What is the best country for Study Abroad? It’s a genuine and essential question to ask prior to taking the other steps toward college admissions. The answer is not as simple: it depends. There are many factors to take into account before choosing a country where you want to study undergrad or postgrad course. Although the below list of countries is not exhaustive, we will consider – in alphabetical order – Australia, Canada, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States.
Before we get into the pros and cons of studying in each country, let’s understand that we must look beyond college before taking a final call. Some students simply want to finish their education and return to their home country. Others want to remain and join the workforce, while a few might want to continue climbing the education ladder. In our dozen years of experience, very few students want to return immediately after obtaining a diploma. Hence, let’s focus on the other two categories.
Here’s a simple way of looking at all these countries. On one side, you can put Australia, Canada, UK and Singapore – all former British colonies in one way or another. Consequently, a majority of courses, with some exceptions, are three years in duration. There are some courses, usually honors degrees, that can go up to four years. In all these countries, students can work part-time or full-time (limited to off-school season) for not-so-high wages.
On the other hand, in the United States, all undergrad courses are four years long. While one more year of college doesn’t automatically mean better outcome, here are a couple of key differences. First, U.S. colleges do not require you to declare a major during the admission process. You have up to two full years to do that. Secondly, universities in the United States believe in a well-rounded education and give students a choice of courses to choose from, while concentrating on their major of choice. Changing majors or picking up a minor along the way is much easier in the U.S. system. While an international student is allowed to work on-campus, in order to work off-campus, he or she needs to take permission. The duration of this job, while in college, is subtracted from the OPT visa length. Please note for STEM courses, the OPT is for three years, otherwise, one year.
You’re probably thinking, hey, isn’t it better to be done in three years rather than four? Yes and no. What is your goal? What are your plans post graduation? Does the flexibility and choice afforded by the U.S. education system matter to you? What about the size of the economy and GDP? Where are your best job prospects? Where do you have family or other connections? All these points must be taken into account.
Where do you have the best chance of getting admitted into a quality university? Here’s it’s all about the numbers. For example, Singapore has about 3 universities at the most that are rated highly; Canada has about 6 and UK, perhaps, 10 with Australia having around 5. Compared to these numbers, the United States has a minimum of 50 universities that offer outstanding education, given its size and financial muscle.
For pursuing post-graduate studies, the process is similar, although, the emphasis should be more on the faculty and area of specialization. One must also understand the possibility of research and tutoring opportunities to reduce one’s overall expenditure.
We hope this article has shed some light on how to go about choosing a country for study abroad. Feel free to visit uwezolearning.com or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org and get a free 20-minute counseling appointment to erase any further doubts.