With its stunning sandy beaches, thriving cities, world-class cuisine, beautiful architecture and colorful festivals, Spain is a country that offers the perfect student experience for anyone who wishes to immerse themselves in diversity during their academic studies.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Spain has become one of the most opted for destinations of study in Europe, especially in the case of international students. The country currently has around 40 universities and institutions in its higher education system.
The Spanish language is also considered to be among the most colourful languages in the world and studying this language is one of the main reasons as to why the country attracts a countless foreign students annually.
What’s more, an additional tempting feature is the fact that universities in Spain are fairly cheap, as well as the affordability and relatively cheap costs of living, especially in comparison to other European countries.
Some of the most popular student cities include Granada, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Madrid. It is further connected well in terms of transports so students can easily access other famous European cities with no trouble.
Spain has consistently focused on providing comprehensive education. It complies with standards that ensure the academics is consistent with education in other European countries (the EHEA countries).
In this article, we have prepared a list of a few of the cheapest universities in the country for international students. The universities range from recently established young institutions to some of the oldest and most elite universities in the world but tend to offer quality education for relatively cheap costs. We hope you find it useful!
How to Apply to Universities in Spain
Applying to universities in Spain involves meeting the application requirements, language requirements, applying before the application deadline, and so on. This process is often difficult so we’ve made a guide on How to Study in Spain for International Students to help you with the process. You should check it out especially if you don’t know where to start!
How expensive is it to study at a university in Spain?
Spain is known for its cost-free student experience. Costs of living are considered to be up to 20% less than most European countries. In the case of tuition fees, on average, you can expect to pay around EUR 1500 per semester for tuition fees. There are ways that you can study in Spain for free, and if you are interested, read more about How to Study in Spain for Free (7 Steps).
What are the language requirements to qualify for admission?
Spanish tends to be the main language of administration, although several courses are offered in English as well. However, International students are sometimes required to take Spanish language training courses which can be either mandatory or out of the student’s interests.
Can international students work in Spain?
As is the case with the majority of European countries, international students can definitely work in Spain at a restriction of 20 hours per week.
Here are some posts that are related to affordable universities in Spain.
Cheap Universities in Spain
1. University of Navarra
Located in the city of Pamplona, the University of Navarra is a private-non profit university that was founded in 1952. Spain does not have many private institutions of education, however, the University of Navarra holds an especially high ranking.
This cheap university in Spain has a student enrolment of over 12,000 students, of which 1500 students are from foreign backgrounds.
A range of undergraduate and graduate-level courses and programs are provided through 14 major faculties that the university is comprised of. Additionally, these include around 35 undergraduate programs and 38 masters programs that are offered.
The university further operates through six main campuses (including two international campuses in Munich and Novel York). It further maintains a strong reputation for international research despite its small community.
Navarra also has international partnerships with reputed overseas institutions including the University of Edinburgh and the University of Hong Kong.
Based on the Times education rankings, the university has been ranked among the top 5 institutions of higher education in Spain as well as in the top 200 universities in the world.
2. University of Granada
The University of Granada is a public university based in the city of Granada. Its origins date back to the early 16th century and has since expanded into one of the most elite universities in Spain.
Currently, the university has a student enrolment of over 80,000 students, making it the fourth largest university in the country by student population.
Additionally, the university has a high international student ratio and is among the most popular destinations in Europe for student exchange programs; it recently received over 2000 international students over the Erasmus exchange program.
This cheap university in Spain provides education through over 20 schools and academic faculties as well as over 100 academic departments which offer a comprehensive learning experience that covers a range of different fields of study.
The university is ranked among the top 10 universities in Spain and is most known for its optimal programs in Computer Engineering.
3. University of Valencia
Founded in 1499, the University of Valencia is among the oldest surviving institutions of higher education in the country and is known for its high and prestigious standards of academics.
Known for being the 3rd largest city in the country, Valencia is home to not just the stunning coastal areas but also this elite university. The university currently provides education for an enrolment of well over 50,000 students.
The majority of courses are taught in Spanish or Valencian but this does not mean the university does not consider the requirements of international students; the university, in fact, offers a multitude of courses in English medium through its international office.
Academically, the university is comprised of 3 main campuses that include different departments spreading through a range of different courses. Several student exchange programs are offered in partnership with other famous overseas universities and institutions.
Students who are also interested in the Erasmus exchange program with other European Universities should know that this iconic university is considered to be among the top 10 universities for Erasmus.
4. Pompeu Fabra University
Based in the city of Barcelona, the Pompeu Fabra University is a public research university and is one of the cheapest universities in Spain for international students. Although the university was recently founded into the Spanish education system, it has been classified as one of the most rapidly evolving institutions of higher education in the world.
The university was recently declared as the ‘International Excellence Campus’ by the government of Spain and is also one of the main universities that are selected by international students in the country for their studies.
The institution currently offers education for over 15,000 students, which include 10,000 undergraduates and around 4000 postgraduates. Pompeu Fabra’s principal areas of study are in the fields of Economics and Business although it provides leading academics with professional qualifications as well. Students also have access to Pompeu Fabra’s leading research institutes that focus on cutting edge fields which contribute vastly to solving major challenges in the world.
With its location in the European super hub of Barcelona, the university offers to its students a wealth of opportunities during and after their study at this leading Spanish university.
5. Universitat Internacional de Catalunya
Located in the city of Barcelona, the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (the International University of Catalonia) is a private institution of higher education that was founded in 1997.
Its primary goal was to offer a comprehensive educational experience with an international focus and acclimatize the Spanish experience for foreign students. Currently, the university has a student enrolment of over 6000 undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Academically, the university comprises of over 30 international undergraduate and postgraduate degrees offered under faculties such as economics, law, education, humanities, medicine and architecture.
Short term education courses and diplomas are also selectively offered in addition to the standard degrees. The university further has cutting edge facilities ranging from advanced simulation centers to digital media studios, all for the purpose of providing a novel experience for the students.
Aside from its focused education and academics, the university ensures that students can study at cheap and cost-effective tuition rates.
6. Complutense University Madrid
With a rich history dating back to the 13th century, the Complutense University of Madrid is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the world. It is also among the largest universities in the country with a student population of over 86,000 in total.
Additionally, the university holds rank as one of the best universities in the country as well as within Europe. It has repeatedly played a major role in the political development of the country since its inception and is considered to be a research powerhouse as well.
This cheap university in Spain has a range of academic faculties that span across a multitude of fields of study. It currently offers around 80 possible undergraduate majors, over 200 individual degrees as well as 220 doctoral programs.
Furthermore, students have access to over 100 different student organisations and societies that can manage as extra-curricular activities during their studies at the university.
7. Alicante University
The University of Alicante (abbreviated to the UA) is a public university based in the city of Alicante in Northern Spain. Founded in 1968, the university has a range of campuses and currently has a student enrolment of over 29,000.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students have access to around 50 different types of degrees. These are managed by over 70 departments that also oversee research fields such as technology, social sciences, education, health sciences and law.
The UA prides itself on being an international campus and focus on providing bilingual education through its degrees and courses; this makes it a very tempting choice for international students.
Additionally, students can work on Spanish language training programs in between their studies so as to improve their experience in the country. Students also have access to a modern and beautiful campus.
The UA is further part of numerous prestigious university networks such as the European University Association and the Compostela Group of Universities.
8. Malaga University
The University of Malaga is a public research university located in the city of Malaga in the Andalusia region of southern Spain. First established in 1972, it was built with the intention of creating a diverse education hub in the region in response to the unused coastal areas of Andalusia. Since then, it has undergone a rapid expansion and has become a major university in the country.
The university currently has a student enrolment of over 36,000 students (which includes around 33,000 undergraduates and 3000 postgraduates). It operates via two campuses in Ronda and Antequera in the region.
Academically, the university is comprised of over 81 departments managed through 15 academic centers, which include faculties such as computer engineering, medicine, industrial engineering, economics/business, social sciences, tourism and law.
Through its academic system, the university offers around 120 degrees, 6 double degrees, 20 doctoral degrees as well as over 100 short term courses and diplomas for its students.
9. Salamanca University
Our last university in the list of cheap universities in Spain for international students is the University of Salamanca, an institution of higher education located in the city of Salamanca near Madrid. The university’s history goes back as far as the 12th century and is signified as the world’s third oldest university (that is still in operation).
Despite its ancient status as a university, it continues to remain one of the most prestigious institutions in the country and has been ranked among the top 700 universities in the world.
Currently, the university draws in students from across the world in addition to Spain. It happens to be one of the top institutions in the country with the highest number of students who come from outside of the country.
Additionally, the availability of top quality Spanish programs enables the university to receive over 2000 incoming foreign students on an annual basis.
Students have access to numerous degrees of study, of which the most prestigious are in the language studies, economics and humanities subjects.
I hope that this article on cheap universities in Spain for international students was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Cheap Tuition Category!
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé