The place is Europe. The time is now. College students, don’t let this opportunity pass you by—a chance to be free in a foreign country, free of on-campus commitments, part-time jobs, nagging parents. Take a chance on yourself and study abroad in Europe—there are plenty of destinations throughout the continent for all types of travelers!
Even though Europe presents more expensive study abroad destinations (darn you, Euro!), you will find that with careful planning, a dash of determination, and a handful of hard work, you’ll be sipping an espresso on the piazza in no time.
While many countries in Europe usually rank toward the top of the world’s most popular study abroad destinations, there are still many unique and interesting adventures to be had. We recommend these top 5 European countries for your study abroad experience.
Study abroad in Italy to see why this country is one of the world’s top destinations for students and travelers alike. Italy has been a mecca for artists, dreamers, and intellectuals for thousands of years, and study abroad students can observe Italy’s rich history manifested in the bustling metropolis of Rome or the intricate canals of Venice. Tip: Pack a pair of pants that are a size larger, just in case you find yourself overdosing on endless bowls of pasta the whole semester.
England is perfect for the student wishing to experience life in a country with a long-standing, rich history that still holds a large influence on the world today. London, the capital and home to just over 7.5 million people, has a delightful mix of historic buildings and diverse culture. Outside of the metropolitan cities, England is coated in patchwork fields and lined with quaint fishing villages to visit. Of course, opportunities to explore the rest of Europe is only a Chunnel ride away.
Most people think of Ireland as the land of leprechauns and shamrocks, complete with a bustling pub on every corner. No matter how appealing these attributes sound, Ireland is so much more. Perched right above Great Britain on the northwestern tip of Europe, Ireland is a smaller country with a surprising array of attractions and activities for study abroad students. The countless miles of coastline are never farther than 70 miles away from any point on the island, so a day trip to the beach is easier than one might believe!
With the Austrian quality of life consistently top-rated in the world, it’s no wonder that you may want to go check out why! Austrians not only enjoy safe, modern, and lively cities, but also picturesque villages and thriving university towns—all serving as hubs of education and innovation. Warm up your vocal chords for a little yodeling and pack extra winter clothes to take in the beautiful views of the Alps. Studying abroad in Austria is sure to be an experience that won’t disappoint.
Having a more recent turbulent history, studying abroad in Croatia is a natural choice for students wanting a more Eastern European experience. Croatia is known for its stunning coastline, relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle, and rich historical heritage. Students who choose to study abroad in Croatia will find courses taught on a variety of subjects in both English and the local language. Not many people have Croatia on their list, and it’s a real shame—step away from the “Euro-study-abroad-trip-norm” and explore this corner of the continent instead.
Did your dream European destination not make this list? Don’t worry—there are plenty of programs across the continent for you to choose from. No matter where you end up going, the point is that you decided to go—and you’re bound to have a great time. Best of luck and happy travels!
Go Overseas Study Abroad Director Megan Lee has explored a bit of western Europe but looks forward to heading farther inland. She enjoys travel writing, and is constantly in search of spicy food, dark beer, and new cities she’s never heard of. Keep up with Meg on Twitter (@peglegmeg) and Google+.