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12 Celebrities Who Studied Abroad and Loved It
Here're some big celebrities who studied abroad, and even some political icons, that experienced diverse academic environments:


Many celebrities who wanted to work in the entertainment industry didn't let their careers or dreams get in the way of their education. From studying literature in the USA, getting a degree in history from Indonesia to learning acting in the UK, there are some big Hollywood names, and even political icons, who have experienced diverse cultures and academic environments and it helped shape their careers.


Here are 12 celebrities who studied abroad and liked it:

1. Emma Watson

Aside from being world-famous at the age of 11 and playing some of the most iconic roles in Cinema, Emma Watson wanted more. Born to British parents, Watson lived the first 5 years of her life in France before she moved back home to England with her mother. However, when it came to her higher education degree, Watson studied at Brown University in the USA and got an English Literature degree.


Watson said, “I’ve been very fulfilled by my studies. English has helped me think in an analytical way. It’s helped me see the world from new perspectives. Diving into these stories and characters has given richness to my own life. And now, when I read scripts or look at stories, I have these references for a larger understanding of humanity. I’m sure it will make my job as an actress more interesting.”


2. Matthew McConaughey

Born and raised in Texas, USA, the Academy Award winner spent a year in Warnervale, Australia as an exchange student on a Rotary International Scholarship in high school when he was 19. That was before he went back to the USA and got a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin.


3. Alison Brie

The American actress has lived a quite normal life in California and even got a bachelor’s degree in theatre from the California Institute of Arts. However, she got to take a year abroad and study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, UK.


Brie said, “As a student abroad, it was the furthest I’d ever been from home. I went to Cal Arts, a very small school in the States for college, so it was really important for me to use the time to let go of any self-consciousness and almost be a better version of myself and take bigger risks.”


“Glasgow opened up my eyes.” She said in an interview.


4. Chris Pine

The heartthrob grew up in Los Angeles in the USA to American parents. He got his Bachelor’s of Arts in English from the University of California, Berkeley, but he also jumped at the opportunity to be an exchange student for one year at the University of Leeds in the UK.


Celebrities Who Studied Abroad


Pine said, “I decided to go to England and ended up at Leeds. I lived at 79 Brudenell Rd and had a wonderful time. I loved it. I loved it. I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed myself. Beyond having a pub on campus and the nightlife and all of that, I mean, academically I had a good time. I met a bunch of great people.”


5. Barack Obama

The former president of the United States of America made this list as an international student! Born to an American mother and a Kenyan mother in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama actually went to school from the age of 6 to 10 in Indonesia and became fluent in Indonesian. That was before he went back to Hawaii and attended high school, and later on, went to college in Los Angeles and New York.


Needless to say, studying abroad and travelling shaped the man who became the first African-American president of the USA.


6. Gwyneth Paltrow

Born and raised in a wealthy family in the USA, Paltrow has regularly travelled to France with her family. She went to high school in California and got her degree in art history at the University of California. However, when she was only 15 years old, she spent a year in Talavera de la Reina in Spain as an exchange student, and that’s when she learned to speak Spanish fluently.


Paltrow said, “I went to a small town outside Talavera de la Reina and I had the most wonderful experience. It really changed my life. Spain became a second home. It is so different from the United States. It seemed to have a history, and the buildings are years and years and years old.”


7. Maggie Gyllenhaal

“I feel so gratified about having finished college. I learned how to articulate myself. It gave me confidence more than anything,” The actress said in an interview.


While she lived her whole life in the USA and attended high school in Los Angeles and attended Columbia University in the USA, she spent a semester in London and studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


8. JK Rowling

Even one of the most famous writers of our time is one of the celebrities who studied abroad! The award-winning writer lived and grew up in England. It’s also where she went to school as a young girl. For her higher education, she studied French and Classics at Exeter University in England. After getting her degree, she studied in Paris for one year as an exchange student.


Celebrities Who Studied Abroad


9. Bill Clinton

Here’s another former American President who studied abroad. He went to high school in Arkansas in the US and showed prominence at a very young age. He got a scholarship from Georgetown Univerity in Washington, D.C. and got his bachelor of science in foreign service. 


After graduation, he got a Rhodes scholarship to the University of Oxford in England to study philosophy, politics, and economics. However, he did not get his degree and went back to the USA to get a Law degree from Yale. 


What can we say? The road to success is long and… not always linear.


10. Penelope Cruz

The Spanish Academy Award-winning actress went to ballet school in Spain, all while looking for an agent to get cast. At the age of 20, she went to New York to study ballet and English. However, it was never clear if she got her degree and from which university. 


In an interview, she said, “I love New York, but being there the whole year, it gets a little crazy with the speed and rhythm of things. But I lived there when I was 20. I lived in the Village for two years, and I was happy there.”


11. Bradley Cooper

The man of hidden talents has more surprises for his fans. He’s not just a producer, actor, singer and 9 times Academy Award nominee. He’s also an international student. Cooper attended high school and university in Pennsylvania, USA. He majored in English and minored in French. Naturally, he became fluent in French and became an exchange student in Aix-en-Provence, France.


Celebrities Who Studied Abroad


12. Dan Brown

As a young boy, Brown was born and raised in the USA. He went to high school just like any other kid, and when it came to his higher education, he went to Amherst College in Massachusetts USA. However, he spent a year abroad studying art history at the University of Seville in Spain. This definitely wasn't his last time to visit Spain because he’s been frequently going and even making Spain the setting in many of his books.


Honestly, if this doesn’t make you want to pack your bag and study abroad ASAP, we don’t know what will. You don’t even need to worry about the process because Educatly’s team will help you every step of the way.


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What are you waiting for? Study abroad now.

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