Students are all too often solely encouraged to study in France, Spain and England. Though they’re all amazing countries with a lot to offer, there are other options out there that will give students a chance to work on their masters degree or undergraduate work in a beautiful, culture rich environment.
Choosing a country to study in will likely be the second-largest decision you make in college, right behind what you’ll major in. Give it some time, and read up on a few different locations to see which culture you think you’ll mesh with the most.
South Africa is a great destination for those interested in archaeology, sociology or political science. Since Nelson Mandela and the end of Apartheid, South Africa has been home to a blossoming democracy.The country is still developing its systems, though, which makes it a fascinating study for poli-sci majors.
Stellenbosch, the Napa Valley of South Africa, offers a relaxing weekend for students who have studied too much. South Africa also offers everything from sub-tropical beauty to deserts to the longest coastline on the continent. South Africa is also home to a number of excellent schools, many of which teach in English.
Sometimes, English-only students don’t just want to go to the UK. Luckily, there are plenty of European countries that are full of multi-lingual populations. Switzerland is one of these. The main population speaks about four different languages.
Switzerland offers a beautiful landscape and a rich history of neutrality, timepieces and chocolate.
But it’s also home to sustainable tourism, harmless cow fights and excellent shopping. Those interested in green studies, art, history or finance will find Switzerland a great destination.
Spanish students don’t only have to travel to Barcelona or Mexico. Costa Rica, a peaceful Central American country, features an overabundance of beaches, great food and museums. Costa Ricans are generally friendly and many of them speak English. Costa Rica is another country that is deeply committed to eco-tourism, so students of the sciences and green living will also enjoy their stay.
Costa Ricans are also generally helpful in finding locations or explaining customs. If you’re not a fan of the big city find-it-yourself mentality, Costa Rica is a great soft spot for you to land on internationally.
Cultural tourism hits a peak in Vietnam. What was once a war-torn country has now rebuilt itself and is a mecca for festival-goers. The Vietnamese are less likely to know English in rural areas, but you’re likely enough to find someone to help you. Because English isn’t widely spoken, this country would be better for those pursuing an online degree that just need a change of cultural scenery or even an area to study culture and soak in the inspiration.
Wherever you decide to land, be sure to know about the culture and the customs of the people you’ll be surrounding yourself with. Many students bury themselves in their studies and forget that there is a wide, diverse world waiting for them. Don’t be afraid to get off the beaten path and discover what’s out there.