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 in Europe 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 Europe to study abroad - 2023
- Ranked #8 in the world
- Personal development – ranked #1 in Europe
- Achieving career goals – ranked #9 in Europe
Want to spend your winter in a real-life snow globe? Finland is one of the best countries for international students who yearn for snow-capped mountains, forest-covered valleys, and an endless supply of sapphire lakes to explore. While you can explore Arctic Finland in all seasons, stick around in the winter to see the aurora borealis and christmas markets that pair perfectly with the snowy surroundings. Visit Helsinki to get a feel for the sharp modern architecture and unique influences on Finnish culture, and don’t forget to explore some of the 50,000 islands along the coast. Finland is widely known as the world’s happiest country, and first on our list for personal development. Ready to experience it yourself? Tervetuloa suomeen!
- Ranked #15 in the world
- Personal development – ranked #2 in the world
- Achieving career goals – ranked #9 in the world
Denmark is not only one of the best countries to study in Europe, but also the coziest due to the cultural practice of hygge, cozy social gatherings with family and friends. Looking for some inspiration? Creativity and innovation are huge focuses in and out of Danish classrooms. For example, 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. So, hop on 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
- Ranked #13 in the world
- Culture and lifestyle– ranked #1 in the world
- Adventure – ranked #3 in Europe
Italy is likely on most of the world’s bucket list, and not just for the pizza, pasta, and gelato. The magnificent villas of Lake Como and spectacular trails through Cinque Terre are only a start. Italy is also one of the best places in Europe for its rich history. Step into ancient times at the Colosseum in Rome and see the Sistine Chapel with your own eyes in 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 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 and adventure, Italia is the place for you.
- Ranked #11 in the world
- Personal development – ranked #8 in the world
- Achieving career goals – ranked #7 in Europe
This Scandinavian country is one of the best places in Europe for outdoor enthusiasts. 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! In winter, you can go cross-country skiing, dip in saunas, or head inside candle-lit cafes for a social coffee and pastry break with friends, called a fika. 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 Stockholm, Gothenburg, Uppsala, or Lund, you’ll have an incredible experience. If you're a Swedish student, you can get help from Sweden's largest agency helping students study abroad.
- Ranked #9 in the world
- Culture and lifestyle – ranked #2 in the world
- Adventure – ranked #1 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 should be at the top of your personal list of the best countries to study in Europe. ¡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 taste the wines of La Rioja or head to southern Spain, sure to impress with its signature Flamenco music and Moorish influence. 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.
- Ranked #8 in the world
- Achieving career goals – ranked #4 in Europe
- Personal development – ranked #3 in the world
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 being one of the best countries to study abroad, Switzerland is also famous for being one of the best places in Europe to catch stunning views and go skiing in the Alps. Both Swiss cities and the smaller towns hold sights and histories that are bound to leave you speechless. As a highly-ranked country for achieving career goals, this country is also known for having one of the most advanced and complex economies in the world. 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!
4. The Netherlands
- Ranked #7 in the world
- Adventure – ranked #4 in Europe
- Achieving career goals – ranked #2 in the world
A culture of entrepreneurship and engineering, the Dutch are open-minded and free-spirited with a problem-solving attitude. The Netherlands is also one of the best places to study in Europe if you’re interested in learning about history and art. The Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank Museum are must-see cultural highlights. With a reputable higher education system 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 on your days off. So, experience student life in a land famous for windmills and tulips!
- Ranked #6 in the world
- Adventure – ranked #4 in Europe
- High-quality teaching – ranked #2 in Europe
Deutschland is consistently named as one of the best countries for international students who want to study abroad in Europe each year. Sharing its borders with eleven other countries, Germany is truly the center of it all. Dirndl and lederhosen at Oktoberfest might immediately come to mind, but there are even more iconic German activities to discover. Explore the enchanting mountains of Bavaria, fairytale castles along the Rhine, serene Baltic coastlines, and the lakes of Mecklenburg for dreamlike experiences. 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. So, save up for some Weissbier and bratwurst and head to Germany for the experience of a lifetime! Willkommen an alle!
- Ranked #5 in the world
- Adventure – ranked #2 in Europe
- High-quality teaching – ranked #1 in Europe
This country is a dream come true for any history, cuisine, or art enthusiast. France 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. France is also one of the best countries for international students hoping to try out world-renowned cuisine. Anything from aromatic cheeses to hearty stews and seaside mussels can be paired perfectly to a specific bottle of French vin. 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.
1. The United Kingdom
- Ranked #1 in the world
- High-quality teaching– ranked #1 in the world
- Achieving career goals – ranked #3 in Europe
It’s indisputable that the United Kingdom is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world. It's also well known that the United Kingdom is home to some of the best countries for international students 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 United Kingdom feels like it’s straight out of a storybook. You can sip on tea, walk through ancient historical ruins, and visit world-class museums all in the same day. As home to many world-class sports, a buzzing social scene, and easy access for traveling all over the world, it’s no wonder that students flock to the United Kingdom as the best country in Europe to study abroad! Cheers!