If you’re a student studying abroad, then you know how daunting and challenging the whole experience can be. Between getting accommodation to last you the semester and figuring out how you’ll write that must assignment, things can feel a little overwhelming at times. Not to mention you also have to explore the city where you’re studying and get a taste of the local culture, even as you’re writing assignments. You want to take in everything that you can in the time that you in the new country. That said, we should never forget what took us to the place in the first place: study.

Since we love movies, we decided to explore the world of movies and find out if there were any particular ones that motivated us to study. As it turns out we found plenty. Here are some of the top movies that motivate you to study hard.

  1. The Pursuit of Happiness – 2006

This beautiful movie is based on the real life of Chris Gardner, who took himself from a homeless man sleeping on the subway to owning his own brokerage firm, all through the sheer force of will and hard work.

Throughout the movie, Chris Gardner is shown to take advantage of every opportunity that comes his way and to always study hard. After a few years of hard work, he manages to upgrade his life and move up the career ladder from a medical equipment salesman to a rich stockbroker.

The movie is an excellent rags-to-riches story that demonstrates the magic that can happen in our lives when we decide to put our minds to whatever we want to achieve.

  1. Dead Poets Society – 1989

Robin Williams stars in this iconic film about an iconic character. He stars as the poet of international acclaim: John Keating, who is a teacher of English and a lover of both classic literature and poetry. He uses this all-consuming love to fight oppression and discrimination at Welton Academy. With the ‘carpe diem’ vibe that this movie has, you will enjoy seeing how well Keating inspires his students to challenge the status quo at the school and be themselves.

The movie is quite emotionally charged and has lots of touching scenes. It also infuses you with a fiery passion to study whatever you enjoy and use it to express yourself to the world.

  1. School of Rock – 2003

This movie stars consummate comedian Jack Black, who plays a musician down on his luck who sets out on the mission of turning a group of rich but unhappy children into a group of talented rock musicians. He achieves this through a deep love and passion for music, interesting interviews, and an incredible amount of improvisation.

School of Rock is a bit of a sleeper hit, driven more by the storytelling of the actors than the budget. The idea behind it was to demonstrate how powerful education can be in inspiring a group of unlikely people to change for the positive.

  1. Good Will Hunting – 1997

This film stars Matt Damon, who played the role so well it cemented his position in the acting hall of fame. In the film he plays Will Hunting, a 20 year old mathematical genius with a traumatic past who constantly gets in fights and trouble with the law. Psychologist Sean, played by Robin Williams, works with Hunting to get him to achieve his full potential and turn things completely around from being an underachiever.

Good Will Hunting is full of great scenes, though the most breathtaking are the ones of the therapy sessions held between psychologist Sean and Hunting. Over time, Will Hunting’s walls melt away and we see him begin to realize his true potential.

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  1. Stand and Deliver – 1988

This is yet another movie based on a true story. Stand and Deliver is the story of Jamie Escalante, a maths teacher at a school that focuses too much on rigid discipline, rather than education, and consequently has more than its fair share of rebellious students. Escalante decides to quit his job and works hard to help his students from outside the school. In the next two years that the fil covers, he completely transforms his students from struggling to succeeding immensely, with the greatest achievement being the students passing their advanced calculus exams.

Stand and Deliver is an absolutely beautiful story that serves to show everyone that academic success is always within our reach, regardless of our current struggles or backgrounds. All we have to do is work hard and put our hearts and souls into it. No matter what stories you’ve been told in the past, success is indeed always achievable.

These are all great movies that you will undoubtedly enjoy watching. They are so immersive, in fact, that it’s possible to get engrossed in them and forget all about your homework!


The above movies are some of the greatest motivational movies, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. If we look hard enough, inspiration to keep us going can be drawn from just about anything. All we have to do is look.

Author Bio

Ray Campbell is a writer, researcher, and movie reviewer. He has done writing and editing work for many years and also watched and reviewed hundreds of movies. He enjoys helping students to get the most of the movies they watch in particular and is always writing for them.