10 Incredible Destinations to Consider for a Semester Abroad 

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Madrid
The capital of Spain, Madrid is the perfect combination of metropolitan lifestyle and Spanish tradition. Home to the royal family, the famous Prado and Museo Reina Sofía, the city isn’t lacking in artistic or historical merit and has something for everyone. Programs to consider: University of Texas–Austin (spring and fall); Southern Methodist University (summer); Baylor University (spring and fall); University of the Incarnate Word (spring and fall).

Prague
Capital of the Czech Republic, the Old World city of Prague is known for its cobblestone streets and fairy-tale castles but it also boasts an intriguing nightlife scene and some of the finest brews in the world—need we say more? Programs to consider: University of Texas–Austin (Maymester, spring and fall); Texas State University (summer); Texas A&M University (summer); Texas Christian University (summer); Southern Methodist University (summer).

Florence
An academic hot spot seemingly suspended in the Italian Renaissance, Florence delivers an intimate experience enhanced with endless nooks and crannies to explore. Students are bound to see spectacular landmarks (Uffizi Gallery, Michelangelo’s David, the Ponte Vecchio, the list goes on) and will undoubtedly indulge in heavenly gelato. Programs to consider: Texas State University (summer); Texas A&M University (spring); Texas Christian University (fall, spring, summer); University of Texas–Austin (spring and fall).

Cape Town
The adventure seeker will never be bored in South Africa’s second most populous city, with the outdoorsy draw of surfing, mountain biking, paragliding and more. Just be cautious in the water, South Africa’s coastline sees its fair share of Great White Sharks. Programs to consider: Texas A&M University (summer); University of Virginia (summer).

Buenos Aires
This city in Argentina is called the “Paris of Latin America” for a reason. Beyond its café culture, open-air markets and picturesque gardens, the charming birthplace of the tango is home to a thriving fashion scene and world-class museums. Programs to consider: Texas State University (spring and fall); Texas A&M University (summer); Texas Christian University (summer); Southwestern University (fall, spring and summer); University of the Incarnate Word (spring and fall).

Hong Kong
Foodies of the world will be hard pressed not to enjoy Hong Kong, with its cheap market food and adventurous selections ranging from jellyfish to brisket soup. Hong Kong is also a major business hub making it the perfect mix of the Eastern and Western worlds. Programs to consider: Texas A&M University (spring, fall and summer); University of Texas–Austin (spring, fall and summer); University of Texas–San Antonio (summer); Baylor University (spring and fall); University of the Incarnate Word (spring and fall).

Edinburgh
There’s a magic to Edinburgh that sets it apart from many of Europe’s most visited cities. Although popular with fans of the Harry Potter series and its creator J.K. Rowling, who penned her first novel at a local café that overlooks majestic Edinburgh Castle, “Auld Reekie” (as it’s affectionately known) also served as the gritty inspiration for Irvine Welsh’s punk novel Trainspotting. Plus, it’s only a short drive to Glasgow, the Highlands and Loch Ness. Programs to consider: Texas State University (summer); Texas A&M University (summer); University of North Texas (summer); Southern Methodist University (summer); University of Texas–Austin (spring and fall).

Amman
Students intent on learning Arabic should consider the capital of Jordan. Amman offers visitors trendy neighborhood districts, cafes and art galleries, while also giving American students a chance to learn about Middle Eastern and Islamic cultures. Programs to consider: University of North Texas (summer); Rice University (summer).

Berlin
Germany’s capital has been described as a “modern city rebuilt on a tumultuous past” and some consider it the most exciting destination in all of Europe. Packed with attractions, museums and landmarks, Berlin offers unusual contrasts with its mix of green spaces, beer gardens, nightclubs and contemporary art galleries. Programs to consider: Texas A&M University (spring and summer); University of North Texas (summer); University of Texas–Austin (spring and fall); University of Texas–San Antonio (spring).

Toulouse
This metropolis in Southern France may be a great fit for science and engineering majors as Toulouse’s aerospace industry and dedication to green energy are sure to provide real-time experience. Close to the Pyrenees mountains, and not far from the Mediterranean Sea, Toulouse offers an epic study abroad experience. Programs to consider: Texas A&M University (summer); University of Texas–Austin (spring, summer and fall).

Study abroad resources for beginners

Talk to your school’s international advisor

Research the cities you are considering

Apply for a passport
tinyurl.com/nlcyvso

Renew a passport
tinyurl.com/kb4rh8l

Check out programs online

International Study Abroad: tinyurl.com/pdsmvmt

CIEE Study Abroad: tinyurl.com/na5uhj2

IES Study Abroad: tinyurl.com/l9grv4u

AIF Study Abroad: tinyurl.com/o6oxoy

Research funding options

Scholarships: through school, program, specialty, etc.

NAFSA Financial Aid: tinyurl.com/ktxlo75

Funding Campaigns: fundmytravel.com, gofundme.com

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