Italy Tops the List of Best Countries to Study Abroad


Europe is a top study abroad destination, while Pakistan and Iran are at the bottom of the list.


Prepping for finals is never fun, but few things can propel students through the pain like an upcoming boat ride along a Venetian canal or a glass of wine in a Roman cafe.

Italy is the best country to study abroad, at least according to nearly 6,000 millennials, or adults under age 35,  who filled out surveys for the 2016 Best Countries rankings. The rankings, formed in partnership with brand strategy firm BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, aim to gauge global perceptions of the world’s biggest economies in terms of specific attributes associated with countries.

The Best Countries to Study Abroad, including Spain, the United States, France and theUnited Kingdom, scored highest on a compilation of five equally weighted country attributes: culturally accessible, fun, has top quality universities, many cultural attractions and would consider attending university there. Pakistan and Iran – two countries criticized by human rights groups – were perceived as the worst countries in which to hit the books.

Italy, a country known worldwide for its architecture, stunning coastlines and cuisine, doesn’t have a problem attracting visitors. Italy was the fifth-most popular tourist destination in 2014, drawing in 48.6 million international visitors, according to the World Tourism Organization.

Students also flock to the country in significant numbers. Italy was the 10th-most popular destination for international students in 2012, drawing in 2 percent of the total international student population, according to the most recent UNESCO data. The country is popular among U.S. students, who only choose the United Kingdom to study in greater numbers.

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