For historical reasons, English has become the world’s most important language. It’s the de facto second language taught in most countries today. For native speakers – or other fluent English speakers – this means that there are many places where you can study abroad for a semester or take a whole degree program in English.
Of course, international students have long flocked to English-speaking countries for higher education. The United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand continue attracting millions of students.
This article is for US students looking overseas for interesting study abroad opportunities in English-speaking countries and at institutions in other countries that offer academic study in English.
If you are currently enrolled at a North American university, do some research and then reach out to your international education office on campus. Maybe your school already has an agreement with one of the schools or programs discussed in this article.
What places can I study abroad if I only speak English?
Let’s work to answer that question for you; not everyone has the fluency in a second language to do university-level work.
English-speaking countries have many options, and we will look at a few of those in this article to give you some ideas. But, did you know that many universities in Europe are now teaching degree programs in English? These are predominantly (post-) graduate-level programs in some countries, but there are many full-degree programs in countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden, Malta, and Germany. And there are many more programs that offer 1-semester programs taught entirely in English.
English is also an important part of higher education in the Middle East and East Asia, such as the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Universities where you can study abroad in English
John Cabot University
About: This is a US-style and US-accredited university located in Rome. American students attend full degrees or semester and summer programs.
Location: Rome, Italy
Cost: Check with your campus’ international education office. Range: $39,00 to $42,000 per academic year.
Reasons to study abroad here? Rome’s history, culture, and art are the big attractions.
Other great study abroad experiences in Italy: study art in Florence or fashion in Milan.
About: Macquarie is a large and competitive Australian university with a large international student population. Offerings are comprehensive, from the Humanities to STEM. Macquarie has study abroad agreements with many American universities, or you can enroll directly for a full degree program.
Location: Sydney, Australia
Cost: Check with your campus’ international education office. It ranges from $30,000 to $40,000 per academic year, depending on your accommodation.
Reasons to study abroad here? Macquarie is a modern campus close to Sydney’s attractions – beaches, culture, nightlife, and more.
Other great study abroad experiences in Australia: All universities in Australia have a high percentage of international students and provide excellent service to anyone who inquires. All the universities there are great options, depending on your preferred destination type.
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
About: UPF is a renowned research university located not far from the Mediterranean. Its offerings include Business, STEM majors, and Humanities.
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Cost: A semester of International Studies with Spanish Studies Abroad is between $14,500 and $16,000 for a study abroad semester, with accommodation.
Reasons to study abroad here? Barcelona is a world-class city with a Mediterranean lifestyle combined with European sophistication.
Other great study abroad experiences in Spain: St. Louis University’s Madrid campus offers several degrees in English, and Spanish Studies Abroad also offers semester courses in English at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona’s Sant Pau campus.
National University of Singapore
About: NUS is one of the highest-rated universities in all of Asia. The language of instruction is English.
Cost: Ranges from $27,000 to $29,000 “intake fees”. Living in Singapore can be expensive, and housing prices can vary greatly.
Reasons to study abroad here? NUS has agreements with more than 50 US universities and university systems such as the University of California.
Other great study abroad experiences in Singapore: Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University are highly ranked universities to consider, depending on your area of interest.
About: Durham University is a research university founded in 1832. It has one of the highest percentages of international students in the United Kingdom.
Location: Durham, England (United Kingdom)
Cost: Ranges from $35,000 to $40,000 including accommodation
Reasons to study abroad here? The UK has long been a standard-bearer for excellence in higher education. Durham provides a lower cost of living than cosmopolitan London.
Other great study abroad experiences in England: Many US universities have branch campuses in the UK and offer faculty-led programs in theater and finance areas.
Universidad Pablo de Olavide
About: UPO is a comprehensive, public university in the outskirts of Seville. Spanish Studies Abroad offers semester programs in English through UPO.
Location: Seville, Spain
Cost: A semester of International Studies at UPO with Spanish Studies Abroad is between $14,500 and $16,000 for a study abroad semester, with accommodation.
Reasons to study abroad here? Seville surrounds you with culture, architectural beauty, and history. And you can work on your Spanish while you study there.
Other great study abroad experiences in Spain: SSA offers a semester in English as well as Spanish Studies in Alicante, Spain.
Cape Breton University (Sydney, Nova Scotia)
About: Cape Breton University is a small, public university in the East of Canada.
Location: Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
Cost: Ranges from $25,000 to $30,000
Reasons to study abroad here? Canada’s maritime provinces provide a friendly and safe destination to learn in the country’s excellent higher education system.
Other great study abroad experiences in Canada: In Canada’s “colleges,” there are many great post-graduate certificate programs that offer both great specializations and a chance to stay and work in Canada afterward.
American University in Dubai
About: AUD is a small, private institution founded in 1995. AUD is US-accredited and uses an American-style education system.
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Cost: Dubai has a wide range of accommodations; tuition is around $25,000 per academic year. Your living expenses can vary from $10,000 to $20,000 per school year.
Reasons to study abroad here? Dubai is a vibrant international hub with most of its residents from other countries. AUD is a good place to study Communications, close to Dubai’s Media City.
Other great study abroad experiences in Dubai: The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management is one of the best hotel management schools in the Middle East.
About: MU was one of the first universities to adopt English as its medium for most of its majors in Europe. Close to half of its students are international.
Location: Maastricht, the Netherlands
Cost: From $25,000 to $35,000 depending on your accommodation.
Reasons to study abroad here? Maastricht is close to both Germany and Belgium for easy exploring. This prestigious university has courses in almost any field of study that may interest you.
Other great study abroad experiences in the Netherlands: Study business in Amsterdam or International Law in The Hague.
University of Hong Kong
About: UHK is the top university in this prosperous city-state.
Location: Hong Kong
Cost: Tuition cost for international students is around $22,000. Total cost for a year can range from $30,000 to $40,000.
Reasons to study abroad here? Hong Kong has long been the West’s bridge to East Asia. Hong Kong remains one of the most important cities in the world in Finance.
Other great study abroad experiences in Hong Kong: Check out STEM programs at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and budding performers should look into the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts.
University of Auckland
About: UA is the most important university in the capital of New Zealand. It has extensive ties with US institutions of higher education.
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Cost: From $38,000 to $50,000 for an academic year, depending on the area of study and accommodation.
Reasons to study abroad here? New Zealand is an English-speaking country known for its safety, friendliness, and natural beauty.
Other great study abroad experiences in New Zealand: Study tourism management or adventure sports management in Queenstown.
University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus (Barbados)
About: UWI is a public institution founded to serve the 17 English-speaking nations in the Caribbean.
Location: Cave Hill, Barbados
Cost: From $25,00 to $40,000 for an academic year.
Reasons to study abroad here? Barbados is a prosperous country in the beautiful Caribbean. It is close to South, Central, and North America.
Other great study abroad experiences in Barbados: Check with your campus’ international education office; there are many faculty-led trips to Barbados. Rutgers University runs a study abroad program with the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus.
University of Limerick
About: This is a public university on the banks of the River Shannon, with over 10,000 students, including around 2,000 international students.
Location: Limerick, Ireland
Cost: You can expect to spend between $25,000 to $30,000 for an academic year at UL, including room and board.
Reasons to study abroad here? The lure of the Emerald Isle is strong for international visitors. It’s a country of culture, beautiful geography, and welcoming natives.
Other great study abroad experiences in Ireland: Semester programs at Trinity College of Dublin or many other strong universities in Ireland.
Which is the cheapest English-speaking country to study?
There is a great variety of choices. Of the English-speaking countries that attract the most international students – the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, probably Canada and New Zealand have the lowest cost of living. Keep in mind that in the larger cities, costs are typically higher. Also, fluctuation in exchange rates can affect which country is cheaper at a given time.
Overall, the cheapest places probably can be found in the Caribbean countries, such as Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.
Which country is best to study in English?
Certainly, the higher education systems of the United Kingdom and Canada are highly ranked. But the overall answer depends on what interests you.
Always weigh your interests in cultures, regions, and subjects to consider what is best for you. And keep in mind that there are overall rankings for a university’s prestige and rankings for specific majors and departments in many cases.
Are there other American Universities Abroad?
Yes, and some of them are very established and well-known. Here is a list of others:
- American University of Paris
- American University in Bulgaria
- American University in Cairo
- American University of Athens
- American University of Beirut
- Franklin University in Switzerland
These are a few options available for English speakers to help you begin your search. Your college will have ideas, but you can research to narrow down some places that interest you ahead of time.
If you wish to seek an entire degree overseas, consider the destination, the school’s academic strength, and the program of study. If these things line up, start to look for reviews and online resources about the school and destination. And, of course, you have to figure out the finances to study abroad.
Studying abroad can open your mind, sharpen your skills and attract employers. It’s definitely something that all American students should consider.