A recent study shows that in 2017, 30% of American participants chose to study abroad in the same 3 countries.  

(link and image from iie.org)

Are you one of the many students asking, where should I study abroad? Although doing study abroad in Spain Italy, or England would of course be amazing, odds are you’ll run into a lot of fellow Americans while you’re there. This makes it tough to take advantage of one of the greatest benefits of study abroad: cultural immersion.  So where else might you study abroad? Unfortunately, many online guides focus on the very places Americans already go — in fact, 9 of the countries listed in this Buzzfeed article are in the top 10 most common study abroad locations listed in the study above

If you’re one of those students looking to maximize the benefits of study abroad by really immersing yourself in a new culture, we’ve got you covered. Here are The 4 Most Underrated Places to Study Abroad.

Study Abroad in Thailand – Bangkok

It’s hard to overstate how amazing Thailand is.

Bankok, the capital of Thailand, is home to world-famous cuisine, historic Buddhist temples, and vibrant open-air markets. And while it is difficult to study abroad for free, it is definitely possible to study abroad cheap in Bangkok. Plan a study abroad budget, and ditch Western food for the exquisite and affordable Thai curries, stir fries, and seafood from local restaurants and street vendors. There’s a reason Thai food is one of the most popular cuisines in America. It’s even better from the source. 


Outside Bangkok, you can take excursions to gorgeous islands, stunning beaches, and jungle preserves with elephants, exotic fish, and even tigers. And if you dig clothes, you’re really in luck: with a fashion scene that is both historic and cutting-edge, Bangkok is a great place for a fashion study abroad program. Bangkok’s affordability, rich culture, and natural beauty make it one of the best places to study abroad.


Study Abroad in France – Angers

World-class food, football (not the American kind) and joie de vivre make study abroad in France a no-brainer.









image from France-Langue

While most who study abroad in France choose to study in Paris or in the south of France, Angers, known as the gateway to the Loire Valley, is one of the best cities in France to experience  the benefits of studying abroad. Unlike Paris or Nice, it’s small enough to get around on foot, has far fewer tourists, and is home to one of the oldest and most prestigious Universities in France, Université Catholique de l’OuestWith cathedrals and castles dating back to the 9th century, Angers a great place to explore France’s dramatic history.

And while it’s no secret that studying in France can be expensive, Angers is very affordable compared to other French cities. As the gateway to The Loire Valley, it has the incredible food of Paris, but at a much lower price. Except for bananas, apparently. So, just…lay off the bananas while you’re in Angers. And if you’re itching to see the more famous French cities, Paris is just 2 hours by train, and the beaches of Nice are only a quick flight away.

image from France-Langue

Study Abroad in New Zealand – Hamilton

As  one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, New Zealand has something for everyone.

image from University of Waikato

New Zealand vs Australia is a common debate for travelers. There’s a reason Australia is considered one of the best places to study abroad, but there are compelling reasons to study abroad in New Zealand instead.

First off, it’s smaller and less busy. New Zealanders, known also as Kiwis, are notoriously easygoing, nature-loving, self-sufficient, and funny. Not everyone is as goofy as famed comedy duo The Flight of The Conchords, but the Conchords’ dry wit is definitively Kiwi.

Just south of Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, is Hamilton, home to University of Waikato. If you Study Abroad in Hamilton, between classes you can stroll through Hamilton Gardens, routinely named the International Garden of the Year, or take a day-trip to nearby Waitomo Caves, where glow-worms light up a massive network of underground caverns.

Image from Donnie Ray Jones – Green Glow Caves in New Zealand, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60777565

Add easy access to world-class beaches and snow-topped mountains, and what more can you ask for? They say that living in New Zealand, you can ski, swim, and see a rugby match all in one day.

With a fantastic sporting culture at both University and professional levels, New Zealand is a great place to do a sports management study abroad program. New Zealand cricket and rugby are top-notch, and if you’re lucky, you might even get to catch New Zealand’s legendary and fearsome national team, the All Blacks.

And of course, who doesn’t love the delightful New Zealand accent?

Study Abroad in The Philippines – Quezon City

Just like its popular sport of Jai Alai, this chain of islands in the South China Sea is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Quezon City’s Spanish/Catholic influence, unique fusion food culture, and nearby access to jaw-dropping volcanic mountains and white sand beaches make it a one-of-a-kind place to study abroad. 

By Jose A. Fadul, Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18780038

Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh city may get the bulk of tourist traffic in the South China Sea, but you won’t find any envy in Filipino culture: having survived many conflicts and natural disasters, Filipinos are notoriously resilient, welcoming, and dedicated to community. Each province has their own street festival each year with intricate costumes and vibrant music inspired by both their Catholic patron saint and by local legends.

Study abroad is worth it wherever you go – but these lesser-known locations will allow you to maximize the benefits of study abroad in a unique location.

Want to learn more? Talk to a World Endeavors Program Advisor today!


Posted by World Endeavors on    December 14, 2017

Put yourself out there! TM

World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.