The most popular destinations for studying abroad this year – education

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Global education hubs have created study abroad programmes that attract students from around the world. Factors such as world-class faculty, practical skills and extensive research-based learning programs have made destinations such as Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Germany emerge as the most preferred study abroad destinations.

However, the-career focused students of today are looking for more than just top-notch education. While choosing their overseas destination for studies, they also focus on the kind of post-study work scenario with the motive of enhancing their career prospects. After all, the facility of working in the same country immediately after completing the course can further enhance a student’s career plans and they also get a better understanding of the course’s applicability in the host country. In line with these expectations, several education hubs have implemented post-study work visas that allow students to land their dream job in a foreign land.

For lakhs of Indians who choose to go overseas for their education every year, finding post-study work opportunities as well as securing permanent residence are the most important considerations.

But how do the top five study destinations – UK, US, Canada, Australia and Germany — compare in terms of tuition fees, cost of living and chances of securing work visas?

Here’s a quick look at overseas education destinations that has been the popular choice of International students.


Canada has been the favourite destination for international students from the past couple of years due to its quality of education through Canadian universities don’t rank in the top 10 universities in QS World University ranking 2019.

With affordable tuition fees, Post-study work permits, & PR opportunities, Canada has created its stand among other countries in a race to attract international students from all over the world. With elections coming in October 2019, we might see the shift in the policies which may impact the current scenario of the Canadian International Education system.


The UK has recently pushed it further by offering a 2-year post-study work permit to the international students and affordable tuition fees. Four of the UK universities rank in top QS world university ranking 2019. The UK always had a global reputation and popularity of its education system. As per the “The Global University Employability Ranking 2017,” UK universities produce most employable graduates worldwide.


Australia ranks 3rd in the “QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings 2018,” making it the most popular study abroad destination. Further, with affordable tuition fees when compared to UK & USA, Australia also offers a three-year post-study work permit to international students for the regional area to balance the workforce throughout Australia, which further leads to a pathway to Permanent Residency in Australia. Also, if we look less than half end up working in a role related to their field of study, according to a recent report published by Deakin University, which is a concern area for many International students. This report has slide its position to the third number.


Universities of the USA ranks in the top 5 “QS world university ranking 2019” and has consistently maintained its ranking with the highest quality of education. Though 1.18 million students were studying in the USA in 2017, higher tuition fees, and not favourable post-study work permit, the USA took the spot to number fourth when compared to the other countries in terms of costs, work permit rights and PR opportunities. Ever since it toughened, its policies students have shifted the focus to Canada and recently more towards the UK after recent post-study work permit announcement.

Other popular Destinations Germany

Germany ranks fifth in the ranking through having the lowest tuition fees when compared to all the above countries and is best for students looking to study in the automotive and heavy machinery sector. Germany offers 18-month post-study work permit to its students, but the constraint for International students is the language as it is the top study destination for non-English speakers of the world.


Singapore has easy study visa norms, higher tuition fees, but strict PR opportunities for International students. Students after completing studies, need to apply for a 12-month pass, and the whole process is cumbersome for the students, and higher living costs further slide its position to the bottom.

(The author is Director, ESS Global-Study Abroad Consultant. Views expressed here are personal.)


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