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Best Universities in Spain for International Students

Valencia University

La Universitat de València. Photo credit: Mathieu Militis

Best Universities in Spain for International Students

Which university in Spain is best for international students?

Spain is an attractive place to study for many international students. This article will look at which city and university in Spain might be suitable matches. As with most decisions, preferences vary, so let’s look at several different universities and factors.

We understand that some people wish to study abroad for a short period, such as a semester, while others may want to complete an entire degree abroad. In the first section, we also discuss some universities as short-term study options. 

Studying In Seville

American students in Seville

Spanish Studies Abroad

American students in Seville

Spanish Studies Abroad

Why study in Spain?

First, you may wish to consider why it is valuable to study abroad. Studying in another culture can open up many possibilities for a student, and Spain can be a fascinating option to consider.

Tens of thousands of students visit Spain each year, from Europe, Latin American, and North America. There are many reasons to choose Spain – many point out its history, warm climate (in most regions), quality education, and lifestyle. 

Beyond the climate, Spain’s lifestyle may be the most significant draw, having been named the healthiest country in the world. Visitors love Spain’s cafes, cuisine, outdoor lifestyle, and nightlife. Spain offers an excellent quality of life, regardless of whether you go for a short-term course or a full degree.

University Marbella

Marbella, Spain. Photo credit: Astrid Schmid

Study in Spain: Languages of Instruction

Castilian Spanish is the primary language in most parts of Spain although several areas speak regional languages. This is especially true in Catalonia, where Barcelona is located. Traditional universities there teach predominantly in their Catalonian language (Catalán).

At many universities, you may find some English coursework in areas such as Business and STEM, despite most of the instruction being in Spanish or a regional language.

At traditional public universities, it’s not uncommon that the professor chooses the language of instruction. As a result, you have to research carefully whether a class will be in Spanish, Valencian, Catalán, or English, for example.

Learning Spanish in Spain can be tough, but with the right preparation you can prepare yourself for success.

Best universities in Spain for international students

Best University: Pablo de Olavide in Seville (la UPO)

Svq Keosha Cosby 2019 Seville Intl Studies Usev Fall Semester

American student in Seville's Plaza de España. Photo credit: Spanish Studies Abroad

Interesting Facts

Course Languages

Almost all university coursework is in Spanish, but the international center offers instruction for up to 600 international students (typically for a semester or an academic year) in English and Spanish. Most international students are from the USA or Europe (Erasmus).

Study Abroad Option

Spanish Studies Abroad partners with UPO to provide student services, including placement with host families, excursions, conversation partners.

Why choose this university?

Pros
Cons

Where can I find out more?

Best University: Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

Photo credit: David Anderson

Interesting Facts

Course Languages

Most instruction is in Catalán, with some Spanish and English courses. UPF has coursework in English primarily for study abroad students, but local students also take these classes.

Study Abroad Option

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Spanish Studies Abroad provides accommodation, student support, and excursions for North American students taking study abroad courses at UPF.

Why choose this university?

Pros
Cons

Where can I find out more?

Best University: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)

Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona (sant Pau Campus)

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Sant Pau (study abroad campus). Photo credit: David Anderson

Interesting Facts

Course Languages

Study abroad courses are all in English. Bachelor’s classes at the main campus are mostly in Catalan and Spanish (A level of B2 proficiency is recommended). Some Master’s degrees are in English.

Study Abroad Option

Spanish Studies Abroad provides accommodation, student support, and excursions for North American students taking study abroad courses at UAB’s Sant Pau campus.

Why choose this university?

Pros
Cons

Where can I find out more?

Best University: Universidad Complutense de Madrid

University Madrid

Madrid, Spain. Photo credit: Falco

Interesting Facts

Course Languages

Courses at the Complutense are taught in Spanish.

Why choose this university?

Pros
Cons

Where can I find out more?

Best University: La Universitat de València

Valencia University

Photo credit: Mathieu Militis

Interesting Facts

Course Languages

Most are in Spanish, but a growing number are available in Valencian.

Why choose this university?

Pros
Cons

Where can I find out more?

Best University: La Universidad de Alicante (UA)

Alicante University

Photo credit: David Anderson

Interesting Facts

Course Languages

Most degree work is in Spanish, with some courses offered in the local Valencian language. Various classes are offered in English each term.

Study Abroad Option

Spanish Studies Abroad provides accommodation, student support, and excursions for North American students taking study abroad courses at UA.

Why choose this university?

Pros
Cons

Where can I find out more?

Best University: Universidad de Salamanca (USAL)

University Salamanca

Photo credit: Alison House

Interesting Facts

Course Languages

Degree programs are in Spanish. The university has extensive offerings for international students to learn Spanish

USAL has a semester program to take Business courses in English while taking Spanish language courses

Why choose this university?

Pros
Cons

Where can I find out more?

Want to Study in Spain in English (full degree)?

These places all have entire programs in English:

Best universities to study Business in English (full degree)

There has been a growth in Spain in English degrees, which are often more attractive to international students. You can study Business in English at the following institutions:

Best places to study tourism in English (full degree)

As a popular tourist destination, it is not surprising that Spain has areas in this field that can lead to strong credentials. Check out the following institutions if you have an interest in studying Tourism:

How to apply for Spanish universities?

Finding universities in Spain for international students has never been so easy

There are three main types of international students in Spain: 1. Full degree students with fluency in Spanish 2. Full-degree students with fluency in English and 3. Short-term students in study abroad programs, seeking to improve or perfect their English. 

This article has given you information and summaries to consider programs in all of these categories. Once you understand your needs, review the links carefully to see if there might be a match. Consider lifestyle, cost of living, and weather to narrow down your options and research the above links.

We always recommend thinking ahead by at least a year in advance to ensure that you have enough time to make arrangements and settle your finances. 

A program of study in Spain can mean a lifetime of benefits. Weigh up whether it’s right for you and which program makes the most sense.

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Seville 2021 Program Updates

Deadlines: Integrated program Oct 15, all other programs extended to Dec 15

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