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Jan 7, 2019 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

If the winter blues are getting you down here in the Northern Hemisphere, consider flipping your study location on its head and studying in the Southern Hemisphere. Can't do it this year? Don't worry. Start making your plans for a study abroad experience in the Southern Hemisphere next winter!

While Australia and New Zealand might top your list, we have several options that you may not have considered. Think: high-quality education, adventure, and the desire to see the world from a new perspective.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. The ones you will probably think of first: Australia and New Zealand

When you read 'summer in the Southern Hemisphere', your first thoughts probably immediately drifted to Australia and New Zealand. 

Australia's study abroad population is booming and with good reason. With fantastic universities, a vibrant international student community, opportunities to work after graduation, and fascinating natural beauty, it's no wonder Australia is a popular destination. That flipped season from the Northern Hemisphere makes it that much more appealing, too! That's right: you can surf your way out of the winter doldrums.

New Zealand, Australia's island neighbor to the east, offers a similarly desirable study abroad location, especially for those seeking summer adventure during the Northern Hemisphere's winter.

Offering one of the world's most naturally stunning variety of landscapes, top-notch educational opportunities, the chance to learn English and stay and work, New Zealand provides international students seeking sun and adventure the chance of a lifetime!

2. The tropics: French Polynesia

If heading to a tropical island during the dead of winter sounds more appealing to you, check out the options in French Polynesia. On the island in Moorea, UC Berkeley students can spend an entire semester working at Berkeley's Gump Research Station. You can spend your winter snorkeling and learning about coral reefs. 

If the Berkeley option doesn't work for you, check out study abroad options for students of environmental science and ecology. French Polynesia also offers a variety of excellent language schools that will allow you to transfer credit to your home institution.

3. Multiculturalism: South Africa

South Africa has one of the most interesting cultural histories of the world. In addition to a near-perfect climate and affordable cost of living, the country also boasts top-rated schools.

South Africa is home to many internationally recognized schools that offer courses in Afrikaans, Bantu, and English. If you're looking for a new perspective, the chance to study in a country full of culture and history, and one that offers some of the world's richest beauty, South Africa may just be the choice for you.

4. Spanish language immersion: Argentina

Want to immerse yourself in the Spanish language, South American culture, and a modern European feel? Give Argentina a whirl.

Why the European feel? Many Argentines descended from Spanish and Italian immigrants during the 19th and 20th centuries and that still has a major influence. You'll find European cafe culture and the big city architecture of Madrid and Paris, in addition to the most unique Spanish you've ever heard.

Great nightlife, fascinating history, exquisite food, an affordable cost of living, and a distinctive Spanish accent... Argentina has something for everybody!

5. Ahem...The Penguins: Antarctica

We're not saying it's the summer-like Southern Hemisphere of the four other options, but if you want a truly unique Southern Hemisphere experience, there's always the land of the penguins: Antarctica.

While there's no university there, there's plenty of opportunities to study on the continent. Those interested in climate science, geology, biology, and other scientific fields should contact research universities with study stations on the icy continent. 

But let's be clear: it's polar. Summertime in Antarctica is still cold. So wrap up!

Do you study or have you studied in any of these places? If so, let us know your experiences in the comments!

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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