What is the right destination for undergraduate study?

A comparison of eight leading undergraduate study destinations for Indian students

July 16, 2022 01:54 pm | Updated 05:26 pm IST

The world is your oyster when choosing study destinations. But choose wisely.

The world is your oyster when choosing study destinations. But choose wisely.

While the choice of study destination depends on your budget, goals, presence of family and other things, here is an overview of eight leading destinations (in alphabetical order). We look at the pros and cons of studying there, cost of education for undergraduate studies and ease of immigration.


Pros: Australia offers a highly egalitarian society with high-income levels. Post-COVID-19, Australia has opened its doors to the world with easy immigration norms, attractive salaries and job opportunities across the board. A few world-class universities combined with breathtaking views, great weather year-round, work-life balance and a sporty environment make Australia a highly attractive destination. An Australian passport also means access to jobs across Commonwealth countries.

Cons:The distance from the rest of the world and a small population makes the country somewhat isolated. While racism is dying a slow death, the “bamboo ceiling” often frustrates ambitious Asian-Americans aiming at top jobs. And “white flight” — white students being pulled out of public schools with too many immigrants — also raises some fears.

Annual cost: ₹26-30 lakh

Ease of immigration: High


Pros: A highly cosmopolitan, largely English-speaking country with a socialist democratic government, Canada offers easier PR and citizenship routes than most other countries. This, combined with its proximity to the U.S., world-class universities and a growing immigrant population makes it a strong destination for international students. 

Cons: Some cities in Canada are extremely cold. The economy is growing slowly and the rush of immigrants is creating uncertainty about getting and sustaining jobs outside technology.

Annual cost: ₹17-37 lakh

Ease of immigration: Medium to high


Pros: Free undergraduate education for international students in public universities, and highly affordable fees for private universities, combined with good economic growth, translates into great growth opportunities in technical, medical and business fields.

Cons: One needs to learn German to survive even in the more cosmopolitan cities. Also, like most of Europe, there is a marked difference in the quality of society outside the big cities, making it tougher to integrate into them. 

Annual cost: ₹14-35 lakh

Ease of immigration: Medium to high


Pros:Ireland hosts the European headquarters of Google, Meta (Facebook), IBM, Dell, Pfizer, GSK and several other MNCs. This creates many jobs in tech and business. Affordable education, easy immigration norms and access to Eurozone on an Irish passport make it an attractive destination. 

Cons: Only big cities such as Dublin and Cork are cosmopolitan in nature. There are fewer opportunities in creative fields, academic research and areas outside technology and business. While Trinity College in Dublin is highly ranked, few others offer a degree valued outside Ireland.

Annual cost: ₹25-27 lakh

Ease of immigration: High

The Netherlands

Pros: An excellent education system and beautiful landscapes make The Netherlands a great country to live and work in. It offers post-study work visas for undergraduate students and has easier permanent residency norms. 

Cons: While Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague are fairly cosmopolitan, in the long-run, one needs to learn a foreign language to assimilate into society. There may be only a few job opportunities outside Hospitality, Technology and Finance. 

Annual cost: ₹17-25 lakh

Ease of immigration: Medium to high


Pros: Great quality of life and growth opportunities across industries. Singapore boasts world-class universities and hosts regional headquarters of several large MNCs like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Apple, Pfizer, General Electric and Walt Disney. 

Cons:A highly competitive environment, the best Singapore universities are tough to get into and tougher still to survive in. The ease of getting PR and citizenship, too, has fallen drastically in the last few years. Also, the compulsory national (military) service requires all 18-year-old male citizens and PR holders to enlist for active duty for two years.

Annual cost: ₹25-55 lakh

Ease of immigration: Low to medium

The U.K.

Pros: Oxbridge, UCL, St Andrews, Kings, LSE ... these are probably some compelling reasons to study in the U.K. Add to that, highly cosmopolitan cities such as London and Edinburgh attract students with interests across finance, media, medicine, design and technology. 

Cons: The current economic crises, post-Brexit impact on businesses, high taxation and property prices make the high education costs a bit of a low value-for-money proposition.

Annual cost: ₹25-40 lakh

Ease of immigration: Low to medium

The U.S.

Pros: A thriving economy and a highly entrepreneurial culture offer growth opportunities for international students across areas. From top-ranked Ivy leagues to smaller, lower-ranked colleges that offer almost full tuition fee waivers, almost any student with any interest can find a foothold.

Cons: The long wait time towards green cards and citizenship is the primary drawback. Students may need to return to their home countries and reapply for the H1B after completing their initial six-year stay.

Annual cost: ₹25-55 lakh

Ease of immigration: Low

The writer is Founder and CEO, Inomi Learning, a Gurugram-based career and college guidance firm. info@inomi.in

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