So, you've decided to study abroad!
Chances are, you can already smell the fragrant spices, envision the ancient architecture, and feel the warmth of the sun on your skin the moment you step off the plane in, well... you haven't exactly decided where quite yet.
Having an entire world of destinations to choose from can seem a little overwhelming. From the snowy fields of Northern Europe to Southeast Asia's sprawling beaches, it can feel impossible to narrow your options down to just one spot to study abroad, let alone which study abroad program to choose.
Luckily, your Myers-Briggs personality type may provide a few clues about which cultures are likely to suit you best. Here's which country you may fall instantly in love with, based on your personality type.
Progressive as it is remote, Iceland will draw you in with its intellectual depth and the peace and quiet you endlessly crave. With a 99% literacy rate and tuition-free university for citizens, there's no doubt that this nation takes education seriously. Hop a plane to soak up the remote and dazzling beauty of its gushing geysers, and ice-covered volcanoes while resting assured that the education you'll receive will be top-notch.
If there's any destination to let you participate in an awe-inspiring fusion of ancient traditions and modern life, it's Japan. From serene Buddhist temples to bustling city streets, studying in this nation will rocket you outside your comfort zone and kick your ever-active mind into high gear. Make use of your experiential learning style by immersing yourself in a new language while staying with a host family or taking time off to travel across the country. Japan will spike your curiosity, surprise you, and leave wanting more.
You're fascinated by the world's oldest civilizations, which makes China the case study for you. From browsing the Internet to grocery shopping and going to school, everything works a little differently here. Your mind will feel endlessly stimulated by it all—and piecing it all together is precisely the challenge you want. Take a trip to Shenzhen to scope its burgeoning startup scene or opt for Mandarin lessons to help expand your language skills. If there's anything this country doesn't offer, it's a shortage of opportunities to experience a radically different way of life.
There's nothing you admire more than structure and efficiency—two qualities this island city-state state has in abundance. Singapore is known internationally as a hub for finance, education, technology, and innovation, and was even named the smartest city in the world. Put Singapore's world-class public transport system to use as you whiz around the city. Go from concrete jungle to actual jungle with a trip to Borneo's lowland forest. Follow your taste buds to Singapore's food scene, a melting pot of the most flavorful influences from around the world. Don't be surprised when you find yourself wanting to stick around.
You need a nation that's as passionate and colorful as you are—and we know those are big shoes to fill. Luckily, Argentina may be able to keep up with its history of tango, mighty gaucho culture, and obsession with fútbol. You may find yourself learning the local language in metropolitan Buenos Aires or exploring rich and diverse natural attractions like Iguazú Falls and Patagonia. No matter your experience in Argentina, you won't have a moment of downtime—and we know that's exactly how you like it!
You work best when you're inspired by your surroundings, and nowhere on earth offers a more beautiful backdrop for your story to unfold in than France. From the glimmering lights of Paris to the French Riviera's rolling valleys and charming villages, this nation offers endless opportunities for exploration. Through it all, you'll revel in the world-class art and architecture, savor every culinary opportunity, and feel France's laid-back culture get under your skin. Just don't forget to open a few books while you're there!
You're attracted to beauty, community, and deep imagination—three qualities Ireland lends itself to in abundance. Crack your textbooks open inside ivy-clad libraries and Gothic-style lecture halls that are primed to inspire your most celebrated work. Or, take a deep-dive into the local culture by studying Gaelic as an elective. There's no shortage of history and culture in the vivacious nation of Ireland, and you won't regret taking the opportunity to soak up as much of it as you can.
You have a practical mind and an adventurous spirit, making Australia the perfect study abroad destination. Head to the land down under to soak in some of the world's most beautiful beaches, iconic sights, and famous dialects. You may find yourself taking a day trip to adventure through the sprawling outback, getting up close to koalas and kangaroos, or even learning to scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef. If one thing is sure, it's that you'll fit right in with the welcoming and energetic Australian people. And chances are, you'll want to stay a while!
You want a place as adventurous as it is interesting—and South Africa hits the perfect intersection between the two. From its complicated and tumultuous history to the rugged beauty of its landscape, there is never a shortage of opportunities to learn in explore in this wholly unique African country. It may be a lesser-known destination for studying abroad, but that may make it all the more perfect. Whether you're a history buff, adrenaline enthusiast, or khaki-clad wildlife lover, we know that what you enjoy most is veering off the beaten path.
New Zealand is the place that offers up the pure, undiluted adventure you're looking for. Find out first-hand at Queenstown, the shore-side town that made bungee jumping a thing. Tramp through the lush dairy farming town of Matamata, where a film set from "The Hobbit Trilogy" remains a permanent attraction. You'll find no shortage of places to explore with your new Kiwi crew. But remember, you can't go heli-skiing every day.
You want to visit somewhere different, but not too different. After all, you have studies to attend to! England is an excellent opportunity to visit a new country while maintaining many of the core comforts of home. Soak in the sights of London after class by strolling along the Thames River, taking in a Shakesperian play at the Globe Theatre, or gliding along Harrods' glittering Egyptian escalator.
On weekends, travel to the countryside to unwind among green hills and ancient forests. By removing the hurdle of a foreign language, it's unlikely studies your studies will suffer while you're overseas. We both know your degree comes first!
You're a big fan of commerce and efficiency—two qualities that Germany is widely known for. Hop on a plane to experience the land of pretzels and pilsners, and immerse yourself into modern life in cities like Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg. The past remains throughout the country, which you'll find as you encounter artifacts of the imperial German Empire, Nazi regime, and "peaceful revolution" that helped demolish the Berlin Wall. If you time it right, you'll be able to let off some steam at Oktoberfest before buckling down to study for exams.
You're as adventurous as you are academic, which is why you need a study abroad destination that makes you feel both inspired and alive. Enter Costa Rica, a lush and exotic wonderland with coastlines. Consider taking a Spanish class to immerse yourself in the language, hiking along the coast's misty volcanic peaks, or digging deep into the country's revolutionary developments in sustainable energy. And be sure to steal some time on the beach in between classes to rejuvenate. You'll need a mix of stimulation and introspection, which this destination offers in abundance.
You're eternally on the hunt for ways to grow your social consciousness, which is where the Netherlands can help. This nation is known for its multicultural and liberal mindset and serves as an excellent example of social progressiveness and tolerance. Head to Amsterdam to soak up iconic art from greats like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh. Stop at a local cafe to revel in a cozy meal and great conversation at any time of day. Hang out among the countryside's tulips and windmills and wait for inspiration to hit you. If any destination can combine quiet contemplation with creative inspiration, it's one the Dutch call home.
You're aching for an environment that's bustling with warmth and connection—two values that Italians hold close to their hearts. This destination will allow you to become immersed in rich history and culture, whether you're looking up at at Sistine Chapel frescoes, chowing down on superlative pizza, or escaping along the Amalfi Coast on a road trip with new friends. You'll sink warmly into the tranquility of a community that is as welcoming and personal as it is energetic and vibrant.
Ranking as the world's most socially progressive country, you'd be hard-passed to skip over Norway as a study abroad destination. From the rugged beauty the Fjords to the locals' peaceful and hospitable nature, this nation is a utopia for those who crave intellectual growth in a calm, serene setting. Norway's vibrant cities will also spark your creative side, with contemporary and centuries-old architecture showcasing a Scandinavian flair for design through the ages.
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Heidi Priebe is a personality psychology writer who focuses primarily on the Jung-Myers model of psychological type. She is the author of five books, including The Comprehensive ENFP Survival Guide and How You'll Do Everything Based On Your Personality Type. Argue with her on Twitter @HeidiPriebe1.