Top 10 Universities in Spain for International Students

Spain is widely known for its mild weather, historic sites, and rich culture. That being said, it attracts more than just tourists, as it’s very inviting to foreign students too. With its world-class universities and affordable tuition costs, Spain is a great destination for students in search of an immersive international experience. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Spain for international students.

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Are international students satisfied with studying in Spain?

Yes. As per the International Student Satisfaction Awards, Spain received a score of 8.6/10. The favorite amongst the surveyed is the Polytechnic University of Valencia, which was named an excellent study destination by its international students.

What are the preferred majors of foreigners studying in Spain?

Many foreign students take up Engineering, Management, and Language degrees in Spain.

How many foreign students are enrolled in Spanish universities?

194,743 foreigners are currently studying in various Spanish universities.

What is the most prestigious Spanish university for international?

The University of Barcelona, Spain’s oldest, is regarded as the most prestigious university for aspiring international students.

Best Universities in Spain for International Students

1. University of Barcelona

The University of Barcelona is the best university in Spain for international students. Founded in 1450, it is the oldest university in Catalonia – and one of the oldest in the entire world.

The university is comprised of over 100 departments, which are categorized into 18 faculties and 2 schools. The Faculties cover the studies of Biology, Dentistry, Earth Science, Chemistry, Fine Arts, Education, Economics, Geography, Law, Math, Library Science, Medicine, Philology, Philosophy, Pharmacy, Psychology, and Physics.

Through these schools, the university offers 74 bachelor’s degrees, 349 graduate degrees, and 48 doctorate courses.

2. Autonomous University of Barcelona

The Autonomous University of Barcelona is a public university nestled in the municipality of Cerdanyola del Vallès. Apart from this main campus, it also has branches in Sabadell, Manresa, Terrassa, Barcelona, and Sant Cugat del Vallès.

Founded in 1968, it offers 85 undergraduate courses, 80 post-graduate degrees, and 80 doctorate programs. As a globalized university, it provides English-taught bachelor degrees in the fields of Business Administration, Economics, English Studies, Primary Education, and Tourism.

While only five undergraduate courses are taught in English, there are more options for post-graduate courses. These programs cover the fields of Genetics, Economics, Data Science, Physics, Chemistry, Management, and Photonics, among many others.

3. Pompeu Fabra University

Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) is a public university located in Barcelona, Spain. Founded in 1990, this young institution is named after Catalan linguist Pompeu Fabra.

UPF’s three faculties are located on three different campuses. The Ciutadella campus houses the schools specializing in Social Sciences and Humanities. The Mar campus has the Health and Life Sciences courses, while Poblenou has the departments for communication and ICT.

As a research-intensive university, UPF oversees 10 research centers specializing in Law, ICT, Communication, Health, Economics, Business, and Language, to name a few. Pompeu Fabra University is considered to be one of the best universities in Spain for international students.

4. University of Navarra

The University of Navarra (UNav) is a private, non-profit educational institution based in Pamplona, Spain. It was established by Opus Dei founder St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer in the year 1952. Apart from its Pamplona campus, it also has three other branches in Spain (Barcelona, San Sebastian, and Madrid). UNav also has international campuses in Munich, Germany, and New York, USA.

Through its 14 faculties and two schools, UNav offers 57 bachelor’s degrees, 46 master’s programs, and 23 doctorate degrees.

UNav has the greatest number of foreign students in Spain, with 24% of its students coming from all parts of the globe.

5. Autonomous University of Madrid

The Autonomous University of Madrid, also known as la Autonoma or AUM, is a public institution situated in the Spanish capital. It was founded in 1968.

The university currently occupies a 650-acre rural campus in the area of Cantoblanco. This houses the Faculties of Philosophy, Law, Economics, Business, and Science. Its Medicine campus is situated north of Madrid, near one of the university’s teaching hospitals.

The university is also associated with three nursing schools, a school of physiotherapy, and an institute for higher education.

Through these schools, the university offers the 3-year Diplomatura and Ingenierías Técnica degrees, which are equivalent to an Associates’ degree. Apart from this, it also as 4/5-year Licenciaturas and Ingenierías Superiores degrees, which are equal to that of a Bachelor’s degree. A total of 72 Master’s and 94 Ph.D. programs are available as well.

6. CEU Universities

Next in our list of top Spanish universities for international students is CEU Universities, a group of private educational institutions in Spain. It has campuses in Valencia (CEU Cardenal Herrera), Barcelona (Abat Oliba CEU), and Madrid (CEU San Pablo). All of these deliver educational programs imbibed with Christian humanism values.

CEU Cardinal Herrera takes the distinction of founding the first-ever law school outside of Valencia. While it was already in operation in 1969, it was only given its current name in 1999.

CEU San Pablo, on the other hand, was founded in 1993. It was previously a branch of the Complutense University of Madrid.

Abat Oliba CEU was founded in 1973 as the Abat Oliba College. It was incorporated into the CEU system in 2003.

7. University of Valencia

The University of Valencia or UV is one of the oldest universities in Spain. It was founded in 1499 in Valencia, partly due to the perseverance of St. Vincent Ferrer. Currently, it has three campuses within the region.

The Burjassot Campus has the departments of Engineering, Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Pharmacy, and Biology.

The Avenida de Blasco Ibanez Campus houses the colleges of Physical Education, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Language, Geography, Psychology, Philosophy, Dentistry, and Medicine.

The Tarongers Campus is the home of the schools of Law, Social Science, Business, and Elementary Teacher Training.

UV is regarded as having one of the best Erasmus mobility programs in Europe.

8. Complutense University of Madrid

The Complutense University of Madrid is another public university in Spain for international students, which was founded in the year 1293. It was previously based in Alcala before it was moved to Madrid in the year 1836. It is one of the oldest universities in the world, and one of the largest in terms of enrollment. It has more 61,000+ full-time students at the time being.

As an internationalized university, the Complutense operates four institutes outside of Spain. These include the Real Colegio Complutense, which is based at Harvard University, USA. Another is the Collège des Hautes Études Européennes Miguel Servet, which is located in Paris, France. The other two are the Cátedra Complutense en la Universidad de Karlova in the Czech Republic and the Cátedra Dubcek in Slovakia.

9. University of the Balearic Islands

The University of the Balearic Islands, also known as UIB, can trace its beginnings back to the year 1483. Its sprawling campus is located in Palma, Majorca. The university is funded by the Government of the Balearic Islands, which oversees the beautiful archipelago.

The state university, which was formally established in 1978, is home to nine faculties. These are the Faculties of Economics & Enterprise, Law, Medicine, Education, Nursing & Physiotherapy, Psychology, Philosophy & Art, Tourism, and Science. It also has a Higher Polytechnic School that offers courses in Engineering, Computer Science, and Electronics, to name a few.

10. University of Deusto

The final university in our list of best Spanish universities for international students is the University of Deusto, a private university overseen by the Society of Jesus. Founded in 1886, its main campus is located in Bilbao. This houses the School of Law, the Theological College, and the College of Engineering.

The university also has a branch in San Sebastian, which houses the Faculty of Psychology & Education, the Faculty of Social & Human Sciences, and the Deusto Business School. There is also a satellite branch of the said Business School in Madrid.

The university offers bilingual programs in English, including that of Management in Digital Environments, Law, Industrial Electronic & Automatic Engineering, Industrial Organization Engineering, and Informatics Engineering, to name a few.


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