Deciding the best country to study in is a daunting task. There’s a lot to take into consideration, from what country you might already have family and friends in, to where it is you’ve always dreamed of travelling. With world-class universities and colleges scattered throughout the globe, thinking about all your options can be overwhelming.
So how do you hold back the fear that you’ll make the wrong decision?
There’s plenty of information out there on the Internet to help you make your decision. However, the best approach for you to take, is to think about the factors that matter to you most.
We’ve started you off with the four factors we think should be most important to you when you’re choosing where you should study. We’ll talk about the quality of your life while you study, the quality of your education, your likelihood of safety, and your job prospects (while you study, and when you graduate).
Here’s a spoiler for you, though. While we’re definitely biased, our analysis shows that Australia is the best country to study in.
1. Your Quality of Life
Overall Quality of Life Rankings
The lifestyle and culture of the city you choose are definitely going to make a difference to how happy you’ll be while you study.
Let’s take a look at global rankings into the quality of life you’ll find in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, and the UK.
According to OECD’s Better Life Index, Australia ranks third highest in quality of life, Canada ranks fifth highest, the United States eighth, New Zealand eleventh, and the United Kingdom sixteenth. According to the United Nations Human Development Index, Australia ranks second highest in quality of life, Canada tenth, USA eleventh, and the United Kingdom sixteenth.
Here’s another good word for Australia: seven times in a row, The Economist has ranked Melbourne as the most liveable city in the world! Two more Australian cities – Sydney and Adelaide – also make it into the world’s top ten most liveable cities. If you’ve ever experienced Australia’s cultural diversity, beaches and world-class treks, you’ll have a good idea on why its cities feature so highly and why we say that it is the best country to study in.
Who doesn’t want to wake up to bright and sunny mornings every day? Making the daily trip to your university or college campus is certainly a better experience! In fact, warmer climates are often related to happier outlooks on life.
The average high temperature in major cities of English-speaking countries have Sydney sitting at 18 ºC, New York at 13 ºC, London at 10.3 ºC, and Vancouver 10.4 ºC
With four seasons, Australia is blessed with mild weather, perfect to explore its’ world-class, sunny beaches. You’ll also find that the two big Australian cities, Melbourne and Sydney, do not feature the extreme winters found in the Europe and North America.
What Other Students Say
According to more than 50,000 students who share their experiences with the QS Best Student Cities Index, Melbourne ranks as the third best student city in the world, just behind Munich and Montreal.
New York received an ‘honourable mention’, with high rankings for staying after graduation. On overall score, London ranks first, Tokyo second, Melbourne third, Vancouver 17th, and New York 18th.
2. The Quality of Education
Most degrees will take you three to four years. You’ll undoubtedly be spending a lot of time with professors, in libraries, and listening to lectures. You want to choose a university or college with a quality of education that sets you apart from your peers is important, and you’ll also want to know you’re spending your time and money wisely as you prepare for your future after graduation.
Quality of Education Rankings
Rankings such as Shanghai Jia Tong (ARWU), Times Higher Education and QS are well-respected and recognised, and historically rank British and American universities at the top of their lists. While these rankings are great to have, they do not reflect where most international students are most likely to gain admission.
So let’s take a step back.
Let’s think about all the universities and colleges in English-speaking countries, and then see what percentage of them rank in the top 200 in these studies (relative to the total number of institutions). Taking this approach will give you a better and more realistic idea of the quality of education in a given country.
ARWU’s top 200 ranking boast an enormous one-quarter of Australia’s 40 universities! On the other hand, 15% of the UK’s universities make it into the top 200, and just 8.5% of Canada’s. You’ll find less than 1% of the United State’s universities in the top 200. These are facts that show you why Australia is the best country to study in.
Your chances of selecting a higher quality university is most likely when you study in Australia.
Studying overseas is exiting – no doubt about it! But you also want to make sure that the country you choose to study in is a safe one.
Research has shown that there’s a clear link between the size of a population and the rate of crime. So let’s talk about population sizes for a moment.
Australia’s population sits at just over 24 million. Canada’s population sits at 36 million, the UK’s at 65 million, and the United States at 325 million.
In terms of safety in Australia in particular, we’ll also add that it boasts access to affordable and health insurances, has tight gun laws, and world-class hospitals.
4. Job Prospects
When you graduate, you want to get a job – right? It’s a no-brainer!
You also want to know that you can get a part-time job while you study. Relying solely on your family for funds while you’re studying is a lot of pressure for them. Even worse, is relying on your savings account for three or four years.
So, the best way to set yourself up for your best job prospects is to study in a country that’ll give you the opportunity to support yourself while you study and when you graduate.
Part-Time Work While You Study
A lot of countries have tight restrictions around what part-time work you can and cannot take while you study. In the US, for example, students cannot work off-campus in their first year. After that, they’re limited to work a maximum of 20 hours a week. The minimum wage in the US is equivalent to around $AU9.80.
Canada also has strict restrictions on how much international students can work while they study.
However, in Australia, international students work up to 40 hours per fortnight. It’s a generous allowance, and one that a lot of international students choose to do – whether in hospitality, administration, or in their chosen field of study to prepare their CV for graduation. It’s also worth noting that Australia has a generous $AU18.93 minimum wage. As you can see these job opportunities add value to our opinion of Australia as the best country to study in.
Getting A Job When You Graduate
Canada, the UK, and the USA, tend not to have government-supported programs or assistance to help international students find work when they graduate. In the USA, you may receive a one-year visa if you’re a graduate of science, technology, engineering or maths.
International students in Australia who complete at least two years of study can be eligible to receive a two-year working visa when they graduate. In some cases, a three or four year working visa when you graduate can even be an option.
So, what do you think?
The country you choose to study in is a huge decision – and an important one too! How you decide what the ‘best’ country is for you depends on what you value the most.
For us, considering the quality of your life, the quality of your education, your likelihood of safety, and your job prospects (while you study, and when you graduate) are the most important factors you should take into consideration.
Based on our analysis, of the English-speaking countries most international students choose, Australia is the best country to study in.
What do you think? Do you find the idea of studying in Australia appealing?
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