The idea of pursuing higher education abroad is attractive and fascinating for many across the world, especially in this globalised world where people want to explore and experience new countries and cultures. It is a life-changing experience that pushes you to step out of your comfort zone. Yet, to actually go through with the study in abroad plan is tough and challenging. Selecting which country and university in the world will be best for your education is no walk in the park. Finding student accommodation abroad is not easy either. Many factors need to be taken into consideration. Choosing the ‘right’ country is crucial as it will shape your career, future and life abroad.
We’ve quickly outlined some of the best countries to study abroad if you’re ready to start the rollercoaster of a journey.
Canada is quickly becoming the top study abroad destination and is considered the best country for international students due to the high-quality education, low tuition, and welcoming environment. It is one of the most diverse places to live in, and it embraces students from all over the globe. Canada also offers great scholarship programmes to international students and has several internationally ranked universities. It has a vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes, friendly locals, a lot of places for students to visit and explore. The country offers plenty of opportunities to study, grow and permanently settle down in the country if desired.
Pros: Studying in Canada is cheaper than in the US, the UK, or Australia. Also, it is one of the very few countries that are quite open to immigrants.
Cons: It gets brutally cold in the winters, with an extremely low temperature of -30C at times, making it difficult for students from warmer countries to adapt. Some Canadian universities, especially in the Quebec area, require you to know English and French. The cost of living is high in metropolitan hubs like Toronto and Vancouver. But, not all cities are expensive, while many like Montreal, Ontario, etc., are affordable.
Top Universities: The University of Toronto, The University of Alberta, The University of British Columbia, University of Waterloo, McGill University, York University, University of Calgary, and the University of Manitoba.
There is so much more to Australia than kangaroos, koalas, stunning coastlines, beaches, and gorgeous sceneries. Not denying that the country is all that, but Australia is also home to cosmopolitan cities that are full of diversity, culture, heritage sites and Ivey league universities. Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane are some popular cities in the country amongst international students. With a wide selection of study abroad housing options.
Pros: Australia has a vibrant, social, welcoming culture, a lively student life, with a ton of sightseeing attractions, places to visit, and things to do. The country has some of the world’s top-ranked and recognized programs in life sciences. Additionally, international students can work in Australia on their student visas.
Cons: High cost of living and high tuition fees (although cheaper than the USA). The academic calendar is the opposite of what most of the rest of the world follows, meaning you will have to keep track of the application and admission process for Australia separately.
Top Universities: The University of Sydney, The University of Melbourne, The Australian National University, The University of New South Wales, The University of Queensland.
Germany is known for providing world-renowned courses and programmes in sciences and business with affordable tuition fees. It is one of the best countries to study abroad. And, let’s not forget about the iconic Oktoberfest. Germany is also one of the most popular destinations for studying abroad, with the highest number of international students other than the UK, US and Australia. The country offers amazing academic internships and is the headquarters of some of the world’s biggest and most innovative companies. Munich has some of the world’s top-ranked universities, and Berlin has a thriving tech hub with great job opportunities.
Pros: All but one of Germany’s states abolished tuition fees for undergraduate students at all German public universities, which means both domestic and international undergraduates can study for free, barring a small fee per semester.
Cons: Some universities require basic to intermediate German skills, and even otherwise, prior knowledge of German is recommended even for programs and courses taught in English.
Top Universities: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität München, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg.
The United States of America
The USA has dominated the global education space for multiple decades, with a mind-bogglingly long list of choices of ivy league universities and internationally reputed institutions. Almost a million international students pursue university education in the USA despite the high fees and considering the yearning to live the American dream, which is not too surprising. It has great cultural diversity and is a thriving centre of innovation, technology, is a global financial hub.
Pros: It is home to Ivy League schools and some of the top universities in the world, with 12 American universities taking up spots on the ‘Top 20 universities in the world’ list. Plus, the US offers flexible education paths and an amazing switching between universities option. There are endless courses and programmes for every subject or field imaginable.
Cons: Super pricey tuition fees, high cost of living in many cities with expensive student room study abroad, the job market is very competitive, it is tough to get visas, especially work Visa if you want to settle down after graduation. And, most colleges require SAT or ACT scores.
Top Universities: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California (Berkeley), Columbia University, Princeton University, California Institute of Technology, Yale, NYU.
The United Kingdom
It is unquestionably one of the top countries to study abroad and is a melting pot of cultures. It offers a bustling modern urban environment and an overall welcoming place. Its universities consistently rank among the leading universities globally, and it is home to top academic institutions such as Cambridge and Oxford. These offer a wide variety of specialisation programmes along with financial aid, scholarships, and more.
Pros: English is spoken everywhere, so if you know English well, the language barrier thing is not a problem. Offers working opportunities on a student visa opportunities and post-study work visa if you have graduated from the UK universities. There are a lot of study home abroad options. And, with so much cultural heterogeneity and a diverse population, there is not much culture shock. Plus, travelling across Europe is simpler and cheaper while studying in the UK.
Cons: It is expensive, no getting around that, and on top of that, the currency exchange is high, as well.
Top Universities: The University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, UCL, King’s College London, Imperial College London, University of Manchester.
There is a running theme of Japan being a whole different world, way ahead and more modern than the rest. And, it is true. Japan is marvellous and is one of the world’s greatest high-tech hubs. It has a wonderfully rich culture, beautiful zen-like architecture, delicious food, and lovely cherry blossom packed pathways. It also has a rich history and heritage, as well as some top-ranked universities.
Pros: It offers great job opportunities, making it easy to extend your stay. Japan has a wide range of unique activities to try and places to explore.
Cons: Japan can be pretty expensive with a high cost of living, even if you’re not gorging on fancy sushi every night. The work-life balance is bad, and this applies to academics as well. It has a super-competitive and high-stress culture.
Top Universities: The University of Tokyo, Osaka University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kyoto University, Hokkaido University, Nagoya University.
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