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2019-11-07 00:13:49

10 best universities in Europe for international students

10 best universities in Europe for international students

Many of the oldest and best universities in the world are located in Europe: Bologna University will celebrate its millennium in 2088, Oxford and Cambridge have been in the top 10 world educational ratings for many years, dozens of German, Swiss and Dutch universities enjoy a well-deserved reputation as a studying ground for highly professional frames. Although over the past half century , USA universities have taken leading positions in the global educational market, many foreign students still prefer to receive education on the European continent. This is due to high quality, relatively affordable price (unless, of course, you plan to enter Oxbridge) and the opportunity to get an international diploma.

Consider how European higher education works, what are its strengths and how to enter foreign universities in Europe.

Structure, credit system, international mobility

European higher education includes three consecutive levels or cycles:

  • undergraduate
  • graduate 
  • doctoral studies.

All European countries have introduced or are introducing measures to ensure the quality of education provided by their higher education institutions. European quality assurance agencies merged into the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA). To become or remain a full member of ENQA, quality assurance agencies undergo an external review.

European higher education uses the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS): it is designed to promote student mobility, develop international study programs - ECTS makes it easy to read and compare programs across Europe. This facilitates mobility and academic recognition, helps universities organize and develop education courses, and facilitates exchange programs.

All students of European universities receive a diploma supplement - a standardized description of the nature, level, context, content and status of studies that have been successfully completed by graduates. The Diploma Supplement is intended to ensure transparency, facilitate academic, professional recognition of qualifications (diplomas, degrees, certificates) awarded by European higher education institutions.

The advantages of European universities

  • Obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Europe mainly takes 3 years, which is one year shorter than in American universities.
  • Low tuition fees: universities in Germany or France offer free courses, where students pay only an annual fee of 255 €, low-cost programs - from 3000 € / year - state universities in Belgium, Austria and other countries, more expensive courses are conducted by private universities in Switzerland, Holland, top Universities of Great Britain - from 9000 € / year.
  • The number of programs with teaching in English is growing every year. In many countries, it is difficult to find undergraduate courses with teaching in English (Spain, Iceland, Germany, France), so before entering students learn the national language of the selected country. The good news: Master's programs in English are more common.
  • The structure of education courses involves early specialization, which is good for those who after school have decided on a future profession.
  • Financing universities at the undergraduate and graduate levels is sufficient, but if you choose a university to obtain a PHd, pay attention to the level of subsidies or grants in your area of study.
  • Students themselves are responsible for the educational process: they choose disciplines, studying modules, decide which classes will allow them to prepare as much as possible for future employment.
  • The approach to discipline in European universities is significantly different from the rules of other universities: no one checks attendance, does not require mandatory participation in events. Of much greater importance is the motivation of the students themselves.

How to enter European universities for foreign students?

It is difficult for foreign students to enter a European university immediately after school: in Europe, most countries implement 12-year schooling, so universities are more likely to accept students with a certificate of a European or American school. There are several countries in Eastern Europe (Montenegro, Croatia, etc.) that accept international applicants to undergraduate programs immediately after leaving school in their homeland. If a student chooses universities in Central or Western Europe, then he has several options:

  • To enter the senior classes of the European school and receive the European certificate.
  • Take the preparatory program Pathway , International Foundation , Studienkolleg, etc.
  • Complete the 1.2 year of a higher education institution in your homeland.

The second important stage of preparation for admission to universities in Europe is to pass the language test. Each university presents its requirements:

  • If you enroll in a program in English, you will need an IELTS certificate, less commonly TOEFL
  • If the selected course is taught in the national language of the country ( German, French, Czech), then you pass the standard language exam of the country where your university is located. To prepare for the successful passing of language tests, there are many language courses, sometimes they are organized by universities themselves.

An important condition for admission to a European university is to submit documents on time and correctly. For foreign students, the admission process can be lengthy, it takes from 9 months to a year. What is important to pay attention to:

  • Carefully read the entry requirements, send a full package of documents.
  • Prepare transcripts, notarized translations of the school certificate, its annexes, documents on completion of 1-2 courses of the university in your homeland.
  • Prepare the resume, CV - to spell out what exactly makes you a suitable candidate, what scientific problems you plan to investigate, what has already been done (participation in school research, conferences).

For successful submission of documents and obtaining full information about the requirements for applicants, contact foreign education consultants: qualified specialists will explain the intricacies of conducting entrance exams, tell you where to translate documents, clarify financial conditions and issues related to a visa.

TOP-10 universities in Europe for international students

According to Times Higher Education-2019:




Oxford university

United Kingdom


Cambridge university

United Kingdom


Imperial College London

United Kingdom


ETH Zurich




United Kingdom


London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

United Kingdom


University of Edinburgh

United Kingdom


Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich



King's College London

United Kingdom


École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne



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Alice Davis
Good afternoon. We would like to leave words of gratitude to this company. This year the child was supposed to go to university, we immediately considered options abroad. Our manager presented us with a list of universities for international students, helped us with the application and gave us good admission advice. The proposed options are indeed universities with a good reputation around the world. The education that our child is now receiving is the guarantee of his happy future.
Thanks a lot Alice, we appreciate your feedback and comments.
Антон Губец
We wanted to send our child to study in Europe, but choosing a university turned out to be a difficult task. We met the company at the stage choosing the best universities for international students in europe. We were provided with professional advice and assistance with registration. Now he is studying at a wonderful university.
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Dear Anton, Thank you for your interest in our company! We were glad to help you to find the best option for your child!
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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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