The Schools With the Most Wanderlust

Everyone knows what ~wanderlust~ is. The three-syllable, uber-hip word essentially means an irresistibly strong desire to travel or, obviously, wander. If you dream of devouring delectable croissants while sitting at a sidewalk café in France, exploring the temples of Thailand or living the royal life in a Victorian-age castle in the Netherlands, this one’s for you. The best part about being bitten by the wanderlust bug is that plenty of colleges and universities will cater to your travel desires. Some even make traveling a requirement of graduating (as if you need to be told twice!). If your number one dream is to globetrot, check out these 10 schools that will make all of your voyaging wishes come true!

10. FLORIDA SOUTHERN COLLEGE (Lakeland, FL)


Studying abroad is, for the most part, a privilege that many students choose to take advantage of. Florida Southern College decided to take a different approach. FSC's "Junior Journey" program is a guarantee that you can travel abroad, without having to shell out any extra change. “You earn credits while gaining real world experience,” explains sophomore Kristen Harris. “Last year, there was a trip to France where students designed and marketed their own perfumes. I'm hoping to go on the communications trip to a castle in England." The trips are usually faculty-led and focus on an individual program that links to a certain major.

Students can also study away, rather than abroad, at interesting locations throughout the US. For example, you can study in Disney World, learning about law, leadership and marketing through understanding the creation and maintenance of the theme park. Studying abroad for the same price as normal tuition? Count us in!

9. KALAMAZOO COLLEGE (Kalamazoo, MI)


Kalamazoo is consistently ranked among the top schools for study abroad participation — and for good reason. Eight percent of the student body comes from outside the US, which gives the school a predetermined international feel and perspective. Meanwhile, 80 percent of students travel abroad while there.

Some graduating seniors told Michigan Live that studying abroad helped them to develop and grow as people. Many of them had done service work abroad, one citing his caring for AIDs patients in Spain. Students at "The K" are fulfilling more than just a desire to see the world. They want to help the world, too!

8. WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY (Winston-Salem, NC)


Italy and art history junkies, this one may be for you. In 1971, Wake Forest acquired what was once the U.S. Consulate building on the Gran Canal in Venice. Now called the Casa Artom, the gothic-style house serves as Wake Forest's Venice Campus, housing 20 students who work and study there every semester.

Since then, the North Carolina school's study abroad program has expanded rapidly to include tons of featured programs in every continent but Antarctica. More than 60 percent of undergrad students will spend some time studying abroad. Even if you don’t opt in to stay in a beautiful Venetian home, you can choose to spend time in Wake Forest’s other residences…in Vienna and London!

7. JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY (Harrisonburg, VA)


Over 1,000 students study abroad each year at JMU, which is probably why so many students LOVE talking about their experiences. "James Madison University has a vast number of study abroad programs, from Europe to Africa,” says rising senior Yasmine Maggio. “If you go to JMU, you are sure to know at least one person having an experience abroad, whether it be taking classes or working at a hospital. Dukes are all over the world!”

Another student, rising senior Rachel Petty, weighed in: "A ton of students study abroad at JMU, and we also have teaching programs abroad after college!” says Rachel. “I know students who have gone to teach in Spain, gone into the Peace Corps or simply traveled for a year after graduation. I have a friend right now who just graduated [and is] working in Guatemala, which is awesome!" Dukes are definitely passionate about going abroad, and their experiences continue even after graduation

6. NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY (Boston, MA)


Whether through a co-op, requirement or major program, Northeastern convinces its students that studying abroad can and should be achieved during college. "Our school has an amazing study and co-op abroad program,” says senior Lindsay Marum. “I'm currently studying abroad for a summer semester in Florence, and soon I will be completing a six-month internship for the Dutch National Rapporteur for Trafficking in Beings and Sexual Violence Against Children. Many of my classmates have worked or study abroad at top institutions and end up outside of the U.S. after graduation. Going to Northeastern practically guarantees having a great international experience!"

Another student, sophomore Jessica Rouzan, says, "Northeastern has an International Business program which requires its students to live abroad for a year! They spend half the year taking classes, and half the year working full-time in business.”

Work-life experience, especially abroad, is extremely invaluable in today's world. That’s why there’s also a freshman requirement for some students who may be on the border of getting fully accepted into the school: NU in. NU in is essentially a required study abroad experience for any student who would otherwise not have been accepted into the school. They can opt to study abroad for their first semester or year of school, participating in experiential and service learning--which definitely beats a rejection letter. We're glad to see NU is making sure its students are getting out into the world!

5. SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY (Selinsgrove, PA)


Susquehanna actually requires students to study away while at college. In 2013-2014, more than 86 percent of them chose to study in a different country, while others studied in domestic-abroad locations. “Having the opportunity to study abroad through SU was a once in a lifetime experience,” says recent graduate Ally Dupree. “Attending a school where everyone goes abroad allowed for stories of different countries to mesh together. SU made going to a foreign country seem almost effortless and helped with programs that worked with everyone's degree.” Wanderlusters, this Pennsylvania college may be your perfect school.

4. EMERSON COLLEGE (Boston, MA)


At Emerson, you could live in a castle in the Netherlands. No, really, it's a very big thing there. The school lets 85 students each year live and study out of a medieval castle through the Kasteel Experience. “Kasteel Well is one of the most unique points of Emerson; it's super cool!" says senior Jacqueline Weiss.

Emerson sponsors programs in places like Los Angeles, China and Spain every year, but students can also opt for non-affiliated study abroad trips. There's also a screenwriter's lab in Patmos, a beautiful, picturesque Greek Island. Sign us up, please!

3. NEW YORK UNIVERSITY (New York, NY)


With 12 NYU campuses and academic centers around the world, we can see why more than 40 percent of the students visit another country. “At NYU, we pride ourselves on our study abroad programs,” says junior Isabel Calkins. “We have full time campuses in Shanghai and Abu Dhabi, and study abroad sites in more than 35 different countries. We even have a program just for freshmen to study abroad in London, Paris or Florence, their freshman year. I participated in that program in London with 80 other freshmen."

The NYU global community is everywhere, making it one of the best schools for collegiettes who want to see the world.

2. ELON UNIVERSITY (Elon, NC)


Elon offers a top-rated study abroad office, which contains opportunities ranging from a semester in London to a winter term in Barbados. About 72 percent of the school’s 2015 graduating class have studied abroad at least once, if not more. Basically, students can just keep visiting exotic places throughout college, without needing to sacrifice an on-time graduation or a demanding major. *cue heart eyes emoji*

The school has close to 200 partner programs, with centers in London, Costa Rica and Florence. The study abroad and study USA programs are woven into the core curriculum through the Experiential Learning Requirement, making sure that every single student has a chance to immerse his or herself in a global experience and wanderlust it up.

1. GOUCHER COLLEGE (Baltimore, MD)


Goucher is the absolute best school for wanderlusters out there. They require every single student to study abroad, and offer way more opportunities than similar schools. With more than 60 programs in 32 countries, studying abroad is an integral aspect of the curriculum—a main reason why the school consistently tops lists around the nation as the best school for students who want take classes in other countries.

“I already graduated, but I studied abroad in London for a year at University of Westminster under their Film program,” explains recent graduate Tatiana Tenreyro. “While it may not have been as exotic as other places some of my classmates went to like Costa Rica or Australia, I wanted to go somewhere that would be culturally different yet feel like home. Within months, I felt like a local.”

Tatiana adds, “My experience studying abroad was life-changing and I wouldn't have been able to do it without having the opportunity of studying at Goucher.” The Maryland college truly serves as that push-out-the-door that many students need to see the world. The school also never lets course loads affect that unique requirement to go abroad. This is because Goucher thinks that global citizens are the best ones…and we can't say that we don't agree.


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Bridget is a senior Journalism major focusing on political journalism at UMass Amherst. She interned for the HC editorial team, writes columns for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, and occasionally gets a freelance article or two on sailing published by Ocean Navigator Magazine. When she isn't greeting random puppies on the street, she loves to cook for her friends, perpetuate her coffee addiction, and spend too much time crafting Tweets. She is also an avid fan of chocolate anything and unnecessary pillows.

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