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Where Should I Study Among the US, UK and Canada?

Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Unwana Akpan

Are you confused about where you should study among US, UK and Canada? Here is a comparison of tuition expenses, living costs, and the benefits and drawbacks of three of the most popular international student locations

Most students consider three nations when picking a study abroad destination: the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. These three nations are frequently ranked as the best places to study abroad for international students, and with good reason! They are home to a number of the world’s greatest institutions and offer a diverse range of educational opportunities, ranging from modest liberal arts colleges to the prestigious Ivy League.

Of course, in addition to paying your tuition, you must consider how much it will cost to relocate to a different nation for three or four years when considering studying abroad. It can be intimidating, and many students don’t know where to start when making such a life-altering decision.

The following figures are in US dollars and indicate the annual average cost.

How You Can Choose Where to Study from US, UK and Canada – Pros and Cons

The cost of tuition, the cost of living, and your future wage are all financial factors to consider when deciding where you want to study and how much it will cost you.

You have to Consider Tuition Fees

One of the most crucial factors that international students evaluate when deciding where to study abroad is the cost of tuition. The cost of tuition at public and private universities can differ greatly, and in some countries, tuition can be rather expensive. The United States has a reputation for having the highest average tuition expense in the world. Tuition in the United States averages $24,000 per year, although it can easily exceed $50,000. The average tuition in the United Kingdom is just around $18,000. However, if you truly want a decent deal, move to Canada, where the average annual tuition cost is little over $10,000.

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

Compare the Cost of living

The cost of living is the next issue to consider after the cost of your undergraduate and/or graduate tuition. The cost of living differs significantly from country to country and, to a lesser extent, from city to city. Calculating the average cost of living by nation, on the other hand, provides you an idea of how expensive it may be to live and study abroad.

To live abroad in the United Kingdom, for example, you’ll require around $20,000 per year. In the United States, that cost is little about $15,000 per year, a significant difference. However, if you really want to save money while living overseas, Canada is the best bet. The average cost of living for students in Canada is $9,000 per year, but it can be as low as $7,550 or as high as $11,000.

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

Your Salary after graduation

Finally, don’t forget to factor in the typical wage you might expect when you begin working after college. While individual schools, as well as the type of degree you have earned, can affect your post-graduation income range, some countries have a higher average beginning wage for new graduates. Take the United Kingdom, where the typical beginning salary is roughly $37,000 per year, despite the high cost of living and tuition. Canada fared better, with an average wage of nearly $40,000 after graduation. In addition, to compensate for increased tuition and living costs, the US offers a substantially greater yearly wage for fresh graduates starting their jobs, at $50,000.

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

Work Permit Arrangements in Each of the Countries (US, UK and Canada)

The US

  • On-campus work for up to 20 hrs/week: 12 months total curricular practical training(CPT) during the study.
  • Post-study: 12 months optional practical training(OPT); STEM majors can extend the period to 36 months


  • Int’l Education Strategy – Yes
  • Extra points for immigration applicants with Canadian credentials
  • Work Permit not required: during the study for up to 20 hrs/week
  • Post-Study work-permit: for up to 3 years


  • Int’l Education: Global Growth Prosperity – No
  • 20 hrs/week: if you are in a degree program or above at a higher education institution
  • Post-study work permit: In the process of being reinstated.
  • Doctorate graduates: get one-year extension

Studying abroad in the US

Now that you have a better idea of what the cost of overseas education in the United States might be, there are a few things to bear in mind as you consider your study abroad alternatives in the United States. These details will almost certainly have an impact on your living expenses.

In the United States, a typical undergraduate program lasts four years while a master’s program takes two years to complete. Students often have to complete courses in a number of areas outside of their main field of study in America’s education system, which has a broader reach.

In the United States, staying on campus for the duration of your studies is usually an option. In fact, several universities require international students to stay in university-provided housing for their first year. The majority of rooms are shared with one to three roommates, and meal plans are available.

Homework, quizzes, tests, projects, finals, and other forms of continuous assessment are used at American institutions. Your final grade is determined by how well you perform in all of these areas, as well as your attendance and group engagement.

Despite the fact that tuition costs in the United States are higher, students studying in the United States have access to a variety of financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Just make sure the ones you’re interested in are appropriate for pupils who aren’t American.

Studying abroad in the UK

When compared to the United States, the cost of tuition and living in the United Kingdom is lower. This is due to a number of variables.

In the United Kingdom, a Bachelor’s Degree takes three years to complete and a Master’s Degree takes one year (except in Scotland, where the higher education structure is similar to the US). In the United Kingdom, the emphasis is on finishing essential subjects, resulting in a shorter college program.

In the United Kingdom, students are typically not given with a meal plan; university lodging is typically self-catered, which means you are responsible for purchasing groceries and preparing your own meals and snacks. In a UK school, however, you are given more privacy because you are unlikely to share a room with another student.

In the United Kingdom, classes are lecture-based; you may be assigned the occasional presentation or essay, but your overall grade is normally determined by your end-of-term examinations.

The government of the United Kingdom establishes tuition restrictions, and each university can charge fees up to those levels.

Studying abroad in Canada

The United States attracts more international students than any other country in the world. However, Canada, located just north of the United States, is becoming increasingly appealing to international students for a variety of reasons, including lower tuition fees and the ability to work while studying on a student visa.

It is easier to obtain Canadian citizenship than it is to obtain US citizenship, which helps to explain Canada’s diversified population. Students can easily become citizens in Canada, which has made it a popular study abroad location.

When compared to students in the United States, Canada has a large percentage of students who graduate with less debt.

Some Canadian institutions offer three-year Bachelor’s Degree programs, which means you’ll pay one year less in tuition than you would in the United States.

McGill University, University of Toronto, and University of British Columbia are three of Canada’s most distinguished universities, ranking among the top 50 in the QS World University Rankings. Carleton University, Centennial College, and Nipissing University are some of Canada’s best universities.

With your student visa, you can work both on and off campus in Canada. Working part-time while you study will significantly improve your financial condition. Additionally, you may be eligible for a post-graduate work visa (PGWPP), which allows you to stay and work in Canada after graduating from university or work while studying in Canada.

Improve your English skills

Whatever the case may be, studying in an English-speaking country can help you improve your English grammar as you interact with locals and participate in social events with your classmates. Even if you start with with the fundamentals, you will see a significant improvement over the course of your studies, and your language abilities will assist you as a professional wherever in the globe, maybe even increasing your starting pay after graduation.

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