Written By - Binary Singh
Studying abroad seems to be an overwhelming experience for millions of students who believe in developing a global perspective through exposure to innovative ideas and world-class education. With so many countries offering a plethora of education opportunities, selecting an appropriate study destination is a big challenge.
Before heading to any country for higher education, it is imperative to consider a few important factors, such as the cost of education, the cost of living, the acceptance rate of international students, the return on investment, and lastly the overall advantages of studying in that country.
So how would you know which country will suit you the most? Probably international students studying in different countries can give you the real and deeper insights into the best study abroad destinations. According to one of the surveys conducted by Cturtleon on international graduates in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, and New Zealand, the countries which have emerged as the best and popular study destinations are Canada and New Zealand. Furthermore, it was found from the study that most of the international students chose a particular university based on its overall global ranking and its location and nearly 81% of the respondents stated better career outcomes as the main reason to study abroad.
Well, this information does not seem to be solving our confusion over the best study abroad destinations. Let’s learn what it is to study in the top 6 countries for international students and choose the best one for us.
Every academic year, Canada welcomes nearly 180,000 international students from various parts of the world and notably has emerged as the most popular study-abroad destinations globally. Let’s learn how.
Seeking a degree from one of the Canadian universities can surely open many avenues for an international student. The academic excellence of Canadian universities has been widely recognized worldwide. 26 of the Canadian universities were ranked in the QS World University Rankings 2020 and 27 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings2020.
With a strong emphasis on research and development, Canada stands out as one of the most sought after destinations for excellent research opportunities after the USA.
The acceptance rate is one of the important factors which decides the destiny of a student wishing to study abroad. Among all the popular destinations, the top Canadian universities have the highest acceptance rate which typically ranges between 40% and 58%. This implies that students have got fairly a good chance of getting into one of the reputed universities in Canada. Let’s have a look at the table given below for a clearer picture:
|Name of the University||Average Acceptance Rate|
|University of Toronto||40%|
|University of British Columbia||52.4%|
|University of Waterloo||52%|
|University of Montreal||57%|
Considering the quality of education, Canada is much affordable than other counterparts like the USA and the UK. The tuition fee depends entirely upon the nationality and the level of study. For an international student, the tuition fee typically ranges between CA$13,500 and CA$35,000 for one academic year. One can apply for various international scholarships to study in Canada to make education more affordable.
The living expenses in Canada are much cheaper despite the high standards and high quality of living. Students get the option to choose between on-campus and off-campus accommodation options. Staying on-campus may cost around CA$8,000-CA$10,000 for a year, while staying in a shared rented apartment may cost around CA$400-CA$700 on a monthly basis.
A majority of the Canadian workforce is engaged in the service sector. Seeking lucrative job opportunities after completion of a formal degree is quite easy if you have the required skillset. The average salary of employees in Canada is CA$48,403 in a year, which is a decent number leading to a good return on investment.
Studying in Canada comes with pros, such as:
The reasons why it’s not a good option to study in Canada are:
After a gap of several years, Australia is again emerging as one of the popular destinations to study abroad. It seems that as of September 2019, Australia welcomed nearly 720,150 students, which is 11% higher than in 2018. The primary reason being it is home to some of the most renowned universities in the world, of which nearly 43 universities are quite popular among international students with 21 institutions located within the East Coast only.
However, there are other factors that make Australia a good destination for higher education, let’s find out what they are!
The acceptance rate of international students at Australian universities falls between 2-50% with an average acceptance rate being 22%. This is a fair rate of acceptance and indicates that there is a good probability of an international student to get into an Australian university if the entry requirements are met adequately.
In terms of affordability, Australia is much more expensive than any other country. The average tuition fee ranges between AU$15,00 and AU$37,000 depending upon the course one opts for.And as part of the living expenses, one needs to spend around AU$20,290 every year, which is way too high! For affordable education, one can always look for various scholarships to study in Australia.
According to one of the surveys conducted by IAJN on international students from China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, nearly 70% of the students were found to be happy with the return on investment. Reportedly, 50% of the students earned a salary of A$19,930 per year in their 1st job, while 33% earned over A$67,729 per year.
You can count on these pros to study in Australia:
Here’s why you should look for other study destinations and not Australia:
The US has the largest population of international students in the world with over 1,000,000 students planning to enrich their educational and professional experience in the US. It is estimated that around international students account for 5% of the international student population and the number is surging day by day. Let’s find out the reasons why the US can be or cannot be a good study-abroad destination.
The higher education system of the US is regarded as the best in the world, however, in terms of the acceptance rate, it seems to be quite stringent. When compared to the top universities in Canada, the acceptance rate of the American universities is nearly 12 times lower in percentage, which is around 2-10% only. This clearly shows how difficult it is to get into the top universities in the US, until one has exceptional academic records and other competencies.
Let’s have a look at the acceptance rate of the top American universities for better insights:
|University Name||Acceptance Rate|
|Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate School||2%|
|Curtis Institute of Music||4%|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||7%|
Pursuing higher education in the US can be a costly affair for international students as the average cost to study in the top-tier universities may cost up to $60,000. The public universities are relatively cheaper than private ones. The tuition fee varies considerably based on the university you are enrolled in. In a public university, the tuition fee goes up to $26,290, while in a private university, the tuition fee may cost you around $35,830 averagely for international students.
Coming to the living expenses, students may have to spend between $8,660 and $12,680 depending upon the accommodation options one opts for. Looking at the expenses one may think of applying for scholarships, but unfortunately, there are only a handful of scholarships that are available for international students. Thus, it’s recommended that students arrange enough funds before heading to the US for higher studies.
With a GDP amounting to $18.62 trillion, the economy of the USA stands at the top. The ROI somewhat depends upon the type and level of the program completed. For instance, the probability of getting higher paycheque increases after completing an MS rather than a bachelor's degree from the US. Furthermore, a degree in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering or Management can yield better income outcomes.
After graduating from a US-based institution, one can earn $30,000 on average. After gaining some experience, one can earn nearly $60,154. However, one must learn that the jobs in the US are quite competitive and only cream-layer students can make up to a good work opportunity.
The US can be a good study destination because:
Reasons why you need to rethink before deciding to study in the US:
Considering the quality of education and the ease with which students get into universities, New Zealand caters to over 60,348 international students every academic year. Notably, NewZealand has only 8 universities and all of them have found a place in the top 3% of universities in the world. Here we bring you the reasons why or why not one should prefer New Zealand as a study-abroad destination.
Getting into a university in New Zealand can be a cakewalk if students can meet the eligibility criteria adequately as the acceptance rate of the universities there is as high as 75%. One good thing is that the entry requirements are not very stringent and students with decent academic records can easily make it to one of the top universities in New Zealand.
New Zealand is one of the most affordable countries when it comes to pursuing higher education. It is said that New Zealand is 18% cheaper than in Australia and 36% cheaper than in Canada. This can be advantageous for all such students who want global exposure at affordable costs. The tuition fee and cost of living depend solely on the type of program chosen and the type of lifestyle one opts for.
The tuition fee for a UG degree ranges between NZ$ 18,000 and NZ$ 40,000, while the PG courses may cost between NZ$ 20,000 and NZ$ 35,000 every academic year. Normally, the living cost would vary between NZ$ 10,000 to NZ$ 15,000 per academic year.
ROI is one of the main factors one takes into consideration before planning to study abroad. Over the past few years, sectors such as construction, architecture, and design have witnessed a major surge in the salary in New Zealand and thus welcomes students in galore. Seeking a job in New Zealand is comparatively easier than countries like the US. Within two years of graduation, one can expect to earn up to NZ$ 52,690 in an year.
Pros of studying in New Zealand are:
Cons of choosing New Zealand as a study-abroad destination :
The UK is home to some of the oldest education institutions in the world. Over several years, the UK has developed an education system that is acknowledged worldwide for the best research and academic offerings. Every year, the UK witnesses over 500,000 international students enrolling in different programs. This is a huge number in itself showcasing the popularity of the UK among international students.
The UK universities are quite selective while choosing their prospective students. On analyzing the acceptance rate of different universities, it has been found that the average acceptance rate of the top-notch universities in the UK falls in the range of 22% to 38%. Hence international students get a fair chance of acceptance only if they can show skills in addition to the academic accomplishments.
Studying in the UK is quite costly when compared to the other study destinations. Over the years, a surge in the cost of attendance has been witnessed making it worrisome for international students. The tuition fee of the programs varies as per the levels and subject area, for e.g, the medical courses cost higher than the rest. Depending upon the program, the average tuition fee ranges between £10,000 and £38,000. While the average living cost may go up to £12,200 for a single academic year.
Although the cost of studying in the UK is exceptionally high, students can still expect a good return on investment, especially MBA graduates. With recent amendments in the work visa policies, now it has become relatively easier for international students to stay back in the UK for better job opportunities. It is said that upon graduation, one can expect a median salary of £30,000 and with experience it can go up to £90,000.
The pros of studying in the UK are:
The cons of studying in the UK are:
So now we expect that by now you are sorted with the study-abroad destination that suits best to your requirements both in terms of education quality and affordability. We wish you the best for your future endeavors and hope that you will excel well in your career.