Physical therapy is an allied medical field that focuses on the movement and physical functions of the human body. It also involves diagnosing, treating, and preventing disorders and improving and maintaining one’s physical well-being through movement and proper exercise.

The demand for physical therapy experts has been increasing in the past years and is expected to increase even more in the future. Lots of practical experience and strong fundamental knowledge are required to obtain a license and have a successful career in physical therapy, and having a degree from a prestigious university abroad can put you in an advantageous position when looking for potential employers.

Listed below are some of the best countries to study physical therapy, along with some of the best universities in each country that offer excellent degree programs for this field.

Top Countries to Study Physical Therapy Abroad

1. United States

  • Reason: diversity, technology, and top-rated universities

The United States has a long history of accepting numerous international students from across the globe. Its universities are known for the diversity of their student population and for providing a supportive and stimulating learning environment by giving them access to the latest technology, cutting-edge facilities, and modern equipment.

Physical therapy programs in the country are among the best in the world and several universities that offer degrees in physical therapy in the US are included in multiple global university rankings. Students undergo rigorous training to gain expertise in different areas such as physiology, anatomy, neuroscience, and biomechanics. Indeed, the United States is one of the best countries to study physical therapy.

Some of the best universities to study physical therapy in the US are the University of Washington, Harvard University, University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California.

Read More: 7 Best Physical Therapy Schools in the World

2. Sweden

  • Reason: relaxed environment, interactive classes, and scholarship programs

Sweden is known for its more relaxed and informal overall environment. Professors in Swedish universities prefer to be addressed by their first names rather than using titles or formalities. Classes are more open and interactive and students are highly encouraged to voice their opinions, engage in healthy dialogues and debates, and become active participants in the learning process. Everyone is also expected to take a “Fika” or a quick coffee break dedicated to socializing and getting to know their peers.

As one of the best countries to study physical therapy in the world, Sweden has several scholarship programs offered to international students who would like to pursue a degree in one of its universities. Most public universities offer free tuition for students from Europe. Physical therapy students in Sweden gain strong knowledge and understanding of the movements of the human body, how to promote health, physical activity, and exercise, and how to prevent certain disorders.

Here are some of the best Swedish universities for physical therapy: Karolinska Institute, Lund University, Umea University, University of Gothenburg, and Linkoping University.

3. The Netherlands

  • Reason: English medium, open environment, practical orientation of programs

Though Dutch is the official language in the Netherlands, English is also widely spoken and most universities in the country conduct their classes in English. The Netherlands is also a multicultural, open-minded, and inclusive society where everyone is free to express themselves without discrimination.

Universities in the Netherlands are known for their excellent programs in physical therapy. Students are provided with several practical learning and internship opportunities with industry partners within and outside the country.

Some of the top Dutch universities for physical therapy include Erasmus University Rotterdam, Free University Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology, Tilburg University, and the University of Groningen.

Check Also: 7 Cheapest Universities in Netherlands for International Students

4. Brazil

  • Reason: tourist attractions, world-class education, practical orientation of programs

Brazil is one of the most developed countries in South America and is famous for its tourist spots, tropical climate, lively culture, and love for festivals and sports. Universities in Brazil can also be found in multiple international rankings for their outstanding quality of education and research in a wide range of disciplines including physical therapy.

Universities in Brazil train future physiotherapists through lectures, seminars, clinical fieldwork, internships, and volunteer work. Through these activities, students gain first-hand experience in interacting with people of all ages and helping treat and improve their posture and movement problems.

Brazil is an excellent place to study physical therapy. Some of the country’s top educational institutions include the Federal University of Sao Paulo, State University of Campinas, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, State University of Londrina, and the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

5. Hong Kong

  • Reason: a stable economy, safe environment, and world-class universities

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China that is known for being a global frontrunner in business, education, and technology. Its dynamic culture, which consists of both Eastern and Western influences, stable economy, safe environment, and world-class universities make it an attractive and exciting study abroad destination for international students.

Students taking a degree in physical therapy in Hong Kong are trained to be competent and influential individuals in the fields of healthcare, medicine, and community development.

Here are some of the top-rated universities for physical therapy in Hong Kong: Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, and the City University of Hong Kong.

Feel Free to Check: 10 Best Scholarships in Hong Kong for International Students


We hope this article on the best countries to study physical therapy was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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