StudyLink logoHome
Students on a university campus

A guide to studying abroad for Pakistani students

Large library entrance

Studying abroad as a Pakistani student is a popular choice, particularly as international mobility is rising once more. Each year, thousands of student from Pakistan are granted international student visas to a variety of different countries, and there are more than 60,000 Pakistani students getting an education at universities around the world.

Choosing the right country for you is one of the first steps when thinking about studying abroad, and can feel like an overwhelming task. There are many things you will need to consider, including student visas, affordability, quality of education and scholarship availability. This article aims to provide you with information that can help you begin your studying abroad journey, and what you need to do to take the next step.

Most Popular Destinations for Pakistani Students

Pakistani students are able to study abroad in a wide range of countries, from nearby countries to those on the other side of the world. These are some of the most popular study destinations:


China consistently has many of its universities ranked well in the QS World University Rankings, and is an increasingly popular destination for international students. There are more than 30,000 Pakistani students who have chosen China as their study abroad destination, making it one of the most popular.

Living costs in China are between 750-1,250 US Dollars per month, while tuition fees for Pakistani students can vary between 3,000 to 15,000 US Dollars per year, with specialised degrees and masters, such as medicine and law, costing more, at about 20,000 to 50,000 US Dollars per year.


With most of the big Australian cities (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth, Gold Coast) being featured in the QS Best Student Cities rankings, Australia presents an attractive option for Pakistani students looking to study abroad in a welcoming, immigrant friendly environment. In addition to world-class education and research facilities, Australia offers post-graduation employment visas and opportunities.

Tuition fees normally range from 20,000 to 45,000 US Dollars per year for degree programmes, depending on the university and field of study. Living expenses can be around 950-2,000 US Dollars per month for the major Australian cities.

READ MORE: Top 10 Universities in Australia

United States of America

The USA is an immensely popular study abroad destination for Pakistani students, particularly for undergraduate studies. There are hundreds of American universities listed in the QS World University Rankings, many of which are highly ranked and world renowned.

Getting an education at an American university can be an expensive choice for an international student, but there are a wide variety of scholarships available, so don’t let that put you off. Living costs in the major cities, such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston, can be upwards of 2,000 US Dollars per month.

Tuition fees will vary depending on what type of university you study at, but normally range between 15,000 and 55,000 US Dollars per year. Public universities and colleges will usually have more affordable tuition than their private counterparts, but private universities sometimes have access to greater resources to offer scholarships and financial aid.

READ MORE: Public vs. Private Universities in the USA

United Kingdom

The UK has a long standing relationship with Pakistan, and Pakistani students have chosen the country as a study abroad destination for decades. The UK continues to be a popular choice for international students from all around the world, and there are more than 13,000 Pakistani students enrolled in UK universities each year.

As with America, a degree at a highly ranked UK university can be expensive. Tuition fees for international students will range between 15,000 and 25,000 US Dollars per year. Living costs in major cities such as London, Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester will be more expensive than smaller cities and towns like Swansea, Sheffield, Aberdeen and Belfast.

Most Popular Courses for Pakistani Students

A large number of the Pakistani students who are choosing to study abroad are pursing degrees and masters in scientific and technological fields. This could be related to the job opportunities that are available within these professions, meaning that post-graduation employment is more likely.

Below are a few of the most popular degree programmes across undergraduate, masters and PhD levels for Pakistani international students:

How to Study Abroad from Pakistan

Although each university will have their own list of entry requirements for Pakistani students, there are plenty of general requirements you need to be aware of. Here are some of the most common admission requirements:

  • Language proficiency certificate: minimum TOEFL score of 80-85 and IELTS score of 6.0-6.5. Certain countries require a different language test, such as the Def/Dalf test for France
  • International passport with validity until the end of your planned degree
  • At least two recommendation letters: can be academic or professional
  • Birth certificate
  • A valid student visa for the country you will be studying in
  • Secondary school transcript or university transcript
  • Healthcare documents, such as insurance, etc.
  • Bank statements with proof of funds

The Student Visa Process for Pakistani Students

The student visa application process for Pakistani students will vary depending on the country you are applying to study in. We suggest that you begin the process of applying as soon as you have an enrollment offer from your university, as it can take a while to move through the whole process.

As well as visas, international students should take time to research any scholarships or financial aid that may be helpful for their study abroad journey. This is another process that can take time, so it is worth getting a head start if you can.

READ MORE: International Study Visas

Scholarships for Pakistani Students Abroad

In terms of scholarships that are available to Pakistani students, there are many you should consider. These are the most popular and well-known scholarships for international students:

  • Fulbright Scholarships – the USA
  • Macquarie Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarships – Australia
  • UEA International Development Full Fees Scholarships – Master’s Degrees in the UK
  • Government of Flanders Master Mind Scholarships for International Students – Master’s Degrees in Belgium
  • Türkiye Scholarships for International Students – Turkey
  • Singapore International Graduate Award – PhD Degrees in Singapore

If you are unable to get a scholarship, you could also consider applying for a study loan to help meet your financial needs whilst you study abroad. Study loan applications require different things depending on the bank or lender, but most banks will require collateral or a co-signer who can guarantee that the money will be paid back. In most cases, your parent or legal guardian can be the co-signer or guarantor on your loan applications.

It is essential that you begin applications early and know when the deadlines for university applications and student visas are, as this will allow you to be the most prepared for the process as a whole. Taking time to plan your application will mean that you have plenty of time to prepare the required documents and any other relevant information, and will reduce the chances of mistakes.

Related topics

Search for courses now

International study advice

Read our key advice article to help you make the best decision for your education and start your International study adventure.

Person holding a compass
How to choose the ideal study destination for you

In this article we look at how to approach choosing where in the world you would like to study.

World map on a blackboard
Deciding to study abroad: The first steps

Read StudyLink's suggestions on your first steps when deciding where to study abroad, with helpful tips to make your decision easier.

Students reading a book
English Language Testing for International Students

Find out more about English language tests, your options and what is required as an overseas student.

Lady holding bank notes
How much does it really cost to study abroad in 2024? take a detailed look into the costs of studying abroad and all the aspects that you should budget for when embarking on your studies.

A visa document
10 Common Student Visa Question

We answer 10 common questions about applying for a student visa to help make your visa application quick and easy.

A visa document and a world map
International Study Visas

Find out more about international student visas for studying abroad, as well as how, where and when to apply for yours.

A piggy bank with coins
Funding and Scholarships for International Students

Find out more about funding and scholarships for international students, and what financial assistance might be available to you.

Person selecting a book from a shelf
How to choose the right course for you

How to choose a course that fits you? Check our top tips on choosing which course is best for you to help you make an informed decision.

See more international study advice

Sign up to

Sign up to, the home of quality study abroad advice.

Sign up now
Students with books and test tubes
Search for courses