Whether you’re pursuing a high-flying law career, dreams of being multilingual, or just want to spend a year on the snow-dusted French Alps – studying abroad from the UK is the way to go. Don’t be put off by the funding headaches or post-Brexit complications. In this guide we’ll walk you through UK study abroad scholarships, exchange programmes, and a wishlist of the best international destinations for UK students.
Why Study Abroad From The UK?
Hit the surfing beaches in Peniche, go on midnight street food tours in Harajuku, and art-gallery-hop your way through Berlin… If you’re wondering why you should leave the UK and study abroad in the first place, quality of life should be top of the list. It’s the chance to live in a country which mirrors your interests, from outdoorsy to artsy and everything in between.
Besides, studying abroad will mean you are more likely to graduate, learn a language, meet a diverse group of people, and develop crucial skills. It’ll also make you a more attractive option to employers.
UK Study Abroad Scholarships
Unfortunately it isn’t all Portuguese surfing beaches and ramen washed down with Asahi. Funding can be a huge stumbling block for students looking to study abroad from the UK. But don’t be put off, there are options available to you. A plus point to keep in mind is that overall studying abroad from the UK can work out cheaper. Some European countries have lower tuition fees and a cheaper cost of living.
Scholarships can seem a bit like gold dust. They’re a great way to fund your travels but the reality is, scholarships for UK students to study abroad are hard to come by. They are awarded based on need and academic merit. So first things first, check with your uni of choice about which scholarships are up for grabs. For instance, studying abroad in America from the UK? Sports scholarships are a big deal here but competition is fierce at the best US colleges.
Other Ways to Fund Your Studies Abroad
If a grant isn’t on the cards, this is the most affordable and straightforward way to ensure funding. Basically it means that you’ll study part of your course overseas, whilst still being enrolled at your UK home uni. A huge benefit of this is that you might still be able to claim your UK student loan and have access to living grants. There are a range of study abroad programmes on offer up and down the country. As a starting point, check with your university to see if they’re partnered with any international institutions, if not they’ll be able to help you draw up a shortlist of options.
It’s also worth mentioning here that post-Brexit you won’t have ‘home fee status’ at EU universities, but you will count as an international student. International students sometimes get lower fees so check with the uni you’re applying to.
If you’ve ever gone on a deep dive into study abroad grants from the UK the Erasmus exchange programme probably popped up. This was the go-to program for students but as of September 2021 it was replaced with the Turing Scheme. If your uni has been given funding, the scheme means you can go on placements and exchanges around the world. It’s designed to give students from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to travel. You’ll also get a grant to cover the cost of living.
Finally, if you’re dreaming of far flung destinations check out ISEP. The International Student Exchange Programmes cover studying, interning, and volunteering in over 50 countries. Student Finance England’s study abroad resources are also a good starting point for English residents.
This might be an obvious one – but you can fund your studies by working. We’d recommend getting organised and having some savings under your belt pre-studying abroad from the UK. Getting a part-time job can be an added stress if you leave it until you arrive in a country. Plus, some universities don’t allow you to study whilst you work.
Finally, get savvy when it comes to spending your money. Students can end up blowing the budget on costly flights and shipping. Set flight alerts on your phone to see when your preferred route drops to its lowest price – then book your tickets. If you get caught up in the panic of everyone else booking, you’re likely to pay premium rates.
When it comes to shipping we’ve got you covered. Scroll down to How to Ship Your Items to find out more.
Where To Go?
This is the good bit. Choosing where to go should be a mix of the right course, the right lifestyle, and the right budget. Find a destination that ticks all or most of your boxes and you’re onto a winner. We’ve got a breakdown of some of the most popular studying abroad from the UK options, and what students love about them…
United States of America
Studying abroad in America is an incredibly popular option amongst UK students. 172 American education facilities made it onto the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2020. It’s undeniable, the country has some great places to study. Heavy-hitters like the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Columbia, and Harvard University often steal the limelight but there are hundreds of options. Popular uni cities include New York, Boston, Chicago and LA. You’ll need an F-1 visa to study here
Like a glossy travel magazine spread, Australia’s full of golden sand beaches, cosmopolitan cities, and fresh Antipodean eats. Students are drawn here for the outdoor lifestyle and sunny climate, but the country’s also got a great reputation for higher education.
The pros of studying here are the quality of life and chance to study at world-class institutions. The drawbacks are the cost. This is probably one of the most pricey countries you could choose with expensive tuition fees and living expenses. Keep in mind you’ll need a student visa to study here.
With more international students than any other EU country, Germany wins the popularity contest. They have a refreshing attitude to education, with publicly funded Masters programs and some universities which are free (yes, free) for international students. Even the Masters courses are much cheaper than in the UK. You’ll need to pass an entrance qualification called Abitur to study here.
The land of snowy vistas and sweet maple syrup is beloved by students. This is where natural beauty and student cities come together. Montreal and Toronto are some of the best places to study in the world. They’ve got a reputation for being friendly, multicultural cities where you can go whale watching but also shop in sprawling malls. A positive is that, generally speaking, tuition fees are lower than in the UK. But if you’re cost-conscious, this might not be the one for you. Living costs are high. You’ll also need a study permit to stay longer than six months.
Hike snow-capped mountains, visit cherry blossom parks, and get cocktails on the 86th floor of a skyscraper… Japan is a varied and exciting choice for students studying abroad from the UK. Benefits include the technologically-minded and modern universities as well as the chance to immerse yourself in ancient culture and traditions. The country also has a welcoming approach to international students.
For art and culture with world-class eats thrown in – you can’t do much better than Paris. It’s easy to reach from the UK and has a vibrant art and fashion scene. But there are some practical reasons to study here too. The cost of living may be high but tuition fees are relatively low compared to the UK.
Popular for many of the same reasons as Australia, New Zealand is all about sprawling, lush countryside and bustling harbour-side cities. It also has a high cost of living but the pay-off is a natural playground for students to explore in their downtime. Students also like it for it’s diverse course offerings from Zoology to Maori studies.
One for the sustainably-minded students! The Swedes are known for their great work-life balance and world-class education facilities. Education is at the forefront of the country and so it goes without saying that their universities are exemplary. The country is leading the way in sustainable initiatives and there are plenty of environmental courses to get involved in. This high standard of living comes at quite a costly price – you’ll find living expenses here higher than you’re used to in the UK.
How to Ship Your Items
We make the last piece of the puzzle easy. Our door-to-door student delivery service keeps things simple and hassle-free. Swerve the long baggage queues, mishandled goods, and surprise extra charges. We’ve kept costs down whilst ensuring your items arrive on time and without the stress of traditional student shipping services. Just book and pack, we’ll do the rest. You can track your items as we transport them safely to your end destination, no queues or confusing customs papers for you! Head to our student shipping page for more information.