Where should I study abroad in Europe?

With over 50 individual countries to choose from, it’s no wonder most American students opt to hop the pond when choosing where to study abroad. If you’re set on the best places to study abroad in Europe and want to find the best program, you might as well try to study in one that matches your amazing charm, wit, and personality, no?

That’s right: There’s a country in Europe that’s as extra as you. And that makes it the best.

Remember: the best place to study abroad in Europe has to have the best program for your goals and personal mission — not your bestie, not your college crush, not your dorm roommate, but you. Be picky, take your time when choosing a program, and consider more off-the-beaten path locations to have a truly memorable semester or summer studying abroad in Europe.

Best places to study abroad in Europe

Here’s the short-list of the places to study abroad in Europe that will match your energy, and are poised to secure your (bound-to-be) incredible international learning experience, broken down by region: Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, and Western Europe. We’re here to help make sure you have a solid answer to: “Where should I study abroad in Europe?” And course: “Where in Europe is as extra as me?”

Study abroad in Eastern Europe

Though Eastern Europe isn’t defined by a specific boundary, it is commonly understood as the former Eastern Bloc from the Cold War era. Though arbitrary, there are certain characteristics that unite this region with a unique resiliency and low-slung energy that sets it apart from the rest of the continent. Our top picks include…

Czech Republic

Prague lit up at night
Ready to find programs for study in Czech Republic for international students?

Recommended Programs: CISabroad and AIFS – See all study abroad programs in the Czech Republic


Wilanów Palace in Warsaw
Make sure you pack your camera when you study abroad in Poland!

Recommended Programs: Syracuse University and API Abroad – See all study abroad programs in Poland


Triglav National Park in Slovenia
With this as your backyard, how could you NOT want to study in Slovenia?

Recommended Program: Gilman Scholarship – See all study abroad programs in Slovenia

Runners Up: Lovely Croatia and Hungary would be great homes for a first-time world traveler, but they didn’t make the cut for the top three in this European region.

Study abroad in Northern Europe

Northern Europe is more than Scandinavia and a smattering of north Atlantic islands. The cultures that call this region home have no doubt been influenced by its drastically dark winters (sprinkled with occasional views of the Northern Lights) and wonderfully sunlit summers. Ready to find out for yourself? Check out our faves:

United Kingdom

Castle in Scotland
Studying in Scotland pairs well with castles, terriers, and underwater monsters.

Recommended Programs: IES Abroad & the University of Cambridge – See all study abroad programs in the UK


Two boys leaning on a ledge
The bonds of travel make for lasting friendships.

Recommended Programs: CISabroad and AIFS – See all study abroad programs in Ireland


Quiet harbor in Iceland
What will you find as a study abroad student in Iceland?

Recommended Programs: API Abroad and SIT Study Abroad – See all study abroad programs in Iceland

Runners Up: We’d be remiss for not also suggesting gorgeous Sweden and Denmark for your study abroad stint!

Study abroad in Southern Europe

What’s that? Come again? Sorry, we were just distracted by our day dreams of those jewel-blue tones of Lady Mediterranea. What study abroad student WOULDN’T want to call this region home for their semester abroad? Southern Europe beckons, and these countries are tops:


Archway in Spain
Not pictured: tapas and sangria.

Recommended Programs: SAI and CIEE – See all study abroad programs in Spain


Colorful canal in Italy
Trade in your school bus for a gondola while studying in Italy.

Recommended Programs: Boston University and Babilonia – See all study abroad programs in Italy


Striped bathhouses on a Portuguese beach
Sun, surf, sand, and study: the life of an international student in Portugal!

Recommended Programs: Voyager Study Abroad and CIEE – See all study abroad programs in Portugal

Runner Up: If you’re ultra-trendy, consider island school while studying in Cyprus.

Study abroad in Western Europe

Highly influential on the world stage, Western Europe really is all it’s cracked up to be. From the tallest alpine mountains to the deepest lakes— not to mention all the sweet stuff in between (pain au chocolat, anyone?), this region packs a punch. 


Austria in the winter
Bundle up for study abroad in Austria.

Recommended Programs: AIFS and IES Abroad – See all study abroad programs in Austria


Girl eating a donut with red fingernail polish
Learn the French words for your favorite pastries for snack breaks between classes.

Recommended Programs: USAC and ISA Abroad – See all study abroad programs in France


Adorable German village at dusk
Nope, that’s not Disney — that’s Germany. And yes, you can study here!

Recommended Programs: ISA and IES Abroad – See all study abroad programs in Germany

Runners Up: The Netherlands and Belgium could also be the picture-perfect backdrop to your immersive study abroad program!

Things to know before studying in Europe

Instead of wondering “Where should I study abroad in Europe?,” you’re probably thinking “Where should I study abroad in Europe this time?” 🙂 Keep the following tips in mind to ensure your semester or summer of study abroad in Europe is scot-free:

  • The school years vary. Depending on where you choose to study, the school calendar might follow the annual calendar, it might follow your regular academic calendar, or it might start in a totally different time of year. Don’t sign up for a study abroad program that overlaps with previous school commitments!
  • Go deeper. If you choose to study abroad in France, opt for Lyon or Marseille instead of Paris. If you want to check out Hungary, skip Budapest for Debrecen. Point being that the smaller the city, the more immersive the experience tends to be. And that’s the sweet spot. 
  • Plan for weekend getaways. One of the many perks of studying abroad in Europe is the proximity to so many vastly different cultures and countries. While we don’t recommend you jetset every weekend (you’ve gotta get to know your host country, right?!), do plan and budget for a few weekends in neighboring areas or in an entirely different European region.
  • Commit to meaningful travel. There’s a type of travel that’s more touristy and relaxing and fun and full of tiny umbrellas in your drinks. Then there’s the kind of travel that incorporates the local culture and consistently (and humbly) tries to engage with the people you meet. Which do you think is better? We know you know.

All aboard!

Wait, people don’t really travel to Europe by ship anymore. So this is your final boarding call. Now that you know the best places to study abroad in Europe, check out all of the resources available on GoAbroad.com to help your travel start on the right foot. 

Make your MyGoAbroad profile & find your dream study abroad program in Europe today!

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