Top English Speaking Study Abroad Locations 

by GoAbroad Writing Team

Language is a very important factor to consider when studying abroad. Sure, when you choose to spend a semester or two overseas, you are bound to witness a different culture, and that includes dealing with people who are using their own language. But while learning a new language on location can be exciting, it can also be a challenge that you have to beat, as you have to learn how to communicate with locals right on the spot. So if you want to be saved from this burden and still enjoy the perks of embracing a new culture, then why not go to a country that speaks English in their everyday life instead?

There are actually a lot of destinations across the globe that speak English aside from their mother tongue. But if you intend to study abroad with less hassle, then you may want to consider these locations (Note: the obvious options, aka. the UK, United States, and Australia, are not included in this list).

Amsterdam canal, Netherland.

Amsterdam canal, Netherland.

1. The Netherlands

While Dutch is the primary language in the country, the locals are also good when it comes to communicating in English. In fact, you can conduct casual conversations in English anytime of the day. This is because English is included in Dutch school curriculum, so students practice conversing in English throughout their academic years. Most establishments and government agencies speak in both Dutch and English for corporate and mass communications. This means you won't feel the language barrier when studying abroad in the Netherlands, the land of tulips!

2. South Africa

Another country that is known for being proficient in English is South Africa. There are actually 11 national languages in the country, but the majority of South Africans are fluent in English. English, like Dutch and Afrikaans, is used in schools and business establishments, and is likewise applied in formal paperwork. While they have their own colloquial and slang terms, it is very easy to strike up a conversation with locals in English. South Africans have their own distinct accent when speaking English, but it doesn't sound as strong as that in England or Australia. You can easily adjust to the accent within a few days' time.

3. The Philippines

The Philippines has become a very popular tourist destination not only because of its vast array of attractions, but also due to the fact that the locals speak English on a regular basis.

Kalanggaman Island, Leyte

The beautiful Kalanggaman Island, Palompon, Leyte. Photo by Ian Delgado

This can be attributed to the American occupation of the country for over 50 years. The Americans reinvented the public school system during that time and English is taught from elementary up to university. The English language has also become a part of the Filipino culture. You can find Filipinos speaking English seamlessly during regular conversations, as well as in formal communication and legal paperwork. You can chat with them in English without feeling misunderstood, especially considering university level courses are taught in English.

4. Belize

Did you know that English is the official language of Belize? It’s true, and it’s one major factor why tourists love this small group of islands. Belize is the only country in the Caribbean that uses English as its official language, making it a good destination to study abroad. You won't have trouble communicating with the locals especially when it comes to field work, and at the same time you get to enjoy the country's natural and historical wonders during your international program.

5. Iceland

Turf houses in Iceland.

Refreshing scenery of turf houses in Iceland.

While Iceland has its own local language, around 80 percent of the country's population actually speaks English. This is because English is a mandatory component in Iceland's public and private school systems, thus students graduate fluent in the world's universal language. Due to its English-speaking population, Iceland has become one of the best places to study abroad, especially if you intend to focus on scientific research or progressive approaches to social science.