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Study abroad : Destination Guides

Find a student lifestyle that suits you best

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Finding a university and a course that you like is usually the first hurdle when embarking on a study abroad adventure. Yet, another important consideration is the type of experience and lifestyle that you’re looking for. It’s easy to get caught up in the global reputation of an institution and the teaching quality of a course, but your learning environment is equally vital. It could be the difference between an enriching or disappointing study abroad experience.


Here, we explore the top five most popular study abroad destinations, reviewing the student lifestyle that each has to offer.


Study in the UK

Outside of lectures and library sessions, you’ll be able to experience all that the UK has to offer while you study abroad in the UK. Rich in culture and history, the UK houses some of the largest and most renowned museums and galleries in the world. These include the Tate Modern, Tate Britain, The National Gallery and The British Museum, all of which are based in London, the capital city.


The type of lifestyle and experience you receive will also depend on where the university is located in the UK. So, universities such as Kings College, UCL, Queen Mary University and Imperial College are all based in London, where you certainly won’t struggle to find things to do. The city offers diversity, multiculturalism and is repeatedly voted the best student city in the world (QS Best Student Cities 2019). London is not only a national hub for innovation and creativity but it’s also internationally renowned for many industries such as fashion and finance.   

Yet, not all international students are keen to immerse themselves in the urban landscapes and bustling streets of UK cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Southampton or Leeds. Luckily, there are plenty of other areas to explore in the UK. If you’re after cobbled streets and quaint pubs, Cambridge, Oxford, Windsor or Durham would be an ideal match where traditional architecture and a slower pace of life meets history and English charm.


One benefit to studying in the UK is that the country is well connected by trains so you can venture to many cities and towns with relative ease. You may also be eligible for discounted train fares as a student to save money while you travel around.


So, the type of student lifestyle really depends on what you’re looking to gain out of your university experience. Think about the type of environments you currently enjoy most and can imagine being part of for a long period of time. This should give you some indication of what to look for when searching for universities and courses.


The UK offers an abundance of activities and diverse experiences. We recommend using our course matching tool to help you find what’s right for you.


Study in Canada

Recognised globally for its impressive mountains and turquoise lakes, Canada is a unique study destination offering plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and swimming. Home to Niagara Falls and the Rocky Mountains, Canada is known for its scenic beauty.


More than 21 million tourists visited Canada in 2018, so it’s clear to see why this is such a desirable destination to travel, work, live and study. In fact, last year saw a total of 642,000 international students in Canada, making this country one of the most popular study destinations in the world.

In addition to the rural landscapes, Canada is also home to many large cosmopolitan cities such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, notable for having diverse populations in safe and stimulating environments. Canada is also a bilingual country speaking both Canadian English and French.


This speaks to the multiculturalism and accepting culture upheld by Canadian citizens, also reflected in the welcoming immigration laws. For example, Canada has one of the most generous post-study work visas, enabling international students who have studied for two years, to stay in the country to work for three years. Furthermore, Canada was also voted first for its quality of life (U.S. News & World Report 2020) taking into consideration adventure, citizenship and entrepreneurship within the country.


So, Canada is perfect for anyone wanting to study in a safe, friendly, welcoming country where you can immerse yourself in both scenic landscapes and modern cities.


Find out more about studying in Canada.


Study in Australia

More than 720,000 international students flew to Australia’s sunny shores in 2019. In brief, Australia boasts great weather, varied landscapes, world-renowned beaches and high quality of life. So, it’s not surprising that people around the world are attracted to this English-speaking country with its agreeable climate and strong economy.


There are several popular cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Cairns, each offering a unique environment to work, live and study in. Visit Melbourne for iconic street art, world-famous coffee and varied live music venues. Or alternatively, experience the year-long glorious weather of Perth in addition to its wildlife and sandy beaches.


Australia is blessed with many diverse and natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru in the northern territory and the Twelve Apostles in Victoria. Swim with manta rays, skydive, learn to scuba dive or take a road trip along the Great Ocean Road. If you’re looking for an adventure, Australia could be the right fit for you.

People in Australia are notoriously laid-back, friendly and easy-going which makes for a warm and welcoming culture. Australia is also home to the oldest surviving settlement of citizens known as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have an extensive history in the country. As Australia is such a desirable destination, many people migrate from Asia, Europe and Africa.


In addition, sport is a uniting force in Australia, bringing people together to celebrate different sporting events such as AFL (Australian Football League), surfing, cricket and netball. If sport isn’t your calling, then perhaps you’d be more interested in the art, culture and music scene. You can find renowned museums and galleries in almost every major city in Australia. For example, the National Gallery of Victoria holds 70,000 pieces of art and is Australia’s oldest gallery. As you can see, there’s far more to Australia than its reputation for beaches and barbeques.


Learn more about the different territories in Australia with our destination guides.


Study in New Zealand

Another popular English-speaking country with an abundance of spectacular landscapes and an outdoor lifestyle. The varied landscapes of New Zealand cater for a wide array of experiences such as tranquil views of mountains and lakes contrasted with high adrenaline sports such as white-water rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking and skiing.


New Zealand is ideal for anyone who loves wildlife, nature and the environment. One weekend you could find yourself whale watching and the next capturing pictures of resident penguins.

Besides the landscapes, you might be wondering why New Zealand fosters such an active lifestyle. The answer is the weather. A warm and moderate climate with some rainfall allows for the beautiful lush green scenery, encouraging people to get outside. Yet, as with the other countries mentioned here, you can of course also experience city life while living in New Zealand.


Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown are some of the most well-trodden cities in New Zealand. The University of Auckland, for example, is the nation’s top-ranking institution, placing 179th in the world. Located in the harbour city of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, students have easy access to beaches and rainforests as well as the buzzing city life of theatres, cafes, restaurants and shops. Wellington is another popular spot for tourists and students alike which could be down to both the creative and brunching culture.


New Zealand is also highly esteemed for being a particularly clean, friendly and safe country. In fact, New Zealand ranks as the second safest out of 163 other countries (Global Peace Index 2020). So, you can feel comfortable and at ease while studying or working there.


Find more detailed information on each of New Zealand’s key cities.


Study in the USA

The U.S. is both expansive and diverse with 50 different states each offering a totally unique lifestyle, culture and experience. Yet despite this variance, there are some commonalities between the lifestyle and culture of each state. Firstly, people in the U.S. work a lot, which is said to be related to the idea of the American Dream.


This work ethic in combination with a reputation as the world’s most influential and powerful economy means a degree or work experience from the U.S. is highly regarded around the world. In fact, more than one million international students choose the USA to further their studies. This could be for a myriad of reasons, but our guess is the variety, diverse culture and global reputation of universities and courses. It’s not just the universities stealing the show, U.S. culture has spread throughout the world with its popular TV shows, music and films influencing every corner of the world.

More specifically, the type of lifestyle and experience you want really depends on where in the U.S. you choose to study. Places like New York are well suited to people who enjoy a fast-paced, independent lifestyle with plenty to do and see such as watching a Broadway show, try different cuisines and visit galleries and museums. This city alone attracts more than 75,000 international students.


Somewhere like Texas or Alabama is going to offer a very different experience indeed, with a much more outdoor and relaxed lifestyle. Our advice is to read up on a few of the states and cities to figure out what sounds most appealing to you. The great thing about studying in the USA is that there is so much choice and many options to suit your preferences.


Hopefully, you’re now feeling inspired by the different cultures and lifestyles in each of these top study destinations to start searching for courses to begin your own study abroad journey.

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