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5 of the coolest university towns in Europe

Graduation party: graduates throw their bachelor hats into the air
Flyla
Sep 19 · 8 Min read

Seville, Spain

Plaza de España in Seville, Spain
Plaza de España in Seville, Spain | Pexels License

The city

Seville often plays second fiddle to the two Spanish tourist magnets Barcelona and Madrid. Completely unjustly. Anyone who has ever been to Seville is enchanted. Almost every corner of the Andalusian capital has postcard potential. Due to the Arabic influence, Seville is colorful and the architecture is magnificent. In addition, Seville is super manageable. You can reach practically everything on foot. And best of all, the prices are very reasonable. You can eat and drink your fill of tapas, tinto de verano and gazpacho for little money. 

The university

The University of Seville is the largest university in Andalusia and the third largest in Spain. Countless Erasmus students from all over the world meet here every semester. With good reason: the city is lively, the university renowned and the weather fantastic. Students study in parks, in the many cute cafés and later dance flamenco in small traditional bars. 

The study programs 

More than 70,000 students are enrolled in over 60 bachelor's programs, 90 master's programs and nearly 100 doctoral programs. Beware: The University of Seville is known for (time)intensive study programs and a large workload. If you want to enjoy your time there, you should not take too many courses at once, because the professors and lecturers demand a lot from you. 

Admission 

As with all universities abroad, the same applies in Seville: inquire early, apply early, look for accommodation early. You can expect a lot of formalities during the application process. How the admission process works depends, of course, on whether you want to go to Seville for your entire studies, or if you only want to study there for a year or a semester. Basically, speaking Spanish is a big advantage, fluent English is mandatory. For a full study in Seville you should expect the following steps and formalities: You usually need a high school diploma, you have to pre-register online via the university's website and there usually are admission procedures as well.

Corinna’s impressions

"The Andalusians:inside say: 'Sevilla tiene un color especial' (Seville has a special color). Sun, flamenco, joie de vivre, good food, incredible people and beautiful architecture. All this and so much more comes to mind when I think about my year abroad. Andalusia really surprised me and captivated me forever. Once you've been there, you'll always want to return to the breathtaking city on the Guadalquivir River, drink a Tinto de Verano and enjoy Bocadillos de Jamón on the Alameda de Hercules. I highly recommend anyone to lose their heart to Seville."

Corinna is standing on one of the beautiful bridges in Seville.

Maastricht, Netherlands

Cyclists exploring Maastricht
| Unsplash License

The city

The Dutch city may not be on lists of the world's most famous student cities. But Maastricht is home to 18,000 students, nearly half of whom come from abroad. They are all attracted by the city's international flair, small sidewalk cafés, historical sights, idyllic alleyways and liveliness.

The university

The university campus is scattered all over Maastricht. Everywhere, young people rush from one faculty to the next, sipping cappuccino with oat milk in one of the many hip cafés between lectures or soaking up the sun in the park. But it's not just the lecture-free time that can be enjoyed: even the lectures and seminars are held in beautiful historic buildings. You constantly feel like you're studying at Hogwarts.

The study programs

Of course, you can study the classics: Law, Economics, Medicine. But Maastricht is also known for special EU-related courses like European Law, International Business or Public Health. The European idea and global cooperation can also be seen in Maastricht's development of an international classroom. This means that the university places particular emphasis on globalization and internationalization strategies, on innovation in education and effective learning in a multinational environment. The goal is to prepare students from all over the world for an increasingly globalized job market.

Admission

The good news is that a majority of subjects at Maastricht University are NC-free. However, if there is a limited number of places for a course, then the Dutch "Numerus Fixus" applies. This is an "entrance examination" which usually consists of an aptitude test, a letter of motivation and a selection interview. Your performance on this three-step test will then determine whether or not you can study your desired program at Maastricht University.

Edinburgh, Scottland

Street in Edinburgh with numerous people just crossing the traffic light
| Pexels License

The city

Edinburgh stands for 1300 years of history. Edinburgh stands for culture. Edinburgh stands for prestigious education. The Scottish city is probably one of the most historic and interesting cities in Europe. The small alleys, the many bookstores, the pubs and parks - Edinburgh never gets boring. Especially not when you study there and can explore the city with over 50,000 other (mostly international) students.

The University

Charles Darwin, Alexander Bell, David Hume and Pippa Middleton have one thing in common: they all studied there and they all are part of the long history of the University of Edinburgh. The university was founded in 1582 and is one of the four old and renowned universities in Scotland. It is one of the top 20 universities in the world and is therefore called an elite university. 

The study programs 

The university is divided into three colleges and 21 schools: The College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine and the College of Science & Engineering. So, depending on your major, you will be assigned to one of these colleges. The historical university offers quite classical fields of study such as mathematics, literature or medicine. More unusual courses of study in Great Britain tend to be found at modern or private universities and colleges. 

Admission

As most other universities abroad, you have to prove that you have sufficient English skills to study in Edinburgh (usually in the form of TOEFL or IELS). In some cases, applicants must also prove their language skills in an interview. For studying in Scotland, the Abitur is sufficient; some programs also require a certain combination of subjects in the Abi. The general rule is: Apply early! Send your application directly to the university or via the central British collection point Universities & Colleges Admissions Service. 

Sebastian's impression

"I studied Biotechnology and lived in Edinburgh for 4 years, and I can say that it is truly my second home. The people are friendly, warm and easy to talk to. I can't tell you how many times I've struck up a conversation with people while walking, in a cab, or in a random store. I met my girlfriend there during my studies and highly recommend the city with its wealth of culture, history and art."

Lisbon, Portugal

Streetcar in Lisbon
| Pexels License

The city 

When you think of Lisbon, you immediately have images in your mind. Of old streetcars making their way through colorful little houses and steep alleys, of gentle hills and intense colors. The port city is known for its friendly inhabitants, its cosmopolitanism and its cosmopolitan atmosphere. In addition to pleasant temperatures all year round, Lisbon offers a lower cost of living than Germany and a super versatile cuisine. 

The University

The University of Lisbon is the largest university in Portugal. Around 48,000 students are enrolled in various degree programs. In Lisbon and in Portugal in general, professors maintain close contact with their students. However, this also means doing nothing for the entire semester does not work. It's better to keep at it, exchange ideas with your professors and fellow students on a regular basis and make good academic use of your study abroad program, year or semester. 

The study programs

The university is divided into eight faculties. There are the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Natural Sciences, the Faculty of Fine Arts, the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, and the Faculty of Dentistry. In addition, there are the faculties of the Technical University of Lisbon. As you can already guess from this list: The range of study programs and courses is large. The university does not have an academic focus - students of any field of study are in good hands. 

Admission

In order to be allowed to study full time in Portugal, you have to fulfill a number of requirements in advance: You need a university entrance qualification. In order to have this recognized, you must submit a translated and certified version to the Ministério da Educao - Departamento do Ensino Secundário. In addition, you will have to pass a general admission exam (Prova de Afericao) with a Portuguese test. Depending on the field of study, there are also various specific requirements that you should take into account. If you want to go to the Portuguese capital for your Erasmus, it is best to get information directly from your home university. 

Leah's impressions

Leah is standing at one of the many wonderful viewpoints (miradouro) in Lisbon.

"Lisbon is a beautiful city and offers a lot: Proximity to many beaches, good weather, many international students and good universities, a whole neighborhood full of bars, great food and much more. Everything is easily accessible and both downtown and the surrounding area are very worth seeing. The pleasant atmosphere and Portuguese friendliness can quickly make you feel at home. The perfect mix for all students!"

Copenhagen, Denmark

Woman looks at Nyhavn, Copenhagen
Woman looks at Nyhavn, Copenhagen | Pexels License

The city 

Scandinavia is super trendy at them moment. Tourism to the northern countries of Europe is booming. Everyone wants a piece of the casual Scandinavian lifestyle, the breathtaking nature, the cute little towns. And Copenhagen is currently attracting people from all over the world like a magnet. The culture, the charming little houses along the canal, the nightlife, the architecture, the liveliness of the Danes - there are countless reasons that speak for the Danish capital. What speaks above all for studying in Copenhagen is Denmark's fantastic education and university system. Countless students from all over the world complete Erasmus, semesters abroad and years abroad there to benefit from the excellent academic opportunities. 

The university

In the Danish capital, students can study at six different unis with different majors. However, the University of Copenhagen is by far the best known and most prestigious. It is the oldest university in Denmark and the second oldest in Scandinavia. The university is particularly characterized by small learning groups and individual support. Funding opportunities for foreign students are excellent and, in general, degrees from the University of Copenhagen are highly regarded - in various industries and countries. 

The study programs

The university is particularly well known for its political science courses - both in the bachelor's and master's programs. However, business administration, chemistry, mechanical engineering, art and technology are also among the popular fields of study. Apart from the more classical academic directions, you can also choose media studies or subjects related to the environment and energy production. There are almost no limits in the Danish university system. No matter what you are passionate about or what interests you: You will most likely find what you are looking for in Copenhagen. 

Admission 

With good results in your Abi you will get very far in the Danish university system. The only problem: most of the courses are held in Danish. The universities require proof of proficiency in the Danish language. For those of you who only want to spend a semester abroad in Denmark, we can give the all-clear: There are English-language programs for international students, for Erasmus and the like.

So, did you find your perfect university town yet? If you are not convinced yet, then wait for part two of the Coolest University Towns in Europe. We can assure you: A stay abroad during your studies is always a good idea - in terms of personal, academic and professional development. Take the plunge, you won't regret it.


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