Wednesday, June 12, 2024

21 Top-Rated Colleges With the Best Study Abroad Programs

What can you find abroad? New culture, new language, new degree?

The best study abroad programs act as incredible gateways to new experiences and cultures. More than the advantage of a stellar resume, ultimately satisfying your wanderlust can make the trouble worth it. 🗺️

But, not all programs are created equal — some require stricter qualifications, prerequisite courses, or higher tuition fees. It will be an epic phase in your college life, so plan ahead of time. 📋 

Check out these top-rated colleges bridging you to life-changing study programs beyond the US! Are you ready to achieve your goals? 

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Study abroad programs can be transformative, but how do you pick one that works for you and your goals? Photo: Milkos/Depositphotos 

1. Agnes Scott College  

Whether learning Mandarin in Shanghai or Islamic architecture in Morocco, around 46 percent of Agnes Scott students (Scotties) spend at least a year enrolled in an overseas program that matches their passion.🧳   

This is because Scotties can choose from multiple study abroad programs, such as the Global Journeys, a one-of-a-kind program that allows students to visit four to five countries in a single semester.

two-female-students-on-study-abroad-sitting-and-talking-in-front-of-Centennial-Hall-in-Poland-on sunny-morning
Study what you love and gain a global perspective through a study abroad program at Agnes Scott. Photo: Ola Kucha/Unsplash

To help their students, Agnes Scott has awards and scholarships that support underrepresented college students like the Advantage Award Program and the Maude Jackson Padgett Travel Grant.

📍 Location: Decatur, GA
💰 Tuition & Fees: $61,775 per year 

2. Arcadia University

Want to study fashion in the heart of the fashion capital? How about diving into the minds of literary greats at Trinity, Dublin, where Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and Samuel Beckett used to go? 📖

A STEM Summer Research program that can place you in top institutions across the globe rounds ot the endless opportunities that the best study abroad programs in Arcadia offer you.

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Arcadia University offers over 130 overseas programs in more than a dozen countries around the world. Photo: Courtney Cook/Unsplash

The university’s Global Public Health program provides those who want to pursue public health with fieldwork and internships in South Africa, Peru, and Scotland.  🩺

Money will be less of an issue at Arcadia since 70 percent of students receive funding through financial aid like the Gilman-McCain Scholarship

📍 Location: Glenside, PA 
💰 Tuition & Fees: $48,290 per year

3. Boston University 

Picture studying Japanese history in Kyoto or learning acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts — Boston U is all about finding a program that matches your goals. ✈️

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Get practical experience while taking a study abroad program from Boston University. Photo: Filip Mroz/Unsplash

The Shanghai Chinese Language & Culture Program offers rigorous language training, cultural events, and excursions for those looking to know more about the Chinese language and culture. 🗣️

Boston U can also get you on the other side of the world. Its Brussels Internship Program offers the chance to work as an intern in Brussels while also completing courses on the European Union.

📍 Location: Boston, MA
💰 Tuition & Fees: $86,363 per year 

4. College of Charleston

Break out of your campus bubble and get ready to explore the world through the study abroad programs at the College of Charleston

Whether it’s exploring tropical ecology, delving into archeology, or studying art history, CofC has you covered. But what about funds? CofC offers a range of scholarships for qualified study abroad applicants

For example, LGBTQ+ students can take advantage of the Jan Kieling Rainbow Scholarship, while African-American undergraduates can explore the NAFSA Tamara H. Bryant Memorial Scholarship. 🤩

female-college-student-taking-a-picture-of-the-view-in-Havana-Cuba-to-complete-study-abroad-program
CoC offers a wide variety of faculty-led programs, internship opportunities, and service-learning trips abroad for its students. Photo: Persnickety Print/Unsplash

And it’s not just academics —  CofC also offers overseas internship programs in countries like Germany, the Dominican Republic, and Chile, where you can develop skills and expand your network. 🤝

📍 Location: Charleston, SC
💰 Tuition & Fees: $12,978 per year (Resident), $35,798 per year (Non-resident)

5. Elon University

Buckle up and get ready for a global adventure because Elon University is about to take you places with its outstanding study abroad options. 🛬

With the International Business Dual Degree, you can get two degrees for the price of one: one from Elon and another from a partner university overseas. 🎓

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With Elon’s university partnerships all over the world, you’ll meet new friends from all sorts of backgrounds and get a global perspective. Photo: Thalia Tran/Unsplash

If business courses aren’t your cup of tea, there are about 140 programs spread over 40 countries available to you. Enroll in peace and conflict studies in the Balkan Peninsula at the School for International Training. Or, take development studies in Vietnam and discover its culture. 

And get this, you can even design your own study abroad experience with options for independent fieldwork or apprenticeships🌍

📍 Location: Elon, NC
💰 Tuition & Fees: $44,536 per year 

6. Middlebury College 

Maximize the benefits of your study abroad program with Middlebury‘s Language Pledge and commit to communicating, listening, reading, and writing primarily in the language of your host country. 🗣️

You will also engage in captivating community interactions like learning the fascinating science behind Chilean cuisine or uncovering the vibrant culture of Uganda. 

Middlebury’s study abroad programs extend beyond language and culture to encompass sustainability and environmental concerns. 

As a Middlebury student, you have the opportunity to address global issues, examine environmental policies in China, or study sustainable development in Costa Rica. 🔍

📍 Location: Middlebury, VT
💰 Tuition & Fees: $83,880 per year 

7. New York University 

Hey there, adventurer! Kick-start your study abroad experience with New York University, which offers students the chance to explore the world and earn academic credit at the same time

The school’s First Year Away Programs lets you skip awkward roommate introductions and dive right into the cultural scene in places like Florence, London, or Madrid. 🎒

two-happy-young-girls-lying-on-grass-take-selfie-with-historic-building-and-german-flag-in-the-background-during-study-abroad-program
New York University’s study abroad programs allow you to expand your personal and professional network overseas. Photo: frantic00/Depositphotos 

NYU also has overseas programs for students at all levels. The graduate study abroad programs are perfect for continuing your education while exploring new cultures. 

What are you waiting for? Check out student testimonials on NYU’s Global Notebook and start planning your adventure today! 🌎

📍 Location: New York, NY
💰 Tuition & Fees: $90,222 per year 

8. University of San Diego 

Get ready to add some stamps to your passport because the University of San Diego has over 135 of the best study abroad programs. 🛂

For example, in Helsinki, Finland, students can explore undergraduate programs in disciplines like Ethics and Law, Finance, Information Technology Management, and more. In Entebbe, Uganda, the university provides a unique summer program with undergraduate options in Chemistry.

It’s no wonder why the University of San Diego ranks second in the country for study abroad opportunities. 🥈

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Learning about various cultures through the University of San Diego’s study abroad program can set your resume apart from your peers. Photo: Savvas Kalimeris/Unsplash

The cost of studying abroad can be discouraging but USD is teeming with scholarships and financial aid to Get you where you’re headed. 

For instance, The Adelyn Dougherty Leander Need-Based Urban Issues Scholarship offers up to $3,000 to students enrolled in IES Abroad programs at member or associate member schools of the IES Abroad Consortium. 

📍 Location: San Diego, CA
💰 Tuition & Fees: $76,700 per year 

9. West Virginia University   

Who says you have to leave your dorm room to study abroad? West Virginia University‘s virtual study abroad programs only require a computer screen for you to earn academic credit while exploring the world. 💻

But if you’re more traditional. WVU also has 50 short-term programs in amazing destinations like Rome and Ireland. 🌍

female-college-student-enjoying-the-field-of-lavenders-in-Reykjavik-Iceland-during-study-abroad-program
Studying abroad can help you develop important life skills such as independence, adaptability, and resilience. Photo: Paco Vaca/Unsplash

The WVU has a Music Industry Studies program in the UK where you get behind the scenes of the music industry, attend live concerts, and rub shoulders with industry professionals. 🎶

The Eco-Adventure Tourism program in New Zealand Lets you explore breathtaking landscapes as you learn sustainable tourism and conservation efforts. 🌿

📍 Location: Morgantown, WV
💰 Tuition & Fees: $9,648 per year (Resident), $27,360 per year (Non-resident) 

10. Georgetown University 

Study abroad with Georgetown University and immerse yourself in the bustling business hub of Hong Kong, the rich culture of Japan, or the vibrant streets of Madrid with its 200+ study abroad programs. 🌎

Georgetown’s study abroad programs go beyond the typical classroom experience. Students have the chance to petition to enroll in a study abroad course at another institution, expanding their academic options even further.

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Immerse yourself in the local way of life as you complete Georgetown University’s programs abroad. Photo: Jamie Fenn/Unsplash

Are you qualified but short on cash? Get the help you need and apply for scholarships, such as the Overseas Ambassador Program for students with disabilities and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for underrepresented students. 🎓

📍 Location: Washington, DC
💰 Tuition & Fees: $61,872 per year 

11. Colorado College 

Travel to and learn in the rural Himalayas, the Ecuadorian rain forest, or the plains of Castile through Colorado College’s Summer Block Away. 🌊

The welcoming waters of a foreign country makes it easy to join the ranks of the 70 percent of Colorado College graduates who have participated in a study abroad program during their college years.

male-college-student-riding-a-bike-through-local-streets-of-Japan-for-his-study-abroad
International experience could be a valuable asset in the job market, as it demonstrates a willingness to take on new challenges and adapt to new environments. Photo: Sergio _snaps/Unsplash

Don’t miss out on grants and scholarships offered by the college to help make your study abroad experience possible! 

You could be eligible for the IFSA-Butler Program, designed specifically for first-generation college students, or the Humanity in Action fund for those interested in studying human rights. 💸

📍 Location: Colorado Springs, CO
💰 Tuition & Fees: $87,128 per year

12. Emerson College 

Imagine yourself studying at a majestic 14th-century castle in the Netherlands, or honing your filmmaking skills in the heart of Hollywood. With Emerson College‘s Global Pathways Program, you can make these dreams a reality.

With unique campuses in Los Angeles and the Netherlands (we’re talking about a 14th-century castle!), studying in an industry-specific setting will truly prepare you for success. 🏰

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Find a new happy place while taking an Emerson College study abroad program in a brand new country. Photo: Kay Liedl/Unsplash

Emerson connects you to prestigious institutions, like the Paris College of Art and the University of the Arts London, that have top-notch resources and facilities. 

Plus, with scholarships like the Gilman Study Abroad Scholarship, you’ll have the freedom to choose the study abroad program that best fits you. 🥰

📍 Location: Boston, MA
💰 Tuition & Fees: $54,400 per year 

13. Goucher College 

This groundbreaking liberal arts college means business since it was the first institution in the US to make studying abroad a graduation requirement. 🎓

Combine travel and research through Goucher’s semester and yearlong international internships, such as a fellowship at the Arava Institute in the Middle East that focuses on environmental studies, research, and volunteering. 

male-college-student-enjoying-the-view-at-Lago-Puelo-National-Park-in-Argentina-during-study-abroad-program
Goucher College’s study abroad programs make a perfect balance of traditional and practical learning. Photo: Manu Ros/Unsplash

In terms of finances, Goucher understands that it can be a cause for concern. That’s why they offer affordable study abroad programs and scholarships to help cover tuition and other expenses. 🌟

📍 Location: Baltimore, MD
💰 Tuition & Fees: $67,900 per year 

14. St. Olaf College

Did you know: St. Olaf secured 26 partner countries to host study-abroad students between 2021 and 2022 despite global restrictions due to the pandemic? 😯

St. Olaf offers a chance to expand your horizons with new cultures, languages, and environments found in Asia, Central or South America, Europe, or the Middle East (check out the fascinating and entertaining student blogs chronicling their adventures). 🤳

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St. Olaf College offers helpful pre-departure orientations, assists with applications, and provides ongoing support during your time abroad. Photo: SeventyFour/Depositphotos 

The university goes above and beyond in prioritizing the safety and well-being of its students through pre-departure orientations, on-site support, and re-entry programming. 

With this level of care, students can focus on soaking up the benefits of a global education without any added stress. 🧘

📍 Location: Northfield, MN
💰 Tuition & Fees: $72,070 per year 

15. Texas A&M University 

With over 5,000 students exploring over 100 countries between 2018 to 2019 alone, Texas A&M students (Aggies) clearly have a passion for seeing the world. 🌎

But it’s not just about sightseeing; from studying marine biology on the Great Barrier Reef to interning with a fashion designer in Paris, the possibilities are endless for Aggies overseas. 🎒

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Living in a foreign country challenges students to develop independence and build self-confidence. Photo: kadet26/Depositphotos 

Honing in on experiential learning, study abroad students can engage with local communities through service-learning programs

Integrate into the local scene while studying endangered species foray the Monteverde and Alto del Roble cloud forests, taking environmental justice field studies in Costa Rica, or exploring political science at the university studies abroad consortium in Chile. 🛫

📍 Location: College Station, TX
💰 Tuition & Fees: $31,058 per year (Resident) and $59,336 per year (Non-resident) 

16. Trinity College 

The roster of study abroad programs at Trinity can take you to South America, Asia, or Europe to explore a new culture or language.
Swap the freezing cold for warm beach walks with single-destination programs such as environmental studies in Argentina, Singapore, and other tropical countries. ⛱️

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Trinity College’s study abroad programs prioritize cultural immersion and experiential learning. Photo: Jaunt and Joy/Unsplash

If you’re a student interested in pursuing your academic passions abroad, Trinity’s partnerships with top universities like Oxford and Cambridge offer unparalleled opportunities for academic enrichment. 🚶

📍 Location: Hartford, CT
💰 Tuition & Fees: $85,410 per year 

17. University of Arkansas

Elevate your college experience and embark on a global adventure with the University of Arkansas‘ study abroad programs. From exploring the captivating landscapes of Australia to immersing yourself in the vibrant culture of Botswana, UA offers a diverse range of programs to ignite your passions. 🆙

Don’t just take our word for it — read testimonials from fellow Razorbacks who have embarked on unforgettable journeys around the world. ✈️

And if you’re looking for something a little closer to home (like, say, your dorm room), why not try UA’s international virtual program? You’ll get to experience new cultures without ever leaving your cozy abode. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good armchair adventure? 💻

📍 Location: Fayetteville, AR
💰 Tuition & Fees: $30,008 per year (Resident) and $49,032 per year (Non-resident) 

18. University of Delaware

Did you know that the University of Delaware was the first American school to send students overseas for study abroad programs

From stargazing in New Zealand to learning gender studies in Copenhagen, there’s no shortage of fun options awaiting students at this amazing campus. 🌠

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Take a break from your traditional classes and discover the world through the University of Delaware’s study abroad program. Photo: Te Pania /Unsplash

The University of Delaware is all about making international education accessible to everyone. That’s the reason why it offers financial aid awards covering up to 75 percent of the program fee! Also, the Delaware Diplomats Scholarship Program hooks you up with $1,500 to go toward your chosen program. 🤑

📍 Location: Newark, DE
💰 Tuition & Fees: $33,718 per year (Resident) and $57,358 per year (Non-resident) 

19. The University of Texas at Austin 

UT students have the opportunity to see the world and gain international experience that will set them up for success. But studying abroad isn’t just about going to a different country to study.

The school takes study abroad programs to the next level with meaningful international internships and interdisciplinary team projects under its President’s Award for Global Learning program

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Experience the local scene of another country while completing your degree from The University of Texas at Austin. Photo: Bna Ignacio/Unsplash

Not only will you expand your academic knowledge, but you’re also gaining valuable and one-of-a-kind professional experience that will look great on your resume. 💼

For those of you who can’t commit to a full semester abroad, UT has short-term programs, too. How about learning nanotechnology in Japan or engineering communication in Denmark? 🌸

📍 Location: Austin, TX
💰 Tuition & Fees: $11,752 per year (Resident) and $40,996 per year (Non-resident) 

20. Kalamazoo College

Indulge in your wanderlust and soak up new cultures through Kalamazoo’s impressive collection of over 50 study abroad programs. You’ll be able to explore different work cultures and add a unique edge to your resume while traveling. 🌏 

Imagine studying fine arts in Greece or sipping espresso while attending humanities classes in Italy. ☕ You can even intern overseas while studying in countries like Thailand, Japan, and New Zealand.

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Taking hold of the best study abroad programs can lead to lifelong friendships and professional connections. Photo: Sofia Alberti/Unsplash

There’s no reason to hold back on the best study abroad programs because resources to stay on top of your finances are available, such as the online program cost estimator and funding assistance programs like the FEA Rainbow Scholarship, which gives eligible students up to $5,000 for the entire academic year. 🌈

📍 Location: Kalamazoo, MI
💰 Tuition & Fees: $46,646 per year 

21. Syracuse University 

Jumpstart your first semester with Syracuse University’s Discovery Program. Students in the fields of liberal arts, engineering, or computer science, are eligible to study abroad as soon as they enter college. 

This is where you can discover the lush ecosystems of Madagascar, the volcanoes and fjords in Iceland, or take part in community-based peacebuilding activities in Colombia. 🌴

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Gain access to new academic resources, such as specialized libraries and research facilities, and get to meet experts in their field during your study overseas. Photo: Stefano Intintoli/Unsplash

If you didn’t make it into one of the best study abroad programs the US has to offer, there are still plenty of options in your sophomore or junior year.

Can’t decide what program to take? Syracuse’s program selector tool makes it easy to filter the programs that fit your goals, academic level, and duration. 🗒️

📍 Location: Syracuse, NY
💰 Tuition & Fees: $85,214 per year 


Exploring academic programs abroad can be the single most memorable experience of your entire college journey. Whichever program you choose, it will undoubtedly improve your life in ways that can’t be taught inside the classroom. 

So, go after your dreams, meet new friends, and create life-long memories! 🧑‍🎓

Top-Rated Colleges With the Best Study Abroad Programs: Frequently Asked Questions

Where do most US students study abroad?

A significant majority of American students choose Europe as their preferred destination for studying abroad based on the Open Doors Report by the Institute of International Education.

Specifically, 44 percent of students opt for five countries in Europe: Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, and Ireland. In recent years, Italy emerged as the top study abroad choice, attracting 2,193 American students.

What’s the best study abroad program?

What are the best years to study abroad?

What is the longest you can study abroad?

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