had to submit my academic transcript from my undergrad, which I had already translated into Spanish. I didn’t have to write an essay which was great, and I needed proof of a C1 level of Spanish in order to get into that specific program.
What language(s) were/are the classes in?
They were completely in Spanish.
How much was tuition? What about cost of living?
The tuition was double for me since I was a foreigner and cost around €3,200 (about $4,000) for the year.
In addition, I had to pay extra to present my final thesis as well as my diploma and transcript when I completed the program, which was kind of annoying.
The cost of living in Oviedo is very affordable. A room in a shared apartment is about €200/month. Transportation and food are also very cheap. I would have lunch for about €3 a day at the school café. It was not the healthiest but it was filling and great on my wallet!
Would you recommend your program?
I had a great experience doing my program, but it’s not internationally recognized which makes it harder to find work if you decide to return to your home country.
I think that the program could have been better organized but I also feel like Spain overall is disorganized in many ways. It was a very relaxed program and especially great for improving my Spanish-it was great to be accompanied by mostly Spanish classmates.
What are you doing now?
I am currently teaching Spanish in New York.
Any final words of wisdom or caution?
Take the program you are going to study and the job you want out of it into careful consideration.
T only difficulty that I have is that I came back after the Master’s not certified to teach in my state, which any teaching related Master’s program in New York would set you up with. However, I did receive an authentic Spanish learning experience that sets me apart from most candidates and has filled me with great knowledge on the local language (slang, dialects, etc) and Spanish culture. There are many details that a student studying a similar Master’s degree in New York could never acquire.
Thanks Laura! If you have gone to graduate school in Spain (or know somebody who did) and would like to have your story included in the Case Studies series, let me know! Previous contributors include a Master’s degree in Digital Marketing Management and Applied English Linguistics.