Top 5 Happiest Countries to Pursue Higher Education

Top 5 Happiest Countries to Pursue Higher Education

Top 5 Happiest Countries to Pursue Higher Education
Sahil Dahal

When considering where to study, students consider various factors, tailoring their decisions to their individual preferences. Some students prioritize the courses offered, while others focus on the reputation and ranking of universities. Additionally, some seek countries that provide excellent student facilities at an affordable cost. While each country has unique advantages for students, it is crucial to consider destinations that offer a peaceful and serene environment for a well-rounded study abroad experience.

Imagine attending lectures on your favourite subject, surrounded by smiling faces and a positive atmosphere. If studying in a country that places a high value on happiness is essential, then exploring the following list of countries that rank highest on the happiness index for their residents is a great idea.

The list below highlights the top five countries according to the World Happiness Report 2017, an annual publication by a United Nations agency since 2012. Notably, four of the top five countries are Nordic countries, known for their exceptional quality of life and well-being.

Happiest Countries to Pursue Higher Education


Norway stands out as the happiest country globally, offering joy and low to zero costs for higher education. Even international students benefit from relatively low application fees, although they may need to pay a semester fee. It's worth noting that the cost of living in Norway is generally high. The University of Oslo, the country's top-ranking university, ensures high-quality education.


Securing the second spot on the happiness index, Denmark is a neighbouring country to Norway and offers an equally delightful study abroad experience. While education is free for European students, non-European students must pay tuition fees. Studying in Denmark provides an exhilarating experience, thanks to its breathtaking natural beauty, world-class cuisine, and captivating cities. The University of Copenhagen, Denmark's premier university, guarantees excellent academic opportunities.


Ranking third among the happiest countries, Iceland may not have universities featured in the top global rankings, but it offers affordable study options for international students. Similar to Norway, the cost of living in Iceland can be high. However, the country's unique natural landscapes and the warmth of its people make it an inviting destination for students seeking a tranquil environment for their education.


Renowned for its stunning landscapes, Switzerland is a captivating destination that boasts a thriving education system. While it may not have universities consistently ranked at the top globally, Switzerland provides excellent educational opportunities for international students. The cost of living in Switzerland can be relatively high, resembling countries like Iceland and Norway. Nevertheless, the country's impeccable infrastructure, multicultural ambiance, and commitment to quality education create an enticing atmosphere for students pursuing their academic goals.


Ranking fifth in happiness, Finland prides itself on having one of the world's best education systems. Although education was free until recently, plans have been introduced to introduce tuition fees for non-EU students. Nevertheless, Finland's unique education system and emphasis on student well-being remain a top choice for higher education. The country offers a supportive learning environment and a unique cultural experience.

Students seeking a study abroad opportunity should consider these countries as they offer quality education and provide a positive and joyful atmosphere for personal growth and memorable experiences. From the stunning landscapes of Norway and Iceland to the cultural richness of Denmark and the academic excellence of Switzerland and Finland, these countries provide a perfect blend of happiness and education for students worldwide.

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What are the factors students consider when deciding where to study abroad?

Students consider factors such as course offerings, university rankings, and availability of student facilities at an affordable cost. They also consider countries that offer a peaceful and serene environment.

Which countries rank highest on the happiness index for residents?

The top five countries on the happiness index are Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and Finland.

Are international students required to pay tuition fees in Norway?

Norway offers low to zero costs for higher education, including low application fees for international students. However, there may be a semester fee, and the cost of living is generally high.

Are tuition fees free for non-European students in Denmark?

Education is free for European students in Denmark, but non-European students must pay tuition fees.

Which universities in Switzerland are included in the top 20 global rankings?

According to QS rankings, ETH Zurich (The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) are Swiss universities in the top 20 universities worldwide.

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