There is no denying that Europe is one of, if not the most popular choice of destination for international students. Besides its long-standing reputation of quality education, the continent is rich with history, cultural diversity, and countless tourist sites that all contribute to a rewarding academic experience. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Europe for international students.

Helpful Posts

Related Scholarships

Is Europe good for international students toy in?

Many international students choose to study in Europe for its high standards in education. Several of the world’s top-ranked and time-honored universities are found in the continent, such as Cambridge and Oxford in the UK, the École Normale Supérieure of Paris, the ETH Zurich of Switzerland, and much more.

Most programs in European universities are competitive in terms of cost, especially in comparison to America. Many institutions are generous with scholarships, and most universities offer free postgraduate education as well.

Besides excellent programs, students are also after the open-minded and progressive culture of Europe. Most countries favor work-life balance, sustainability, cultural appreciation, and freedom of expression. In line with these values, European countries have high standards of living that enable students to have a safe and healthier life.

Can international students work in Europe while studying?

Citizens of the European Union (EU) have the same rights as nationals of the country they are studying in. They do not need any special work permit and can work the same hours (whether part-time or full-time) as the local students. Non-EU citizens, however, may have to review a country’s specific regulations. Nonetheless, most European nations allow part-time employment for students in general.

Can international students stay in Europe after graduation?

After graduation, EU-nationals can stay and work in EU-member countries without needing a visa or work permit. On the other hand, non-EU citizens are required of a work visa or similar to be able to stay in a European country.

Best Universities in Europe

1. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is a time-honored and prestigious higher learning institution in England. University of Oxford is considered to be the best university in Europe for international students. The research-driven institution is particularly reputable in the sciences. Not only has it consistently ranked first in the world for medicine, but also among the ten best universities globally in physical sciences, life sciences, and social sciences, and in numerous programs in the arts and humanities, too.

Today, the University of Oxford admits nearly 22,000 students, of which over 40 percent are international, representing 140 countries around the globe. Oxford cites an international faculty, as well, teaching across thirty-nine semi-autonomous colleges. Furthermore, Oxford has been associated with the greatest personalities in various disciplines, including Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, Margaret Thatcher, Oscar Wilde, J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as 72 Nobel Prize Laureates, 160 Olympic medalists, and much more.

2. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities in science and technology, mathematics, and engineering. In 2020, it was the fourth-best university for engineering and technology and first in earth and marine science, while in 2021 it was named the second-best European university by QS. Besides numerous academic accomplishments, this top university in Europe is among the most attractive study destinations for international students due to its low tuition fees. It presently has the most Ph.D. and graduate students and educates over 22,200 students from more than 120 countries.

Located in the largest city of Switzerland, ETH Zurich has two campuses that house its 16 departments, a Science City, and a soon-to-open Student Project House – which is a maker space to foster students’ innovative ideas. Altogether, the university stands out for incorporating Swiss traditions of open-mindedness, entrepreneurship, and individual responsibility, into its teaching.

3. Imperial College London

As one of the best universities in Europe for international students, Imperial College of London is a state research university focusing exclusively on science, engineering, medicine, and business. It was initiated by Prince Albert in 1907 to make South Kensington a center for culture and was built alongside the region’s major museums and educational institutions. Today, Imperial College comprises a network of faculties, an innovation campus, a research field station, and teaching hospitals around London.

Over 15,000 students presently attend Imperial College, where over 32 percent are from outside the European Union. Moreover, the number is expected to increase as London was named the world’s top student city for 2022 by QS. Students from all over the world will get to study in the same institution of some of the world’s renowned personalities, including the scientist Sir Alexander Fleming, the writer H.G. Wells, and the musician Brian May.

4. University of Cambridge

The world’s fourth-oldest surviving collegiate institution, the University of Cambridge was founded in 1209 by scholars that migrated to Cambridge after a dispute with townspeople in Oxford. Over the centuries, the humble association grew into 31 constituent colleges, six schools, and over 150 academic programs. Cambridge is known to excel in law, theology, philosophy, classics, anthropology, maths, and modern languages. The university is also regarded for the Cambridge University Press & Assessment, which is the oldest publication and examining body in the world.

Cambridge, a top university in Europe for international students, educates over 18,000 students, where about 4,000 come from outside England and from all corners of the world. After all, the university is among the highest in the world in terms of “openness and diversity”.

5. University College London (UCL)

University College London, known as UCL, is the United Kingdom’s second-largest university in terms of enrollment. Founded in 1826, it claims to be among the pioneer higher learning institutions to admit women on equal terms with men; as well as the first secular universities in England and admits students of any religion. UCL’s progressive values stand firm to this day, especially having over one-third of its entire student body coming from over 150 countries around the world.

Besides excelling in international outlook and mobility, this top university in Europe is world-leading in several disciplines. Some of its highest-ranking subject areas include Education, Anthropology, Geography, Psychology, Architecture, Pharmacy, and Anatomy & Physiology. Furthermore, it bested all universities in the UK when it comes to research excellence.


I hope that this article on the best universities in Europe for international students was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page!