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More and more Australians and New Zealanders are choosing to study overseas. What were once insurmountable obstacles (distance, applications, financing) are now being overcome by the massive benefits that a student obtains from studying abroad. While there are countless benefits we look at three of the main reasons why Australians and New Zealanders should consider studying overseas.

Best universities

Australia has some of the best universities in the world. 5 of the top 50 universities are Australian, and 7% of the top 200 are in ANZ.  For two countries that account for less than 0.4% of the world’s population that is impressive.

However, there are two other countries that also have excellent universities; USA and UK. These two countries alone account for 39 of the top 100 universities in the world (USA:25, UK: 14). 9 of the top 10 are from these two countries and the top five read; MIT, Stanford, Harvard, CalTech and Oxford. An impressive list.

As an Australian or New Zealander if you want to study at the best universities in the world then you should consider studying in the UK or USA.

Strong employment outcomes

One of the main reasons to undertake higher education is to improve your employability. International education helps you develop skills that are critical for the workforce of the future. A recent survey of Australians who have studies overseas said that the experience improved their communication skills (95% of respondents), capacity to adapt (95%), problem solving (88%), critical thinking (86%), and teamwork (83%).

Whilst subject matter skills that are learned in the classroom are important, the soft skills described above are becoming increasingly critical for employers when recruiting. Overseas education helps develop these skills in ways that domestic study cannot. This is not because of the quality of the institution (see above – ANZ has some great universities) but because students are forced to work outside their comfort zone, in a global environment and with people for a diverse set of backgrounds.

These experiences also help with global employability. At the time of the survey 22% of respondents were working abroad, 41% of respondents had worked abroad and an additional one third planned to work overseas in the future. The top six countries for those working overseas were, the UK, USA, Canada, Singapore, Germany and Hong Kong.

The lesson from this is that if you want to work overseas, studying overseas is a big help

Great experiences

Australians and New Zealanders love to live overseas. It is almost a rite of passage. There are two main options to living overseas; work and study. For a young person without work experience, the work option may be difficult. Studying overseas not only helps you immerse yourself in the culture of your destination country for a number of years it also has two additional benefits; firstly you obtain a world-class degree from a world leading university and, secondly, it helps you dovetail into a career in that nation should you choose.

The one small catch…

Organising your fundraising to study overseas can be difficult. Whilst the benefits of studying overseas are apparent the financial roadblock can be insurmountable for some. Thankfully, there are options to help you on your educational journey. One of those options is Spark, who provide innovative financial assistance to Australians and New Zealanders looking to study overseas. If you are interested in studying overseas please reach out to Spark so we can help you plan your next steps.

Contact Spark at

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