Studying abroad is about so much more than just education. Of course, that is the main reason for choosing a destination, but the enriching experience of going to a different country to study is also about discovering new cultures, new mentalities and discovering yourself at the same time. It’s a learning experience far beyond the classroom.
Countries like the UK, US or France are well established study abroad destinations, but there are others emerging on the lists of options of young students.
1. South Korea
Having become a recognized Asian powerhouse in the fields of technology, education and tourism, South Korea is fast claiming its place as an international study abroad destination, with Seoul managing to climb among the world’s top 10 student cities and a plan to welcome 200,000 international students in 2023.
From the over 370 higher education institutions, 41 are on Quacquarelli Symonds’ (QS), the world’s leading provider of services, analytics, and insight to the global higher education sector, World University Rankings 2023, the highest entries being Seoul National University and KAIST – Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, in Daejeon.
Tuition fees vary depending on university and choice of programme, averaging at $4,350 per semester at a public institution and $5,800 per semester at a private one, with two semesters in each academic year. Besides the scholarships available from the universities themselves, which can cover 30% to 100% of the tuition, government grants, like the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS), can also cover living expenses and sometimes even air fares.
Exploring Squid Game filming locations, or enjoying the soon to open “floating” swimming pool and world’s largest spokeless Ferris wheel, or visiting the world’s first floating city, South Korea certainly has broad offer of experiences for students to discover in their free time.
Argentina receives about 90,000 international students each year, the second highest influx among Latin American countries. With over a third of these coming from Europe, the US and Asia, it is slowly but surely establishing itself as a popular international study abroad destination.
According to QS, it is one of the fastest-growing centres of university education, with 25 institutions featuring on the World Universities Rankings 2023, the highest entries being Buenos Aires’ Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) and Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina.
The 40 national universities are either tuition free or charge very little, while the about 45 private institutions can charge between $3,000 and $20,000 per year. Among different scholarships from each university, study abroad students can also apply for the David L. Boren Scholarships from the National Security Education Program to help fund their studies.
Kazakhstan is becoming a regional study hub in Central Asia and claiming its place on the worldwide higher education map. After joining the Bologna Declaration in 2010, which aims to standardize higher education provision and principles, it became the first Central Asian country to be recognised as a full member of the European Higher Education Area.
From the about 120 universities, 16 are featured on the World University Rankings 2023, the highest entries being Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU), in Almaty, and L. N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University (ENU), in Astana.
“Kazakhstan has both state and private universities that offer education in all specialties”, explains Miras Daulenov, President of the Narxoz University and former Vice-Minister of Education of Kazakhstan. “As an example, Narxoz University with a brand new world-class campus is located in the historical and scenic Almaty, offers a globally oriented education in English language in Business, Law, IT and Social Sciences. Narxoz University belongs to two percent of universities in Kazakhstan that received truly international accreditation. Narxoz University is also ranked as a top private university according to Times Higher Education Impact Ranking (2022) and is among top universities of Central Asia according to QS Asia 2023.”
Depending on the institution, yearly tuition varies from as little as $200 to $4,000, with fees for the Nazarbayev University being completely covered by the state. Almost all universities in Kazakhstan offer a variety of scholarships and loans for students with high academic achievement and/or financial difficulties. Moreover, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education offers hundreds of scholarships each year for foreign citizens who wish to study in Kazakhstan. The latest round of applications has just opened with 490 grants available for bachelor programs, 50 for masters and 10 for PhDs. The scholarships not only cover the tuition fees, but also include a monthly allowance for students to cover accommodation or other expenses.
Since studying abroad is about discovering the destination almost as much as it is about education, traditions like Nauryz, unique religious sites or the Moon-like landscapes of Bozjyra are just a few examples of what Kazakhstan has to offer.