Now that COVID restrictions have finally been dropped in most countries around the world, study abroad programs are back on. After two years of staying home, many of us are looking to get back into travel again. Why not combine travel and education through a study abroad program in 2023?
To assist you along the way with your research, this article provides a variety of the best study abroad destinations and programs that you can consider to make your dreams of studying abroad a reality in 2023. These locations have been chosen for their popularity and reviews and are grouped by the things that make them shine.
Because choosing just one of these locations can be difficult, we've also highlighted important factors associated with each country such as the average cost of living, tuition costs, and popular subjects. Every individual country's best schools are featured alongside their QS World University Ranking for 2023.
Find the inspiration you need to study overseas by exploring these exciting options to take your education to the next level.
Best for international students: Japan
Top universities: University of Tokyo (23rd), Kyoto University (36th), Tokyo Institute of Technology (55th)
Average cost of tuition for a semester (direct enrollment): 410,000¥ ($2,800)
Average monthly cost of living including rent: 184,500¥ ($1,250)
Japan's reputation for hospitality and its welcoming nature makes it a safe bet for students looking to study abroad in 2023. It is home to an array of technological innovations as well, another major attraction for students who desire to go overseas.
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In addition to hosting some of the finest STEM and educational programs in the world, its extensive tradition of historic culture and being home to thought leaders in their field are fascinating components for those students seeking study abroad opportunities. With high-speed and convenient modes of transportation throughout the country, as well as delicious culinary experiences to indulge in, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in one of the most dynamic cultures in the world.
Popular Study Abroad Programs in Japan:
Best for active lifestyles: Australia
Top universities: Australian National University (30th), University of Melbourne (33rd), University of Sydney (41st)
Average cost of tuition for a semester (direct enrollment): $23,500AUD ($15,000)
Average monthly cost of living including rent: $2,750AUD ($1,750)
Students who are interested in wildlife and unique settings are drawn to go down under. Australia is home to gorgeous backdrops, rare animals, and some of the most amazing coastlines in the world. Students with the desire to study abroad in 2023 in fields such as geology and biological studies could choose from a host of programs allowing them to explore landscapes like the Great Barrier Reef or get up close and personal with kangaroos.
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Additionally, Australia is home to diverse cities including trendy Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane which are great choices for international students. Whether you’re an architecture or music student, consider having the world-famous Sydney Opera House in your backyard to study.
Other popular programs to study in Oz include communications, anthropology, and physical education. What better place to get physical than Australia where you can enjoy adventurous activities such as kayaking, scuba diving, or bush-walking?
Popular Study Abroad Programs in Australia:
Best for language learning: Spain
Top universities: University of Barcelona (178th), Autonomous University of Barcelona (184th), Autonomous University of Madrid (215th)
Average cost of tuition for a semester (direct enrollment): €2,000 ($2,000)
Average monthly cost of living including rent: €1,200 ($1,200)
As the birthplace of the Spanish language, Spain is a country with much to offer students hoping to improve their linguistic skills. The country offers an expansive history, sporting attractions, and cultural sites to visit.
Spaniards are proud of the cultural, literary, and artistic traditions so study abroad participants will have no shortage of opportunities to practice. Compared to other European countries, Spain's level of English is fairly low so although it is improving, foreigners who attempt to speak Spanish to locals will be appreciated for their efforts.
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Aside from language learning, Spain is also becoming a popular destination to study business, finance, and marketing. International hubs Madrid and Barcelona attract students for their diversity and stellar universities while providing great (and affordable!) atmospheres for university goers. Those looking for a slightly more intimate setting may prefer the likes of Seville, Valencia, or Santander. Whatever your preference, Spain is a beloved study abroad destination for all it has to offer.
Popular Study Abroad Programs in Spain:
Best for arts and culture: Ireland
Top universities: Trinity College Dublin (98th), University College Dublin (181st), National University of Ireland, Galway (270th)
Average cost of tuition for a semester (direct enrollment): €8,000 ($8,000)
Average monthly cost of living including rent: €1,600 ($1,600)
Ireland is chock full of interesting history, opportunities for exploration, and stunning locations. Students can explore unique cultural artifacts such as Viking ruins, huge green cliffs, castles, and the Gaelic language. Geology students can discover Giant’s Causeway and English literature students looking to study abroad can get lost in the same streets of authors such as Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. The Emerald Isle is also a hub for international research in fields like technology, chemistry, and pharmaceuticals.
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Outside of your studies, you’ll have a laundry list of things to do at your fingertips. Discover the world-famous Guinness Storehouse in Dublin or view the Cliffs of Moher. A semester in Ireland certainly won’t be complete without watching a Gaelic football or hurling match with all of the new friends you’ve made.
Poplar Study Abroad Programs in Ireland:
Best for world-class education: England
Top universities: University of Cambridge (2nd), University of Oxford (4th), Imperial College London (6th)
Average cost of tuition for a semester (direct enrollment): £7,500 ($8,600)
Average monthly cost of living excluding rent: £1,100 ($1,250)
England is home to world-renowned academic institutions such as Cambridge and Oxford. Its universities consistently rank among the best in the world and are leaders in research and innovation. It's also a top destination for first-time study abroad students due to the easy transition to life overseas it provides. A familiar culture and of course a shared language result in less of a shock for those not used to international travel.
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England is also an international hub with cities such as London, Manchester, and Brighton calling students’ names. From the Tower of London to Stonehenge, you’ll manage to explore fascinating historical sites and activities.
Popular Study Abroad Programs in England:
Best for outdoor exploration: New Zealand
Top universities: University of Auckland (87th),
University of Otago (217th), Victoria University of Wellington (275th)
Average cost of tuition for a semester (direct enrollment): between $25,000NZD ($14,500)
Average monthly cost of living excluding rent: $2,450NZD ($1,450)
New Zealand, with its awe-inspiring nature and variety of bustling cities and small college towns, is another great option for study abroad in 2023. In a country with amazing natural scenery, students can wander about to experience exciting adventures including paragliding, bungee-jumping, and even glacier hiking as part of their studies.
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Other distinctive study options in New Zealand include Maori studies and zoology. Past study abroad students have raved about just how charming and nice Kiwis are in person. Other attributes that make New Zealand stand out as a place to study abroad include its low crime rate, excellent health benefits, and the fact that English is the national language.
Students can immerse themselves into the culture easily while enjoying activities that include white-water rafting, hiking snow-capped mountains, and learning about aboriginal cultures. With its breathtaking beaches and national parks, any student who enjoys the outdoors will be sure to fall in love with New Zealand.
Popular Study Abroad Programs in New Zealand:
Best for sustainability: Sweden
Top universities: KTH - Royal Institute of Technology (89th), Lund University (95th), Chalmers University of Technology (125th)
Average cost of tuition for a semester (direct enrollment): 129,000kr ($11,700)
Average monthly cost of living excluding rent: 13800kr ($1,250)
Sweden has consistently been ranked as one of the top places for students to study at its universities, due to a myriad of factors like safety and the opportunity for work-life balance. Sweden also ranks favorably for its high standard of living and commitment to innovation.
For students interested in sustainable living, combating environmental issues, or for those interested in being in a location known for academic excellence, then the beautiful country of Sweden is the place for you.
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Sweden offers not only views of the northern lights, but also a host of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors by doing activities like hiking, camping, and mountain biking. Additional things that students who study abroad in Sweden can look forward to including endless summer days and learning about Viking history and customs.
Whether you choose to study in a big city like Stockholm or in a small town like Växjö, you'll be able to enjoy everything this breathtaking country and its open-minded people have to offer.
Popular Study Abroad Programs in Sweden:
Best for affordable cost of living: Thailand
Top universities: Chulalongkorn University (224th), Mahidol University (256th)
Average cost of tuition for a semester (direct enrollment): 75,550฿ ($2,000)
Average monthly cost of living excluding rent: 30,800฿ ($800)
Known as the ‘Land of Smiles,’ what student wouldn’t want to study abroad in the land of happy faces and sunshine? Thailand is a top study abroad destination in 2023 for a number of reasons. From locals selling goods on the roads to attractions such as the floating market, this East Asian country is known for its hospitality, bustling cities, and beautiful beaches. The vibrant country is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world for reasons including its white sandy beaches and affordable accommodations.
Head over to the Grand Palace in Bangkok to read your history books or take a break to eat fresh mango sticky rice from a vendor near your hostel -- the opportunity to enjoy local attractions and dishes abound at reasonable, student-friendly prices. Popular programs to study in Thailand include East Asian Studies, biology, and animal studies. If you want to study elephants at a local elephant sanctuary alongside local veterinarians, this is the country for you.
Popular Study Abroad Programs in Thailand:
Best for diversity: United Arab Emirates
Popular universities: Khalifa University (181st), United Arab Emirates University (296th), American University of Sharjah (369th)
Average cost of tuition for a semester (direct enrollment): 20,000AED ($5,450)
Average monthly cost of living excluding rent: 5,800AED ($1,550)
The United Arab Emirates is known for its over-the-top architecture and luxurious lifestyle, but there’s so much more to this Arab nation. The UAE offers an incredible opportunity for students interested in studying abroad in 2023 as it has recently eased up on its long-term visa requirements, making it a viable option for more students.
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The United Arab Emirates population is made up of more than 80% international workers and students, meaning the country is incredibly diverse and students will enjoy the variety of cuisines, languages, and cultures represented in the single nation. Popular study abroad subjects in the region include business, computer science, and architecture.
Popular Study Abroad Programs in UAE:
Best for convenience: Virtual
While the Covid-19 vaccine rollout continues, we still must be mindful of the times in 2022 and consider that not all students are ready to jump back into traditional study abroad. While some are mentally ready to go overseas, we understand that health and safety are your number one concern, not only for yourself but also for your family upon returning home. Therefore, it is important to consider virtual study abroad options, which can open up the world to students from the comfort of their own homes.
No matter if you desire to study web development or social justice, there are opportunities to do so online. Another benefit of virtual learning is lower tuition fees and saving on costs of airfare or rent abroad. Experience being able to meet, albeit virtually, peers from around the globe in your group classroom settings as well.
Popular Virtual Study Abroad Programs:
Jump into study abroad in 2023
There are many opportunities to study abroad and after a tumultuous couple of years, 2023 will be an excellent time to immerse yourself in a new country and culture once things move toward the new normal. Whether you decide to study virtually or choose a new destination, you’ll have the chance to gain valuable knowledge, partake in incredible adventures, and make new friends from around the world.