The Best Way to Choose a Country and School for your Study Abroad Programme

African man in glasses and woman with curly hair having concentrated looks while busy working through unpaid bills, sitting at round table with documents, laptop and calculator, making notes

If you live in a developing country, the thought of studying abroad must have crossed your mind one, two and many times. For quite obvious reasons that include seeking more experienced tutelage in well-equipped institutions, the adventures that come with exploring a new city and its cultures, a career boost that translates to a fat cheque, and the list goes on. 


While it’s easy-peasy to make a list of countries and schools abroad you’ll love to study in, below are factors to consider before making the ultimate choice.


Requirements – Considering the requirements of the course you’re applying for is key. You’ll want to be sure you’re eligible right? So ask yourself these three questions; Do you have the minimum result required? Is the test of English proficiency compulsory? And/or can it be waived? Do you have to learn a foreign language before admission or before your visa application is approved? A lot of European schools do not waive the proof of the English test, but some schools in Canada and the United States sometimes do. For language proficiency, some countries and courses require standardized tests such as SAT, LSAT, GRE, and GMAT. 


Teaching Style and Educational System:  A lot of schools overseas are famous for their small class sizes to proffer personalised and unique learning experiences for students. If this is something you would love, you should consider choosing programs in countries that practice this. For example, Canada, especially schools in provinces such as Novia Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, etc, have smaller class sizes. And if you prefer large-sized classes, there’s nothing research cannot find.


Budget – “Money, money, money…Must be funny…” you don’t wanna be caught singing this 90’s Abba’s track, do you? Of course not. You must research the tuition and scholarship opportunities available to you as an applicant. Countries like Germany offer free schooling while the United States has pricey tuition, but offer millions of dollars worth of scholarship every year. Considering the cost of living before choosing your country of choice is vital. To help with this, visit to run a check on your countries of choice. It gives you detailed information on living expenses, such as housing, utilities, transportation, etc. Also, some countries allow international students to work for 20 hours during the term time and full time in the holidays. This is why you need to spend ample time researching to get the most out of the admission.


Culture Vs Personality – Does the culture of the country resonate with your personality and belief system? It’s important to ask yourself this! If you are a lover of nightlife, cities like Las Vegas or Los Angeles in the US and Toronto in Canada would be perfect for you. While some places such as Manitoba in Canada or North Yorkshire in the UK have a more relaxed lifestyle and would suit you if you have a melancholic personality trait.


Availability of Employment After Graduation – The whole essence of going to grad school is to have an array of knowledge to be positioned rightly for opportunities in your field. Some countries allow you to stay back for a stipulated time frame after your studies. Do extensive research into post-study job opportunities available in your field among the list of likely countries you want to study. For example, if you are considering pursuing a tech degree, the places you should be targeting are tech hubs such as Silicon Valley and San Francisco in the United States, Ontario province in Canada, and London in the United Kingdom.


Making the best country and school choice is very pleasing, and a gateway to unlocking the most out of your study experience. Luckily, there are thousands of fantastic countries, cities, and towns to choose from in studying your dream course, but you’ll never know unless you research. So get work!


Written by Gbemi Ipaye