Europe’s Hidden Gems: A Guide for International Students

Studying abroad is widely celebrated as a life-changing experience. From learning a new language to discovering a different culture, experiencing state-of-the-art education to, of course, making friends for life from every corner of the world. The benefits of studying abroad are seemingly never-ending.

One activity that features high on every student’s to-do list when arriving in a new country, or even better a new continent, is to travel as much as they can. Exploring as many places as possible during the time in their new home, enjoying every possible opportunity to discover something and somewhere new. From the Eiffel Tower in Paris to St. Peter’s Dome in the Vatican City, some of the world’s most incredible sights can be visited whilst studying in Europe. Such spectacular views are not to be missed, and at tickets can be purchased for these amazing attractions.

As well as Europe’s most famous sites, there is also a plethora of lesser-known treasures for adventurous travelers to discover. Here, we discuss some of Europe’s hidden gems for international students to visit while studying abroad.

A young woman with a backpack and rolling suitcase walks towards the entrance of a modern airport terminal, bathed in sunlight.

Exploring Europe while studying abroad!

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Famed as the magical end-point of the ancient pilgrimage the Camino de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela is a delight in itself. A UNESCO World Heritage site, its Old Town evokes the feeling of what it would have been like to make the spiritual journey throughout past centuries. With its final destination, the stunning city Cathedral, even containing the remains of the apostle St. James, if legend is to be believed.

While for people all over the world Santiago represents the pinnacle in religious pilgrimage, for many others the city serves as a cultural haven thanks to its incredible local Galician cuisine, the Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician Octopus) being the region’s pride and joy.

With one of the world’s oldest universities, Santiago also mixes tradition with youthful fun and innovation creating a perfect stop during any trip around Europe.

Wrocław, Poland

A nation shrouded in history, Poland offers a wonderful variety of options, from the bustling capital city of Warsaw to one of the world’s oldest salt mines just outside Kraków, the mountainous Zakopane to the beautiful coastal city of Gdańsk. Poland has something for every taste.

One destination sure to fulfil every student’s desires is the lesser-known, Wrocław. With a majestic historical Old Town square, beautiful cobble stoned streets of the Cathedral Island, and an endless array of bars and restaurants, wandering around the city is a delightful blend of old and new as you embrace the welcoming atmosphere of Poland’s fourth largest city.

With more than twenty universities, and countless study abroad opportunities, you are sure to feel right at home in this captivating city, whether discovering its rich heritage and cultural landmarks or mixing with the thousands of fellow international students, Wrocław is a true gem.

Be sure to also keep an eye peeled for the, sometimes cheeky, dwarf statues dotted all across the city. There’s said to be over 600 of them pulling mischievous poses, becoming an iconic emblem of the city.

The Dolomites, Italy

Italy boasts some of the world’s most desired destinations, from its capital city Rome to the remarkable Amalfi coast and numerous stunning islands, it is a nation that needs very little explanation, especially its renowned cuisine.

One area of the country that is often overlooked, though, is the spectacular Dolomite mountain range in the north of Italy. For nature-lovers the region presents a breathtaking landscape filled with dramatic peaks, spectacular valleys and crystal clear lakes such as the beautiful Lago di Braes.

Across the region adrenaline-seekers can enjoy a host of outdoor activities no matter the season, from skiing to hiking, climbing to cycling, with the Dolomites also boasting their own magical history filled with myths and fairytales, this part of Italy is simply too captivating to miss.

Thessaloniki, Greece

Greece’s second city remains surprisingly unknown, with many a tourist heading directly for the capital or one of Greece’s famed islands. However, as a gateway to one of the country’s most incredible beach regions, Halkidki, Thessaloniki has everything an international student could hope for during a trip away.

A walk along the boardwalk followed by a bite to eat with spectacular sea views provides the perfect opportunity to experience the city’s incredible character. At times chaotic, though also astonishingly laid back, a large part of Thessaloniki’s charm lies in the ambience and charisma of the place. A student’s dream, you can arrive at the country’s largest university within minutes of passing ancient ruins. The majestic historical past blending with youthful exuberance to create a truly magnificent destination for international students.


Studying abroad offers an endless list of possibilities, with travelling often representing one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences. To help you prepare for your experience abroad, this comprehensive guide provides valuable information, meaning you can arrive at your destination ready to embrace everything studying abroad has to offer. Exploring new destinations and experiencing different cultures with new friends could well provide one of the most unforgettable experiences of your life.