Study abroad for English speakers!
Study abroad isn’t just for language majors. If you don’t know anything beyond English, there are places where you won’t sink to the bottom for not speaking the lingua franca. But although English is known throughout these countries, it’s best to try and learn the basic phrases in the local language. It not only shows respect for the host country, but will give you a deeper appreciation of the culture.
#1. The Netherlands
The narrow canals, ringing bicycle bells, and street stroopwafels are just part of its charm. The Netherlands is a cozy country, and you can get anywhere by train within three hours. The central location also makes it an ideal place for exploring the rest of Europe. While Amsterdam is the most popular destination, neighboring cities like Utrecht and Rotterdam offer great study abroad programs as well, drawing many architecture, business, and social science students.
Frequently rated the world’s happiest country, Denmark is Scandinavia’s southernmost country, and a nation of eco-friendly lifestyles. Most study abroad programs are located in Copenhagen, the capital, considered one of the most-livable and bicycle-friendly cities in the world. Denmark is popular with architecture, design, business, engineering, and environmental studies students.
As a result of British colonization, English is Belize’s official language, used in the government and in education. Spanish and Creole are also widely-spoken in this Central American country, which shares its borders with Mexico and Guatemala. Most study programs are located in the capital, Belize City, with Mayan ruins and miles of beaches within easy reach.
It’s the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and a short boat ride away from Greece, Turkey, and North Africa. While Greek is the official language, most of the country knows English. With a warm, Mediterranean climate, rugged Troodos Mountains, and sapphire beaches, Cyprus is a great summer study abroad destination. As an added perk, it’s also one of the safest places to live in the world.
It’s one of the most stable countries on the continent, with fishing villages along the Gold Coast and lush rainforests in the Kakum National Park. Due to British colonization, English is the official language, but dozens of others are popular, from Akan, the most widely spoken, to Ga, which is mainly used in the capital, Accra. The University of Ghana in Accra is one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s best universities, offering an international education in English.
This little island, between Italy and North Africa, is one of the smallest countries in the world. Along with Maltese, spoken by the majority of the population, English replaced Italian as the country’s official language in 1934. Students can study at the University of Malta, in the capital Valletta, named a World Cultural Heritage Sight by UNESCO. The dry, warm summers make Malta a world-famous, vacation hotspot, and an ideal study abroad location at the crossroads of two continents.
#7. South Africa
It’s the most democratic country in Africa, known for its diverse wildlife and outdoor thrills. South Africa has eleven official languages, from Zulu (the most popular) to Afrikaans (a language originating from Dutch). While English is not one of them, it is widely spoken in the government and in education. Many universities are located in the coastal cities of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, drawing students studying ecology, anthropology, and international relations, to name a few.
Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce the name of their volcano, Eyjafjallajökull. Over 80 percent of the country speaks English. This Nordic nation in the middle of the North Atlantic is great for environmental or geological studies students, as the University of Iceland is world-renowned for its scientific research. When you aren’t hiking across lava rocks or trekking over glaciers, chill out in the Blue Lagoon, the country’s geothermal hot spa.
It’s one of the most popular places to study abroad in the world, and not just because of the sun and laid-back lifestyle. The world’s largest coral reef and the rural outback are some major highlights, but the real draw is the friendly, welcoming people. Most major universities are located in Melbourne and Sydney.
Innovative seafood cuisine, modern art museums, and fika (the traditional coffee and cinnamon bun snack), the country’s capital, make Stockholm, a world-class cosmopolitan city. Sweden’s excellent higher-education system also has some of the top universities in the world. Popular cities to study include Uppsala, Gothenburg, and Stockholm. Venture farther north and you will find some of Europe’s most pristine mountains, lakes, and a glimpse of the Northern Lights.