Applying For A Study Loan: Weighing The Cost Of Studying in Australia vs UK
Paying for further education is one of the biggest expenses you will ever pay. In fact, it is probably only second to purchasing a home, especially if you decide to study overseas. It is therefore, important to consider all the facts and do your homework to ensure that you make an informed choice.
Factors to Consider Before Studying Overseas
Many Singaporeans today opt to study abroad due to various reasons, which will be covered below. In an article published by The New Paper, an increasing number of Singaporeans are seen pursuing further education overseas, with Australia and the UK being popular destinations. Studying abroad is considered glamorous. However, before you decide whether to study locally or overseas, it is important to consider the following factors:
Most of us would probably want to complete our degree in the shortest time possible, get a job and have a sense of financial freedom, instead of constantly being reliant on our parents for pocket money. That being said, it is worthy to look at how long you will take to complete your degree in Singapore, compared to Australia and the UK. In most cases, studying overseas would be faster.
For instance, if you are a polytechnic graduate looking to study in Australia, in most cases, the Universities will be able to grant you exemptions. You will thus be able to attain your degree in 2 – 2.5 years. In the UK, an undergraduate course with direct honours can be completed within 3 years. Comparing this to Singapore which usually takes you around 3 – 4 years to complete your undergraduate studies, studying overseas is generally faster.
2. Your Finances
Amidst all the glitz and glamour of studying abroad, one thing holds true: tuition fees and living expenses are a lot higher overseas compared to Singapore (e.g. rental, transport and utility bills etc.) You should ensure that you can afford to support your education for the intended period that you will be studying. Students studying in Australia can expect to pay tuition fees averaging S$35,000 annually and S$40,000 in the UK.
3. Post Graduate Study Opportunities
Do you intend to pursue postgraduate studies? If so, studying abroad would be a great option for you. Many universities in Australia and the UK offer opportunities to specialize in different areas, and even offer courses that are unavailable in Singapore such as veterinary sciences. They also offer options for financing postgraduate studies.
Pros of studying abroad
Studying abroad offers various benefits over studying at a local institution. These include:
1. Character Building: Handling Your Own Problems
Studying overseas will definitely provide you with an opportunity to grow. You will gain a sense of independence by learning to be self-sufficient and handling your own problems. It is only when we are faced with adversities do we get a real sense of what we are truly capable of.
2. Appreciation Of Other Cultures
Learning institutions in the UK and Australia often have a good blend of students from around the world. You will be exposed to new cultures, which will give you the opportunity to appreciate other people’s eccentricities as you come to better understand their backgrounds.
3. Develop Adaptability: A Skill That Is Highly Sought After
Moving to a new country, living within a new culture and learning in a new education system can all be daunting. However, learning to adapt to your new environment is a skill that you will be forced to learn when you move overseas for study. You will be better able to adapt to new situations – a skill that is highly desirable in workplaces.
4. Resume Development
Studying abroad can make your resume stand out, especially if you seek out part time jobs or internships at your country of study. It allows you to stand out from your peers and adds some level of prestige to your job applications: You’re more likely to be considered for a position.
5. Learn New Skills
Studying abroad can be a great opportunity to learn new skills. You can learn to cook new meals, sharpen your language skills, or take up a mini course that would otherwise not have been possible back home.
Choosing Where To Study: Australia vs. UK
If you’re considering studying overseas, there are various destinations to choose from. The top choices for destinations amongst Singaporean students are US, UK and Australia. If you’re deciding between studying in Australia or the UK, you should consider the following key criteria to help you make a decision:
1. Reputation and Quality Of Learning Institutions
It is important to consider the quality of the education you will receive at the institution that you’re applying to. The UK has a good history of academic excellence. Universities such as Cambridge, Oxford and LSE are known internationally for the quality of graduates that they churn out. UK universities are also known for high-tech teaching and research.
Australia also has several world-class institutions. The universities are also known for research and effective teaching. Degrees from these institutions are also accepted internationally. An article published by The Straits Times indicated that more Australian degrees are getting recognized in Singapore, which is good news for those intending to further their studies in Australia!
2. Style Of Learning
If you have a more independent style of learning, you will find it easier to adjust to the style of learning in the UK. In the UK, it isn’t compulsory to attend lectures or read every inch of the reading lists provided. Lecturers usually point students in the general direction they are to go, and leave students to their own devices. It is up to you to find resources and make your own analysis.
Australian universities are a little stricter when it comes to lectures. Students are expected to attend lectures and complete essays. The lecturers not only provide lectures, but also tutorials that students can follow. Australian students are expected to think creatively and be able to work independently and in group environments. Hands-on experience is also encouraged.
3. Ease Of Entry
Getting into the best universities in the world is difficult not only for international students, but also for locals. Both Australia and the UK have streamlined processes for applications for study and visas. It is best to check with your agent or with the school directly, on the requirements for your course of study.
4. Opportunities For Employment
Getting some work experience in your area of study will improve your career options. Policies in the UK make it easier for students to stay and work after graduating. You will be limited to working 20 hours a week while studying. However, you will be able to work full time when you graduate. You will however have to apply for a Post Study Work Visa.
Likewise in Australia, Australian policies will only allow you to work for 20 hours a week. You can stay on and work after you graduate by applying for a work visa. The unemployment rate in Australia is much lower than the UK. You will therefore have an easier time getting the visa and a job after graduating.
5. Lifestyle: Explore What Australia And The UK Has To Offer
Studying abroad isn’t all about books. There is life beyond the classroom. It’s therefore important to consider the kind of lifestyle offered by the different destinations.
Australia offers a vibrant culture with opportunities to spend a lot of time outdoors. The country boasts of a variety of wildlife, natural wonders, sports, beaches and lots of sunshine. You won’t run out of fun things to do in Australia.
The UK offers charming green country sides, as well as a rich history and culture. It is the doorstep to the rest of Europe.
Both countries will expose you to multiple cultures as you come into contact with students and residents from all over the world. You will most definitely come into contact with other Singaporeans, giving you a taste of home, away from home.
6. Costs: Tuition Fees and Living Expenses
Studying and living in the UK can be expensive depending on where in the UK you choose to study. London, for example, is a very expensive city to live in. Tuition fees for institutions in London are also high. However, considering that a postgraduate program in the UK usually takes one year as opposed to two years in other countries, you may spend less by opting for the UK.
Studying in Australia offers the advantage of lower tuition fees and cost of living. You can even work part-time to cover some of your costs. However, air fares and mandatory health insurance can be expensive.
As mentioned earlier, students studying in Australia can expect to pay tuition fees averaging S$35,000 annually and one usually spends S$2,200 on average monthly on food, groceries, transport and utilities.
In the UK, annual tuition fees cost around $40,000, with one spending about S$1,531 monthly on food, groceries, transport and utilities.
So, where would you prefer to study? It all boils down to your personal preferences and what you hope to achieve in the future.
If you really wish to pursue your studies overseas, do not let the issue of cost get in your way. At Katong Credit, our private student loan is specifically tailored to suit your needs. We adhere to a strict code of ethics and are committed to ensuring that you receive the loan you seek out for. Have a chat with us to discover more about our personal study loan today!
education loanoverseas studystudent financingstudent loanstudy loan