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Top 10 Places in the World to Study Abroad - 2020

Welcome to our official 2020 rankings for Top 10 Places in the World 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 countries 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 rankings for Europe

 Check out the 2020 rankings for Asia

 Read more about the rationale behind the rankings

Top 10 Places in the World to Study Abroad - 2020

#10 - France

🌍

Ranked #7 in Europe

🍴

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #7 in the World

💬

To learn a new language

Ranked #9 in the World

At #10 on our list is a country where its cuisine, culture, and wine can all be described in one word: rich! For students who want to immerse themselves in a new culture, France has a lot to offer. The French pride themselves on their food and wine, with the latter closely tied to the different regions, or terroir, that contribute to the distinctiveness of every bottle. While each region in France is as distinct as its wine, Paris represents what France is famous for: fashion, food, art, and romance. While Paris is always a good idea, you can find immersive student life in other cities too, like Lille, Toulouse, Grenoble, or Lyon. 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

#9 - Spain

🌍

Ranked #6 in Europe

🍴

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #1 in the World

🎒

To have an adventure

Ranked #3 in the World

A popular choice among students, Spain is the favorite for those looking to experience a new culture or lifestyle. Whether you're sampling tapas on the streets of Seville or exploring one-of-a-kind Gaudí architecture in Barcelona, there are lots of opportunities to soak up everything Spain has to offer. For adventure seekers, Spain provides many opportunities: Take a train through the Moorish cities of Andalucia, trek from mountain to sea in Valencia, or dance the night away on the island of Ibiza. With universities founded as far back as 1218, Spain offers you a wide variety of study opportunities to choose from. Your next big adventure could be waiting for you in Spain, so why not take the plunge?

Browse programs in Spain

#8 - United Kingdom

🌍

Ranked #5 in Europe

🎓

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #2 in the World

🍴

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #4 in the World

From the bustling urban environment of London to the medieval streets of Edinburgh, study abroad students are guaranteed to fall in love with the United Kingdom. Thanks to famous universities like Oxford and Cambridge and the many quality universities across the country, it scored second for access to higher quality teaching. With universities in almost every city, you're guaranteed access to exciting student life! Ranked fourth in the world for its culture and lifestyle, there's lots to do outside of the classroom. From afternoon teas to pints in the pub, from castles on the hill to towering highlands, from bangers and mash to fish and chips, you're guaranteed a royal experience in the UK.

Browse programs in the United Kingdom

#7 - The Netherlands

🌍

Ranked #4 in Europe

💖

To develop myself personally

Ranked #6 in the World

🎓

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #6 in the World

If cozy cafes, expansive tulip fields, and canal-side walks pique your interest, the Netherlands should be your next study abroad destination! Known for their very high English proficiency, Dutch universities offer many courses in English so there are plenty of opportunities for international students to find their perfect program. If English is your native language, Dutch is also considered one of the easiest languages to learn! For the thrifty student, the flat landscape of the Netherlands means people bike everywhere. It's also an extremely tolerant country, so you can feel free to express yourself in the country that ranked sixth in personal development.

Browse programs in the Netherlands

#6 - Sweden

🌍

Ranked #3 in Europe

👩‍💼

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #1 in the World

🎓

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #7 in the World

The Scandinavian country known for its flat-pack furniture, meatballs, and ABBA has so much more to offer. You'll find the biggest universities in Stockholm, Uppsala, and Lund, but there are over 30 universities to choose from. Ranking first for those with big career goals, Sweden's rapidly growing start-up scene and the country's high English proficiency means international students have lots of opportunities after graduation. Celebrate like a Swede by dancing around a maypole during the summer, eating cream-stuffed buns on Fat Tuesday, or simply sunbathing in the islands of the archipelago. A winter wonderland renowned for its innovation, Sweden has a lot to offer students abroad.

Browse programs in Sweden

#5 - United States

🌎

Ranked #2 in North America

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To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #5 in the World

🎓

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #5 in the World

For many students looking to travel abroad, the United States provides endless opportunities to find your perfect study abroad experience. Stretched between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, this vast country provides a unique experience in each individual state. Calling the United States the land of opportunities may not be an exaggeration: the country is ranked fifth in the world for access to higher quality teaching and culture and lifestyle! If you wanna have some fun between classes, this is a great option. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun on the Californian coast, sample the best tacos in Texas, or work your way to Wall Street in New York, why not make the “home of the brave” your home, too?

Browse programs in the United States

#4 - Switzerland

🌍

Ranked #2 in Europe

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To develop myself personally

Ranked #3 in the World

🎒

To have an adventure

Ranked #10 in the World

In Switzerland, the quality of life is high and so is the quality of education. While the Swiss are internationally recognized for their chocolate, cheese, watches, and army knives, did you know their universities are also of the highest degree? Offering an innovative environment for students and researchers, Swiss universities are consistently highly ranked. Home to the European headquarters of the UN, Switzerland's large international population makes it easy for students abroad to meet people from all over the world. A gorgeous country rich in stunning views and world class cities, Switzerland is also considered one of the safest countries in the world, so students can always feel comfortable exploring their new home.

Browse programs in Switzerland

#3 - Germany

🌍

Ranked #1

In Europe

🎓

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #1 in the World

👨‍💼

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #6 in the World

Third in the world and first in Europe, Germany is a popular choice for studying abroad. Whether you're interested in the urban vibes of cities like Munich, Berlin, or Frankfurt or the fairy tale towns of Marburg and Freiburg, you're guaranteed a world class education at a great price! International students, regardless of EU citizenship, can study at the undergraduate or graduate level in Germany for free. 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

#2 - Australia

🌏

Ranked #1

In Oceania

👋

To make new friends / widen my professional network

Ranked #3 in the World

🎓

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #3 in the World

Take a trip “Down Under” and discover why Australia is a great choice for an exceptional study abroad experience. With nine distinctive regions and twenty UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Great Barrier Reef and the Sydney Opera House, there's so much to explore. Whether you want to be near the tranquility of the Gold Coast beaches or the adventure of the Australian Alps, you'll surely find your home in Australia. Ranking third in access to higher quality education, Australia boasts a number of top universities in the cities of Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Australia also ranked third for the ability to make new friends and seventh in personal development, proving the country has more to offer than just a great education. 

Browse programs in Australia

#1 - Canada

🌎

Ranked #1 in North America

🎓

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #3 in the World

💬

To learn a new language

Ranked #3 in the World

Known for its untouched natural beauty, friendly and welcoming locals, and a culture of tolerance and diversity, Canada is a clear choice for students looking to study abroad. Canadian universities are known for their technological innovations, especially in the fields of computer and information technologies. While the costs of tuition are significantly lower, its universities can rival those of the US or UK. Thanks to their policy of multiculturalism, Canada is very diverse and welcomes people from all over the world. Most Canadians speak English, but French is the mother tongue of a fifth of the population so it's a great place to brush up on both languages. There's also lots to discover outside of the classroom, especially for nature lovers who can hike, climb, ski, and swim their way through its vast wilderness. You can do all of this knowing that Canada is also considered a safe and friendly environment!

Browse programs in Canada


educations.com study abroad country rankings 2020 - Global

Last update: 28 Jan 2020

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