The wanderlust list: Education in jaw-dropping locations

“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on earth, then I ask myself the same question.” – Harun Yahya

Wanderlust – a three-syllable word meaning ‘an irresistibly strong desire to travel or wander’. Do you dream of deep-sea diving among the pristine patch reefs of Malaysia’s Sarawak region; keen to surf the gnarly waves of Otago, New Zealand; explore the sophisticated galleries and rooftop bars of bustling Brisbane, Australia; or even soak up the soul-stimulating sights of Vancouver, Washington?

If you’ve been bitten by the wanderlust bug but would also like to pursue higher education, international study could present the perfect path for you.

For many students, the spirit of learning in a different city, country, or even continent is rooted in their love for challenge and excitement. Travelling abroad can be a way to revitalise your mind, stimulating creativity and wonder. Imagine all the invaluable, precious memories you could make while simultaneously gaining a world-class degree!

Not only does studying abroad fulfil your wanderlust-needs by deepening your appreciation for new countries and cultures, but you also become richer in the knowledge and interpersonal expertise that will benefit you for a lifetime.

Studying abroad can be a fantastic opportunity to establish a strong, global professional network, allowing you to forge friendships with classmates from all around the world.  On top of this, it can be an excellent chance to improve your language skills; be it through studying a full degree taught in the local language, or simply improving your foreign language skills through immersion in the student community.

Another motivation for international students is the prospect of studying at a university with a resounding reputation. This underlies the continued popularity of study destinations like the US, UK, Australia and Canada, who offer a wealth of universities that are well-known and globally respected. With the standard of higher education now consistently improving round the globe, there’s an even greater choice for prospective international students. As such, now is a greater time than ever to embark on a journey to those far-flung corners of the globe you have always longed to see.

Studying overseas also works in your favour when it comes to employability. Reports oftenshow that employers worldwide place increasing value on international experience when assessing graduate job applications.

In fact, according to the biggest-ever survey on the subject, the QS Global Employer Survey Report, six out of 10 global employers  claim to give extra credit for international student experience, and more than 80 percent said they actively sought graduates who had studied overseas.

“But what are the concrete facts?”, you may ask.

Well, according to one study carried out by IES Abroad, around 49 percent of the general population of recent graduates find jobs within 12-months of graduating, compared to 90 percent of international students.

Oliver Watson, the Managing Director for UK, North America and the Middle East at the search firm, Michael Page, says:

“Companies are operating over so many international boundaries, so the more languages and experience with different cultures you can bring to a company, the more you can help expand its global reach.”

So, what have you got to lose? If that wanderlust-bug has you itching for adventure, take a look at these four leading global universities in some of the most heart-stirring locations….


At Curtin University, Sarawak, you’re guaranteed to receive a truly global education experience. With the university attracting international students from more than 45 countries and top-scholars globally, you can be sure that here you’ll have the chance to study in a multicultural environment that gives you a real sense of home.

In addition to the university’s campus in Sarawak, Curtin has locations in Perth, Western Australia, Singapore, and recently in  Dubai; all offering high-quality, internationally recognised courses. The University’s  one Curtin strategy promotes movement of students between campuses while receiving the highest quality of teaching, and its technologically advanced learning delivery modes offers students the opportunity to engage with students and staff at other campuses.

Curtin’s strong industry connections, high-impact research and a varied array of innovative courses make it an increasingly popular study destination for prospective students. This first-rate learning environment has not gone unnoticed, with the institution earning an impressive five-star excellence rating from QS Top Universities 2017.

And if location is what you’re after then this is JUST the place. With a sprawling tropical rainforest right on its doorstep, astonishing coral reefs, clear ocean waters and exotic wildlife… it is nothing less than a nature lover’s paradise! And with the campus located in the thriving city of Miri, it’s the perfect point from which to take in this surrounding beauty. A prosperous and cosmopolitan hub, Miri is Sarawak’s second-largest city, merging a flourishing multicultural lifestyle with a truly relaxed vibe.


If you’re a sucker for sandy beaches, wild waves and a world-class degree, then the University of Otago could be the study destination for you. Home to some of the most thrilling and rewarding breaks New Zealand has to offer, this is the perfect location for surfers – whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned pro!

The institution welcomes international students from over 90 countries, building a warm and culturally-rich academic environment. The University prides itself on the pastoral and academic support granted to students, both from staff in their international office and by various student services at Otago.

Otago University is ranked in the top three percent of universities worldwide. On top of this, many of New Zealand’s most respected artists, novelists, poets and leaders have received an Otago education, more or less making it fact that every hard-working Otago student is destined for success…


Ranked among the world’s Top 100 universities, the University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Australia’s most highly-ranked and awarded learning and research institutions. Hosting a population of more than 50,000 students, with one in every four hailing from global roots, UQ is a verified melting pot of culture. This diverse student population will also grant you exposure to a range of languages and networks!

UQ is a founding member of the national Group of Eight; a leading selection of Australian universities who conduct a significant portion of the nation’s ground-breaking research projects. Furthermore, UQ is one of only three Australian members of Universitas 21; a global alliance that means UQ can offer unique opportunities for students to participate in exchanges and events around the world.

If this doesn’t entice you enough then let’s talk about UQ’s location…built on and around hills that overlook the Brisbane River, the city is characterised by a subtropical climate, a safe, relaxed outdoor lifestyle, unique architecture, bustling restaurants and cafés, thriving arts, sports and entertainment scenes. It has all the advantages of a large modern city, yet retains the friendliness and charm of a small, regional town.


Washington State University (WSU) Vancouver is another campus that’s sure to pull on your heart-strings. WSU Vancouver provides undergraduate and graduate courses to approximately 3,000 talented students.

As one of six campuses of the Washington State University system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. With students from countries all over the world, you are sure to feel the warm welcome from this tight-knit institution. WSU Vancouver even has its own ‘International Students Club’, offering a sense of community to those far from home.

The 350-acre campus is beautifully set in the Salmon Creek area just seven miles north of downtown Vancouver, Washington, USA and 15-miles north of Portland, Oregon, USA. Mini forests, streams, open meadows, and views of the Cascade Mountains accentuate the natural beauty of this breath-taking campus.

WSU Vancouver offers bachelor’s degrees in popular majors such as business, computer science and engineering, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees. Here, your education will leave you prepared for a successful and thriving career after graduation.

Washington State University Vancouver is Southwest Washington’s only four-year research university. Faculty experts work on research of regional, national and international impact, tackling some of the most complex and difficult issues of the modern world.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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