If you’re planning on studying abroad, there are probably a few things you’d like to prioritise in your choice of destination. A top university, of course. An enjoyable town or city where there are lots for you to discover, yes. But you probably also want to choose somewhere international. This way, you’ll get to meet other people who are experiencing the same things as you, and you’ll make friends from all around the world. So, what are the most international countries and cities in Europe?
As part of EDUopinions’ Student Reviews Guide 2023, we analysed thousands of verified student reviews from around the world to discover which are the most international countries and cities in Europe. All the countries and cities on this list scored highly for ‘internationality’ in student reviews.
So, if you’re looking for a study abroad destination where you’ll get to meet lots of other international students, be sure to take a look at this list. These are the most international countries and cities in Europe.
Want to read more from this series? Check out our article on the Best Degrees for Job Prospects After University.
The Most International Countries In Europe
7. Spain (4.2/5 rating)
There are over 200,000 international students enrolled in higher education institutions in Spain, a pretty good proportion of the total student population of 1.6 million. In particular, Spain attracts students from Italy, France, and Ecuador – likely because of the language. As an international student in Spain, you’ll get to explore vibrant, historic cities and some incredible coastal regions. Who wouldn’t want to take a beach break after class?
6. United Kingdom (4.2/5 rating)
The United Kingdom draws with Spain for internationality, and its appearance on this list is no surprise. The UK draws visitors from all around the world who want to study at top universities like Oxbridge, King’s College London, and the University of Edinburgh. There are over 600,000 international students in the UK, the majority of whom come from China, India, Nigeria, Italy, and France.
5. Germany (4.3/5 rating)
Germany is known for the quality of its education system, as well as its cultural diversity. From the international conclave of Berlin to the traditions of Bavaria and the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Frankfurt, you’ll find lots of different experiences in Germany. The number of international students in the country has been rising year-on-year, reaching over 400,000 in 2020-2021. This makes Germany one of the most popular countries in the world for international students.
4. The Netherlands (4.3/5 rating)
Looking for a relaxed cultural lifestyle with rigorous academic experiences? Then the Netherlands could be the perfect place for you. Many of the Netherlands’ universities frequently rank among the top institutions in the world, and cities like Amsterdam, Groningen, and Nijmegen attract thousands of international students every year. Not to mention, everyone speaks English! Overall, there are 115,000 international students in the Netherlands – quite a huge amount for such a small country.
3. France (4.3/5 rating)
In the top 3 most international countries in Europe, France is a hub for international students who want to experience good food, beautiful countryside, and historic cities. Most of the 400,000 international students in France are centred in the main cities: Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Marseille, and Lille. However, there are quality institutions in every corner of the country, so every international student can find a place that suits them.
I like the diversity of students and professors, bringing a cultural experience. I like the teaching materials. However, IESEG and its students do not seem to care that much about the respect of minority and inequalities. there is an idea of inclusion that could be further developed
2. Poland (4.4/5 rating)
Perhaps a surprise entrance onto this list of the most international countries in Europe, Poland attracts almost 90,000 international students each year. However, the number of international students coming to Poland has quadrupled in the last 10 years, drawn to the country’s top universities and exciting cities like Warsaw and Gdansk. Additionally, 16 Polish universities appear in the QS World University Rankings – so you’re guaranteed to get a top education.
My name is Loic I’m 21 years old and I love hospitality. One of the reasons I chose to join Vistula University is because of the schools rich faculty of tourism. The school offers a wide variety of programs to support tourism courses such as the Erasmus program. I also like Vistula because of the way it provides learners with an amazing environment to study not just inside class but also outside class while sharing with students from different cultures. It is always great having lectures from the most devoted staff I have ever seen, I would recommend people who want to learn good hospitality and tourism management skills to join vistula without a doubt.
1. Belgium (4.5/rating)
So, the most international country in Europe is Belgium. This tiny country attracts 52,000 international students every year, largely to the main cities of Brussels, Leuven, and Ghent. There are lots of reasons to choose this cosmopolitan country, from the blend of cultures (you’ll find Dutch, French, and German influence in the architecture and food) to the great job prospects for internationals after graduating. Thousands of international students clearly believe that there’s a reason for it to be on this list of most international countries and cities in Europe.
KUL is a really good university, it’ll present good opportunities for you in the future.
The best part about attending this university is the habits you develop over time to make yourself a productive and high-achieving person. The worst part is organisations’ material can be hectic sometimes.
The Most International Cities in Europe
7. Madrid, Spain (4.4/5 rating)
Madrid just makes it onto our list of the top 7 most international cities in Europe. This vibrant, sunny capital has four internationally ranked universities and a host of business schools. As the capital, Madrid is also the centre of a range of industries in Spain, including finance, chemical, aerospace, and leisure. This means that not only can you explore one of Europe’s best cities during your time abroad, but there are also lots of opportunities to gain a job after your studies.
6. Amsterdam, the Netherlands (4.4/5 rating)
Thousands of visitors flock to Amsterdam each year to discover its picturesque canals, pretty cafes, and cultural institutions. As a student, you can explore all of this in your downtime, as well as take trips to nearby destinations like Haarlem, The Hague, and Keukenhof Gardens. The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ highest-ranked educational institution, appearing at number 58 in the QS World University Rankings.
A lovely Campus with good teachers and an excellent environment. The university offers globally competitive programs thereby meeting the international standards. It therefore admits students from all parts of the world bringing about diversity. I still appreciate the efforts of my teachers at this great varsity more those in the department of business. Course outlines were given in time and the units were covered well too
5. London, UK (4.4/5 rating)
A vibrant modern city, London frequently tops the charts of the best student cities thanks to its iconic sights, unique neighbourhoods, and incredible restaurant scene. As a student, there is a lot to explore, and many of the city’s universities are right in the centre of it all, so all you have to do is step out your door to experience thousands of years of history and culture. In this city, you’ll meet not only students from around the world but also residents hailing from across the UK and abroad.
4. Lille, France (4.5/5 rating)
Just an hour from Paris by train, Lille is one of France’s most vibrant student cities. In fact, 10% of the city’s entire population are students, while 22% of that number are international. So, it’s not hard to see why it ranks so highly on our list of the most international cities in Europe. As a former European Capital of Culture, Lille has a lively events calendar, so there’s plenty for you to do during your time studying abroad here.
3. Berlin, Germany (4.5/5 rating)
Berlin offers students a wealth of history and attractions for their study abroad experience. From Museum Island to the trendy markets and shops in Kreuzberg, students will find so much to occupy their time in this colourful, unique city. The city is also home to 33 different educational institutions, some of which – Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin most notably – feature on rankings of the best universities in the world.
Teachers are very interactive and career-oriented when they teach. Classes are in a limited number. Module flexibility is also another good side of IU. I would suggest the school work on dormitory services for international students as many come from different countries.
2. Leuven, Belgium (4.6/5 rating)
Forget about Brussels – Leuven is the place to be as an international student. Leuven took some of the highest scores for internationality of all European cities and is a great choice if you’re looking for a small, multinational cultural destination to study abroad. The city’s biggest university, KU Leuven, frequently ranks as one of the best in Europe, and students will find plenty of graduate jobs in the city’s innovative industries. You’ll also be within easy reach of the rest of the Netherlands, Germany, and France, making weekend trips away easy.
1. Warsaw, Poland (4.6/5 rating)
So, here’s the most international city in Europe based on student reviews: Warsaw! The Polish capital is a centre of activity in Western Europe, being the country’s main economic and industrial hub. The city also boasts 20 educational institutions, 16 of which are ranked by major academic rankings (the University of Warsaw, for example, ranks in the top 300 global universities). If you’re looking to bond with students from around the world during your study abroad experience and explore a unique and historical part of Europe, Warsaw is the place to be.