Barranquilla’s Top Universities


Come study in Barranquilla!

It was early in the 1600s when Barranquilla was first proclaimed Colombia’s Golden Gate and to the day, the name rings perfect! There’s no other city more apt to make you fall in love with this country than Barranquilla. Its culture, colors, music, people, and joy, make it fabulously unique.

One of the quickest growing cities in Colombia, and the home of Carnaval, the second largest street festival in the world, Barranquilla is a cosmopolitan jewel. In tune with the rest of the country, La Arenosa has established a clear forward-looking plan for development and progress via solid options for higher education, and as a result, there are now many opportunities for foreigners to come and study in one of our world-renowned university exchange programs, where they will immerse themselves in the local environment, pick up a new language, and learn all about our vibrant culture. There are also many options available for foreign teachers across all levels of education, from primary through post-grad. 400 years after its incorporation, Barranquilla is re-emerging as the northern light of Colombia, standing open with welcoming hands.

There are five excellent universities with international exchange programs:

Universidad del Norte:

Well known as the top university in Barranquilla, UniNorte is ranked in Q’s World University Ranking in 8th place of best universities in Colombia. At the university, a priority is ensuring their teaching staff is of the highest quality and as such, their professors are largely bilingual.  Additionally, UniNorte offers courses in Spanish, English, French, Italian, German, Mandarin, and Portuguese. UniNorte also has a program called ISA (International Studies Abroad), which offers semester and summer programs. International students have access to housing, plus visa paperwork and Spanish classes for free, all provided by the university.

For more information on programs at UniNorte, reach out to:

Katherine Rua (Resident Director) / Tel: +57 (5) 3 509 509 Ext. 3186
Google Maps – UniNorte
Official Facebook Page


Universidad del Atlántico:

As the only public university in Barranquilla and one of the largest in the region, UniAtlántico offers international students both free tuition, and the opportunity to be immersed in a very multicultural and diverse environment. UA also offers more than 30 bachelor degrees and has agreements with several universities in 20 countries across Europe and North and South America.

Check out their international page for all sorts of information about the programs and about living in Barranquilla. You’ll also find a list of all the requirements and paperwork you’ll need to apply to attend.

For more information on programs at UniAtlantico, reach out to:

Diana Rocio Restrepo Arévalo (Head of International Programs)  /  Tel: +57 (5) 3 197 010 Ext. 1017
Google Maps – UniAtlantico
Official Facebook Page


Universidad Autónoma del Caribe:

Founded in 1967, UniAutónoma has become one of the most important universities in Barranquilla and a leader in the region for its approach to research and academia. It is also well-known for having the largest sports program of all the private institutions, with more than 20 different sports arenas. The university is endowed with the best physical and technological resources that complement the integral education of the student community.

For international students, UniAutónoma offers a buddy program, where they have identified local families who are willing to host. There are also numerous scholarship programs and connections with universities throughout the world.

For more information on programs at UniAutónoma, reach out to:

Program Coordinator  /  Tel: +57 (5) 3 671 000 Ext. 402
Google Maps – UniAutónoma
Official Facebook Page


Universidad de La Costa (CUC):

Incorporated in 1970, Universidad de la Costa (Unicosta) or simply CUC, is another of the top universities here, and is well known for its many accredited programs and strong reliance on research. CUC has agreements with 18 countries across the globe, offering various scholarship and exchange opportunities. Their program “Movilidad Estudiantil” helps international students to be successful by offering everything they might need here in Colombia, and providing places to stay with other students from the University.

For more information on programs at CUC, reach out to:

Stefany Palacio (Program Coordinator)
Google Maps – Universidad de La Costa
Official Facebook Page


Universidad Simón Bolívar:

Founded 44 years ago, and located in the heart of Barranquilla, UniSimón is accredited by the Ministry of Education as a high-quality Institution, and is one of the best options for students in Barranquilla and from other places in Colombia to secure an excellent education.

In the University’s International Relations page, students from different countries can find all the information they need to register and prepare for their time here in this beautiful city.

For more information on programs at CUC, reach out to:

Arlen Consuegra Machado  (Director – Office of International Relations)
Google Maps – Universidad Simón Bolívar
Official Facebook Page


Thoughts from a German exchange student:






Teresa Maurer is an engineering student from Germany who spent five months in this adventurous land doing an exchange with Universidad del Atlántico. Barranquilla Life caught up with her after she left – here’s what she had to say about her experience:

What was the process for the exchange?

“I came to Barranquilla to study there for one semester. I applied in Germany about half a year in advance. Once chosen in Germany we only had to wait for an answer from Colombia, which we got. The semester started on the first of August. We had an introduction week which was awesome and helped us get to know the city.”

What did you like the most about the university?

“Studying at Universidad Atlantico was a great experience. The other students were very friendly and they talked with us all the time and helped us with everything. The teachers too. In the beginning, it was very hard to understand everything because of the different language and of course Costeno! But later on, it got better and easier. I really liked that everyone was very motivated, and also, the campus was nice with all the palm trees, which we don’t have in Germany.

The ORI (Office of International Relations) was a big help in general and they had a lot to do. We weren’t totally okay with everything they did but in general it was all right. They did a good job, especially Alfredo and Martha.”

What did you like most about Barranquilla?

“In Barranquilla I love that there is music everywhere, that people do everything outside, the sun and warmth, fiesta, dancing, and just the feeling and going out with friends, relaxing on our terrace. When we had time, we used every chance to travel around to get to know more of Colombia and the Colombian culture. Now I am back in Germany and I loved the 5 months I had in Colombia. It was such a great experience. I learned a lot, got to know the Colombian way of life and fell in love with the country.”