Have you always dreamt of traveling the world? For many people, international travel remains but a dream.
Between work, kids, and family, finding the time and money to travel overseas can be difficult. Fortunately, that opportunity is right at your fingertips.
Deciding to spend a semester abroad comes with a unique set of challenges. With so many destinations to choose from, it can be hard to decide which city is right for you.
If you’re considering studying abroad, don’t feel overwhelmed by this initial decision. As with any big decision, exhaust your resources so you’re as prepared as possible.
Speak to college advisors for in-depth information. Chat with other students who have traveled overseas in prior semesters. Looking for a place to start? Check out our list of the 7 best study abroad cities for college students:
Gold Coast, Australia
The city of Gold Coast is a popular destination for college students studying abroad. It is teeming with beautiful beaches, incredible wildlife, and amazing food. Like most major cities, it’s simple to navigate, find a place to live, and discover incredible places to eat.
In Gold Coast, it’s easy to feel at home even though you’re far away. As a bonus, most Australians speak English, so you don’t have to worry about not knowing the language.
Rich with history and culture, Salamanca is a small, walkable city that’s easy to get around. Home to the Plaza Mayor, one of Spain’s most beautiful central squares, it is a city full of art.
With countless museums and stunning architecture, Salamanca is best when traveled by foot. When you’re not studying, you’ll be able to walk around, see the sights, and tour the city.
Zurich is one of the most beautiful and safest places to study abroad. The weather is great year-round, making it a great city for walking, wandering, and exploring. This lakefront city offers exciting nightlife and amazing shopping. As a bonus, it has an incredible view of the Alps!
When you’re not studying, plan a trip to the Botanical Gardens or stroll the promenade of the lake. It’s a gorgeous city with beautiful sights, delicious food, and a thriving art culture.
There’s nothing quite like Tokyo if you love the hustle and bustle of a big city. Easily accessed by public transportation, Tokyo is full of culture and incredible sights.
Home to historic temples and modern museums, it’s a meeting of the old world and the new. Despite its high tech appeal, it has one of the lowest pollution levels of any major city. It’s also considered a very safe destination for students studying abroad.
Submerge yourself in the food, culture, and art scene. You can visit a historic landmark one day and find yourself on the cutting edge of a new trend the next day.
Check out special events like the Kiyose Sunflower Festival. And don’t forget to take in the sights of the beautiful cherry blossom trees when they’re in bloom!
Cape Town, South Africa
With beautiful parks, gardens, and museums, Cape Town is a unique study abroad option. Known for its stunning ocean and cliffside views, it is home to the iconic Muizenberg Beach.
Rich with nightlife, incredible bars, and amazing restaurants, Cape Town has something for everyone. Cab and bus transportation is readily available, but the city can be best explored on foot or by bike.
Munich is an ideal location for any nature lover. Full of parks, forests, and lush green spaces, the city boasts rich culture and beautiful views. It’s ideal if you love museums, music, and cultural events. Plus, it’s easy to enjoy free (or inexpensive) concerts and museum tours.
Munich also offers affordable travel to other European cities and countries. While you’re there, find some time to hop a train to Paris, Milan, Austria, or Prague!
There may not be a more beautiful city on Earth than Florence. Best toured on foot, this walkable city has it all.
Rolling hills and beautiful landscapes show the majesty of the Italian countryside. Centuries-old architecture, chapels, and artwork fill the city. When you’re hungry, the restaurants offer the world’s best cheeses, artisan breads, pizzas, and pasta dishes.
Florence has a big city feel but doesn’t feel overwhelming the way some cities do. For anyone studying art, history, or architecture, it’s the ideal place to study abroad.
When it’s time to decide where you want to study abroad, take the time to do your research. Speak to college advisors to get a full understanding of the programs available to you. Talk to other students who have been there or are considering going with you.
Read travel guides online to learn about transportation and lodging options. Know what landmarks, beaches, or museums each city has to offer. This will help you narrow down your options.
Studying abroad can be one of the greatest college experiences. Once you’ve made the decision to go, do your homework so you’re prepared ahead of time. Consider the costs involved and make sure that you can afford it. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so make sure you do it right!
This article was contributed by guest author Pat Ahern.