Great Alternative Study Abroad Locations For International Students

Studying abroad is a great way to broaden your horizons and try something new. If you want to know some of the best alternative study abroad locations other than the overly saturated US, Canada, and UK Universities, you are in the right place.

Great Alternative Study Abroad Locations For International Students | Expaat
Studying abroad is a great way to broaden your horizons and try something new.

Your international educational adventure can take you to virtually any corner of the world, so don’t be afraid to look beyond the most popular countries and cities for international students.

Best alternative study abroad locations for international students

Here are some of the best alternative countries to study abroad:

  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands
  • India
  • Brazil
  • Singapore
  • Peru


Switzerland is a hidden European gem offering international students a beautiful environment, an excellent standard of living, and a high-quality education.

Famous for its luxury and epic landscapes, Switzerland offers students impressive study opportunities in subjects such as business, hospitality, and finance.

It’s also a fantastic destination for anyone passionate about languages.

Switzerland is divided into regions called cantons, each speaking a different language, including French, German, Italian, and Romansh, perfect for anyone looking to develop their language skills.

Best universities in Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the best alternative study abroad locations and it is home to some of the best universities in the world, with several in the top 100, including:

More reasons to study in Switzerland

Located in the heart of Europe, Switzerland is the ideal launching pad to explore Italy, France, Germany, and beyond.

The country itself is home to world-famous cities like Zurich and Geneva, rich in culture and history.

The Netherlands

Not only does the Netherlands offer a fantastic range of study options for international students, but it also has some of the cheapest tuition fees in Europe.

Amsterdam’s bright lights and rich culture are an irresistible attraction to many international students, but excellent universities can be found throughout the Netherlands.

Those studying arts or technology will find a wide range of top-notch programs in the Netherlands.

Best Universities in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is one of the best alternative study abroad locations and it has several highly regarded universities, including:

  • Delft University of technology
  • Amsterdam University
  • Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Erasmus University of Rotterdam

More reasons to study in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is known for its creativity, multiculturalism, and inclusive perspective.

This will help you feel at home quickly and hopefully avoid culture shock.

Culturally rich cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam are waiting to be explored.

The Netherlands’ location also means the rest of Europe is just around the corner.


India’s fast-growing economy, rich and varied culture, and an array of quality universities make it an attractive destination for studying abroad.

Exciting cities like Delhi and Mumbai offer an exciting and fast-paced lifestyle, but there are also opportunities to study in quieter rural areas.

The higher education system in India is one of the fastest-growing in the world and is now the third-largest behind China and the United States.

India is becoming particularly known for the quality of its engineering and science programs, but there are some excellent options available no matter what field of study you choose.

Best universities in India

Some of the top-rated universities in India include:

More reasons to study in India

You will never be short of things to see and do outside of the classroom in India. World-famous monuments and festivals are found across the country.

A visit to Varanasi, the city’s temples, during the Diwali festival will give you a real insight into Indian mysticism.


Brazil has a lot to offer international students looking for a different place to study.

Not only does it offer some of the most fascinating and diverse landscapes in the world, but it also has one of the biggest economies.

Another interesting attraction is the fact that Brazilian public universities offer free classes to national and international students.

This means that it can be difficult to get a place at one of the nearly 300 public institutions, but there is a wide range of private universities that you can also apply to.

Best universities in Brazil

Brazil is one of the best alternative study abroad locations and it is home to several Universities rated among the top 500 universities in the world, including:

  • University of Sao Paulo
  • Campinas State University
  • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

More reasons to study in Brazil

Adventures are an integral part of studying in Brazil. World-famous beaches, bustling cities, and the natural beauty of the Amazon rainforest await when you take a break from your studies.


Singapore is an exciting country that combines global innovation with Asian traditions. It is known for its excellent quality of life, its hospitality, and its cosmopolitan mix of cultures.

As a thriving center for technology and business, it’s no surprise that Singapore is fast becoming a popular student destination. 

Not only does it have many top universities, but more and more institutions are establishing satellite campuses in Singapore.

Best universities in Singapore

In addition to the international campuses of Yale, the University of Chicago, and INSEAD, Singapore is also home to several major universities:

  • National University of Singapore
  • Nanyang Technical University, Singapore
  • Singapore Management University

More reasons to study in Singapore

Singapore offers a perfect gateway to the east, with easy access to neighboring countries of Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. 

The country has one of the highest standards of living in Asia and offers international students the latest technology and amenities.


Peru is one of the most popular gap year locations in South America, but many people don’t consider studying here.

You should really think about it because you will be able to see amazing places like Machu Picchu!

Best Universities in Peru

Peru is one of the best alternative study abroad locations and it is home to the following top Universities

  • Pontifical Catholic University of Peru
  • Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

More reasons to study in Peru

Peru’s universities, colleges, medical schools, engineering schools, and law schools are well-known in the intellectual and educational worlds, and they continue to provide excellent Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs for clever, dedicated adventurers like you.

Choose from some of Peru’s most competitive degrees at some of the country’s best universities.


Looking for a historical destination to live and study in? Think of the ancient land of Israel! Many students also pool their experiences and are also volunteers in Israel.

Best Universities in Israel

  • Tel Aviv University
  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Technion – Israel University of Technology

More reasons to study in Israel

Israel is a renowned country of innovation and is nicknamed the “Nation of Startups”.

Living and studying here you will experience a wonderful culture that has developed over 4,000 years of history; Different cultural influences can be felt everywhere, especially in Israeli cuisine, art, and history.


Turkey is a fascinating country where east and west meet, expect delicious food, friendly people, and many places to choose from including Istanbul.

Best Universities in Turkey

  • Cankaya University
  • Sabanci University
  • Koc University

More reasons to study in Turkey

You’ll find yourself at a crossroads of attractive but different European and Asian cultures while living and studying here. 

It’s a fascinating mix of customs, festivals, and cuisines worth delving into. 

When you’re not in class, you can go sightseeing and enjoy the nearly 8,000 kilometers of coastline.


If you want to explore a new culture/region of the world, consider studying abroad in Africa and choose Ghana as your destination.

Ghana is a very safe and increasingly popular country to study, the locals are famous for their warm welcome.

There is also an opportunity to combine volunteering experiences in Ghana.

Best Universities in Ghana

  • University of Cape Coast Ghana
  • University of Ghana

More reasons to study in Ghana

Where can you locate the world’s greatest universities? Well, almost anywhere, including Ghana! Isn’t it cool?

There are numerous top-ranked universities in Ghana that compete with some of the world’s most prestigious international colleges.


Would you like to discover a new culture? Russia could be something for you! There are many universities in places like Moscow and St. Petersburg that accept international students.

Best Universities in Russia

  • Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU)
  • Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT)
  • HSE University
  • Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU)
  • National Research Nuclear University MEPhI

More reasons to study in Russia

Physics, Engineering, Medicine, and Psychology are just a few of the fields where Russian institutions thrive. 

When compared to their Western counterparts, they are also more economical; most programs cost less than 7,500 EUR per academic year.


Ireland is often overlooked by American and international students who often choose to study abroad in the UK.

But Ireland is much quieter, cheaper, and more relaxed than the UK. You could live in a world-famous city like Dublin!

Best Universities in Ireland

  • Trinity College Dublin
  • RCSI Institute of Leadership
  • University College Dublin
  • National University of Ireland, Galway

More reasons to study in Ireland

In terms of quality of life, peace, safety, and progress, Ireland is among the top countries in the world. 

It symbolizes an appealing combination of gorgeous landscapes, English-speaking environs, and a strong, welcoming, and rich culture – all of which the Irish are quite proud of. 

International students also benefit from the full support of Irish universities, which hire and train professionals to assist with housing, studies, visa requirements, and any other issues that may arise.


If you are interested in studying abroad in Asia, you may be interested in booking a flight to Taiwan.

Expect a meeting of old and new with modern cities and fascinating culture.

In Taiwan, you can try new foods and a different way of life.

Best Universities in Taiwan

  • National Taiwan University
  • Taipei Medical University
  • China Medical University
  • National Tsing Hua University

More reasons to study in Taiwan

If you study in Taiwan, you will almost certainly benefit from the country’s prosperity. 

Taiwan’s average adult wealth is far higher than that of most other Asian countries. 

According to the 2016 Wealth Report, Taiwan’s average adult wealth level is $172,847, which is comparable to Western Europe. 

Taiwan’s high-income economy is credited with the country’s achievement as a prosperous country with wealthy people. 356,000 persons out of a population of 23.52 million are millionaires.

New Zealand

People who go to Australia often overlook New Zealand, but you won’t regret your decision to study here.

This country is one of the most spectacular in the world to have recently starred in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Best Universities in New Zealand

  • University of Auckland
  • Auckland University of Technology
  • University of Otago
  • University of Waikato
  • Lincoln University Canterbury

More reasons to study in New Zealand

Studying in New Zealand is a fantastic option. The little island nation is one of the safest places on the planet, with an education system modeled after the successful UK system. 

Local colleges are ranked among the best in the world, and tuition fees are relatively low when compared to those in the United States. 

International exams validate the quality of education, revealing that New Zealand students rank in the top ten in the world in terms of academic achievement. 

As a student, you’ll appreciate New Zealand’s hospitality and the ability to participate in a variety of fun and adventurous outdoor sports, such as hiking, scuba diving, ice climbing, canoeing, and so on.


Beautiful beaches, great cities, and an international mix of locals and expats plus tons of travel options to do as you please.

Most people don’t even know you can study here, making it the perfect alternative destination – you’ll make all your friends and family jealous.

Best Universities in Thailand

  • Mae Fah Luang
  • Mahidol University
  • Chulalongkorn University
  • King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi

More reasons to study in Thailand

Thailand is one of Asia’s most cost-effective countries. In average, tuition prices for English-taught study programs do not exceed 2,500 EUR per year. 

Because of the incredible politeness and friendliness of the Thai people, this lovely country is also known as the “Land of Smiles.” 

You’ll find your second home here. Living and studying in Thailand will feel like a holiday because of the tropical environment and sandy beaches. 

You can also tour the area and marvel at natural landscapes and man-made monuments such as Similan Island, the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, the Erawan Falls, and the Grand Palace, among others.

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