By Lauren Fitzpatrick
Here’s the truth: studying abroad isn’t really about what goes on in the classroom. It’s about what happens every second of every day that a student is overseas. This is your chance to further your studies and your life experience. Learn what it’s like to live in other parts of the world, beef up your resume, and awaken your wanderlust.
Here are eleven countries to consider if you want to add some international flavour to your college years…
1. United Kingdom
The UK is a great transition country for people who might be a little nervous about going abroad. Whether you choose to study in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’ll have the luxury of speaking English – even if regional accents can make it tricky for some American students to understand!
The only other English-speaking country on this list, Australia one-ups the UK with its beaches and abundant sunshine. The bonus about studying in Australia is that if you really love it, you can come back on a working holiday visa after you graduate.
Never thought about studying in Taiwan? Think again. This island nation has semi-tropical weather, waterfalls, jungles, buzzing cities, and friendly people. It’s an alternative for people who want to learn Mandarin but are intimidated by China’s cold winters and smoggy cities.
History majors, hikers, and architecture students may want to consider heading to Peru, where the Incan empire once flourished. Study the ruins of Macchu Picchu, the significance of Lake Titicaca, or the Spanish language in Lima and discover a whole new place to call home – at least for a semester.
- C. Megan Lee
Forget everything you ever heard about French people being stuck-up and jump into the language, culture and delectable food of France. You can study in a city like Paris, get a glimpse of Mediterranean life in the south, or disappear into a charming country town somewhere in between.
For anyone interested in conservation, ecology, marine biology, zoology or Spanish, consider Ecuador. Not only does it have the Andes and the Amazon, it lays claim to one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders, the Galapagos Islands.
- C. Megan Lee
To really step out of your comfort zone, study abroad in Tanzania, where nature, humanity and politics combine. Take a course in Swahili, explore the Serengeti National Park, stay with rural communities, and test your limits while knowing you have the support of your study abroad program if you have any questions.
Italy remains one of the world’s most popular study abroad destinations; every year, students from all over the globe continue to flock to Italy. It’s especially appealing to those studying art or literature, but there’s a place for every major in this country. From Florence to Rome, Naples to Venice, love affairs keep blossoming between students and Italy.
Norway is not your typical European study abroad destination. With dark, cold winters and green, sunny summers, it is a land of fascinating contrast. This Scandinavian country is welcoming and beautiful, and attracts many international students due to its educational and cultural appeal.
Further reading! 7 Things to Do in Oslo on a Budget
10. Costa Rica
- c. Megan Lee
Looking for a place you can surf, hike, check out wild sloths, climb trees and never worry about snow? Try tiny Costa Rica, a Central American country with a lot to offer. Studying in San Jose, the capital, allows you city comforts while still giving you easy access to Costa Rica’s beaches, volcanoes and national parks.
Go east to Japan, home of big cities, ancient traditions, and food that will knock your socks off. Like it hot? Go south to Okinawa and learn Japanese or Asian culture. Want to hit the slopes? Head north to Sapporo, where you can immerse yourself in Japanese life while studying English literature, economics, or a number of other options.
Thinking about studying abroad and didn’t see your preferred country on this list? Don’t let that stop you. The opportunities are immense, and with research and preparation, students can study almost anywhere in the world. Take the leap and get ready for a life-changing experience.
Author bio: Indiana native Lauren Fitzpatrick never got a proper job. Instead, she got work visas for Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, and Korea. She has held over 30 jobs, including carny, English teacher and movie extra. Lauren now blogs about travel and working abroad for both Go Overseas and on her personal site Lateral Movements.