Best Spanish Universities for International Students

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Aiten Nadeem

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13 May, 2024

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6 mins read

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If fate has led you here, then you’re probably running around in circles looking for Spanish universities for international students, and we know how stressful and time-consuming such a task can be. On the other hand, Spain, with its tapestry of rich culture, stunning coastlines, and vibrant cities, is a dream for international students like yourself to call home for the next four years, so it’s definitely worth all the hassle.


You don’t need to worry, as we unveil below the best universities that you can easily apply for, all of which are located in different cities across Spain. So buckle up as we dive in deep through this article, and we’ll make sure we leave you with a great outcome at the end!



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Top Spanish Universities for International Students


University of Barcelona (UB)

Type: Public University 

QS World Ranking: 164 

Tuition Fees: €2,800 to €3,600 per year


The Universitat de Barcelona was founded in 1450 and is one of the oldest and biggest Spanish universities, with around 76,000 students. It’s a highly-ranked university, attracting countless international students from every corner of the world, with over 12,000 international students among its student population. Thanks to its location in the heart of Barcelona—one of the main cosmopolitan hubs in the Mediterranean and Europe—the university gives students ample opportunity to enjoy such a charming and vibrant city and create memorable experiences.


UB offers various programmes to choose from, from humanities and arts to science and engineering, in addition to offering some programmes in English, so you won’t have to walk with a translating app for every class you attend. However, the majority of the courses are either in Spanish or Catalan, so it really depends on your choice of course. Additionally, UB boasts over 16 faculties clustered across six campuses, all spread out over the city and integrated into urban life. As a student, this can allow you to easily choose the kind of environment you’d like to live in, whether in the heart of a buzzing city or a tranquil urban area.


In addition to its reputation for academic excellence and a variety of courses, UB's commitment to research has earned it a place in Spain's international university rankings.


While studying is important, the University of Barcelona strives to provide an entertaining student life to accommodate all lifestyles. With unique student unions, cultural exhibitions, high-quality sporting facilities, volunteering opportunities, and student organisations and clubs, UB provides a unique educational experience and a thriving student scene.



University of Valencia (UV)

Type: Public Research University 

QS World Ranking: 485

Tuition Fees: The average tuition for non-EU/EEA students ranges from €7,000 to €9,000 per year.




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The University of Valencia is a historical-looking institution located in Valencia, along the Mediterranean coast. Dating back to 1499, the university is considered one of the oldest universities in Spain and the Valencian community. With 5,558 international students, the university is recognised for being a highly-qualified education institution; accessible to everyone. Not only that, but it also offers a wide range of courses through its three campuses spread throughout the city, integrating with Valencia’s vibrant atmosphere. It doesn’t end here; the three campuses are close to the coast, where you can escape to the beach for a quick swim or a stroll and detach from the stress of classes with your friends.


The University of Valencia is renowned for its research teams that generate basic and informative research that is then transferred to society. The university enhances student life with its excellent facilities and resources, including libraries, sports facilities, halls of residence, and extraordinary places like the Botanic Garden. Student life at the University of Valencia is sure to be special!



Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) 

Type: Public University

QS Ranking: 199

Tuition Fees: The average tuition for non-EU/EEA students ranges from €5,000 to €8,000 per year


Founded in 1968, UAM is one of the most prestigious and widely-respected universities in Europe. With 15% international students, the university offers an extensive range of programmes divided into eight faculties. It also has almost 60 departments offering undergraduate, postgraduate, and PhD studies, making the Autonomous University of Madrid one of the best Spanish universities. The campus is located in the bustling city of Madrid, the most popular city in Spain, filled with wonders that will keep students busy exploring it.


UAM has two campuses, with the main campus located on the outskirts of Madrid in the Contablaco area. The campus boasts 16 cafes and canteens indoors and outdoors, providing an environmentally sustainable atmosphere and creating a welcoming social landscape.



University of Granda (UGR) 

Type: Public University

QS Ranking: 403

Tuition Fees: €757–€1,000 per year. The tuition is based on a credit system



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Due to Granda’s rich history and cultural heritage, the city houses one of the oldest universities, dating back to 1531, welcoming students with different cultural backgrounds and beliefs. The university currently runs 51 degree courses, 51 diplomas, and 141 doctorate programmes, in addition to a wide range of courses like biology, biochemistry, and technology. Located on five campuses throughout Granda, the University of Granda has more than 9% of international students. These students will get a high-quality education and learn Spanish as well, since Spanish classes are available for those unfamiliar with it.


With the university's geographical location, which is surrounded by beaches and mountains, life outside campus can be really exciting and fun. Students can hike mountains or take part in aquatic sports. Also, if you’re not into sports, you can enjoy the campus facilities and interact with international students like yourself. If you ask us, the University of Granda is one of the greatest Spanish universities for international students, where you’ll not only be getting high educational quality, but you’ll also create numerous, unforgettable memories!



University of Salamanca 

Type: Public University

QS Ranking: 543

Tuition Fees:  €2,500–€7,500 per year


You can easily say that this university is one of the oldest in Spain, dating back to 1218; shocking, right? The university is recognised internationally as one of the leading university cities, considering its student population. With nine campuses divided between Salamanca, Ávila, Zamora, Béjar and Villamayo, 26 faculties and colleges, and 12 research centres, the university attracts a large number of international students every year. The programmes are taught in Spanish; in fact, the university at the beginning taught Spanish language courses, which resulted in many foreign students taking an interest in the University of Salamanca. As part of the enrolment process, you’re required to have a Spanish proficiency test at the beginning of your semester.


Outside of lecture halls, you can enjoy Salamanca's outstanding architecture, with its sandstone-clad buildings and thriving market squares. Salamanca is a university town with a palpable international community, so make sure you consider this university.



University of Navarra 

Type: Private Research University

QS Ranking: 280

Tuition Fees:  €11,000 minimum (possibly higher depending on the programme)


Finally, we have the last university on our list! Although it may seem a little pricey, the University of Navarra—which initially started as a law school—is ranked among the top universities in Europe and Spain. Now, with 14 faculties, the University of Navarra offers a variety of programmes in English, alluring plenty of international students. Additionally, the university’s location in Pamplona—a charming city with most of its population being international students—makes it a perfect student hub. In fact, around 26% of these students come from abroad, creating a bustling international community.


In addition to the city’s amusing and vibrant atmosphere, the on-campus life is out of this world. You can embrace the campus’ modern facilities, such as libraries, green spaces, and academic buildings. Moreover, you can immerse yourself in many student clubs and organisations and make more connections with students from other parts of the world. Indeed, student life at the University of Navarra is something that shouldn’t be missed.




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That’s it, folks! We’ve listed the most renowned and best Spanish universities for international students, so you should by now have a solid idea of which university you’d like to join. We recommend that you ease your nerves and think about all the exciting moments you’ll get to enjoy with other international students like yourself. Set your priorities and the kind of atmosphere in which you’d like to live, and choose the university that matches that.


If you love literature and languages and would love to dive into the world of synonyms, then check out our latest blogs, “Best UK Universities to Study English Literature” and “Best Language Schools in the World,” for more information!


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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Spain a good place to study for international students?

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Spain is a great choice if you’re planning to study abroad. Its rich history and culture, vibrant wildlife, and affordable cost of living make it a great place to live.

Are there any English-speaking universities in Spain?

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The University of Barcelona provides many programmes and courses in English.

Is it cheaper to study in Italy or Spain?

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Italy is slightly more expensive than Spain.