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Top 10 Study Abroad Destinations

Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff

October 17, 2012
Filed Under Education, Places 

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study abroad destinationsContributed by Info Guru Samantha Rose

It’s that time when students head back to college; some starting out as freshman.

Four years fly by and it’s hard to imagine not spending even a single semester deep in classwork and extracurriculars. Yet, it’s never too early to start planning for study abroad. A record number of students have opted to spend either a semester or full year abroad. The number of American students who choose to study abroad has more than tripled in the last twenty years.

Study abroad is a chance for students to increase the breadth of their curriculum by honing language skills through immersion or studying ancient artifacts only seen in books in person. A study abroad experience allows students to compete in an ever-globalizing market. In order to enhance an appreciation for international connections, students are urged to consider studying abroad. With a host of universities and colleges across the globe it’s tough to pick just one place to travel. Here are the top ten study abroad destinations in recent years.


10. Delhi, India

Delhi, India

India is often overlooked by students planning to study abroad. This country’s rich history should not be forgotten. The many metropolises of India are centers for cultural enrichment.

Delhi, in particular, is the second largest metropolis of India. Located in northern India, this city has long hot summers and short mild winters. Students looking to study abroad in India should have an interest in Hindi since the language of instruction is either English or Hindi. Delhi’s culture has been influenced by its association as capital of India leading to the creation of many significant monuments within the city. 1200 heritage buildings and 175 monuments are designated as national heritage sites in Delhi. The unique cuisine of Delhi have inspired popular dishes known worldwide such as Kebab, Butter chicken, Jalebi, chaat and tandoori food. Students studying in Delhi often come away with a deeper respect for the oft forgotten land of culture and beauty.

9. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland is a mixture of fertile farmland, jagged cliffs and mountains, and cultured cities. Part of the United Kingdom, Scotland is a country occupying the northern portion of the island of Great Britain.

Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital and second largest city. The city is one of Europe’s largest financial centers as well as the first UNESCO City of Literature. Edinburgh has a long literary tradition with world-famous authors like Robert Louis Balfour, Kenneth Grahame, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and J.K. Rowling as residents. The city has a number of pubs, clubs and restaurants. Students with an interest in history and medieval studies are sure to find enjoyment in the historical castles and festivals celebrated by burning Viking ships. As a bonus for female students, Edinburgh is the top UK city for single male travelers.

8. Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong, China

China’s prominence in the economic market has led to a rise in the number of students choosing to study abroad there. Learning one of the Chinese languages is incredibly challenging but rewarding. The first step to international fluency rests with learning a foreign language, and Chinese is an increasingly important language with the largest number of native speakers in the world.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region located within the People’s Republic of China. Situated on China’s south coast, Hong Kong is known for its expansive skyline. The city is described as the place where “East meets West,” following the colonial influence of Britain’s occupation after the First Opium War. Today, the culture of Hong Kong is entirely its own. A global leader of financial centers, Hong Kong has a capitalist economy characterized by low taxation and free trade. The University of Hong Kong, ranked fourth in Asia in 2010, was described as a “world-class comprehensive research university” by Quacquarelli Symonds.

7. Kyoto, Japan

 Kyoto, Japan

The “Land of the Rising Sun,” Japan has a culture as diverse as its residents. Japan is comprised of breathtaking scenery with more than 70% of the land carved from mountains. Despite Japan’s small island size, it is not to be underestimated in the global market. Japan is a major economic powerhouse.

Kyoto was formerly the imperial capital of Japan but is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture. This compact city is bursting with history. Kyoto has 2000 religious places including 1600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines. Palaces, gardens, and imperial architecture intertwine with the natural landscapes. Kyoto is renowned for its Japanese delicacies such as the traditional kaiseki ryori, a meal placing emphasis on subtle flavors and local ingredients. Students will find that the modern way of Japanese life draws heavily upon tradition. A city with elegance and beauty, Kyoto should inspire students to appreciate a country with as much dedication to the 21st century as it has for the customs of long ago.

6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Brazil is the largest country in South America occupying the area along the eastern coast. It is a major destination for students wanting to immerse in the Portuguese language. In fact, Brazil is the largest Lusophone country in the world!

Rio de Janeiro is the capital city of the State of Rio de Jeaneiro and second largest city of Brazil. Nicknamed the “Marvelous City,” Rio has the second largest GDP in the country, is headquarters to two major Brazilian companies – Petrobras and Vale, is the largest conglomerate of media and communications in Latin America. Rio is also the center of education with universities and institutions accounting for 17% of national scientific production. With carnival celebrations and beautiful beaches it’s no wonder Rio attracts student’s interested in studying in South America. In 2016 Rio will host the Summer Olympics, making it even more attractive for students planning to study abroad in the summer of 2016.

5. Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

If Oktoberfest, a 16-day festival annually held in Munich and the world’s largest fair, sounds like a party then perhaps you should consider studying in Germany. Students studying German have only a few options for study abroad. Germany will not disappoint students looking to perfect their language skills. The country has undergone dramatic changes in the past few decades, ensuring an interesting historical and cultural experience.

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany. It is located in northeastern Germany with a population of about 3.5 million residents. One third of Berlin is composed of wilderness in the form of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes. This area is a great destination for students interested in culture, politics, media and science. Berlin is a city of cultural dominance with renowned universities, research institutions, museums, and orchestras. The intermingled beauty of urban downtown and historical landmarks makes Berlin a hotspot for international film productions such as the Bond movie Octopussy.

4. Paris, France

 Paris, France

Ah, Paris the “City of Light,” so termed because it was the center of education and ideas during the Age of Enlightenment. Not to mention French, the language of love. There’s a good reason why Paris is a top destination for study abroad opportunities.

Paris, the capital city of France, is home to fashion, croissants, the Eiffel Tower, and the lovely Champs- Élysées. More than 42 million tourists visit the city and its surrounding suburbs annually. Paris is perfect for students interested in perfecting their French with study abroad programs focused on immersion in the French language and culture. Paris has about seventeen public universities, comprising the largest concentration of college students in all of Europe. A student’s city, Paris has a lively night life and frequent cultural events throughout the year.

3. Barcelona, Spain

 Barcelona, Spain

Spain is a veritable solution for college students wanting to experience multiple cities within their stay. As a backpacker’s paradise, Spain offers beauty, history, and hospitality to its visitors. Many students pursuing Spanish either as a second language or as their native tongue find immersion in Spain critical to achieving fluency.

Barcelona, the capital city of Catalonia, is the second largest city in the country. First founded as a Roman city, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage. Barcelona offers immersion programs for students with advanced skills in Spanish or Catalan. Students pursuing studies in the arts and architecture find Barcelona particularly accommodating. Famous Roman ruins are exposed under the Plaça del Rei with Roman wall fragments incorporated into the nearby cathedral.

2. Bologna, Italy

 Bologna, Italy

Italy is known for its extensive political and religious history. The beauty of Italy is coupled with the country’s expertise in the fields of history, religion, fashion, and art. Popular tourist destinations include Rome, Venice and Florence. Yet, Europe’s oldest university founded in 1088 is in Bologna, Italy.

Bologna is known as a bustling cosmopolitan Italian college city. The city is famous for its historical importance as an urban center under the Etruscans, Celts, Romans, and then as a free municipality. A hodgepodge of monuments and architectural styles, Bologna has a medieval street plan, Roman fountains, ancient towers and red and orange brick buildings. Thousands of students flock to Bologna for the rich social and cultural life of the college city. Immersion through Italian courses and frequent trips to educational sites are the epitome of an ideal study abroad destination.

1. London, England

London, England

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland consists of the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and numerous smaller islands. The UK is a country with England, Scotland, Wales, and (controversially) Northern Ireland also referred to as countries. The term “countries within a country” has been used as a way of describing the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom continues to be the greatest attractor for American students. The UK includes Students often don’t have to meet language requirements to study in English-speaking universities. For students who rather pursue international studies without a focus on language immersion a location in the UK fits the bill.

London is the capital city of England and the largest metropolitan area in the UK. This city, steeped in history, has grown to be a leading global force in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, and research industries. Famous landmarks that should be first on your list include Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye.



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