Top Student Cities in Spain for International Students

Spain, with its world-class universities, popular landmarks, amazing attractions, and great beaches, is a famous study destination for international students. The fact that it is one of the most popular study abroad destinations also gives this country the edge it needs to attract even more students to its higher education institutions. With its diverse community of students across its universities, its wide range of degree programmes, and its academic expertise, Spain is definitely a go-to choice. Depending on whether you like the metropolitan areas, the quiet towns, or something in-between, Spain has just the city for you. 

In this article, you will find some of the top student cities in Spain for international students, which will hopefully help you make your choice.

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1. Valencia 

This wonderful city in Spain is becoming more popular by the day for international students. Valencia has its fair share of prestigious universities, highly regarded for their outstanding academic excellence. The University of Valencia, for example, has an excellent reputation in Spain regarding its quality of education. Academic qualifications at this university are recognized not only nationally but also around the world. Founded in 1499, this higher education institution is one of the oldest in Spain, counting more than 50,000 students today.

Besides, Valencia is perfect for international students since there is just so much to see and explore. You will be able to find the beach, just a bit further from the university campus, which is one of the things international students in Valencia tend to love the most. As the cherry on top, considering this city has numerous advantages for international students, it is quite budget-friendly. And if school is stressful, there are few things more relaxing than a lovely day at the beach. 

2. Barcelona

Barcelona is home to some of the best ranked universities in Spain, recognized for an unmatched academic reputation and qualifications which are largely valued worldwide. The old and the modern are perfectly balanced in Barcelona, where students get to choose from centuries old universities or relatively young ones, both of which offer highly-regarded qualifications. The numerous degree programmes, modern campuses, and comfortable study environments, are just some of the things that define academic life in Barcelona. 

Barcelona’s beaches are also a reason why Barcelona is ranked among top international student cities. You can find a wide range of golden beaches within the premises of this city, many of which are quite close to the city centre. The great weather in Barcelona allows people to be by the water relatively often, and with simply a stroll along the beach you will be able to find numerous groups of fellow students, simply enjoying their day at the beach.

3. San Sebastián 

Located in the Basque area of Spain, 12 miles from the French border, this city is a perfect destination for students who love an astonishing natural environment, packed with exploration opportunities. Approximately 180,000 people call San Sebastián their home, and international students could really immerse in the beauty this city has to offer. Considering it is part of the Basque region, students can also learn a bit of the Basque language, which is afterall, quite an achievement. 

Although this city does not have the largest concentration of universities, international students who go to study abroad programmes in San Sebastián simply enjoy the active lifestyle they encounter in this city. It is an easy city to get around, you can use a bike or simply walk to class. As an international student in San Sebastián, you will get the opportunity to learn so much about the Spanish culture, create friendships, and enjoy an excellent study abroad experience. 

4. Seville 

Seville is praised for its sunny weather, beautiful landscapes, as well as its rich history. Being an international student in Seville means you will be part of a wonderful and diverse environment where you not only get to study but also learn so much about Spain’s culture and history, as well as find yourself in the place where the popular Flamenco dance comes from. Studying abroad in the capital of Andalucía is definitely a worthy experience for both professional and personal growth.

International students see Seville as a budget-friendly destination where they can pursue qualifications, create friendships, practice their language skills, and be part of a cultural community. For those who like the vibrance of cities like Barcelona and Madrid, but would also like to still be friends with their wallet, Seville might just be the city you are looking for. 

5. Madrid

The qualifications you will receive in higher education institutions in Madrid will definitely be worth your time, hard work, and money. In Madrid, you can find some of the best training in research, technology, and innovation in the world. Recognized internationally for its education system, professionality, educational institutions, and excellence in all aspects of education, Madrid welcomes thousands of international students annually. 

In Madrid, you will be exposed to a diverse environment and find yourself amongst a variety of cultures, considering that people from all over the world choose Madrid as their study destination. The geographical location of Madrid is also one of the reasons international students tend to love this vibrant city. It actually allows you easy access to other cities and countries in Europe, and matched with the internesting Madrid lifestyle, it proves to be a great combo.

6. Granada

Granada also makes the list as one of the best cities in Spain for international students. Generally, one can say this city is quite budget-friendly to its students, providing an affordable lifestyle, interesting recreational activities, and free tapas upon ordering drinks at authentic tapas bars. Besides, University of Granada, founded in 1531, has a long history of excellence and expertise, where you will definitely feel like home among thousands of other international students and an on-going support by the university. 

Students in Granada can make use of the peaceful and comfortable environment this city has to offer. Besides being budget-friendly, students may also take advantage of their student discounts and head towards Granada’s museums, where they can immerse in art, culture, and history. This easy-to-navigate small town is absolutely everything you need if you like pursuing your qualifications somewhere close to the mountains and the beach.

7. Salamanca

As an ancient college town, the northwestern city of Salamanca is packed with history, culture, and beauty. This pretty town is recognized for its world-class university, which is the oldest one in Spain, founded in the year 1218. As an international student in Salamanca, you will be able to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town, which has kept its main aspects of authenticity, including form, design, and substance.

Salamanca is known as a university town, encompassing a vibrant and diverse community of students from numerous nationalities. You will get to see wonderful citysights, Catedral Vieja and Catedral Nueva, and even step along the Roman bridge, and it is enough to make you feel like you’re living in a fairytale. With its diverse university community, wonderful living conditions and budget-friendly costs, Salamanca makes for the perfect place to pursue an education.

8. Zaragoza

International students tend to love Zaragoza (Saragossa), its university campus, city centre, as well as the fact that there is just so much to do, such as visit museums, concert halls, and even historical buildings and simply have so much fun while at it. You can actually count a wide range of interesting landmarks, perfect for expats who love to learn and explore. Its folklore and gastronomy are also two of the things that contribute to this city’s uniqueness.

As an international student in Zaragoza, you will get the opportunity to create numerous memorable experiences, explore the tapas bars, taste local specialties like dried tomatoes, truffles, as well as attend events during Fiestas del Pilar in October. Of course, you will also have time to focus on your studies, because this city provides just the study-social life balance you need.