UK, US or Australia – where should you study?

So you’ve made the decision to study abroad, but are you finding it difficult to decide between studying in the UK, US or Australia? 

Don’t worry, we’re here to help you choose your ideal place to live and study! Here are the main things to consider…

Do you have a specific career path in mind?

If you do, then the UK is the place for you! Programs in the UK are very focused, meaning that your modules will be specific to your degree subject throughout your studies. 

Degree programs in the US are much more flexible. You won’t be expected to know exactly what you want to study before you apply, meaning that you can try different subject modules and change your mind during your first year of study.

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Australian programs are similar to the UK. Your studies will be subject focused and more specialized. Unlike the US, you’ll have to declare your major up front but your minor opens up the opportunity to change things up at postgraduate level.

Click here to find out more about the INTO programs available in the UK, US and Australia that will help you get to your perfect university.

How long would you like to study for?

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A standard undergraduate degree in the UK is three years – unless you’re going to university in Scotland, which is four years. A standard undergraduate degree all over the US, however, is four years – so you can expect a longer education at a US university.

In Australia, a degree can last between three and four years. The key thing to remember is that you’ll need to take an additional year of study on a three-year degree to graduate with honors in Australia. This differs from the UK where many three year degrees often come with honors.

Students from the UK typically have 13 years of schooling before they go to university, while students from many other countries, including the US, only have 12 years of schooling before university. That’s why UK universities often ask international students to take a pathway program first, when it isn’t always required for a US degree.

Postgraduate degrees are generally two years in the US and Australia, but usually only one year in the UK. Australia also offers combined degree programs, meaning you can complete both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in five years rather than six.

What learning style suits you?

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The UK, US and Australia generally teach in different ways, which is a very important factor to consider when choosing where to study abroad. 

In the US, you may mostly take classes in lecture halls with follow-up seminars during your first year. The purpose of this is to introduce all of the freshers to the main topics of the program, but as the years go by, your classes should decrease in size.

In the UK and Australia, there is a mix of larger lecture classes and smaller seminars, or focus groups, of up to 20 students that allow for more direct interaction between you and your teacher. This means that you’ll have a lot more individual help and tutoring, with personalised feedback throughout your lessons.

You won’t receive much homework throughout the year in the UK and Australia other than reading assignments – your coursework and exams will be at the end of the year and will determine your overall grade. This teaches you key organisational skills and how to be self-motivated.

The US, however, gives far more assignments such as tests, quizzes, projects, research papers and presentations throughout the term. So, if you prefer a more structured approach to homework with regular grades, then the US could be the place for you to study.

What will your accommodation be like?

Living on campus is a great way to meet new people and make friends for life. Being far away from home may seem a little daunting, but there is no need to be shy as there will be lots of social events put on by the university to help everyone get to know one another.

Accommodation in the UK is perfect for carrying out independent study as students typically have a bedroom to themselves with a study desk. This is usually in an apartment with a shared living space and kitchen, so you can still socialise with your friends.

If you would rather have a more sociable shared living space, then the US style of accommodation could be a better fit for you. Students living on campus in the US can usually expect to share a room with other students, so you won’t worry about being lonely.

Accommodation in Australia is a diverse mix of independent living and on-campus residences. Many universities offer residential college style accommodation where each college has its own identity, community and social calendar. So whatever student living experience you’re looking for, Australia can cater for you.

Have you thought about your career opportunities?

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Work placements are a great way to put your learning into practice so that you can gain some first-hand experience of working in your field. The UK, US and Australia are home to lots of large businesses and industry-leading research facilities that offer work placements and internships to students.

Hugo studied BSc Marketing and Management with Industrial Experience at the University of Exeter and was accepted onto an industrial placement with a London-based tech start-up.

At The University of Western Australia, you can stand out to future employers with the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placement program. You can undertake a placement or internship with more than 500 organizations during your studies, allowing you to gain academic credits while gaining experience and building your professional network.

The US has lots of unmissable work placements as well. Purnima pursues a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering degree at Oregon State University and got her dream internship at Tesla as a supplier industrialization engineer.

It’s work experiences like these that make your résumé stand out and put you in good standing for a great graduate job.

Taking the next step towards studying in the UK, US or Australia

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There are benefits to studying in the UK, US or Australia as each destination has a great range of universities that offer their own unique, globally competitive study opportunities.

The main factors to consider are:

  • Your learning style. If you consider yourself to be an independent learner, then perhaps look into a university in the UK or Australia. If you prefer a more structured approach to learning, a university in the US might be better for you. 
  • Career opportunities. Work placements are a great way to get your CV noticed and can even lead directly to job offers once you graduate. Have a look at placement opportunities in the US, UK and Australian universities before making your decision.
  • Your preferred living situation. You may be spending a lot of time in shared campus accommodation in your first year of study, so it’s important to know that you have a space where you feel relaxed and able to study in.

One thing that you will need regardless of where you choose to study is either a UK study visa, Australian study visa or a US study visa. If you have any questions about studying abroad in the UK, US or Australia, click here to get in touch with us.

If you would rather learn more about studying in the UK, then see our 5 top tips for your first week at INTO London. To learn more about how to apply to study in the US, click here. Discover 8 unique features that make Perth the perfect international study destination.

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