Universities in Spain for international students


Updated on Aug 04 • 5 minute read

Spain is a popular destination for international students. It offers a high-quality education with lower tuition fees than other European countries like Germany and Netherlands.

Currently, there’re more than 208,366 international students in Spain. Many of them choose Spain because of its affordable living costs, warm Mediterranean climate, open-minded community, fun parties, international festivals, and delicious food.

With all these perks, Spain sure sounds like a perfect place to study as an international student. But how do you make the right decision about which university you should study at? For this, you’ve to look at some important factors such as:

  1. English-taught programs
  2. Rankings
  3. Tuition costs
  4. Scholarship options

Are there English-speaking universities in Spain?

It’s a well-known fact that Spain is one of the least English-speaking countries. So one of the main questions that arise is, can you study in English in Spain? And the answer is, yes, you can. There’re many universities that offer complete English-taught programs. And even more, universities are starting to offer combined programs in both Spanish and English.

So let’s go through a list of universities in Spain for international students and see which one can be the best match for you.

Best universities in Spain for international students

There’re 76 higher education institutions in Spain. 52 of them rank among the top universities in the world and are located in popular cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and the smaller cities like Seville and Málaga. These schools offer degrees in law, medicine, business, architecture, and many other fields.

The list of top universities that offer English taught programs in Spain:

UniversityRanking (Local/World)Number of English taught programsLocation
Pompeu Fabra University1/1568 bachelor's and 36 master's programsBarcelona
Autonomous University of Barcelona2/17010 bachelor's and 40 master's programsBarcelona
University of Barcelona3/1936 bachelor's and 35 master's programsBarcelona
University of Navarra4/251-30052 bachelor's and 28 master's programsPamplona
Universitat Ramon Llull6/401-5006 bachelor's and 3 master's programsValencia
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya11/601-8004 bachelor's and 26 master's programsBarcelona
Carlos III University of Madrid20/801-100027 bachelor's and 38 master's programsMadrid

Tuition fees for international students in Spain

How much tuition you’ll pay depends on the type of the university (private or public), your nationality, where it's located, and which program you’re attending.

If you’re a non-EU citizen, depending on the reasons above you can be charged 1) the same as EU citizens, 2) approximately €1,000 - 1,500 higher than EU citizens, 3) 2 or 3 times higher.

Generally speaking, expect to pay per year:

  1. €700 - €3,500 for Bachelor’s programs in public universities
  2. €1,000 - €3,500 for Master’s programs in public universities
  3. €960 - €1,800 for an MBA program in public universities
  4. €4,000 - €20,000 for bachelor's and master’s programs in private universities
  5. €10,000 - €30,000 for an MBA degree in private universities

Tuition fees usually don’t cover study materials like books and extra study materials. Study materials can cost around €100 per semester or even more. You can find second-hand books on social media groups or purchase a digital copy instead of a physical book to save costs.

Cheap universities in Spain for international students

Tuition fees in Spanish universities are very affordable compared to other countries. For example, in Germany, mostly private universities offer full English taught programs. But in Spain, many Spanish public universities offer English taught courses for lower tuition fees.

In the table below, you can find cheap universities in Spain:

UniversityAnnual Avg. tuition fee
University of Granada€821
University of Salamanca€946
University of Zaragoza€946
University of Valencia€2,600
Universitat Rovira i Virgili€2,900

How much does it cost to study in Spain for international students?

Aside from tuition fees, there’re other expenses you’ll need to cover as a student in Spain. The good news is that compared to other countries the cost of living in Spain as an international student's much lower. A significant proportion of your expenses will be the accommodation costs.

In the bigger cities like Barcelona and Madrid, renting a room will cost around €560.

Whereas renting a room in one of the smaller Spanish cities like Malaga and Seville costs around €325.

Regardless of where you live, you’ll pay around €40 per month for health insurance, €60 per week for groceries, and €40 monthly for unlimited public transport usage. So to live comfortably, you'll need €1,700 per month, but €1,000 monthly will be sufficient if you’re on a tight budget.

Scholarships in Spain for international students

Scholarships are a fantastic way to reduce tuition fees. International students can apply to numerous organisations for a scholarship. Some of them are:

  • Scholarships provided by the Spanish government, such as Spain Government Scholarship and UIC Barcelona Scholarship
  • Scholarships provided by the university itself
  • Scholarships provided by the Spanish Studies Abroad organization
  • Scholarships provided by the European Commission
  • Scholarships provided by The American Institute for Foreign Study for American students

How to choose the right university

It can be challenging to find the right university, especially with so many factors to consider. But there’re some tips we think might help you along the way.

  1. Always check with the university's official website for information regarding fees, the language of the program, and acceptance requirements.

  2. Decide which school to go to as early as possible so you can benefit from the scholarship opportunities.

  3. Don’t choose the university only based on only the rankings. Although Spain has many beautiful cities to live in, they vary from each other by the cost of living, LGBTQ+ culture, nightlife, and internationality. So make sure you choose the right one for you.

  4. If you want to do an exchange, find out which mobility and exchange programs the university offers and which universities they have agreements with.

  5. Research the career and internship opportunities in universities. You can earn extra few bucks and get a step closer to your future career goals by doing paid internships.

  6. Subscribe to the socials of the universities to keep up with the latest updates, events, and news.

  7. Connect with incoming students of the university by joining Facebook groups. This can help you make friends even before arriving!

Now that you know which school to study at, it’s time for you to start preparing for life in Spain as a student. After all, there’re many decisions you need to make from finding the perfect accommodation to planning your budget).

Please reach out to content@housinganywhere.com if you have any suggestions or inquiries about the content on this page.

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