The UK or Australia
When choosing where to study, we understand that it isn't just the University or course have to choose, but the country as well. One major alternative to the UK for your study abroad experience is Australia. Alongside the USA and UK, it is considered one of the world's leading study destinations. We've previously explained why we thought studying in the UK beat the USA, and now we'll do the same for Australia.
UK: The UK is extremely proud of it's multiculturalism. We firmly believe there is no other country in the world that has such an open, and welcoming society. Most major and indeed, even smaller cities and towns, have people and families from a mix of backgrounds and cultures. Whether you're studying in Birmingham or Bradford, Manchester or Macclesfield, chances are you'll find yourself a small, similar community of people.
Australia: Australia on the other hand, does not offer such diversity across it's country. Whilst cities such as Melbourne and Sydney will offer a similar experience to if you were living in London or Manchester, many smaller cities and towns will not be hotbeds of different cultures. For some international students, this can be a challenge they welcome, but for others, it elongates the settling in process.
Cost of Living
UK: We know you've heard the horror stories of how expensive London can be, right? Well, in some respects it is. But remember, it is a world-leading city in many aspects, whether that is the education, quality of life, or entertainment. Many other cities, including Manchester and Birmingham are very affordable, with low cost of living. Rent here for a 1 bedroom apartment or studio flat for students can cost as little as £90 a week.
Australia: Australia was recently voted in the top 10 most expensive places to live, taking into account the cost of bills, travel and grocery shopping. This is ranking the country as a whole, and beat out the UK, USA and France in being voted as such. Cities such as Sydney are notoriously expensive, so before you think about studying there, it is crucial you ensure you will be able to afford it!
UK: Okay, we don't really have a comparison here, do we? The UK have warm summers and cool winters, with a dash of rain in between. The south of the UK is considerably warmer than the rest of the countries.
Australia: Australia will generally have warm climates throughout the year, with their summer being the UK's winter months i.e. November/December. So whilst you may be able to experience a white Christmas in the UK, you'll be able to hold a barbeque in the sun in Australia - your pick!
UK: The UK have a long and proud history of excellent education quality and teaching. From the historical Universities of Oxford and Cambridge (which are used as the benchmark across the world!) to modern, exciting universities such as Brunel and Warwick Universities. The UK offer 1 year Master's degrees, and 3 year Bachelor's degrees (with the option of work placements or internships in many courses). Tuition fees in comparison to the USA and Australia are relatively cheap but have increased in the last few years. The UK has the added benefit of providing excellent teaching for a wide range of courses, including Medicine, Business, Accounting, Dentistry, Social Sciences, Humanities and Law, and Education.
Australia: Whilst Australia does not have the long history of the UK, it is a fast-emerging education destination. Universities such as the University of Melbourne, ANU and Sydney have all been ranked in the Times Higher Education rankings 2016. Australia offer excellent and vocational teaching for a similarly wide range of courses, including: Business, Accounting, Education, Hotel Management, and Information Technology.
Visa and Immigration
UK: Students must apply for a Tier 4 visa when beginning their course at a UK university. In recent years, there has been significant tightening of the rules when making your application so before you apply you must be aware of the procedures. You may be asked to attend an interview, and will have to ensure you have english language evidence in the way of a UKVI approved IELTS result. UK students are able to work during their studies, usually a maximum of 20 hours a week, and are also able to bring their spouses on a dependant visa.
Australia: Where the UK may have tightened their rules, Australia has attempted to make the process a little easier. You may not be required to attend an interview, and the English language evidence will differ from the UK. Spouses get dependant only if the student is pursuing Masters degree or PhD. The spouses of Masters and PhD students can work unlimited hours. Student visa holders are allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight during their study in Australia.