International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987


Culture Corner


The Euro is the official currency of Spain. The Euro was launched in two stages. First, in January 1999, to became the new official currency of 11 EU Member States, replacing the old national currencies -- such as the Spanish Peseta. It was introduced in the virtual form for bank transactions. The second stage, in January 2002, was when the Euro officially appeared in circulation. The Eurois not the currency of all EU Member States. Two countries, Denmark and the United Kingdom, agreed to 'opt-out', while many of the newest EU members have yet to meet the conditions for adopting the currency. Once they do so, they will replace their national currency with the Euro.

There are 8 different Euro coin denominations and 7 different Euro bill denominations in circulation. Coins are denominated in 2 and 1 Euro, then 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. Each member state decorated their own coins, but all coins are interchangeable within the countries. Bills are denominated in 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 and they vary in color and size.

Conversion Rates

What is the Euro worth compared to the dollar? With the Euro in constant flux, please see for up-to-date exchange rates. While traveling, it may be helpful to carry a portable currency converter (found at travel stores). Sometimes in the form of a key-chain, this is a handy gadget (like a calculator) into which you enter the exchange rate (depending on the exchange rate at the time and the country in which you are located) save, and then simply enter prices and the device converts the amounts into dollars.

Please note: A great deal of counterfeit US currency has been circulating through Spain recently. Many banks in Spain will therefore not exchange large bills, like US$100, without verifying with the US Treasury that the bills are legitimate. This process can take weeks, and if the bank proves that the bills are legitimate, the only way for you to get the Euro equivalent is for the bank to deposit the money in an account at THEIR bank, which means that you would have to open a bank account in Spain. Therefore, we do not recommend that you take US$50 or US$100 bills to Spain with you. Instead, either take travelers checks or just use your ATM card to withdraw Euros once you are in Spain.

Cost of Living

While Granada can be expensive to the untrained traveler, there are many ways to live comfortably on a budget, if you pay attention to what you spend and look out for different deals and events offered throughout the city. The ISA Granada office also has several books and other resources (including locals, themselves!) that can help you get by living in Sevilla while still taking advantage of what the great city has to offer.A few important things to keep in mind when planning for your trip:


Former students have given us some idea of what you should expect to spend per week while in Spain. Due to the change in exchange rates and vast differences in individual spending habits, we can only give you estimated figures. However, most students seem to spend around $100-$200 per week. This figure does not include extra traveling, heavy shopping, or frequent restaurant dining. Please keep in mind that some students spend less and others spend more.When budgeting, keep in mind that it is always better to overestimate than to underestimate. To give you an idea of common approximate expenses and commodities a typical student will to incur, please see the brief list below.
  • Coffee: 1-1,5 €
  • Coca-Cola: 1,5-2 €
  • Beverage and tapa: 2.5 €
  • Entertainment: 20-40€ / week (varies greatly per student)
  • Souvenirs: 5-20€ per item
  • Restaurant/cafés: 10-15€ (moderately priced restaurant)

      Additional Estimated Expenses

      The ISA program cost includes items such as tuition and fees, housing, insurance, and more. To view what is included in your program price, please visit the What's Included section of the ISA Granada program page.

      The "Additional Estimated Expenses" sheet in the "Accepted Student" section of the ISA website has the following estimated expenses listed:

      • Airfare
      • Books & supplies
      • Meals (if applicable)
      • Visas/Passports
      • Personal Travel

          ISIC Card

          The ISIC card is an internationally recognized student ID card that gives students thousands of discounts worldwide from travel to cinema, meals and more. ISA students traveling to any region worldwide, who purchases a flight through STA, are eligible to receive an ISIC card.