45 Top Colleges to Study Abroad

16. Bates College

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Higher education is about expanding your mind, and growing into a humane and worldly citizen. For many students, the pinnacle of this development occurs while studying abroad. Through enhanced foreign language skills, experiencing other cultures, attending programs not available at your home institution, and just having fun while exploring, studying abroad can be an awesome and extremely fulfilling time.

Our list ranks colleges and universities based on the percentage of students who study abroad. Because what can predict a quality period abroad better than going through schools that have done it before? Information is sourced from US News & World Report and individual college websites.

Here are the 45 colleges where over 50% of students study abroad.

#45. Washington and Lee University

Lexington, VA

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45. Washington and Lee

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Washington and Lee is the 14th ranked liberal arts school in the country. Located in historic Lexington, VA, 3 hours southwest of Washington, D.C., it’s a great location to travel from to one of its 251 approved study abroad programs.

  • % who study abroad: 51%
  • Locations to study: 251 approved programs on every continent but Antarctica

Recommended Programs:

  • English: Advanced Studies in England
  • Math: Budapest Semester in Mathematics
  • Commerce: Danish Institute for Study Abroad or London School of Economics

#44. Gustavus Adolphus College

St. Peter, MN

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44. Gustavus Adolphus College

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This 76th ranked liberal arts college takes care of its Swedish heritage (it’s named after a Swedish king, after all) with the Gustavus semester in Sweden. It also boasts a variety of semester and year long format programs including faculty-led studies, and exchange programs with partner schools worldwide.

  • % who study abroad: 51%
  • Locations to study: Malysia, India, Sweden, China, Japan, Ecuador, Northern Ireland, New Zealand

Recommended Programs:

  • Gustavus Semester in Sweden
  • Gustavus Semester in India

#43. St. Mary’s College

Notre Dame, IN

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43. St. Mary's College

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This 76th ranked all-women liberal arts school is home to a close knit group of under 1,500 students. More than half of St. Mary’s women study abroad, and the school’s Catholic auspices are reflected in several study abroad offerings in Rome, Ireland, and South America.

  • % who study abroad: 52%
  • Locations to study: 16 nations from every continent save Antarctica

Recommended Programs:

#42. Linfield College

McMinnville, OR

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42. Linfield College

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This 123rd ranked liberal arts college is committed to international learning with several majors even requiring study abroad programs in order to graduate. An added benefit is that Linfield College pays for round trip airfare for a student’s first study abroad, and for a second if it is required for a major or minor.

  • % who study abroad: 52%
  • Locations to study:Over 30 locations

Recommended Programs:

  • Study Ecology, biology, marine life, environmental studies on the Galapagos.
  • Help with community outreach and volunteer work in developing world locales.

#41.Hamilton College

Clinton, NY

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41. Hamilton College

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This 14th ranked liberal arts school has it’s own programs in Spain, France, and China, which it suggests students attend in their junior year. 46 countries, however, have approved study abroad programs, and students from Hamilton participate in the following range of program locales: Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, the Americas (in descending order).

  • % who study abroad: 52%
  • Locations to study: 180 approved programs worldwide

Recommended Programs:

  • Junior Year in France
  • Academic Year in Spain
  • Associated Colleges in China
  • NYS Independent Colleges Consortium in India

#40. Dickinson College

Carlisle, PA

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40. Dickinson College

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This 45th ranked liberal arts college has operated global study and research centers for over 50 years. By placing these centers in provincial capitals, students who study abroad are afforded greater access to local leaders in government and business, internship opportunities, and close ties to community partners.

Recommended Programs:

  • Argentina and Ecuador
  • Australia: Brisbane
  • Cameroon: Yauonde
  • China: Beijing
  • England: Norwich Humanities or Science
  • England: Oxford
  • France: Toulouse
  • Germany: Bremen
  • Italy: Bologna
  • Japan: Nagoya
  • Korea: Seoul
  • Russia: Moscow
  • Spain: Malaga

#39. Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC

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39.Wake Forest

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This 23rd ranked national university purchased the building housing the old U.S. consulate on the Grand Canal in Venice in 1971. Since then Wake Forest hasn’t turned back. With over 400 study abroad programs in 200 cities (in 70 countries), as well as university-owned residences in Vienna and London, studying abroad is an important part of the Wake Forest undergraduate experience.

  • % who study abroad: 53%
  • Locations to study: Over 200

Recommended Programs:

  • Venice, Italy
  • Vienna, Austria
  • London, England
  • Salamanca, Spain
  • Dijon, France
  • Santiago, Chile
  • Or one of the other 41 Wake Forest Featured semester and summer programs

#38.Trinity College

Hartford, CT

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Long Walk fall

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This 36th ranked liberal arts college designs study abroad programs for every major, including science and engineering. From study away in New York for art, to social sciences and humanities in Shanghai, there are tried and true options for any of Trinity’s students.

  • % who study abroad: 53%
  • Locations to study: 9 Trinity programs, 90 affiliate programs

Recommended Programs:

  • Barcelona
  • Buenos Aires
  • Cape Town
  • New York
  • Paris
  • Rome
  • Shanghai
  • Trinidad
  • Vienna

#37.St. Mary’s College of Maryland

St. Mary’s City, MD

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37. St. Mary's College of Maryland

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This 89th ranked liberal arts college sends over half of its 1900 students abroad. Though St. Mary’s of Maryland students can choose from hundreds of programs, modern languages feature heavily on the featured programs list.

  • % who study abroad: 53%
  • Locations to Study: 53 approved programs, hundreds from other universities

Recommended Programs:

  • Chinese: Fudan
  • German: Heidelberg
  • French/All Majors: Grenoble, Cannes
  • French/History/Social Sciences: Paris
  • Spanish/All Majors: Institute for Central American Developmental Studies
  • Spanish/All Majors: Buenos Aires

#36.Macalester College

St. Paul, MN

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36. Macalaster College

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This 24th ranked liberal arts college offers three unique facets of study abroad: a focus on international global citizenship, a civic engagement focus, and internships abroad. As the Fiske Guide to College notes, “Mac attracts the best and brightest. The school provides an atmosphere of high-powered scholarship and success, pairing academic rigor with a global perspective.”

  • % who study abroad: 53%
  • Locations to study: 100 approved, hundreds of others

Recommended Programs:

  • Programs for every major, oftentimes on multiple continents

#35. Sewanee: The University of the South

Sewanee, TN

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35. Sewanee the University of the South

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This 38th ranked liberal arts college known for a long literary legacy, it’s 13,000 acre campus and natural sciences. With a number of Sewanee Summer study abroad programs, a barrier island off of the coast of Georgia used for ecology, and the popular “British Studies at Oxford” program, there are plenty of study abroad options for every major.

  • % who study abroad: 55%
  • Locations to study:Around 400 programs including partner programs

Recommended Programs:

  • British Studies at Oxford
  • Island Ecology Program
  • WWII Sewanee Summer Program

#34.Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT

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34. Middlebury College

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This 4th ranked liberal arts college believes that “a student’s study abroad experience should be an integral and coherent part of his or her academic program at Middlebury.” Operating schools abroad at more than 40 universities in Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordon, Russia, Spain, and Uruguay, many other universities send their own students through Middlebury’s programs.

  • % who study abroad: 55%
  • Locations to study: More than 90 programs in 40 countries

Recommended Programs:

#33.Hollins University

Roanoke, VA

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33. Hollins University

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This 110th ranked women’s liberal arts college has a lot to offer with only 613 students. Standing programs in Paris, London (where students intern for the summer), and field studies in a variety of eco-tourism destinations are open to every Hollins student. Many programs also provide their offerings to interested students coming from other institutions.

  • % who study abroad: 55%
  • Locations to study: Many programs in 20 countries

Recommended Programs:

  • Hollins run program in Paris
  • Hollins run program in London (including a summer internship program)

#32.Connecticut College

New London, CT

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32. Connecticut College

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This 45th ranked liberal arts college set on a 750 acre arboretum is beautiful. But if you ever want to get away and study somewhere else, Connecticut College has a lot to offer. For study abroad experiences there are three general formats at Connecticut College: field-based, traditional study abroad, and study away/teach away, which involves 10-20 students traveling abroad with 1-2 of their professors.

  • % who study abroad: 55%
  • Locations to study: 125+ approved programs

Recommended Programs:

#31.Union College

Schenectady, NY

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31. Union College

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This 41st ranked liberal arts college offers study abroad opportunities for terms, mini-terms (winter and summer break), non-Union programs, and independent studies. Most programs are led by Union’s own faculty.

  • % who study abroad: 56%
  • Locations to study: 50 approved programs

Recommended Programs:

#30.University of Richmond

Univ. of Richmond, VA

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Ryland Hall, University of Richmond

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This 25th ranked liberal arts college offers volunteer, internship, short-term, summer-term, and yearlong study abroad opportunities.

  • % who study abroad: 57%
  • Locations to study: 75 accepted programs in 30 countries

Recommended Programs:

  • Centre for European Studies, Krakow, Poland
  • MSID-India, Jaipur, India
  • Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands
    • Faculty of Law
    • School of Business and Economics
  • Universitaet Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany
  • Universitaet Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
  • Warsaw School of Economics

#29.Skidmore College

Saratoga Springs, NY

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29. Skidmore College

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This 45th ranked liberal arts college recognizes “the increasingly global nature of communication, information, education, and commerce.” And thus continually monitors programs to ensure “quality, geographical diversity, range of experience (course work, independent study, internship), and affordability (fee structure, financial aid, work-study).”

Recommended Programs:

  • Skidmore in China
  • Skidmore in London
  • Skidmore in Spain
  • Skidmore in Paris
  • Shakespeare Programme
  • London FYE

#28.Lyon College

Batesville, AR

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28. Lyon College

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This 167th ranked liberal arts college has tuition exchange and abroad options that nearly 6/10 of the college’s students participate in.

  • % who study abroad: 57%
  • Locations to study: 28 exchange programs and ability to enroll at other foreign institutions.

Recommended Programs:

  • Tuition Exchange:
  • Akita International University (Japan)
  • The University of Poitiers (France)
  • Belfast Metropolitan college (N. Ireland)
  • Queens University (N. Ireland)
  • St. MaryĆ­s University College (N. Ireland)
  • Stranmillis University College (N. Ireland)
  • University of Ulster (N. Ireland)
  • Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration

#27.Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

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27. Dartmouth College

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This 10th ranked national university offers a flexible study plan, where you are only required to be on campus through your first year, the summer of your sophomore year, and your last year. This leaves 9 quarters that can be spent off campus at internships, jobs, or abroad.

Recommended Programs:

  • Language Study Abroad
  • College Exchange
  • Foreign Study Programs

#26.American University

Washington, DC

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26. American University

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This 75th ranked national university has the largest school of international affairs in the country. Located in Washington D.C., many of American’s students wish to become involved in politics or NGO’s, and study abroads a perfect segue into the sector.

  • % who study abroad: 59%
  • Locations to study: Over 150 approved programs

Recommended Programs:

  • Several options for every major

Language options for:

  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

#25. Colby College

Waterville, ME

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25. Colby College

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This 22nd ranked liberal arts college’s campus is a State Wildlife Management Area. Yet even with it’s natural beauty, a large majority of its students choose to study abroad at Colby’s own programs in Dijon, France; Salamanca, Spain; St. Petersberg, Russia; or, to choose a partner instutution or program.

  • % who study abroad: 60%
  • Locations to study: over 200 programs in 60 countries

Recommended Programs:

  • Colby in Dijon
  • Colby in Salamanca
  • Colby in St. Petersburg
  • Colby at Bigelow Laboratory

#24. Messiah College

Mechanicsburg, PA

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24. Messiah College

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This 5th ranked regional college (in the north) is a Christian-affiliated college centered around the Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan traditions of the Christian Church. From nursing practicums in Thailand, to a study abroad at Jerusalem University College, there are tons of options at Messiah.

  • % who study abroad: 61%
  • Locations to study:Over 41 programs in 40 countries

Recommended Programs:

#23. Franciscan University of Steubenville

Steubenville, OH

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23. Franciscan University

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This 28th ranked regional university (in the midwest) is Catholic, and maintains an immersive 14th century monestary-centered study-abroad program in Austria.

Recommended Programs:

  • Live and learn in a 14th-century Monestary in Austria
  • Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern studies at Oxford

#22. Loyola University Maryland

Baltimore, MD

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22. Loyola University

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This 5th ranked regional university (in the north) is a Jesuit university where over 6/10 students study abroad. While there are study abroad opportunities for every major, it is recommended that you start planning especially early if you are a business, math or science major.

  • % who study abroad: 62%
  • Locations to study:13 Loyola-sponsored locations, 8 partner-sponsored locations

Recommended Programs:

#21. Hartwick College

Oneonta, NY

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21. Hartwick College

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This 161st ranked liberal arts college offers a variety of “J Term” (January Term) study abroad opportunities as well as interning abroad programs.

Recommended Programs:

  • Hartwick J-Term
  • Thousands of affiliate semester-long programs

#20. Taylor University

Upland, IN

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20. Taylor University

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Taylor University is the 1st ranked regional college (in the midwest), and is an evangelical Christian college about 90 minutes from Indianapolis.

  • % who study abroad: 63%
  • Locations to study:29 Taylor and partner programs

Recommended Programs:

#19. St. Lawrence University

Canton, NY

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19. St. Lawrence University

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This 56th ranked liberal arts college is New York’s oldest coed university. With programs worldwide, a semester in a yurt on an Adirondack lake, and a semester focused on sustainability, St. Lawrence provides many unique study abroad opportunities.

  • % who study abroad: 63%
  • Locations to study:9 St. Lawrence off campus programs, many partner programs

Recommended Programs:

#18. Rhodes College

Memphis, TN

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18. Rhodes College

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This 54th ranked liberal arts college hosts a popular European studies abroad program with Sewanee: the University of the South. Rhodes also offers popular abroad programs for language, culture, anthropology, politics, and archeology.

  • % who study abroad: 63%
  • Locations to study: Over 1000 partner programs, several Rhodes semester and summer programs

Recommended Programs:

  • European Studies
  • British Studies
  • International Experience in Healthcare
  • International Business
  • The Sociology of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Rocky Mountain Ecology
  • Russian Cinema in Rome

#17. Bethel University

St. Paul, MN

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17. Bethel University

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This 21st ranked regional university (in the Midwest) is a leading regional Christian college offering semester, interim, and summer study abroad options.

  • % who study abroad: 65%
  • Locations to study: Over 75 programs including approved affiliate programs

Recommended Programs:

#16. Bates College

Lewiston, ME

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16. Bates College

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This 22nd ranked liberal arts college offers skiing, canoeing, and beaches nearby in scenic Maine. But Bates is connected worldwide as well, with opportunities to travel abroad alone, with professors, for several weeks, or an entire year. Perhaps this is why almost 7/10 Bates students study abroad at some point in their undergraduate years.

Recommended Programs:

#15. St. Olaf College

Northfield, MN

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15. St. Olaf College

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This 52nd rankedChristian liberal arts college offers a tribute to the Norwegian immigrants who founded the college through vigorous Scandinavian culture offerings. St. Olaf’s also offers a wide array of faculty led and partner institution study abroad opportunities.

  • % who study abroad: 68%
  • Locations to study:5 St. Olaf Faculty led programs, 130 plus approved and partner programs

Recommended Programs:

  • St. Olaf Global Semester
  • St. Olaf Term in Asia
  • St. Olaf Mediterranean Semester
  • St. Olaf Environmental Science in Australia

#14. Arcadia University

Glenside, PA

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14. Arcadia University

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This 48th ranked regional university (in the north) very much encourages students to study abroad. Beginning in the first year many students participate in the “preview for freshman” which allows extensive travel during spring break to earn class credit. Backed up by the school mission in which “Arcadia University promises a distinctively global…and personal learning experience” and one of three colleges within the University even titled the College of Global Studies, Arcadia is a great place to head abroad.

  • % who study abroad: 68%
  • Locations to study:Over 140 programs, as well as internships

Recommended Programs:

  • Global Engagement Program
  • Internships Abroad
  • African Studies Certificate
  • Mediterranean Studies Certificate
  • Celtic Studies Certificate

#13. Earlham College

Richmond, IN

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13. Earlham College

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This 65th ranked liberal arts college is a small Quaker school 70 miles east of Indianapolis. Earlham belies that “learning is a pathway to a life of consequence” and, based on their many offerings, off-campus study must be a large part of that learning.

  • % who study abroad: 70%
  • Locations to study: 25 semester or May term Earlham program offerings.

Recommended Programs:

  • Tibetan Studies (India)
  • China: Emerging Identities
  • Spain: Camino de Santiago-Walking Pilgrimage

#12. College of St. Benedict

St. Joseph, MN

Website

Main Building (Saint Teresa Hall, entrance, 1991), College of Saint Benedict

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This 94th ranked liberal arts college is located in 3,300 acres of woods and lakes in Minnesota. A partner of Saint John’s University, the College of St. Benedict offers the resources of a large university while remaining a top-notch small college.

  • % who study abroad: 70%
  • Locations to study: 19 Saint Benedict and SJU semester abroad programs

Recommended Programs:

#11. Calvin College

Grand Rapids, MI

Website

11. Calvin College

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This 100th ranked liberal arts college is one of the largest Christian colleges in North America, and strives to not only prepare students for their first job out of school, but for a life of success and service. Since 2014, Calvin has had 14 students awarded as Goldwater Scholars for science research. This record is unmatched by any liberal arts school in the country.

  • % who study abroad: 70%
  • Locations to study:12 Calvin Semester Programs

Recommended Programs:

#10.Eastern Mennonite University

Harrisonburg, VA

Website

campus center

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This 180th ranked liberal arts college is guided by the Anabaptist peace-oriented faith tradition. Located in scenic Shenandoah Valley, some EMU majors have cross-cultural requirements as well as community engagement goals.

  • % who study abroad: 71%
  • Locations to study: Many changing internship and peace centered abroad programs

Recommended Programs:

  • Guatemala: Central America Study and Service
  • Washington Community Scholars Center

#9. Elon University

Elon, NC

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9. Elon University

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This 1st ranked regional university (in the South) is recognized by the National Survey of Student Engagement as one of the most effective universities for actively engaging students in learning. The Elon Experience includes studying abroad, leading student organizations, interning, doing research, and volunteer service.

  • % who study abroad: 72%
  • Locations to study: Close to 200 through partner programs

Recommended Programs:

  • Elon Center Abroad: Florence
  • Elon Center Abroad: London
  • Elon Center Abroad: Costa Rica

#8. Carleton College

Northfield, MN

Website

8. Carleton College

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This 7th ranked liberal arts college notes that their students might be characterized as “intellectually insatiable,” and that Carleton is a place where students are likely to collaborate than compete. Perhaps this intellectual insatiability is what leads nearly three in four Carleton students to study abroad.

  • % who study abroad: 72%
  • Locations to study:16 Carleton Programs, hundreds of affiliate programs

Recommended Programs:

  • Economics in Cambridge
  • Studio Art in the South Pacific
  • New Media in Japan

#7. Queens University of Charlotte

Charlotte, NC

Website

7. Queens University Charlotte

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This 18th ranked regional university (in the South) with a strong commitment to both the liberal arts and professional studies. A required internship program and ample funding for study abroad opportunities support these goals.

  • % who study abroad: 78%
  • Locations to study:Member of the International Student Exchange Program with 300 Universities in 50 countries

Recommended Programs:

  • Internships in Australia, Costa Rica, Exuador, England, India, Italy, Mexico, and Spain
  • Arabic in United Arab Emirates or Morocco

#6. Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo, MI

Website

6. Kalamazoo College

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This 61st ranked liberal arts college focuses on liberal arts fields and learning in immersive occupational programs. The Discovery externship program sends underclassmen to live and work with alumni working in their field of study for several weeks. A rigorous liberal arts curriclum and many experential opportunities lands Kalamazoo College as 19th in the nation for graduates who earn doctorate degrees.

  • % who study abroad: 81%
  • Locations to study: Over 50 semester long programs with partners

Recommended Programs:

  • College Year in Athens
  • Budapest Semester in Mathematics
  • Semester at London School of Economics

#5 Lee University

Cleveland, TN

Website

5. Lee University

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This 51st ranked regional university (in the South) is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Lee’s enrollment has steadily increased through recent years and it is now the 5th largest member of Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. The Global Perspectives Program prepares students for study abroad with on-campus programs, making the transition abroad easier.

  • % who study abroad: 84%
  • Locations to study: 27 faculty led trips, many partner opportunities

Recommended Programs:

  • Israel: Biblical Lands
  • Australia: Wildlife Biology
  • Central America: Medical Missions
  • Cuba: Health and Exercise Science

#4. Centre College

Danville, KY

Website

4. Centre College

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This 49th ranked liberal arts college notes that three things are certain about those who attend Centre: they will be able to study abroad, complete an internship, and graduate in four years. To streamline the process, Centre even offers to buy a passport for every student who doesn’t have one. Most study abroad includes at least one Centre professor.

  • % who study abroad: 86%
  • Locations to study: Centre semester programs in 8 countries, partner programs worldwide

Recommended Programs:

  • Centre Semester Long Programs
  • Centre Summer Abroad Programs

#3. Holy Cross College

Notre Dame, IN

Website

3. Holy Cross College

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Nine out of ten students study abroad at Holy Cross College. Located across the street from Notre Dame, and beside Saint Mary’s College. Notre Dame, Indiana is nothing if not a college town. Holy Cross’ view is global however, with a core experience of service learning, global immersion, internships, and a senior capstone project.

  • % who study abroad: 90%
  • Locations to study: 4 main programs, other partner or short-term opportunities.

Recommended Programs:

  • Holy Cross in Ghana
  • Holy Cross in Peru
  • Holy Cross in India
  • Holy Cross in Brazil

#2. Soka University of America

Aliso Viejo, CA

Website

2. Soka University

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This 41st ranked liberal arts college is located 2 miles from the Pacific overlooking a wilderness part. Soka emphasizes contributive citizenship, and requires students to study a foreign language and study abroad in a nation where the language is spoken. Bachelor’s degrees are available with concentrations in environmental studies, humanities, international studies, or social and behavioral sciences.

  • % who study abroad: 100%
  • Locations to study:

Recommended Programs: 23 programs hand-picked for the Soka curriculum

  • 10 South American Programs
  • 9 Asian Programs
  • 10 European Programs
  • 1 African Program

#1. Goucher College

Baltimore, MD

Website

1. Goucher College

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This 110th ranked liberal arts college was the first college in the nation to require study abroad, and boasts an unofficial study-abroad rate of 118% (due to students studying abroad multiple times). From the cloud forests of Costa Rica to New Media in eastern Europe, there’s a study-abroad program for everyone at Goucher.

  • % who study abroad: 100%
  • Locations to study: More than 60 programs in 32 countries

Recommended Programs:

  • Development Studies in Uganda
  • Accademia Dell’Arte in Italy
  • French Field Study and Internship, Belgium

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