Best Country For International Students: Australia, UK or USA?


An international student is comparing Australia as a study destination to the UK and USA while looking at the country flags.


Studying abroad is a big decision, especially when you have to choose amongst the most popular study destinations like Australia, the UK (United Kingdom) and the USA (United States of America).


These countries are home to some of the highest-ranked universities around the world. Not only that, they attract international students based on the quality of life and employment opportunities they provide. 


To help make your study abroad decision easier, here are some essential factors you must consider and compare while choosing between Australia, the UK (United Kingdom) and the USA (United States of America).


Knowing the different aspects like quality and education cost, employment prospects, and the availability of financial aid and scholarships will help you to make the right decision.



1. Reputation and Quality of Education


All three countries, Australia, the UK and the US, are recognised worldwide and have a good reputation for their high-quality education.


Australia has a world-class education system and boasts many universities and colleges. Australian institutions have a clear framework and provide quality research and practical teaching standards. 


Students can use an Australian degree anywhere in the world. Australia is one of the global education leaders, making it a popular destination for international students to pursue their education.


The UK is widely known for its academic and historic reputation. The country is well-established and also offers modern high-technology teachings. It consists of traditional red-brick and state-of-the-art universities spread across Wales, England, Ireland, and Scotland.


Not to forget, the UK also offers exceptional research opportunities for students worldwide. Studying in the United Kingdom is a popular option for international students looking for a life-changing and exciting experience.


The US is a powerhouse for research and international education. The number of universities in the United States is more than in any other country. It has some of the best academic facilities and teachers and provides access to the latest technology, equipment and resources. 


The US is also known for its famous ivy league colleges like Stanford and Harvard. All in all, the US is a leading scientific, political and cultural force.



2. Degree Cost


No matter which country you choose to study, you'll have to consider the cost of a particular degree you want to study. Apart from tuition fees, you also need to consider the cost of living, including day-to-day expenses, transportation, accommodation and even university supplies. 


Your total cost of living will entirely depend on the city you decide to live in. Living in big metropolitan cities like New York, Sydney or London is more expensive when buying groceries, finding accommodations or eating out.  


Now let's have a look at the average degree costs in Australia, the UK, and the US:





The average annual tuition fees for international undergraduates and postgraduates studying in Australia are AUD 30,840 and $31,596, respectively. The tuition fee for a master's degree in Australia is between AUD 20,000 and $37,000. 


Whereas a doctoral degree or PhD costs between AUD$14,000 and $37,000. The degree costs vary based on the course you choose. 





In the UK, the tuition fees vary, depending on the institution and the course you choose. For international graduates and postgraduates, the tuition fees per year may range between GBP 10,000 - £38,000 and GBP 11,000 - £32,000, respectively. 





In the USA, the average fee is between USD 4,800 and $48,500 per year. For private colleges, the tuition fee is around USD 32,500, and for public colleges, the cost is around USD 24,300 per year. The tuition fees may vary depending on whether a student attends a private or a public college. 



3. Employment And Immigration Opportunities 


Many international students study overseas to gain exposure and improve their career opportunities. All three countries - Australia, the US and the UK have universities that work closely with industries and organisations that offer valuable learning opportunities for international students. 


International students with a student visa can work in Australia. Students can work full-time during vacations and are permitted to work for up to 40 hours per fortnight while studying. It is easy to find part-time jobs in Australia to support your living expenses.


Also, Australia is among a few countries that offer skilled migrant programs focusing on students who have abilities, skills, and education qualifications and can contribute to the economy of Australia. 


There's a shortage of skilled workforce in Australia, especially in the fields of accountingengineeringnursing, and information technology. Hence, skilled workers are always required.


To apply for permanent residency in Australia, students must pass the points test and fulfil some basic requirements such as the age limit (up to 45 years), relevant work experience or post-secondary school qualifications. Applicants with Australian qualifications get additional points


In the UK, students can work 20 hours per week during the course period and easily find part-time jobs to support their living expenses. Getting a job or a work permit to stay in the UK might be more complex than in Australia.


However, British degrees are recognised and valued worldwide, especially in the Middle East and India. This helps students to get job opportunities in different countries worldwide. 


In the US, students are allowed to work on-campus for 20 hours during the first year of their study. Students can take part-time jobs off-campus in the second year to fulfil their financial and academic requirements.


The United States also provides international students with the best employment and immigration opportunities. After completing their course in the US, students can stay back and work for one year through OPT (Optional Professional Training).


For STEM graduates (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), they can extend OPT up to another two years. International students placed in some US organisations during this period can apply for an H1B (work visa).



4. Style of Learning


When deciding to study abroad, students should consider how each country approaches exams, classes and assignments. 


Australia provides guided learning to international students. Teachers at Australian universities deliver lectures and small class tutorials. The courses in Australia consist of essays, group work and individual assignments.


Students think independently and creatively in Australia, and gaining practical experience is always encouraged. This is why Australia is the best country to study in.


In the UK, courses include lectures with workshops and small-group tutorials. During the course, professors and lecturers give particular guidelines to students, expecting them to research independently and critically analyse and evaluate outcomes. 


In comparison, the US education system focuses on providing knowledge on various subjects. The courses require you to stay updated, submit research papers and regular assignments, and participate in oral presentations and debates.


A student's assignment performance and final examination determine their course grade in the US.



5. The Pros and Cons of Studying in Australia Vs The UK and US


As we all know, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States are highly desirable destinations for students all over the globe. However, choosing among these three countries to study can take time and effort. So here, we've outlined some countries' pros and cons to clarify the confusion. 







  • A welcoming, vibrant and social culture.

  • Tuition fees in Australia are comparatively cheaper than in the US.

  • Student visa (subclass 500) allows students to work in Australia.

  • Many natural sites and activities.

  • Several recognised and respected programs. 

  • Australian universities like the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, and the University of Sydney are in the top 50 QS university rankings.




  • The high cost of living - Australia is one of the most expensive countries in the world.

  • Australian speech style and accent - Some international students think it takes more work to decode the Australian speech style and accent, despite being proficient in English.







  • Staying in the country, students can discover a lot of history. 

  • As per the World University Rankings, the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge are the top two universities in the world.

  • While studying in the UK, travelling across Europe is cheaper and more accessible. 

  • To be admitted to the law school, students don't have to write the LSAT (Law School Admission Test)




  • One of the world's most expensive currencies.

  • The cost of living is high.

  • Public transportation fares are also high, especially for the railways. A public transport pass may cost you between £62 and £157, depending on the city you choose to live in. 







  • Boasts many highly-ranked and prestigious institutions.

  • Provides flexible education pathways - International students can consider attending community colleges and moving to a four-year school to get a bachelor's degree. 

  • Students can pursue a specialised course or choose from a multitude of subjects. 




  • Many US colleges require ACT (American College Testing) or SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) scores for admissions. 

  • High tuition for international students. 

  • There are strict visa rules for international students working while studying and many other restrictions. 

  • The job market in the US is very competitive, making it very hard for international students to find sponsorship to stay in the United States.



6. Why Choose Australia For Study?


If you are wondering why you should study in Australia, you should know that out of all the other countries. Currently, Australia is the best study destination, given the abundant job opportunities and immigration possibilities it provides. 


Also, Australia has lower tuition fees than the UK and US. Additionally, studying in Australia will enable you to live like a local and explore the places and culture around you.


Useful Topics to Explore:

⇒ Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)
⇒ International Students in Australia
⇒ What does it cost to study in Australia?
⇒ Applying to Study in Australia: Student Timeline
⇒ Courses that can lead to PR in Australia
⇒ Migrating to Australia
⇒ Types of Education in Australia
⇒ Australia Compared     
⇒ Academic Life

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