Pathway Program - How to apply to university in Spain

To be eligible to apply to a university in Spain as an international student you must first achieve the minimum Spanish level needed to study at the university level, which is high intermediate (B2). You will then have to prepare for the university entry exam (EBAU) which students take in May of each year to start university in September.

Instituto Cervantes

Our university pathway program is designed to help international students every step of the way. Our advisors can help customize a program catered exactly to your needs.


To get long-term student visa, NIE and High School certificates recognised


In order to pass the exam your Spanish level should be at a B2 (minimum). This will take between 2 - 6 months depending on your current level.

Exam Prep Course

Preparation for the EBAU will take between 5 to 8 months


Finally choose your university and take the EBAU.


This is done in May and a retake can be done in September.


Pathway Programs in Barcelona

We have a range of packages available to suit your previous Spanish level. We can also create a custom program based on your academic needs and university goals. 

All programs include

  • Personalized visa assistance
  • In-country assistance for local documentation
  • Cervantes-accredited end of course certificate
  • Support in the registration for the EBAU exam
  • Pre-enrolment for all universities in Catalonia
  • Professional workshops for long-term students
  • Access to our free weekly cultural activities
  • 24/7 emergency assistance
  • 1-week free trial of our online group Spanish course

Program Details

The program consists of two main parts – an intensive Spanish course and the Spanish university entrance exam preparation course.

Program Timeline

apr may jun jul aug sep oct nov dec jan feb mar apr may jun jul aug sep
14-Month University Pathway Spanish Course Ebau Prep H Exam Exam
12-Month University Pathway Spanish Course Ebau Prep
8-Month University Pathway Spanish C. Ebau Prep

Program Dates

14-Month Program
12-Month Program
8-Month Program
Custom Program
University Entry
University Entry in 2022
14-Month Program
5 abr. 21
12-Month Program
31 may. 21
University Entry
1 nov. 21
Custom Program
April to Nov 22 (Depends on Student)
Dec 23 to Jan 9
University Entry
Sep. 2022
University Entry in 2023
14-Month Program
4 abr. 22
12-Month Program
30 may. 22
8-Month Program
31 oct. 22
Custom Program
April to Nov 23 (Depends on Student)
University Entry
Sep. 2023

Exam Dates

Every year there are 2 chances to take the exam:

ORDINARY (last week of May): students that pass the exam in this date have priority when choosing university and program.

EXTRAORDINARY (first week of September): if you fail or wish to improve your grade, the exam can be taken again in September

Spanish Course

Perfectly designed for each student to meet the necessary Spanish level in 2 to 6 months depending on their initial level

Spanish Course Quick Facts
  • Number of Courses: 20 group classes per week
  • Class Length: Each class is 50 minutes long
  • Intensive Spanish Program duration: Minimum 1 week
  • Schedule: Monday to Friday, from 9:30am to 1:30pm or 2:30pm to 6:30pm
  • Levels: A1 to C2
  • Class Size: maximum 12
  • Start Dates: Every Monday
  • What’s Included: Welcome Pack, Loan of Study Material by Deposit the First Day of Classes, Immersion Activities, 24/7 Emergency Assistance, Orientation
  • Certificate from  a Cervantes accredited school.
Course Progression
Beginner Intermediate Advance
20 Group Lessons A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2
4 Weeks 4 Weeks 8 Weeks 8 Weeks 10 Weeks 10 Weeks

University entry exam (EBAU) preparation

The EBAU, or “Evaluación del Bachillerato para el Acceso a la Universidad”, is a series of exams to enter university in Spain. Both Spaniards and foreign nationals should complete them as part of their application to a bachelor’s/undergraduate degree. This can also be referred to as the ´Selectividad´ or the Spanish University entrance exam.

Quick Facts
  • EBAU prep course duration: 8 months (October to May) or 5 months (Jan to October)
  • 20h/week Monday to Friday.
  • Age requirement: 17 to 25 years old (student must be at least 18 years old by the time they start to university)
Exam Subjects
  • Mandatory exams: 4 compulsory subjects that student must take – Spanish Language and Literature, Foreign Language (English or French), History of Spain and Math or Fundamentals of Arts (choose one of the two).
  • Optional exams: 2 extra optional subjects related to your field of study – this can help boost your average score and include Biology, Business Economics, Geography, and others.

Student Visas and Documentation

Figuring out all of the necessary paperwork can seem daunting at first. We are happy to help guide you through the process! Here is what you will need:

  • Long Term Student VISA
  • NIE / TIE (Foreign Identification Number/Card
  • Homologación or conversion of your secondary school certificates

A student visa is required for all non-EU citizens who plan to study in Spain for a period long than 90 days. You need this document to enter Spain. Requirements and processing times may vary by country, contact us for personalized assessment and aid.


The NIE is your Foreigner Identification Number, typically you receive it with your student visa or obtain after arrival.

The TIE is your Foreigner Identification Card, your ID which signals that you are permitted to leave and re-enter the country for your studies. You apply for it after arrival. Once you arrive in Spain, Expanish is happy to guide you through the application process.

High school diploma and grades conversion

In order to apply to a university in Spain your high school diploma and grades must be converted to local Spanish academic equivalents. The program fees include this process and our team will do this on your behalf.  Your high school grades accounts for 60% of your overall EBAU grade after the conversion process.

Other necessary documentation

Apart from your high school documents, some universities might also require a birth certificate, a Social Security card, medical insurance and bank statements when applying for a Bachelor’s degree.


Read the reviews of students who have joined us at our Online Spanish Courses

235 opinions
135 opinions
335 opinions

Why Choose Us?

We are interested not only in providing the best Spanish language teaching, but also in becoming your home away from home when it comes to connecting you to both other people living away from their home country and locals.

Personalized Visa Assistance

We will help you apply for your student visa as well as make appointments for its renewal when you start university. Professional in-country assistance with acquiring your NIE/TIE card is also included.

Assistance with the conversion (homologación) of high school certificates to Spanish equivalents

Send your legalized high school documents and certificates to us and we will do the rest!

Personal guidance and support with university application

We will advise you on the best university and degree for you along with guiding you on how to apply to a university in Spain.

Pre-enrolment for all universities in Catalonia

Expanish will assist you in the pre-registration process for all universities in the region

Integration Workshops

We offer workshops and activities for long-term students, such as CV workshops or Catalán workshops, to fully integrate into the local culture.

Academic Excellence

We take pride in the fifteen years of experience we have in the field and are certified by the Cervantes Institute

24/7 Emergency Assistance

In the case of an emergency, please contact the 24/7 Expanish emergency phone number

About us, Expanish School in Barcelona

Expanish is your home away from home, becoming a second family with our local, friendly staff as well as your fellow expat students. We have been providing Spanish language classes and experiences since we were founded in 2006, eager to share our culture with the world.

At Expanish, we are always happy to accompany our students on their adventure of living in a foreign country, teaching them not only the language but also about our own culture as we learn about theirs. We create once-in-a-lifetime intercultural opportunities for students from around the world from our school, which becomes a warm, welcoming home away from home for them.

Our 14 years of experience in the field can also be recognized by our accreditations. Certified by the Cervantes Institute, we have also earned a Star Award and Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor. We pride ourselves on providing our students with top-quality services.

Come learn Spanish with your Expanish family!

About Us, Spanish School In Barcelona And Buenos Aires
スペインで集中スペイン語 コース


Our Spanish schools in Barcelona and Buenos Aires are recognized worldwide by a number of institutions:

International Association Of Language Centres
American Council On The Teaching Of Foreign Languages
IIE - The Power Of International Education
Instituto Cervantes
Star Awards

Experience the City with our After School Actvities!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete university?

In general, all bachelor’s degrees or “grados” are 4 years or 240 ECTS.

What kind of visa do I need? Does it change when I start university?

You will need to ask for a Study Visa that will last the length of your program with us. Once you are accepted into university you will need to ask for an extension of your visa at the “Oficina de Extranjería” in Spain. We can recommend lawyers that can help you with this process if needed.

Can you guarantee admission to a Spanish university?

Expanish cannot guarantee admission to a university as it depends on the overall grade combined with your high school performance and EBAU exam results. We will help you make the best of your experience as we will be advising which degrees are better for you to apply to and which subjects you need to focus on in order to accomplish your goals.

What happens if I do not reach the B2 level before my test prep course?

EBAU prep classes are taught in Spanish and this is the recommended level needed in order to follow them. You can start the prep course but we recommend adding extra Spanish classes, which have an additional cost. Not having the recommended minimum Spanish level during the EBAU preparation course will severely affect your test scores and chance of entering university in Spain.

What is the schedule of EBAU classes? Is the class with just Expanish students? Are there Spanish people in those classes?

Depending on the subjects that you have to prepare, the EBAU (Spanish university entrance exam) preparation courses can be in the mornings or afternoons, from Monday to Friday with a total of 20hs per week. You will receive the schedule a couple of weeks before you start the EBAU preparation course. You will be with other international and Spanish students, not necessarily all from Expanish.

Contact Us

Contact a pathway advisor to find out more.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


    Find us on WhatsApp!
    Our number is +54 11 6975 7145
    Click to chat »

    Call Us

    Spain +34 932 201 306


    Our advisors are available!
    Click to chat »

    Get a quote

    Do you want to quote your program? Do it now online!
    Get a Quote »