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How to Choose the Right Country for Overseas Education?

How to Choose the Right Country for Overseas Education?

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Planning to study abroad but confused about the destination? Read the blog to know the hacks to choose the right country for overseas education

GyanDhan
Aman
Updated on:  04 Sep 2023  | Reviewed By: 
Ankit Mehra 
| 4.93K | 8  min read

Abroad education is a big decision for Indian families and choosing the country of education directly impacts an individual’s life. We all know that education abroad is pretty costly, and the decision involves substantial money. Even for whom money isn’t a big factor, the place of education decides the future course of the journey for sure. Several destinations come into our mind once we start thinking of abroad education. The US, the UK, Europe, Australia, Canada, etc., are the most preferred locations among Indians. There are different factors that students should consider before choosing the country for overseas education.


Education in foreign countries comes with a substantial monetary cost, but quality education also makes a difference for a lifetime. There are many places where students can pursue higher education, but the moot question that concerns students is “which country is best for studying abroad?” There is no one-size-fits-all approach. A country that can be a really great choice for one set of students might not be the perfect location for another set of students. So, there are certain metrics on which the students can compare countries and then make an informed decision in this regard. 

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Factors that help students in choosing the country for overseas education 
The factors mentioned below help students decide which country to choose for studying abroad and answer all the questions.

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The selection of Course or Field of Study

The most challenging decision for an individual is choosing the course they wish to pursue abroad. The selection of the right course is very important as this is something which is going to be there for the rest of the life. The country for overseas education is only for a certain period of time, but the course decides the next phase of life. One must narrow down their field of interests and then choose the right program. Once a student is certain about the program, they can start searching for the universities that are best at that particular field of study.

For Mechanical Engineering graduates, Germany could be the best location for studies. Those wanting to move ahead with their career in law and medicine might choose the UK as their preferred location for studies. Similarly, computer science graduates might choose the US as their preferred location. Someone from fashion design should choose France or Italy. Students wanting to pursue MBA usually prefer Australia, Spain, the US, the UK as they have some of the best business schools in the world.

Read more aboutTop STEM Masters Courses for Studying Abroad

So, it is an entirely subjective issue, and thorough research is the sole way to ensure qualitative education. It’s not as if other locations don’t have good courses, but one must understand that it’s always desired to strive for the best with such investments. There is no dearth of information on the internet about particular fields of study and the universities that are best for these courses. Choosing a course must rest on some strict rules, e.g. the employment opportunities, the scope of that field of study 20-30 years down the line, the present advancement in that field of study, and any other factor that the student might feel relevant. 

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Scope Post Completion Of the Degree/Program

Anyone choosing an abroad location for studies has certain goals in their minds. Everyone wants some sort of advancement in their careers to post completion of their studies. Few students might wish to study more, while others may choose to start their professional careers. So, all these factors must be considered while choosing a particular course at a university.

As mentioned above, there are ready markets for certain courses in some countries. Somebody wanting to pursue an MBA from Spain, the US, and Australia has a thriving European, American and Australian economy to give them job opportunities right after college. Similarly, someone doing a course on fashion designing doesn’t have to run to another country for the job; they can get it right in France or Italy. So, choosing the location must be seen from the perspective of employment in the future. As the ultimate aim for taking such a high amount of loans is to take up a job and start the repayment

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Criteria for Entering a Particular Country 

Not all countries give a choice to pursue courses at all levels to international students. Even if they do, the criteria are somewhat more stringent than those readily available courses. For instance, courses at the bachelor level in most German, Swiss and other European countries are in those languages only which are spoken in the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA). So choosing an EU or EEA country might be an uphill task for those who wish to study for a bachelor’s degree in these countries. While in countries like the US or the UK, international students are readily welcomed as the main language of instruction is English.

While when it comes to master’s programs, the EU or EEA gives ample choices to international students as there are ample courses that are taught in English. Another criterion that universities put forward is the passing of particular tests. Some universities might make it compulsory to take the GRE or GMAT test, while others may not. Similarly, some universities have stringent rules regarding the IELTS or TOEFL, while others might not put any requirements. Also, the score requirement in these tests varies from one course to another. For instance, someone going for masters in English literature might have section specific cut-offs too for IELTS or TOEFL, while it might not be there for someone who is going for masters in Mathematics. So, one must check these criteria as these are some basic conditions that an individual has to fulfil in order to get entry to their preferred destination. 

Read more about: Best MBA Countries: Top 10 Universities 

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Cost of Abroad Education 

The cost of education is perhaps the most important factor affecting most students. Since there are many students from middle and lower-middle-income group families that wish to take an abroad education, the cost of education is of paramount importance.

There is no denying that this is a very strong reason why a good number of students refrain from going abroad. So, we will discuss this section into two sets of costs that a student has to bear for abroad education.

Read more about: Cost of studying abroad

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Tuition fee is a considerably big expense when it comes to studying abroad. Most countries abroad have high tuition fees, and that affects the choice of university. Not everyone has the financial means to invest huge sums of money in tuition fees. So, one must choose a university for which the chances of getting a bank loan is high and also ensure that there is no compromise on the qualitative aspect. Usually, Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and other financial institutions maintain a list of countries and universities for which they readily give loans. 

The tuition fee in countries like the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada is pretty high compared to some prominent European countries. The reason is that most of the top universities in the US are privately owned. In comparison, countries like Germany, Switzerland, etc., have low tuition fees in their public universities. However, private universities in Europe have a high fee structure. So, while selecting a country, one must weigh the tuition fee, but this certainly shouldn’t be the only criteria. An MS degree from MIT or Stanford is way more valuable than any other university in the world. But while comparing equal footings, one must aim for a country that has a relatively lower tuition fee. 

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Living Expenses Of a Country 

It is also a considerable expense that one has to bear while studying abroad. Students from India don’t have much idea about living expenses since most Indian cities have relatively affordable living costs. But this isn’t the case with countries abroad. The cost of living is exponentially higher than in Indian cities, and that’s why banks include the cost of living as part of the loan amount. For example, the minimum cost of living in Switzerland is around 2000 CHF or INR 1,64,000 per month.

At the same time, the tuition fee is abysmally low, and it is around 75,000 per semester in public universities. So, the cost of living is something that can’t be ignored. And, if we compare it with a reputed institution like Princeton University, it is located in New Jersey where the tuition fee is INR 43,57,000 while the cost of living is around INR 6,32,000 for rent and groceries. This is something that makes a great deal of difference in the living expense. So, one must choose the country by factoring in all the expenses. 

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Cultural and Lifestyle Pattern

People don’t usually give much weightage to this aspect and think that they can adjust to it. But this isn’t the case as once a student goes abroad for higher studies, they also have to assimilate with the people and society. So, it is very important to know the community and culture as living in a society where one doesn’t feel comfortable will be a big hurdle in studies. 

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The Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Investment 

Going abroad and taking a degree is not only about studies and gaining knowledge. It is an investment on which there must be a good return from a practical aspect. If taking a degree can make a substantial difference in employment status and open up new avenues, then it’s worth the money one spends abroad. So, one must research well about the job prospects, the future earnings, the status of employment in India after completion of the course, etc. An informed decision at this stage can save money and time and shape the future. 

These are some of the factors that students should consider as the amount spent on loans is pretty high. If needed, many counselors help students make an informed choice. These counselling facilities are available both online and offline. They have experts who have years of expertise in dealing with education abroad, and they can be of great help to students planning for overseas education. 

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