Best countries to study abroad

April 03, 2024 •

7 min reading

Top 10 best countries to study abroad – 2024 Global Rankings

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This article gives prospective students the low-down on where to study abroad around the globe and was first published on

Our own international student survey reached nearly 24,000 prospective students representing 230+ 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 the world in 2024!

Our rankings of the best places 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 the world to study abroad – 2024

10. Denmark

🌍Ranked #7 in Europe

💖Personal Development Ranked #3 in the world

🎓 High-quality teaching Top 15 in the world

Denmark returns to our Top 10 Places in the World to Study Abroad list for the first time since 2020. No wonder, ranked as the second happiest country on the planet by the 2023 World Happiness Report, Denmark is also known for high-quality education in a safe, progressive, and friendly environment that prioritizes community and well-being - Hygge, is a way of life in Denmark. The cities are easy to navigate on foot or by bike, and the country has gained a reputation as a foodie destination, especially the capital, Copenhagen, which offers everything from traditional smørrebrød to Michelin-star New Nordic restaurants. The country boasts stunning landscapes and breathtaking natural beauty – you are never more than 50 kilometers from the coast and the 444 islands that dot it. Denmark is also home to many well-preserved historical sites, such as the iconic Tivoli Gardens and the medieval town of Roskilde. Velkommen!

9. Switzerland

🌍 Ranked #6 in Europe

👨‍💼 Achieving Career Goals Ranked #5 in the world

💖 Personal Development Ranked #6 in the world

Nestled in the center of Europe and the Alps, Switzerland is a small country known for its discrete banking, long-standing commitment to neutrality, and stunning natural beauty. Switzerland is also a cultural crossroads, with influences from Italy, France, and Germany apparent in everything from its architecture to its multilingual citizens. Switzerland recognizes four official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansch, a minority language originating from Latin. Studying in Switzerland will give you an opportunity to experience the country’s high-ranking universities, as well as the breathtaking scenery. For outdoor enthusiasts, Switzerland’s mountains, lakes, and forests are never far away, and its cities, towns, and numerous castles offer inspiration for both architects and historians. Willkommen, Bainvegni, Benvenuti, Bienvenue!

8. The Netherlands

🌍 Ranked #5 in Europe

💖 Personal development Ranked #4 in the world

👨‍💼 Achieving Career Goals Ranked #2 in the world

It is no surprise to see the Netherlands in our Top Ten. This small country is a powerhouse of international education with world-class universities, numerous programs taught in English, and affordable higher education. From the busy cities of Utrecht and Rotterdam to the more peaceful student towns of Groningen and Leiden, you will find that people in the Netherlands are quite diverse, environmentally conscious, and very accepting of others. Dutch cities – and its countryside - are a cyclist's dream, with more than 30,000 kilometers of cycling paths. Hop on a bike to explore the museums, canals, and vibrant nightlife of the capital city, Amsterdam, or venture further afield for all this country’s hidden gems. Welkom!

7. Spain

🌍 Ranked #4 in Europe

💃 Culture and Lifestyle Ranked #3 in the world

👩‍💼 Opportunities to network or make new friends Ranked #1 in the world

Rising two places this year is Spain, a country known for its vibrant and welcoming culture. Spain has a long and storied history of conquest, diversity, and heritage reflected in its art, cuisine, music, languages, literature, and traditions. Even a quick glance at the menu of a tapas bar will give you a glimpse of the eclectic experiences Spain has to offer. The country is a haven for students of art, architecture, and design, with the works of masters like Goya, Gaudi, Calatrava, Dali, Campo Baeza, and Picasso providing inspiration. Spain is also rising as a tech and innovation center – the country launched its Spanish Smart Cities Network in 2011, and Barcelona was named the European Capital of Innovation in 2014. With each region and city offering unique cultural experiences, the most challenging decision about studying in Spain might be which city to choose – and what to study once you get there. ¡Vamos!

6. Canada

👩‍💼 Achieving Career Goals Ranked #3 in the world

💖 Language Learning Ranked #4 in the world

💬 Opportunities to network or make new friends Ranked #3 in the world

Oh, Canada! There’s a reason nearly 900,000 international students chose Canada as their study destination in 2023. This North American country is diverse, welcoming, and offers flexible, high-quality higher education that is recognized throughout the world. For medical and STEM students, Canada offers extensive research opportunities, and international students in all fields will find generous funding options and work schemes. Canada is also a great option for language students. With French and English as official languages, studying in Canada is an excellent way to learn a new language. The country is diverse in more than just language. Stretching more than 5,500 kilometers across the top of North America, Canada is the second largest country by area in the world and features a diversity of climates, landscapes, and cultures. From the maritime and mild east and west coasts to the arctic tundra and mountainous majesty of the northwest, Canada presents awesome natural beauty.

5. France

🌍 Ranked #3 in Europe

🌊 Adventure Ranked #1 in the world

🏰 Culture and Lifestyle Ranked #2 in the world

For many people, the glamour and charm of Paris sums up the appeal of France, and while Paris is certainly the country’s crown jewel, studying in France is so much more than just a stroll down the Seine. With more than 3,500 public and private higher education institutions – from universities and Grandes Ecoles to specialized schools for everything from art to medicine – your opportunities for excellent higher education are nearly limitless in France. Couple that with France’s cultural clout, and you have the ideal study location for someone looking for a top-ranked degree and an international experience to last a lifetime. Whether you settle in Paris or Provence, studying in France will offer you a wealth of opportunities to explore. Bienvenue!

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4. Australia

🌍 Ranked #1 in Oceania

💬 Opportunities to network or make new friends Ranked #5 in the world

🏰 Culture and Lifestyle Ranked #7 in the world

Australia is a consistent favorite of international students the world over. With a wide range of higher education offerings, highly ranked universities, and a system that is known for welcoming international students, it is no wonder that Australia has been in our Top 10 since the beginning. Australia is known for its laid-back attitude, amazing climate, and incredible natural beauty. With most of its big cities, and therefore, its universities, located along the coastal regions, you are never far from the beach. Each city in Australia has its own identity and distinct personality, so whether you choose the thriving art scene and eco-friendly atmosphere of Melbourne, the outdoor enthusiast’s paradise of Perth, or the glitz and glam of the Gold Coast, you are sure to find a place that suits your style.

3. The United Kingdom

🌍 Ranked #2 in Europe

🎓 High-quality teaching Ranked #1 in the world

🏰 Culture and Lifestyle Ranked #6 in the world

The UK is never far from the top of our list, and for good reason. As home to some of the most renowned and prestigious universities in the world, the United Kingdom is a go-to choice for international students. Living and studying in the UK gives international students the opportunity to learn and explore in a country steeped in culture and history. The UK may occupy a small area compared to some of the other countries on this list, but it packs a lot into that space. The four countries that make up the United Kingdom boast prehistoric monuments, medieval ruins, modern architectural marvels, bustling cities, quaint villages, and a vibrant arts and culture scene, with each country adding its own unique personality and history to the mix. Whether you go surfing on the coast of Wales, dance the night away at a Hogmanay ceilidh in Scotland, explore geological wonders in Northern Ireland, or stroll in the picturesque Cotswolds of England, the UK will not disappoint.

2. The United States

🌍 Ranked #1 in North America

🎓 Quality of Teaching Ranked #6 in the world

🌊 Adventure Ranked #6 in the world

The US has been rising steadily in our rankings since 2019 and now takes the second-place spot for study-abroad locations! Long a popular destination for international students, the US boasts some of the world’s highest-ranked universities, numerous research opportunities, and a higher education culture that is the stuff of Hollywood dreams. Idyllic college campuses awash in autumnal colors, roaring crowds cheering their school’s team at brightly lit football games, and big-city campuses where co-eds can explore the great American metropolises while they study, are actual realities, along with every other kind of school and institution imaginable. With fifty states and one of the largest higher education systems in the world, the US offers almost unlimited choices for study abroad experiences.

1. Germany

🎓 High-quality teaching Ranked #3 in the world

👩‍ Achieving career goals Ranked #2 in Europe

🏰 Adventure Ranked #6 in Europe

Germany made a meteoric rise this year to take the top place on our rankings! And no wonder. Between its incredible reputation as a higher education powerhouse and the low cost of tuition and living, Germany stands out among the countries of the world as a destination for international students. Couple that with the country’s high standards of living, cultural opportunities, and safe, efficient infrastructure, and you have the ideal study location. Use your time in Germany to take in the cultural heritage and diverse natural beauty of the countryside. Enjoy the festive and historic Christmas market in Braunschweig, indulge in some German beer and schweinebraten at a Bavarian Oktoberfest, explore fairytale castles and medieval abbeys in the Black Forest, or dive into the global film scene during the Berlinale, the world’s largest film festival. Enjoy!

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