Best universities to study Spanish: A comparison of Spanish language courses at 8 of Spain’s top universities

It’s time to compare how well Spain’s eight top universities cater to language students!uni10

Are you thinking about studying Spanish in Spain?
Well, a Spanish University will definitely look good on your CV and you’re bound to have a fun experience on a campus with tens of thousands of other students from around the world.
But how do university language course prices, academic standards, facilities and activities compare?
How do you know you’re getting the best value for money and what is the most suitable academic environment for you?

In this article, UniSpain looks into the pros and cons of eight different Spanish universities to help you decide.

Barcelona Universityuni1

The UAB in Barcelona is without a doubt very popular. It has three main advantages for foreign language students; firstly, it is at the top of Spain’s university academic league tables, secondly, the UAB is an extremely well-organised university, with state of the art facilities and equipment, and thirdly, well, it’s in Barcelona! There is a small disadvantage – the sheer number of students. Class sizes can be big and if you are expecting lots of organised activities, bar an occasional half-day sightseeing walk, you’re pretty much left to your own devices. For a 3-month course that offers 20 lessons per week and some additional culture classes, costs 2177€ (£1854 or $2831). You can also go for shorter or longer options – a two-week course is available at 391€ ($510 or £332). Click here to find out more about Barcelona University’s courses and prices.

Complutense University Madriduni2

The Complutense in Madrid is a huge public university located in central Madrid, with sprawling, green campus grounds and over 100 thousand strong student population. Again, one clear advantage is the location. You cannot beat being in Spain’s exciting capital city, and so close to amazing sights, history, and museums like the world-famous Prado. You can also access the university’s facilities with a student card and of course the internationally well known, 500-year old university, will look good on your CV. The downside is that courses for language students are organised in large classes or lectures, the facilities are quite antiquated and occasionally students have remarked on the university’s administration being fairly slow and cumbersome. A full term-length course comes in at a very reasonable 1155€ (£1323 or $1717), and includes 12 Spanish lessons per week and access to further lectures and talks if your Spanish level is more advanced. Click here for additional information.

Nebrija University Madriduni3

The Nebrija University in Madrid offers a very high standard of tuition to foreign Spanish language students. Classes are divided into six different proficiency levels, and students who have been to Antonio Nebrija tend to comment on the amount of attention they receive from teachers in class and the excellent standard of the facilities and the learning environment. There are also lots of activities that include excursions, sports events, film evenings, flamenco dancing, concerts, tapas and bar crawls and much more. These activities need to be paid for separately, but are very reasonably priced. On the negative side, the university is pricier than other public learning institutions in Spain. One term, that includes 15 weekly lessons, can set you back around 2575€ (£2185 or $3492). See here for more course lengths and pricing options.

University of Santiago de Compostelauni4

The USC specialises in language teaching. The language faculty is known for its research work and excellent teachers, with an impressive 50 years of experience in delivering Spanish courses to foreign students. So as far as learning is concerned, you cannot go wrong with Santiago University. One of the key features, that makes this university so attractive to Spanish language students coming from other countries, is its flexible offering of courses. There are several different Spanish language programs, available in varying lengths. These will suit practically any Spanish learning needs – and budgets. The Lugo campus offers libraries and sports facilities, as well as student residences. As for prices, you can get a two week intensive course for only 328€ (£278or $425) and it contains 20 lessons each week. If you are looking for a longer immersion experience, you can book a full term, three-month course at only 1307€ (£1109 or $1697). See here for more courses and information.

Alicante University4081-lona_ua_390x180-elegida

Like the USC, Alicante University also offers Spanish language courses of varying lengths, ranging from two weeks to a full year and beyond. This means that you can also adapt a course to your budget easily – as well as enjoying the mild, sunny Mediterranean climate. Alicante University has excellent Spanish teachers who all hold a degree in philology, its own Science Park and beautiful green zones. As an added advantage, it is only ten minutes from Alicante’s city centre, so there is plenty to do and see in the immediate vicinity. There are organised events, excursions and sports for all students, meaning that foreign students get to mix with Spanish students on the university’s other degree courses, and practice their language skills every day. A two-month course costs 1221€ (£1036 or $1585), and two-week intensive courses start at 323€ (£274 or $419), containing 15 Spanish lessons per week. For a small fee increase, you can also add further subjects like culture, history and art. Click here for the more information.

Malaga Universityuni6

MalagaUniversity has a wide range of courses, starting at beginner level and ranging up to becoming a fully-fledged, accredited Spanish language teacher. Two main factors tend to attract students to Malaga: the price of the courses and the location. The University’s campus for foreign Spanish students is located in the city’s old fishing district, El Palo, and you’ll get to enjoy restaurants and beach bars, long seaside walks and views of the Mediterranean, as well as wonderfully warm weather. MalagaUniversity offers Spanish courses all year round, and their long-term courses are by far the cheapest out of all of Spain’s universities. When booking a whole term, including 15 lessons each week, you’ll only spend 815€ (£691or $ 1057). For the full selection of courses, and for prices of shorter intensive courses, click here.

Granada Universityuni7

Academically, GranadaUniversity has come on leaps and bounds in the last ten years, and is now recognised as a major learning hub, tightly connected with international and national research work as well as community projects. And because of the charming cobble stoned city centre, the Alhambra castle, the impressive history, and the stunning mountainous natural parks surrounding the city – not to mention bars where you get free tapas with your beer – Granada makes for a fantastic Spanish language student destination. All students must take a proficiency level exam before being assigned to classes, and Hispanic studies and culture are available to complement the language programme. The biggest disadvantage is that there are around 30 students in each lecture, so you’ll get little or no one-on-one tuition. Prices start at 397€ (£347 or $527) for a two-week course with 20 weekly Spanish lessons and go up to 3.month courses at 1,879€ (£1,641 or $2,494). See here for more course details and prices.

Salamanca Universityuni8

Salamanca University is so famous that anybody who has considered studying Spanish in Spain will have heard of this great learning institution founded in 1218. Here, you will find highly qualified and specialised teachers, only 15 people per Spanish language class, and full flexibility to build your own Spanish language programme with practically any number of weeks, as well as added culture lessons. Salamanca University also employs a member of staff whose sole responsibility is to arrange cultural activities for foreign students, plus all SSL students get a full student card, which enables them to enjoy all the university’s facilities – libraries, sports grounds and computer access. The cons? Salamanca University is more expensive than the other universities in Spain. A two-week course including 20 lessons per week starts at 485€ (£424 or $644). If you have more time to spend, however, you can save a great deal by booking a full term course, which works out at the good value of 1,834€ (£1,602 or $2,435). See all of Salamanca University’s course information and prices here.

The final verdict?

We hope that the above summary of the eight Spanish universities has given you a good idea of what to expect, and help you hone your search for the perfect university language course in Spain. As always, we cannot give you easy answers, because UniSpain has long standing experience in booking Spanish language courses for foreign students, and we know that not all students require the same things from their course.

We would, however, encourage you to try out UniSpain’s Course Comparison Tool, where you can compare Spanish universities, their class sizes, popularity, student opinions and other features side by side, to ascertain which of these eight universities hits the spot for you.

You might also be interested in these UniSpain blog resources:


Good luck, and don’t forget that you can always get in touch with UniSpain, if you need more information!

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