Why students go overseas

Emma Nelson

Each year, thousands of students leave their native country to study at a university overseas, leaving behind family, friends and the educational system they grew up with.

So why do it? The British Council's Education Intelligence service recently released a report that attempts to answer that question, the New York Times reported.

The report, one of the British Council's many Student Insight reports, examines a broad range of factors in the student decision-making process. According to a press release from the Council, these factors include popular majors, student media use and other specific issues relating to how students choose to study in a certain country or at a certain university.

Among individual countries, specific reasons differed. For Indian students, the most important factors were the quality and international recognizability of overseas education, as well as the resulting career prospects. For Turkish students, employers were the most important factor. In Indonesia, most students were influenced by the accessbility of scholarships overseas.

Demographic variations within each country were accounting for during data collection — rather than looking only at each surveyed country at large, researchers collected data in invididual cities and then looked for national trends.