Studying abroad is an experience like no other. It allows you to immerse yourself in a foreign culture, learn a new language, and gain an international perspective that will be invaluable in your future career.
And, what better place to study than Europe? With its world-renowned universities and beautiful cities, Europe has something to offer both undergraduate students seeking English-taught bachelor’s degrees and those interested in postgraduate programs.
But, with so many choices in the European Union alone, it can be hard to know where to start. That's why we've put together a list of the highest-ranked universities in Europe with English as the official language to help you make the right decision.
Keep in mind that tuition fees will vary depending on the university and the program you choose, so it’s better to check each one separately. Whether you’re interested in liberal arts or social sciences, there is something for you out there!
University of Oxford, the UK
The University of Oxford is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Located in England, it's considered one of the best English-taught universities for studying business, economics, and law. In order to be accepted into the University of Oxford, international students need to have excellent grades and pass the Oxford admissions test.
Some renowned Oxford alumni – Oxonians – include Sir Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web), poet T. S. Eliot, Professor Stephen Hawking (physicist), as well as 28 British Prime Ministers, at least 30 international leaders, and 55 Nobel Prize winners.
The University of Oxford is also known for its historic buildings and beautiful campuses – you are probably already familiar with some of them from the Harry Potter film series. The main campus is located in the city of Oxford, which is about an hour away from London.
If you're looking for a top-ranked university with a long history of excellence, the University of Oxford is the perfect choice for you.
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
ETH Zurich, also known as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, is located in Switzerland. It's one of the world's leading universities for science and technology, and the 2023 QS World University Rankings place it 9th globally, making it the highest-ranked European university beyond the UK.
Despite its name, ETH Zurich does not have a strict focus on technology and natural sciences – it also has strong programs in other fields, such as architecture, civil engineering, management, and social sciences.
In order to be admitted into ETH Zurich, English-speaking students need to have excellent grades and pass the ETH Zurich entrance exam. However, there are also non-degree programs available for international students from other European universities or those interested in attending specific courses or projects at ETH Zurich.
Some of the notable graduates from ETH Zurich include scientists and Nobel Prize winners like Albert Einstein, Fritz Haber, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, and Felix Bloch. If you're looking for a world-leading technical university to study abroad, ETH Zurich could be the right option for you.
Université PSL, France
Université PSL, which refers to the Paris Sciences et Lettres University, is a public research university located in Paris, France. It's a young university, having only been founded in 2010, but it's already making a big impact on the world of higher education.
One of the things that makes the Université PSL unique is its focus on interdisciplinary research. It is a collegiate university with 11 constituent schools (the oldest founded in 1530), each with their own specialties, ranging from arts and humanities to engineering and sciences.
The Université PSL is also known for its partnerships with some of the world's top universities, including the American universities of Arizona and Chicago, UC Berkeley, Stanford, Australian National University (ANU), and some other English-speaking universities in Europe.
Some of the notable graduates from Université PSL include Nobel Prize-winning chemists Pierre Curie and Marie Curie and writers Jean-Paul Sartre and Romain Rolland. If you're looking for a top-ranked university in the heart of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Université PSL is the perfect choice for you.
Technical University of Munich, Germany
The Technical University of Munich, also known as TUM, is a public research university located in Munich, Germany. It's one of the leading universities in Europe for engineering and natural sciences, and, as a German University of Excellence, it’s one of the most renowned technical universities globally.
TUM offers a unique range of disciplines, including computer science and engineering, natural sciences, life sciences, medicine, political and social sciences, as well as management.
One significant nuance is that you need a higher education entrance qualification to study at TUM, even if it’s only a bachelor’s degree. This can either be a qualified secondary school diploma or sufficient professional qualification.
Some of the notable graduates from the Technical University of Munich include writer Thomas Mann, entrepreneur Rudolf Diesel, and inventor Heinrich Rudolf Hertz. If you're looking for a world-leading technical university to study in one of the EU countries, the Technical University of Munich might be exactly what you need.
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The University of Amsterdam, also known as UvA, is a university located in The Netherlands. It's one of the leading universities in Europe and is particularly well known for its research in the humanities and social sciences.
UvA offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in English (20+ options for bachelor’s degrees and over 200 master’s programs), making it a great choice for international students. In fact, over a third of the student population at UvA is international, coming from more than 100 different countries.
Some of the notable graduates from the University of Amsterdam include the president of the European Council Charles Michel, environmentalist Petra Kelly, and Noble Prize winner Johannes Diderik van der Waals. If you want to experience life in one of the most vibrant and international cities in Europe, the University of Amsterdam is your chance.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right university is a big decision, but we hope this list has helped to make the process a little easier for you. No matter which university you choose, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience studying abroad in Europe.
To ensure you’re always on the right foot vocabulary-wise, download our Langster app, and boost your English skills by learning with stories! Inside, you’ll also find audio from native speakers to help you pick up proper phrasing, along with grammar explanations. Good luck!