Colombia is a South American country known for its breathtaking beaches, lush rainforests, and rich cultural heritage. The nation boasts pleasant weather and beautiful culture that make it ideal for world travelers.

Colombia’s history and heritage are very influential to the rest of the world, and it would be unforgettable to experience them first-hand when you study in the country. It is not surprising that Colombia offers one of the greatest cultural immersions that international students crave when studying abroad. In this article, we will be looking at the top universities in Columbia for international students.

Is Colombia good for international students to study in?

Universities in Colombia are widely recognized in many international rankings, especially in the fields of social sciences, administration, and engineering. More than 30 institutes made it to the top 300 South American universities, and two of the most prestigious universities ranked in the top 300 worldwide as well.

Tuition fees in Colombian universities are relatively more affordable than in other known study destinations. State-funded institutions start at around $630 per semester, while private universities cost between $700 and $4000 per semester. Furthermore, there are plenty of scholarship opportunities for deserving international students.

Living in Colombia is very affordable for students. You can expect around $1000 per month to cover your accommodation, groceries, and transportation costs. Getting around is just as easy, as well. Cities like Bogota and Medellin even have an extensive bicycle network for those interested in an alternative mode of travel. If you want to learn Spanish, simply living in Colombia will expose you enough to learn the language by heart.

Can international students work in Colombia while studying?

Foreign nationals studying in Colombia have either a V student visa (for non-degree and language programs) or M (for longer periods of study). However, neither of these two permits allow international students to work during their studies. Any kind of internship must be documented as an academic requirement as well, as stated in the country’s regulations for visa application.

Can international students stay in Colombia after graduation?

During your four to six years of study, Colombia may have grown on you and you wish to stay in the country to start your career. Fortunately, the Colombian government grants many scholarship opportunities for international students or graduates. A popular industry for foreign nationals is teaching, but you can also work on your expertise as long as you have a job offer. Your employer can then sponsor a work visa for you.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Best Universities in Colombia

1. Pontifical Javeriana University

The Pontifical Javeriana University, or the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, is the oldest and the best university in Colombia. Known by students as the “La Javeriana”, it is directed by the religious order, the Society of Jesus, and operates campuses in central Bogota and Cali City. La Javeriana was accredited as a high-quality learning institution by the Ministry of National Education and was the first university in the country to gain this achievement.

Today, La Javeriana comprises nineteen faculties across medicine, nursing, humanities, theology, architecture, and engineering. The faculty of nursing and law have received excellent recognition locally and internationally as well. Today, the university offers exchange students from many countries and accepts regular international students from all over the world.

2. University of the Andes (Uniandes)

The University of the Andes is an independent private university in Bogota. This top university in Columbia harbors nine schools, which are science, medicine, engineering, economics, social science, law, business administration, arts and humanities, and architecture and design. Uniandes promotes multidisciplinary learning and encourages curriculum flexibility among its students. They also have active clubs and societies that students can join for extracurricular participation.

While Uniandes is situated in the city center of Bogota, students can easily experience a vibrant local culture. Transport routes, historical landmarks, and cultural institutions are within reach in the bust city. Nonetheless, students can find a sanctuary in the Uniandes campus and its wide green spaces.

3. University of Antioquia (UdeA)

The University of Antioquia, one of the best universities in Columbia for international students, is a public coeducational university established in 1803. It is renowned for its Faculty of Medicine, which is acknowledged as the most prestigious and among the best in Colombia. Besides medicine, the UdeA offers education on a wide range of disciplines, including the sciences, technics and technology, and arts and humanities. They have a number of international partnerships where students can pursue double degrees in some of these disciplines with foreign institutions.

Today, the University of Antioquia campus spreads across Medellin and 11 regional campuses in towns across Colombia. In 2011, the UdeA was awarded for the best higher learning regionalization experience as well.

4. Del Rosario University

Del Rosario University, or Universidad del Rosario, is the third-oldest university in Colombia, operating as a private institution since 1653. Through many decades, the university has become influential to Colombian history and was named “the Cradle of the Republic”. Furthermore, they are proud of the fact that at least 28 of Colombia’s presidents have studied in the university. Today, it developed a secular idea on education while remaining one of the most sought-after institutions by local and international students alike.

Del Rosario University presently has five faculties (Jurisprudence, Economics, Natural Sciences, Creation, and International, Political, & Urban Studies) and four schools (Administration, Human Sciences, Medicine & Health, and Engineering, Science, & Technology.) These faculties offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

5. Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS)

The Industrial University of Santander, or Universidad Industrial de Santander in Spanish, is one of the largest higher learning institutions in the country by student population. It is also a leading university in terms of research output, number of publications, and technological development. Initially offering electronics, mechanical, and chemical engineering programs only, this top university in Columbia has expanded to educate students on the sciences, health, agroindustry, and tourism. It has over 125 programs to date, including 21 master’s degrees and six doctorate programs.

The UIS main campus is in Santander, while the regional campuses are in five nearby municipalities. All of these sites are either historic districts, beach areas, or laid-back towns, where students can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere during their studies.


We hope that this article on the best universities in Columbia for international students was helpful! If you’re interested in studying abroad, make sure to check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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