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How to decide between two study destinations

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If you have narrowed your initial choices of institutions and course down and have been accepted onto more than one course, then it is now time to pick where to carry out your studies. The easiest way to do this is to compare the institutions where possible in terms of location, costs, suitability for your studies, facilities and rankings.


When studying abroad, the location of your chosen university can mean an awful lot. If will impact all of the following aspects of your experience:

  • Time taken to and costs of travel from your home country
  • Quality of life in the surrounding area
  • Job prospects if you are planning to stay following your studies
  • Ease of securing student visa

Even if both of your choices are in the same country, the location of your chosen university should still be high on your criteria. Different regions of the same country can vary greatly in terms of local culture, employment rates and the costs of living. Do you want your pastimes to be city based or closer to nature? Is being close to the sea important for you? All these factors and more should be considered.

Finally, how important is it for you to be able to travel back home to your own country? Consider the duration of this journey and its costs if this is something that you will be doing regularly. has more information and guides on a large range of study abroad destinations at Choosing a country to study abroad.


Your choice of university can have a large impact on the costs of studying abroad. All of the following costs can vary between country to country and even between universities:

  • Tuition fees
  • Student accommodation
  • Food
  • Health insurance
  • Student visa
  • Transportation costs

See our article How much does it really cost to study abroad for a more detailed breakdown of study abroad costs. Take some time to consider how these costs compare for your university choices, it may be that one choice stands out as much more affordable than the other.

Suitability for your studies

It is important to consider how well the subject that you have chosen to study is catered for at your chosen university. Some universities specialize in certain subject areas and are likely to have better industrial links, better study resources and perhaps better standards of teaching in these areas. For example, if you are traveling to the UK to study sports science, Loughborough University has a well-earned reputation as the university to pick, as Sports University of the Year (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022).


When considering the suitability of a university for your studies, it is sensible to check what facilities are available to you at each of your university choices. Does your university have up-to-date sports facilities, or computer labs? What is the campus like and could you see yourself enjoying your time there for the next few years? Make sure that factors that are important to you are covered by the university that you pick.

University rankings

A useful way of making comparisons between universities is university rankings. Rankings are compiled based upon scores on a range of factors, some of which may not be important to your requirements, but they can help to give you an at-a-glance idea of the quality of education to expect from a particular university.

For more information on university rankings, read our article University Rankings Explained.

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