The basics
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Choosing a country to study abroad in: The basics

So you know for certain that you want to study abroad; but how do you decide which country? It’s a big world and there are so many possibilities. Below we provide 5 factors to consider when choosing where you want to go...


Some students will have a country in mind where they want to study at; others might have a rough idea or be split between a few destinations; and others will have absolutely no idea what options are available and they may even surprised as to which countries are a possibility. So here are five things you should consider when deciding on a study destination:



1. Where do you want to go?

This is a simple one: where in the world do you want to go? Is there a country or a city you’ve always wanted to visit? Just think, this might be your one opportunity to see this place, especially if the beginnings of your career will be your main focus post-university. By studying abroad, you can live somewhere abroad AND receive a world class education which benefits you.


2. How much are the tuition fees? What is your budget?

While the other factors are more preferences, this factor is one which you won’t have as much control over (and one you may have to work around). Before you get too excited about studying abroad, you’ll need to find out how much it costs to study in a particular country (as well as a rough idea of other costs such as how much it would be to live in that country for the duration of your studies). You'll also have to think about how you plan to fund your studies and where this will get you. For example, in Sweden there are no tuition fees for EU students (although living costs are considerably more than they are in other countries).

Browse the Student Finance section of our articles section to find out more about tuition fees and living costs for each country. For example, 'Tuition Fees in the UK'.


3. How far outside your comfort zone are you willing to go?

If you’ve decided to study abroad, the chances are that you’re somewhat adventurous (which is brilliant!). However some are more adventurous than others. Some students will want a completely different lifestyle to what they are accustomed to in their home country (e.g. moving from Scotland to Australia); others will simply be looking for something slightly different which will be enough change for them (e.g. moving from Scotland to Ireland).


4. How far from home do you want to be?

Similar to above, some students will still want to be somewhat close to their home country. This will have a major impact on how much it costs for them to come home for holidays and ultimately if they can come home at all in between term breaks. Sometimes it’s just enough comfort to know that even if you’re not in the same country, you aren’t literally on the other side of the world from family and friends.


5. What do you want to study?

Some countries will be stronger in certain areas than others. Often this is because the field is integral to the country’s lifestyle, economy, culture or history. For example, if you want to study Agriculture and Farming, universities in New Zealand tend to be stronger in this area as it forms a large part of the country’s lifestyle and economy. Meanwhile, as Adrian Dutch from City University, London points out here, the UK is highly regarded when it comes to Law because so many legal systems around the world are patented on Britain’s system:



Tip: If there is a particular company you want to join, find out where they originated or where their offices are based, and find out about universities close by. Or do some reading about the individuals in the field you look up to; where did they study? You may be lucky and find that institutions in this country have an existing relationship with companies to help graduates find work experience and employment.



Read more:

‘Choosing the right course for you’

You can also browse our Destination Guides or Subject Guides section

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About Author

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.