Top 5 Universities in Europe for International Students

If it isn’t already a default choice, Europe is a dream study destination for students from different parts of the world. Home to some of the oldest, most prestigious universities, to modern and dynamic institutions, the region is known to have the perfect academic opportunity for every kind of student.

With countless good universities, choosing the best ones can be challenging. Nonetheless, here are some must-know information and a curated list of the best universities in Europe for international students.

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Is Europe good for international students to study in?

European Union (EU) member countries and Switzerland accept each other’s students and you can really see the true value of education as nations share knowledge and talent. Universities in Europe all follow the Bologna Process of higher education, so a degree from a university in a European country is valid in the rest of Europe. Some of the best courses to study in Europe include Natural Sciences, Architecture, Medicine, Business, and Technology.

Universities in Europe make up most of the top universities in various rankings, with each European country boasting their flagship institution to the world. Study fees in Europe can be very competitive compared to American universities. Many nations are also generous when it comes to scholarships and truly invest in global talent.

As international students, a large influence on your academic journey would be the place you live in. In Europe, students can find the best standard of living. There are progressive views, a collaborative culture, and a healthier lifestyle. Many nations, especially Nordic regions in Northern Europe, observe and encourage work-life balance and sustainability.

Can international students work in Europe while studying?

As an international student, your eligibility for part-time work will depend on your nationality. Students from EU-member countries and Switzerland can immediately work the same hours as local citizens. Non-EU nationals may have to apply for a specific country’s work permit first.

Can international students stay in Europe after graduation?

After graduation, EU-nationals can continue living and start working in Europe without any permit. Non-EU citizens, however, must first secure a work visa or similar permit to be able to stay in Europe.

Best Universities in Europe for International Students

1. Imperial College London

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, or simply Imperial College London, is one of the best universities in Europe specializing in technology, medicine, and business. It was founded in 1907 to realize Prince Albert’s idea of making South Kensington a center for culture. Since then, the college has become one of the leading tertiary institutions in Europe. Imperial has nurtured 14 Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, a Turing award winner, and many notable personalities in different fields.

Imperial College London is one of the most reputable names in the international academic community. Over 59% of its student body comes from outside the United Kingdom and represents more than 140 countries around the world. The college also harbors an international faculty and staff. Thus, students can expect an open and progressive environment during their studies.

2. University of Copenhagen (UCPH)

Denmark is among the top countries in the world with the best higher education system. Its flagship institution, the Copenhagen University, proves the prestige to be true. Founded in 1479, the University of Copenhagen is the nation’s largest educational institution. This prestigious university in Europe comprises eight faculties with over 200 programs in many fields, including health sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, theology, humanities, and law.

Annually, UCPH admits over 1,700 international students from around the globe. They are guided by the university in terms of housing, counseling, cultural immersions, and language programs. Copenhagen is one of the safest and most livable cities in the world, so international students will have no trouble calling it their new home.

3. University College London (UCL)

London’s Global University – such is the tagline of University College London, or more commonly known as UCL. The public research university is the second-largest in the UK by enrollment. Since its establishment, it has been known for its radical ideas inspired by the social reformer Jeremy Bentham. UCL is the first in England to admit students of different faiths and was among the first to admit women in 1836. Through the years, the college has produced notable alumni, inventors, and scientists of various disciplines.

UCL’s progressive views stand true to this day, and their community is one of the most diverse in Europe. Currently, there are over 18,000 students from different cultures and nations, and many professors and faculty are international, as well.

4. University of Helsinki (UH)

Founded in 1640, the University of Helsinki is Finland’s oldest university and has the widest selection of subject areas to study in. University of Helsinki is also among the best in Europe and among the top 1% of universities in the world. Today, UH operates 11 faculties and several independent research institutes. Its particular strength is in research that led it to become the only Finnish university in the League of European Research Universities (LERU).

Like other Nordic countries, Finland is known to have one of, if not the best education system in the world. Students can expect excellent programs, student services and benefits, and access to free or low-cost basic needs. The capital city Helsinki ranks as one of the most livable cities, offering an urban culture blended with scenic nature.

5. ETH Zurich

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, or simply ETH Zurich, is a state-funded research university in Switzerland focusing on mathematics, science, technology, and engineering. It has been educating engineers and scientists since 1854 and is presently one of the highest-ranking universities in Europe and the world. It has been affiliated with the best minds in history, including Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, Alfred Werner, and much more.

ETH Zurich attracts many international students not just from its top-quality education, but also for its affordable tuition fees. Presently, there are over 22,000 students enrolled at the university, with several representing 120 countries across the globe. This makes ETH Zurich one of the top universities for international students in Europe. Students enjoy a modern campus in a safe and encouraging city.


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