In recent years the number of international students going abroad for higher education has steadily increased. The availability of numerous scholarships and study-grants and education loans from leading banks has brought “higher education abroad” within the reach of the working class. The most popular destinations for students looking to pursue educational opportunities in English abroad are the U.S., the UK, Australia, and Canada. In this article, we will do a comparative study of international students’ options in the US and the UK specifically.
Making the mental commitment to studying overseas is a huge step: now you have a goal, and can work towards making that goal a reality. Two major questions then arise:
- What course do I opt for?
- Which country do I go to?
For those students wanting to go abroad, answering these questions early on will help simplify their search in finding the perfect institution for their studies.
Maybe you have a liking for the UK, and dream of studying at Oxford or Cambridge and spending evenings in pubs, making small talk about the rainfall. Maybe the idea of an American university sounds more attractive; you want to don your most school-spirited swag for intense sports rivalries or grab a Starbucks latte on your way to class. Either way, you will ultimately have to make a decision. We recommend considering the following factors.
Numbers and Statistics
The number of international students attending school in the US has risen steadily in the past five years, and now totals more than 723,000 students according to the most recent report from the Institute for International Education. Within the US, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Texas are the most popular locales for foreign students.
Though the UK’s higher education system is much smaller than what the US has to offer, the proportion of international students in the UK is comparatively high, accounting for 17% (as compared to ~3% in the U.S.). In 2009-10, the number of international students in the UK was 428,225; in descending order, the most chosen destinations for study were England, Scotland, Wales, then Northern Ireland.