However, some students see the chance to live and study in another country as an opportunity to broaden their horizons and heighten their job opportunities (and often their language skills). But where you want to study isn’t only about how far away it is. It’s also about the kind of place it is when you get there. Studying in a foreign language can be a challenge, but even just being in another country can be a culture shock. Not only are people’s customs, habits and even their foods different, but the educational systems vary hugely too. Sometimes this amounts to practical differences like the length of a degree course, but it can be deeper: different learning methods, different expectations and different approaches to marking and assessing your work. And, of course, the differences don’t end at international borders. Different regions, towns and communities will offer a fundamentally different experience to students. Living in a big city feels quite different from a university based in a rural area. Similarly you may prefer to study in a hot climate or a cooler one. There’s no right answer to the question of where to study. It depends on the language you want to study in. The financial resources you have available should also play a role. Many universities offer study programmes in more than one language (most commonly, the local language and English), but not all. It also depends on how far you want to travel and the environment you want to study in. This is worth considering deeply though, because, whatever your subject choice, your daily enjoyment of student life may be more affected by your surroundings than any particular aspect of your studies.
In the online tool, you can select specific countries that you want to include in your university search. When you get to step 3 (‘Where would you like to study’), you can select whole continents, individual countries or groups of countries (like the European Union). When you get your search results, you can select an individual university and look at it in more detail. This page includes a map that clicks through to Google Maps. Or you can also click though to the university’s own website. U-Multirank also helps you start to understand more about universities’ relationships with their local region. In step 2 of the For students search tool, you can ask for universities that do or don’t have a strong regional focus. When you see your university comparison in step 4, you can click on ‘Change measures’ and explore all the data we have on ‘regional engagement’. (Some of this data will only be available when you’re looking at universities as a whole, rather than at individual subject levels.)