Are you planning on Studying Abroad?
We compare the cost of study as well as visa allowances for foreign students to study and get employment within, the UK, Germany, Australia, Canada and the US.
According to QS Top Universities “10 of the Most Affordable Places to Study Abroad”, Norway is the most affordable followed by Taiwan and then Germany. Interesting to note is that South Africa is ranked in 10th place, as the most affordable destination of study worldwide. Reference: https://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/studying-abroad/10-most-affordable-places-study-abroad.
When considering a study abroad destination, most students from Southern Africa tend to choose from either the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the US. There is increasing interest in the Netherland and Germany; Germany for example has abolished tuition fees for students doing undergraduate degrees and doctoral degrees at public German universities.
With this factor in mind we examine these options for study.
Quality of Education
When looking for a study abroad destination, choose the best quality you can afford and check out the student visa requirements which allow you to study and work during and after your stay at university.
Cost of Study
Find out the cost of study online, each institution sets its own tuition fees. Keep in mind that undergraduate degrees vary depending on the type of degree with human science and business degrees tending to be cheaper whereas medical and scientific degrees are more expensive. Your cost of living will include accommodation, transport, food and other daily requirements. The cost of living also depends on where you study whether in a major City or in an outlying town. Big Cities such as London, Sydney and Toronto can be very expensive but may also provide good accommodation sharing options if you are prepared to live in a shared space.
|Cost of Living||$14750||$11645||$15820||$15500||$10441|
*Source: https://www.topuniversities.com. These are average cost estimates presented in USD which serve only as a guide. You will need to conduct your own individual research to get detailed information on costs pertaining to the destination and course you will be studying.
There are a range of entry requirements that you will need to meet both for you institution application and your visa application, these include:
- Academic requirements.
- English language requirements.
- Evidence of funds to support your study.
- Overseas student health cover.
Academic entry requirements differ between institutions and for different courses, but in general an undergraduate bachelor degree requires a completed secondary school education with sufficient results.
Visa entry requirements
It is advisable to start preparing approximately a year in advance. This is in order to apply to the study institutions of your choice and to secure a student visa. Visa requirements vary for each parent country. Each student should take care to apply in advance through the embassy or consulate in the student’s home country or nearest neighbouring country.
Studying in the UK
The UK is one of the top destinations of study for African students, the main reason being, the quality of education. In the QS World Rankings for 2017, four of the world’s 10 best universities are in the UK. The UK has the most concentrated and highest quality of education institutions for such a small country. The UK is one of the easiest places to access because of it’s centrality and popularity as an international destination. The time zone difference are minimal for African students which makes adjusting to life and communication with family and friends a lot easier. The education system is relatively similar to English speaking countries of Africa. One disadvantage for students from South Africa is the weather.
The UK has a centralised application service, called UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) where you can register and apply to all of the UK universities and colleges, https://www.ucas.com More information on studies for international students can be found here.
If you are registered on a programme at degree level or above, you can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year, and full-time during official vacation periods. This includes a full-time internship or placement unless it is part of your course.
Work after graduating
If you want to work in the UK after graduating you must apply for a Tier 2 visa. To be eligible for a Tier 2 visa you must have been offered a job at a particular skills level by an employer with a Tier 2 visa sponsor licence and the job must pay a certain minimum amount per year. The net effect of this requirement means that most students return home after graduating from University in the UK.
Germany is growing in popularity as an international study destination. One of the main reasons for this is that Germany has abolished tuition fees for students doing undergraduate degrees and doctoral degrees at public German universities (this does not apply to private universities). Note: Master’s students who have not studied their undergraduate degree in Germany are required to pay for their studies. Probably the main limitation on access to study in Germany is the language. Germany has a welcome approach to foreign students currently and English as a language of tuition is offered for some under graduate degree programmes although this applies mainly to post-graduate studies. As with anywhere in Europe the weather may be a disadvantage for people from Africa. The culture in Germany is also very different to what people from Africa know and experience.
Students studying in Germany are allowed to work part-time while studying.
Work after graduating
Students are allowed to stay and work in Germany for 18 months on a post-study work visa. For more information on study in German visit the official DAAD government website, https://www.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/international-programmes/en/
According to www.internationalstudent.com Australia is the third most popular destination for international students in the English-speaking world, behind the United States and the UK. Many South Africans and Africans from Southern African countries live and work in Australia. Australian Universities are highly ranked on world ratings with 7 universities featured in the top 100 on the QS World Rankings. Australia offers an attractive outdoor life-style for study and work as well as a high standard of living.
Fees at Australian universities are some of the highest in the world both for tuition and living costs. Fees vary considerably depending on the course offered and fees are charged per unit so the combined total you pay will vary depending on the combination of units you study. You are exempt from English language testing if you have completed five years of study in English medium in Australia, Canada, NZ, South Africa, Ireland, UK or USA.
To study in Australia you first need to apply to the institution for a specific course and then to receive an acceptance letter. Once you have received and accepted the letter of offer you will receive an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE). You can then apply for your student visa.
When you have started your course of study in Australia, you can generally work up to 40 hours per fortnight when your course is in session and unlimited hours during scheduled vacation breaks. Students, completing a Masters’ degree or a doctoral degree (PhD), do not have work restrictions.
Work after graduating
There is no automatic rights associated with your student visa to stay on and work in Australia after completing your degree. However there are some attractive work visa offering available. The most common option is the 485 Skilled Graduate Visa available to international students after graduating. With a 485 visa, you are allowed to stay in Australia for 18 months to gain work experience only if you have just completed at least two years of study in Australia. There is also the 402 Training and Research Visa which allows students to improve their work skills for up to two years while being sponsored by an employer.
For more information on visa and other requirements, visit: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/500-
Canada is an increasingly popular destination for study due to the quality of education. Canada has 4 Varsities in the top 100 of the QS world rankings and 9 in the top 300. Most of Canada’s Universities are concentrated in the Cities in the provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2018
Undergraduate degrees are similar to those in the British system and take three or four years to complete, depending on the university. Universities in Canada are managed by provincial governments so there are differences in how education is carried out depending on where you are studying.
One of the main advantages of studying in Canada is the student friendly visa which allows students to both study and work during and after study is completed. To study in Canada you will need a Canadian study permit. If you meet the requirements you may study up to 20 hours per week during the semester and can work full-time during the scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.
Work after graduating
Once you have graduated from a designated learning institution and you want to work in Canada, you will be eligible to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) which allows you to gain valuable Canadian work experience. This work experience can help you qualify for permanent residence in Canada. A work permit under the PGWPP may be issued for the length of the study program, for a maximum of three years.
For more information on work and study in Canada visit:
The United States
According to www.internationalstudent.com, the USA has the world’s largest international student population with more than 1,000,000 students. As with most countries you first need to be accepted by a university, known as a “College” or “School”, before applying for your visa. The US has over 150 universities in the QS World University Rankings. All international students wanting to study in the US will need to obtain a student visa known as an F-1 visa. Whilst the US is one of the most popular destinations of study. It is critical to do more research if you are planning on studying in the US, investigate fees and possibilities for scholarships. Remember most colleges are 4 year programmes not 3 years and so the duration of study and hence the cost can be greater.
Applying to American universities almost always requires an application and standardized test scores. But it’s not that simple! In order to be accepted into the American universities of your choice. Almost every prospective college or university student is required to take the SAT or ACT (for undergraduates).
The options for working part-time are limited by strict U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and only once you have been enrolled for at least a year, you may work part time but any part-time work undertaken must be directly related to your major (degree) and closely coordinated through your school’s International Student Office.
Work after graduating
You may apply to live and work in the US after studying, for year after your studies by applying for an Optional Practical Training (OPT), at the end of your studies. This allows you to stay in the US for up to a year to apply the knowledge you have learned through work related to your major field of study. If you have a degree from the government’s designated list of STEM subjects you will probably be eligible to extend your OPT by another 17 months, meaning you can stay in the US for up to 29 months after graduation. The extension is designed to give you time to gain a permanent job offer and sponsorship from a US employer, which allows you to apply for the H1-B, a more long-term visa.
H1-B visa is the most common work visa in the USA. It is initially granted for three years, but can be extended to six years. The H1-B visa is for US companies to employ foreign experts in specialty occupations, which require a degree education in the right field. It is designed for jobs in fields such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, and medicine.