Happiest Countries to Study Abroad

8 minute read
Happiest Countries to Study Abroad

“All seek happiness, but only a few work to create it.”
While education may be the blueprint of a good life, happiness is its essence. In the search for a perfect college, students often forget to count on the factor of personal fulfilment, and as we all know, a happier, interactive and engaging environment is quintessential for learning. Coupling this virtue with academics can work wonders for the development of students as they get to experience a lifestyle which is not just learning-intensive, but also gives back smiles in return. Hence, for the seekers of happiness, we have put together a comprehensive list of the happiest countries to study abroad which are not just joyful places for international students but also provide world-leading education programs across all disciplines. 

The Happiest Countries in the World in 2023!

Wondering about where to study in the happiest countries in the world? Here we bring you the happiest countries to study abroad according to the World Happiness Report 2023:

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Israel
  5. The Netherlands
  6. Sweden
  7. Norway
  8. Switzerland
  9. Luxembourg
  10. New Zealand
  11. Austria
  12. Australia
  13. Canada
  14. Ireland
  15. United States


Courtesy: Britannica

One of the biggest academic hubs in Europe, Switzerland also carries within itself a boon of happiness. Ranked #8 in the World Happiness Rankings 2023, Switzerland has showcased consistency in its levels of happiness through the years, similar to Scandinavian countries. Apart from the happiness rankings of this lovely country, it is also home to the world-leading Institutes like ETH Zurich and EPFL which are constantly a feature of the top 50 Universities worldwide. Here are the top 5 Universities in Switzerland:

UniversityQS University Rankings 2024THE Rankings 2024
ETH Zurich711
University of Zurich=9180
University of Geneva128183
University of Bern=126=116

New Zealand

Being one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, there is no doubt to the fact that New Zealand is a happy country. With a vibrant mix of native and settled populations, New Zealand has seen major developments in its education sector in recent years. Its universities are being recognised worldwide owing to the student-friendly policies it has successfully rolled out during the testing times of the pandemic. New Zealand ranks at #10 on the World Happiness Report 2023. Here are some of the top universities in New Zealand which the students must explore:

UniversityQS University Rankings 2024THE Rankings 2024
The University of Auckland68=150
University of Otago206301-350
Victoria University of Wellington241401-500
Massey University=239510-600
University of Waikato250401-500

The Netherlands

Known as a part of the ‘lowlands of Europe, the only ‘low’ this country experiences is freezing temperatures in the winter. Ranking at #5 in the Happiness Index 2023, the Netherlands is vastly underrated when it comes to the educational prowess of the country. The leading Universities in the Netherlands provide a world-class education at the highest academic level, drawing in thousands of students from across the globe every year. While the country’s landscape is heartwarming, to say the least, the people are also welcoming and friendly towards foreign students seeking education thus making it a top mention in our list of happiest countries to study abroad. Here is a list of top universities in the Netherlands and their world rankings.

UniversityQS University Rankings 2024THE Rankings 2024
Delft University of Technology=4748
University of Amsterdam5361
Wageningen University & Research=151=64
Eindhoven University of Technology=124=168
Utrecht University=107


Denmark has been a consistent feature among the happiest countries to study abroad globally. It ranked at #2 at the World Happiness Report 2023. The famous Scandinavian happiness flows throughout the country, reflected in its advanced yet relaxed lifestyle. To support the well-oiled educational system, Denmark has several reputed universities to its name. Featuring International University Rankings, these academic institutions are sought by students from all over the world for their innovative course structure as well as low tuition fees. Although, the cost of living in Denmark is considerably higher in the country, even 12% higher than in the USA. Here are some of the leading Denmark universities:

UniversityQS University Rankings 2024THE Rankings 2024
University of Copenhagen=107=103
Technical University of Denmark121126
Aarhus University=143=109
Aalborg University=336201-250
University of Southern Denmark=326251-300


Source: Collins Dictionary

The Swedish education system is spoken of with high regard throughout the world, to say the least. In addition, Sweden ranked #6 at the World Happiness Report 2023. Their student-first approach has made the country a hotspot for technical courses. The Land of the Varangians also carries the Nordic charm of happiness, managing to score a leading position in happiness rankings even during the testing times of COVID-19. Straight from one of the happiest countries to study abroad, here are some of the most renowned universities in Sweden:

UniversityQS University Rankings 2024THE Rankings 2024
Lund University=85=106
KTH Royal Institute of Technology=73=97
Uppsala University105=140
Chalmers University of Technology129189
Stockholm University118=185


Ranking at number #1 in the World Happiness Rankings 2023, for three straight years, Finland is truly the land of happiness. With a consistently satisfied population and relaxing lifestyle, the country has ensured that educational advancements are not lax on any account. The Nordic secret of happiness is something worth exploring and adopting for the rest of the world, and what better way than to enter the country seeking knowledge? In addition, Finland is highly regarded for its renowned University of Helinski, which has produced a bunch of Nobel Laureates and Political Leaders throughout its rich history. Here are the leading Universities in Finland, the world leader of happiest countries to study abroad:

UniversityQS University Rankings 2024THE Rankings 2024
University of Helsinki121
Aalto University109201-250
University of Turku=315301-350
University of Jyvaskyla=446401-500
University of Oulu=313251-300


Canada has long been a favourite among Indian students who wish to pursue higher education abroad, and that is for all good reasons. The country ranks 3rd on the list of best countries in the world for education, as issued by the US Post, along with securing the 13th rank among the world’s happiest countries. Therefore, all these factors make it a compulsory mention in the list of happiest countries to study abroad. Here are some of the top Universities in Canada:

UniversityQS University Rankings 2024THE Rankings 2024
University of Toronto2121
McGill University3049
University of British Columbia=3441
University of Montreal=141=111
University of Alberta111=109


The land of Kangaroos is making fast strides in its framework, improving its happiness levels as time progresses. Positioned at #12 on the World Happiness Report 2023, the country must be keen towards breaking into the top 10. Additionally, in the education sector, Australia offers some of the most diverse courses and career options in the world. There are ace universities spread all across the country, offering standardized and in-depth education in thousands of disciplines. Hence, here are some of the universities which students must look to join if they are seeking education in Australia: 

UniversityQS University Rankings 2024THE Rankings 2024
The Australian National University=3467
The University of Sydney=1960
The University of Melbourne1437
University of New South Wales=1984
The University of Queensland4370


Featuring the 7th position of happiest countries in the world as per the World Happiness Report 2023, Norway has always believed in ensuring a higher standard of living for its citizens while also moving towards availing access to free education for its local and international students. Moreover, finding a prominent mention in our list of happiest countries to study abroad, the universities in Norway are largely public academic institutions and only charge a minimal semester fee from international students. In addition, let’s explore the top universities in Norway that you must know about:

UniversityQS University Rankings 2024 THE University Rankings 2024
University of Oslo117127
University of Bergen=281251-300
Norwegian University of Science and Technology=292301-350
University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway=577501-600
Norwegian University of Life Sciences1201-1400601-800


Courtesy: Fodors Travel Guide

Home to many world-class universities imparting globally accredited degrees, Austria is a lesser-known study destination but has consistently maintained its place and ranked at #11 in the World Happiness Index 2023 as well as world university rankings. It emerged amongst the happiest countries as it has strongly worked on increasing the life expectancy of its citizens as well as GDP thus ensuring a sturdier economy. Many Austrian universities have featured in the top 200 and 300 of the World University Rankings 2023. Let’s take a look at the popular universities in Austria:

UniversityQS University Rankings 2024THE University Rankings 2024
University of Vienna=130=119
Vienna University of Technology251-300
Universität Innsbruck=362301-350
Johannes Kepler University of Linz=446401-500
Graz University of Technology=421501-600

This sums up the list of a few of the happiest countries to study abroad and the educational opportunities they provide. However, there are many more countries in the world known for their joyous lifestyle which the students must explore. Nonetheless, the quest towards finding happiness must never be exhaustive. Students should strive to find their source of happiness in whichever country they study or work in and spread it around themselves. As the popular saying goes: “Happiness is a direction, not a destination”.


Q1. Which country is the happiest country to study abroad?

Ans. Finland has been ranked as the #1 happiest country as per the World Happiness Report 2023. Therefore it is the happiest country to study abroad.

Q2. At which place does Germany rank in the World Happiness Report 2023?

Ans. Germany ranks at #16 on the World Happiness Report 2023, making it a wonderful place to study and live abroad.

Q3. Which is the least happiest country in the world?

Ans. Afghanistan, Lebanon and Zimbabwe are some of the least happiest countries in the world.

In case you are impressed by any of the countries on the list and want to explore their best courses and universities in detail, our experts and mentors are just a click away. At Leverage Edu, we strive to help students in finding the best college and course options, while also aiding the enrollment and admission processes. So wait no more and connect with our career guidance experts through a free e-meeting today!

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