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How to Decide Where To Study Abroad

February 10, 2017

Deciding to study abroad can be an extremely exciting time but choosing where to study abroad can be a massive undertaking. The decision shouldn’t be taken lightly and there are a variety of factors to consider when choosing where to study abroad.

Tuition fees and living costs

Studying abroad can be expensive so it’s important to work out exactly how much your education is going to cost. Not only is there tuition fees to consider, but the cost of living varies widely from country to country; and from city to city. For example, the UK is the most expensive place to study in Europe, but the north is much more affordable than the south. Work out your budget and look for countries that fit in with that. Germany, for example offers free tuition for both EU and Non-EU citizens.

University rankings

If you value the quality of the institution above all else, then it’s worth looking at official university rankings such as the QS World University Rankings to find out where the best universities are. When it comes to first-class education, the UK is far ahead of the rest of Europe, with four institutions in the top 10 QS World University Rankings for 2016. However, the top 3 schools are all in the USA.

Your specific subject

Another way to evaluate which university is best for you is to look at your specific subject. This will give you a clearer idea of which school is strongest in your specific subject. Just because a university ranks highly, it doesn’t mean it’s a leader in your chosen subject. For example, the highest ranked university in the world is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), but if you’re looking to study English Literature, it’s probably not the best choice. Different countries also have different subject strengths. For example, the UK and France have strong health and medical specialities, whilst Germany has a strong reputation for training engineers.

Career opportunities

The whole point of getting a higher education degree is to enable you to have better career opportunities. So it’s worth taking a look at which countries offer this. If you’re looking for a high salary after graduation, Denmark leads the way on that front. However, if you’re looking to get straight into work once you’ve left university, the UK, Sweden and Netherlands have the highest employment rates within the first three months of graduating.

What’s your dream destination?

Another way to decide where to study abroad is to see which countries you’ve always wanted to see. Have you always wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower? Has London always been the city of your dreams? Remember that you’re not just moving abroad to study; you’re going to live there for an extended period of time, so you should enjoy your time there. If you study in France for example, it’s very easy to visit neighbouring countries which could be on your bucket list.

Look at the number of international students

If a country, or certain university, has a large international student population, it’s a good indicator of student satisfaction and that they are welcoming to foreign students. This is important when deciding where to study as a large international student population can make you feel more at ease, increase your confidence and make your overall university experience more enjoyable.

If you’re considering studying abroad and need some more help and advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us at IEC Abroad.