There’s nothing for me that compares to the fresh crisp air of Fall. I just find the changing of seasons so special, especially when they are getting colder (my FAVORITE type of weather), and glorious in the scenery.
Autumn is also the start of new beginnings for most students around the world. Not only are new semesters or quarters beginning, but for many of you, this may be the last pathway before embarking on the transition between secondary school or even the closeout to starting your career.
It’s also the absolute ideal time to study abroad. As mentioned in a previous blog post, there are many undervalued, but fantastic benefits of spending time overseas during the Fall semester that cannot compare to other times of the year.
So where should I go for a Fall Study Abroad Semester?
While this is a question that can only be answered based on your goals (you know me, QUEEN of ‘What are My Goals’ :::smiles::), there are some specific locations that I know you’ll adore for a variety of reasons and I’m thrilled to share more about them with you.
Let’s not be neutral here, Switzerland is quite the fantastic place to be any time of the year. There are many things I adore about this amazing country. It’s clean, the air is fresh, the people seem to be very astute but often come off as laidback and unaffected and it’s a hub to many financial and tech basecamps from around the globe.
And while I will admit, it is VERY expensive (paying $17 USD for a basic sandwich was a sticker shock, no lie), the benefits of having the opportunity to access education in this small(er), but mighty land mass is one that should not be overlooked.
This is particularly true for Fall semesters when classes are smaller, there are fewer tourists (which means more space to explore for you!), and the Fall autumn leaves and sweater weather roll in across the country like a golden kiss from heaven.
From the University of Bern to The University of Geneva, the American University of Switzerland, and many in between, there are many options for international students who are searching for short-term or long-term study abroad options.
For students coming from the United States, there are also many well-known non-profit organizations that offer study abroad opportunities (and sometimes internships) in Switzerland during the Fall semesters.
Personally, in addition to the stellar education, I love what I like to call the ‘hidden’ culture of Switzerland. While every part of the world and each country has a culture, not all is exported in mass to the rest of the world the way American and British cultures are. I love the combination of creativity meets quirk and self-sufficient nature that makes up much of Swiss culture.
Whether you’re spending time in Downtown Geneva or in the middle of Lucerne (my FAVORITE winter locale…..maybe more than London), the culture is very understated, yet ever so present.
I’d summarize all that I have known and loved about Switzerland in one word: Precision. So much of Swiss culture is built on precision and efficiency. And while it’s not boastful in the American sense, self-deprecating in the British sense, or arrogant as if it were French, it is divine.
If for nothing else, can I just convince you to go study abroad in Switzerland to have access to some of the BEST railroads on earth? A short ride on a Swiss train will change your entire belief of what is possible when efficiency and ingenuity come to life.
I am an ABSOLUTE STAN for Swiss Rail. Okay fine, don’t just spend a semester abroad in Switzerland FOR the rail, but stick around a little longer to experience it. 🙂
If you were impressed by Switzerland, you’ll also equally love Japan as a great place to study abroad for a fall semester. The two countries actually have many parallels. Similar to Switzerland, Japan is known for its efficiency, high-tech ingenuity, and classic, but in many ways understated culture.
While the country is homogenous from an identity perspective, they are also well-known for being accepting of what would traditionally be considered ‘outsiders’.
Even though it has been a popular study abroad location for decades, attracting students from around the world, it has also grown into a very popular relocation destination for young professionals who are seeking new opportunities without all of the excessive taxation and cost of living that plagues the western world.
Admittedly, Japan is not known for its ‘Fall Weather’, so you will not necessarily get the lake effect with the piles of leaves here, but you’ll gain so much in other benefits during your Fall Semester in Japan it will be worth it.
Would you like to learn more about why you should consider studying abroad in Japan for the Fall AND also hear about why to add France & Spain to your list?
Click the video below to begin:
Did you have any of these locations on your list for an ideal Fall study abroad program? Which ones will you add now? LEAVE A COMMENT!
Until next time,
Known as The Study Abroad Specialist, Kimber Grayson is a serial-study abroader turned International Education coach and expert. Since 2014, she has helped 100+ students navigate their semester away journey from the coastal areas of Spain to China and every place in between. In 2018, she launched The LiveStudyLearn™ Abroad Association, a one-of-a-kind online membership platform for study abroad students worldwide.
She holds two Master's degrees from two well-respected London-based universities and has experience working in the US, UK & and Italy.
In her spare time (what's that again?), she enjoys leisure travel city breaks, any snow-based activity, skeet shooting, and attempting to learn new languages.