As large swathes of the continent continue to develop at an astounding rate, Asia has grown into quite a reputable destination for earning a degree abroad. While the continent is absolutely massive – it is home to nearly two-thirds of the world’s population and a tremendous diversity of cultures within – each new location in Asia can offer you a unique and rewarding educational experience outside of the Western world. If you are an ambitious student looking to broaden your cultural horizons in big ways, then a great adventure awaits you earning a degree abroad in Asia.
Depending on the precise boundaries you draw, there are somewhere around 50 countries in Asia. As degree abroad programs in the Middle East can be found on a separate page, we will be focusing here on potential locations mostly in eastern and southern Asia.
In the far east, China and Japan welcome an increasing amount of international students every year into their prestigious university systems. These countries, while different from one another in most ways imaginable, are similar in that they are great world powers wielding a tremendous amount of global influence. From Tokyo to Beijing to the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong, there are a number of highly regarded universities in China and Japan that can host your studies abroad.
In the southern regions of the continent, countries such as India, Thailand, and Singapore also boast a bevy of academic institutions with connections to degree abroad programs. Many of these, such as the National University of Singapore and Indian Institute of Science, are globally ranked and welcome foreign students with open arms.
Your options for earning a degree abroad are by no means limited to the above countries; these simply tend to be among the most popular chosen by international students earning their degree abroad in Asia. Research academic programs far and wide before deciding which feels like the perfect fit for you!
Academics & Degrees
While there are thousands of universities across Asia that offer degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels, one of the primary factors limiting accessibility will be the language barrier. Some countries, like India and Singapore, use English as the medium of education and so offer plenty of opportunity for international students. In other countries you will either have to be adept in the local language or otherwise enroll in a internationally-designed program.
Luckily, a lot of these programs exist. Many universities in Asia partner with Western academic institutions to provide English language exchange programs for students who want to complete their studies abroad (China especially has many such arrangements). This option is usually more common at the graduate level, for the completion of a one or two year Master’s degree, but some undergraduate programs exist as well.
Common subject areas for students pursuing a degree abroad in Asia include engineering, medicine, language studies, Asian studies, and international business. Degree abroad programs of all different types are out there, so you are not at all limited to these popular subjects. Specialized degree programs in Asia are often combined with field work and/or internship opportunities, so students can get the most out of their experience in and outside of the classroom.
Scholarships & Costs
While some countries are an exception to the rule (i.e. Japan and Singapore), for the most part you can expect general costs of living to be significantly more affordable in Asia than in the Western world. There is a great amount of internal diversity in this regard, relative to economic growth and living standards, so affordability is something to take into consideration when researching degree programs.
Anywhere you go in Asia, tuition can still be a major expense for international students. Check out GoAbroad’s scholarship directory to learn more about all the available financial aid opportunities out there which can help soften the toll on your bank account!
Accommodation & Visas
Available accommodations will also vary significantly, depending on where you go and what type of program you enroll in. Student dormitories are always a popular option, and in many cases you will have the opportunity to choose from a homestay or apartment living as well. Living standards in Asia can be much different from one country to the next (or even one city to the next), so be prepared for a change!
You will generally need to apply for a student visa in order to earn your degree abroad in Asia. Your degree abroad program or host university will generally endorse you throughout this process, but in the meantime you can check out GoAbroad’s embassy directory.
Benefits & Challenges
The Other ⅔. Many people from the Western world are not attuned to the fact that over 60% of the global population lives on the Asian continent. Earning your degree abroad is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself amidst this thriving mass of life and culture.
Language Study. Learning the local language should be a priority while earning your degree abroad. Not only will it enhance your everyday interactions tenfold, it can’t help but boost your career prospects as well.
Outside Travel. Asia is one of the more affordable regions to travel on the planet. Your hard-earned money can take you a long way here travelling before, during, and after your degree program!