What can I study abroad?

The first thing you need to decide when you plan to study abroad is what and where you want to study. Here we take a look at the different options that are available.

What you can study abroad depends on your educational background and for how long time you want to be abroad. You can study abroad from one week to several years. Here we take a closer look at different alternatives:

Language courses abroad, 1-80 weeks

Language courses at private language schools is the most flexible study abroad option. You decide yourself when you want to start and how long you want to study. Many language schools have start dates several times per month or even every Monday if you already have some knowledge in the language that you want to study. You can study from one week up to 80 weeks, if you take an Asian language like Japanese. If you are from Europe and study another European language, you can usually learn a lot in 20 weeks.

Language courses are available on all levels for students of all ages. There is no better way to learn a language than to study it in a country where it is spoken. You can take a short language course abroad during your summer holiday or a longer program after you have finished high school. Read more about language courses and language schools abroad.

Study Abroad at university, 1-2 semesters

Taking one or two study abroad semesters at a foreign university is a great way to get study abroad experience without taking a full degree abroad. As a study abroad student you usually take four to five courses per semester at your own choice. You can go as an exchange student from your home university or arrange the study abroad semesters on your own directly with a college or university abroad.

Read more about study abroad semesters.

Degree programs abroad

You can study any subject at colleges and universities abroad. For a longer program abroad we recommend degree courses. You can take a university degree in 1-4 years. Choose between:

Associate Degrees at Community College, 2 years

Studying in the US is expensive. One way to cut the costs is to take an Associate Degree at an American Community College. There it is easier to get accepted and the tuition fee is much lower than at universities. After two years you can get an Associate Degree. Then you can either start looking for a job or transfer directly to year three on a university Bachelor program.

Read more about Community Colleges and Bachelor Degrees.

Bachelor Degrees, 3-4 years

All universities offer Bachelor Degrees. This is the most common university degree. In Europe, it takes three years, but in the US and some other countries, a bachelor usually takes four years to complete.

Find schools where you can take a Bachelor's Degree abroad.

Master Degrees, 1-2 years

If you already have a Bachelor Degree then a Master is the next Degree you can take. Taking a Master is a great way to study abroad. You can take a full program in 1-2 years at the same time as you get an international degree that really stands out in your CV.

Read more about Master programs abroad.

PhD, 3-6 years

If you already have a Master the final step would be to take a PhD abroad. These are usually long programs but on the other hand it is much easier to get scholarships at this level. You can often study for free and even get paid in exchange for working as a teacher and or research assistant at your school at the same time as you are studying.

Vocational programs abroad, 4-70 weeks

Another option is to take a practical vocational program abroad. It could be a short crash course like Ironhack’s 9 week bootcamps in web development and UI/UX Design in Paris, Barcelona or Miami. Or it could be a diploma program that lasts a year. These programs are quite common in Australia where you for example can study at IH Business College in Sydney and Darwin. Sometimes credits from this kind of programs can be counted if you continue your studies at a university in the same country.

High School, 1 year

If you want to study abroad for a longer period of time before you have graduated from high school you can take a high school year abroad. Then you will attend high school for one year in the US or another English speaking country. You will stay with a host family and live like a real American. It can be a great experience. However, be aware that your high school year abroad might not count in your home country.

Another better option if you want to study in the US is Seattle Central Colleges High School Completion plus program. If you have started high school in your home country (and been in school for at least 10 years) you can then get both an Associate Degree and an American High School Diploma in two years. This means that by the time you graduate from high school you will only be two years away from a Bachelor’s Degree in the US.

What can I study abroad

In the table below you can quickly see which programs you can choose depending on your educationa background and how long you want to study abroad.

Level/course length

1-12 weeks

1-2 semesters

1-4 years

I have not graduated from High School

Language courses abroad

High School year abroad

High School Completion plus and other programs at Community College

I have graduated from High School

Language courses abroad

Short vocational programs

Study Abroad-semesters

Language courses abroad

Diploma programs

Degree programs at colleges and universities

More information

You can search for schools in our international school database and read more in our article how to choose a school abroad.

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Student insurance

Studying abroad can be a real adventure. Make sure to stay safe by having a good study abroad insurance. Here we will tell you what to think about and list some good alternatives.

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