Study abroad numbers are increasing. That makes us happy, but it can be distressing for non-conformist youth with international aspirations. You know who you are. The idea of studying abroad is no longer counter-culture. To assert your alternativeness, you’ve got to go a step beyond, push the envelope, and study in a place that’s truly exotic. New Zealand? Might as well be the next Australia. Paris? It’s been done. China? Too much press.
It’s cool, we dig your boundary pushing. We encourage it. So we’ve compiled a list of the Top 5 Study Abroad Destinations For Hipsters. This is based on obscurity of destination, perceived host country “culture,” amount of thrift stores and coffee shops per capita, bicycle infrastructure, and our own hipster opinions.
We know this European city isn’t obscure, but it’s definitely up and coming. According to one Travel Blogger, culturally-rich Berlin is the most hipster of cities, and we can’t disagree. Be sure to check out Görlitzer Park- the hipster hang out with free music, cheap food, and plenty of green space.
If you’re going to study abroad in Africa, better make it Central Africa, the least popular region for U.S. students studying abroad according to the latest US Open Doors data. There may not be much of a fashion scene, but with less than 100 students studying there yearly, odds are pretty good that you’ll be the only one at a party who has ever been to Cameroon. And that’s pretty cool.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Known as the cultural capital of Thailand, this Northern city puts the hip in hipster. In fact, Abroad101 employee, Sarah, first learned what the word “hipster” meant when she studied abroad there in 2008 and was confused by the “Thai” affinity for skinny jeans, thick rimmed glasses, and fixed gear bikes. The plethora of indie coffee shops, thrift stores, and flea markets, combined with a happening music, arts, and growing film scene, might just make this the most hipster city in all of Southeast Asia.
Like India but more obscure. There is only one university in the entire country where U.S. students can study abroad. Besides that, the Hindu nation boasts a mostly vegetarian cuisine and has a funky music scene.
Enjoy Italian food but can’t stomach the thought of studying abroad in a place as clichéd as Italy? Study in Malta, where you can savor Italian inspired lattes, art, beautiful beaches, and still have people scratching their heads, asking which island in the Caribbean is Malta. You are so alternative.
And that’s our list of unconventional study abroad destinations for the globe-trotting hipster. Did we miss your favorite, undiscovered study abroad destination? Tell us in the comments section, but don’t share too much. If a hipster is going to study there, it’s got to remain obscure.
Want to read insider reviews from fellow study abroad students? Click here to find your perfect study abroad program!