When it comes to choosing a country to study abroad in, most students’ choices can be boiled down to three main countries: the United States, the UK, and Canada. These three countries consistently rank as the top locations international students choose to study in, and for good reason. These countries are home to many of the top universities in the world and offer an enormous range of choices from small liberal arts colleges to the hallowed halls of the Ivy Leagues. So how do you go about choosing which country is right for you? You need to look at different costs, based on the following criteria.

Note that the following amounts are in US dollars and represent the average cost per year.

Cost of Tuition 

The cost of tuition is one of the most important factors that international students consider when deciding where to study. The difference between public university and private university tuition can vary widely, and in some countries the cost of tuition can be fairly high. When it comes to global standards, the US has a reputation of having the highest average cost of tuition. Tuition in the US averages $24,000 a year, but it can easily go up to $50,000 per year. In the UK, the average tuition is slightly lower at just under $18,000. But if you really want to get a good deal, you'll need to head North to Canada where the average annual cost of tuition is just over $10,000.

  • US average tuition per year: $24,000
  • UK average tuition per year: $17,860
  • Canada average tuition per year: $10,730

Cost of Living

After considering the cost of undergraduate or graduate tuition, the next factor to consider is the cost of living. The cost of living varies from country to country and largely from city to city. But on the whole, calculating the average cost of living by country can give you a glimpse into how expensive it might be to live and study abroad. For instance, in the UK you'll need almost $20,000 a year to live abroad while studying. In the US, that cost runs just under $15,000 - a pretty sizeable savings. But if you really want to conserve cash while you're living abroad, you'll get the most bang for your buck in Canada (once again). The cost of living in Canada for students averages out to $9,000, although it can be as low as $7,550 and go up to over $11,000.

  • US average cost of living per year: $14,651
  • UK average cost of living per year: $19,490
  • Canada average cost of living per year: $7,550 - $11,300

Salary After Graduation

Finally, you can’t overlook the average salary you can expect after graduation. And while individual schools, along with the type of degree, can cause your after-graduation salary to range widely, some countries offer an overall higher average starting salary for new grads. Take the UK, where even though the cost of living and the cost of tuition is fairly high, the average starting salary hovers around $37,000. Canada fares better with an after graduation salary of almost $40,000. And, to compensate for higher tuition costs and costs of living, the US offers a much higher salary for grads at $50,000.

  • US average salary after graduation: $50,556
  • UK average salary after graduation: $37,278
  • Canada average salary after graduation: $40,108

For more helpful advice related to studying abroad, check out our blogs.