Spain is one of the most popular European countries for international students to study abroad. More than 120,000 international students choose Spanish universities for their high-quality education with affordable tuition fees. In addition, Spain is considered one of the cheapest European countries for living costs. So if you have a limited budget and you are looking for the perfect study abroad destination, let’s take a look at the 9 Cheapest Universities in Spain for International Students and the tuition fees in each one of them!
Why study in Spain?
According to Project Atlas statistics, Spain is the 10th most famous study abroad destination for international students, with more than 120,000 foreign students.
Many Spanish universities top the list of best universities in the world. In THE World University Ranking for the year 2022, 5 Spanish universities ranked among the best 300 universities in the world, which are:
- Pompeu Fabra University ranks #156.
- Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona ranks #170.
- Universitat de Barcelona ranks #193.
- Universidad de Navarra ranks #250.
- Universidad Autoónoma de Madrid ranks #300.
Tuition fees at most Spanish universities are relatively low compared to most European countries, and this is very encouraging for international students. The average tuition fees for a bachelor’s degree at Spanish public universities are 1,200 euros per academic year. As for tuition fees for master’s and doctoral programs at Spanish public universities are around 1,500 euros per year.
“The average” means that international students might pay more or less than the mentioned fees depending on the university and the chosen program.
However, tuition fees at Spanish private universities are relatively higher. The average tuition fees are 10,000 euros per academic year.
Can I study in Spain for free?
Universities in Spain are not tuition-free, and we can call them low-tuition institutions. However, you still have the chance to study in Spain for free as an international student. Scholarships and financial aid are among the most common ways to study in Spain for free. Spanish universities offer many scholarships every year. In most cases, funding includes Tuitions fees and/or accommodation and/or monthly stipend, and may include other expenses!
In addition, the Spanish government, and many foundations provide Scholarships to foreign students. To help you find financial opportunities in Spain easily, we recommend checking these scholarships Search engines in Spain:
Another option to help you finance your studies in Spain is the part-time job opportunities available for you as an international student in Spain. Students can work while studying in Spain for up to 20 hours per week.
List of the Cheapest Universities in Spain for International Students 2022
For the year 2022, the Universidad de Jaén is the cheapest university in the UK for international students. It offers programs for bachelor, master, and Ph.D. with tuition fees ranging between 500 to 1000 euros per academic year.
Generally, all Spanish universities mentioned in our list are affordable universities with low tuition fees compared to other universities in Spain. In addition, international students can study in many Spanish universities in English, however, tuition fees are usually higher than Spanish programs.
9. University of Salamanca
- Tuition fees start from 3000 euros per academic year.
Founded in 1218, the University of Salamanca is one of the oldest educational institutions in Europe and the oldest university in Spain.
There are around 30,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate studies in the University of Salamanca. It was called the “Oxford of Spain” and it is an important center for humanities studies. The University of Salamanca also has campuses in Avila, Bejar and Zamora.
The University of Salamanca includes many faculties: law, liberal arts, sciences, and medicine, as well as other academic colleges. It offers more than 250 academic programs.
The foreign language institution at the university began Spanish language and cultural courses in 1929 and it attracts more than 4,000 international language learners each year.
Salamanca, with a population of about 170,000, is about a two-hour drive from Madrid. It is known as ‘La Dorada’, or the Golden City, because of the ‘glow’ emanating from the sandstone buildings. The Old Town of Salamanca, home to the Plaza Mayor and two cathedrals, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2002, the city was named the European Capital of Culture!
8. Autonomous University of Madrid
- Tuition fees start from 2500 euros per academic year.
The Autonomous University of Madrid (AUM) was founded in 1968 as a public university. Located in a rural campus connected to Madrid by a modern train system. It has a strong academic reputation in research.
AUM is one of the best higher education institutions in Spain and Europe. In the latest list of university rankings around the world, the Autonomous University of Madrid ranked #300.
It has eight faculties, with more than 60 departments. AUM offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs. Currently, the university welcomes more than 30,000 enrolled students, and 14% of them are international students.
7. Complutense University Madrid
- Tuition fees start from 2500 euros per academic year.
The Complutense University of Madrid is the largest university in Spain and one of the oldest universities in the world. Its roots date back to the thirteenth century, when Sancho IV of Castile granted license to establish what was previously known as the “Public School of Study” in the city of Alcalá.
The new campus Ciudad Universitaria was founded in 1927 with the goal of integrating education, science and culture. Nowadays, the highly competitive university is home to more than 86,000 enrolled students, 16% of whom are international students. The university is one of the best universities in Spain with a world ranking #350.
The Complutense University of Madrid has many faculties including media, communication sciences, teaching, learning sciences, and computer sciences. It also has a college of arts and programs in geography and veterinary medicine. In addition, the university has specialized schools focusing on medicine, dentistry, and legal studies.
Aside from the cultural diversity of the Spanish capital, living and studying in Madrid is also very interesting. From sunny weather, cultural events, and leisure facilities to famous art galleries and museums.
6. University of Barcelona
- Tuition fees start from 2000 euros per academic year.
The University of Barcelona is in 6th place on our list of the 9 cheapest universities in Spain for international students. It is a prestigious public university that was founded in 1450. As we mentioned earlier, the university is the third best university in Spain with a global ranking of #193.
It is located in Barcelona, one of the major world centers in the Mediterranean and Europe. The University of Barcelona’s 16 departments are spread across six main campuses throughout the beautiful city.
Being one of the largest universities in Spain, the University of Barcelona welcomes a large number of students every year. It has more than 44,000 undergraduate students and nearly 19,000 graduate students. 15% of enrolled students are international, from more than 122 countries around the world.
It offers a wide variety of programs, 73 Bachelor’s courses, and more than 140 official master’s courses.In addition, it offers many programs that are taught entirely in English (such as business administration and English language specialization), while other programs are taught in both Spanish and English.
In Barcelona, foreigners form around 17.8% of the city’s total population, and most of the population there master the English language.
5. University of Valencia
- Tuition fees start from 1500 euros per academic year.
When the University of Valencia was launched in 1502 it focused on medical studies, humanities and law. Currently, this affordable Spanish university offers degrees in basic and experimental sciences, engineering, health sciences, humanities, education, social, economic, and legal sciences. Most of the courses are taught in Spanish, English or Catalan (Valencian).
The University of Valencia consists of 18 faculties and 19 research centers. The college offers more than 50 bachelor’s programs, 110 master’s degrees, and 60 doctoral programs. It is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Spain, and it has more than 50,000 enrolled students.
Valencia – the third largest city in Spain – also has a lot to offer for international students. The city is located on the Mediterranean and you will find the beach just minutes from your campus, which is one of the things that international students like the most about Valencia.
The cost of living in Valencia is cheaper than other big cities in Spain, like Madrid and Barcelona. In addition, Valencia ranks first in Spain in terms of quality of living!
4. University of Alicante
- Tuition fees start from 1000 euros per academic year.
The University of Alicante (Universitat d’Alacant in Valencian) (UA) is a public university located on the Mediterranean coast, in San Vicente del Raspeig, Alicante, Spain. Founded in 1979, it inherits the legacy of the University of Orihuela, founded by Pope Paul in 1545.
The university is classified as a bilingual university. While almost all classes are taught in Spanish, some computer science and business degrees, as well as the graduate program in economics, and some doctoral degrees, are taught in English. A few others are taught in Valencian (the language of the province of Valencia).
3. University of Seville
- Tuition fees start from 700 euros per academic year.
In 3rd place on our list of the 9 cheapest universities in Spain for international students is the University of Seville. It has over 500 years of teaching experience, adapted to meet the modern standards of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The university was founded in 1505 by the Catholic Monarchs as Colegio Santa María de Jesús. Currently, it is among the 150 best universities in Europe.
The University of Seville has an innovative cultural policy based on the latest ideas to develop art in all forms. It has connections with many art institutions in the city of Seville and presents collaborative shows and exhibitions.
Seville is the capital of Andalusia in Spain, and one of the most preferred cities for international students. Cultural diversity, beautiful architecture, vibrant student life, festivals, and affordable living costs for students, are among the reasons why students choose to study in Seville.
The University of Seville has more than 50,000 enrolled students, and 10% of them are international students.
2. University of Granada
- Tuition fees start from 600 euros per academic year.
Founded in 1531 by Emperor Charles V, the University of Granada (UGR) is the fourth-largest university in Spain, with approximately 80,000 enrolled students!
The university consists of 5 Schools, 22 Faculties, and 116 Departments. It offers a wide variety of programs for undergraduate and graduate levels, in addition to training courses and specialized master’s programs. Main faculties and schools are:
This Spanish university has five campuses in Granada, all of them in the old part of the city. Students are taught in the city’s most historic buildings, imparting to their studies a rich feeling of heritage and tradition.
The University of Granada currently ranks among the top 600 universities in the world and among the 125 best universities in Europe.
1. Universidad de Jaén
- Tuition fees start from 500 euros per academic year.
On the top of our list of the 9 cheapest universities in Spain for international students is the Universidad de Jaén. It is a public research university located in Jaén, Andalusia, Spain. It is a newly established Spanish university, in 1993. At the moment, it ranks among the top 300 modern universities around the world.
In addition to its main campus, Campus Lagunillas in Jaen, the university has two campuses in Linares and Úbeda. It consists of 35 faculties and schools, so international students can find a wide variety of programs.
The Universidad de Jaén has more than 15,000 enrolled students and 8% of them are international students.
This was a full list of the 9 cheapest universities in Spain for international students and the tuition fees in each one of them. If you are planning to study in Spain on a limited budget, I am sure that you will find the right choice between these affordable Spanish universities!
Check more articles about studying abroad following Study Abroad Category
Are you looking for opportunities to study abroad for free? Check international scholarships category.