Study Abroad

The 10 Best Summer Study Abroad Programs in 2019

Photo of Stephanie Topacio Long
Stephanie Topacio Long

Stephanie is a writer with a love for travel, languages, and exploring other cultures, including her time studying abroad in Madrid, Spain.

The 10 Best Summer Study Abroad Programs in 2019
Photo by Kallipoi A., Forum-Nexus Alum

While many students choose to go overseas during the academic year, summer study abroad programs are popular, too. They vary in length, so they can be easier to fit into your life. Whatever your reasons for choosing summer, though, you can look forward to all the benefits of the studying abroad experience and using your break productively.

The decision to study overseas might be relatively easy, but selecting the right program from the sea of options isn’t. That’s why we’ve analyzed data from former students’ reviews on Go Overseas and also thoroughly assessed reviews to determine the 10 best summer study abroad programs out there. Past participants have vouched for each of them in terms of providing strong academics, comfortable housing, and safe and fun environments that make for a memorable and worthwhile summer overseas.

Here are the Go Overseas top 10 summer study abroad programs:

  1. Forum-Nexus Study Abroad: Multi-Country Summer in Europe
  2. ESAC: Study Abroad in Prague
  3. Red Tree Study: Peacebuilding in Colombia Academic Summer Program
  4. Oxford Royale Academy: Summer Study Abroad
  5. UEA: Summer Study
  6. CYA: Study in Greece Summer Program
  7. CES Maastricht University: Summer Programme in European Studies
  8. IES Abroad: Madrid Summer
  9. TEAN: Australian Environment & Conservation Summer Program
  10. Adelante Abroad: Semester and Summer Programs in Spain

To learn about these programs, select the one that interests you or read on to explore them all.

How Did We Pick These Programs?

To choose the best summer study abroad programs, we looked at two main factors: the review scores of each program on Go Overseas, and the number of reviews that program had received.

Go Overseas asks past study abroad participants to review their programs and provide ratings for six areas: (1) Academics, (2) Support, (3) Fun, (4) Housing, (5) Safety, and (6) Overall. Using this data, we were able to determine which summer study abroad programs should be included on this list. We selected the top 10 by averaging the review scores, taking into account the number of total review scores and the reviews themselves. We also considered former students’ detailed feedback.

The programs that emerged at the top are the 10 below. Based on their high scores and glowing reviews, we feel confident giving them Go Overseas’ stamp of approval.

#1. Forum-Nexus Study Abroad: Multi-Country Summer in Europe

The 10 Best Summer Study Abroad Programs in 2019: Forum-Nexus
Photo by Romit P., Forum-Nexus Alum

Forum-Nexus Study Abroad’s Multi-Country Summer in Europe doesn’t make you pick just one city to study abroad in -- you can study in five, joined by students from around the world.

The Summer itinerary includes stops in Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Greece; along the way, you can earn up to 9 credits transferable to your school through classes, an internship, or an independent study.

Read what alumni had to say about the program in Europe:

  • “This program is awesome. I was able to travel to five countries (Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Greece) (this changes based on the year) in just five weeks and it was the best experience. Not only that, but I can genuinely say that I have kept in touch with several people from the program 2 years later.” -- Jacob
  • “This program gave me the courage to embrace new cultures and to not shy away from a new city for fear of getting lost. I was able to see many places and cities that I have dreamed of visiting for many years! And a bonus was that it counted as class credit towards my degree.” -- Abigail

Here's a snapshot of Forum-Nexus Study Abroad's review performance:

97%
based on 62 reviews
  • Academics 8.6
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.6
new friends
new friends
Ice cream :D
Ice cream :D
mountain tops
mountain tops
me and Chamonix
me and Chamonix
Me, Liz, and Hailey
Me, Liz, and Hailey
Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre
me and Liz
me and Liz
The Forum-Nexus tradition of visiting Cordonui in Spain, home of Cava
The Forum-Nexus tradition of visiting Cordonui in Spain, home of Cava

#2. ESAC: Study Abroad in Prague

The European Study Abroad Center’s Prague program offers students the chance to spend the summer in the Czech Republic. The program includes courses at the University of Economics in Prague, where you’ll live in on-campus housing alongside other international students. There’s also the option to complete an internship while you’re there.

Not only that, you’ll be spending your summer in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities!

Read what alumni had to say about the program in Prague:

  • “My time in Prague was remarkable. I never really thought I would be one to travel, but Metro and ESAC made it all really simple. Having a place to stay - comfortable dorms - in the Summer in Prague was a huge plus.” -- Cora
  • “ESAC offers so much! It is a structured program, yet still gives it’s [sic] students the freedom to explore Europe. The directors are awesome and help with any little thing from needing to go to the doctors to planning a weekend trip!” -- Michelle

Here's a snapshot of ESAC's review performance:

98%
based on 32 reviews
  • Academics 8.8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 8.7
  • Housing 9.8
  • Safety 9.8
Does this look like fun, it could be you.
Secret Village surprise.

#3. Red Tree Study: Peacebuilding in Colombia Academic Summer Program

The 10 Best Summer Study Abroad Programs in 2019: Red Tree Study
Photo by Sarah H., Red Tree Study Alum

The Peace-building in Colombia Academic Summer Program from Red Tree Study offers both educational and cultural experiences to undergraduate students. Participants travel to Bogotá and take classes through the Political Science Department at the Universidad de Los Andes.

Through a mix of practical and sociocultural activities, you’ll learn about the country’s complex history, peace negotiations, and the push for lasting peace. You don’t get that in just any classroom.

Read what alumni had to say about the program in Bogotá:

  • “This peacebuilding course is one of the most interesting, as well as intense, courses I have participated in. It included a perfect mixture of both lectures and field visits.” -- Louise
  • “This program is outstanding! It’s jam-packed with academics while also allowing time to immerse oneself in the beautiful country that is Colombia. My one and only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough.” -- Mariana

Here's a snapshot of Red Tree Study's review performance:

96%
based on 36 reviews
  • Academics 9.4
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.5
Monserrate
Monserrate
Monserrate
Monserrate
Playing the best and craziest sport ever called Tejo. You throw dynamite and I still don't know the rules.
The University campus

#4. Oxford Royale Academy: Summer Study Abroad

The 10 Best Summer Study Abroad Programs in 2019: Oxford Royale Academy
Photo by Mifta I., Oxford Royale Academy Alum

Oxford Royale Academy’s Summer Study Abroad attracts students from all over the world. There, you’ll live in either a manor house or one of the University of Oxford’s colleges for the duration of the two-week courses.

Subjects include everything from Engineering to Creative Writing, and Chemistry to Archaeology, and there are also cultural and recreational activities to complement your studies.

Read what alumni had to say about the program in Oxford:

  • “This experience was life changing! I got to meet so many amazing people from all of the world, with different experiences and knowledge. Everything that I have seen, heard and learnt and everyone I have met while being in ORA helped me realize something about myself and my future career.” -- Katarina
  • “Oxford Royale Academy has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. Participating in this summer school has not only educated me in the subjects I chose, but also in real life skills.” -- Océane

Here's a snapshot of Oxford Royale Academy's review performance:

96%
based on 101 reviews
  • Academics 9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 9.8
Oxford Royale Academy
Oxford Royale Academy
Our attempt to take a picture with everyone in the air!
Our attempt to take a picture with everyone in the air!
Punting with Friends
Digital Scavenger Hunt Day!

#5. UEA: Summer Study

The 10 Best Summer Study Abroad Programs in 2019: UEA Review Snapshot
Photo by Henry Z., University of East Anglia Alum

University of East Anglia’s Undergraduate International Summer School is another option in England. UEA Summer Study is a four-week program where you can take modules worth 20UCU/10ECTS credits; areas of study include Advertising, Finance, Global Studies, and more. You can look forward to participating in classroom discussions and off-campus field trips, plus being part of a vibrant international student community.

Read what alumni had to say about the program in Norwich:

  • “It was the best summer of my life thanks to this programme. Wonderful experience, helpful coordinators and staff, memorable trips, and a huge help in my future studies.” -- Ákos"
  • “There is absolutely nothing I can say negatively about UEA’s ISS program. This program is one of a kind in offering diverse courses, social experiences, bringing together people from all over the world.” -- Stephen

Here's a snapshot of UEA Abroad's review performance:

100%
based on 11 reviews
  • Academics 9.8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.9
Trip to London #UEAiss
Trip to London #UEAiss
Summer Study at UEA #UEAiss
Summer Study at UEA #UEAiss
Trip to Cambridge #UEAiss
Trip to Cambridge #UEAiss
Summer Study at UEA #UEAiss
Summer Study at UEA #UEAiss
University of East Anglia Campus
University of East Anglia Campus
Summer Study at UEA #UEAiss
Summer Study at UEA #UEAiss
University of East Anglia Campus
University of East Anglia Campus

#6. CYA: Study in Greece Summer Program

The 10 Best Summer Study Abroad Programs in 2019: CYA
Photo by Morinade S., CYA Alum

College Year in Athens boasts experience-based opportunities for learning. The Study in Greece Summer Program makes the most of the country’s rich history, offering visits to archaeological excavation sites, different islands, and more.

You’ll take one course during four-week sessions that consist of 60 contact hours, and then in your free time, you can enjoy a beautiful Greek summer.

Read what alumni had to say about the program in Athens:

  • “My time with CYA was the best academic and personally formative experience of my life. I took two summer courses, and both the professors were outstanding. Between engaging lectures and meaningful site visits, I felt like I was growing academically without missing any of the social opportunities of study abroad.” -- Sarah
  • “I had an amazing experience study[ing] overseas for four weeks of my summer. The staff and facilities were awesome, on top of a great learning environment in Athens and other small towns that we traveled to.” -- Luke

Here's a snapshot of CYA's review performance:

98%
based on 20 reviews
  • Academics 9.5
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.9
We took trips to sites that directly related to the history and archaeology we were learning about! Why have things be hypothetical when you can learn on site and see things for yourself? CYA allowed me to visit extraordinary sites including (but not limited to) the Acropolis, the Palace of Knossos, and the city of Akrotiri.
We took trips to sites that directly related to the history and archaeology we were learning about! Why have things be hypothetical when you can learn on site and see things for yourself? CYA allowed me to visit extraordinary sites including (but not limited to) the Acropolis, the Palace of Knossos, and the city of Akrotiri.
The location of the academic building is perfect! It is located in the Pangrati neighborhood of Athens which is safe and full of amazing restaurants and cafes. The building is right by one of my favorite cafes that all the students would go to before class and right next to this beautiful stadium.
The location of the academic building is perfect! It is located in the Pangrati neighborhood of Athens which is safe and full of amazing restaurants and cafes. The building is right by one of my favorite cafes that all the students would go to before class and right next to this beautiful stadium.
Volcano Field Trip
Volcano Field Trip
Santorini Sunset
Santorini Sunset
CYA student at an on-site class
CYA student at an on-site class
CYA 2017
CYA 2017
CYA student seeing the views of Athens
CYA student seeing the views of Athens
CYA students at an on-site class
CYA students at an on-site class

#7. CES Maastricht University: Summer Program in European Studies

The 10 Best Summer Study Abroad Programs in 2019: CES Maastricht University Alum
Photo Ady F., CES Maastricht University Alum

The six-week Summer Program in European Studies is located at the Netherlands’ Maastricht University. Offered through the Center for European Studies, the program allows participants to take a variety of courses or join study tours that are taught in English. You’ll find courses from across academic disciplines, and you can earn credits toward your major.

Read what alumni had to say about the program in the Netherlands:

  • “It was such an amazing six weeks filled with great experiences and adventures with new friends that I honestly will never forget. Apart from Maastricht itself being an amazing place to study in for the summer, the people I met and courses I took contributed to the unforgettable experience I had while studying here.” -- Haley
  • “The program was not only an opportunity to learn about the culture in Maastricht but also to interact with students around the world and to learn about their cultures as well. I love how the classes are so interactive because it helps you to come out of your comfort zone.” -- Sharon

Here's a snapshot of CES's review performance:

96%
based on 35 reviews
  • Academics 8.8
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 8.6
  • Safety 9.5
CES Maastricht
CES Maastricht
1
1
2
2
Prague
Prague
River Maas
River Maas
Me at the European Parliament
Me at the European Parliament
Me and my lifelong Friends
Me and my lifelong Friends
Days in Maastricht
Days in Maastricht

#8. IES Abroad: Madrid Summer

The 10 Best Summer Study Abroad Programs in 2019: IES Abroad
Photo by Shreya S., IES Abroad Alum

IES Abroad gives students the chance to study in the capital of Spain with its Madrid Summer program. You’ll get to take classes at the IES Abroad Center that integrate the city’s rich history and culture.

Meanwhile, you’ll have the chance to explore all Madrid has to offer, including its world-class museums and unique charm.

Read what alumni had to say about the program in Madrid:

  • “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I lived in a warm and welcoming homestay, enrolled in two classes that were taught by great professors, and got to truly experience Spanish culture. Over the course of the program, I noticed in awe how my Spanish speaking and comprehension skills were improving week by week.” -- Ashley
  • “I learned more in one summer about growing up than I have in my whole life. I would highly recommend IES because the staff was excellent, my host mom was so sweet, and the people that were accepted in this program were awesome.” -- Megan

Here's a snapshot of IES Abroad's review performance:

100%
based on 11 reviews
  • Academics 8.7
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 9.7
Small group from the neighborhood exploring Madrid
Granada
Weekend trip to Valencia

#9. TEAN: Australian Environment & Conservation Summer Program

The 10 Best Summer Study Abroad Programs in 2019: TEAN
Photo by Jenifer C., TEAN Alum

The Australian Environment & Conservation Summer Program offered by The Education Abroad Network is perfect for students interested in hands-on experience and learning. The three-week program focuses on the practical application of biological science and environmental management, and it includes trips some of the most breathtaking places in Australia. You’ll get to see the environment and wildlife up close, guided by local experts.

Don't forget that summer in the northern hemisphere is winter down under! You'll want to pack clothes for cooler weather if you choose this program.

Read what alumni had to say about the program in Australia:

  • “This program was one of best, if not the best, experiences of my life. The course material is very interesting and is only made better by the professors, who are simply incredible, both as professors and as people.” -- Nathan
  • “This five week program that TEAN has built is beyond incredible! Not only do you have a new adventure and experience every single day, you get to travel to all the major cities in Australia.” -- Janae

TEAN also has a highly rated program to study abroad in Chang Mai which they offer in the summer, fall, and spring semesters.

Here's a snapshot of TEAN's review performance:

100%
based on 10 reviews
  • Academics 8.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 9.7
Skydiving in Cairns
Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb
Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier Reef
Education Abroad Network - Sydney city view
Education Abroad Network - Sydney city view

#10. Adelante Abroad: Semester and Summer Programs in Spain

The 10 Best Summer Study Abroad Programs in 2019: Adelante Abroad
Photo by Ashley B., Adelante Abroad Alum

Adelante Abroad’s Semester and Summer Programs in Spain enables students to improve their Spanish, while taking classes ranging from Economics to Art History.

You can take up to 16 credits per semester and take advantage of the local universities facilities, which include a new library, gym, cafes, and more. At the same time, you’ll get to experience life in Andalusia, a sunny and vibrant Spanish region.

Read what alumni had to say about the program in Seville:

  • “It was a wonderful experience to be able to live and study in beautiful and historic Southern Spain. Throughout my stay there my Spanish improved tremendously, written and oral. Also, when compared to other programs, this program has a really good price.” -- Sasha
  • “I spent a fantastic semester in Seville. From the application process to my arrival in Spain and even throughout my time there, I felt very well taken care of and able to concentrate on the most important things: improving my Spanish, experiencing the culture, and getting to know Spain and the Spaniards.” -- Matthew

Here's a snapshot of Adelante Abroad's review performance:

100%
based on 6 reviews
  • Academics 9.3
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.8
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10
Study Abroad Program with Adelante in Seville
Study Abroad Program with Adelante in Seville
Study with Adelante in Spain
Study with Adelante in Spain
Adelante Program in Seville
Adelante Program in Seville

Other Great Summer Study Abroad Programs

In the above section, we highlighted the best summer study abroad programs that happen only during the summer months (May to August). There are some other programs worth noting -- but these programs occur both in the summer and during the fall/spring semesters. If you're uncertain about when you want to study abroad during the year, they might be a great option!

Whatever your academic goals or interests, there is likely a summer study abroad program on this list to match them. These programs are truly the best of the best, and you can feel more confident knowing that Go Overseas students have not only tried them but thrived in them. Have a great summer studying abroad!

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