Lower tuition fees, the chance to learn another language and cheap living costs are just some of the practicalities behind choosing to study abroad, yet international students gain the chance to have one of the most enriching and educationally stimulating experiences of their entire lives – something that many domestic students miss out on. Yes it might be difficult choosing to up sticks for a university education in a foreign country, but the perks of an international education are endless. Not only does a degree from an internationally recognised institution look great on any resume, the experience gained and friendships that students make will be of incredible value during their academic career and beyond.

In addition, the expertise students gain in cross-cultural and interpersonal communication may be a major asset when working on any multi-national team in their later professional life. Studying abroad also shows employers students are able to easily adapt to new and challenging situations.

With more institutions offering a variety of grants and scholarships, and the fact that it is easier than ever to obtain a student visa, studying abroad offers students exciting and diverse opportunities that they wouldn’t obtain at home. Intensive language courses are also on offer to international students, meaning that they have the chance to learn a new language alongside their chosen degree. Universities also offer International Student Offices, providing paperwork help and support for students experiencing teething problems during their course.

With travel opportunities, the chance to see some of the world’s sights and plan and manage their own budgets, international students are money savvy, independent individuals. International students have to learn how to deal with the challenges of everyday life in a foreign country in a calm and mature manner.

From Australia, to Canada, increasing numbers of countries are now opening their doors to welcome international students at a variety of global institutions. More and more students are thinking outside the box, choosing study destinations that   provide excellent value for money, a quality lifestyle and, of course, a high-calibre education.

Read on to discover six education hotspots available to international students in unique locations around the world:

1. Perth, Australia

Maintaining its place among the elite top 10 most liveable cities in the world for the past ten years is an outstanding feat for this cosmopolitan city of two million people. This ranking measures the quality of life, healthcare, stability, culture, infrastructure and significantly, education in the top cities of the world. This is underscored by Perth, Australia being ranked in the top 25 student cities in the inaugural QS Top Universities Ranking. Getting around this great student city is made easier by the generous 40% discount on public transport for students.

With a Mediterranean climate, Perth offers students a great year-round outdoor lifestyle while studying for internationally recognised, world-class qualifications. With over 19 beaches to choose from, the city of Perth is a multicultural hotspot of more than 200 different nationalities, speaking 170 languages and practising more than 100 religions, making the city a diverse melting pot of delicious cuisine and culture. Urban sophistication and international flavour make Perth an excellent study destination for international students who can also easily explore the historic port of Fremantle, iconic Cottesloe Beach and Kings Park, one of the world’s largest inner city parks.

While studying, students can work part time to a maximum of 40 hours a fortnight, and while on study break students can work full time hours. On completion of a Bachelor or Masters by coursework degree, students can apply for Australia’s Post-Study Work visa allowing students to work in Australia for another two years, while those completing a Masters by Research can work for another three years and PhD students can work an additional four years, thus making Perth an excellent destination for international students looking to stay in Australia longer.

Considering studying in Perth? Confused as to where to start? StudyPerth is the first point of contact for anyone wishing to obtain information on studying and living in Perth. Their free online course search function allows students to search course information across all five universities plus the colleges and schools found in Perth.

2. Aarhus, Denmark

Excellent English, cheap beers and an international outlook make Denmark an increasingly popular choice for students looking for cheaper study alternatives within Europe. Denmark is famed for its unconventional thinking, unusual teaching methods and of course the Danes themselves. Even more of a bonus is that most Danish universities offer a number of courses and programmes in English. In fact, Danish education is problem-based and focuses on student participation, something many foreign students appreciate when studying in Denmark – as well as the many cultural offerings, the rich social life, free health care and much more.

The city of Aarhus, Denmark’s second city, is home to a vibrant student population, mixing historic architecture with funky bars and a modern university, Aarhus University. Founded by the Vikings in the 8th century, Aarhus has since changed somewhat. Aarhus Cathedral, located right in the centre of the town, is Denmark’s longest church. In the Latin Quarter, which lies near the Cathedral, visitors can browse some of the city’s fine antique shops, galleries and trendy designer shops. Denmark’s excellent train network links Aarhus to Copenhagen international airport – a three-hour trip.

3. Canterbury, New Zealand

World class teaching, inspirational teaching and a vibrant campus life are just some of the benefits of choosing to study in New Zealand as an international student. Canterbury, in New Zealand’s south island, offers students the chance to benefit from an active lifestyle – with Lake Tekapo and the Hanmer springs nearby. Skiing, watersports, biking and fishing are just some of the numerous outdoor activities at students’ doorsteps.

Bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Southern Alps, the Canterbury region is packed with rolling hills, mountains and waterways just waiting to be explored. The city of Christchurch, the island’s largest city and home to the University of Canterbury, is the perfect place for students to mingle with New Zealanders, taking in some of the city’s historic architecture while feeling part of an intimate, welcoming community.

New Zealand also offers a number of fast-track visa options for international students, meaning that the headache of paperwork is dealt with quickly and students are soon able to begin their university career. Lower living costs and a more laidback lifestyle add to the benefits of choosing New Zealand as a study destination. Christchurch International Airport receives flights from around New Zealand and a number of destinations including Australia, Japan and Singapore.

4. Hawaii, United States

Long white sandy beaches, surfing opportunities and the chance to live on a true slice of of paradise are just some of the things that attract international students to Hawaii. This Polynesian archipelago is located some 2,000 miles from the southwest coast of the U.S. Hawaii really feels a world away from the rest of America. The only U.S. state made up entirely of islands, Hawaii’s capital city Honolulu is found on the island of O‘ahu.

Residents enjoy a laidback lifestyle amid stunning natural beauty, including miles-long coral reefs, rainforests and volcanoes. Students may be even lucky enough to spot a humpback whale or two. The fantastic combination of tropical weather, tranquil beaches and beautiful natural surroundings make Hawaii a unique study destination for international students looking for a change of pace.

The capital Honolulu is home to a mixture of ethnicities, languages and foods. Students can also enjoy the popular Waikiki Beach and Hanauma Bay. Meaning ‘place of shelter’ in Hawaiian, Honolulu is home to the state’s only institution to feature in the QS World University Rankings – the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. As a popular tourist destination, Hawaii is served by a number of U.S. and foreign airlines.

5. Alberta, Canada

Canada’s fourth-largest province is the same size as the state of Texas and twice the size of Japan. It combines a diverse mix of mountains, lush boreal forest, fertile prairies and desert badlands. Alberta is also home to over 600 lakes and 245 rivers, providing excellent watersports, hiking, cycling and fishing opportunities. With the highest number of sunny days in Canada, Alberta is a pleasant province to live in and explore. Safe communities, great public services and year-round cultural activities are just some of the perks of choosing to study in Canada. 

The quality of education and living standards in Canada might be amongst the highest in the world, but the cost of living and tuition fees for international students are generally much lower than in other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Students can benefit from modern universities, such as University of Alberta, with excellent teaching and research at a fraction of the cost. Canada is also a bilingual country, giving students a chance to perfect their English and their French.

6. Heidelberg, Germany

If learning a new language, cheap rent, rewarding degree programmes and steins of beer tick your boxes, then why not consider studying in Germany? In fact, Germany is an excellent destination for international students, offering all the perks of life and study in Europe at affordable prices. Germany is famed for its scientists, scholars and academics, from Albert Einstein to Carl Bosch. Gothic castles, acres of forest and beautiful river scapes all contribute to making Germany a vibrant and culturally diverse study destination.

The historic city of Heidelberg in southwest Germany is an interesting mix of baroque style architecture and picturesque landscapes, as the town lies along the banks of the River Rhine. Heidelberg University is renowned for its excellent research opportunities and world-class teaching methods, set in beautiful historic surroundings. With high speed rail links to the rest of Europe and major international airports within easy reach, choosing to study in Germany will offer international students a unique opportunity to experience all that Europe has to offer.

Pictures via Shutterstock and StudyPerth