Abroad101’s 2012 Study Abroad Rankings are Out!

Abroad101 Releases 2nd Annual Study Abroad Rankings, Presented by STA Travel

16,000+ Student Reviews Reveal Highest Rated Study Abroad Programs in Academics, Language, Budget & More

Abroad101, the leading study abroad review website, released its 2nd annual study abroad rankings in partnership with STA Travel, the premier youth travel expert enabling students to travel the world.  The rankings compiled evaluations from students at over 200 US universities to highlight leading international education programs.

The 2012 rankings honor the highest-rated study abroad programs and locations by American students who have studied abroad. Students complete thorough online evaluations hosted by Abroad101 with both quantitative and qualitative responses. With a database of over 16,000 evaluations and 800,000 individual data points, the Abroad101 rankings provide a snapshot of student opinion on study abroad programs.

The 2012 Top 10 highest rated programs provide a wide range of geographical and disciplinary variety. The list has programs in traditional study abroad hotspots such as France, Italy, Spain, and Australia, but also features programs in China, Costa Rica, and Greece. Abroad101 is proud to announce the student-selected Top 10 Study Abroad Programs for 2012:

The Abroad101 2012 Top 10 Study Abroad Programs

1. CEA: Aix-en-Provence (Aix-en-Provence, France)

2. Sant’Anna Institute – Sorrento Lingue (Sorrento, Italy)

3. IES Abroad: Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beijing, China)

4. The Education Abroad Network: University of New South Wales & University of Sydney (Sydney, Australia)

5. University of Indianapolis: Odyssey in Athens (Athens, Greece)

6. The Education Abroad Network: Bond University (Gold Coast, Australia)

7. Semester at Sea (Travelling – 12 countries)

8. AIFS: Richmond in Florence (Florence, Italy)

9. AIFS: University of Salamanca (Salamanca, Spain)

10. Sol Education Abroad: Latin University of Costa Rica (Heredia, Costa Rica)

In addition to the highest rated overall programs, Abroad101 is also releasing ten additional categories for leading study abroad programs and destinations. The top programs and descriptions for the following categories are available at www.studyabroad101.com/rankings:

Top Academic Programs

Top Short-Term Programs

Top Program Providers

Top Programs for Language Learning

Top Science & Math Programs

Top Non-Traditional Countries (with Featured Programs)

Friendliest Cities

Most Livable Cities

Top Budget-Friendly Countries

Top Foodie Cities


“Abroad101 is leading the field in helping students make informed decisions about their international education,” says Mike Stone, President and Co-Founder of Abroad101. “Nearly 25% of university study abroad offices use our free feedback collection tool and these rankings are the result of thousands of students sharing their experiences with the world. We are thrilled to analyze trends in our data to highlight programs that students truly value.”

Abroad101 has partnered with STA Travel, a universally recognized travel leader and invaluable resource for student budget travel, to present this year’s rankings.

Quote from Adam Cooper, Director of Development at STA Travel:

“We at STA Travel are committed to study abroad and these rankings help students who are starting out on their search disseminate information and narrow down their choices. This comprehensive list gives students, parents and Universities alike an inside look into what’s new for study abroad and all the top notch study abroad options.”

Abroad101’s 2012 Study Abroad Rankings can be viewed at: http://www.studyabroad101.com/rankings


About Abroad101:

Abroad101 is the world’s first, largest, and fastest growing study abroad review website. Founded in 2007 by Tufts, Harvard, and MIT graduates, Abroad101’s mission is to promote global citizenship by fostering the most meaningful study abroad experience for all students through technology innovation in international education. Abroad101 empowers universities with its free market-leading online evaluation tool, has awarded $85,000 worth of scholarshipsthroughinnovativecontests, and provides an advertising and student recruitment platform for global program providers. Abroad101 is a 2010 winner of the MassChallenge Global startup competition. To learn more, visithttp://www.studyabroad101.com.

About STA Travel:

STA Travel is the youth travel expert enabling students and young adults to explore the world by creating experiences filled with adventure, discovery and personal growth. They offer a unique range of products with exclusive discounts on airfare, accommodations, tours, rail passes and more. Globally, STA Travel is present in 90 countries with 400 retail locations, sending more than 6 million travelers away each year. To learn more, visithttp://www.statravel.com.

Want to read student reviews to find the perfect study abroad destination for you?  Visit Abroad101.


How a Semester in Senegal Shaped our Lives

This post comes from Abroad101 friend and Guest Blogger Mairéad O’Grady, who currently resides in Washington, DC and works at The School for Ethics and Global Leadership as a French teacher and Residential Advisor. Inspired by her MSID semester in Senegal, Mairéad accepted a Grinnell Corps teaching position in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2010, where she spent her first postgraduate year. Now back in America, her work focuses on helping motivated high school students shape themselves into ethical global leaders who create positive change in our world.


Four years ago last month, I boarded an airplane full of strangers destined for Dakar, Senegal.  Most of my fellow passengers were dressed in the colorful garb so emblematic of West Africa, chattering in a language I could not yet recognize with babies slung gracefully across their backs.  The few who wore wide-eyed expressions and more familiar attire were my fellow study abroad students, and we gravitated to each other as we boarded, talking amongst ourselves while nervously imagining the next time we’d touch dry land. Continue reading

Top 4 Most Hardcore Study Abroad Programs

Abroad101’s vagabonding vixen, Tami Bolk, tells us about the Top 4 Most Extreme Study Abroad Programs.  Chuck Norris approved and fit for The Most Interesting Man in the World, these programs are sure to give you bada$$ bragging rights.

So you studied abroad.  Maybe you safaried in Kenya, hiked the Himalayas, or went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef.  Maybe your program let you explore 8 different cities in Europe, where you not only mastered your Scandinavian slang, but you sat kiddy-corner from that nearly-famous French actress (whose name you just can’t remember anymore)… oh, and you did all of this as a college Freshman. Ok, so maybe you’re a true baller if you really did all of that.  But for most that go abroad and think they’re the shiz for simply sipping a pint in the UK, it’s time to reconsider.  Check out this list of the Top 4 Most Hardcore Study Abroad programs and see how you measure up.

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Going Undercover While Studying Abroad

Brought to you by Abroad101’s fashion aficionado, Will Cox.

They see you. You can’t hide. They know who you are.  You are a sophomore in high school traveling Europe with your family and everyone around you knows… you are a TOURIST.  First there is your mother, power walking along in her Goretex pants, swishing more than Michael Jordan in the finals.  Then there is your little brother, who insisted on arriving upon European soil stomping in Air Force Ones.  Finally there is your father, strapped with his ultra-practical fanny pack synched just loose enough not to separate his legs from his torso.  For you, the travel-lover in training who just wanted to pass for a local, it was pure torture.

Fanny packs are retro, but not rad.

Fear not however.  Today, five years later, you are returning to Europe alone; a college Junior studying abroad.  Equipped with the following fashion tips, you can get a head start on your transformation, allowing an entire semester to look the part and play out your fantasy of life as a true European.

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Share Your Story: Be an Abroad101 Ambassador

Share your story with the world, spread the study abroad love, and serve as an Abroad101 Ambassador this semester!

Whether you’re currently abroad or back home, read on to learn more about two exciting internships that will take you from traveling student to traveling stud!

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Hostelling International… in the USA?!

Looking for an affordable last minute get-away this Labor Day weekend?  Did you know there are nearly 60 hostels in the US that are part of the Hostelling International network?  Our new friends at HI-USA gave us the inside scoop on what’s in an American Hostel.

The word “hostel” seems to conjure up a variety of reactions and ideas.  Some who are familiar with them think of traveling through Europe or Latin America.  Others think of cheap accommodations and sharing a room with total strangers.  Still others tragically think of the movie.  Despite being around for more than a century and serving hundreds of thousands of travelers every year, there are many people who are still confused by hostels.

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Abroad101 Spends a Night on Semester At Sea!

Last Saturday, some members of the Abroad101 team got the distinct pleasure of spending an evening on the Semester At Sea (SAS) Ship! We were wined and dined as we heard tales of the high seas and just how much the semester means to the students who get the opportunity to experience it. Most of us left the ship wishing we could stay and become part of the upcoming semester’s adventures.

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Our Favorite Foods From Around the World!

Ahi Tuna Hawaii Poke

Fresh Poke from Hawaii!


When you arrive in a new country, or a new city for that matter, there are always long lists of cultural experiences to get at. Yet we all know that sampling the local food is always the most fun! Especially when it’s delicious and you can’t get it anywhere else!

This recent article titled 33 Foods Worth Traveling Across the World Just to Eat really gives you a reason to get packing. We decided to ask the Abroad101 team about their favorite foods around the world. What’s your favorite? Tell us about it in the comments!

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