Where in the World are the Top Colleges?

Times Higher Education lists the best schools in the world.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph

October 21, 2016

Where in the World are the Top Colleges?

You can get a top-notch education just about anywhere these days. It used to be that the best education could be found on the East Coast of the United States, but a recent rankings list of the world’s best schools from Times Higher Education found some of the best offerings a little spread out over the globe.

Times Higher Education looks at five core products or performances and ranks schools based on their success rates in these key areas. They include teaching (the learning environment), research (volume, income and reputation), citations (research influence), international outlook (staff, students and research) and industry income (knowledge transfer).

The top 10 colleges in the world are:

1. University of Oxford
2. California Institute of Technology
3. Stanford University
4. University of Cambridge
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
6. Harvard University
7. Princeton University
8. Imperial College London
9. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
10. University of California, Berkeley (tie)
10. University of Chicago (tie)

The top 25 of the Times Higher Education rankings list features the National University of Singapore; and the top 50 include schools from China, Australia and Germany.

Essentially, an amazing education can be found all over the world; and rather than study abroad for one year, students can opt to spend their entire college career abroad. Granted, the experience of studying abroad for four years is quite different from a semester away.

There is a lot of preparation that goes into going away to college, and there is a lot of planning that goes into studying abroad. Combining the two requires that students set realistic expectations and get organized about what to take and what to know ahead of time.

  • Do some language prep. Most places around the world are English-friendly, but you should definitely be equipped with some common words and phrases in your new country’s home language. Dive into the language through immersion experiences, like weekly dinner with native speakers who may want to use you to learn English.
  • Expect homesickness. Many college students are shocked to find that within days or weeks on a college campus, they experience homesickness. After all, many students have been counting down the days to leave their home and head to college. For students going off to college abroad, the homesickness is magnified. Not only will you miss family and friends, but you’ll also miss the comforts or things you loved in the U.S. that aren’t readily available overseas. To help alleviate homesickness, make traditions of your own in your new home – scout out a favorite coffee shop, find a dish that’s native to the country that you find comforting or schedule weekly FaceTime chats with friends and family to make them part of your college experience abroad.
  • Get lost — but not too lost. Inevitably, you’ll feel pretty out of place the first few weeks. You will make a wrong turn or have a miscommunication thanks to the language barrier. And that’s ok. What is not ok is losing yourself and your purpose entirely. Don’t get so caught up in the cultural immersion, travel and newness of the experience that you forget why you’re there in the first place — to get an education.


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