Choosing a destination to pursue your degree or next step in education can be challenging as there are many excellent options.
To help you with the process, we provide an overview of the best study abroad destinations for international students.
Before making your decision, check out our guide on studying abroad. From student costs and experiences to course options, we cover all the need-to-know aspects about the leading nations for international students.
The UK has some of the most well-known higher education institutions in the world. Among the leading education, providers include Oxford and Cambridge.
However, with nearly 400 universities and colleges in the country, you will have plenty of choices when choosing your academic field.
In addition, all higher education establishments are rated by the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and Research Excellence Framework (REF). This ensures all courses and staff must keep high standards. As a result, studying in the UK is a great way to boost your career options in the future.
In terms of the student experience, the UK has a good reputation. Firstly, institutions ensure international students settle into a new country with additional support services. Also, most universities offer accommodation in halls where you can meet like-minded international students.
Furthermore, UK universities have a big focus on extra-curricular and social activities. You are likely to find a huge number of clubs to join at most universities so you can meet new people with similar interests. Also, many institutions have specific clubs for international students.
In comparison to other destinations, fees for the course and living fees in the UK are cheap. Most postgraduate courses also take less time to complete when compared to other countries. For instance, full-time Master’s courses are usually one year, while some postgraduate courses are only two years.
Overall, the UK is a wonderful place where international students can feel at home and get a good quality higher education. It is also a country with a rich culture and history which you can explore and you also get a good chance to practise your English communication skills.
Also among the 5 best study abroad destinations for international students is the USA. The country is hugely popular among students from abroad. An estimated 5% of students in US higher education are international students.
There are many reasons why the USA is a sought-after destination for international students. Overall, there are nearly 5,000 higher education facilities in the country, many of which rank among the best-performing worldwide. Also, colleges in the country follow strict academic processes so standards, quality and expectations are high on most courses.
One of the most appealing aspects of studying in the USA is the flexibility at the undergraduate level. For instance, you do not have to commit to your specialist subject, also called a major. Therefore, you have time to try out different topics and subject areas before making a decision.
Student life is also positive in the USA, especially for international students. Firstly, almost every establishment will offer academic and social support if you move from abroad to the US. This help can also extend to help with finding accommodation, courses and clubs.
US colleges also have excellent social options for all students. Sports are huge in the US and higher-education institutions will run a variety of sports clubs. In addition, further academic societies give students a chance to enter competitions against other colleges in a fun, social environment.
If you want to work alongside your studies, this option is available too in the US. Many international students can get internships, part-time jobs or paid research positions. However, check that your visa allows you to work whilst studying as some restrictions can apply.
Not only does Canada have 11 of the best universities in the top 250 in the world, but it also ranks highly for quality of student life. Added to this are some of the lowest tuition fees for international students and excellent postgraduate work opportunities.
Unsurprisingly, Canada is another popular choice and nearly half a million international students head to the country to study.
Course quality is extremely high in all levels of Canadian education, from early years up to postgraduate. As a result, you are likely to learn from some of the country’s leading academics.
However, once you graduate, Canada has some of the best opportunities for degree holders. Between 2010 and 2020, Canada created 1.8 million new jobs for graduates.
In addition, securing a job as a post-graduate in the country is easier compared to other nations. Visa options like the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) help international students to find work after graduation.
International students also have lower course and living fees in Canada compared to other leading countries. The nation is known to have some of the lowest tuition fees among English-speaking countries worldwide.
Not only will you access top-quality education and job opportunities if you study in Canada, but you can experience the country’s unique culture and multicultural makeup. It is also known as one of the most peaceful countries in the world. In the 2021 World Peace Index, Canada was highly graded for resident safety. Also, it was ranked 10th among the most peaceful nations internationally.
Ireland has some excellent universities with leading global reputations. Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin (UCD) are among the leading higher education establishments in the country.
But, every institution has a good standard of education, with Irish universities ranking in the top 1% of research institutions in the world. Also, subject areas like IT, technology, engineering and modern medicine are well-catered for in the country. Especially as Ireland was known as the 16th most innovative country in the world in 2020.
International students are also welcomed positively when studying in the country. Tens of thousands of international students head to Ireland to study each year. For instance, over 8,400 students from 140 different countries study at UCD.
Irish institutions provide plenty of support and services for students travelling from abroad. Usually, international students can find living spaces in university halls on campus, where they can meet other students and socialise.
Outside of excellent educational options, you are likely to have a warm welcome in Ireland. The country has an interesting culture and history and this is evident in cities like Cork and Dublin.
In addition, Ireland is a very safe country and the nation often ranks highly for life quality and peace. For instance, the country was 22nd in the most recent World Happiness Index so you are likely to have a positive experience if choosing this destination.
New Zealand has spent recent years improving its education system, and this includes at the university level. The developed system was based on the traditional British education system.
Today, the results of this restructuring are clear as all of the nation’s universities are in the QS World Rankings. This is just one of the reasons why international students move to study in New Zealand. In 2018, around 30,000 students from abroad studied in New Zealand and 20% of students at the Victoria University of Wellington were international students.
Because international students make up a large portion of New Zealand’s academic population, they are well looked after in the country.
If you study in New Zealand, you are likely to find plenty of accommodation options, fairly low tuition fees and work opportunities. However, before applying for work during or after your course, double-check that this is covered under your student visa.
Many students in New Zealand stay for the holidays in between term times. During this time, students spend time travelling the country and experiencing the one-of-a-kind scenery and exploring cultures in the nation. This includes the British influence in large cities and the ways of the indigenous Māori people.
Usually, studying in New Zealand is a truly unique experience and living here is safe. In fact, the country ranked second among the safest countries in the world in 2018.
Before settling on your preferred place of study for higher education, review our 5 best study abroad destinations for international students guide.
Ultimately, your decision will be based on several areas, including your budget, course requirements, subject interest and career opportunities.
But, we hope our overview above provides you with a starting point before you begin your exciting education journey to a university abroad.