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Each and every time I speak to a new person who learns that I studied abroad, they would always enviously remark, “Looking back at my college experience, not studying abroad is my greatest regret.” It really is amazing how much people enjoy their study abroad experiences. The food, the people, the transportation, the nightlife–each and every factor, while differentiating by the location choice, is what makes the experience so memorable. But what has been the most popular places for a student to choose? Student Advisor had compiled a helpful list of the top 10 places to study abroad, according to readership responses.

1. London, England

  • Food: 3.5/5
  • Cost of Living: 3/5
  • Safety: 4.5/5
  • Social/Culture: 4.25/5
  • Overall Ranking: 4.5/5

London is a true crossroads of the world. Within the city I was able to experience so many different cultures, by meeting such a huge variety of people all brought together in one place… Being a hub of European travel, London is also a great jumping-off point for weekend trips.”

2. Paris, France


  • Food: 4.25/5
  • Cost of Living: 3/5
  • Safety: 4.25/5
  • Social/Culture: 4/5
  • Overall Ranking: 4.25/5

Paris offers an unparalleled aesthetic stimulation. I am no longer the same person. I felt while I was there that Paris knew who I was supposed to be and was slowly teaching me how to become it.”

3. Barcelona, Spain


  • Food: 4/5
  • Cost of Living: 3/5
  • Safety: 4/5
  • Social/Culture: 4.25/5
  • Overall Ranking: 4.5/5

The people are very passionate about their way of life. The city itself is beautiful and is surrounded by music, art, the ocean. Around every corner there is always something new and exciting that is happening. There is always an adventure in Barcelona!”

4. Sydney, Australia


  • Food: 3.75/5
  • Cost of Living: 2.75/5
  • Safety: 4.75/5
  • Social/Culture: 4.5/5
  • Overall Ranking: 4.5/5

It’s really a fun city, with so much to offer. There are tons of museums, beautiful beaches, extreme activities and a really fun nightlife.”

5. Florence, Italy


  • Food: 4.5/5
  • Cost of Living: 3/5
  • Safety: 4.5/5
  • Social/Culture : 4.25/5
  • Overall Rating: 4.5/5

A great city to study in due to its smaller size yet still with an incredible amount of art, history, and places to see.”

6. Beijing, China


  • Food: 4/5
  • Cost of Living: 4.5/5
  • Safety: 4.5/5
  • Social/Culture: 4.25/5
  • Overall Ranking: 4.5/5

China is not like Europe and should not be confused as such. You need to be motivated and determined to learn the language and enjoy the culture. You will forever be an outsider, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an observer.”

7. Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Food: 3.75/5
  • Cost of Living: 3.75/5
  • Safety: 4/5
  • Social/Culture: 4.25/5
  • Overall Ranking: 4.5/5

There is a huge variation in ethnic background and history that has created an interesting social dynamic you will not get anywhere else. If you pay attention, you will witness corruption, violence, and the remains fo a very devastating dictatorship — all things that leave you with a very different perspective on the world and your place in it!”

8. Prague, Czech Republic


  • Food: 3.75/5
  • Cost of Living: 3.5/5
  • Safety: 4.5/5
  • Social/Culture: 4.5/5
  • Overall Ranking: 4.5/5

Prague has the best public transportation of any city I’ve been. I waited five minutes for the Metro at the most. I liked taking the trams more because that allowed me to see more of the streets, people, shops, etc.”

9. Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Food: 3.67/5
  • Cost of Living: 2.5/5
  • Safety: 4.75/5
  • Social/Culture: 4.5/5
  • Overall:  4.33/5

Public transportation in Denmark is excellent, and even more so is BIKING – Danes bike everywhere, and taking part of the bike culture of Denmark was one of my favorite parts of living there.”

10. Cape Town, South Africa

  • Food: 4.25/5
  • Cost of Living: 4/5
  • Safety: 3.75/5
  • Social/Culture: 4.25/5
  • Overall Ranking: 4.75/5

Groceries are really cheap in South Africa so I really got to experiment a lot with cooking. Eating out is also really cheap and Cape Town has some of the best fine dining eateries that are very affordable for American students.”

I had gathered some reviews from fellow students who have studied in some of these locations. I myself had studied in Hong Kong, and I will definitely be writing my own testimonial. Look for that in the coming week!

Ranking information thanks to Student Advisor. Featured photo courtesy of Thaddeus Quintin via Flickr (CC BY 2.0). All other photos licensed under Creative Commons.

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Check out the video below to decide how to choose the right location!
How to Choose The Right Location for Studying Abroad

What are some other cool places to study abroad? Let us know in the comments below!