Most popular study abroad destinations for US students - Movers Development

Most popular study abroad destinations for US students

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The United States represents one of the most brightly shining beacons for foreign students from all over the world. But as true as that may be – plenty of American students opt to study abroad each year, for a wide variety of reasons. There are plenty of other prestigious colleges and universities around the world, and many students from the US appreciate the experience of living and studying elsewhere.

We should note that Europe holds the majority of the most popular study abroad destinations, though you’d be surprised to find some other locations in both Latin America and Asia. In fact, official data shows that around ten students choose to study in Antarctica each year. The options for studying abroad are both plentiful and interesting; which is why we’ll explore some of the most important ones right here!


We’ll start this list off with one of the most important US allies and partners in East Asia – Japan. It’s interesting to note that Japan is actually at the bottom of this list; at least in terms of the number of students from the US. Still, there are enough of them to warrant inclusion among the most popular study abroad destinations. Indeed, moving services market research and official student data show that a little fewer than 8,500 students from the US choose to study in Japan in each given year.

However, that is far from an insignificant number. And if we review the long-term outlook for this metric; it shows that the trend is only set to increase. For instance – 12% more students decided on Japan in 2018 compared to 2017; a significant increase by any measurement.

Most of the US students that go to Japan attend the University of Tokyo. This is the most renowned school in the nation, dating back to 1877. These days, the institution maintains numerous campuses all across Japan.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is definitely a beautiful country. It contains crystalline gorgeous beaches and lush rainforests; just one of the many reasons why it’s considered to be a tourist paradise. However, that’s not all it is – in reality, the island nation is also one of the most popular study abroad destinations for US students! It’s Universidad Costa Rica is the prime place for those who wish to study here; it houses over 30,000 to this day, and its roots go back to the mid 19th century.

A Costa Rica rainforest viewed from above.
Costa Rica is not only interesting – it’s also abundant with educational opportunities!

This is also one of those countries where more and more US students seem to be going in recent years; in the past half-decade, the number of those studying abroad in Costa Rica has been steadily but surely rising. Interestingly enough, not nearly enough companies are providing moving services there. So, if you’re a mover trying to learn how to expand your customer base, providing such international relocation services is a grand idea.


The Land Down Under represents a classic hot spot for all students studying abroad; which isn’t much of a surprise. However, interestingly enough – the number of students going there has dipped slightly over the past couple of years. While the University of Melbourne remains an excellent college destination with more than five campuses across Australia; chances are that some of the students are looking for places that are both more exotic and more affordable. That’s why companies that offer moving services would do well to provide an international moving cost calculator; allowing students and their families to plan out the entirety of their personal budget.

A view of Sydney Bay at night with ships on the water.
Australia is historically very popular with US students!


For our next pick, we finally turn to the continent that houses the most popular study abroad destinations – Europe. More specifically, the Emerald Isle of proud Ireland. While this hasn’t been such a popular destination historically, its significance for US students has grown in recent years. The University College Dublin represents the leading educational institution in the nation. At first, it was called the Catholic University of Ireland; but the name was dropped in favor of the more widely accepting one in the beginning of the 20th century.


It would be strange if Germany had not found its way onto this list. There are multiple reasons why this country is such a popular destination for foreign students from the US and the rest of the world. First of all, its educational institutions have few peers in renown and quality. For instance, the University of Munich has a rich history that dates back all the way to 1472. Also, it shouldn’t be disregarded that Germany is one of the economically strongest countries on the European mainland. This makes it an attractive location for students that may wish to find work in their destination countries after graduating from college.


Right up there with Germany, France definitely represents a great destination for any American. Whether you want a simple tourist visit to Paris and a picture next to the Eiffel Tower, or you want to study there and soak in the culture gradually; you’re still making a great choice. While its popularity varies from year to year, France is almost always among the top five student destinations in the United States.


The beautiful country of Spain is home to more than 25,000 American students during any given school year. It’s among the top three most popular study abroad destinations, and with good reason.

A view of Barcelona, representing one of the most popular study abroad destinations.
The University of Barcelona is one of the most popular choices in Spain!

First of all, the broad array of local cultures, the fantastic weather, and the plentiful educational opportunities make going there for college an excellent choice. Most American students here study at the ancient and proud University of Barcelona.