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Top 10 Places in Europe to Study Abroad - 2020

Welcome to our official 2020 rankings for Top 10 Places in Europe to Study Abroad!

In our survey of over 30,000 international students, most of you told us that, when deciding where to study abroad, you choose country first over a university or specific type of program. You also told us what you consider the most important factors when choosing a study abroad destination. We used your feedback to create our list ranking the best places in Europe to study abroad in 2020!

The rankings are based on these 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

Want to learn more?

 Check out the 2020 Global rankings

 Check out the 2020 rankings for Asia

 Read more about the rationale behind the rankings

Top 10 Places in Europe to Study Abroad - 2020

#10 - Portugal

🌎

Ranked #14 

in the world

🎒

To have an adventure

Ranked #1 in Europe

🍴

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #2 in Europe

If you’re looking to soak up some sun between studies, look no further than Portugal! Not only is the country home to some of the best beaches in the world, you can enjoy them year-round thanks to over 300 days of sunshine per year. Feeling sporty? Portugal is known for its football, surfing, and golf courses. It also ranks second in Europe for experiencing a new culture or lifestyle. Embrace the Portuguese lifestyle by sampling new foods like port wine and regional specialties, witnessing its architectural triumphs, and experiencing a nightlife like no other. Most importantly, Portugal ranks first in Europe for students seeking adventure! Take the plunge and see what Portugal has to offer you during your studies abroad.

Browse programs in Portugal

#9 - Belgium

🌎

Ranked #13

in the world

💬

To learn a new language

Ranked #5 in Europe

🎒

To have an adventure

Ranked #8 in Europe

If you want to study in Europe, why not go where all the action is? As the official headquarters of the European Union, Belgium has long been considered the heart of Western Europe. Rich in beauty and culture, this small nation’s heritage is visible in some of the most beautiful settings Europe has to offer. From picturesque medieval towns to renaissance architecture, Belgium is not only a great place to study abroad, it’s a must-see travel destination! As one of the friendliest countries in Europe, you’re sure to feel welcome as you sample mouthwatering foods like pommes frites and Belgian waffles in one of their famous student cities. Plus, if you’re looking to learn a language you can choose between French, German, or Dutch, which are all spoken regionally. Discover the diversity and beauty of Europe in Belgium.

Browse programs in Belgium

#8 - Denmark

🌎

Ranked #12

in the world

💖

To develop myself personally

Ranked #2 in Europe

👩‍💼

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #3 in Europe

Contrary to popular belief, Disneyland may not be the happiest place on Earth! If you want to study where the people are happy and the quality of life is high, look no further than Denmark. The welcoming Danish universities are designed to promote creativity, innovation, and analytical and critical thinking. This northern seaside paradise is also known for its environmentalism. Bikes are a primary form of transportation in the relatively-flat cities, and more than 50% of Copenhageners cycle to and from work every day. All of that biking is great for your physical health, but what about your mental health? The Danes have a word for it: Hygge! It’s a term that means creating cozy social gatherings and intimate get-togethers with family and friends. Especially for students studying abroad, it can make a huge difference to feel a sense of family and togetherness even when you’re far from home.

Browse programs in Denmark

#7 - France

🌎

Ranked #10

in the world

💬

To learn a new language

Ranked #1 in Europe

🍴

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #6 in Europe

If you dream of living in the capital of fine wine and fashion, book your study abroad destination to France immediately! The French pride themselves on their cultural influence, and it’s easy to see why: Paris is home to the world’s largest and most-visited art museum, many high-end fashion houses, and some of the best universities in the world. Their cuisine, from aromatic cheeses to hearty stews to seaside mussels, is world-renowned and pairs perfectly with their diverse wines. While basic French will serve you well in Paris, smaller towns like Lille, Toulouse, Grenoble, or Lyon provide an immersive language experience. If you see yourself on a picnic blanket on the Champ de Mars or basking on the beaches of Nice, fast-track yourself to France.

Browse programs in France

#6 - Spain

🌎

Ranked #9

in the world

🍴

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #1 in Europe

🎒

To have an adventure

Ranked #3 in Europe

After a long day of studying, lively and colorful Spain is just what the doctor ordered! Ranked first in Europe for its culture and lifestyle, Spain has lots of food, fashion, art, history, and culture to explore. Hop between tapas bars with your new friends, participate in unique festivals around the country, put on your dancing shoes and try flamenco, or cheer on your favorite football team. Take a break from all the excitement by wandering the cities and towns and soaking in all the history and architectural wonders. If you're looking for a dynamic, exciting, culturally rich experience, vamos a España!

Browse programs in Spain

#5 - United Kingdom

🌎

Ranked #8

in the world

🎓

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #2 in Europe

👋

To make new friends / widen my professional network

Ranked #4 in Europe

Ah, the United Kingdom… is there a more classic depiction of university life than students strolling across the grand campuses of Cambridge or Oxford? Home to the oldest university in the English speaking world, the UK is an iconic place to study abroad. Its teaching quality has been ranked second in Europe, and it boasts one of the highest student satisfaction rates among English speaking countries. Students flock to the UK for the incredible cultural experience, best universities, and the possibilities after graduation. If you want to spend your weekends road tripping through the Scottish Highlands, enjoying live music in a pub with friends, or immersed in your favorite literature at some of the best libraries in the world, the UK welcomes you!

Browse programs in the UK

#4 - The Netherlands

🌎

Ranked #7

in the world

🎓

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #3 in Europe

💖

To develop myself personally

Ranked #6 in Europe

If cozy cafes, expansive tulip fields, and shimmering canals inspire you, the Netherlands should be your next study abroad destination! Thanks to the country's very high English proficiency, there's a diverse range of English-language programs to choose from. With one of the oldest and most reputable higher education systems in the world and a great student life, the Netherlands ranked third for access to higher quality teaching. Thrifty students rejoice: Dutch cities are built for biking! This cheap, easy mode of transportation also keeps you healthy as you indulge in delicious pastries, pancakes, and cheeses. Ranked sixth for personal development, the Netherlands is known for being tolerant and accepting. Come as you are and experience student life in the Netherlands!

Browse programs in the Netherlands

#3 - Sweden

🌎

Ranked #6

in the world

👨‍💼

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #1 in Europe

🎓

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #4 in Europe

You've heard of ABBA and IKEA, but Sweden has so much more to offer students abroad! With a high English language proficiency and the headquarters of companies like H&M and Spotify, Sweden was ranked first in Europe for students who want to achieve their career goals. Before embarking on your new career, graduate from one of the best universities in the world in cities like Uppsala, Stockholm, or Gothenburg. In student towns like Linköping and Lund, you'll find exciting traditions led by student organizations. Outside of the classroom, you'll fall in love with Swedish culture. Pastries and coffee are enjoyed with friends in a ritual called fika, while saunas and freezing dips into the ocean make you feel like a true Viking!

Browse programs in Sweden

#2 - Switzerland

🌎

Ranked #4

in the world

💖

To develop myself personally

Ranked #3 in Europe

🎒

To have an adventure

Ranked #5 in Europe

In close second is Switzerland, a country known for its stunning mountains, delicious cheeses, decadent chocolates, and clean, picturesque towns. Study in Switzerland and you’ll encounter some of the happiest people in the world: Switzerland was ranked sixth in the UN’s World Happiness Index. While it can be expensive to live in Switzerland, tuition at most public universities is the same for all international students, regardless of nationality. This contrasts from most European countries, where EU/EEA citizens pay less than non-EU/EEA students. Depending on the region you choose to study in, you have the opportunity to learn not one but four new languages! Switzerland’s four national languages are German, French, Italian, and Romansh. If you want to experience the beauty of the Swiss Alps, explore beautiful towns, and sample world-renowned cuisine, Switzerland is a great option.

Browse programs in Switzerland

#1 - Germany

🌎

Ranked #3

in the world

🎓

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #1 in Europe

👩‍💼

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #4 in Europe

The top pick for students who want to study abroad in Europe is Germany, home to beer festivals, enchanting castles, giant pretzels, and fast cars! Ranked first for access to higher education, Germany offers a fantastic education and exciting student life in urban centers like Berlin or student cities like Freiburg. Best of all, you can get a world class education for next to nothing since public universities abolished tuition fees for both domestic and international students! Take that tuition money and put it towards a giant mug of Weissbier and a bratwurst, a train ticket to a neighboring European country, or entrance to one of many festivals in the country. The opportunities don't end when you finish your studies. As the largest economy in Europe, Germany is perfectly positioned to help you achieve your career goals!

Browse programs in Germany


educations.com Study Abroad Country Rankings 2020 - Europe

Last update: 28 Jan 2020

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