8 Best Countries to Study Abroad for International Students

Students and parents should consider several important factors related to quality, costs and fees when searching for the best countries to study abroad with distinguished courses. You have to deal with these factors at some point, especially if you are self-funded and do not have a scholarship.

If you want to study in Europe, there are many cheap countries to consider.

Students and parents can define and narrow down the best countries to study abroad based on three primary factors: tuition fees, living costs, and the quality of universities in the country you choose to study. There are a variety of other factors, such as:

  • General living expenses: Living expenses are the average cost to live in any specific area each year.
  • Living standards: the quality of life in any given area at a given time.
  • Quality of education: the value of the education provided by the institutions at the selected locations. 
  • General education-related fees: School fees, accommodation fees, books, students’ union membership fees, and other payments the student is expected to make.
  • Financial aids: Various financial aids may be available to international students, if you are eligible, to relieve the burden of being separated from your friends and family, including loans, grants, scholarships, and others.

Please note that all suggestions and figures on this post are based only on interviews and investigations conducted by StudyOverseas.Net.

Best Countries to Study Abroad: Tuition Fees

The tuition fees can vary depending on the university, course, and city within a country. Some universities allow international students to apply for education loans, while others require them to pay for their tuition.

Students will likely have to pay more for undergraduate courses, which are longer than the one-two year course for postgraduate study. However, tuition fees should not be a yardstick for the quality of education provided by an institution.

A typical undergraduate programme lasts three years, though some may be longer. “Sandwich courses” often include an additional year of work experience, whereas undergraduate degrees in Scotland are usually four years long. Following your undergraduate degree, you may need to pay higher tuition fees if you decide to continue your studies.

Postgraduate courses, such as a PhD and master’s programs, are particularly popular and competitive. Due to the nature of these courses, there may be some extra costs you need to be aware of, such as specialised research equipment or resources. For more information, contact the university directly. You may also find that costs will vary depending on what kind of subject you will be studying.

Additionally, private universities charge much higher tuition fees than government-funded institutions. International students can apply for scholarships and grants to reduce their study expenses. In the following table below, you will find a list of the average costs of tuition fees overseas in some popular destinations for your reference as you plan your study abroad programme.

UK£13,300 £15,800 £14,220
Canada£12,280 £16,370 £9,400
Australia£11,950 £16,910 £13,060
GermanyFreeFree for ‘consecutive’
masters or £2,200
USA£19,490 £20,000 £24,530
New Zealand£8,860 £9,220 £6,180
Sweden£5,530 £5,530Free
Ireland£8,050 £10,200 £8,900
Overseas Public Universities Average Tuition Fees Per Year for International Students – excluding the MBA

Average Living Expenses to Study Abroad for International Students

Living expenses for international students average between £6,000 and £10,000 per year, depending on lifestyle and city. Where an international student resides entirely determines how much he or she has to pay. When residing in a metropolitan city, a student would spend more than he would if living in a suburban area. Living expenses generally include accommodation costs, utility bills, food, transportation, textbooks, clothing that is appropriate for the environment, and entertainment expenses.

Among the other expenses considered under living expenses are travelling between your country and the country of choice during vacations, large purchases including PCs, furniture, and rental car, as well as medical expenses not covered by health insurance, including dental and eye care, cosmetic treatments, social outings, and weekend trips.

Considering these factors, we have compiled a comprehensive list of average living expenses for international students travelling overseas.

CountriesAverage Living Expenses
New Zealand£5,850
Average Living Expenses for International Students Studying Abroad

Best Countries to Study Abroad: Quality of Education

Which are the best countries to study abroad for international students?

Based on the quality of education, the best countries to study abroad for international students are the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, the USA, New Zealand, Sweden, and Ireland.

1. The United Kingdom

The UK is one of the best countries to study abroad for international students. Some top universities are the University of Oxford, University of CambridgeLondon School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Warwick. The city of London is home to the largest number of universities in the UK, followed by Manchester and Birmingham.

The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge (commonly referred to as ‘Oxbridge’) are the two most prestigious universities in the UK. Many courses in the United Kingdom are popular with international students, such as Nursing, Data Analytics, MBA, Social Work, Computer Science, and Finance.

2. Canada

Canada is home to more than 100 public and private universities, various further education colleges, and technical schools. Over 14,000 courses are offered in universities at all levels, from undergraduate and postgraduate courses to doctoral degrees. Universities like McGill University, The University of British Columbia, University of Alberta and University of Toronto are popular choices for international students wanting to pursue a full-time academic degree in Canada.

Toronto, British Columbia, and Montreal have some of the best universities in the country. International students are most likely to pursue postgraduate degrees in Business Management, Engineering, Computer Science, Medicine, and Law.

3. Australia

Innovation, creativity, and independent thinking are encouraged throughout Australia’s universities. Studying and living in Australia is challenging, fun, and rewarding for international students. As an international student in Australia, you can expect to experience a country that is young, friendly, and full of opportunities.

Upon completing their degree program, students will soon find that they are competitive on the global job market. The top universities in Australia are The Australian National UniversityThe University of New South WalesThe University of MelbourneThe University of Western Sydney, and Monash University. Popular courses to study in Australia are Psychology, Earth Science, Zoology, and Engineering.

4. Germany

By studying and living as an international student in Germany, you will experience a highly successful educational system for career advancement, learn a new language by making new friends and socialising with other students, and gain invaluable life experience. Germany is one of the best countries to study abroad.

It has hundreds of universities and the top ones are Technische Universität München, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. Most universities in Germany have free or very low tuition fees for international students. Engineering, Medicine, Architecture, Mathematics and Computer Science are all popular disciplines. International students come to Germany to enjoy a unique cultural experience combined with a high-quality education.

5. The United States of America

Degrees earned in the US have an excellent international reputation due to the high level of education available there. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and Stanford are among the top colleges (i.e. universities) in the US.

Many of the best colleges in the United States are located in cities like Boston, Old Saybrook, New York, and New Haven. International students in the United States often study Business Management, Law, Accounting, Economics, Medicine and Dentistry, and Journalism. A total of 4,000 institutions are estimated to exist in the country, making it one of the largest education systems in the world. 

6. New Zealand

The most notable New Zealand universities are the University of Auckland, University of Otago, Massey University, University of Canterbury, and Victoria University of Wellington. It is in Auckland that many of the academic institutions are based. Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, and Napier-Hastings are home to some of New Zealand’s best colleges. International students in New Zealand pursue courses in Engineering, Business and Management Studies, Computing and IT, Psychology, and Pharmacy.

7. Sweden

The Swedish education system was one of the first in continental Europe to switch to English-language tuition. It offers at least 900 degrees from Political Science to Agriculture, International Relations to Business Management.

The top universities in Sweden include Stockholm University, Lund University, Royal Institute of Technology, Uppsala University, Linköping University, University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, and Karolinska Institutet. Some of the best universities in Sweden are located in cities such as Stockholm and Gothenburg.

8. Ireland

Tuition fee for an undergraduate degree is free in Ireland under the Free Fees Initiative. The value of an Irish undergraduate or postgraduate degree can be equal to that of the UK equivalent, so that when you start your career, it carries the same weight. Lonely Planet has repeatedly named Dublin as the friendliest city in the world, and many of the world’s largest companies have offices there, including Google, Medtronics and Microsoft.

Trinity College Dublin, National College of Ireland, University College Dublin, Griffith College, National University of Ireland Galway, Waterford Institute of Technology, Maynooth University are among the best universities in Ireland. Dublin, Limerick, and Galway have some of the best colleges in the country. The most popular courses for international students in Ireland are Language and Literature, Nursing, Public Health and Marketing.

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