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TOP-40 prestigious schools and universities in Spain where international students can get high-quality higher education

Education information

Nowadays, Spain is one of the most popular destination for educational tourism. SMAPSE offers you 40 best schools and universities in Spain where international students can get prestigious Higher education. Actually, many foreign students choose getting Higher education in Spain because of affordable cost. Tuition fees for studying at state universities are 1,200 to 2,500 euros per semester. Private universities offer more expensive core programs, but in general, Spanish universities are cheaper, than, for example, British or American ones.

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System of Higher education in Spain

In Spain there are public and private universities, as well as several Catholic universities. Classical universities are really popular among international students wishing to receive a humanitarian specialty: the country retains a high level of teaching geography, art history, literature, history, philosophy.

In addition, foreign students like to choose applied university courses. The most popular are:

  • computer graphics
  • tourism
  • recreation
  • design

Besides, technical institutes are open for students wishing to receive education in the field of architecture and construction. The popularity of other specialized training centers of the country is also growing rapidly. Business schools are worth mentioning, graduates become professionals of high level in the field of management, finance and marketing.

4 levels of getting higher education in Spanish 15 best universities

The Bologna system of higher education operates in all European countries since 2011. It includes 3 cycles:

  • Baccalaureate (Grado);
  • Master (Posgrado);
  • Graduate school (Doctorado).

Spanish Baccalaureate

Baccalaureate provides a four-year course of study. At the end of the course students receive a Grado degree. Bachelor's degree is offered in all scientific fields: from the humanities and social sciences to the natural, exact ones.

Also a Bachelor's degree (Grado) can be obtained in the field of medicine: students who have completed four years of studying can work as nurses.

Master's Courses for International Students

Master's programme is the second cycle of studying. Master's entrants must have a Grado degree. Foreign students can apply for a Master's degree if they have a higher education diploma obtained in their country. The document is necessarily confirmed (legalized) by the Ministry of Education of the country.

Postgraduate Studies in Spain

Doctor's degree programs usually take 1 year. Applicants of the graduate school must have a diploma of higher education, a Master's degree. Postgraduate study is an exclusively profile course of study. It is aimed at students wishing to become engaged in research, pedagogical activity, develop science. Also, the Doctor's degree can be obtained by students who have received Master's degree in their country.

Specialized university programs

Spanish schools and universities also offer various specialized programs: Experto Universitario, Master Universitario. in order to take such courses, the student needs to provide a diploma confirming competence in the relevant field of knowledge. For example, a student specializing in economics - Experto Universitario and Master Universitario allow you to choose an applied field: external, domestic economy, etc.

The course lasts, as a rule, 1 year. Own university programs are among the most expensive, they significantly outperform the so-called Postgrado (courses of the second and third cycles of the oficial category).

4 main programs for foreign students at TOP-15 Spanish universities

Actually, 15 best Spanish universities offer various courses and studying programs. They are divided into:

  • preparation programs, for entrants (1-2 years)
  • bachelor's programs (3 year programs of the first cycle);
  • master's programs for in-depth studying of special subjects (second cycle);
  • doctoral, biennial profile directions for qualified specialists wishing to obtain a scientific degree.

Due to the list of TOP-40 schools and universities in Spain, where foreign students can get prestigious higher education, you can find the most appropriate option. Please, don't hesitate to contact SMAPSE experts as they are always ready to answer all your questions.

Top 15 universities in Spain

1 EU Business School Barcelona
2 Les Roches Marbella
3 IED Madrid
4 IED Barcelona
5 Barcelona School of Management
6 Geneva Business School Barcelona
7 Saint Louis University Madrid
8 Marbella International University Centre
9 LCI Barcelona

School of Tourism and Hospitality Management Sant Ignasi

11 International Business School Barcelona (ESEI)

UCAM - Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia


INSA Business Marketing and Communication School

14 TBS Barcelona
15 BEBS Barcelona Executive Business School

Learning programs-summary information

Name Meaning Equivalent Min. age Duration, 
Next stage Cost
GCSE General certificate of secondary education secondary education (non-accomplished) 14 1–2 A-Levels 15,000 USD+
A-Levels Advanced level secondary education (accomplished) 16 2 University 15,000 USD+
BTEC Business and Technology Education Board secondary special education 14 2–3 University/ work 15,000 USD+
Oxbridge Preparation Preparing for Oxford and Cambridge secondary education (accomplished) 17 1 University 15,000 USD+
International Baccalaureate International baccalaureate secondary education (accomplished) 16 2 University 18,000 USD+
Foundation/ Pathway Year Preparatory year admission to the 1st year of university 17 1 University 14,000 USD+
NCUK The Northern consortium 2 year university 17,5 1 2 year University of NCUK 13,000 USD+
Special Preparation (Medics/Math/Business) Specialized training - 14 optional optional 4,000 USD+
Academic English Academic English Language school 8 + 6–12 months School or University 8,000 USD+

Top 15 universities in Switzerland

Top 10 universities in Netherlands

Top 35 universities and colleges of Canada

1 University of Toronto
2 McGill University
3 University of British Columbia
4 University of Alberta
5 Simon Fraser University
6 Montreal University
7 University of Windsor
8 York University
9 University of Guelph
10 McMaster University
11 University of Manitoba
12 University of Waterloo
13 Royal Roads University
14 Vancouver Film School
15 Kwantlen Polytechnic University
16 University of Calgary
17 Dalhousie University
18 Fanshawe College
19 University of Ottawa
20 Laval University
21 Sheridan College
22 University of Regina
23 Brock University
24 Thompson Rivers University
25 Humber College
26 Vancouver Island University
27    Mohawk College
28 Centennial College Toronto
29 Niagara College
30 Capilano University
31 Seneca College
32 Algoma University
33 Saint Clair College
34 Douglas College
35 LaSalle College

Top 50 universities in the USA

1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
2 Stanford University
3 Harvard University
4 California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
5 University of Chicago
6 Princeton University
7 Cornell University
8 University of Pennsylvania
9 Yale University
10 Columbia University
11 Johns Hopkins University
12 Duke University
13 Northwestern University
14 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
15 New York University
16 Carnegie Mellon University
17 University of Wisconsin-Madison
18 Brown University
19 University of Washington
20 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
21 Rice University
22 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
23 Boston University
24 University of California, Davis
25 Washington University in St. Louis
26 Purdue University
27 University of Southern California
28 University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)
29 University of Maryland, College Park
30 University of Pittsburgh
31 Michigan State University
32 Emory University
33 University of Minnesota
34 University of Florida
35 University of Rochester
36 Case Western Reserve University
37 Texas A&M University
38 University of Virginia
39 Vanderbilt University
40 University of Colorado Boulder
41 Dartmouth College
42 University of Notre Dame
43 Arizona State University
44 University of California, Irvine
45 Georgetown University
46 Tufts University
47    University of Miami
48 North Carolina State University
49 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Top 50 universities in the UK

Statistics - Universities

Universities in top 200 3
Universities in top 500 12
Universities in top 1000 25
Universities in top 5000 81

Statistics of English courses in Spain

Programs Intensity Group Language requirements The minimum cost of the week
General Spanish 20 8-12 Beginner €165+
Intensive Spanish 25-30 8-12 Beginner €180+
Super Intensive Course 30-35 8-12 Beginner €335+
DELEPreparation 30 8-10 Elementary €220+
Spanish for Business 25 8-10 Upper Intermediate €210+
Spanish on the move 22 4-8 Beginner €225+
Teacher training 20 5-10 Upper Intermediate €250+
Spanish+ 20+ 6-10 Beginner €250+
One to one 5-20 1-2 Beginner €200+
Preparation for university 15-20 8-15 Beginner €250+

Students Accommodation Options in Spain

Accomondation Meals Number of people per room Cost per week/min Cost per week/max
Homestay full Board or half Board 1-2 €160 €230+
School residence optional 1-2 €180 €270+
Appartment organized by student 1-4 €130 €475+
Hotel optional 1-2 €35/day €300+/day

Estimated Costs

Estimated Costs Min., € Average €
Consular fee of the embassy €35 €60
Flight (Moscow - Madrid - Moscow) €165 €315
Medical insurance €8/week €15/week
Study material €10 €15
Delivery of invitations by express mail €65 €85
Transfer/Escort €55 €65
Additional payment for accommodation per week, during the high season €20 €35
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Your comment/review/question:
Good afternoon! Tell me, in what European country can I continue to study in English for a student from Russia after 8-9 grades with subsequent admission to the university. I would like to know the rating of countries on the quality of education, the environment and the economy of living, if possible. Regards, Tatiana
Good afternoon, Tatyana. You can consider Spain, England. I will transfer your application to a specialist and they will contact you.
Hello! Do I need to take English for an international certificate when applying for a master's program in Spain?
Good afternoon, yes you need to confirm the level of language for admission to the magistracy.
Good afternoon, my daughter plans to go to graduate school in Spain. Tell me, when do I need to apply for university?
Good afternoon. The application can begin to be submitted half a year before the start of studies
Hello, this year in July I graduated from a university in Moscow in the direction of information systems in business, bachelor. In the fall of 2019, I wanted to enroll in a magistracy at Spanish universities. Now I began to learn Spanish. Where should I start?
Hello, Natalia! Thank you for your application. The specialist will send you the information by e-mail.
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