Student Resources
7 min read

Top 10 best European countries to study abroad - 2022 rankings
Written by

This year’s survey reached 10,000 responses from students across 181 countries who are currently thinking about studying overseas. Using the top reasons for studying abroad, ranked by students who prioritize finding the right destination country over program or school, we’ve created our ranking of the best places in Europe to study abroad in 2022!

And that what is considered the most important factors when choosing a study abroad destination are the following 7 factors.

  1. To achieve my career goals
  2. To develop myself personally
  3. To experience a new culture or lifestyle
  4. To access higher quality teaching
  5. To have an adventure
  6. To make new friends or widen my professional network
  7. To learn a new language

See more:

 Check out the 2022 Global rankings

 Check out the 2022 rankings for Asia


Top 10 places in Europe to study abroad - 2020

10. Italy 

  • Ranked #15 in the world
  • To have an adventure – ranked #5 in Europe
  • To access higher-quality teaching – ranked #7 in Europe

Italy is a country that is likely to be on most of the world’s bucket list, and not just for the pizza, pasta, and gelato. The magnificent villas of Lake Como, spectacular trails through the Cinque Terre, and beautiful beach towns of the south are only a start. Yet, Italy’s rich history is even more stunning than the views. Step into ancient times at the Colosseum or the Pantheon in Rome, and see the Sistine Chapel with your own eyes in the Vatican City. Or, return to the year 79 A.D. in the preserved ruins of Pompeii, and explore the ancient network of canals in Venice. Get inspired by Milan’s world-class fashion scene, and marvel at the museums and architecture in Florence, the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’. Home to the world’s oldest university, Italy’s higher education system is both well established and of the highest quality. If you’re looking for culture, history, food, and adventure, Italia is the place for you. Che figo!

9. Portugal

  • Ranked #14 in the world
  • To have an adventure – ranked #1 in the world
  • To make new friends or for professional networking – ranked #4 in the world

Dreaming about an endless summer in Europe? The sparkling coast and colorfully tiled buildings of Portugal certainly pair well with the 300 days of sunshine per year. Visit Porto for incredible views and a taste of port wine, and head to the Douro Valley to see the vineyards yourself. Venture down the coast to some of the most famous beaches in the surfing world and the cozy towns beside them, like Ericeira and Nazaré. Heading to the coastal capital of Lisbon? Discover street art and miradouros nestled around the hilly city, explore hundreds of unique bars packed into Bairro Alto, taste traditional pastéis de nata (custard tarts) in Belém, and feel like you’re in a magical fairytale atop the castles of Sintra. The southern Algarve region is perfect for nature-lovers, with the seaside cities of Lagos and Portimão holding their own special charm. Portugal espera por ti!

Direct Entry & Transfers  Complete your Bachelor at EHL  EHL offers direct entry / transfer into its Bachelor in International  Hospitality Management  Discover


8. Denmark

  • Ranked #12 in the world
  • To develop myself personally – ranked #2 in the world
  • To achieve my career goals – ranked #3 in Europe

If you want to study where the people are happy and the quality of life is high, look no further than Denmark. With a welcoming culture that prioritizes hygge, or cozy social gatherings with family and friends, it’s easy to feel at home. Looking for some inspiration while studying? Creativity, innovation, and critical thinking are a huge focus both in Danish universities and in the wider society. You’ll find that Danish art, furniture, and fashion design reflect cutting-edge modernity and sustainability. Environmental consciousness is also reflected in the prevalence of bikes - which are the primary form of transportation. So, hop on a bike and check out the hippie commune of Christiania in Copenhagen, find The Little Mermaid statue inspired by Danish fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen, and admire the modern Iceberg of Aarhus along with Renaissance palaces and Baroque castles. Vi ses i Danmark!

7. Sweden


  • Ranked #11 in the world
  • To develop myself personally – ranked #9 in the world
  • To access higher quality teaching – ranked #6 in Europe


This Scandinavian country is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. All Swedish cities are a short trip away from a lake or forest, making you feel truly in touch with nature - moose and reindeer included! You can go cross-country skiing, see the northern lights, and dip in saunas in the winter, or head inside candle-lit cafes for a social coffee and pastry break with friends, called a fika in Swedish. Various museums offer more snowy escapes and capture captivating times in Swedish history, from the rule of pop-group ABBA to ancient Viking times. However, summertime is the real beauty in Sweden. With extremely long days and summer festivities like Midsommar, you’ll find that sail boating and picnics become a daily occurrence. Whether you choose to study in bigger universities in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Uppsala, and Lund, or a smaller school in Sweden, you’ll have an incredible experience. If you're a Swedish student, you can get help from Sweden's largest agency helping students study abroadLycka till!

6. Spain

  • Ranked #10 in the world
  • To experience a new culture or lifestyle – ranked #1 in the world
  • To have an adventure – ranked #4 in the world

If you can imagine yourself wandering down alleys looking for the perfect tapas bar, screaming for your favorite fútbol team with locals, and taking a siesta before a night out that lasts until sunrise, Spain might be the place for you. ¡Vamos a España! Walk along elegant boulevards in Madrid and admire the works of Goya in the Prado, or swim in the Mediterranean and explore the colorful Gaudí-inspired neighborhoods of Barcelona. Take a road trip north to run with the bulls in Pamplona and taste the wines of La Rioja. The cities of Granada, Sevilla, Málaga, and Cádiz in southern Spain are sure to impress with their signature Flamenco music and Moorish influence. Wherever you go, the friendly Spanish people will make you feel welcome! With some of the oldest universities in the world and a distinct culture, taking your higher education in Spain would give you a truly unique experience.

5. France


  • Ranked #8 in the world
  • To access higher-quality teaching – ranked #1 in Europe
  • To experience a new culture or lifestyle – ranked #3 in Europe

This country is a dream come true for any history, cuisine, or art enthusiast out there. The French pride themselves on their cultural influence, and it’s easy to see why! The country hosts the world’s largest and most-visited art museum, many high-end fashion houses, and some of the best universities in the world. Whether you choose to study in the middle of Paris, Lyon, or Toulouse, culture is at your fingertips. Their cuisine, from aromatic cheeses to hearty stews to seaside mussels, is world-renowned and can be paired perfectly to a specific bottle of French wine. With each region as distinct as its wine, there are countless places to explore. So, if you can see yourself watching the sunset from the beaches of Bretagne or taking a swim in the Mediterranean port of Marseilles, consider la République française as your next destination.

4. The Netherlands


  • Ranked #7 in the world
  • To acheive career goals – ranked #2 in Europe
  • To develop myself personally – ranked #4 in the world

The Netherlands is a country known for its café-culture lifestyle and love of cycling. A culture of entrepreneurship and engineering, the Dutch are open-minded and free-spirited with a problem-solving attitude. Yet, history and art are also distinctive here. The Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank Museum are must-see cultural highlights. With one of the most reputable higher education systems in the world and a competitive economy, the Netherlands is a great place to further your career during and after your studies. Not only that, but you’ll surely have a lifetime of fun during your stay! Sports clubs are incredibly popular, and the EDM scene is often seen as the best in the world, with plenty of events and festivals on your days off. So, come as you are and experience student life in a land famous for windmills and tulips!

3. United Kingdom


  • Ranked #6 in the world
  • To access higher quality teaching – ranked #1 in the world
  • To experience a new culture or lifestyle – ranked #3 in the world

With Oxford, Cambridge, and University College London, it’s indisputable that the United Kingdom is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world. Schools here, in fact, are seen as the best in the world for access to higher-quality teaching. Yet, England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are ripe for adventure beyond academics. From castle hopping in Wales to searching for Loch Ness monsters in Scotland, and from stepping through the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland to ducking into William Shakespeare’s home in England, the UK feels like it’s straight out of a storybook. You can sip on tea and nibble a scone, visit ancient historical ruins, and visit world-class museums all in the same day. As a home to many modern sports, a buzzing social scene, and easy access for traveling all over the world, it’s no wonder that students flock to the UK for the study abroad experience of a lifetime. If you’re craving fish and chips or some pints at the pub, you now know where to go. Cheers!

2. Switzerland

  • Ranked #5 in the world
  • To develop myself personally – ranked #3 in Europe
  • To acheive career goals – ranked #1 in Europe

If you want to experience the unreal beauty of European wilderness, explore regal and picturesque towns and cities, and sample world-renowned cuisine, Switzerland is for you. Besides Swiss watches and knives, this country may be the most famous for the stunning views and skiing in the Alps. Yet, Swiss cities such as Basel, Lucerne, and Geneva hold sights and histories that will stun you on their own. Even the smaller towns like Interlaken and Fribourg are bound to leave you speechless. As the top-ranked country for achieving career goals, this country is also known for having one of the most advanced and complex economies in the world. Career-driven students, especially those interested in banking or finance, have found their paradise. Are you more of a language lover? Depending on the region you choose to study in, you have the opportunity to learn not one but four new languages - German, French, Italian, and Romansh. Bainvegni!

1. Germany

  • Ranked #3 in the world
  • To access higher quality teaching – ranked #2 in Europe
  • To achieve my career goals – ranked #3 in Europe

Deutschland is the top pick for students who want to study abroad in Europe for the third year in a row. Sharing its borders with eleven other countries, Germany is truly the center of it all. You might be thinking of dirndl and lederhosen at Oktoberfest or a Mercedes-Benz on the autobahn, but there are even more iconic German activities to delve into. Explore the enchanting mountains of Bavaria, fairytale castles along the Rhine, serene Baltic coastlines, and the lakes of Mecklenburg for dreamlike experiences. You’ll find that German cities are cultural hubs with rich histories. Whether you choose to enjoy the enticing nightlife and museums of Berlin, the gorgeous canals and street art of Hamburg, or the lush biergartens and unique architecture of Munich, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time. As the country with the largest economy in Europe, there are plenty of opportunities to advance your career goals during your studies at some of the world’s oldest and most well-known universities. So, save up for some Weissbier and bratwurst and head to Germany for the experience of a lifetime! Willkommen an alle!

This article was first published on


Written by

The global online meeting point for students and schools in over 210 countries

Visit website

Got a story to share? Become an EHL Insights contributor

Learn More


Do you want to gain professional experience and learn the new skills needed?

By earning our two top hospitality degrees, you will enjoy the hotel management education of the future. Learn more and download the brochure.