Planning on going to college but don’t want to stay at home or in the States at all? Consider a different continent! Get that study abroad experience in four years, rather than one summer. Each country in Europe offers a wide assortment of colleges and universities that will make your college experience unforgettable. From the Emerald Isles to the Balkans and Mediterranean, attending a university in Europe will leave an everlasting memory, all while getting that degree.
Read on to see the top ten best European universities in 2023.
10. American College of Greece
Starting down south in the Mediterranean, the American College of Greece offers more than 38 undergrad programs and 21 master’s programs in business, economics, arts, and sciences. As the oldest American-accredited university in Europe, the Athens-based university also houses 64 acres of campus for students to explore. They offer a variety of loans and scholarships, including U.S. federal loans and merit-based scholarships. Located on the slopes of Mt. Hymettus, ACG reveals a gorgeous countryside with a scenic view of Athens, known for its nightlife (clubs, bars, and live music) and history. And of course, like most Greek cities, it has its own Greek theater.
9. American College Dublin
Up north in the Isle of Ireland, the American College Dublin finds itself in the Fair City itself: Dublin. The capital of Ireland attracts tons of students and tourists with its historic and artistic ties (not to mention pubs). With tons of business and art degrees to pick from, the American College Dublin also makes sure that its students have a wide variety of financial aid to choose from, in case you find yourself feeling unsure. ACD offers an IB Diploma Program and degrees accredited both in the United States and Ireland, as well as honors courses and advanced placement. If you only speak English and do not wish to undergo the difficulties of learning a new language, then you might want to consider ACD.
8. Franklin University Switzerland
Named after Benjamin Franklin, Switzerland’s American University holds accreditation in both Switzerland and the U.S. Meaning, the degree remains valid in both countries and that you can easily pursue a career in either. Franklin also offers its students the ability to live in and explore one of the most breathtaking countries in the world. They organize trips to the Swiss Alps, Romandie (the French-speaking part of Switzerland), and Basal to see the famous Basal Christmas Market (not to mention a spring ski trip to the Alps!). Franklin also remains famous for taking part in the Holi Festival of Colors and International Food Night. And of course, don’t forget the Swiss chocolate.
7. University of Amsterdam
With more than 70 bachelors and over 250 masters, the University of Amsterdam offers many programs in English. In order to better prepare their students for “the real world”, they make sure students have the option to take part in internships and workshops for their studies and careers, as well as professional development programs. They encourage students to take part in research and have almost 3,000 researchers at the university. US News Best Global Universities ranked UvA within the top 100 universities and many consider the university to be among the top 15 in Europe. Even crazier? UvA goes back to 1632.
6. American University of Paris
Southwest from Amsterdam in the city of love lies the American University of Paris. Located in city of art, culture, and ideas, AUP boasts a diverse student population of 110 nationalities and a faculty of 35 nationalities. Even better? AUP offers a wide variety of programs, including career and internship programs, fellowships, research, and a global mentoring program. In terms of student life, they allow students to take part in cultural programs, study trips to other places in France and Europe, cultural excursions, and summer program trips. And of course, make sure to take advantage of studying in Paris and experience the city of love’s culture, art, fashion, and architecture.
5. Vrije Universiteit Brussel
In the little country of Belgium, nestled between France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg, the capital city Brussels reveals the two-century old Vrije Universiteit Brussel. A fascinating aspect of the university lies in the layout of its campus, placed very close to the city’s center. In between classes, students can leave campus and explore the city by public transportation. There, they have a myriad of activities to choose from, such as sightseeing and barhopping and even trying out the local cuisine. The school has eight campuses, two of which are green (scenery-wise and environmentally conscious), and seven external lesson locations out in the city.
“What sets our university apart from the rest is that liberality is central. Students are really pushed to think critically, which I think is very important. The university also offers a lot of help to the students with different projects, such as the VUBuddy project,” Vrije Universiteit Brussel law student Riham Bounouh said. “This helps new students connect a little more at the university. I participated in this project myself and was able to make some nice friends.”
Keeping in theme with VUB’s liberality, the university focuses a lot on diversity as well. An array of multiple cultures and international students breeds a fun, loving campus where students remain open to one another. Even the relationship between professors and students differs greatly, as professors strive to create a closer environment for the students’ benefit. The school encourages its students to party while staying safe and keeping exam grades up to par. All in all, VUB seems enticing enough for any incoming freshman.
4. American University in Bulgaria
Nestled in the Balkans, the American University in Bulgaria lies in the mountains of Southwestern Bulgaria in the city of Blagoevgrad. An hour’s drive from the capital city Sofia, trips to neighboring Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, Turkey, and Greece can make your college experience even more memorable. They offer up to nine full-tuition scholarships to students form Bulgaria, the Balkans, and the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as current student, merit-based, and need-based scholarships. However, they do tend to favor Bulgarian and Balkan students in terms of scholarships. Tuition still remains a lot more affordable than at a U.S. university.
“There’s a relatively large handful of things that I love about AUBG. As far as the period of my life, I enjoy and relish the amount of freedom I have. I am able to travel over the weekends and have been to each corner of Europe and many places in between. As far as analyzing AUBG, I love the community of international students,” American University in Bulgaria sophomore Erika Poynter said. “When strolling around campus it’s RARE to hear less than 4 languages in passing. I really enjoy that all of our backgrounds overlap for this period of our lives, and it allows the students to create lifelong connections from each crossroad of the world.”
A fascinating aspect of AUBG includes the TEDxAUBG club, which creates a variety of different cultures and nationalities all in one classroom. A real mixing pot, TEDxAUBG offers various conferences that remain available online for the world to see. The club features community collaboration on a common project that allows students to put their passions to work. Not to mention, it gives students a real, working professional experience that’ll look amazing on a resume. Together, you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime.
3. University of Edinburgh
You might’ve seen the University of Edinburgh on Pinterest or on a bunch of mood boards due to its dark academia aesthetic. The Harry-Potter-esque city gives students an easy escape to the nearby hills and also offers many opportunities for exploring its historic neighborhoods (not to mention bar hopping). The public transportation makes travel easy and gives you the choice of visiting several of Scotland’s tourist destinations. Even crazier? The University of Edinburgh dates back to 1583 and educated a ton of notable individuals, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who created Sherlock Holmes while at Edinburgh).
“Edinburgh is a really great place to live, and you’ll meet students from all over the world. As a very successful research-intensive university with many notable alumni, a degree from Edinburgh does have a good reputation and there are lots of opportunities to connect with interesting areas of research and academia. Many members of the teaching staff have been highly successful in their careers and have some interesting insights to share,” Edinburgh University Students’ Association 2022/23 President Niamh Roberts said.
The University offers a ton of student societies and campus events, and the Students’ Associations hosts even more activities for students to participate it. In terms of scholarships and financial aid, it all depends on where you come from. The Scottish free system regulates tuition fees depending on whether you come from Scotland, the U.K., or other countries. Edinburgh’s cost of living remains relatively high, but the University offers funding for students who need it, as well as scholarships and studentships. The University even offers summer school, winter school, childcare, study abroad, health and welfare, sports and exercise, students’ association, support for disabled students, and computing services.
2. American University of Rome
Studying in Italy remains a dream come true for many people. With trips to the Amalfi Coast and Tuscan countryside readily available for students, studying in the Eternal City will leave a lasting impression on you for years to come. The American University of Rome offers a ton of art and business-related majors designed in the traditional four-year degree program. The great thing about AUR? Despite having only one merit-based scholarship, students have the option to combine it with financial-need scholarships and student training positions. And of course, they provide an entire list of other scholarships to apply for.
“Imagine an afternoon gelato, the endless streets with traditional coffee shops, the sunsets by the beach, the weekend get-away through cheap flights, and the spring breaks in Malta: this is what campus life outside [of AUR] feels like. The friendships and connections that are made here both in school and outside of school are what make AUR feel like home. Don’t get me wrong— while I love doing all of those things, I will never turn down reading a book in one of the many beautiful parks of Rome or simply just relaxing at home while staring out of my balcony,” American University of Rome film and digital media student Ileana Martinez Negrete said.
The professors at AUR have international connections due to the university’s insane diversity, with students and faculty coming from all four corners of the world, and will always help out students with career preparation. The small size of the university offers a small, family-like community and the ability to make friends with people from around the world. While they don’t honor typical American college traditions, AUR students enjoy watching professional Italian soccer matches instead of Friday night football games. Not to mention, exploring Rome itself remains one of the best parts about attending AUR. And of course, don’t forget the traveling!
1. Anglo-American University
In the Heart of Europe, Czechia boasts its capital city, Prague, as the safest city in Europe and third-most safe in the world. Anglo-American University differs greatly from most universities (even in Europe). With an Annual Ball, Professors in the Pub events (drinking in the pub with your professor while discussing interesting topics), peacocks in its courtyard, and a magnificent view of Prague Castle from its classrooms, AAU sets itself apart. The small, at-home campus breeds a “everyone-knows-everyone” atmosphere with a backdrop of one of Europe’s most gorgeous and cultural cities. Due to its small size, AAU makes sure that every student has the opportunity to participate in leadership programs and community events.
“AAU’s campus is a renovated palace in the center of Prague, so the magic of the city is never really lost as we’re only minutes away from Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and other tourist favorites. The campus itself is also quite small, so everyone is familiar with each other, and you’ll almost always run into a classmate or professor if you visit the popular on-campus Cafe des Taxis between classes,” Anglo-American University alumnus Jean Kallenburg said. “There’s also a lot of student-run clubs (about 30) and events such as Spirit Week, Homecoming, and Club Fair for students to look forward to.”
A huge incentive for attending AAU remains in the fact that one can travel throughout Europe while studying. Cities like Vienna, Berlin, Bratislava, and Dresden are a perfect day trip. Even better, AAU offers an amazing Merit-Based Scholarship program along with its affordable tuition for a three-year degree (unlike the traditional American four years). Several students even get 100% of their tuition paid through the scholarship program. With six semesters totaling around $30k and Prague’s cost of living remaining relatively cheap, AAU will make an affordable college experience for you in the heart of Prague itself.