Top 5 places to study abroad

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Studying abroad is becoming increasingly popular with Nigerian students but with so many options which countries should you consider?

International study appeals to Nigerian students for a number of reasons, including; the opportunity for adventure; the chance to learn a second language or to escape the rising tuition fees at home; not to mention the valuable addition a period studying abroad adds to your CV.

According to the latest data from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) an estimated 28,000 students from the Nigeria opted to study for their degree in foreign climes in 2012, but with a world of options to choose from how do you narrow it down? Let us help with that…

Germany

As one of the most popular study destinations in the world there are more international students in Germany than in any other country in the European Union (EU) besides the UK, and when you start looking at the facts it's not hard to see why.

Most universities are public and free to attend for international students. While Bachelors degrees are usually free of charge, some Masters courses may incur a fee; however this will be considerably less than in the UK.

Another plus point drawing UK students to the country is the increasing number of Masters programmes taught in English, however it's worth noting that a grasp of German will come in handy.

Berlin and Munich are regularly voted among the most affordable student cities, with both locations boasting low living costs and top universities such as Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

 

Australia

A common destination for gap year backpackers, the country also has a strong reputation for higher education.

Unlike their German counterparts, Australia is officially one of the most expensive countries in the world for international students, with average fees and living costs combined reaching $42,093 (£27,600) according to research by HSBC.

Despite the expense Australia is still the third most popular international student destination in the world, after the UK and USA. Melbourne and Sydney are frequently named among the best student cities in the world.

With 22,000 courses covered by 1,100 institutions, students Down Under are spoilt for choice.

 

Canada

Most famous for its natural beauty (and its maple syrup) Canada is fast becoming the go-to destination for international students seeking a study adventure.

With a global reputation for educational excellence, Canadian qualifications are recognised throughout the world.

As a postgraduate student you'll still have to pay tuition fees, but in comparison to the UK and USA it's reasonably priced and there are scholarships available if you need extra help. While Canada might not be the cheapest destination in terms of living costs, the country regularly features highly in standard of living indexes.

Head to Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver to study at the country's top rated institutions with the University of Toronto, McGill University and the University of British Columbia ranked first, second and third respectively by the QS World University Rankings 2014/15.

 

France

Just a hop, skip and a jump away by plane, train or ferry France's close proximity to our shores certainly factors in the country's popularity with students looking to study abroad.

However, the short distance from home isn't the only reason. French higher education particularly that provided in Paris is held in high regard all over the world. École Normale Supérieure, École Polytechnique and Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) are the top ranked institutions in the country according to the QS World Rankings.

Low tuition fees go some way to offset high living costs in the capital city so while fees may be cheap you'll still need to budget to live comfortably.

 

USA

When it comes to finding a study abroad experience to suit you, you can't fail in the USA. Spanning different time zones, climates and cultures the country has more than 4,000 higher education institutions to choose from, and if you decide that you don't love the university you're studying at? Just switch, moving between institutions isn't uncommon in America.

Major student cities include New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, which house many of the country's top universities such as:

  • Columbia University (New York);
  • New York University;
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Boston);
  • Harvard University (Boston);
  • University of Chicago;
  • Stanford (San Francisco);
  • University California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Alternative options

If these countries fail to capture your imagination additional locations, which regularly feature in 'top study abroad destination' lists, include:

  • China;
  • Czech Republic;
  • Italy;
  • Japan;
  • Netherlands;
  • New Zealand;
  • Spain;
  • Switzerland.