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Top 10 Places in the World to Study Abroad – 2021

Welcome to our official 2021 rankings for Top 10 Places in the World to Study Abroad!

In our survey of over 2,700 international students, many of you told us that, when deciding where to study abroad, you choose country first over a university or specific type of program. You also told us what your top reasons for studying abroad are. We used your feedback to create our list ranking of the best places to study abroad in 2021!

The rankings are based on these 7 factors:

  • To access higher quality teaching
  • To achieve my career goals
  • To develop myself personally
  • To experience a new culture or lifestyle
  • To have an adventure
  • To learn a new language
  • To make new friends or widen my professional network

#10 – Denmark

Ranked #7 in Europe

To develop myself personally

Ranked #2 in the world

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #7 in the world

The land of fairytales takes the tenth spot on this list. Denmark has given the world the works of Hans Christian Andersen and Lars Von Triers, to name but two famous Danes. That’s why this corner of Scandinavia is the happiest place on Earth. Most students find themselves in Copenhagen, but cities like Roskilde and Odense also give you the chance to see Denmark. From coffee by the Copenhagen Lakes, to fairytale-esque woodlands, to magical castles, towers and churches, Denmark is a living, breathing Disneyland. If you want to visit the land that inspired films like The Little Mermaid and Cinderella, then Denmark is waiting for you.

#9 – Spain

Ranked #6 in Europe

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #2 in the world

To make new friends / widen my professional network

Ranked #2 in the world

Vamos a España – as the saying goes. A popular choice among students, Spain is the favorite for those looking to experience a new culture or lifestyle. Whether you’re sampling tapas on the streets of Seville or exploring one-of-a-kind Gaudí architecture in Barcelona, there are lots of opportunities to soak up everything Spain has to offer. For adventure seekers, Spain provides many opportunities: Take a train through the Moorish cities of Andalucía, trek from mountain to sea in Valencia, or dance the night away on the island of Ibiza. With universities founded as far back as 1218, Spain offers you a wide variety of study opportunities to choose from. Your next big adventure could be waiting for you in Spain, so why not take the plunge?

#8 – France

Ranked #5 in Europe

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #3 in the world

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #8 in the world

La République française is a country where its cuisine, culture, and wine can all be described in one word: rich! For students who want to immerse themselves in a new culture, France has a lot to offer. The French pride themselves on their food and wine, with the latter closely tied to the different regions, or terroir, that contribute to the distinctiveness of every bottle. While each region in France is as distinct as its wine, Paris represents what France is famous for: fashion, food, art, and romance. While Paris is always a good idea, you can find immersive student life in other cities too, like Lille, Toulouse, Grenoble, or Lyon. As for the French language, what better place is there to learn the basics of one of the world’s more romantic tongues? If you see yourself watching the sunset behind the Eiffel Tower or basking in the Mediterranean sun in Cannes, get yourself to France.

#7 – The Netherlands

Ranked #4 in Europe

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #4 in the world

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #6 in the world

If cozy cafes, expansive tulip fields, and canal-side walks pique your interest, the Netherlands should be your next study abroad destination! From the canals and museums of Amsterdam to the port city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands is a country with an alternative pace of life. Known for their very high English proficiency, Dutch universities offer many courses in English so there are plenty of opportunities for international students to find their perfect program. If English is your native language, Dutch is also considered one of the easiest languages to learn! For the thrifty student, the flat landscape of the Netherlands means people bike everywhere. Whether you want to immerse yourself in all things cultural, see some history or just enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle, the Netherlands is a great study abroad place for you.

#6 – Switzerland

Ranked #3 in Europe

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #2 in the world

To develop myself personally

Ranked #3 in the world

Landlocked Switzerland straddles the Alps, making it extremely mountainous and naturally beautiful. While the Swiss are internationally recognized for their chocolate, cheese, watches, and army knives, did you know their universities are also of the highest degree? Offering an innovative environment for students and researchers, Swiss universities are consistently highly ranked. Home to the European headquarters of the UN, Switzerland’s large international population makes it easy for students abroad to meet people from all over the world. A gorgeous country rich in stunning views and world class cities, Switzerland is also considered one of the safest countries in the world, so students can always feel comfortable exploring their new home. Its location in Central Europe also offers easy access to a lot of countries – from France to Austria. Switzerland is a place where you can unleash your inner-adventurer.

#5 – United Kingdom

Ranked #2 in Europe

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #1 in the world

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #4 in the world

From the bustling urban environment of London to the medieval streets of Edinburgh, study abroad students are guaranteed to fall in love with the United Kingdom. Thanks to famous universities like Oxford and Cambridge and the many quality universities across the country, it scored first in the world for access to higher quality teaching. With universities in almost every city, you’re guaranteed access to exciting student life! Whilst many international students find themselves in London, cities like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Belfast also offer sites, sounds and experiences of their own. Ranked fourth in the world for its culture and lifestyle, there’s lots to do outside of the classroom. From afternoon teas to pints in the pub, from castles on the hill to towering highlands, from bangers and mash to fish and chips, you’re guaranteed a royal experience in the UK.

#4 – United States

Ranked #2 in North America

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #2 in the world

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #5 in the world

For many students looking to travel abroad, the United States provides endless opportunities to find your perfect study abroad experience. Stretched between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, this vast country provides a unique experience in each individual state. Calling the United States the land of opportunities may not be an exaggeration: the country is ranked second in the world for access to higher quality teaching, and fifth in the world to experience a new culture or lifestyle! If you wanna have some fun between classes, this is a great option. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun on the Californian coast, hike through Yosemite and Yellowstone, take the Great American Road Trip, sample the best tacos in Texas, or work your way to Wall Street in New York, why not make the “home of the brave” your home, too?

#3 – Germany

Ranked #1 In Europe

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #3 in the world

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #5 in the world

Third in the world and first in Europe, Germany is a popular choice for studying abroad. Whether you’re interested in the urban vibes of cities like Munich, Berlin, or Frankfurt or the fairy tale towns of Marburg and Freiburg, you’re guaranteed a world class education at a great price! International students, regardless of EU citizenship, can study at the undergraduate or graduate level in Germany for free. From the beaches along its Baltic coast to the mountains of Bavaria, Germany seems to be home to almost every European landscape imaginable – perfect for all seasons. Germany has also given the world one of its great traditions in the form of Oktoberfest. The annual beer festival brings the country together in celebration. If you happen to find yourself almost anywhere in Germany in late September, you can take part in this fantastic tradition. And if you can see yourself in lederhosen, hiking a mountain or enjoying a beer in a bohemian bar, then Germany is the study abroad destination for you.

#2 – Australia

Ranked #1 In Oceania

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #3 in the world

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #7 in the world

Take a trip “Down Under” and discover why Australia is a great choice for an exceptional study abroad experience. With nine distinctive regions and twenty UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Great Barrier Reef and the Sydney Opera House, there’s so much to explore. Whether you want to be near the tranquility of the Gold Coast beaches or the adventure of the Australian Alps, you’ll surely find your home in Australia. Ranking third in the world for access to higher quality education, Australia boasts a number of top universities in the cities of Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Australia also ranked seventh in the world for personal development, proving the country has more to offer than just a great education. Study in Australia and see for yourself why this land of wonder and mystery attracts visitors from all over the world.

#1 – Canada

Ranked #1 in North America

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #4 in the world

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #6 in the world

Taking the top spot is Canada for two consecutive years. Known for its untouched natural beauty, friendly and welcoming locals, and a culture of tolerance and diversity, Canada is a clear choice for students looking to study abroad. Canadian universities are known for their technological innovations, especially in the fields of computer and information technologies. While the costs of tuition are significantly lower, its universities can rival those of the US or UK. Thanks to their policy of multiculturalism, Canada is very diverse and welcomes people from all over the world. Most Canadians speak English, but French is the mother tongue of a fifth of the population so it’s a great place to brush up on both languages while studying abroad. There’s also lots to discover outside of the classroom, especially for nature lovers who can hike, climb, ski, and swim their way through its vast wilderness. You can do all of this knowing that Canada is also considered a safe and friendly environment!

Chidera

Arch Blogger and computer scientist

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