College presents several opportunities that may be a once-in-a-lifetime. One of the many opportunities it affords is the ability to budget travel and immerse yourself in a foreign culture before you become saddled with adult financial obligations and other responsibilities.
While the world may be your oyster in college, there are some places that offer better learning and cultural opportunities than others.
Here are 5 awesome places to study abroad and who might benefit most from them.
Fine Arts: Munich, Bavaria
While most of Europe provides a variety of study abroad opportunities, thanks to the proximity of multiple countries and the ease of travel, Munich is a particularly exceptional choice for fine arts majors.
Besides being the home of Akademie der Bildenden Künste München (Munich Academy of Fine Arts), it offers a broad range of cultural opportunities such as the internationally famous Oktoberfest, which originated in Munich. While Oktoberfest is often most well-known for being a triumph of crafted beers, it is actually a full traditional folk festival that honors German cuisine and music and offers a wide range of community activities.
In December, Munich becomes the home of the Christkindlemarkt featuring a variety of handmade items and crafted goods. In the spring, Munich continues the cultural celebrations with the Spring Festival (a mini-Oktoberfest for those who couldn’t make it in the fall), the Festival of Ballet and the Long Night of Music.
Business: Bangor, UK
On the coast of Northern Wales, Bangor boasts one of the top business schools in the world.
For fans of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings lore or lovers of ancient or medieval architecture, Bangor University boasts centuries-old buildings featuring gargoyles and a host of other medieval accouterments.
When not attending classes, London is just a short 4-hour train ride away and Dublin just a short hop on a ferry. For lovers of the beauty and majesty of the untouched outdoors, the Isle of Man offers spectacular scenery and activities such as hiking, cycling, and kayaking.
The National University of Singapore ranks as one of the top 10 architectural schools in the world.
While studying architecture, Singapore inspires students with a rich, real-world architecture in modern majesty and historical significance.
From the splendor of the new Singapore Supreme Court building to the century-old Thian Hock Keng Temple, the architecture to explore in Singapore is never-ending. Other attractions include Chinatown, Marina Bay, and the Singapore Botanical Gardens.
Computer Science: Zurich, Switzerland
The Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) is one of the top-ranked computer science schools in the world, not to mention being one of the top 50 highest ranked schools in the world overall. It boasts over 21 Nobel laureates among their alumni, including Albert Einstein himself.
Besides a wide variety of cultural attractions, including several world-renowned museums, Zurich is also a spectacular showcase of classical and modern architecture. Outdoor activities include swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Zurich in the warmer months and skiing the Alps in the colder ones.
Zurich’s prime location in the middle of several other European countries means you are just a few hours away by train to great destinations. Students can spend a weekend or two visiting France, Germany, Italy, Spain or a host of other European countries.
Economics: Tokyo, Japan
With New York City and London, the Tokyo Stock Exchange is one of the most important financial centers in the world. It is also among the largest in the international business community based on measures of value and activity. The University of Tokyo offers classes in English or Japanese and ranks among the top 100 best universities in the world.
Tokyo is a city brimming with modern potential and rich historical significance. Things to do and see in Tokyo include a visit to the Imperial Palace and the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation – not to mention the Tokyo Stock Exchange itself.
For lovers of upscale shopping, Tokyo’s Ginza is the Japanese equivalent of New York’s Fifth Avenue, London’s Oxford Street or Paris’ Champs-Élysées.
No matter where you go or what you study, traveling is an invaluable part of almost any educational experience. While you don’t have to go somewhere related to your field of education, it can’t hurt to learn about your chosen field from some of the best minds in the world.
The cultural experience you gain while traveling can help broaden your understanding of your chosen field.
Besides all other valuable experiences that traveling offers, formed and life-long friendships are often the most heartwarming memories.