10 Best Study Abroad Programs in 2018-2019

by Published

There are 365 days in a year, which means there is plenty of time to do something amazing. The opportunity to study abroad is one of them. Traveling abroad is without a doubt one of the best decisions you can make in your life and has more benefits than you can count! Whether you want to learn a new language, explore a different culture, or take classes in a new country to give yourself a global experience, your college experience doesn’t have to be restricted to on-campus life. 

Woman holding a globe

With a world full of options, the best program can be anywhere!

Regardless of major, year, or language ability there is a study abroad program for everyone. With the best study abroad providers hosting programs from Europe to East Asia you can learn from anywhere in the world. Try anything from nursing horse's back to health in Scotland to studying photography in Poland. You have plenty of room to do what best fits your goals, dreams, and personality. Since there are so many programs out there to choose from we’ve made a list of the best study abroad programs for you to try out for yourself throughout the year. 

Figure out what’s best for you as you sort out and consider our suggestions below.

What makes these the best college study abroad programs?

 As you begin you study abroad search you will often ask yourself there following questions. Where should I go? What should I study? And will it be worth it? The answer to all these point to a loud and booming yes but starting your search while balancing your college life isn’t always an easy task. Although you can always use our easy search page to narrow down the best study abroad programs for you. Below are our tips for what to look for, and what separates the good and decent programs from the best study abroad programs for college students.

Get more than experience

No matter what you’ll do while studying abroad you’re going to love your experience. Though your memories and everything you learn will always take the top spot on what you take away from your experience abroad, the cherry on top will definitely be the ability to earn academic credit. Particularly if you are deciding to travel during the fall or spring semesters you’ll definitely feel free to know that your acknowledging your travel bug won’t make you fall behind in your studies.

Your program provider/company is flexible

Depending on the major you have, studying abroad might feel impossible. Especially if you have certain classes to take that are only available during specific times of the year. But don’t worry you can still see the world regardless of your academic obligations. The best study abroad companies offer programs all year round or potentially a full year. Even if the school year isn’t the best time for you the best study abroad providers make sure that your dream of traveling abroad is still possible. Flexible start dates, and travel durations make this once in a lifetime opportunity a possibility for all students. 

Girl standing in middle of street

Give yourself the gift of independence and expand your horizons abroad

Support is available at any cost

Studying abroad can come with a pretty hefty price tag for some students, however the best study abroad providers pull out all the stops to shrink your costs. From offering financial support to eligible students, to pointing you to scholarships you could use to fund your travels, the best study abroad companies are natural giving trees with a wealth of knowledge and financial aid to spread around. The best study abroad programs for college students don’t just offer a variety of programs and places to go, they also host a diverse range of students that can enjoy the experience no matter what their economic background is.

Life abroad isn’t a complete mystery

It’s one thing to have some unexpected experiences while abroad (we love those!) It’s another to go have a trip that is organized so loosely you don’t know what to expect or what you’re actually getting out of the experience. The best study abroad programs for college students leave plenty of room for adventure while also maintaining concrete goals, expectations, and results of all students who participate. When it comes to the best college study abroad programs a little organized fun never puts a dent in your experience.

10 best study abroad programs in 2018-2019

aifs logo

1. American Institute for Foreign Study: Study Abroad in Barcelona—Rating 9.5

A top rated study abroad program from 2017, we know this review from a former student says it all: "My time in Barcelona with AIFS was without a doubt, the best four months of my life, and the most valuable of all of my college experiences. I chose AIFS initially because they were the cheapest option of all of the programs that I looked at. However, after becoming a part of the AIFS family, I really can say that I chose the best program, and not just the most affordable. Every aspect of studying abroad with AIFS blew me away." — Greta, Alumni Study Abroad Student

cya athens logo

2. College Year in Athens: Study Abroad in Greece—Rating 9.3

One of our top rated study abroad programs of 2017, an awesome summer in Greece won’t be a myth. Take advantage of the country’s rich history and have learning experiences in and out of the classroom. With a diversity of courses in your reach, you’ll leave the program as intelligent and forward-thinking as the historical philosophers and intellectuals you’ve only read about! With so much to see, learn, and do a summer in Greece is sure to be memorable.

  • Where: Athens, Crete, Paros or Santorini, Greece
  • When: Summer
  • More info: Read CYA reviews
ies logo

3. IES Abroad Vienna - Music Semester/Year Program—Rating 9.4

Coming from one of the best study abroad providers take a semester or year to learn all about music in Vienna. Take courses in Music History, Music Theory, and Performance Studies, in a city full of music history and culture. Study in the same city that Mozart and Beethoven became household names and conduct your own way toward musical mastery with the support of knowledgeable professors and friends. Sounds like music to our ears.

ciee logo

4. CIEE Community Development, Language, and Culture in Iringa—10.0

Take a semester to learn about the African country of Tanzania. Learn more than culture and learn about its urban and rural communities so you can give back. A very hands-on program, you will get to assist in a field study by a local non-profit, find solutions to community issues, and provide aid to underserved communities throughout the country. Did we mention you get to study some Swahili? Yep, this is the type of meaningful travel where definitely down for.

ies abroad logo

5. IES Abroad Siena Summer - Tradition & Cuisine in Tuscany—Rating 10.0

Fall into amore with your studies as you study Italian culture in the Tuscan countryside. Immerse yourself in all that Sienna has to offer (which is everything) for a summer experience you will love. One of the best summer abroad programs in Italy, you’ll get to explore a variety a subjects with piazzas, restaurants, and vineyards of Siena as your beautiful backdrop. Study abroad in Siena for an experience that will fill your mind (and stomach) with Italian culture cuisine.

usac logo

6. USAC KOREA: Seoul - Korean & East Asian Studies at Yonsei—Rating 10.0

Get ready for a true cultural experience as you study in South Korea. Study at Yonsei University, one of the Top 200 World Universities ranking of the Times Higher Education and  enjoy a program provided by one of the best study abroad companies in the world. Break out of your American bubble as you take classes and get to know the students at Yonsei University. Get to know Korean culture as you adjust to the Korean way of life for a semester or a year. Different in the best way, trust us, you’ll love it here.

sol abroad

7. Study Abroad & Spanish Immersion in Heredia, Costa Rica—Rating 9.5

Study Spanish at the accredited Latin University of Costa Rica. Perfect those rolled r’s and conjugations to improve your Spanish to learn more about Spanish culture. Living in Heredia, also known the City of Flowers students will stay with a host family and participate in a long list of cultural activities. By participating in this program you can earn 3 to 4 credits toward your degree. It’s definitely one of our top rated study abroad programs for a reason!

uppsala international school logo

8. Uppsala International Summer Session—Rating 9.3

Dive into Swedish language, history and culture with this college summer study abroad program. This top rated language school is a non-profit foundation that offers student courses ranging from two to nine weeks. While learning the Swedish language through Uppsala’s intensive language courses, students will also learn about Swedish culture and history through weekly excursions. With top-notch faculty and numerous opportunities to participate in Swedish culture and traditions, a summer at Uppsala is a truly engaging experience that makes it one of the best college study abroad programs.

meiji academy logo

9. Meiji Academy - Study Japanese in Fukuoka—Rating 10.0

Meji Academy is a pretty intense program (in a good way) Fine tune your Japanese at one of the safest destinations in the world as you dive into Japanese language and culture. Meiji Academy offers an abundance of different Japanese courses, you can choose from a small class size to even taking private lessons. Either way, your Japanese is sure to improve. Coupled with multiple excursions, lessons in Japanese culture, and even a course in Japanese business practices were all in for this truly immersive experience.

aifs logo

10. AIFS Study Abroad in India—Rating 9.8

Choose a semester or a year to study abroad in Hyderabad, India. As you study at University of Hyderabad you can earn up to 16 credits to keep you on track for graduation. Live in an international dorm and meet and develop friendships with students all around the world. When you’re not studying, participate in volunteer projects, group activities, and fun excursions to get to know India. Sign up for this program for a rich cultural experience.

[Discover More Study Abroad Programs to Try in 2018]

Get your luggage and passport ready now—sky's the limit!

Flatlay of foreign currency and passport

Don’t fear that study abroad is out of reach, you can do it!

 So here’s the bottom-line, traveling abroad is a once in a lifetime experience that you should take advantage of. It’s an experience you’ll never forget and grow considerably from, no matter where you choose to study. Traveling abroad provides unique learning experience you can’t always get on campus. A chance to get to know the world outside your college town, choosing the best program to study abroad will have an impact on you long after you leave.

Ultimately, if you can make a program work with your academic schedule and what you are passionate about it is the best program for you. In the words of Tim Gunn, make it work!

Get 5 FREE Study Abroad Program Matches

Topic:  Top Picks