10 Absolutely Fabulous Study Abroad Programs in Europe

10 Absolutely Fabulous Study Abroad Programs in Europe

Which European destination waiting for you?  One that’s slow and steady? No matter what you can’t go wrong.
Maybe you are not sure what you want you just know you want to get away. It’s good to have a goal  for your plans to study in Europe but you have got time to find that out. And lucky for you Europe study abroad options are as different as the cuisines you will find while crisscrossing the continent. We are here to help you zoom in on some options that may strike your fancy.

Europe covers a small geographic area is a very diverse continent 24 languages 51 countries. 740 million people. The UK receives the most study abroad students from the U.S. The sunny Mediterranean region gets a lot of attention too. Spain, Italy and France rank in the top 3 destinations for U.S. students studying in Europe . Ireland and  Germany round out the top slots but Portugal Eastern Europe and the Nordic countries are seeing major growth in study abroad programs in Europe for American students.

Most other countries receive fewer study abroad students every year but just about all of them have at least some programs welcoming foreign students that want to study abroad in Europe. Don’t think choosing to study in Europe means you can’t get off the beaten path. You have got a lot of options. Peruse our long list of Europe study abroad options and you are bound to find something you like.

Here is preview of some of the highest rated study abroad programs in Europe:

CAPA London: Study and Intern Abroad
Athena Study and Intern Abroad in Florence Italy
CEA Study Abroad in Rome Italy
API at Universidad de Granada in Granada Spain
Spanish Studies Program Seville Spain
USAC FRANCE: Lyon French Language & European Studies
Study Abroad with American College of Thessaloniki
SIT Netherlands: Perspectives on Sexuality & Gender
Uppsala International Summer Session
CIEE Language & Culture in Lisbon Portugal
The highest ranked programs for study abroad in Europe this year


1. CAPA London: Study & Intern Abroad.
“It was just a dream. The Staff at CAPA were all very supportive and hosted many events throughout the semester the classes I took were relevant to my major and I received credits for all of them. Most classes had field trips it was nice to learn outside of the classrooms.” 


CAPA’s signature mix of academic and experiential feels right at home in bustling global London. With options to live in flats or a home-stay internship placements cultural excursions around the city and outside of it and academic coursework CAPA programs offer a cosmopolitan experience that’s good for learning and having fun. With all that big city work experience under your belt study abroad program in Europe may just lead back to London after graduation.

Athena Study Abroad 

2. Athena Study and Intern Abroad in Florence Italy

“Athena Abroad was there for me every step of the way. The team at Athena did everything in their power to ensure that I was prepared and educated on what to expect during my time abroad. Athena's team was so helpful and when my family or I had questions and I could not appreciate it more! When you go abroad with Athena you become part of their family!” 

Athena’s small programs make them very personal and are well-suited for students that are feel a little of trepidation or need a bit more support. In beautiful historical Florence they partner with Lorenzo de’ Medici to offer academic coursework but there are also a lot of excursion and study tour options and an optional internship placement to boot. Apartment living with private rooms offer a nice compromise between feeling like a grown up and feeling completely on your own while studying in Europe.


3. CEA Study Abroad in Rome Italy

“I had a great time while abroad. Rome is an incredible city I am so happy I came here. The academics was perfectly balanced that allowed for travel and learning I am looking forward to going home but sad that I have to leave!”

Who doesn’t want to test their intercultural chops in the Eternal City? CEA Global Education offers coursework in English at 2 different partner institutions in Rome so that you have a lot of academic options to choose from during your study abroad in Europe. The city is your living classroom so don’t expect to spend all your time indoors. Volunteer opportunities will show you various sides of the city and organized group excursions to Florence and Venice will show you other parts of everyone’s favorite boot.


4. API at Universidad de Granada in Granada, Spain

“They helped me get to the doctors register for classes and planned the best excursions and trips. They found me an amazing host family that took me in as their own and were always checking up on me. It was amazing program to my study abroad with and their helpful staff and advisers make the application process and the abroad experience one you will never forget.”

API is about language education so if fluency is your goal this is a program to consider. There is no better place to study in Europe to get your Spanish immersion on that Granada. Intensive language course options and small class sizes at API’s partner university will have you hablando like a pro before you know it while independent apartment or home-stay housing options will give you as much or as little space as you need. 

Spanish Studies Abroad 

5. Spanish Studies Program Seville Spain

“I had the most amazing experience studying abroad with Spanish Studies. Before going into this I was nervous with my Spanish speaking ability and living with a host family. After a week or 2 I felt completely relieved with my decision to study abroad in Sevilla with a host family. My family and locals were so willing to help with my Spanish and encouraged you to try your best. My classes helped with my Spanish and I learned a lot while being abroad including cultural immersion.”  

No list of Spain-based options for study abroad in Europe is complete without a selection from picture-postcard-perfect Seville. Spanish Studies Abroad’s programs are long-term designed to get your español flowing while you immerse yourself in the warm sunny ways of life in Southern Spain. Small class sizes designed specifically for second language learners and taught by native speakers will help you advance. Home-stay or dorm housing options are designed to complement your classroom experience by keeping you in contact with the language even when you’re not in class. 
More info on Spanish Studies Abroad


6. USAC FRANCE: Lyon French Language & European Studies
“The USAC program there is phenomenal and I truly had the best experience ever in my life. I made friends and memories that will last me forever and in that semester it felt like home. The administration team in Lyon is so they are there at all hours to help you through any little thing. They organized so many activities so that you could really feel immersed in the culture and my French improved so fast my experience was amazing and I am hoping to return very soon.”

If français is more your speed you will love USAC’s language intensive program. French vibe at their partner university in Lyon will have you enjoying life so much you earning those 15 language credits won’t event seem like work. Café au lait and crepes are a cultural experience non? You can complement your language studies with courses taught in French or English with French university students a great way to make new friends and see what it’s like to study in Europe when you are actually European.


7. Study Abroad with American College of Thessaloniki

“ACT has provided me with priceless experiences that have helped me grow as an individual and as a global citizen. The courses offered and the immersion in rich Greek culture have opened my mind to pressing world issues and have helped me better understand the world and our role in it. I highly recommend ACT and Thessaloniki as your study abroad destination!” 

Like so many students looking to study abroad in Europe maybe the sunshine Mediterranean region is calling you but Italy or Spain feels to obvious Greece makes for a nice alternative. ACT’s all English course schedule and U.S. accreditation is a nice choice for you if language learning is not your primary goal or you are worried about figuring out how to get your credits to transfer back home. After school get involved in one of the College’s long term community engagement projects or join a special interest club with your fellow international students.


8. Netherlands: Perspectives on Sexuality & Gender 

“I really enjoyed and got a lot out of this program. The academics perfectly complemented and expanded upon my studies at my home institution and gave me an opportunity to explore these concepts outside of an American context. I made great friends with other SIT students and developed a close and lasting relationship with my host family. I struggled during the ISP period with the lack of structure but at the same time appreciated the opportunity to pursue my own academic interests so independently. I really got to explore Amsterdam and totally fell in love with the city and can't wait for an opportunity to go back.”

SIT programs are well known for tackling big issues in our society and their Netherlands program is not different. Live with a host family and use Amsterdam as your base to explore the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality among local Dutch and recent immigrant communities. Other hallmarks of SIT study abroad programs in Europe? Taking to the friendly skies a two-week excursion to Morocco will expand your perspectives on the course themes. And the independent study project gives you the chance to dig even deeper on a topic you care about while building your research and project management skills.

Uppsala International Summer Session

9. Uppsala International Summer Session

“UISS gives you the opportunity to not only improve your Swedish skills, but to gain an insight of a new perspective of life that comes with having an open mind. This happens when you’re put in a situation that involves 40 different nationalities from all over the world. Language attainment is one of the pillars that this great program strides in providing its students but the greatest pillar is the bonds that are forged from the experience.” 

This long running summer session in Sweden’s oldest university city offers the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Swedish language history and pop culture. Choosing to study Swedish may not seem like the most obvious or practical choice but that’s what makes this program so special. Swedes have some of the best quality of life in the world so there is a lot to learn for them. Are you feeling like a dancing queen yet?


10. CIEE Language and Culture in Lisbon, Portugal

“I had the best time of my life in Portugal not only because Lisbon is a safe beautiful and fun city but because of this program I loved my housing situation I had the best host family. I also loved the CIEE staff. When I was sick they did an amazing job taking care of me all of the activities we did were amazing and the class I took helped me fully emerge into the Portuguese culture! I miss it everyday.”  Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Lisbon is not just up-and-coming for studying in Europe. It’s on the rise among European destinations for tourism, industry and expats. CIEE’s model has you taking classes in English or Portuguese if you are up to it at a local university so you will feel like you are really a part of the trend. If that sounds intimidating don’t give up yet. CIEE’s on-site staff organizes cultural excursions within and outside the city and connects you with a host family and volunteer opportunities to round out your experience. 

Whether it’s café con leche cappuccino, or a Greek frappé you will be drinking in the European good life that awaits you. Get ready to soak up the sights and sounds of old cultural centers turned modern cities. Witness the demographics changing before your eyes in our modern global society. Learn so much your head will be spinning but in the best of ways. It can be tempting to bust out your Eurail pass because these little countries are easy to move around in but don’t forget you are there to study in Europe and some of the coolest stuff you will experience will come to you when you stay put.

All that’s left is to pick which of these great study abroad programs in Europe is right for you make sure your passport is up to date and set yourself some personal goals for the summer semester or year you’ll spend studying in Europe. The good news is it’s hard to go wrong. 

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