Student programmes are essential tools in the modern young learner’s curriculum. The life experience, cultural acceptance and academic prestige this type of experience brings to a resumé cannot be overestimated, and most employers keep an eye out for a stint abroad when browsing through applications for any given position.
As with anything, however, there is a clear ‘power ranking’ when it comes to study destinations. Opting for certain countries in favour of others can give you a distinct advantage, not only because of the quality of the courses you will be attending, but also in the eyes of potential employers. In this regard, ten locations in particular are known to be excellent choices for study-abroad student programmes, due to the good combination of cultural acceptance, sightseeing and academic excellence they provide.
Where to go
It will come as no surprise to reveal that most of these locations are European countries and capitals. Places such as Paris, London and Barcelona have traditionally been linked with not only great opportunities for tourism, but also top-quality courses accepted without question almost anywhere in the world. As such, most young learners planning to embark on student programmes abroad will set their sights towards such institutions as the Sorbonne (in Paris), Oxford University, Cambridge University or the University of Barcelona.
However, below these well-known and permanently popular countries, cities and schools, there is a whole slew of ‘sleeper’ entrants just waiting to be discovered by more curious or thorough youngsters. A good representative of this group is Sweden, a country known for its extremely civilised and progressive lifestyle and where a big emphasis is put on providing quality education. Proof of this is the large number of Nobel Prize laureates originating from that country. Even more attractive is the fact that, for EU residents, tuition fees are absolutely free, a fact that will no doubt constitute a major argument in favour of choosing Sweden when considering where to head to on student programmes.
Also on this list of lesser-known but highly attractive European destinations are the Netherlands and Switzerland. Although not particularly known for their academic reputation or tradition, both these countries provide highly international courses, where English is often the main language for the classes and papers. This, combined with their easy-going culture and attractive sights, causes a large number of young people to seek out these countries as destinations for their periods abroad.
In spite of its dominance over the international studies scenario, however, Europe is not the only part of the world offering attractive and highly valued study opportunities. Australia, for example, heavily targets the international market, with campaigns and measures put in place to attract young learners and professionals from abroad. Likewise, Canada offers plentiful work opportunities for those with academic experience in the country, making it a particularly attractive location for graduates wanting to embark on full degrees abroad.
Any of these destinations will, therefore, provide young people with a powerful weapon with which to gain advantage in the job seeking market, and should be at the top of any list.