Apart from being the best university programme in the world, spending a semester/year doing Erasmus really improves your chances of getting hired when you graduate, and it’s been scientifically proven to be the best thing ever. Every year hundreds of thousands of students move across Europe to live the Erasmus Programme to the fullest in almost 5.000 universities. We’ve gone through a whole bunch of them — and we’ve elected the 25 most incredible Erasmus universities:
1. University of Western Brittany, France
The Université de Bretagne Occidentale (UBO) combines its futuristic exterior with some ridiculously killer views. Is it just me or does it kind of look like Star Trek’s Enterprise?
2. Aarhus University, Denmark
An ongoing project since the 1930s, all of Aarhus University’s buildings are yellow brick and surrounded by rich, green grass. Pleasant and inspiring — and plenty of Danish class!
3. Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
If you want to study in a Flemish palace, the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven has a few for you to choose from. With long lawns, plenty of lakes, and even a famous library (shown above), which got blown to bits during the war, and was carefully rebuilt afterwards.
4. Private University Scholss Seeburg, Austria
To get to Scholss Seeburg Private University’s main building, you have to cross a short fairy tale-like bridge. Yes, the main building is an Austrian palace. I’m not even kidding. The palace has a few round towers around its short wall and boasts incredible views to the lake down below. The university only teaches a few courses, such as event Management and Economics, but come on, it’s in a palace!
5. Salzburg University, Austria
Nearby Schloss Seeburg, you’ll find the Universitaet Salzburg. Placed perfectly between the shore of the lake and that hill with the castle on it, I have to give it to the Austrians: they know where to build a university!
6. University of Barcelona, Spain
Have you ever felt displaced at university because you’re not wearing your medieval armour? In the Faculta de Filologia (pictured above), you might! The faculty is part of the Universitat de Barcelona, one of the best universities in Spain. It’s quite a surreal experience taking classes in halls that look like a cathedral’s interior, or even climbing up these marble steps. Just one more of the things Wikipedia doesn’t tell you about Barcelona.
7. Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany
The Akademie der Bildenden Künste München in Germany combines classical façades with architecture that isn’t just kick-ass, it’s truly state-of-the art. Some of its corridors are practically museums and it’s also home to one of the world’s coolest libraries.
8. Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Denmark
The three buildings of the Royal Danish Academy are split between the Architecture, Design and Conservatory departments. The Kongelige Danske Kunstakademis Skoler for Design has an incredible interior and a minimalist façade, which is mostly covered in windows. This way, students can enjoy the views over the water to the maximum.
9. University of Alcalá, Spain
The famous courtyard of the University of Alcalá has got to be one of the most beautiful monuments in the world dedicated to serious studies. I mean, look at it. Have you ever seen anything like it?
10. University of Turin, Italy
The Campus Luigi Enaudi, part of the Università Degli Studi Di Torino, is so awesome that it makes you feel like you’re walking into its architect’s drawings — or the freaking future. If you want to see just how truly mind-blowing this campus is, either check the Plan’s feature on the University of Turin, or apply to go there for your Erasmus!
11. Bangor Business School, UK
Three words for you: University. with. gargoyles. What more could you want? The University of Bangor has a grand residence built in the 19th century, and current world-leading specialists teach Business studies there. It also has an incredible library.
12. Novancia Business School, France
Nothing in classical Paris is as colourful as Novancia’s daring façade. Orange, yellow and red buildings bring life to the streets of Paris — and may leave you feeling like you’re tasting the rainbow and overdosing on Skittles.
13. Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland
Forget Hogwarts. This is magic. Long story short, Trinity College is in every list of awesome universities and I just couldn’t leave it out either. Too cool to be true.
14. University of Bologna, Italy
Probably the oldest University in Europe and, according to some standards, the world. Università di Bologna is part of what gives this old Italian student town its beautiful charm.
15. Coimbra University, Portugal
The oldest university of Portugal is Universidade de Coimbra. Find a lovely town with strong academic traditions: it’s a “study hard and party harder” kind of town. Local students wear a typical uniform and a “Harry Potter”-style cloak all year round called the traje, which makes it a really chill city to live in: if you never change clothes, nobody will ever notice.
16. Galatasaray University, Turkey
The long and simple building of Istanbul’s Galatasaray University is on the very bank of the Bosphorus, right in front of a long promenade. If you know how bright the river can shine on a good day, you know that that view alone is more than enough reason to make it one of the coolest universities ever.
17. La Rochelle University, France
What is it with the French and building spaceship universities? While I can’t answer that myself, I can say I think they’re pretty cool, especially La Rochelle University.
18. Bocconi University, Italy
Heavy concrete and clean glass might not be for everybody’s taste, but I think this building represents the best of modern Italian architecture. The fact that Bocconi is one of the best in the world helps!
19. University of Évora, Portugal
There is a chance that Universidade de Évora was just built to prove to the Spanish that the Portuguese can build pretty courtyards too. Nonetheless, in the warm, sunny south of Portugal, the University of Évora is one of the most beautiful universities in Europe.
20. Groningen University, The Netherlands
True Dutch fairytale material at the University of Groningen, or as the locals spell it, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. I think I got that right?
21. Istanbul University, Turkey
At Istanbul University students feel like royalty! In the photograph, you can see the noble arch that students walk through as they go into university.
22. Heidelberg University, Germany
The lovely town of Heidelberg by itself is amazing. The University of Heidelberg is insane and it features an old student prison as a touristic spot. How many other universities can say that, eh?
23. University of the Arts London, UK
As cutting edge as the arts scene in London is, the University of the Arts in London has this unbelievably modern building close to the O2 arena. It’s really impressive.
24. Oxbridge, UK
It might sound crazy, but both the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge accept Erasmus students. You can actually apply to study at the two most important and famous British universities.
25. Comillas Pontifical University, Spain
A personal favourite, possibly the most incredible university in Europe, the Comillas Pontifical University is positively heavenly. This true castle in the clouds is up on a high hill overlooking Madrid. Breathtaking!
If you’re feeling brave and really want to take the chance to go on a real adventure during your Erasmus, however, check out 10 of the craziest Erasmus destinations and universities below:
Thanks for reading this post!
Are you doing your Erasmus in an incredible university that didn’t make it to our list? Tell us about it in the comments! And remember: if you need student accommodation in Europe, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.