What to see, eat, and visit at some of the best places to study abroad

By Annie Rose Stathes, Edited by Valeri Boyle
Published March 11, 2014


The following article lists some of the best places to study abroad, and some of the foods, sights, and cities you must enjoy while there. If you can’t choose between such great places, consider flipping a coin to determine the best place to study abroad!

Italy

Two Delicious or Unique Foods:

  • Pasta (ok, it’s not unique, but Italy does make amazing pasta! Try it with a rich and fresh seafood sauce)
  • Gelato (you earn double-points if you eat ricotta cheese flavored gelato!)

Two Interesting Sights:

  • The Leaning Tower and Duomo of Pisa
  • The Royal Palace of Caserta (and while you’re in Southern Italy, head to the beautiful beaches!)

Two Cities You Have to Visit:

  • Florence (for its gorgeous architecture, wonderful museums, and stunning views)
  • Venice (for its sweet and gentle personality and romantic canals)

England

Two Delicious or Unique Foods:

  • Bangers and mash
  • Meat pies (especially the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie)

Two Interesting Sights:

  • Stonehenge (for its majestic beauty)
  • Buckingham Palace (to try to make the guards laugh. Just kidding; do this at your own risk!)

Two Cities You Have to Visit:

  • London (because everything under the moon happens in London: good food, interesting people, great sights, double-decker buses, old-school telephone booths, etc.)
  • Oxford (to visit a university-town with the oldest university in the English-speaking world)

Spain

Two Delicious or Unique Foods:

  • When in Spain, one must eat good cheese, salty meats, fresh-baked bread, and wine for at least one full day
  • Pulpo a la Gallega (Octopus! Try it! You might love it)

Two Interesting Sights:

  • Any section of El Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage that starts in France and ends in Santiago de Compostela. If you have an extra month to spare, walk the whole thing!
  • The beautiful Alhambra in Granada.

Two Cities You Have to Visit:

  • Barcelona (where you must sit by the sea and take a tour of Antonio Gaudi’s stunning architecture and Park Güell)
  • Madrid (to enjoy an experience of big-city life in Spain, and to visit museums, Spanish parks, and other wonderful sights)

France

Two Delicious or Unique Foods:

  • Blanquette de Veau (a tasty ragout made with veal)
  • Fondue Savoyard (bread dipped in a delicious melted cheese made with white wine and garlic)
  • This is a bonus recommendation: Tartiflette (a scrumptious potato dish made with melted cheese, onions, and French bacon)

Two Interesting Sights:

  • The Eiffel Tower (of course! Don’t miss it!)
  • The Mont St-Michel (to enjoy a beautiful hike, barefoot walk, or horseback ride that ends at the majestic island commune)

Two Cities You Have to Visit:

  • Marseille (where your inner artist and art enthusiast will be invited out to play)
  • Paris (where you can see some of France’s most well-known sights: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Père Lachaise Cemetery, and the Catacombs of Paris)

Brazil

Two Delicious or Unique Foods:

  • Coxinhas (fried yumminess filled with creamy cheese and meat, usually chicken)
  • Romeu e Julieta (basically a delicious guava paste and white-cheese sandwich minus the bread)

Two Interesting Sights:

  • Corcovado (a point of pilgrimage with stunning and magical views)
  • The architecture of Oscar Niemeyer (to gain inspiration from fascinating and unique works of art)

Two Cities You Have to Visit:

  • Rio de Janeiro (to enjoy wonderful beaches, vibrant rainforests, and to dance the night away during Carnaval)
  • Recife (for a taste of culture and tradition amidst a city built around inlets, canals, and bridges)

Japan

Two Delicious or Unique Foods:

  • Ramen (NOT the kind you buy in the bag while in college! Japanese ramen is made with fresh Chinese-style noodles and topped with fresh veggies and other goodies)
  • Shabu Shabu (dipping meats, seafood, vegetables, mushrooms, and tofu in hot soup in order to cook them)

Two Interesting Sights:

  • The Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park (there are cute monkeys in the snow, in a park. Need I say more?)
  • The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (to better understand an historical event that affected the lives of so many)

Two Cities You Have to Visit:

  • Kyoto (to visit historic and traditional shrines, temples, and other monuments and to hopefully catch a glimpse of a Geisha)
  • Fukuoka (to wander Ohori Park, visit the Kushida Shrine, and to indulge in delicious gourmet food)

Australia

Two Delicious or Unique Foods:

  • Emu (eat it plain, on a pizza, or in a filo-pastry sandwich)
  • The Lamington (sponge cake covered in chocolate and coconut. Mmm!)

Two Interesting Sights:

  • These aren’t exactly sights, but find your way to a park where you can visit with Kangaroos, Koalas, and other down-under animals
  • The Great Barrier Reef (to enjoy scuba diving or snorkeling with some of the world’s most beautiful creatures)

Two Places You Have to Visit:

  • Queensland (to visit the Daintree Rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef, and Fraser Island)
  • The Northern Territory (to enjoy the natural beauty of Kakadu National Park and Uluru)

Germany

Two Delicious or Unique Foods:

  • Currywurst (eat at least 10 of these while you’re in Germany)
  • Kohlroulade (cabbage rolls of yumminess!)

Two Interesting Places:

  • East Berlin and West Berlin. Take time in Berlin to observe some of the lasting differences between the two sections of Berlin that were once divided by a wall and ideology. Also, notice “Ampelmännchen” in Berlin as you’re crossing the streets. You can’t miss ‘em.
  • The Rhine River Valley (take a cruise and hop off to explore castles!)

Two Cities You Have to Visit:

  • Berlin (be sure to visit Grunewald Forest, the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, the Reichstag, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the city’s numerous parks and gardens)
  • Potsdam (where you can visit and fall in love with Sanssouci Park)

China

Two Delicious or Unique Foods:

  • Everything. In all seriousness, get your hands on Xiao Long Bao (delicious soup dumplings)
  • Char Siu Bao (also known as “pork buns” and made with sweet bread and barbequed chunks of pork)

Two Interesting Sights:

  • Well, I hate to go with the obvious, but you must see the Great Wall of China. It is majestic beyond belief
  • The Guanyin Statue in Hainan (why not pay homage to the world’s largest Guanyin statue? It’s both majestic and beautiful)

Two Cities You Have to Visit:

  • Guilin (where sights like the Li River, the Reed Flute Cave, Solitary Beauty Hill, and Elephant Trunk Hill will take your breath away)
  • Kaiping (where you’ll fall in love with the fortress towers)

Annie Rose Stathes is a Colorado-based writer, teacher and political scientist. Her background is in international affairs and she holds a Master of Arts degree in Political Science.

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