College is easily the most amazing part of a person’s academic life. It is during this period you get to have the government or your family bankrolling you for a 4-year long party with the hope you will acquire the necessary skills to get a job soon after completing. Now imagine studying in a totally different country without anyone to dictate what you should or not do, isn’t that cool?
We know that picking a destination to study abroad from almost 200 nations spread across the world is far from easy. That is why we created this list of 10 best places to study abroad where you will not only acquire decent education but also live life to the fullest.
#10 Cape Town, South Africa
Having triumphed over problems like apartheid, South Africa emerged to become one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world. Its natural beauty, sandy beaches and game parks are incomparable. Studying in Cape Town would have one feel like they are on a holiday across Africa due to its rich culture. South Africa has eleven official languages!
South Africa is the perfect destination for students interested in pursuing international politics related courses. Due to the nations turbulent history one will be able to learn firsthand about the effects of colonization, apartheid and how people with diverse cultures can peacefully coexist. You will also get to learn about the legislation changes made in 1990’s that forever influenced the country’s history.
Universities in South Africa are categorized in three ways. First we have the traditional universities whose core mandate is of academic nature, Technikons which mainly offer vocational training in technology related fields and comprehensive universities which offer a combination of the first two. Favourable exchange rates between the South African Rand and the US dollar make it relatively cheap for international students to study there. A bachelor’s degree takes 3 years for full time students. South African campuses offer a wide range of social activities to international students hence you will be assured of constant interactions with exotic beauties from across the African continent.
China is a vast country with a population of about 1.3 billion and civilization dating up to 5 millennia ago which makes it rich in culture. It’s a confluence of ancient and modern technology. China cities boast of cut-edge technology, spectacular sky scrapers while its rural areas remain untouched by modernity evident in its centuries old architecture. Chinese culture is diverse consisting of 56 different ethnicities and numerous religions ranging from Taoism, Chinese Buddhism, Islam, Christianity to Bimo religion of Baiyi. There are countless tourist attractions spanning from the Great Wall, Forbidden City to Beijing’s Olympic Bird’s nest.
Fudan University is located in Shanghai; the heart of China is an excellent choice. International students are placed with English speaking local students in fully furnished apartments to help them easily adapt to their new environment. The varsity also offers language courses.
Studying and living in china is cheaper compared to UK and US. For example, on average non-EU students pays 7000 pounds annually in UK while in china they pay not more than 800 pounds per semester. The cost of transport, food and clothes is equally cheaper. Most universities offer internship opportunities within the cities located nearby. There are also numerous job opportunities especially to students who can speak Chinese thanks to a strong economy (the second largest economy in the world) that managed to maintain 8% growth even during the financial criss. In 2012, over 320,000 students drawn from all over the world went study in study in China. This massive number proves how popular China is to international students.
Argentina is a great choice for students wishing to pursue art related programmes. Argentina is a country with high literacy levels, quality and also affordable education. The first thing you notice bout Argentineans is their warmth and hospitable nature. They easily embrace foreigners and suck them into their vibrant and cultural social life.
If you are a lover of clubbing, culture and arts then Buenos Aires is the perfect destination. In this magnificent city alone there are over 100 movie theatres and about 90 theatres! Taking tango lessons will be an added advantage so you wouldn’t feel out of place whenever you visit the numerous sultry tango bars spread across the country.
In addition to having breathtaking sceneries, Argentina also has wide range of mouth watering dishes. Beef is a prominent feature in the local cuisines though vegetarian too can access equally great food. Mendoza region produces excellent wine. You shouldn’t have major concerns about your safety when in this lovely country as police actively patrol the streets hence violent crimes are very rare. Public transport and health facilities have been improved greatly in the last few years hence your stay will be comfortable.
Italy’s stunning natural beauty has inspired countless artists and poets to capture it in their works; from the Alps, spectacular houses built into cliffs to sand beaches. Italy is a haven for history lovers. You can actually visit ancient Greek and roman ruins, remnants of World War II and Greek amphitheatres. If you take an anthropology class then there is a high likelihood of you participating in an actual dig. Those of the catholic faith can make pilgrimage visits to Vatican City. Even those not religious will be impressed by the marvellous architecture of the churches.
Italy is the home to some of the world oldest universities credited for founding the Bologna process hence you can be assured of acquiring high quality education. You can also get to learn the language of romance and be able to read original literary works by some of the renowned Italian authors.
Italy is synonymous with fashion as its home to most of the world’s giant fashion designers like Versace, Armani and Gucci. A visit to the famous San Lorenzo Market will give you a chance to acquire vintage clothing, antiques and accessories you can never get anywhere else in the world.
Spain especially the city of Madrid is famous for its vivacity in all sectors of life ranging from history, culture to cuisine. High quality of life coupled with low cost living makes Spain the ideal destination for students wishing to study abroad. The European school of economics Madrid campus is well-known for churning out successful entrepreneurs, managers and all-round leaders.
Madrid is mostly dry and winters are bearable since they bring more rain instead of cold. One peculiar habit residents of Madrid have is going out as late as 1am! Due to their sociable, outgoing nature most cities in Spain have amazing nightlife. Granada, a small city in the Sierra Nevada Mountains has a law that states that for every beer purchase you make one is entitled to an accompanying free plate of tapas. Therefore staying in Granada would be a great place to stay just in case you go broke.
A soccer enthusiast would find their stay in Madrid incredible since it’s the home to the Real Madrid F.C and the famous stadium Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Madrid’s cultural diversity, flamenco dancers and matador debonair charm showcase its people’s zest for life.
#5 Costa Rica
Costa Rica has a population of four million and literacy levels of about 96%. The most interesting thing about this little known country is that it has not had an army since 1949 instead they channel their resources to education. This shows how peaceful Costa Rica is, perhaps it’s the reason she was rated first in 2012 Happy Planet Index by New Economics Foundation. Students pursuing biology related fields especially ecology will be intrigued by the lush tropical environment.
U.S based Costa Rican embassies cannot issue a valid student visas. Those who wish to study there for all the four years will have to apply for one when once they arrive. If you just want to study for a semester then you could go there as a tourist which is less hectic since all they require is just a passport upon entry.
Paris being one of the most beautiful cities in the world it is the first destination every student thinks of going to. Despite France being a relatively expensive country to live in Le tariff jeune gives a reprieve to students by giving them great discounts on transportation and admission to museums.
France has a rich history of artistic culture and craftsmanship which explains why walking through the streets feels like a movie scene. Aix-en-Providence and tours are homes to the greatest number of international students and finest universities. Since the French take great pride in speaking their language those wishing to study in France should make an effort to learn the language. True to the mantra, joie de vivre(joy of living) the French enjoy every little experience like strolling and a good meal, things that are often overlooked in other parts of the world. If you are the creative kind then France is place you will certainly get constant inspiration from the beautiful gardens, historical buildings to palaces. Its geographical location makes France the epicentre of Western Europe hence you comfortably visit dozens of European and African countries over the weekend.
Since Paris is so beautiful people walk around mesmerised in the experience consequently bumping into other pedestrians. Therefore don’t take offence the next time an overly engrossed couple bumps into you on the streets. Bewared a semester in France will forever change your life! For starters you won’t be able to stand less than excellent wine, cheese will become a necessity and your sense of fashion will be greatly improved.
India is a diverse country where technology and culture blend seamlessly. Its rich history dates back to the days the first settlers on Indus River. India is home to some of the greatest scientists hence anyone studying courses related to technology, medicine, religion and public health should consider going to this majestic land. Hindi and English are widely spoken together with 14 other official languages. The main religions practiced are Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism.
India is full of new, overpowering scents, sights and sounds. Dance and film students exploring outside Hollywood have so much to learn from Indians film industry. Fusion between pop and traditional Indian melodies has created a new mesmerizing genre of music. You can lose yourself in to the colourful streets, sample Indian delicacies (it’s a haven to vegetarians) or watch a Bollywood flick in the cinema theatres spread across the country.
To fully enjoy your stay in Indian you need to sharpen your bargaining skills which come handy whenever you visit the sprawling markets and need to purchase those beautiful fabrics. A trip to India is never complete before visiting the Taj Mahal which is a lot more beautiful than any picture could possibly portray it.
Studying in Japan can be truly life changing thanks to their diverse culture and advancement in engineering related fields. It’s advisable to carry your own personal effects and clothes when leaving for Japan since even though Japanese use the same scales such as S, M, L, and XL their sizes are smaller. You should save enough cash for your stay abroad since everything in Japan is more expensive than U.S except electronics and fast food.
Most international students end up embarrassed after posing questions like ‘Do Japanese eat sushi every day?’ or ‘which city do Samurais live in Japan?’ For your edification the samurai warriors no longer exist! Japanese are relatively conservative which explains why the men don’t wear short pants. Having multiple piercings and tattoos is not acceptable in Japanese society. The Tattoos and body piercings might scare away locals who would mistake you for a member of the Japanese mafia (Yakuza). The fear is so real that chances are you may be barred from entering the public baths. Karaoke is very popular in Japan though it’s different as participants sing in private as opposed to doing it before an audience. Keio University situated in Tokyo is a favourite among international students.
Known as the land of Ideas, German is renowned for its advancement in Science and technology, great beer and rich political history. In addition to being the 4th world largest economy she borders nine countries. Oktoberfest, stunning castles and impressive castle makes German attractive to art enthusiasts. What makes German the best abroad destination for international students is that she offers high quality education at surprisingly cheap rates. On average universities charge 500 Euros per semester which is unheard of in other countries.
You don’t need to speak German in order to study in this wonderful country since you can take both undergraduate and post graduate classes taught in English.
Berlin has the country’s greatest concentration of universities with two most popular being Humboldt University of Berlin and Free University of Berlin. The former has an impressive 40 Nobel Prize Laureates affiliated including none other than Albert Einstein! Berlin is indeed a culture powerhouse boasting of over 100 museums and galleries, more than 50 theatres and 3 magnificent Opera houses.
Munich is more traditional compared to Berlin as no building taller than the main cathedral is permitted. For those who love partying non-stop and leading fast-paced lifestyles then Berlin would be the perfect choice!
By Mark Maish