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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Other dimensions of internationalisation in early childhood and school education


13.Mobility and internationalisation

13.4Other dimensions of internationalisation in early childhood and school education

Last update: 22 February 2024

European, global and intercultural dimension in curriculum development

Key competences

The learner Exit Profile at the end of basic education (Primary and Secondary Education) sets out the key competences that learners should have acquired and developed by the end of basic education. The minimum teaching standards for each of the stages of basic education are intended to guarantee the development of the key competences. Thus, the curricula established by the educational administrations and their specification in the educational projects of the institution have this exit profile as a reference framework.

On the other hand ANNEX I of Royal Decree 95/2022 defines Pre-primary Education as the beginning of the process of acquiring the key competences.

As for Bachillerato,  Royal Decree 243/2022 establishes that this stage must help students progress in the degree of development of the competences they should have acquired by the end of Compulsory Secondary Education, in accordance with the exit profile of students at the end of basic education.

The key competences in the exit profile are based on the European Union Council Recommendation of 22 May 2018 which include multilingual competence, citizenship competence and competence in cultural awareness and expression related to the European, global and intercultural dimension.

  • Multilingual competence: at this stage, contact with languages and cultures other than their own is initiated, fostering in children attitudes of respect and appreciation for linguistic and cultural diversity, as well as an interest in enriching their linguistic resources. In this way, dialogue and democratic coexistence are promoted. 
  • Citizenship competence: contributes to enabling students to exercise responsible citizenship and fully participate in social and civic life, on the basis of an understanding of social, economic, legal and political concepts and structures, as well as on the knowledge of world events and the achievement of global citizenship. It includes civic literacy, the conscious adoption of the values of a democratic culture based on respect for human rights, critical reflection on the major ethical issues of our time and the development of a sustainable lifestyle in line with the Sustainable Development Goals set out in the 2030 Agenda.
  • Cultural awareness and expression competence: involves understanding and respecting how ideas, opinions, feelings and emotions are expressed and communicated creatively in different cultures and through a wide range of artistic and cultural manifestations. It also entails a commitment to understanding, developing and expressing one's own ideas and sense of place or role in society. It also requires an understanding of one's own evolving identity and cultural heritage in a world characterised by diversity, as well as the awareness that art and other cultural manifestations can be a way of looking at and shaping the world.

Pre-primary education

In pre-primary education, article 6 of Royal Decree 95/2022 establishes the educational authorities as responsible for promoting a first approach to the foreign language in the second cycle of pre-primary education, especially during the final year.

In addition, they may decide on the use of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) methodologies. In this case, they shall ensure that pupils develop their competence in the different languages in a balanced way throughout the stage.
Education administrations stress the importance of encouraging a first approach to a foreign language, especially during the last year of the second cycle.

The pre-primary stage defines three areas, in which it includes content compatible with the European, global and intercultural dimension of the curriculum: 

  • Balanced Growth: it focuses on the personal and social dimensions. One of the specific competences establishes that pupils must be able to establish social interactions in conditions of equality, valuing the importance of friendship, respect and empathy, in order to build their own identity based on democratic values and respect for human rights.
  • Discovery and Exploration of the Environment: the aim is to favour the process of discovery, observation and exploration of the environment. Its specific competences include the ability of students to appreciate the importance of sustainable use, care and conservation of the environment in people's lives.
  • Communication and Representation of Reality: it seeks to develop in children the skills that enable them to communicate through different languages and forms of expression as a means of developing their identity, representing reality and relating to other people. The specific competences of the area are related to the ability to communicate effectively with other people in a respectful, ethical, appropriate and creative way. On one hand, a communicative perspective is addressed and, on the other hand, an interactive approach is pursued in a multilingual and intercultural context. The specific competences around which the area's learning is organised are oriented towards three fundamental aspects of communication: expression, comprehension and interaction in order to make the communicative possibilities of different languages and forms of expression visible, although priority is given to the process of acquiring verbal language. At the same time, communication allows us to interpret and represent the world where we live. For this reason, a specific competence related to the approach to cultural manifestations associated with the different languages included in the area is also included, as a first step towards the recognition and appreciation of our multicultural and multilingual reality since childhood.

Primary education

Article 7 of  Royal Decree 157/2022 defines the general objectives of the Primary Education stage. It defines that pupils should, by the end of the stage, acquire in at least one foreign language the basic communication skills that enable them to express and understand simple messages and to cope in everyday situations, as well as to know, understand and respect different cultures and differences among people, equal gender rights and opportunities and non-discrimination of people on the basis of ethnicity, sexual orientation or identity, religion or belief, disability or any other conditions;

Likewise, Article 6 of the same Royal Decree establishes that in the teaching of official languages they will be used only as a support in the process of learning the foreign language. In this process, priority will be given to comprehension, expression and oral interaction.

ANNEX II of Royal Decree 157/2022 includes the areas of "Knowledge of the Natural, Social and Cultural Environment",  "Foreign Language» and "Civic and Ethical Values"» with specific competences related to the European, global and intercultural dimension:

  • The area of "Knowledge of the Natural, Social and Cultural Environment" defines among its specific competences:
    • Identifying the characteristics of the different elements of the social and cultural environment in order to recognise the value of cultural heritage, preserve it, improve it and take action for its responsible use;
    • Identifying the causes and consequences of human intervention in the environment, from a social and cultural point of view;
    • Observing, understanding and interpreting continuity and change in the social and cultural environment;
    • Recognising and valuing diversity and gender equality, showing empathy and respect for other cultures, and reflecting on ethical issues, in order to contribute to the individual and collective well-being of a society in continuous transformation and to the achievement of the values of European integration;
    • Participating in the environment and social life in an effective and constructive way on the basis of respect for democratic values, human and children's rights and the principles and values of the Spanish Constitution and the European Union, valuing the role of the State and its institutions in the maintenance of peace and comprehensive citizen security, to generate respectful and equitable interactions and promote the peaceful and dialogue-based resolution of conflicts.
  • In the area of "Foreign Language" there are specific competences established in relation to:
    • Appreciating and respecting linguistic, cultural and artistic diversity based on the foreign language, identifying and valuing the differences and similarities between languages and cultures, in order to learn how to manage intercultural situations.
  • In the area of "Civic and Ethical Values" the following specific competences are to be found:
    • Acting and interacting in accordance with civic and ethical norms and values, recognising their importance for individual and collective life and applying them in an effective and argued manner in different contexts, in order to promote a democratic, fair, inclusive, respectful and peaceful coexistence;
    • Understanding the systemic relationships between individuals, society and nature, through knowledge and reflection on eco-social problems, in order to actively commit to values and practices consistent with the respect, care and protection of people and the planet.

Compulsory secondary education

There are some subjects in this educational stage that contribute to the international dimension of the curriculum through their specific competences.

The subjects and their specific competences related to the international dimension of the curriculum, as detailed in Annex II of the Royal Decree 217/2022, are the following:

  • Geography and History
    • Critically analyse historical and geographical approaches, explaining the construction of democratic systems and the constitutional principles that govern community life, as well as assuming the duties and rights inherent to our framework of coexistence, in order to promote citizen participation and social cohesion.
    • Understand the geographical, historical and cultural processes that have shaped the multicultural reality in which we live, knowing and disseminating the history and culture of the ethnic minorities present in our country and valuing the contribution of movements in defence of equality and inclusion, in order to reduce stereotypes, avoid any type of discrimination and violence, and recognise the richness of diversity.
    • Identify the foundations that support the various identities, both our own and those of others, through knowledge and appreciation of the tangible and intangible heritage that we share in order to preserve it and respect feelings of belonging, as well as to promote processes that contribute to territorial cohesion and solidarity in line with the values of Europeanism and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    • Know and value the importance of comprehensive citizen security in the culture of national and international coexistence, recognising the contribution of the State, its institutions and other social entities to global citizenship, peace, international cooperation and sustainable development, in order to promote the achievement of a safer, more supportive, sustainable and fair world.
  • Economy and entrepreneurship:
    • Develop, with a sense of ethics and solidarity, innovative and sustainable ideas and solutions that respond to local and global needs which are identified, using agile ideation methodologies and analysing both their strengths and weaknesses as well as the impact that these ideas can generate in the environment, in order to overcome challenges related to the preservation and care of the natural, social, cultural and artistic environment.
  • Education in Civic and Ethical Values
    • Act and interact in accordance with civic and ethical norms and values, based on a well-founded recognition of their importance in regulating community life and their effective and justified application in different contexts, in order to promote a peaceful, respectful and democratic coexistence committed to the common good.
  • Latin
    • Value the role of Latin civilisation in the origin of European identity, comparing and recognising the similarities and differences between languages and cultures, in order to critically analyse present times.
    • Know the basic aspects of the Latin language, comparing it with the teaching languages and with other languages of the pupils' individual repertoire, in order to value their common features and appreciate linguistic diversity as a sign of cultural wealth.
  • Spanish Language and Literature:
    • Describe and appreciate the linguistic diversity of the world based on the recognition of the pupils' languages and the plurilingual and pluricultural reality in Spain, analysing the origin and socio-historical development of its languages and the characteristics of the main dialect varieties of Spanish, to encourage cross-linguistic reflection, to combat linguistic stereotypes and prejudices and to value this diversity as a source of cultural wealth.
    • To place one's own communicative practices at the service of democratic coexistence, dialogue-based conflict resolution and equal rights for all people, using non-discriminatory language and banishing abuses of power through words, in order to favour not only an effective but also an ethical and democratic use of language.
  • Foreign Language:
    • Critically assess and adapt to linguistic, cultural and artistic diversity from the foreign language, identifying and sharing similarities and differences between languages and cultures, in order to act empathetically and respectfully in cross-cultural situations.


Among the common and modality subjects taught in Bachillerato, those that delve most into the European and international dimension of education with their specific competences, as outlined in Annex II of Royal Decree 243/2022, are the following:

  • Contemporary World History:
    • Identify and recognise the main challenges of the 21st century through advanced processes of search, selection and treatment of information, contrasting and critical reading of sources, in order to understand the historical phenomenon of globalisation, its repercussion on the local and planetary sphere and on people's daily lives, and show the need to adopt eco-social commitments in order to tackle the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Art Fundamentals:
    • Understand changes in the conception of art, analysing the similarities and differences between different historical periods or cultural contexts, in order to explain the enrichment that diversity entails.
  • Universal Literature:
    • Read, understand and evaluate classics of world literature, paying attention both to the internal relations of the constituent elements of the genre and their functions in the literary pieces and to the external relations of the works with their context of production and their inscription in the cultural tradition, in order to broaden the possibilities of enjoying literature and to stimulate literary and artistic creativity.
  • Spanish History:
    • Recognise and value the identity diversity in our country, through the contrast of information and the critical revision of sources, and becoming aware of the role it plays nowadays, in order to respect the feelings of belonging, the existence of multiple identities, and the rules and symbols established by our common framework of coexistence.
    • Critically analyse the role of beliefs and ideologies in social articulation, in the use of power and in the configuration of contrasting identities and political projects, through the study of primary sources and historiographical texts and the foundation of personal judgements, in order to debate current problems, transfer knowledge, value cultural diversity and show respectful attitudes towards legitimate ideas different from personal ones.
  • Geography:
    • Analyse Spain's natural diversity and its geographical uniqueness within Europe, through the comparison of common and specific characteristics of its topography, climate, hydrography and biodiversity, in order to reflect on the personal perception of space.
    • Assume globalisation as a context shaping the evolution of economic systems and recent social behaviours, investigating their cause and effect relationships and creating one's own products to prove interconnection and interdependence at all scales, in order to promote respect for human dignity and the environment as a basis for global citizenship.
  • History of Philosophy:
    • Understand and express different historically given philosophical conceptions, by approaching their sources and critically working on them, in order to develop knowledge of a legacy that constitutes an essential part of the common cultural heritage.
  • Economics:
    • Identify and assess the challenges that today's economy faces by analysing the impact of economic globalisation, the new economy and the digital revolution, in order to propose initiatives that promote equity, justice and sustainability.
  • History of Art:
    • Differentiate the various functions of art throughout history, analysing the religious, ideological, political, social, economic, expressive and aesthetic dimension of works of art, their production and their perception, in order to promote a global appreciation and a critical and informed judgement of it all.
    •  Know and value artistic heritage at local, national and global levels, analysing specific examples of its use and functions, in order to contribute to its conservation, its committed use in favour of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, its promotion as a shaping element of individual and collective identity, and as a driving force for culture and the economy.
  • Foreign Language:
    • Critically assess and adapt to linguistic, cultural and artistic diversity from the foreign language, reflecting on and sharing similarities and differences between languages and cultures, in order to act empathetically and respectfully in cross-cultural situations.

Vocational training

One of the general principles of the Vocational Training System according to Organic Law 3/2022, is convergence with the vocational training systems of the European Union and third countries, favouring internationalisation and transnational mobility.

Some of the objectives of vocational training include:

  • the generation of inter-autonomic and transnational circuits of knowledge transfer between centres, companies or similar organisations, entities, teachers and trainees, promoting mobility projects;
  • the extension of foreign language skills in the professional sphere.

For the purpose of internationalisation of Vocational Training, the General State Administration promotes:

  • the signing of partnership agreements and the implementation of projects;
  • participation in international exchange programmes;
  • programmes based on dual vocational training degrees with mixed curricula from the two countries involved;
  • dissemination activities to attract students to the Spanish vocational training system;
  • cooperation with other countries in the design and implementation of their vocational training systems.

In addition, vocational training institutions can carry out training projects with companies abroad.

In the curriculum of the different professional branches, the vocational modules of the degree in Commerce and Marketing, especially those oriented towards financing and international trade, are the ones that focus more on the European and international dimension of education.

In these modules, students learn how to:

  • develop international market research;
  • analyse distribution channels in export markets;
  • organise the international activity of companies;
  • understand the international contracting regulations that regulate sales and purchase operations.

They also study the international economic structure, Spanish international trade, the European Union and third countries, international and regional organisations, multinational companies, international financing, the foreign exchange market and international credit management.

Partnerships and networks

The Erasmus+ 2021-2027 Program aims to offer opportunities for study periods abroad, traineeships, apprenticeships, work placements and staff exchanges in all fields of education, training, youth and sport. It is available, among others, to students and vocational training pupils.

The new partnership networks in which both pupils and staff in pre-primary, primary, secondary education and vocational training can participate are:

  • Key Action 1-KA1 - Mobility Opportunities. There are two ways to access KA1 projects: 
    • Accreditation System (KA120): an institution sets long-term goals. If their accreditation proposal is accepted, the institution is guaranteed Erasmus+ funding for mobility projects (KA121) until 2027.
    • Short-Term Projects (KA122): an institution sets short-term goals. It applies for a short-term project, which may last between 6 and 18 months.
  • Key Action 2-KA2 - Cooperation Opportunities. There are two types of partnerships for cooperation: 
    • Cooperation Partnerships (KA220): aimed at supporting the development, transfer, or implementation of innovative practices, as well as the execution of joint initiatives that promote cooperation, peer learning, and the exchange of experiences on a European scale. 
    • Small-Scale Partnerships (KA210): Designed to expand access to the program for individuals and small-sized entities that are difficult to reach in the education sectors of school education, adult education, and vocational training.

The eTwinning Project, also dependent on the Spanish Service for the Internationalisation of Education (SEPIE), is a supplementary action of the Erasmus+ Programme which is open for participation to professionals working in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, of, at least, two European countries. Its main goal is to promote and facilitate contact, the exchange of ideas and partnerships between teachers and students of participant countries through the use of information and communication technologies.

The duration of eTwining Projects is not fixed.