Top Countries to Study Communications Abroad

by Laura Jelich

Communications is an extremely broad area of study, applicable to an extensive array of professional careers, including but not limited to, mass media, education, social service, business, and government positions. In today’s world, it is increasingly important to be able to understand and effectively communicate with others from every walk of life, making studying communications abroad in an unfamiliar setting among people that practice different customs and beliefs especially beneficial.

Since communications majors have the chance to tailor their education to a wide-range of curriculum options, students should first figure out which countries offer options in their own personal areas of interest, in order to ensure studying abroad will directly benefit their academic and professional goals.

Although several countries around the globe offer communications study abroad programs, Europe consistently proves itself as the number one option, with a number of programs and high quality career-building opportunities specifically for communications majors.

The London Eye

The London Eye

1. England

For motivated students extremely serious about pursuing a top-notch, professional education in communications, and future career, there is no better place to study abroad than England. Students most confident taking classes in their native tongue (though the accent and slang may sound like a totally different language at times!) will thrive in this English-speaking country, while still enjoying all that England has to offer as a multicultural hub. From contemporary architecture and regal castles, to Colombian coffee and French boutiques, to the bustling capital of London and the peaceful Lake District National Park, England has something to offer communications students from all focus areas.

Studying communications in London will expose students to more than 200 nationalities and over 300 languages. It is internationally recognized for its impressive collection of media and design companies, as well as major arts venues. While the UK as a whole offers close to 100 universities with communications and media courses and degree programs, in any communications course in England students can expect to learn from industry specialists and experts.

Communications study abroad programs in England may include courses in:

  • Journalism
  • Advertising, Public Relations, & Publishing
  • Photography & Film
  • Television & Sound
  • Communications & Media
  • Graphic Communication
  • Spatial Communication
  • Design Cultures and Interactive and Visual Communication

2. Italy 

Home to astounding architecture, significant historical movements, like the Renaissance, and sixty percent of the world’s greatest works of art (solely in Florence according to UNESCO), Italy will prove to be the perfect location for students with a creative emphasis. Students who study communications in Italy will greatly benefit from brushing up on their Italian, as most programs include some amount of courses in Italian.

Rome and Florence both serve as prime locations for studying communications abroad in Italy. As the capital and largest city, Rome not only boasts a strong historical past, as the head of the Roman Empire, but it maintains a modern verve and steadfast influence even today, as the country’s political and cultural center. Communications majors with a passion for government affairs will thrive while studying abroad in Rome, a city with thousands of years of political influence. Slightly north, studying in Florence will inspire students with the images surrounding them, as it has inspired some of the worlds most famous artists.

Those interested in either the visual or analytical aspects of communications will especially benefit from studying the following subjects related to communications in Italy:

  • Art
  • Design
  • Fashion
  • Philosophy

3. Spain

A common phrase used to sum up this colorful and timeless country is España es diferente (Spain is different), and rightly so, as students will be hard-pressed to find a study abroad destination more passionate and full of life than Spain. Ideally located for further European exploration, Spain itself is full of adventure. Students can choose to explore the snowcapped Sierra Nevada and Pyrenees mountains, seaside coves of the Mediterranean, charming timeless villages, and the architectural remains of civilizations past. Not to mention, Spain is the birthplace of Flamenco dancing and famous for its vibrant nightlife. Students with varying degrees of Spanish language fluency will also benefit from learning or improving their Spanish skills, a highly-desirable skill in any professional realm but especially in communications.

Sevilla, Spain

Sevilla, Spain

Photo by Nikki Powers

Students should be aware that not all areas of Spain speak primarily in Spanish, however; although it is the official language of Madrid, where communications majors can find the highest number of communications study abroad programs in Spain. Madrid bustles with business skyscrapers and professionals thriving right alongside medieval architecture and the Spanish royal family. Students will learn the most current trends and industry secrets in this upbeat capital and central hub of Spain.

Commonly offered emphasis’ for communications majors studying in Spain include:

  • History 
  • Politics 
  • Spanish

 4. France

France is one of the world’s fashion and culinary capitals, not to mention home to some of the greatest art in the world. Students who study communications abroad in France will learn from more than just their coursework, they will also gain an appreciation for high-quality work and the belief in taking life as it comes. Depending on the university or study abroad program students attend, classes may be taught entirely in French with other local and international students, enabling students to practice or learn French quickly.

Paris, the cultural hub and main metropolitan area of France, is a popular destination for studying communications abroad, and also a top tourist destination, which means English is widely spoken (in addition to Spanish and German). Students will gain perspective and inspirations sitting in cafes surrounded by the incredible sights of Paris, like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, much like many great American authors and artists have done so before them.

Those who study communications in France can delve into emphasis’ specifically related to:

  • Visual arts
  • Fashion
  • Architectural design

5. Ireland

For students seeking a more economical option, who don’t mind a bit of rain (over 200 days out of the year), Ireland will prove to be the perfect choice! With its Celtic influence, charmingly accented English, and IT software industry, which leads the world in exports and houses company headquarters for IBM, Dell, and Google, students interested in technical communications will be in heaven.

Dublin is the capital city and top choice for many students who choose to study communications abroad in Ireland. Not only will the local Guinness storehouse prove a favorite sturdy break spot, but the multicultural diversity in Dublin will allow students to connect with individuals from all over the globe. Galway also offers courses in communications and media studies where students will enjoy living in “Ireland’s Cultural Heart”.

Galway, Ireland

Galway, Ireland

Photo by Kaitlin Powers

Communications majors with other areas of interest outside of tech world should not be so quick to dismiss Ireland as an option, as it is also known for significant contributions to the following fields:

  • Literature
  • Music 
  • Art
  • And yes, Technical Communication

6. Outside of Europe

While communications majors have many destinations to choose from when exploring study abroad in Europe, there are other locations for those who prefer to venture outside of Europe for their communications study abroad program, and maintain a tighter budget. Australia and Costa Rica, for example, are popular and well-respected places to study communications abroad. Adrenaline junkies who live off sunshine and sarcasm will fit right in among the Aussies, while students passionate about the environment who are searching for a no worries lifestyle and more exotic destination will find Costa Rica to be the most fulfilling.

Regardless of the destination you choose, studying communications abroad will grant you a broader perspective and increased confidence in communicating with people from varying backgrounds, an essential tool to success in the field of communications.