Happiest Countries to Study Abroad

7 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 of a perfect college, students often forget to count in 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 happiest countries to study abroad which are not just a joyful place for international students but are also provide world-leading education programs across all disciplines. 

The Happiest Countries in the World in 2021!

Wondering about where to study in the happiest countries in the world? Here we bring you the happiest countries to study abroad:

  1. Switzerland
  2. The Netherlands
  3. Denmark
  4. Sweden
  5. Finland 
  6. New Zealand
  7. Canada
  8. Australia
  9. Norway
  10. Austria


Courtesy: Britannica

One of the biggest academic hubs in Europe, Switzerland also carries within itself carries a boon of happiness. Ranked #3 in the World Happiness Rankings 2020, 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 top 50 Universities worldwide. Here are the top 5 Universities in Switzerland:

University QS University Rankings 2021 THE Rankings 2020
ETH Zurich 6 13
EPFL 14 38
University of Zurich 69 90
University of Geneva 106 144
University of Bern 114 113

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 and owing to the student-friendly policies it has successfully rolled out during the testing times of the pandemic. Here are some of the top universities in New Zealand which the students must explore:

University QS University Rankings 2021 THE Rankings 2020
The University of Auckland 81 179
University of Otago 184 201-250
Victoria University of Wellington 223 501-600
Massey University 272 501-600
University of Waikato 375 501-600

The Netherlands

Courtesy: US News & World Report

Known as a part of the ‘low lands of Europe, the only ‘low’ this country experiences is freezing temperatures in the winters. Ranking at #6 in the Happiness Index 2020, 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.

University QS University Rankings 2021 THE Rankings 2020
Delft University of Technology 57 67
University of Amsterdam 61 62
Wageningen University & Research 115 59
Eindhoven University of Technology 120  186
Utrecht University 121 75


Courtesy: Finance Twitter

Denmark has been a consistent feature among the happiest countries to study abroad globally. 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 in 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 is considerably higher in the country, even going 12% higher than the USA. Here are some of the leading Denmark universities:

University QS University Rankings 2021 THE Rankings 2020
University of Copenhagen 76 101
Technical University of Denmark 103 184
Aarhus University 147 115
Aalborg University 305 201-250
University of Southern Denmark 353 251-300


Courtesy: StudyIdeas

The Swedish education system is spoken of with high regard throughout the world, to say the least. 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:

University QS University Rankings 2021 THE Rankings 2020
Lund University 97 96
KTH Royal Institute of Technology 98 201-250
Uppsala University 124 102
Chalmers University of Technology 139 251-300
Stockholm University 181 175


Courtesy: Once Upon a Time in Finland

Ranking at number 1 in the World Happiness Rankings 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. 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:

University QS University Rankings 2021 THE Rankings 2020
University of Helinski 104 96
Aalto University 127 184
University of Turku 287 351-400
University of Jyvaskyla 333 251-300
University of Oulu 408 501-600


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 11th rank among the word’s happiest countries. Needless to say, 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:

University QS University Rankings 2021 THE Rankings 2020
University of Toronto 25 18
McGill University 31 42
University of British Columbia 45 34
University of Montreal 118 85
University of Alberta 119 136


The land of Kangaroos is making fast strides in its framework, improving its happiness levels as time progresses. Positioned at #11 on the World Happiness Report 2020, the country must be keen towards breaking into the top 10. 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. Here are some of the universities which students must look to join if they are seeking education in Australia: 

University QS University Rankings 2021 THE Rankings 2020
The Australian National University 31 50
The University of Sydney 40 60
The University of Melbourne 41 32
University of New South Wales 44 71
The University of Queensland 46 66


Courtesy: Augustana University

Featuring in the top five happiest countries in the world as per the World Happiness Report 2020, Norway has always believed in ensuring a higher standard of living for its citizens while also moving towards availing the access to free education for its local and international students. Finding a prominent mention in our list of happiest countries to study abroad, the universities in Norway are largely public academic institution and only charge a minimal semester fee from international students. Let’s explore the top universities in Norway which you must know about:

University QS University Rankings 2020 THE University Rankings 2020
University of Oslo 119 131
University of Bergen 163 201
Norwegian University of Science and Technology 359 401
University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway 389 401
Norwegian University of Life Sciences 501


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 in the World Happiness Index 2020 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 2020. Let’s take a look at the popular universities in Austria:

University QS University Rankings 2020 THE University Rankings 2020
University of Vienna 154 134
Vienna University of Technology =182 351-400
Universität Innsbruck 286 401-500
Johannes Kepler University of Linz 471-480 601-800
University of Graz 471-480 501-600

This sums up the list of a few of the happiest countries to study abroad and the educational opportunities they provide. There are many more countries in the world known for their joyous lifestyle which the students must explore. Most importantly, 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, and spread it around themselves. As the popular saying goes:“Happiness is a direction, not a destination”.

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 option, 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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