Choosing where to study abroad is an exciting yet daunting decision for international students. With a wealth of destinations offering diverse cultures, academic opportunities, and life experiences, finding the best places to study abroad can be challenging. A recent survey of nearly 24,000 prospective international students from over 230 countries sheds light on the top-rated study abroad locations for 2023, evaluating countries across high-quality teaching, achieving career goals, personal development, culture and lifestyle, networking prospects, language learning, and adventure.

This comprehensive breakdown ranks the top 10 countries for international education based on these seven key factors. From popular European hubs to emerging Asian powerhouses and renowned Anglo destinations, the insights unveiled provide a roadmap for students seeking the ideal study abroad experience, whether driven by academic excellence, cultural immersion, personal growth, or a thirst for adventure.

Top 10 Best Places to Study Abroad in 2024


According to the survey findings, the top 10 study abroad destinations for 2023 are:

  1. United Kingdom
  2. United States
  3. Italy
  4. France
  5. Japan
  6. Spain
  7. Canada
  8. Greece
  9. Germany
  10. Brazil

Check out our in-depth step-by-step guide on how to study abroad.

Economic Snapshot

Country GDP (Trillion USD) Population (Million) GDP per Capita (PPP USD)
United Kingdom $3.07 67.0 $54,603
United States $25.5 333 $76,399
Italy $2.01 58.9 $51,865
France $2.78 67.9 $55,493
Japan $4.23 125 $45,573
Spain $1.40 47.6 $45,825
Canada $2.14 38.9 $58,400
Greece $0.219 10.6 $36,835
Germany $4.07 84.1 $63,150
Brazil $1.92 215 $17,822

This ranking is based on a survey of nearly 24,000 prospective international students from over 230 countries, focusing on seven key factors: high-quality teaching, achieving career goals, personal development, culture and lifestyle, networking prospects, language learning, and adventure.

Leading Destinations for Arts and Humanities Programs Abroad

Leading Destinations for Arts and Humanities Programs Abroad

For students seeking top-notch arts and humanities programs abroad, several countries stand out as leading destinations. The United States boasts an impressive presence, with 7 universities ranked in the top 10 and 12 in the top 20 for arts and humanities by the QS World University Rankings 2021. The United Kingdom’s University of Oxford claims the top spot globally, while 11 other UK universities secure positions within the top 50 for this field.

Australia emerges as another prominent choice, with 6 of its universities ranking among the top 100 for arts and humanities, according to both QS and Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021. Germany, too, showcases its academic prowess, with 8 universities in the top 150 and 7 in the top 100, respectively, as per the same ranking systems.

Renowned Canadian Institutions

Canada’s higher education landscape offers exceptional opportunities for arts and humanities enthusiasts. The University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, and McGill University are lauded as some of the nation’s finest institutions in this domain, consistently ranking highly in global university rankings by QS and Times Higher Education.

Top Destinations for STEM Education and Research

Top Destinations for STEM Education

For students seeking world-class STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education and research opportunities, several countries emerge as top destinations. The United States boasts a robust STEM ecosystem, with prestigious institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) leading the way. With a high demand for STEM professionals, projected growth of 10% in STEM occupations from 2019-2029, the country offers lucrative scholarships, including SME Education Foundation Scholarships ($1,000-$6,000/year), Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship ($10,000/year for 4 years), and Bank of Canada Scholarships ($4,000/year for 4 years).

The United Kingdom is another STEM powerhouse, home to renowned universities like the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. It provides scholarships such as the Charles Labtiuk Scholarship (full tuition + £15,000/year), Brower Youth Awards ($3,000 + leadership training), and Society of Women Engineers Scholarship ($1,000-$10,000/year).

Rising STEM Hubs

China is rapidly emerging as a STEM education hub, with top universities like Tsinghua University, Peking University, and Fudan University. The country offers scholarships like the Chinese Government Scholarship, Belt and Road Initiative Scholarship, and Confucius Institute Scholarship to attract international students.

Specialized Experiential STEM Programs Abroad

For students seeking immersive, hands-on STEM education experiences abroad, several specialized programs offer unique opportunities to gain practical knowledge and skills. Here are some notable options:

Experiential STEM Programs

  1. Business + Technology (Tallinn, Estonia): This 19-week program offers 12-18 semester credits and provides a cost of $19,850. Students can explore the intersection of business and technology in a dynamic European setting [5].
  2. Summer STEM + Society (Yucatán, Mexico): A 6-week program offering 6-7 semester credits at a cost of $5,450. Participants delve into the societal impacts of STEM fields while immersing themselves in the rich culture of the Yucatán region [5].
  3. Summer Wildlife Ecology + Conservation (Gaborone, Botswana): An 8-week program offering 10 semester credits for $8,250. Students gain hands-on experience in wildlife ecology and conservation efforts in the heart of Southern Africa [5].
Program Duration Credits Cost
Business + Technology (Tallinn, Estonia) 19 weeks 12-18 $19,850
Summer STEM + Society (Yucatán, Mexico) 6 weeks 6-7 $5,450
Summer Wildlife Ecology + Conservation (Gaborone, Botswana) 8 weeks 10 $8,250

These experiential programs provide unique opportunities for students to gain practical knowledge, develop essential skills, and explore diverse cultures while pursuing their STEM interests abroad.

Scholarships and Financial Aid for International Education

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Numerous organizations offer scholarships and financial aid to support students pursuing international education opportunities. Here are some notable options:

Scholarships for U.S. Students

  1. The Fund for Education Abroad offers scholarships ranging from $1,250 to $10,000 for undergraduates, with preference for underrepresented students.
  2. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship provides $3,000 for summer, $4,000 for semester, and $5,000 for academic year programs for U.S. undergraduates with financial need.
  3. CIEE Study Abroad Scholarships & Grants offer up to $2,000 per student for minority students from the U.S.
  4. USAC Scholarships vary in amount and are available for students with financial need enrolled in USAC programs.
  5. The Intern Group Global Leadership Grants provide varying amounts for students and recent graduates interested in remote internships.

Provider-Specific Scholarships

Scholarship Amount
CEA Study Abroad Scholarships $400 – $1,000 for summer, $500 – $3,000 for semester/year programs
AIFS Study Abroad Scholarships & Grants $400 – $1,000
SIT Study Abroad Scholarships $500 – $3,000 for summer, $500 – $5,000 for semester programs

Other notable scholarships include the Critical Language Scholarship, Golden Key Scholarships, Corinne Jeannine Schillings Scholarships, Tortuga Backpacks Study Abroad Scholarship, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation Scholarship, and Generation Google Scholarship.

Top Destinations for Cultural Immersion Abroad

Destinations for Cultural Immersion Abroad

For students seeking an immersive cultural experience while studying abroad, several countries offer unique opportunities to explore diverse traditions, customs, and ways of life. Here are some notable destinations renowned for their rich cultural heritage:

  1. India: A vibrant melting pot of ancient civilizations, India offers a captivating blend of spirituality, art, cuisine, and festivals. From the majestic Taj Mahal to the colorful Holi celebrations, India promises an unforgettable cultural journey.
  2. Peru: Home to the iconic Machu Picchu and the legacy of the Inca Empire, Peru boasts a fascinating indigenous culture intertwined with Spanish colonial influences. Exploring the Sacred Valley and immersing oneself in the local traditions can be a transformative experience.
  3. Morocco: Situated at the crossroads of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, Morocco’s unique blend of Berber, Arab, and European influences creates a mesmerizing cultural tapestry. From the bustling souks of Marrakech to the tranquil Sahara Desert, Morocco offers a captivating cultural odyssey.
Destination Cultural Highlights
India Taj Mahal, Holi Festival, Yoga, Ayurveda, Diverse Cuisines
Peru Machu Picchu, Inca Trails, Andean Textiles, Indigenous Traditions
Morocco Marrakech Souks, Sahara Desert, Berber Culture, Moroccan Architecture

Immersing oneself in these vibrant cultures can foster a deeper appreciation for diversity, broaden perspectives, and create lasting memories that enrich personal growth and global understanding.

Top Destinations for Immersive Cultural Experiences Abroad

According to a recent survey, the top 10 best places in the world to study abroad in 2024 are:

  1. Germany
  2. United States
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Australia
  5. France
  6. Canada
  7. Spain
  8. The Netherlands
  9. Switzerland
  10. Denmark

These rankings are based on seven key factors: high-quality teaching, achieving career goals, personal development, culture and lifestyle, opportunities to network or make new friends, language learning, and adventure.

Detailed Guide About Study abroad Cost and benefits 

Top Destinations for Specific Factors

Country Ranking
Denmark #3 in the world for personal development, #7 in Europe overall
Switzerland #5 in the world for achieving career goals, #6 in the world for personal development
The Netherlands #2 in the world for achieving career goals, #4 in the world for personal development
Spain #1 in the world for opportunities to network and make new friends, #3 in the world for culture and lifestyle
Canada #3 in the world for achieving career goals, #4 in the world for language learning, #3 in the world for opportunities to network and make new friends
France #1 in the world for adventure, #2 in the world for culture and lifestyle
United Kingdom #1 in the world for high-quality teaching, #6 in the world for culture and lifestyle
United States #6 in the world for quality of teaching, #6 in the world for adventure
Germany #3 in the world for high-quality teaching, #2 in Europe for achieving career goals, #6 in Europe for adventure

These rankings highlight the diverse strengths of various countries, catering to different priorities and preferences of international students seeking a well-rounded study abroad experience.

Essential Considerations for Studying Abroad

Studying abroad can be an enriching yet challenging experience. Proper planning and preparation are crucial to ensure a safe and successful journey. One important aspect is securing financial assistance, and education loans can be a viable option to cover the holistic cost of education. Avanse Financial Services provides education loans specifically designed for this purpose [3].

Before embarking on the study abroad journey, it is essential to prioritize health and safety. Experts recommend getting a complete physical, eye exam, and dental check-up [13]. Additionally, researching and obtaining necessary immunizations and inoculations can protect against potential illnesses in the host country [13].

While exploring new cultures and cuisines is an integral part of the study abroad experience, it is crucial to exercise caution. Understanding local customs, laws, and codes of conduct can help avoid potential issues [13]. Being aware of water and food safety measures, as well as safe modes of transportation, can mitigate risks of accidents or illnesses [13]. It is also advisable to research the current political, cultural, and social climate of the host country to ensure a well-informed and mindful experience [13].


Studying abroad offers a transformative opportunity for personal growth, academic enrichment, and cultural immersion. The diverse range of destinations highlighted in this comprehensive breakdown caters to various interests, from top-notch academic programs and cutting-edge research facilities to immersive cultural experiences and adventurous explorations. Whether pursuing STEM education, artistic endeavors, or seeking personal development, students have a wealth of options to choose from across continents.

Ultimately, the decision of where to study abroad should align with individual goals, aspirations, and priorities. By carefully considering the factors that resonate most, prospective international students can embark on a journey that not only expands their academic horizons but also cultivates a deeper appreciation for global perspectives, fostering personal growth and creating lasting memories. The world is a classroom waiting to be explored, and the opportunities for learning, self-discovery, and cross-cultural connections are boundless for those willing to embrace the adventure.

FAQs  for The Best Places to Study Abroad

  1. Where are the top destinations for studying abroad? Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Ireland, Costa Rica, and Greece are among the most popular destinations for studying abroad. In the academic year 2021–22, Italy attracted 30,610 students, the UK hosted 27,503, Spain welcomed 25,348, and France had 14,397 international students.
  2. What are the most popular courses to pursue while studying abroad? Students often choose to study Engineering, Computer Science, Information Technology, Business Administration, Medicine, Law, Social Sciences, and Hospitality and Tourism when they go abroad for their higher education.
  3. How can I afford to study abroad if I have limited financial resources? To finance your study abroad when funds are tight, start by consulting with your college’s financial aid office. Applying for scholarships specifically for study abroad can also be beneficial. Planning a monthly budget and seeking out free entertainment and meals can further help manage expenses.
  4. Which country is considered the best for studying abroad and why? Germany is highly regarded as one of the best countries for studying abroad, thanks to its almost free, high-quality education offered at top universities like the Technical University of München. Germany’s affordability and educational standards make it a prime choice alongside other popular destinations like the UK, USA, Australia, and Canada.


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