Top 15 Best Colleges for Study Abroad | 2019 Rankings

Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad

Studying abroad for a semester or two in college is a truly unique experience, and the chance to see and interact with a different part of the world. Many students highlight it as some of their fondest memories of their college years.

Which is why we wanted to shine the spotlight on colleges with booming study abroad programs. Here are the top fifteen colleges where the most students participate in study abroad.

For this list, we’ve incorporated participation data from the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) 2017 “Institutions by Undergraduate Participation in Study Abroad” report, and divided it by a weighted value of the two most recent years of total annual degrees conferred (according to IPEDS data) to get an estimated participation rate, with the highest participation rates being ranked highest. Only degrees conferred to US residents were considered. We then limited the results to College Raptor’s top 1,200 colleges.

Here are College Raptor’s top 15 best colleges for studying abroad.

15. Spelman College

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - Spelman College

    Flickr user LevoisJ

    Location: Atlanta, GA

  • Student Enrollment: 2,125
  • College Type: Private

Spelman is a historically black women’s liberal arts college with a long list of notable alumni, including politicians, singers, authors, and academics. Spelman has a 40% acceptance rate. The school’s colors are Columbia blue and white. Psychology, Biology, Political Science, Economics, and International Studies.

14. Hartwick College

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - Hartwick College

    Flickr user Kent Kanouse

    Location: Oneonta, NY

  • Student Enrollment: 1,396
  • College Type: Private

“Ever Upwards” (Ad Altiora Semper) is the motto of Hartwick. Students from over 30 states and 22 different countries study at the school. 77% of students come from the state of New York. Registered Nursing, Business, Biology, Sociology, and Political Science are the five most popular majors.

13. Macalester College

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - Macalester College

    Flickr user Alan Levine

    Location: St. Paul, MN

  • Student Enrollment: 2,146
  • College Type: Private

Macalester College is a liberal arts school with a fairly high four year graduation rate of 85% and first year retention rate of 93%. With a 10 to 1 student to faculty ratio, almost all professors at the school have the highest degree available within their field. The most popular majors tend to be biology, economics, and political science.

12. Susquehanna University

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - Susquehanna University

    Flickr user Paul Weaver

    Location: Selinsgrove, PA

  • Student Enrollment: 2,195
  • College Type: Private

Orange and maroon make up Susquehanna’s colors and their school motto is “Achievement, Leadership, Service.” They play as the River Hawks in NCAA Division III sports, including football, soccer, lacrosse, and swimming/diving among others. SU has an acceptance rate of 70% and a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

11. Colorado College

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - Colorado College

    Flickr user Ted Swedenburg

    Location: Colorado Springs, CO

  • Student Enrollment: 2,114
  • College Type: Private

Colorado College is excellent for adventure-seekers, free spirits, and curious students. The curriculum follows the block scheduling format, in which a student takes one large, hands-on, immersive-learning course over a period of about three and a half weeks, rather than classes that meet every other day for a certain number of hours.

10. St. Olaf College

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - St Olaf College

    Wikimedia Commons user Daniel Edwins

    Location: Northfield, MN

  • Student Enrollment: 3,040
  • College Type: Private

Named after the King and Patron Saint Olaf II of Norway, the seal of St. Olaf College features the Coat of arms of Norway with a motto that was known as an Old Norse battle cry. The college is fairly selective, accepting only 43% of applicants. A good many of students also participate in athletics, where they are a part of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

9. DePauw University

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - DePauw University

    Wikimedia Commons user Rovergirl88

    Location: Greencastle, IN

  • Student Enrollment: 2,225
  • College Type: Private

DePauw University was originally founded in 1837 under the name Indiana Asbury University. They began accepting women into the college in 1867 and the school received the name change in 1884. With a 9 to 1 student to faculty ratio, 92% of students decide to stay at the university after their freshman year.

8. Eckerd College

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - Eckerd College

    Wikimedia Commons user Elisa.rolle

    Location: St. Petersburg, FL

  • Student Enrollment: 2,046
  • College Type: Private

Located right on the Tampa Bay, Eckerd college has a conch shell on its logo. It should come as no surprise, then, that the two most popular majors are Environmental Studies and Marine Biology. Eckerd sports three official school colors–teal, navy, and black. Their sports teams are known as the Tritons.

7. Goucher College

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - Goucher College

    Flickr user Rob Coyle

    Location: Baltimore, MD

  • Student Enrollment: 2,172
  • College Type: Private

Interestingly, Goucher is one of the only colleges to actually require undergraduate students to study abroad. Psychology is the most popular major on campus, followed by English and Speech Communication. They have 260 athletes on campus, who compete in sports such as lacrosse, field hockey, swimming, and equestrian events.

6. Soka University of America

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - Soka University of America

    Flickr user Mark Weston

    Location: Aliso Viejo, CA

  • Student Enrollment: 430
  • College Type: Private

SUA has quite the noble school motto: “Be philosophers of a renaissance of life; Be world citizens in solidarity for peace; Be the pioneers of a global civilization.” Soka has an elder sister school in Tokyo, Japan. With a small student body, this university has a 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

5. Taylor University

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - Taylor University

    Wikimedia Commons user Cazel91

    Location: Upland, IN

  • Student Enrollment: 2,170
  • College Type: Private

The Taylor University Trojans wear purple and gold while competing in 16 varsity sports. A whopping 98% of students on campus study at the undergraduate level. Taylor also has a high rate of acceptance–87%. Most students come from Indiana, but many others come from the surrounding states of Illinois and Ohio.

4. Wofford College

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - Wofford College

    Flickr user Lorianne DiSabato

    Location: Spartanburg, SC

  • Student Enrollment: 1,683
  • College Type: Private

69% of students who apply to Wofford College are accepted into the school.  They have a 77% four year graduation rate that jumps up to 81% in six years. Wofford’s school colors are old gold and black, and they compete athletically as the Terriers in NCAA Division I sports, including football, soccer, tennis, basketball, and more.

3. Centre College

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - Centre College

    Flickr user AIKCU

    Location: Danville, KY

  • Student Enrollment: 1,430
  • College Type: Private

Centre College offers all students study abroad, internship, or researching opportunities.They have an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio and a 4-year graduation rate of 83%. Nearly 50% of all students on campus hail from Kentucky, but others come from all over the country. Economics is the most popular major.

2. Agnes Scott College

  • Location: Decatur, GA

  • Student Enrollment: 927
  • College Type: Private

Agnes Scott College has an interesting tradition, where each class is assigned a color and then they vote on a mascot correlating with that color. The tradition creates class pride. Agnes Scott has a 66% acceptance rate and student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. Public Health is the most popular major on campus, followed by Psychology.

1. Centenary College of Louisiana

  • Top 15 Colleges for Study Abroad - Centenary College of Louisiana

    Wikimedia Commons user Billy Hawthorn

    Location: Shreveport, LA

  • Student Enrollment: 549
  • College Type: Private

Centenary is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River, founded in 1825. 89% of the students on campus study at the undergraduate level, while the remaining 11% are graduate students. Centenary’s sports teams are known as the Gentlemen and the Ladies, whose team colors are maroon and white.

About our methodology

For this Study Abroad list, we included data from the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) 2017 “Institutions by Undergraduate Participation in Study Abroad” report in our calculations.

In College Raptor’s overall rankings, colleges are ranked based on a combination of factors, including graduation rates, campus diversity, endowment per student, and other data as reported via the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the most recently-available enrollment year. Some colleges may have been excluded from rankings based on certain criteria, including specialization and classification. Learn about our full methodology.

Interested in any of these schools? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool to see if they’re a good fit for you!

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