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Top 10 best Asian Countries to Study Abroad - 2023 Rankings
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This article gives prospective students the low-down on where to study abroad in Asia and was first published on

Last year’s international student survey reached 20,000 prospective students representing 195+ countries. Using the top reasons for studying abroad, ranked by students who prioritize finding the right destination country over program or school, we’ve created education rankings of the best countries to study abroad in Asia in 2023!

Our rankings of the best places in Asia to study abroad are based on multiple statistical indicators for each of these 7 factors:

  1. High-quality teaching
  2. Achieving career goals
  3. Personal development
  4. Culture and lifestyle
  5. Opportunities to network or make new friends
  6. Language learning
  7. Adventure

Top 10 Places in Asia to Study Abroad – 2023


10. Hong Kong

  • Ranked #32 in the world
  • Adventure – ranked #6 in Asia
  • High-quality teaching – ranked #8 in Asia

Hong Kong is one of the best Asian countries for international students who want to experience a multicultural fusion of East and West. As the culinary capital of Asia, the local dim sum is a must try, though the region additionally hosts authentic cuisine from Japan, Korea, India, and Thailand that's just as incredible. Hong Kong is also one of the best Asian countries for shoppers who want a little bit of everything. With your options ranging from traditional markets to luxury boutiques, you'll never run out of interesting shops to explore! Of course, all visitors must take in the famous views of Victoria Harbour, where it’s clear that the city is packed with life on land and sea. Even so, you’re only one short flight away from the rest of Asia. Start your next adventure in Hong Kong!


9. India

  • Ranked #28 in the world
  • High-quality teaching – ranked #6 in Asia
  • Language learning – ranked #3 in Asia

Dreaming of the gleaming marble of the Taj Mahal? Or are the laid-back beaches of Goa along the Arabian sea more your style? Whether you prefer hiking the Himalayas or visiting wildlife sanctuaries, yoga getaways or an absolute adventure - India has you covered as one of the most popular Asian countries to study abroad. There are plenty of opportunities to see Indian culture at its finest as festivals are at the heart of this spiritual country. Partake in the ancient festival of Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours, and don’t miss Diwali, the Festival of Lights, which celebrates the victory of good over evil. India is also extremely multicultural, with many regional differences and 22 separate official languages. Enjoy all that India has to offer!

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8. Thailand


  • Ranked #27 in the world
  • Culture and lifestyle – ranked #2 in Asia
  • Opportunities to network or make new friends – ranked #8 in the world

Thailand is one of the most popular Asian countries for travel and international studies. Relax on the serene beaches of Koh Phangan and Krabi, visit one of 40,000 uniquely magnificent Buddhist temples, watch elephants traverse through the jungle in Khao Yai National Park, and discover ancient archaeological sites in Sukhothai and Kamphaeng Phet. Make a city like Bangkok your headquarters for tons of events, hidden markets, and great nightlife that won’t break the bank. Follow your nose towards street vendors for a taste of aromatic pad thai, tom yam goong, and massaman curry. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing yoga retreat in Pai, crazy nights out in Phuket, or unsurpassed diving in the Surin Islands, Thailand has something for you.


7. Malaysia

  • Ranked #26 in the world
  • Opportunities to network or make new friends – ranked #7 in the world
  • Language learning – ranked #9 in the world

Bordering several other Southeast Asian nations by land and sea is Malaysia, a fascinating and diverse country. Are you hooked on city life? Kuala Lumpur will keep you occupied. Find panoramic views from the observation deck of Menara Kuala Lumpur, gaze skywards for views of Jamek Mosque and Thean Hou Temple, and sample Nasi Kandar from a local street vendor at the Hutong market or on Alor Street. More of a nature-lover? Trek through lush tea plantations in the Cameron Highlands, or appreciate the incredible biodiversity of flora and fauna in the region while hiking Mount Kinabalu. Malaysia is also at the top of the list of the best Asian countries for learning a language, with English being a popular second language to Malay, Chinese, and Tamil. What are you waiting for?


6. Turkey


  • Ranked #25 in the world
  • Adventure – ranked #3 in Asia
  • High-quality teaching – ranked #5 in Asia

Nestled between Europe and Asia, Turkey is one of the best countries to study abroad for a history buff. Stroll through the ruins of an ancient empire in Ephesus, admire the otherworldly beauty of rock-cut churches in Cappadocia, and explore the Mediterranean and Aegean Coasts for a chance to dive into crystal blue waters. Find Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern Turkish influences intertwined throughout the cities, especially in Istanbul. A fusion of culture is also reflected in the cuisine, taking traditional elements from a multitude of regions to create dishes such as manti, dolma, and the famous lokum, also known as Turkish Delight. Make sure you leave time for the hamam after long days of studying! Yakında görüşürüz!


5. Singapore


  • Ranked #24 in the world
  • Adventure – ranked #2 in Asia
  • Achieving career goals – ranked #2 in Asia

The cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity of Singapore makes for a truly global experience. Cool off under futuristic vertical gardens shading famously clean streets, and admire the mix of architecture - from sustainable green structures to modern Art Deco to traditional Peranakan-era shophouses. The Singaporean culinary landscape holds a similar array of diversity and a true passion for food, with hawker centers like the Lau Pa Sat serving local takes on Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisines. Though there are four official languages, English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil, English dominates the business world - making Singapore rise high on our the list of the best Asian countries for international students to achieve their career goals. Singapore is truly a unique study destination. 

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4. Japan

  • Ranked #17 in the world
  • Culture and lifestyle – ranked #4 in the world
  • Adventure – ranked #7 in the world

For those of you with a preference for safety, cleanliness, magnificent landscapes, and a rich culture that appreciates both old and new - Japan is your heaven! With the epicenter of anime in Akihabara, funky Harajuku fashion, and peaceful shrines alongside palace gardens, there is no such thing as boredom in Tokyo. Hop on a fast train to feel the quiet charm of the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, thermal baths in Osaka, and the wild deer of Nara. If you can imagine joining the national sakura obsession or enjoying perfected bowls of ramen and fresh plates of sashimi, it’s time to plan your trip to Japan, fourth on our rankings of the best countries to study abroad in Asia! ようこそ!


3. United Arab Emirates

  • Ranked #14 in the world
  • Personal development – ranked #3 in Asia
  • Achieving career goals – ranked #10 in the world

The United Arab Emirates is a tiny country with a big personality, and one of the best Asian countries for those looking for a fusion of tradition and modernity. This tantalizing mix in the Persian Gulf is never short of flashy, unique experiences. While English is spoken, you will also encounter Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, and many more languages in each Emirate. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is by far the largest, with famous sights such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, an architectural masterpiece. Watch the sunset from the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, or escape to the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah for breathtaking beaches, historical ruins, and rich cultural heritage. Whether you head on a desert safari in the rolling dunes of the Liwa Desert or bathe in the sunshine and opulence of Dubai, you’re bound to have an incredible time in one of the best places in Asia for international studies.


2. China


  • Ranked #12 in the world
  • Culture and lifestyle – ranked #4 in Asia
  • High-quality teaching – ranked #7 in the world

China is truly a country that makes you feel small. With the cultural heritage of one of the world’s most ancient civilizations and an extensive geographical spread, China is definitely one of the best places in Asia for international students wanting to explore. From the Great Wall of China to ancient palaces in the Forbidden City, and from the Terracotta Army in Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site to the Leshan Giant Buddha, this country is like no other in terms of history. Natural wonders span the landscape, with Pandora's floating pinnacles in Zhangjiajie and the fairytale rainbow lakes of Jiuzhaigou making visitors feel like they are on another planet. If you’re looking to pursue a great education in a country with a booming economy, delicious cuisine, and tons of entertainment - put China at the top of your list.


1. South Korea

  • Ranked #10 in the world
  • High-quality teaching – ranked #10 in the world
  • Achieving career goals – ranked #5 in the world

You probably already know that South Korea is leading the list of the most popular Asian countries right now in terms of pop culture. So, it’s no surprise that Korea has risen to #1 on our list of the best Asian countries to study abroad! This country is known for its high-quality education, hugely successful corporations like Samsung, its booming entertainment industry, and much more beyond! With mountains covering 70% of the country alongside bustling city life in Seoul and Busan, you’ll never spend a moment without something to do. Learn about Korean history from the Joseon dynasty to modern day, and try out bibimbap, kimchi, and soju before getting a taste of the nightlife in Seoul. Visit Jeju Island to experience Korea’s own tropical volcanic getaway. 가자!

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