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5 Best Places to Study Abroad

A globe sitting on a large book

There are many reasons why studying abroad is a great decision. We live in a global world in which it’s important to experience new perspectives and understand cultures different than our own. Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience that more than 300,000 American students embark on every year. Whether you are studying overseas to learn a new language or to build your skills, it an incredible journey with an array of benefits.

These are the five best places to study abroad.

1. London, England

A red double-decker bus in front of Big Ben

England’s capital city is known worldwide as a top destination for studying abroad. In the 2017/18 school year, 377,140 international students were studying in England. The English-speaking country has similarities to large American cities like New York or Chicago which makes London a top choice for many US students. London is one of the best places to study abroad if you’ve never traveled outside of the U.S. before.

Why Study Abroad in London

London has forty-five universities across the city. Not to mention, its thriving arts scene, diverse foods, and many student-friendly activities. In between classes, you can spend your time at international food halls like Borough Market or exploring one of the city’s many free museums. Studying abroad in London means that you will have access to some of the top business schools in the world. Other popular degrees in the U.K. include Marketing, Accounting, and Economics.

2. Madrid, Spain

Old cozy street in Madrid, Spain


Spain remains one of the top destinations for American expats. From studying abroad during college to working abroad post-graduation, Madrid is one of the best places to study abroad. The European capital city is known for its affordable cost of living, beachside cities, and many universities.

Why Study Abroad in Madrid?

Compared to other Western European countries of similar size, Spain is quite affordable. The average rent for a small furnished studio in Madrid is around €700 per month, making the city attractive (and affordable!) for students. Students can save money in Madrid on transportation with the carné joven, a free youth card for students ages 16 – 30, which makes them eligible for discounts at museums, restaurants and even on gym memberships. Additionally, students can expect to spend only €20 per month on Madrid’s Public Transportation with the abono joven, a deeply discounted travel card which can be used across Madrid.

When students aren’t in class, many enjoy hanging amongst locals in the city’s many squares and parks. Escaping to coastal places like Alberche Beach or Valencia is a popular option too. Both beaches are within three hours from Madrid and make for a perfect post-exams retreat.

Learn Spanish Abroad

Overcoming the language barrier may be a concern for some students but it is also one of the benefits of studying abroad in Spain. For students who are looking to improve their language skills, studying abroad in Madrid is the perfect time to do so. Although you may be enrolled in an English-speaking program, living with a local family in a homestay is a great way to learn a new language and immerse yourself in the Spanish culture.

3. Rome, Italy

Piazza Navona, Rome. Italy


If friendly locals, delicious food, reputable universities, and warm weather is what you’re looking for, then look no further than studying abroad in Italy. The country has so many cities which are ideal for studying abroad that we couldn’t choose just one.

Why Study Abroad in Italy

There are so many popular and gorgeous cities that can entice students looking to study abroad. Venice is perfect for city strolling and indulging in Italian cuisine. Studying abroad in Florence or Milan could be ideal for art, fashion or architecture majors. Students who are looking to learn more about world history would love studying abroad in Rome which is sometimes referred to as the ‘capital of the world’.

It is possible to attend an American University in Rome like John Cabot University. Attending an American University will allow you to attend classes taught in English while still learning Italian in your spare time.

One of the best reasons to study abroad is to gain new language skills. You should try brushing up on your Italian prior to your time abroad but nothing compares to the experience of being able to communicate and practice a new language with locals.

4. Olso, Norway

Oslo skyline by night

The Scandinavian country is known for its quality programs taught in English, a welcoming society, and affordable tuition. Norway is also a great city for nature lovers and adventure seekers who want to explore their new home.

Studying Abroad in Norway

Many public universities in Norway don’t charge tuition fees which makes high-quality education accessible for many people. Although this is a relief from the heaps of student loan debts amassed by graduates in the U.S., there is a downside, Norway is a relatively expensive country to live in. So while you will be saving on education costs, it is necessary to have the money to cover your living expenses.

When you’re not in a class, Norway is a beautiful country with so much to discover. Nature is always around the corner with famous sights like The Northern Lights or the Norwegian Fjords. Norway’s capital city, Oslo, is a cultural hub and is home to the University of Oslo – one of the cities top-rated universities.

5. Montreal, Canada

Montreal sunrise in autumn

Montréal’s laid-backness, student-friendly prices and proximity to the U.S. make it an ideal place to study abroad.

Travelers who visit the Canadian city typically comment on the slow and European-like feel that Montreal has. One of the benefits of studying abroad in Montreal is the diversity of the city. From the people, languages and even the universities, there is something for everyone.

Why Study Abroad in Montreal?

This francophone city brings international students from all around the world. As a result, Montreal is always buzzing with young people and cool events. Studying abroad in Montréal means that you will rarely get bored. The city is dotted with green spaces, bars and clubs and some of the world’s best restaurants.

Montréal is one of the best places to study abroad for French majors. Even if you’re just looking to learn the basics of French, studying abroad in Montréal can be rewarding as you can come back home with a new language under your belt.

About 32,000 students studied abroad in Montréal in 2017. One of the best reasons to study in Montréal is because the city is very welcoming of international students. In fact, I Choose Montreal is the city’s service dedicated to helping international graduates live, work and immigrate to Canada after studying abroad.

Reasons to Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a special time in any college students university experience. It is a life changing experience that will leave you with a lifetime of memories. Learning languages, exploring a new city and earning your degree abroad could make you even more appealing to future employers and is one of the best reasons for studying abroad.

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