Revisiting and understanding the past is essential for progress. The same can be said for the complex history and culture of the African people. African Studies emerged to be a degree program in the hopes of unraveling more of African culture, politics, economy, and society in the past, and how it compares to present-day Africa.

Africa has a long, exhaustive history of being the land of slavery. Slaves to powerful countries like those in Europe and, of course, the United States, Africa endured long and hard to break free and become a land of proud people with their own culture and traditions to live by.

This article lists down some of the best countries to pursue a degree in African Studies abroad. Do you see your dream study destination below?

Top Countries to Study African Studies

1. South Africa

  • Reasons: homeland of Africans, rich and dynamic culture, hospitable locals

South Africa is indeed the best country to study African studies as it is the homeland of Africans. South Africa plays a key role in the development and progress of the world economy. Rich in natural resources and boasting a unique topography, South Africa is highly sought after by the entire world. Learning the history and social setting of South Africa is essential to appreciating the present-day situation of resource acquisition and colonization of different countries all over the world.

As African studies students, you can expect an in-depth exploration of the history and the social sciences of Africa. Africa has been at the center of feuds and disputes between the most powerful countries.

You get an up-close and personal glimpse of the present-day African economy, society, and society by studying in South Africa. Not to mention, you also get to study directly under the mentorship of seasoned African studies professors who lived and grew up in South Africa.

Enrich your appreciation for African literature, history, and culture at top-performing universities in South Africa. Check out the programs offered by the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University, and the University of the Free State.

2. United States

  • Reasons: broad archive of references, diverse course offerings and specializations, lucrative job opportunities

The United States has some of the world’s greatest archives of research and historical records about the socio-political background of Africa in the past and present. As a country invested in the education and learning journey of students, The US is a preferred study destination for anyone interested in majoring in African Studies.

African Studies provide a more extensive and intimate view of the experiences and perceptions of Africans. Since long before, the United States has meddled with the affairs of the people of Africa as colonizers, but not much is heard about African culture, traditions, norms, and contemporary African society.

These days, cultural appropriation is a controversial issue widely talked about on social media. A lot of Africa’s culture gets appropriated. A lot of the time, symbolism or cultural styles rooting from Africa are at the center of the discussion. Recognizing cultural appreciation and preventing appropriation are just some of the most relevant reasons to pursue African Studies.

The United States is a haven for educational institutions. African studies students like you can find competent and reputable programs in universities like Stanford University, California State University, and the University of Iowa.

3. Belgium

  • Reasons: multicultural exchange, reputable education system, spectacular landscapes

Belgium is more than just a beautiful country; international students pursue to study in Belgium for many of the universities are pioneers in fields like medicine, politics, and the arts. Belgium is also a perfect study destination for African studies, with academic groups and centers dedicated to the research and appreciation of African history, politics, and society.

In Belgium, you will not fear not learning the mother tongue. After all, the locals speak 3 languages, and you can comfortably converse in English. Belgian locals are more than happy to guide you when you’re lost or need some quick translation.

Education in Belgium is unlike any learning journey. Specially dedicated to providing the best academic background for everyone, tuition fees are affordable across all Belgian universities.

As African Studies students, expect coursework to delve heavily into the literature and culture of African people. Anthropology and linguistics classes shall enrich your appreciation for African living. Extending education outside the classroom, seminars, and workshops are great opportunities to build connections in the academe or other industry.

Grab the incredible opportunity to study in Belgium with a major in African Studies! The Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Ghent University offers the one and only Master’s Program in African Studies across all of Belgium.

4. Russia

  • Reasons: high literacy rate, world-class degree programs, affordable living costs

Russia is another study destination high up in most students’ bucket lists. Russia has long been recognized as an intellectual superpower, home to some of the world’s greatest minds like Dmitri Mendeleev, Ivan Pavlov, and Leo Tolstoy.

Russia is definitely highly regarded for its successes in science and technolog6y, but it is also a place conducive for nurturing a passion for arts and humanities. African Studies students like you will appreciate the vast historical archives Russia preserves in its libraries.

Outside of studying, Russia’s captivating sights are more than enough to destress you. From luxurious, fast-paced cities to the mellow countryside, Russia has the perfect setting for you. Indulge in your creative side and visit the museums or theaters.

Russian universities are highly capable of shaping their students into globally competent and knowledgeable professionals. Get the most of your African Studies in Russia at HSE University, or at the prestigious Lomonosov Moscow State University.

5. The Netherlands

  • Reasons: generous scholarship grants, stable economy, land of cross-cultural relations

Be in charge of your learning journey in the Netherlands. Here, students have the freedom to decide what their class schedule would look like as opposed to being predetermined by the school’s system. The Netherlands is a progressive country with an emphasis on self-reliance and an entrepreneurial spirit. Nonetheless, it honors the roots and origins of everyone, presenting as a perfect learning environment for African Studies students.

The Netherlands is well-known for its impressive standards in education, top-ranking universities, and remarkable career opportunities. Universities teach a variety of degree programs ranging from science, technology, engineering, law, humanities, and the social sciences.

The Netherlands is also one of the best countries to study African Studies. As important as it is for countries to succeed and progress, it is also essential to learn about the cultural backgrounds and the past civilizations of people. For African Studies students, this means comprehending the African way of living in the past and present, from communal rites to addressing the impact of slavery on Africa’s status among the rest of the world.

Enrich your knowledge of the literature, language, and heritage of the African people in the Netherlands. Check out the African Studies Center at Leiden University.


I hope that you found this article on the best countries to study African studies informative and helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!