Best of both worlds: 3 destinations to study hard & play hard

On your next study abroad adventure, you could expand your knowledge, get invaluable work-integrated learning or immerse yourself in vibrant local communities.

Or you could do all three.

If having the best of both worlds is what you crave, there are several destinations you should keep an eye out for. Some of them you’ve never heard of, but do they have a lot to offer

With help from established organisations, you can discover some of the world’s best schools, stunning natural beauty and a thriving economy in these severely underrated locations.

College are some of the best years of our lives. We should make the most of it. Get the best education there is out there that suits you best. International students, in particular, have the most to benefit. A study by the Institute of International Education found that study abroad contributes to the development of transferrable skills and positive employment gains. Among alumni who studied abroad for one academic year, 68 percent reported studying abroad contributing to a job offer or promotion, compared to just 43 percent of alumni who studied abroad for fewer than eight weeks.

But it goes beyond academic and career gains. More than 70 percent of respondents reported that their intercultural skills, curiosity, flexibility/adaptability, confidence, and self-awareness were significantly improved too.

So how do we sign up and get to these study abroad destinations that gives us the thrills as ell a skills? These are our three top organisations that will get you to your dream school and location:



300 days of sunshine. A four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreation.  In winter, board or ski at world famous mountain resorts. In summer, enjoy mountain biking, hiking alpine meadows and whitewater rafting.  A variety of professional sports teams alongside a thriving arts scene, and an international student population 12,000 strong and affordable living. These are just some of the reasons to call Colorado home while you study.

Colorado’s colleges and universities truly have something for everyone. Whether public or private, small or large, you can be assured of academic excellence, top-notch facilities, and professors who take time to get to know you.

Colorado’s large research institutions include the University of Colorado Boulder, a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and home to one of the country’s most beautiful campuses, and Colorado State University, rated number one in the US for international student satisfaction by International Student Barometer.

Denver, Colorado’s capital city, is home to the University of Denver, a private institution known for its forward-looking vision and a deep commitment to promoting inclusion. Denver is also home to the University of Colorado Denver, a leading urban public research institution that welcomes international students from 130 countries. Meanwhile, the University of Northern Colorado, tucked between the Rocky Mountains and Colorado’s stunning high plains, offers exceptional opportunities with its just-right size, expert faculty and tradition of hands-on learning.

If a smaller institution is what you’re after, Western Colorado University delivers career preparation, STEM and a liberal arts curriculum in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. And at Colorado Mesa University, students get to study in the fifth-fastest growing baccalaureate university in the nation with some of the best outdoor recreation in the country.

Community colleges have been increasing in popularity as a less expensive and smaller class-size option. A variety of two-year associate degree majors are available at Red Rocks Community College, with transfer agreements with universities throughout Colorado.



There are many reasons why Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, is the study abroad destination of choice for smart, creative and ambitious students. There is no shortage of reports and surveys in this aspect.

The Legatum Prosperity Index Institute ranks its education as one of the world’s best. The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked it top in the world for providing future-skills education for its youth. Lonely Planet has described it as “the coolest little capital in the world”. The Economist Intelligence Unit 2017 ranked it second in the world for personal safety of residents and visitors.

Three world-ranked universities, two Institutes of Technology and over 236 schools call this city home. From early childhood education right through to university, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Higher education options include the Victoria University of Wellington, Massey University, Wellington Institute of Technology and Whitireia New Zealand. Each offer a range of degrees in a large choice of subjects and is ranked in the top three percent in the world. A bachelor degree from these institutions are recognised around the world for enrolment in postgraduate programmes.

Living close to nature is easy in Wellington. There are acres after acres of natural spaces to explore and all within reach from the city. The Town Belt, large amount of bush clad hillside behind the city, is threaded with walking and mountain biking tracks for the adventurous. Fancy a more beach vibe? The Blue Belt is were you can find a sparkling harbour golden sand beaches and nearby Scorching Bay, Island Bay, Days Bay and Oriental Bay (just a short walk from the waterfront).


Study Adelaide

Adelaide, South Australia’s cosmopolitan coastal capital, is consistently ranked as the world’s fifth most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual liveability index. What this means for international students is that studying here is a win-win situation. In addition to a lifestyle that is safe, affordable and vibrant, students receive a world-class education from the six universities and a range of specialist colleges and schools located here.

This includes the University of Adelaide, Australia’s third oldest university and the oldest university in South Australia. It is consistently ranked in the top one percent of universities globally, with over 100 Rhodes scholars and five Nobel Laureates among its alumnus. For strong professional emphasis and partnership with industry, the University of South Australia is where one can find invaluable fieldwork, placements, industry projects and work experience.

Its Vocational Education and Training (VET) colleges, on the other hand, offer internationally recognised qualifications, workplace experience, and practical skills to thrive in a global marketplace. TAFE SA is the largest VET provider in Australia, with more than 50 University Pathway Programs and 150 credit pathways to university in fields as diverse as hospitality and cookery, information technology, veterinary nursing and science, and much more.

Arijeet Chakrabarty from Calcutta, India, moved to Adelaide to study a Master in Business Administration (Finance). The reasons he’ll recommend India to others back home is its the city’s affordability, cleanliness and green landscape.

“Adelaide is a beautiful city, and perfect for those seeking to escape from the usual hustle and bustle of a big city life,” he said. “You can live in the hills but still be close to the sea, the cost of living is relatively less expensive compared to the other cities, and there is plenty going on in Adelaide to keep you busy.”

*Some of the institutions featured on this editorial are commercial partners of Study International

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