Admit it. You’ve thought about studying abroad, but you have not really pursued the opportunities for a number of reasons.
Perhaps you don’t have a clue about the best places to study abroad or the best country to study abroad for your particular field of interest; maybe you’ve heard that the best cities to study abroad are only those that are well-known – London, Paris, Rome, Geneva – but they don’t excite you.
If you are serious about this dream, then you need to start researching for the best places to study abroad based upon your interests, your career goals, and your desire to study in a more traditional atmosphere versus the non-traditional, experiential climate!
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Take a look at the following cool study abroad destinations – it may well be the catalyst that finally gets you moving.
- Europe/Mediterranean: A more traditional program with popular places to study abroad will take you to all major European and Mediterranean cities and allow study in business, cultural studies, social sciences, art, and global politics. For a closer look at specific programs, check out www.CISabroad.com.
- How about Central America? If you are adventurous and socially-conscious, you can spend a summer or a semester in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. You will live with host families in both urban and rural settings, and experience the economic, political, and social challenges of these countries. See www.centerforglobaleducation.com for lots of details and other options!
- Study at Sea? One of the best study abroad programs doesn’t place you in any particular country. Instead, you can cruise to 15 countries for a semester-long study program. Classes are held on board, taught by degreed professors, and each port of call lets you experience really different cultures. Stops include throughout the coast of East and south Asia and Africa. Being on a ship has to one of the most fun places to study abroad, and full college credit is given through the University of Virginia. Go to www.semesteratsea.org.
- Thailand – what a country of exotic sights and people! www.pacificdiscovery.org offers study, internship, and volunteer programs for summers, semesters or “gap” years.
- If you are a student of business, economics, international relations/law, commerce, art or sociology, and want a unique experience, look into programs offered at www.aifsabroad.com. You can study in India, Southeast Asia, or even the Czech Republic and get college credit in the process!
- Want to walk with penguins? How about a two-week study program in Antarctica? And it’s worth 6 credit hours! www.gooverseas.com offers this and a host of other study programs that are really unique!
- Abu Dhabi – there’s a place! Located on the Persian Gulf, it is also home to a NYU campus that offers a full university curriculum – rub elbows with the really rich!
- For the students of environmental science, take a close look at the Marine Resource Studies on the Turks and Caicos Islands. Coursework, found at www.fieldstudies.org includes the study of marine biology and fragile ocean ecosystems, and marine research.
- Everyone talks about Australia, but little attention is given to its neighbor, New Zealand. There are some great universities, no language barrier, and coursework available in every field. The University of Auckland is respected worldwide, as is Victoria University in Wellington (right on the coast, by the way, with phenomenal beaches)!
- Dubai may very well be the best city to study abroad. Whether you are interested in medicine, law, or business, there are great university-level programs. Because of its stunning structure, students of architecture would love it; and it may also be one of the best places to study abroad for business, especially for student specializing in global investment.
- Most students might think of Africa as a place for volunteer work, but they have not been thinking about Ghana. This country is one of the most developed nations in Africa and is a great destination. The University of Ghana, in the capitol city of Accra, has over 1000 foreign students every year, and the nightly club scene is pretty cool too!
- www.iesabroad.com offers unique study experiences in Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, and Tibet – Can there be any places more exotic than these?
- No list would be complete without China, and there are three great spots which are some of the best study abroad cities. First, of course, is Beijing, with 10 universities that all accept foreign students. Virtually every course of study is offered across this wide field of schools.
- Shanghai University has over 200 foreign students, and visiting professors from English-speaking countries. Its school of International Business is respected world-wide.
- In the city of Chengdu is Southwest University for Nationalities, with 20,000 students from 55 countries. Great business school, as well as teacher training and the arts! Check out www.usac.unr.edu for more good stuff.
No one can definitively claim to know the best countries to study abroad, for it depends completely on one’s perspective and goals. If none of the above spike your interest, here are several more that are highly recommended by www.universityranker.com.
- Rabat, Morocco: Totally non-Western environment but friendly place – great university!
- Budapest, Hungary: Good times for those who want to unwind with fun nightlife. Schools, however, are good and competitive.
- Stellenbosch, South Africa: Stellenbosch University is considered the best school in Africa, and it is only a few miles from Cape Town!
- Lima, Peru: Huge city with a huge international population, and it has 3-4 of the best ranked universities in South America.
- Utrecht, Netherlands: A truly authentic Dutch town with a top-rated university; lots of foreign students
- Istanbul, Turkey: Sits on the cusp of Europe, Asia and the Middle East and houses a huge diversity of nationalities. Study business, international commerce and law, or banking!
- Dar Es’ Salaam, Tanzania: Africa again! This is a great modern city with beautiful countryside. Large international population in its university – study anything just to get there!