Cultural Experience | France

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

One of the trickiest things about studying abroad is simply deciding where to go! Here is a list of top tried and true study abroad destinations!

So you want to get up and leave your normal university life for 4 months (or longer!). GREAT!!! I couldn’t think of a better way to spend that time than study abroad. But how to choose where to go? Should you go somewhere you’ve been before? Somewhere you are studying about? Somewhere totally new and different? Really, you should go anywhere that appeals to you, and you can’t really go wrong with… any country. However, per your convenience, I have compiled a list of places that I think are tried and true countries that you are guaranteed to love your experience in.

1. For the Anglophile: The United Kingdom

I know a lot of people who have studied abroad in the UK, and it is actually the most popular study abroad destination. Don’t let the popularity deter you though- it is number 1 for a good reason! Whether you take on the big and fabulous city of London or you spend your time reading and sipping tea in Oxford, you’ll have a perfect time learning to be British.  But you won’t just be exposed to English, the UK possesses a diverse array of cultures too.  You can eat almost any cuisine you could think of in most cities and if you crave to explore the delights of Europe first hand, it’s a short flight or train ride to Europe.

For more on the UK here’s ‘50 Things College Students Should Know about London’

2. For the Artsy Kid: France or Spain

Paris and Madrid are also hot commodities for student travelers. Both of these cities offer a very European study abroad experience. They’re full of art and culture and fascinating people. It would be a semester of living like a local, but also having the opportunity to travel all over Europe. It’s cheaper and easier than you might think. And you might pick up another language.

For more on what to see in Madrid click here.

3. For the Foodie: Italy

Yes, Italy has A LOT more to offer than food, but you will also be eating like a king every. single. meal. So that’s pretty great. And Italy also boasts a gorgeous landscape, fascinating history, and a plethora of adorable little towns that haven’t changed much in the past 200 years. Bonus: Florence is a tried and true study abroad home town.

Get inspired here with ‘Feasting in Florence: A Guide on Where and What to Eat’

4. For the Adventurer: Anywhere in Southeast Asia

Let’s be honest- studying abroad in Europe is certainly an adventure, but leaving the continent and heading off to Asia, Africa, or South America is an entirely different, in the best of ways, experience. Southeast Asian countries are full of the nicest people you will ever meet, easy and cheap to get around in, and so interesting. I recommend checking out Thailand or Vietnam.

More information on South East Asia here: Student Guide to Bangkok

5. For the Geek: Japan

Okay, Japan is actually a great destination for anyone, and everyone. It’s my number 1. I only say geek because Japan is full of the eccentric. At least, the eccentric to anyone who isn’t actually from Japan. Japan has the advantage of being very easy and comfortable to live in, but it is also one of the most unique countries in the world. You will surely love studying abroad in Japan and become a part of a fantastic traditional culture as well as experiencing the sensory overload of Japanese pop culture. You’ll probably sing a lot of karaoke.

Take a look at this: Top 10 Countdown of things you’ll love about Japan

jenna peck japan photo

Walking around Japan!

6. For the Nature Lover: South Africa

South Africa, particularly Cape Town, is a pretty popular destination for students studying abroad. It is pretty obvious why once you see the place. South Africa is a fantastic way to see a part of Africa for anyone interested in visiting the continent. It’s a beautiful and dynamic city with so many different cultures and sorts of people living together in one place. You’ll be able to see incredible landscape, plants and wildlife whether you’re in the city or in the bush.

For More info: 10 Must See Places in Cape Town South Africa on Study Abroad

Naturally there are tons and tons of other places to study abroad that would be amazing. This is simply a beginning of a super long list. But, it is a starting point in thinking about where you might want to go. These are places that either I have been or I have heard and read wonderful things about. As a study abroad fanatic, I can’t tell you enough how much it is the most rewarding part of college, and any country you decide to settle into will teach you more than you could ever learn at any school.

Jenna Peck

Southern Methodist University | 17 stories

Jenna Peck is a senior majoring in History and English at Southern Methodist University from Long Beach, California. She has studied abroad in Italy, England and has recently returned from a voyage around the world on Semester-at-Sea. She loves to travel and really finds it difficult to stay in one place for a long period of time, but when she does she loves to read, explore the world of the internet, blog and find exciting things to do right at home in Dallas, Texas!


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