10 Up and Coming Places to Study Abroad

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If you plan to study abroad, the first question you’ll have to answer is ‘where do I go to study?’ You may already be aware of the most popular study destinations  for international students. But you also wonder what other options are out there. There are popular and already established study abroad destinations. But each year newer destinations gain more prominence. For instance, China started to significantly attract international students recently. And other countries are following suit.

So, today, we bring you 10 up and coming places to study abroad in 2020. This post is brought to you by After School Africa. If you are new to these posts, welcome. We aim for all-round education of young Africans. Consider joining 11000+ others in subscribing to AfterSchoolAfrica on Youtube to continue exploring opportunities and watching videos like this one below:

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1.     South Africa

South Africa is home to 23 public universities comprising a mix of the traditional, vocational and hybrid models. In 2013, the South African government spent 21 percent of its national budget on education with 10 percent earmarked for higher education, besting countries like the U.S, Germany, India, Japan, and Canada. With higher education staking its claim as one of the key factors in the country’s emerging economy, students who choose to study abroad in South Africa are uniquely positioned to gain a high-quality education while participating in history in the making. South Africa is home to Africa’s best universities with three of the top five all in the country. The country is also Africa’s most developed, offering standards of living comparable to those in Europe and the Americas.

2.     Malaysia

Malaysia is a favorite destination for international students attracted to the low cost of living, low tuition, and diverse culture. In recent years, the country’s educational authority has been making attempts to attract more international students by making it easier for schools in Europe and the US to set up local campuses in the country. Setting up local campuses has a major advantage of attracting lower tuition than it would have been if one had gone to the main university. Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, is one of the most affordable student’s cities in the world and is home to several world-class universities including the Universiti Malaya, ranked 27th in Asia. The country is also hosting campuses of UK and US universities such the University of Nottingham.

3.     China

 China has the highest number of international students in the whole of Asia and is the third highest destination for international students globally. This is not surprising as the country has many things in its favor. The economy is strong and growing; it is a world center of trade and is also highly industrialized. The country has invested so much in Education and this is reflected in the global ranking of its universities with the Tsinghua University coming in as the 23rd best university in the world. Tuition fees are also relatively cheap in the country going for between $2200-$4500. Cost of living is also considerably low; a budget of $500 per month will suffice for accommodation, feeding and utilities in China.

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4.     Portugal

Located on the Iberian Peninsula next door to Spain, Portugal’s stunning architecture, friendly people, and laid-back lifestyle will steal your heart. The quiet southwestern European nation is one to watch out for in international studies. International students choosing to study in Portugal will be impressed by the low cost of tuition and the equally affordable cost of living. On average, tuition is $1,500 USD per undergraduate year. This also depend on the degree level at which a student attends. The cost of living is around $600-$800 each month. International students in Portugal also enjoy discounts to the metro, to museums and even to historical locations. This is a great way to improve the quality of your education in Portugal. The number of international students in Portugal has doubled in the last decade, and today represents 50,000 of students enrolled and 13% of the total number of students in higher education.

5.     Taiwan

Taiwan is one of the leading Asian Tigers with universities and educational system famous for its emphasis on technological and technical curriculum. The country’s most famous technological hub, the Hsinchu Science Park, is the Asian version of America’s Silicon Valley. Tuition fees in the country are pretty cheap, although they do vary across courses and institutions. Fees for international students are less than $1,000 per year at most universities, but you can expect to pay more at a private institution. The majority of universities are located in the capital of Taipei, where tech companies sit next to temples, and skyscrapers coexist with thriving markets. 

6.     Greece

 Greece is an incredible country with a lot of ancient history and civilization. The southern European nation brought us great philosophers and dazzling mythology. It’s more than just a historical site. Greece has around 24 universities and 16 technical universities and most of them are public. Greece’s Universities rank relatively high on the Times Higher Education and QS World University rankings. Tuition is free for international student from Europe but students from other parts of the world have to pay tuition of around $1,550 to $9,900 per year. Greece is also one of the cheapest countries in Europe for students.

7.     Poland

If you are looking to study in Europe without paying the hefty price tag, you may want to study in Poland. Poland’s education system dates back to the middle Ages. Jagiellon University, for example, was founded in the 14th century, and today is one of the oldest universities in Europe. There are over 400 courses offered in English in Poland, many of them at an undergraduate level. Poland’s medical schools, in particular, are drawing an increasing number of international students. Many international students who have been unable to get into a medical program in their home country choose instead to study medicine in Poland and they are offered in English. The country offers one of the cheapest tuition fees in Europe, ranging from $1550- $2800 per year. Cost of living is also relatively low.

8.     Mexico

Mexico is geographically part of North America, bordering the US states of Texas, New Mexico, California and Arizona. Full of interesting and unique culture to explore, Mexico is one of Latin America’s most-visited nations, and has lots to offer international students. Tuition fees vary, with private universities charging more, and average around US$6,300 per year for international undergraduate students. Living expenses are however, reasonably low in Mexico. Although the main language of instruction is Spanish, Mexican universities are offering more English-taught courses to attract international students.

9.     Sweden

Sweden is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe, bordered by Norway and Finland. It is the third largest country in the European Union by area, with a population of about 9.5 million. Almost everyone in Sweden speaks English with 89 per cent of Swedes being bilingual. Sweden will inspire you with about 1,000 programmes taught in English, at over 35 universities, where creativity and independent thinking always come first. Students who choose Sweden are attracted by the open-minded attitude Swedes have, their English skills, but also by the eco-friendly and high standards of living. Sweden has some of the best universities in the world with five of its universities in the global 200. Tuition fees are however on the high side going for around $9200-$14,000. There are scholarships available to help with the tuition.


The recently launched Study in India programme aims to encourage more than 200,000 international students to come to India by 2023. It now also has one of the largest higher education systems in the world. Many of the institutions in India focus on science and engineering programmes, but arts and humanities programmes can be found in some of the general universities such as the University of Delhi and Tezpur University. Students can lead a relatively frugal lifestyle in India as the cost of living is much lower than in many other countries around the world.

There you have it. The 10 up and coming places to study abroad in 2020. Which of these countries would you like to go study abroad? Please tell us about it in the comments section. Remember to thumbs up and share this video with friends.

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  • Ifeoma Chuks is a naturally-skilled writer. She has written and contributed to more than 6000 articles all over the internet that have formed solid experiences for particularly aspiring, young people around the globe.

    Content Manager

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