15 Most Advanced Countries in Education
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Canada, the United States, and France are three of the 15 most advanced countries in education according to the global higher education student body, which is increasingly seeking out new experiences and opportunities by studying abroad.
Educational tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the broader tourism industry according to the World Tourism Organization. 6.1 million higher education students studied abroad in 2019, up from just 2 million in 2000. That figure is expected to rise to 8 million by 2030.
Unsurprisingly, China and India, with their vast populations, were among the top countries in terms of number of citizens studying abroad. Germany, South Korea, and Nigeria also had a noteworthy number of students studying in other countries.
The benefits of studying in one of the 15 most advanced countries in education are many, including the opportunity to get a better education in a particular field than might be possible back home. Foreign students also gain the benefits of living in another culture, possibly learning a new language, and building their confidence and independence.
Before we dive into the countdown of the 15 most advanced countries in education we asked OpenAI’s artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT what some of the prominent questions people have regarding studying abroad. The top six questions and their corresponding answers are listed below.
Question 1: Why study abroad?
ChatGPT’s Answer: There are many benefits to studying abroad, including the opportunity to:
Learn about a new culture: Studying abroad allows you to immerse yourself in a new culture and learn about the customs, traditions, and ways of life in another country.
Improve your language skills: Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity to improve your language skills, whether you are learning a new language or improving your proficiency in a language you already know.
Enhance your education: Studying abroad exposes you to new ideas and perspectives, which can enrich your educational experience and help you to think more critically and creatively.
Build your resume: Employers often view study abroad experience as a valuable asset, as it demonstrates your ability to adapt to new situations, navigate unfamiliar environments, and work with people from diverse backgrounds.
Make new friends: Studying abroad provides the opportunity to meet and form relationships with people from different cultures and backgrounds. These relationships can be some of the most rewarding and lasting friendships you will make.
Question 2: How do I choose a study abroad program?
ChatGPT’s Answer: Here are some things to consider when evaluating study abroad programs:
Location: Think about where you want to study abroad and what kind of environment you want to be in. Do you want to study in a big city or a small town? In a developed country or a developing country? Near the coast or in the mountains?
Program type: Consider whether you want to study at a foreign university, participate in a cultural exchange program, or enroll in a study abroad program through your home university. Each type of program has its own advantages and disadvantages, so think about what will be the best fit for you.
Academic focus: Look for a program that aligns with your academic interests and goals. If you're studying a specific subject, make sure the program you choose offers coursework in that area.
Housing and accommodations: Consider where you will be living during your study abroad experience. Will you be staying with a host family, in a dorm, or in an apartment?
Cost: Compare the costs of different programs to see which ones fit within your budget. Don't forget to factor in travel expenses, housing costs, and other living expenses.
Support and resources: Consider whether the program provides support services such as academic advising, health and safety resources, and cultural orientation.
Question 3: How do I apply for a study abroad program?
ChatGPT’s Answer: Here are some steps you can follow to apply for a study abroad program:
Research study abroad programs: Start by researching study abroad programs that match your interests and academic goals. Consider factors such as location, duration, cost, and the types of courses and activities offered.
Check eligibility requirements: Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for the study abroad program you are interested in. These requirements may vary depending on the program, and may include things like GPA requirements, language proficiency, and enrollment status.
Gather necessary documents: Start gathering the necessary documents for your application, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. You may also need to provide a copy of your passport or other identification documents.
Complete the application: Follow the instructions provided by the study abroad program to complete the application process. This may involve filling out an online application form, submitting supporting documents, and paying any applicable fees.
Attend an interview: Some study abroad programs may require you to attend an interview as part of the application process. This may be an in-person interview or a virtual interview, depending on the program.
Wait for a decision: After you have completed the application process, you will need to wait for a decision from the study abroad program. This may take several weeks or longer, depending on the program.
Accept or decline the offer: If you are accepted into the study abroad program, you will need to accept or decline the offer. If you accept the offer, you will need to follow the next steps provided by the program to complete the enrollment process.
Question 4: How do I prepare for studying abroad?
ChatGPT’s Answer: Here are some steps you can take to prepare for studying abroad:
Research your destination: Learn as much as you can about the country and culture where you will be studying. This can help you better understand what to expect and how to adjust to your new environment.
Learn the language: If you will be studying in a country where the primary language is different from your own, consider taking language classes or learning some basic phrases to help you communicate while abroad.
Get your documents in order: Make sure you have all the necessary documents, such as your passport and visas, in order before you leave. You may also need to obtain other documents, such as a student visa or a letter of acceptance from your host institution.
Pack wisely: Make a list of everything you need to bring with you and consider the climate and culture of your destination. Pack light and only bring the essentials, as you may have limited space and may need to carry your luggage with you while traveling.
Make travel arrangements: Book your flights and any other transportation you will need to get to and from your destination. You may also want to consider making arrangements for accommodations, such as a hostel or apartment, before you arrive.
Notify your bank and credit card companies: Let your bank and credit card companies know that you will be traveling abroad so they don't flag your account for suspicious activity. Consider getting a travel credit card or opening a bank account in the country where you will be studying.
Get travel insurance: Consider getting travel insurance to protect yourself in case of any unexpected events, such as lost luggage or medical emergencies.
Research safety guidelines: Familiarize yourself with safety guidelines and emergency procedures for your destination. Consider getting a personal safety device or downloading a safety app to help you stay safe while abroad.
Question 5: How do I finance my study abroad experience?
ChatGPT’s Answer: There are several ways you can finance your study abroad experience, including:
Scholarships: Many study abroad programs offer scholarships or grants to help students cover the costs of their experience. You can search online or ask your study abroad office for information about available scholarships.
Financial aid: If you are a student in the United States, you may be able to use your financial aid to cover some of the costs of studying abroad. Check with your financial aid office to see what options are available to you.
Savings: You may want to save up money in advance to help cover the costs of studying abroad. Consider cutting back on expenses or finding ways to make extra money in the months leading up to your trip.
Loans: You may be able to take out a loan to help finance your study abroad experience. Consider federal student loans or private student loans, or talk to your study abroad office or financial aid office for information about other loan options.
Part-time work: You may be able to find part-time work while studying abroad to help cover your expenses. Check with your study abroad program or ask locals for job opportunities.
Fundraising: Some students choose to fundraise to help cover the costs of studying abroad. You can create an online fundraising campaign or host events to raise money for your trip.
Question 6: What should I pack for studying abroad?
ChatGPT’s Answer: Here is a list of items you may want to consider packing for studying abroad:
Passport and visas: Make sure to bring your passport and any necessary visas with you when you study abroad. You may also want to bring copies of these documents in case of loss or theft.
Travel documents: Bring any travel documents, such as tickets or confirmation numbers, that you will need for your trip.
Student identification: Bring your student identification card, as it may be required for discounts or other perks.
Money and financial documents: Bring cash, credit cards, and any other financial documents you may need while abroad. You may also want to consider getting a travel credit card or opening a bank account in the country where you will be studying.
Medications: If you take any medications, be sure to bring enough to last the duration of your trip and a copy of your prescription.
Clothes: Pack a variety of clothes that are appropriate for the weather and culture of the country where you will be studying. Consider bringing layers to accommodate changing weather conditions.
Electronics: Consider bringing a laptop, phone, and any other electronic devices you may need while studying abroad. Be sure to bring all necessary chargers and adapters.
Important documents: Bring copies of important documents, such as your birth certificate, insurance documents, and transcripts, in case you need them while abroad.
Now that we know the ins and outs of studying abroad, let’s check out the 15 most advanced countries in education to highlight potential landing spots.
To determine the most advanced countries in education, we wanted to know the top global destinations for foreign students in higher education, which signals the top countries international students believe will provide them with the best education. To compile the list we used Project Atlas’ 2020 Global Mobility Trends report, which has data on the number of international students that studied in a select group of countries during 2020.
Note that no 2020 data was available for China, so it has been omitted from the list. China ranked fourth in 2019 with 492,185 foreign students studying in the country.
15 Most Advanced Countries in Education
Disclaimer: The following write-ups are generated primarily by ChatGPT and not everything ChatGPT outputs is accurate, so its responses have to be taken with a grain of salt. However, for the most part it’s proven to be a powerful research tool. In some instances the responses have been edited for style and clarity, or additional information has been added by the author.
Number of International Students in 2020: 21,199
Year-over-year Change: -12.8%
First up on the list of 15 most advanced countries in education is Norway, which has a highly developed education system, with a range of options for higher education. The country has a number of universities and university colleges that offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of subjects.
Admission to higher education institutions in Norway is based on merit, and students are typically required to have completed upper secondary education (high school) and pass a series of entrance exams in order to be eligible to apply. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim is the largest and most prestigious university in Norway, and it offers a wide range of degree programs in science, technology, engineering, medicine, and other fields. Other notable universities in Norway include the University of Oslo, the University of Bergen, and the University of Tromsø.
Number of International Students in 2020: 30,733
Year-over-year Change: -4.3%
The University of Copenhagen is the largest and most prestigious university in Denmark, and it offers a wide range of degree programs in a variety of fields, including science, technology, engineering, medicine, and the humanities. Other notable universities in Denmark include the Technical University of Denmark, the University of Aarhus, and the University of Southern Denmark.
Higher education in Denmark is largely funded by the government, and tuition is generally free for Danish citizens and residents. However, there may be fees for certain programs or services, such as laboratory fees or student housing. International students may be required to pay tuition fees, which can vary depending on the program and institution.
Number of International Students in 2020: 38,334
Year-over-year Change: +1.2%
Sweden is a popular destination for international students seeking a high-quality education. The country has a strong reputation for its innovative and research-intensive higher education system, and it is home to a number of top-ranked universities and university colleges.
The Stockholm University is the largest and most prestigious university in Sweden, and offers a wide range of degree programs in a variety of fields, including science, technology, engineering, medicine, and the humanities. Other notable universities in Sweden include the University of Uppsala, the Lund University, and the Chalmers University of Technology.
12. New Zealand
Number of International Students in 2020: 52,995
Year-over-year Change: -13.5%
Among the 15 most advanced countries in education, New Zealand had the largest year-over-year drop in the number of international students, which fell by 13.5%. That was due in part to the country’s aggressive Covid lockdowns, which essentially isolated the small island nation for several months in 2020.
New Zealand is a popular destination for international students seeking a high-quality education. The country has a strong reputation for its innovative and research-intensive higher education system, and it is home to a number of top-ranked universities and polytechnics. Some of the factors that may contribute to New Zealand's appeal as a study destination include its high-quality education, its welcoming and diverse culture, and its unique and beautiful natural environment.
New Zealand is home to a number of internationally renowned universities, including the University of Auckland, the University of Otago, and the Victoria University of Wellington. These institutions offer a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of subjects, including science, technology, engineering, medicine, and the humanities.
Number of International Students in 2020: 78,259
Year-over-year Change: +7.6%
Poland has a strong higher education system, with a number of universities and technical colleges that offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of subjects.
Some of the factors that may contribute to Poland's appeal as a study destination include its affordable tuition, its rich cultural history and vibrant contemporary culture, and its central location in Europe. Poland is home to a number of internationally renowned universities, including the University of Warsaw, the Jagiellonian University, and the Technical University of Lodz. These institutions offer a range of degree programs in a variety of fields, including science, technology, engineering, medicine, and the humanities.
Number of International Students in 2020: 94,236
Year-over-year Change: +9.6%
One of the 15 most advanced countries in education is the Netherlands, which had the third-highest year-over-year jump in international students during 2020.
One of the main attractions of education tourism in the Netherlands is the country's world-renowned universities and research institutions. The Netherlands is home to several top-ranked universities, including the University of Amsterdam, the Technical University of Delft, and the University of Leiden. These institutions offer a wide range of academic programs and research opportunities for students from around the world.
In addition to its academic institutions, the Netherlands is also known for its cultural heritage and diverse cities. Amsterdam, in particular, is a popular destination for education tourists, with its rich history, cultural attractions, and vibrant nightlife. Other popular destinations in the Netherlands include Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht.
Number of International Students in 2020: 125,675
Year-over-year Change: +3.9%
Spain is home to several top-ranked universities, including the University of Barcelona, the University of Granada, and the University of Salamanca. These institutions offer a wide range of academic programs and research opportunities for students from around the world.
Education tourists to Spain can choose from a variety of educational programs and activities, including language courses, cultural immersion programs, study abroad programs, and internships. The country is also home to a number of educational tour operators and organizations that can help visitors plan and organize their educational travel experiences.
Number of International Students in 2020: 228,403
Year-over-year Change: +9.3%
Ranking eighth among the most advanced countries in education is Japan with over 228,000 international students in 2020. Education tourists to Japan can choose from a variety of educational programs and activities, including language courses, cultural immersion programs, study abroad programs, and internships. The country is also home to a number of educational tour operators and organizations that can help visitors plan and organize their educational travel experiences.
Number of International Students in 2020: 302,157
Year-over-year Change: +7.1%
Germany is home to several world-renowned universities, including the University of Munich, the Technical University of Berlin, and the University of Heidelberg. These institutions offer a wide range of academic programs and research opportunities for students from around the world. Popular destinations for education tourists in Germany include Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg, which offer a mix of historical and cultural attractions, as well as modern amenities and lively cityscapes.
Number of International Students in 2020: 353,331
Year-over-year Change: +5.6%
Perhaps one of the biggest surprise entrants on the list of the 15 most advanced countries in education is Russia, which had over 353,000 international students in 2020, though that number has surely dropped for political reasons over the last two years.
Regardless, Russia has a long and storied history in higher education, which is provided by a network of universities, institutes, and academies. Some of its institutions date all the way back to the 18th century, including Lomonosov Moscow State University, founded in 1755, and St. Petersburg State University, which was founded in 1724.
Higher education in Russia is divided into two levels: bachelor's and master's programs, which are typically four years and two years in duration, respectively. Doctoral programs, which are research-based and typically take three to four years to complete, are also available.
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Disclosure: None. 15 Most Advanced Countries in Education is originally published at Insider Monkey.