This article gives prospective students the low-down on where to study abroad around the globe and was first published on educations.com.
This 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 the world in 2023!
Our rankings of the best places to study abroad are based on multiple statistical indicators for each of these 7 factors:
- High-quality teaching
- Achieving career goals
- Personal development
- Culture and lifestyle
- Opportunities to network or make new friends
- Language learning
Top 10 places in the world to study abroad – 2023
10. South Korea
- Ranked #10 in the world
- Achieving career goals – ranked #5 in the world
- High-quality teaching – ranked #10 in the world
South Korea holds something for everyone as one of the best countries for international students in the world. Make sure to bring your hiking shoes! Whether the trees are showcasing fiery autumn leaves or delicate cherry blossoms, the Korean countryside is always a stunning sight. For the city-lovers, Seoul is a must-visit and a never-ending source of entertainment. Learn about the Joseon dynasty and traditional Korean culture at world-class museums, try out bibimbap and kimchi, and spend your evening partying in Gangnam or Hongdae. Visit the hilly and colorful summer capital of Busan or head to Jeju Island to experience sparkling beaches and incredible views on Korea’s own tropical volcanic getaway. 가자!
- Ranked #10 in Europe
- Culture and lifestyle – ranked #2 in the world
- Adventure – ranked #1 in the world
If you can imagine enjoying daily siestas and sipping sangria at local tapas bars, then España should be at the top of your personal list of best places to study abroad. Keep occupied in the capital, Madrid, or explore architectural masterpieces like La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Catch a train to discover Basque culture in the north, and join the hikers following the legendary Camino de Santiago all the way to the west coast. In the south, Andalucía reflects a history of Flamenco music and Moorish influence. Granada, Sevilla, Málaga, and Cádiz are sure to impress. And that’s not even to mention the friendly people and buzzing social scene throughout the country! With universities founded as far back as 1218 along with a multifaceted culture, studying abroad in Spain is truly a unique experience. ¡Olé!
- Ranked #5 in Europe
- Personal development - ranked #3 in the world
- Achieving career goals - ranked #7 in the world
Interested in natural beauty? Look no further. Switzerland is known for its stunning landscapes, with panoramic views of lakes, forests, and lush mountains so beautiful that it’s hard to believe it’s all real. Besides Swiss chocolate, cheese, and knives, this country may be the most famous for the Swiss Alps, which offer incredible sights and opportunities for mountain sports. Yet, the cities are just as exciting. Enjoy the cosmopolitan city of Zurich, hang-glide over Interlaken, and wander the medieval Old Town of Bern. If you’re a language enthusiast, you’ll be thrilled to hear Swiss-French, Swiss-Italian, Swiss-German, and maybe even Romansh on your strolls through the city. Makes sense as to why it's on our list of the best countries for international students. Bainvegni!
7. The Netherlands
- Ranked #4 in Europe
- Personal development – ranked #5 in the world
- Achieving career goals – ranked #2 in the world
If you’re picturing bicycles, canals, and cozy cafes on the streets of Amsterdam, you already have a good sense of what life is like in the Netherlands. From the busy cities of Utrecht and Rotterdam to the more peaceful student towns of Groningen and Leiden, you’ll find that people here are quite diverse, environmentally conscious, and very accepting of others. The Netherlands is also one of the best countries to study abroad for the abundance of English university programs and English-speakers. You'll also have plenty of things to do! Take a walk through history at Zaanse Schans, head over to the Van Gogh Museum, or marvel at the tulips blooming in the Garden of Europe. All while enjoying some stroopwafel, of course!
- Ranked #3 in Europe
- High-quality teaching – ranked #5 in the world
- Adventure – ranked #6 in the world
Deutschland is ranked third on our list of the best countries for international students for many reasons. Stretching from the Baltic coast beaches to the mountains of Bavaria, Germany seems to be home to almost every European landscape imaginable – perfect for all seasons. You’ll notice strands of the past woven throughout the country, from the Berlin Wall to Neuschwanstein Castle. Visit the Black Forest for some fairytale inspiration, lose yourself among the many picturesque canals of Hamburg, and enjoy the biergartens of Munich during Oktoberfest. You’ll find that Germans may be the biggest bread enthusiasts in Europe and that the currywurst, schnitzel, and döner kebab are in fact pretty brag-worthy. Study in Germany and get the experience of a lifetime!
- Ranked #2 in Europe
- Adventure – ranked #2 in the world
- Culture and lifestyle – ranked #3 in the world
La République française is truly the crème de la crème for history buffs; you’ll find artistic and architectural influences across several centuries in any French city or town. Visit charming fairytale villages in the Alsace region, soak up the Mediterranean sun in Marseilles, and view the dramatic landscape of Mont Saint-Michel - culture is at your fingertips! And don’t forget about the food! French cuisine transcends expectations every time, with a sommelier ready to choose the perfect bottle of French wine. With each region as distinct as its wine, there are countless places to explore. So, if you see yourself watching the sunset behind the Cathédrale Notre-Dame or taking a walk through the lavender fields of Provence, make France, one of the best places to study abroad in the world, your next destination.
- Ranked #2 in North America
- Language learning – ranked #4 in the world
- Achieving career goals – ranked #6 in the world
Oh, Canada! Known for its vast expanse of natural wonders, Canada’s diverse landscape is unmatched. With rocky coasts, snowy mountains, forested lakes, and arctic glaciers, a good camera is absolutely necessary. As a bilingual country, French and English are widely spoken - making Canada one of the best countries to study abroad for learning a new language. Regardless of language, you’ll find warm welcomes and friendly smiles here. Feel free to explore the cosmopolitan cities of Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, and be awestruck by the captivating surroundings of Banff, Whistler, and Halifax. Sounds like the ideal place to study, eh?
3. The United States
- Ranked #1 in Europe
- High-quality teaching – ranked #3 in the world
- Achieving career goals – ranked #3 in the world
Spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the United States hosts a variety of landscapes, subcultures, and histories that you’ll never get bored of exploring. Discover forested mountains, rolling plains, sparkling coastlines, and majestic canyons all in the span of one road trip. Whether you visit Las Vegas, Miami, or Honolulu, you’ll find endless sources of entertainment. If you’re a foodie, you’ll love it here. Search for the tastiest tacos in California, munch on fried chicken in the South, and take an opinion on the pizza rivalry between Chicago and New York. Even the universities are a melting pot of cultures, with American and international students alike coming from completely different backgrounds. Sounds like one of the best places to study abroad? Study abroad in the Land of Opportunity.
- Ranked #1 in Oceania
- High-quality teaching – ranked #2 in the world
- Culture and lifestyle– ranked #5 in the world
Australia, or Straya as the Ozzies call it, is second on our list of the best countries for international students. With nine distinctive regions, 20 UNESCO World Heritage sites, and a diverse mix of cultures, there’s so much to explore. Visit the world’s oldest rainforest in the Daintree, see red sand beaches and turquoise waters in Broome, and marvel at the limestone cliffs along the Great Ocean Road. Want to learn how to surf? Hop over to Manly Beach or Margaret River after class River for some of the best waves in the world. Jump into city life in Brisbane and Melbourne, the latter being the heart of Australia’s music scene. So, grab your sunnies and see for yourself what the Land Down Under has to offer!
1. The United Kingdom
- High-quality teaching - ranked #1 in the world
- Achieving career goals – ranked #4 in the world
- Culture and lifestyle – ranked #6 in the world
The United Kingdom has taken the top spot from Australia this year as the Top Destination in the World to Study Abroad in 2023. Despite being home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world, there's so much more to experience beyond high-quality education. An intriguing mix of centuries of history alongside 21st-century modernity is everywhere. Imagine sipping on tea in the middle of London after walking through the ruins of Stonehenge, or perhaps grabbing pints at the pub following an afternoon exploring world-class museums. The rolling countryside of England and Wales along with the rugged highlands of Scotland and geologic wonders of Northern Ireland are more than enough to keep you occupied outside studies. Start planning your trip to see why the United Kingdom is #1 on our list of the best countries to study abroad this year!
This article was first published on educations.com