Top 10 Places in Europe to Study Abroad with Scholarship Opportunities

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Top 10 Places in Europe to Study Abroad with Scholarship Opportunities


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Welcome to our official 2020 rankings for Top 10 Places in Europe to Study Abroad!

In our survey of over 30,000 international students, most of you told us that, when deciding where to study abroad, you choose country first over a university or specific type of program. You also told us what you consider the most important factors when choosing a study abroad destination. We used your feedback to create our list ranking the best places in Europe to study abroad in 2020!

The rankings are based on these 7 factors:

  1. To achieve my career goals
  2. To develop myself personally
  3. To experience a new culture or lifestyle
  4. To access higher quality teaching
  5. To have an adventure
  6. To make new friends or widen my professional network
  7. To learn a new language

Want to learn more?

 Check out the 2020 Global rankings

 Check out the 2020 rankings for Asia

Read more about the rationale behind the rankings

Top 10 Places in Europe to Study Abroad – 2020

#10 – Portugal

Ranked #14 

in the world

To have an adventure

Ranked #1 in the world

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #2 in the world

If you’re looking to soak up some sun between studies, look no further than Portugal! Not only is the country home to some of the best beaches in the world, you can enjoy them year-round thanks to over 300 days of sunshine per year. Feeling sporty? Portugal is known for its football, surfing, and golf courses. It also ranks second in the world for experiencing a new culture or lifestyle. Embrace the Portuguese lifestyle by sampling new foods like port wine and regional specialties, witnessing its architectural triumphs, and experiencing a nightlife like no other. Most importantly, Portugal ranks first in the world for students seeking adventure! Take the plunge and see what Portugal has to offer you during your studies abroad.

Browse programs in Portugal

#9 – Belgium

Ranked #13

in the world

To learn a new language

Ranked #5 in Europe

To have an adventure

Ranked #8 in Europe

If you want to study in Europe, why not go where all the action is? As the official headquarters of the European Union, Belgium has long been considered the heart of Western Europe. Rich in beauty and culture, this small nation’s heritage is visible in some of the most beautiful settings Europe has to offer. From picturesque medieval towns to renaissance architecture, Belgium is not only a great place to study abroad, it’s a must-see travel destination! As one of the friendliest countries in Europe, you’re sure to feel welcome as you sample mouthwatering foods like pommes frites and Belgian waffles in one of their famous student cities. Plus, if you’re looking to learn a language you can choose between French, German, or Dutch, which are all spoken regionally. Discover the diversity and beauty of Europe in Belgium.

Browse programs in Belgium

#8 – Denmark

Ranked #12

in the world

To develop myself personally

Ranked #2 in the world

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #3 in Europe

Contrary to popular belief, Disneyland may not be the happiest place on Earth! If you want to study where the people are happy and the quality of life is high, look no further than Denmark. The welcoming Danish universities are designed to promote creativity, innovation, and analytical and critical thinking. This northern seaside paradise is also known for its environmentalism. Bikes are a primary form of transportation in the relatively-flat cities, and more than 50% of Copenhageners cycle to and from work every day. All of that biking is great for your physical health, but what about your mental health? The Danes have a word for it: Hygge! It’s a term that means creating cozy social gatherings and intimate get-togethers with family and friends. Especially for students studying abroad, it can make a huge difference to feel a sense of family and togetherness even when you’re far from home.

Browse programs in Denmark

#7 – France

Ranked #10

in the world

To learn a new language

Ranked #1 in Europe

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #7 in the world

If you dream of living in the capital of fine wine and fashion, book your study abroad destination to France immediately! The French pride themselves on their cultural influence, and it’s easy to see why: Paris is home to the world’s largest and most-visited art museum, many high-end fashion houses, and some of the best universities in the world. Their cuisine, from aromatic cheeses to hearty stews to seaside mussels, is world-renowned and pairs perfectly with their diverse wines. While basic French will serve you well in Paris, smaller towns like Lille, Toulouse, Grenoble, or Lyon provide an immersive language experience. If you see yourself on a picnic blanket on the Champ de Mars or basking on the beaches of Nice, fast-track yourself to France.

Browse programs in France

#6 – Spain

Ranked #9

in the world

To experience a new culture or lifestyle

Ranked #1 in the world

To have an adventure

Ranked #3 in the world

After a long day of studying, lively and colorful Spain is just what the doctor ordered! Ranked first in the world for its culture and lifestyle, Spain has lots of food, fashion, art, history, and culture to explore. Hop between tapas bars with your new friends, participate in unique festivals around the country, put on your dancing shoes and try flamenco, or cheer on your favorite football team. Take a break from all the excitement by wandering the cities and towns and soaking in all the history and architectural wonders. If you’re looking for a dynamic, exciting, culturally rich experience, vamos a España!

Browse programs in Spain

#5 – United Kingdom

Ranked #8

in the world

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #2 in the world

To make new friends / widen my professional network

Ranked #4 in Europe

Ah, the United Kingdom… is there a more classic depiction of university life than students strolling across the grand campuses of Cambridge or Oxford? Home to the oldest university in the English speaking world, the UK is an iconic place to study abroad. Its teaching quality has been ranked second in Europe, and it boasts one of the highest student satisfaction rates among English speaking countries. Students flock to the UK for the incredible cultural experience, best universities, and the possibilities after graduation. If you want to spend your weekends road tripping through the Scottish Highlands, enjoying live music in a pub with friends, or immersed in your favorite literature at some of the best libraries in the world, the UK welcomes you!

Browse programs in the UK

#4 – The Netherlands

Ranked #7

in the world

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #3 in Europe

To develop myself personally

Ranked #6 in the world

If cozy cafes, expansive tulip fields, and shimmering canals inspire you, the Netherlands should be your next study abroad destination! Thanks to the country’s very high English proficiency, there’s a diverse range of English-language programs to choose from. With one of the oldest and most reputable higher education systems in the world and a great student life, the Netherlands ranked third for access to higher quality teaching. Thrifty students rejoice: Dutch cities are built for biking! This cheap, easy mode of transportation also keeps you healthy as you indulge in delicious pastries, pancakes, and cheeses. Ranked sixth in the world for personal development, the Netherlands is known for being tolerant and accepting. Come as you are and experience student life in the Netherlands!

Browse programs in the Netherlands

#3 – Sweden

Ranked #6

in the world

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #1 in the world

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #4 in Europe

You’ve heard of ABBA and IKEA, but Sweden has so much more to offer students abroad! With a high English language proficiency and the headquarters of companies like H&M and Spotify, Sweden was ranked first in Europe for students who want to achieve their career goals. Before embarking on your new career, graduate from one of the best universities in the world in cities like Uppsala, Stockholm, or Gothenburg. In student towns like Linköping and Lund, you’ll find exciting traditions led by student organizations. Outside of the classroom, you’ll fall in love with Swedish culture. Pastries and coffee are enjoyed with friends in a ritual called fika, while saunas and freezing dips into the ocean make you feel like a true Viking!

Browse programs in Sweden

#2 – Switzerland

Ranked #4

in the world

To develop myself personally

Ranked #3 in the world

To have an adventure

Ranked #5 in Europe

In close second is Switzerland, a country known for its stunning mountains, delicious cheeses, decadent chocolates, and clean, picturesque towns. Study in Switzerland and you’ll encounter some of the happiest people in the world: Switzerland was ranked sixth in the UN’s World Happiness Index. While it can be expensive to live in Switzerland, tuition at most public universities is the same for all international students, regardless of nationality. This contrasts from most European countries, where EU/EEA citizens pay less than non-EU/EEA students. Depending on the region you choose to study in, you have the opportunity to learn not one but four new languages! Switzerland’s four national languages are German, French, Italian, and Romansh. If you want to experience the beauty of the Swiss Alps, explore beautiful towns, and sample world-renowned cuisine, Switzerland is a great option.

Browse programs in Switzerland

#1 – Germany

Ranked #3

in the world

To access higher quality teaching

Ranked #1 in the world

To achieve my career goals

Ranked #4 in Europe

The top pick for students who want to study abroad in Europe is Germany, home to beer festivals, enchanting castles, giant pretzels, and fast cars! Ranked first in the world for access to higher education, Germany offers a fantastic education and exciting student life in urban centers like Berlin or student cities like Freiburg. Best of all, you can get a world class education for next to nothing since public universities abolished tuition fees for both domestic and international students! Take that tuition money and put it towards a giant mug of Weissbier and a bratwurst, a train ticket to a neighboring European country, or entrance to one of many festivals in the country. The opportunities don’t end when you finish your studies. As the largest economy in Europe, Germany is perfectly positioned to help you achieve your career goals!

Browse programs in Germany Study Abroad Country Rankings 2020 - Europe

Study a Master’s in Europe Scholarship 2020/2021

Apply for our €5000 scholarship and let us help make your study abroad dreams a reality

Please note: The deadlines and criteria of this scholarship have changed since it’s original launch. Please read the information carefully and refer to the FAQs at the bottom of this page for further information about the changes.

At, we believe that students who study abroad become the next generation of globally-minded leaders – and we want more of you to do it!

That’s why we’re offering one postgraduate scholarship of up to €5000 to help cover your tuition fees and get you one step closer to your next great adventure.

The scholarship will be awarded for the Spring 2021 semester and is open to
students from any country who will be studying a master’s degree abroad at a European university or graduate school.

The application period ends on 17 August 2020.

Need help finding a program? Browse 29,000+ master’s degrees in Europe.


To apply for this scholarship:

  • You must have applied (or will apply) to a university or graduate school within Europe (see the FAQs below for an official list of European countries)
  • You must have applied (or will apply) for a master’s-level degree starting between Fall/Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021.
  • The degree program must be studied either within Europe or online via distance learning from a European institute
  • You must meet the entry requirements for the university or graduate school, including:
    • Hold a valid undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree
    • Meet language requirements for the program
  • You must hold or be eligible to apply for a relevant study visa (if applicable)
  • You must be studying abroad in a country that you are not a citizen of or currently reside in (unless currently studying abroad).

Looking for more scholarships? Download our list!

We’ve put together this handy downloadable list of 100+ scholarships specifically for international students wanting to study abroad.

Fill out this form to get your copyENTER YOUR DETAILS:Email Address *What country are you from? *–Select a country–AfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBrazilBritish Channel IslandsBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBritish Virgin IslandsBruneiBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChannel IslandsChileChinaColombiaComorosCongoCook IslandsCosta RicaCôte d’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuracaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEast TimorEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEnglandEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland IslandsFaroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaGabonGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHondurasHong Kong (OLD please do not use)HungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIrelandIsraelItalyIvory CoastJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKosovoKuwaitKyrgyzstanLaosLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedoniaMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldovaMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmar (Burma)NamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNorth KoreaNorthern IrelandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinePanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussiaRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts & NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (Dutch)Saint Martin (French)Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSão Tomé and PríncipeSaudi ArabiaScotlandSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth KoreaSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandThe GambiaTogoTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkish Republic of Northern CyprusTurkmenistanTurks & Caicos IslandsUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited States of AmericaUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaVietnamVirgin Islands (U.S.)WalesWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI accept the  Terms and Conditions & Privacy PolicyDownload

Our ideal candidate

Are you the next globally-minded leader?

If you’re planning to take the leap and study abroad for grad school, we already know you have a courageous and adventurous spirit. What else are we looking for in a candidate?

  • Globally-minded and interested in other cultures
  • Motivated and inspired to positively change the world
  • High academic achiever with consistently outstanding grades to prove it
  • Involved in extra-curricular groups and activities
  • Excited to begin your adventure and share your story with the world!

Don’t know where to study? Check out the 10 best European countries to study in.

Key dates*

Applications open:

8 April 2019

Applications close:

17 August 2020

Finalists notified:

From 19 October 2020

Winner announced:

From 16 November 2020

Scholarship paid out:

Spring 2021

The deadlines and criteria of this scholarship have changed since it’s original launch. Please read the information carefully and refer to the FAQs at the bottom of this page for further information about the changes.

Application requirements

Wondering how to apply for this scholarship and study a master’s in Europe?

To be considered, you must submit your completed application by 17 August 2020.

The application consists of:

  • Filling out short form
  • Submitting a short essay (500-700 words) on the question “Why did you choose your study abroad country, and how will it help you grow as a globally-minded leader?”

Please note, applications must be submitted in English. Applications in other languages will not be considered.

If selected as a finalist, you may be asked to provide:

  • Proof of acceptance into the university in the form of a copy of your acceptance letter
  • Proof of undergraduate qualification in the form of a copy of your transcript
  • Proof of identity in the form of a copy of your passport

Copies of documents must be color scans. Please have these documents on hand should you be selected as a finalist. You will have 7 days from the time you receive notification of finalist selection to supply us with this documentation.

If selected as the winner, you must:

  • Respond within 7 days of receiving the offer of scholarship to confirm acceptance

View the full terms & conditions here.

Ready to submit your application?

Get started

Lugano, Switzerland

FAQs about this scholarship

  • What changes have been made to the scholarship?

On Monday, April 20, 2020, we made the decision to extend the dates for this scholarship. Despite the current global situation with COVID-19, we continue to believe in this scholarship and the importance of supporting studying abroad as the life-changing opportunity that it is.

Originally, we were scheduled to award the scholarship in Fall/Autumn 2020, and only those beginning on-campus studies in the Fall/Autumn 2020 semester were eligible. However, the scholarship is now being awarded for the Spring 2021 semester, and is open to anyone beginning their studies between Fall/Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021. We are now also accepting applications for online studies at European universities.

  • How many scholarships will be awarded?

There is only one scholarship available which will be awarded to one individual.

  • When will I find out if I have won the scholarship?

The scholarship finalists will be contacted after 19 October 2020 and the winner will be announced after 16 November 2020. All applicants will be notified via email of the final results.

  • Can I edit my application after I submit it?

Yes, you will be able to log in as many times as you like using the email you originally submitted the application with up until the application close date – 17 August 2020. After this date, the application form will be closed and all submissions will be considered final.

Please note: Once you have submitted your essay, you will be unable to delete and reupload revised versions. So please make sure to only submit your application once your essay is complete. If you submit the wrong essay or would like to make changes, please email us from the email address associated with your application with the updated version of your essay.

  • What do I have to submit with my application?

In the initial application, all you need to do is fill in the form along with a 500-700 word essay on the topic: “Why did you choose your study abroad country, and how will it help you become a globally-minded leader?”

If you are selected as a finalist, you will be asked to supply further documentation to further prove your eligibility.

  • What should I include in my application essay?

We want you to tell us what drew you to the country you’ve chosen, and particularly, how it will help you grow as a globally-minded leader. Tell us what’s important to you, where you see your future, how studying abroad in this particular country will help you get there, as well as how it will help you grow and develop.

  • I want to upload a new version of my essay. How do I do this?

Please email from the email address associated with your application with the updated version of your essay and we will make a note on your application.

  • Can I get reimbursed if I have already paid my tuition fees for the Spring 2021 semester?

No, the terms of this scholarship state that your tuition fees for the Spring 2021 semester must not yet be paid, as we will only pay the scholarship fund directly to the university. If you begin your studies before Spring 2021 and are required to pay your fees in full, unfortunately this will mean you are not eligible for this scholarship as we are unable to repay fees that have already been paid by the student.

  • Can I email or post you my application?

No, all applications must be submitted via the official online form (link below). If you email or post us your application, we will not include it for consideration.

  • Is this scholarship for degrees taught in English only?

No, this scholarship is open to master’s degrees taught in any language. However, we require the application and essay to be submitted in English only. Applications and essays submitted in other languages will not be evaluated.

  • Is this scholarship open to me if I’m studying at a school that is not a university?

Yes, as long as it is a higher education-level institute based in Europe.

  • I have already started studying my master’s degree. Am I still eligible?

If you start your degree between Fall/Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021, you are eligible for this scholarship. If you started your Master’s degree studies before Fall/Autumn 2020 or after Spring 2021, unfortunately you are not eligible.

  • I am applying to study my degree online. Am I eligible for this scholarship?

Yes, this scholarship is eligible towards tuition fees for online degrees provided that degree is delivered by a higher education institution based in Europe (see countries listed below). You do not have to be living or traveling to Europe to study on campus to be eligible for this scholarship, however, you cannot be a citizen of or currently residing in that country (unless currently studying abroad).

  • I applied for this scholarship in the first round before the deadlines were extended. Is my application still valid?

Yes, all applications we received before making the decision to extend the application deadlines and award the scholarship in Spring 2021 are still completely valid. We just ask that you keep your application up to date if any changes in your situation have changed.

  • What countries can I study abroad at with this scholarship?

We will be accepting applications from people of any nationality but you must be applying to study abroad in one of the following countries:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Vatican City

Begin your application here:

2021-2022 Global Scholarships: Apply Online

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