10 Best Universities in Spain for International Students

Best Spanish Universities for International Students

Spain has become one of the top destinations in Europe for international students. In fact, over 200,000 international students are currently enrolled in higher education institutions across Spain. If you are interested in studying in Spain, your first step involves exploring your university options.

Think about your academic interests and personal preferences. Perhaps you prefer a university that is located close to a quiet beach, or perhaps you would rather be in the middle of a bustling city. You might also feel more at home attending smaller classes, or you might enjoy lectures in large historical halls. Additionally, some universities offer more resources to international students than others. With so many options to choose from, you are bound to find the one that is perfect for you. Let’s take a look at some of the best universities in Spain for international students.

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Universitat de Barcelona

Rambla in Barcelona, Spain

Located in one of the most international cities in Spain, the University of Barcelona (UB) is consistently ranked as the #1 university in Spain by several rankings organizations, such as US News, QS Rankings, World University Rankings, etc. This university has a rich history dating back to 1714, and it boasts a particular focus on philosophy and languages. It offers four undergraduate degrees that are taught in both Spanish and English. Additionally, it offers a wide variety of academic degree programs, as well as special programs for visiting students and students interested in learning Spanish (Castillian) or Catalan. UB also offers practical training and career placement programs in international companies and organizations making it one of the top universities in Spain for job offers and employability rates.

Large City: Yes | Beach: Yes | Large Classes: Yes | Small Classes: Some

Learn more: https://www.ub.edu/

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Founded in 1499, the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) is one of the most prestigious universities in Spain. Its worldwide prestige has been built through a long list of Nobel-prize winners, notable researchers, and accomplished alumni. UCM offers a variety of resources for international students and maintains agreements of cooperation with more than 900 institutions in 77 countries. Its location in the middle of the Spanish capital, Madrid, offers connections with international organizations, global businesses, government agencies, cultural entities, and potential employers.

Large City: Yes | Beach: No | Large Classes: Yes | Small Classes: Some

Learn more: https://www.ucm.es/english/international

Universidad de Granada

Granada, Spain
Granada, Spain – An International Students City

The University of Granada (UGR) is widely recognized as one of the top universities in Spain for its high-quality education, research, and its growing international community. In fact, about 10% of undergraduate and 20% of postgraduate students at UGR are international. Additionally, UGR offers 11 international double degrees and several partnerships at the master’s level. With more than 60,000 students in a city of 250,000 inhabitants, Granada has become a university city in an ideal location. Granada is only 40 minutes away from beautiful beaches, and 30 minutes away from ski resorts.

Large City: Yes | Beach: 40 minutes away | Large Classes: Some | Small Classes: Some

Learn more: https://internacional.ugr.es

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Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona

Barcelona City View
Barcelona City View

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) is a top-ranked, multilingual university in Barcelona offering a wide variety of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs. Despite its location in the center of Barcelona, UPF feels like a small campus. This is due to its personalized student assistance, small classes, and tight-knit community. Every year, over 1,800 international students come to study at UPF from 44 countries. Additionally, nearly 20% of all UPF undergraduate students are awarded scholarships, and 40% qualify for discounts. Classes are taught in Catalan, Spanish, and English allowing students to immerse themselves in a multilingual environment.

Large City: Yes | Beach: Yes | Large Classes: No | Small Classes: Yes

Learn more: https://www.upf.edu/web/incoming

Universidad de Navarra

Plaza de Pamplona
Plaza de Pamplona, Navarra

The University of Navarra is considered one of the most international universities in Spain. It offers 7 campuses in 4 countries (Pamplona, San Sebastián, Madrid, Barcelona, New York, Munich and São Paulo) and a Clinic with two sites, in Pamplona and Madrid. Additionally, 3,800 international students of 108 nationalities study at the University of Navarra. The university also offers 11 bilingual degrees and 14 double degrees with international universities. IESE Business School, one of the top business schools with campuses in several countries, is also part of the University of Navarra.

Large City: Yes | Beach: San Sebastian campus | Large Classes: Yes | Small Classes: Some

Learn more: https://en.unav.edu/

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain

The Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) consistently ranks among the top Spanish universities and among the top 100 universities in Europe. Its international community consists of more than 10,000 international students, of whom 38% are Master’s and doctoral students, as well as lecturers, researchers, and staff from other countries. Additionally, 22% of UAB’s graduate degrees are English-taught master’s degrees. Its location close to the hustle and bustle of Barcelona, and within minutes of the Mediterranean coast, makes it an ideal location for international students.

Large City: Yes | Beach: Yes | Large Classes: Yes | Small Classes: Some

Learn more: https://www.uab.cat/

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Beautiful Madrid

Ranked as the best university in Madrid by QS World Rankings, the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (UAM) offers a complete university experience. UAM offers excellent academic resources, as well as museums, libraries, cultural activities, and sports facilities. Over 4,000 international students attend UAM from countries around the world. Additionally, UAM offers several master’s degrees in English including biotechnology, nuclear physics, quantitative economics, and English linguistics.

Large City: Yes | Beach: No | Large Classes: Some | Small Classes: Some

Learn more: https://www.uam.es/uam/en/estudios/futuros-estudiantes

Universidad de Salamanca

Salamanca, Spain
Historic Salamanca

The University of Salamanca (USAL) has a rich history dating back to 1134 when it was founded. As the oldest university in Spain, USAL has become a popular destination for international students and visiting students interested in learning Spanish. In fact, the university welcomes over 7,000 foreign students each year, and more than 20% of its enrollment includes international students from 50 countries. Additionally, Salamanca has become a small and historic student city with a population of 150,000, and a university campus with 30,000 students.

Large City: Yes | Beach: No | Large Classes: Some | Small Classes: Some

Learn more: https://www.usal.es/

Universitat de Valencia

Valencia City of Arts and Sciences

Founded in 1499, the University of Valencia is considered one of the top universities in Spain. The university’s international community includes over 4,000 international students from a wide diversity of countries. The primary language of instruction is Spanish, but some bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are partially or fully taught in English. Some of the English-taught master’s offerings include programs in international business management and economics.

Large City: Yes | Beach: Yes | Large Classes: Yes | Small Classes: Some

Learn more: https://www.uv.es/

Universidad Nebrija

Madrid Cityscape
Madrid Cityscape

Nebrija University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in Spain for employability, academics, and internationalization. Located in Madrid, Nebrija is a private university offering bilingual education with Spanish and English courses. Nebrija also has 5 international campuses in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, China, and Indonesia. Furthermore, over 2,000 international students attend Nebrija from 70 countries adding to its global community.

Large City: Yes | Beach: No | Large Classes: No | Small Classes: Yes

Learn more: https://www.nebrija.com/en/

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