Best Places to Study Abroad in Europe

Last Updated on May 24, 2022

If you want to study abroad in Europe,  the continent is a great choice for a little sunshine and a lot of opportunity. Whether you would like to work in multiple European countries or take a gap year, the continent is full of options. Below are some of the best places to study in Europe for English speakers. You will also find related posts on best country to study in europe for international students .

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Best european country to study and work

Sweden

In Sweden you only need a valid student visa to be able to work. Plus there’s no restriction regarding how much you can work, as long as you dedicate at least 40 hours per week to your studies. Wages in Sweden are also more then attractive, the average being 2,500 USD/ month.

Here are some Swedish universities we recommend:

  • Linnaeus University
  • University of Boras
  • Jönköping University

Estonia

In Estonia you also only need a student visa to work during your studies. But what makes it appealing is that you can stay and work an additional six months if you get your university permission after you finish studies.

There’s no restriction regarding how much you can work provided you have passing grades. The average salary is about 1,400 USD per month before taxes.

Here are a couple of Estonian universities we recommend:

  • Tallinn University
  • Tallinn University of Technology

Denmark

The student visa in Denmark includes the right to work 20 hours/ week during school year and fulltime during school breaks.

Even if it’s part-time work the pay is more then rewarding with the average pay being 16 USD/hour. That means about 1,280 USD/month for a part-time job.

Here are a couple of Danish universities we recommend:

  • Aarhus University
  • Roskilde University

France

In France you can work part-time with a valid student visa. You are allowed to work 20 hours a week off campus, but if you find a job on campus you can work more. Per year, you can up to 60% from the legal annual working hours – meaning you can work more on holidays.

In France there is a guaranteed minimum salary, which is 10 USD/gross per hour. For a month of part-time work, you are guaranteed to make at least 800 USD.

Here are some French universities we recommend:

  • Emlyon Business School
  • HEC Paris
  • Audencia

Ireland 

You do not need a work permit to work part-time in the Ireland, provided you have a Stamp 2 Permission on your visa.

You can work up to 20 hours/week during the school year and full-time during school breaks. The part time salary in Ireland can reach about 800 USD/ gross/ month. Sounds like a deal? Here are some Irish schools you should check out:

  • University College Dublin
  • University of Limerick
  • Maynooth University

Finland

In Finland you are allowed to work 25 hours a week during school term and full-time during school breaks without needing a work permit. Salaries for part-time jobs usually start at 500 USD/month.  Check these universities out, if Finland is where you want to work and study:

  • Aalto University
  • University of Vaasa
  • LUT University

The United Kingdom

You can work part-time in the UK as long as you have Tier 4 student visa. The average part-time wage across the UK 600 USD a week. In London it is generally higher, about 800 USD.  If this fits your plans, here are some universities we recommend in the UK:

  • University of Birmingham
  • Swansea University
  • Coventry University
  • University of Leeds
  • Durham University

Norway

You do not need a work permit for the first year of your studies in Norway. However, after the first year you have to renew it and provide additional documents. Part-time workers earn an average of 4,000 USD/month. However, note that most Norwegian jobs require knowing Norwegian language.

Here are a few Norwegian universities we recommend:

  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • BI Norwegian Business School
  • University of Stavanger
The 10 best places to study abroad in Europe | OFX

Germany

Germany is also a country where you can work part-time as long as you have a valid student visa. Wages for a part-time job start at about 500 USD/month. The good part is that living costs in Germany are one of the lowest in Western Europe.

Here are a few German universities we recommend:

  • IU International University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Cologne
  • RWTH Aachen University

Best Places To Study Abroad In Europe

1. Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal may be one of Europe’s smallest countries, but it is loaded with character and the capital, Lisbon, is the best place to experience it. Lisbon is home to half a million residents, making it small enough to explore by foot, but large enough to never run out of things to do.

Many international students from Europe are attracted to the pleasant weather and the relaxed vibe of Portugal’s capital, making it a great place to study abroad and meet new friends from around the world.

Walking down the cobblestone streets of Lisbon’s tree-lined avenues is sure to transport you through Portugal’s rich historical past. There is art around every corner in this river-side city, from the colorful street art to the vibrant candy-colored tiled facades of the buildings in the city’s center.

The sonorous sound of Portugal’s traditional Fado music and the scent of delicious foods like Piri Piri chicken and freshly baked pastéis de nata (custard tarts) loft through the streets. Lisbon is a great option to study if you’re on a budget as well, the cost of living here is much lower than many other capital cities in Europe.

2. Berlin, Germany

As the capital of Europe’s most powerful economy, Berlin holds great importance in the region. Well-known for its historical past, there are plenty of places throughout the city to immerse oneself in the rich history of Germany and Europe at large.

History has shaped Berlin into the unique and indescribably cool city it is today — Berlin very much embodies the “hipster aesthetic” without sacrificing genuine character. It’s a great place for international students due to its diversity and wide range of sights and activities — Berlin has something for every type of person to enjoy.

Home to over 3.5 million residents, the city is a bit too large to navigate by foot, but there is an amazing public transportation system that will allow you to explore every corner of this buzzing city. As the capital, Berlin is home to many of Germany’s top universities which are some of the best in Europe and the world. Notoriously affordable, education is a key pillar of German society.

Daily expenses in the city can be a bit more expensive than other cities in Europe, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy everything Berlin has to offer on a budget – if you’re looking for a cheap snack be sure to try out currywurst, the delicious cultural mashup of German sausage and rich South Asian curry sauce.

Whether you enjoy the nightlife, historical sights, or interesting cafes, you’ll never run out of things to do in Berlin.

3. Milan, Italy

When students picture studying in Italy, the old splendor of Florence or Rome come to mind. However, Milan outranks them both as the best city in Italy to study abroad. Though a bit smaller with only 1.4 million inhabitants, Milan packs a punch full of beauty, charm, and excitement.

As the fashion capital of Italy, you’ll be sure to see extravagant designer stores and people, especially around the famed mall, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. You’re sure to get lost in the splendor of the highly-decorative architecture of many of Milan’s famous sights, like the iconic Duomo.

Like any city in Italy, there are ancient Roman ruins speckled throughout, but Milan is a rather modern city. Many tech companies and startups are based in Milan making the scene an interesting combo of young intellectuals and old-world classical charm.

Milan is also a hub for academics as it is home to Italy’s highest-ranked university, Politecnico di MilanoYou’ll find a sizable student population in the city, making it an excellent place to meet other international students.

4. Paris, France

Thousands before me have tried to encapsulate Paris and its essence into just a few short words but it is almost impossible to do so. Paris may seem like a city plagued by expectations and false realities, however, it really is as enchanting as they say – but I do admit it took me a few trips for me to really enjoy the charm of the City of Lights.

There’s no denying Paris is huge – it can be a bit overwhelming, but also thrilling. People from all over the world flock to the aesthetic streets – tourists and students alike. As a large capital city, Paris is home to many foreigners and international students from all over Europe and beyond. You won’t have trouble meeting new people while studying abroad there.

Brimming with priceless troves of art, decadent cuisine, rich history, and magic – Paris has it all and more. There are literally endless things to do and you’ll never run out of ideas for what to do outside of the classroom.

As one of the most popular study-abroad destinations in Europe, Paris has many well-established companies and programs that offer courses to international students making it not only a beautiful place to study but also an academically enriching one.

5. Prague, Czech Republic

This city of a hundred spires and orange tiled rooftops is sure to enchant you. Prague really does look and feel like some kind of Disney fairytale – especially in the snow-flecked months of winter. Prague is absolutely thrilling – it’s a great place to work, live, and especially to study.

Prague is home to the oldest and one of the best universities in Central Europe, Univerzita Karlova. Since most people in the capital speak some English, many universities and programs offer a large breadth of subjects to international students.

Outside of academics, there is a vibrant nightlife and music scene in Prague. – You’ll find many unique places to go out and to experience Czech culture, but many of the best places are hidden away, literally underground or away from the city center in outlying neighborhoods like Žižkov.

The sights in Prague are truly awe-inspiring, with such stunning architecture unique to central Europe. The food is surprisingly delicious as well — and the beer, you can’t forget the beer –the Czech Republic is the birthplace of pilsner after all.

6. Amsterdam, Netherlands

A short walk down the shaded canals of Amsterdam is sure to steal the heart of just about anyone. This city has a lot to offer — much more than the stereotypes you may have heard of the nightlife and the famed red-light district. Amsterdam — like the rest of the Netherlands — has a relaxed way of life. The city is not too large and is easily accessible by foot — or if you want to live like a local — by bike.

There is a vibrant culture of music, making it a great place to go out as an international student. If nightlife is not your priority there are a plethora of cozy cafes and relaxing parks like the beautifully lush Vondelpark to pass the time. Strolling the canals will give you a great view of the city’s historic architecture and past.

It’s a truly international city, as many students from around Europe, and the world, are attracted by the friendly nature of the Netherlands. Dutch is the national language but nearly everyone speaks English, so don’t worry too much about any language barriers. This is especially helpful if you’re looking to study in English as the courses offered at the top universities will have a wide range of subjects suitable for almost any student.

7. Dublin, Ireland

Rolling green hills, rugged cliffs, and warm people are all images that invoke the essence of Ireland. Nestled around the River Liffey, Dublin has the gritty aesthetic of any port city – while also boasting stunning, modern buildings and historical buildings dating back hundreds of years.

It’s not a particularly large city, with just over half a million people, it is easily navigable by foot. Wandering the streets of Dublin you’ll never be short of entertainment, the city has numerous places to hit the town — and the best access to a creamy pint of Guinness in the world.

You’re sure to love the coziness of the old-timey pubs and cable-knit sweaters which are so abundant in Dublin. However, if you need a quiet respite you can always stroll through Phoenix Park, one of the largest parks in all of Europe.

The Emerald Isle is an exceptional place for any international student especially if you want to learn English and have an unforgettable experience overseas. Better yet if English is your native tongue, you’ll be able to study any academic discipline at one of Dublin’s many renowned universities.

8. London, England

The U.K. remains one of the most popular study-abroad locations in Europe with about half of all U.S. international students flocking there. London, the capital, holds not only 13% of the United Kingdom’s total population but also a large number of international students from the rest of Europe.

As the largest city in Europe, London is by far the most culturally diverse. You can find any food or activity you can possibly imagine in this massive metropolis. Each borough has a unique culture and feel – no one person could explore everything there is to experience in London.

Academically there is a multitude of high-ranking universities to choose from with wide ranges of course offerings in English — it’s any academic’s dream.

Boasting a large international community, London is a great place to meet other international students from across the globe. Known for its incredible nightlife, delicious food, lush parks, and world-class museums, London could never bore you.

9. Barcelona, Spain

If you’re a person who believes in “good vibes,” Barcelona is chock full of them — if you’re like the rest of us it’s clear to see the appeal of the city’s relaxed and effortlessly cool lifestyle.

This coastal city is the capital of the Catalan people, making it quite different from the rest of Spain. People speak a different language and live a different culture than what you might think of when you envision life in Spain.

Among Barcelona’s tree-shaded avenidas you’ll find endless museums, galleries, and airy cafes. Barcelona is a gastronomic hub within Spain, as well as a hub for international students.

Between classes, you can enjoy the stunning views of Parque Güell, one of the works of famed architect, Antoni Gaudí, the busy bustle of Las Ramblas, or the refreshing embrace of the sparkling Mediterranean sea.

It may be one of the most popular destinations to study abroad, but the hype is real – Barcelona is such a refreshing place to live and study abroad.

Best Places to Study Abroad in Europe | by Sinisa Milic | Student Voices

10. Madrid, Spain

Spain is one of the top study abroad destinations in Europe, especially for American students. Madrid, the sprawling and bustling capital, attracts most of them. As a result, you’ll find a thriving international community there — you’ll never be at a loss for friends.

Not only are there plenty of people to meet, but there is also every sort of activity to experience, as you would expect from any large metropolitan city.

As a large city, Madrid has endless ways to spend your time — when you’re not busy studying of course. Experience the true culture of Spain by taking a siesta in the Parque del Retiro, Madrid’s largest park, by browsing the numerous fine art museums, or by eating your heart out at one of the city’s thousands of restaurants.

Academically Madrid is a great choice for any student as it’s home to some of the country’s top universities as well as many long-standing study abroad programs. Don’t be afraid if you have a low level of Spanish as there are programs offered to students at all levels.

Best countries to study in europe in english

If you want to work during your graduate studies and you don’t speak a foreign language, it’s always smart to go to a country where most people speak English. This will give you access to virtually any job.  

According to the European Commission’s Eurobarometer data the top five are:

  • Ireland (over 97% English speakers)
  • The UK (over 94% English speakers)
  • Malta (over 62% English speakers)
  • Sweden (over 53% English speakers)
  • Denmark (over 52% English speakers)

But if you are ready to step out of your comfort zone and perhaps learn a new language, you could also go for countries where English is not as widely spoken, but where those who do speak it have an excellent level. The top 3 are:

  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • The Netherlands 

In these countries, you have a good chance of finding specialised jobs that require good English skills. And the good news is that all these English-friendly countries also have a great academic offer for Master’s studies.

Best place to study in europe for international students

1. University of Granada – Spain (Universidad de Granada) 

The city of Granada, sprawled out at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, is one of Spain’s most beautifully energized cities. With a mix of historical architectural sites and streets filled with bars, student dives, and yummy bohemian cafes full of tapas, it’s the perfect place for a university.

The Universidad de Granada has become a major intellectual center in southern Spain during its 500 year existence. The schools Modern Language Center hosts students from all over the world who want to deepen their knowledge of Spanish language and culture. Not to mention it’s surrounded by mountains and not far from the beach, making it a stand out location for a European university! 

Recommended study abroad programs at the University of Granada:

  • API Study Abroad 
  • ISA Study Abroad
  • Arcos Learning Abroad

2. Florence University of the Arts – Italy 

Say Ciao to the Italian study abroad adventure you’ve always wanted with Florence University of the Arts! Founded in 1997, this uni sits in the city center of Florence, one of the most beautiful and frequently visited cities in Italy. Known for incredible architecture that will romance you at each glance, Florence is also a hot spot for world-class art—something FUA is sure to teach you all about. The hands-on community approach to teaching makes FUA one of the best international universities in Europe for students looking for a Liberal Arts education. 

Recommended study abroad programs at FUA:

  • SAI Study Abroad 
  • CISabroad

3. University of Leeds – England 

Fancy an international study abroad experience that will make you feel more at home than home actually does? The English know how to do this all too well, and attending the University of Leeds will shower you with a classic English school experience, while also letting you live it up in a lively town full of local and international students!

Being one of the few uni’s in England that allows international students to live in the same halls as locals, the University of Leeds is ALL about immersion. Leeds is also only a train ride away from the cosmopolitan gem of London so you can hit the city any time you want!

Recommended study abroad programs at the University of Leeds

  • API Study Abroad
  • Academic Studies Abroad

4. Humboldt University of Berlin – Germany 

Founded in Berlin in 1820, Humboldt University was given the name “mother of all modern universities” for its concept of wanting to provide students with an all-around humanist education. This grew throughout Europe, and Humboldt is now not only a historical university, but one of the best schools for international students to attend. Berlin is an edgy city, with a complicated history that will capture the attention of anyone wanting to study in a vibrant place to learn about the history, art, and culture of one of the most modern German cities.

Recommended study abroad programs at Humboldt University of Berlin

  • AIFS Study Abroad
  • API Study Abroad
13 Powerhouse Cities for Study Abroad in Europe

5. The Paris Institute of Creative Arts – France  

If you’re looking to get out of the traditional classroom and really experience a foreign city, the Paris Institute of Creative Arts is the creme dela creme! This European university focuses on the interaction of students with their surroundings—meaning you’re going to get out of the classroom and see the city itself. Yes, please! You’ll be offered many different choices in how you choose to express your creativity, from art to bookmaking and everything in between, the possibilities in Paris are almost endless. 

Recommended study abroad program at the Paris Institute of Creative Arts:

  • SAI Programs

6. Hellenic American University – Greece 

With the Greek ruins as the backdrop to your study abroad experience, Hellenic American University is one of the best universities in Europe to learn about Europe’s oldest city—Athens! The historic city is vibrant as ever, and you’ll enjoy studying at a uni that sits in the heart of all it all. With smaller classes that ensure students get a personalized feel for their studies, Hellenic American University is still full of genuine locals that are going to make your experience as authentic as the Parthenon itself.

Recommended study abroad programs in Athens:

  • CISabroad 
  • College Year in Athens

7. Maastricht University – The Netherlands 

One of the highest ranking universities in the Netherlands and also one of the best schools for international students looking for an authentic European experience, Maastricht University is known for its high-quality research and social engagement programs. Not to mention it’s the most international university in the Netherlands, making it the perfect spot for you to plant your feet for a European study abroad! 

Recommended study abroad programs at Maastricht University:

  • CES Maastricht
  • USAC
Things You Need to Know before Studying abroad in Paris – Lodgis Blog

8. Salzburg College – Austria 

Bordering Austria and Germany with jaw dropping views of the Eastern Alps is the vivacious city of Salzburg. Known as one of the most beautiful and safest cities in Austria, Salzburg offers picturesque mountain views and a rich heritage representing over 1000 years of European history. Salzburg college is a small private institution that brings big rewards! The uni is all about immersing students into the culture of Austria, not to mention teaching you some valuable history as well. 

Recommended study abroad program in Salzburg:

  • AIFS

9. Corvinus University of Budapest – Hungary 

One of the most prestigious schools in Hungary, and one of the best international universities in Europe for students studying business or social science related fields, Corvinus University of Budapest offers an amazing experience to learn about Hungarian culture. You’re going to gain not only an appreciation for Hungary itself, but Eastern European countries in a whole. Hungary is also in a perfect location to visit other Eastern and Western European countries—heck yeah!

Recommended study abroad programs at Corvinus University of Budapest:

  • AIFS Study Abroad  
  • Center for Study Abroad
Tests for study abroad program; GRE, GMAT, SAT & A

10. University of Stirling – Scotland  

If you label yourself as an outdoorsy adventure seeker, you’ll find that studying in Scotland offers amazing universities with even more amazing nature attached. The quaint and historic town of Sterling is sure to tickle your fancy if you want to live in a buzzing student filled city surrounded by mountains, castles, and views for days! Sterling offers a great sense of community to its international students as well as over 15 subjects to choose from. 

Recommended study abroad programs at the University of Sterling:

  • USAC Study Abroad 
  • IFSA-Butler

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