6 top countries around the world for exchange students

These are the highest ranked countries in quality of life with great study opportunities.

Looking for the perfect destination to study abroad? A new survey from InterNations, the world's largest network for people who live and work abroad, has determined the countries with the best quality of life from 12,500 expats. To determine quality of life, factors included were leisure options, personal happiness, travel and transport, health and well-being, and safety and security. These rankings are out of a total of 65. From this list, here are the best options for exchange students.

6. New Zealand

Bernard Spragg/Flickr

If you want to get out into the Pacific, New Zealand is a great option for you. It ranked in tenth place in personal happiness and ninth in leisure options. This is primarily an English-speaking country so you won't have to deal with a language barrier. This island nation features plenty of beaches and water activities. It is also next door to Australia, which makes for a great weekend getaway. (New Zealand is also the home of The Lord of the Rings, if that's your thing.)

5. Canada

Nick Kenrick/Flickr

Canada is just a short hop north above the United States. It ranked seventh on safety and security in the survey. The country has two major financial centers in Vancouver and Montreal, making it a great place to look for a financial internship. The country has two official languages: English and French. You don't have to know another language to visit, but it will also making learning or practicing French easier. If you're confused or lost, you can switch to English to ask more complicated questions. Several universities offer French programs for students, especially in Quebec.

4. Austria

Dennis Jarvis/Flickr

If you've always dreamed of going to Europe, Austria will work for you. This country scored second in health and well-being and eighth in travel and transport. It also has a rich history with plenty of landmarks and museums to explore. Mozart, Strauss and Freud have all called this country home. You can visit two palaces in Vienna and experience baroque architecture and imperial history all around the country. If you want to learn or practice German, Austria is the best place for you.

3. Japan

Pedro Szekely/Flickr

Japan is a great place to experience a little of Asian culture. It ranked seventh in health and well-being, ninth in travel and transport and fourth in safety and security. The country hosts impressive bullet trains for public transportation across the island. It is also rich in history going back for centuries and is also the origin of many modern culture staples, including Hello Kitty and Pokémon. Japan is, obviously, one of the few places in the world with a large population of native Japanese speakers. This makes this a destination for many language learners. You can probably find a host family with relative ease compared to other locations. (This is also the best destination if you love Hello Kitty or Nintendo.)

2. Taiwan

Wenchieh Yang/Flickr

Taiwan was ranked first in all categories last year, but has only dropped to the second spot this time around. It ranked first in health and well-being and sixth in travel and transport. This island is located just off the Chinese mainland and residents speak Mandarin Chinese. If you're interested in international relations, you'll be able to study the tension and conflict between China and Taiwan in person. Taipei, the capital city, is known for its busy markets, the National Palace Museum and Taipei 101 — a 509-meter tall bamboo-shaped skyscraper with an observation deck. Taiwan offers a location to experience Chinese culture while not visiting the mainland.

1. Portugal

Rick Ligthelm/Flickr

Portugal is ranked number one internationally, climbing 13 spots since the 2016 survey. This country is the second-biggest winner in the quality of life index. Its temperate climate and widely available leisure activities make this country appealing to many expats. Like most European countries, Portugal offers centuries-old architecture and history. The country is also conveniently located on the Iberian Peninsula, making it easy to visit other European countries (including Spain, which it borders) during your stay.

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I Can't Sleep.

I truly cannot remember the last time I had a good night's rest. Even before the stay-at-home orders, I was just a little ball of nerves.

But lately, it's been awful. I toss and turn, it's always too hot or even too cold, sometimes I make myself tea and read for a bit, but when I'm still up at 1 a.m., I reach for my phone and then I'm up until 3. My sister and I have a weekly call, and our small talk about our exhaustion turned into an hour long conversation about sleep.

I Thought I'd Tried Everything. Even Melatonin.

My sister asked why I hadn't gone for the old staple, melatonin and I reminded her about the time we traveled abroad, and it gave me the weirdest nightmares (the horrible kind where you wake up in your dream and you're still in a dream). Chamomile tea didn't work, nothing worked.

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They Were NOT Pills, Teas or Anything I'd Seen Before.

A company called Objective makes Fast Asleep, a sleep solution delivered as chocolatey treats. They're created with saffron and GABA. If going to sleep was as easy as eating a piece of these chocolatey, minty delights every night, I'd be sold.

What Exactly Was In It?

Cocoa contains caffeine, so I didn't know how this would help me sleep. After talking with my sister, I went online and saw that the calming, sleep-supporting ingredients cancel out any of the very little caffeine content.

Saffron, the spice, is apparently known to help with staying asleep, and their GABA is a fermented version of the neurotransmitter that's known to help you relax and fall asleep faster. In a study, 100% of customers saw improvement in their sleep quality thanks to saffron. One hundred percent!

Do I Try It?

A bag of 30 pieces was only $40, and they had a money-back guarantee.

They're keto-friendly and only 30 calories a piece, so not too decadent before bedtime.

They were chocolatey-minty, which is my favorite flavor, so I was sold. I ordered a bag to try.

The First Night, I Wasn't Impressed.

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However, once I fell asleep, I stayed asleep until my alarm went off, which hasn't always been the case for me.

I checked the site again, and noticed that many people didn't notice a real difference until the third or fourth night - it builds up in your system over time, so I decided to keep an open mind the rest of the week.

The Second Night Was Completely Different

Without doing anything differently from the first night, my second night was amazing. I felt calm and sleepy as I was getting ready for bed, and once I hit the pillow, I was out the whole night.

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With Objective's Fast Asleep, I get real sleep and balance my levels, so I don't have to feel tired during my waking hours. Sleep in the form of chocolate squares sounds so weird, but oh my goodness, do they work.

Our partners at Objective Wellness are currently offering a 25% discount if you use the coupon code STAYHOME. Check them out here!

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Simplistic and elegant, Tavour allows users to easily fill up a box of beer over a period of time before shipping. The app offers more than 650 different breweries both local and national and is perfect for those who like to experiment. It's easy to use, and their menu rotates regularly so you and your beer never grow stale.



TapRM offers a wide range of both craft beers and hard seltzers. While based almost exclusively in New York City, the app offers fast, same day delivery from some of the best beer brands in the world. They also provide a unique selection of beers to help you find your new favorite. All you need to do is download the app and place your order!


Offering a stark variety of craft beer, Drizly allows its users to mix and match 12-packs, sixers or by the bottle. Their guarantee is that they can have whatever you order delivered to your house in less than an hour. You can even schedule your delivery for a specific time, with each delivery taking around 20-40 minutes.


Saucey takes delivery very seriously. When you order with them they guarantee that they'll deliver in 30-minutes or less, or they guarantee two day shipping. Also, beer aside, their entire liquor cabinet is also up for grabs. From tequila and whiksey, to vodka and wine, nothing is off the table for Saucey.

Beer Menus


For those who enjoy strictly local beers, BeerMenus features a tap list from local bars and a broader stock list from your neighborhood beer store. With that, you can make sure to create a list of your favorite beers in your neighborhood, so that when they're in stock you can be ready to go.