If you’re thinking of studying abroad, then the main decisions to be made are where you’d like to go and the particular university you want to study at. Choosing a new place to live and study in is an important personal choice, and the options are endless. Thinking about the following factors can help you work out where is best for you.
Choose the right location for you
Remember, the best place for other students might not be right for you.
You may prefer to study in a smaller town or city close to the countryside. As an international student, you'll be trying to learn about a new culture, so think about whether you’d want to do that in a built up city or would be happier somewhere a bit quieter. Capital or larger cities are a popular and appealing place to study with good universities, but for some students they might be overwhelming.
Consider what you’d want from a city, and whether that’s nightlife, green spaces, or art. You may have particular interests that lend themselves to a certain country, state or city. Your preference for warmer or colder weather may also help you narrow down your search.
Think about where other international students are
It could be important to you that you’re part of a large community of international students. In this case, there are cities that are particularly popular with other international students that would be a good place to start:
Other students from your home country may study abroad in the same countries and cities because it’s easy to travel back home from time to time. Others may choose a particular country because of its international reputation for a high standard of education.
Estimate the costs of studying abroad
It’s important to think about your budget for studying abroad and factor in the cost of living in certain countries or cities. In many cases you’ll have to prove your ability to finance all of your studies when applying for a visa, so you’ll have to look within your budget.
With such a large number of universities offering international study there will be something for everyone, so deciding on what you can afford to spend on tuition and living expenses will help determine a country or city to study in.
Decide which university to go to
A good place to start finding a suitable university is by deciding on a subject. There’s a lot of choice when it comes to degrees and studying can be challenging, so focus on picking something you’re passionate about, or want to pursue as a career.
Once you know what you want to do, you’ll narrow down your options to universities that offer that subject.
Look at the details of degree programs
Universities’ degree programs vary in terms of content. There may be a specific area of research you are interested in that is only covered at a few universities.
Read through program outlines and see if the particular areas you’re wanting to learn about are covered, or if you can major in them. You may also find that certain universities offer dual degrees that appeal to your interests.
Consider where universities rank
Rankings can give you a good overall idea of how good universities are in comparison to each other, and how an institution is viewed externally.
It’s worth seeing which universities are particularly renowned for the subject you’ve chosen as they may be ranked better for particular subjects rather than overall.