Studying abroad

Deciding to study abroad is an important decision which should not be taken lightly:

Pros and cons

  • Gain a competitive edge by learning about other cultures
  • Improve your language skills by studying in a non-English speaking setting
  • Gain transferable skills, useful for your CV
  • Although fees can be lower than in the UK, the cost of travelling between home and another country and living costs soon add up
  • Attend world renowned institutions, giving you the opportunity to study at a university well known for their subject specialism


  • Why you are choosing to study abroad? Is the qualification needed for the role you want to go into or will it help your employment opportunities otherwise?
  • Which country you want to study in – can you speak the language or are their taught courses in English (increasingly available in Europe)?
  • Which institution you would like to attend – check they are accredited and see their world ranking on top universities.
  • What subject you want to study and why?
  • How you will finance yourself and your course

Course research

  • Speak to careers advisers, your tutors, peers and family members about your decision to study abroad. They may have suggestions for you.
  • Check the website of the institution you are considering applying for, they may have information for international students or may put you in contact with current international students who can share their experiences with you. Remember to ensure there are good facilities and services for postgraduate, international students.
  • Do your own research into institutions, courses and your current qualifications equivalence by using the internet, books and publications. See the useful links (below) for a collection of online resources.
  • Some international institutions require you to complete the GRE or GMAT tests. Research this by visiting the course website or by emailing or speaking with the course lecturers or administrators.


Application processes and deadline dates vary from country to country and institution to institution. Ensure you are clear as to when you must apply by. As a guide:

  • 18 – 24 months prior to the course start – research into and visit institutions, check LSE notice boards for study abroad opportunities, check your eligibility and degree equivalence and plan how you will finance your studies.
  • 12 – 18 months prior to the course start - speak to academics in your department to get their advice, arrange suitable referees, check the facilities in your chosen institution and apply for pre-entry tests if required.
  • Last year – research application deadlines, ensure enough time to collect references and transcripts and to do tests. Arrange funding, visa, health insurance, travel and accommodation.

Costs and funding

Research the cost of higher education in the country you want to study in. EU students should not expect to pay higher fees than other students within that EU country. If you are considering studying in the US, be aware that fees, applications and pre-entry exams can be expensive.

Also account for the cost of living and accommodation, cost of travel inside and to and from the country, visa applications, health insurance and books and resources.

Scholarships, grants, studentships, awards and fellowships are often available for international students. Links to funding information can be found on Diigo (search using tags PostgraduateStudy, Funding and either EU, US or International).

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