Studying abroad is a huge decision – and one that takes a lot of thought and time. Students are often making a decision about where to go based on the way the country "looks," opposed to what they’ll learn or how safe they’ll be.
Regardless of where students go, there’s something to be said about the overall risk with the whole process. No matter where you study abroad, you should always be aware of the surroundings no matter how comfortable you feel.
However, there are some countries that have shown to be safer than others for study abroad students. Check out the countries safest to study abroad!
According to recent reports, crime is much less prevalent in New Zealand than it is in the U.S. In addition, this report done by the New Zealand Police shows overall crime has declined since 1995.
Combine these rates with the beautiful landscapes and New Zealand will be a serious contender on your study abroad list. Be aware, however, that the cost of living and studying in New Zealand can be expensive. Universities and schools set their own tuition rates and some tack on an international student fee.
I’m a little biased with Greece because I studied abroad there for four months. I truly believe this is a country overlooked as far as studying abroad. I met some of the friendliest people I’ve ever encountered in my life while living here. I never felt intimidated or nervous while walking through the streets, even at night.
However, even in safe communities like this, it’s extremely important to be aware of pick-pocketers and being robbed. I knew several students who were jumped walking in certain places at night. While no one ever thinks it will happen to them, it’s just important to remember to walk in well-lit areas, and to always be aware of what’s around you. Most burglars in countries like Greece don’t want to harm you – they just want your money.
According to OSAC, "The State Department considers Switzerland a modern nation state with a low crime threat." Despite this statistic, pock-pockets, theft, residential and vehicle break-ins have increased. But, I’d argue that those occurrences are extremely prevalent in the U.S. as well.
In addition to the seemingly low crime rate, Switzerland is located among the Swiss Alps, making it a great location for hiking, beautiful landscapes, and site-seeing.
Denmark is considered one of the happiest places on earth – the air is clear (literally) and education and health care are free (for the most part). Denmark also ranks high as one of the best places to have a positive work/life balance. In addition, OSAC writes, "The Danish national police reported a significant drop in overall crime rates in 2012."
Aside from safety, Denmark is under the leadership of its first female Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, making it a country that values gender equality.
Even though picking a place to study abroad that's safe is important, don't forget to consider other factors such as living conditions, expenses, and accessibility to activity. Most importantly, don’t forget to seize every opportunity while you’re abroad!