It is not a bad idea to study abroad, but choosing the right host country is probably the most important decision that needs to be made. It will not only affect the course of your personal and professional life for many, many years, but you will also be introduced to a new culture, a new way of life, and new people. Almost as important as the academic advantages of an international education are the chances it offers to experience life abroad.

A study abroad education in the UK or USA has always placed great importance on the ability of students to work independently and to develop their own thinking. As a result, students emerge from an international education not only with a thorough understanding of their subject but also with analytical abilities and problem-solving skills that are much prized by employers in later life.

Without a doubt, the United States offers a very high quality postsecondary education and is the preferred destination for Indian students wanting to study abroad. The partnership between students and their families, the states, the federal government, the private sector, individual philanthropists, and institutions of higher learning has created a system long recognized as a model of quality, diversity, and opportunity. Having more foreign students helps create this high quality experience.

There are more than 4,000 public and private colleges, universities, and community colleges in the United States, including over 600 public four-year colleges and universities and over 1,650 private four-year colleges and universities. This enables a student to find an appropriate program within the rich and diverse higher education system of the United States. This is true whether a student is seeking career-oriented vocational and technical training from a community college, a liberal arts education from a small private college, an undergraduate science degree from a prestigious research institution, or one of a variety of programs offered by a multi-purpose university. High quality educational programs are offered in all types of institutions at prices that vary as much as the programs and institutions.


At the graduate level, US colleges and universities offer both research and professional degrees. Foreign students are engaged in both types of programs and study a wide variety of subjects. Engineering, business and management, physical and life sciences and mathematics and computer science are the most popular fields of study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Research programs are offered in most academic fields, including engineering, mathematics and computer science, physical and life sciences, and the humanities.

These programs lead to either a master’s degree or a doctorate and also can include postdoctoral study and research. Professional programs lead to master’s (i.e. MBA or MP A) or other degrees such as the JD or the MD that allow students to work in fields such as law, medicine, social work, or business.

The average tuition fees per academic year at the four-year undergraduate level can vary from less than $3,500 to over $15,000. Plus living expenses, called room and board, range from $4,700 to $6,000 each academic year. However, tuition fees at selective private institutions may cost considerably more than these averages. Most Indian students are willing to pay the price to enroll in US institutions of higher education because they view the cost of higher education as an investment. They understand that the necessary skills and experience they will gain by studying in the US will reap a high return for their money and a better paying job when they return home.

Studying at an American college or university can truly be an international experience as American institutions of higher education serve student populations that are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and age. Academic and professional programs and social activities on campuses and at corporate headquarters of possible employers provide additional enrichments. US colleges and universities have other benefits including a low student/faculty ratio of 15 students for every two instructors.


The United Kingdom is also a preferred destination for students willing to study abroad. UK has been welcoming international students for generations and it provides special advisory services through British Council office and the British Library. In UK, the most popular subjects with Indian students are Business and Management Studies, Engineering, Information Technology, Medicine and subjects related to medicine, Law, Science and Technology courses and Art & Design courses.

A good starting point for information is the Education UK website which has a course search facility, answers to frequently asked questions, news stories about life in the UK, funding information, etc. Courses in the UK are often shorter, so the total cost of study can be lower. Shorter courses also mean students can realize their earning potential sooner than their counterparts elsewhere. All of which makes UK courses better value for money overall. While the course fees can range from £6,000 to £17,500, the cost of living is not the same throughout the country.

Generally, it is more expensive to live in London and the South-East of England, and cheaper in the North of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Average annual costs of living for a typical student in London can be approximately £7,300 per academic year and it would be lower outside London.

There are many benefits available to international students that can make life in the UK more affordable like the NUS Discounts, Free Healthcare, and Part-time Work. Also, universities and colleges in the UK are increasingly international with students from all over the world.


More than ninety countries may be represented on campus and each student makes a unique contribution to the life of the institution, both academically and culturally.

Canada is also a destination favored by Indian students. However, each university in Canada has its own entrance requirements and assesses students on an individual basis. The university determines the equivalency of a student’s academic credentials. There is no nationwide set of entrance exams. All 93 member universities of AUCC offer three or four year bachelor degree programs; most offer one to two year master’s degrees and a number of them also offer doctoral or PhD programs.

To study at a Canadian university, information has to be obtained by contacting the dean of graduate studies at the universities that interest you. Generally, international students should apply to a Canadian university up to eight months in advance. Engineering, optometry, medicine, veterinary medicine, law, and dentistry are fields where the first professional degree is considered an undergraduate program.

A degree from a Canadian university is recognized around the world and is usually equivalent to an American degree or a degree from another Commonwealth country. Professional and specialized programs such as medicine, nursing and engineering are accredited by reliable and reputable agencies. Current and new academic programs are regularly reviewed by provincial, institutional or regional bodies to ensure quality standards.


However, Canada does not have an institutional accreditation process similar to that found in the US. Since the winters are cold in most parts of Canada, an adequate warm clothing budget is a must. Average expenses for an academic year can be approximately $12,000 US ($18,840 Cdn or 13,000 Euro) that includes tuition and living expenses.

There are a number of opportunities to work while studying in Canada. All international students may work on campus. In order to work off-campus, international students must obtain a work permit. This may be obtained if employment is considered essential to your course of study. However, one has to arrange for medical coverage before arriving in Canada.

While some provinces cover international students under their provincial health care plans, some do not and international students planning to study in one of these provinces must arrange for private medical coverage through private insurance companies.

For the last few years, Australia has also emerged as a destination for Indian students seeking to get a degree from abroad. However, some racial incidents have marred the credibility of Australian education.