With so many different options, how do you choose an overseas university that's right for you? (Photo: Paul Wright)
With so many different options, how do you choose an overseas university that's right for you? (Photo: Paul Wright)

Choosing a university – things to consider

It’s the time of year when many students are making decisions about where to study.

If you’re looking to study overseas, there are a lot of factors to consider. Here are a few things to think about when you’re making your decision.


The USA and UK are traditional choices for study, but Australia is also very popular for its number of top universities and proximity to Asia (which makes it easier to travel home during vacations). Australia’s friendly multicultural culture, great climate and quality of living, high level of safety and strong economy are also big pluses.

In choosing an Australian city to study in you’ll need to consider things like lifestyle (do you like hotter or cooler weather? City or regional lifestyle?), cost of living, and local job opportunities during and after study.

Sydney is currently ranked #4 in the QS list of best student cities in the world just ahead of Melbourne.

Reputation / graduate outcomes

Studying overseas is a big investment, and you want to make sure it will pay off for your future career.

Overall university rankings can be useful, but you should also research university reputations in your specific subject area (the QS subject rankings are a useful tool). This will give you confidence that your degree will be recognised and respected by employers.

You should also research what career services, internships and leadership programs are available at each university to prepare you for work and increase your chances of employment after graduation.

The right degree

Australia offers a wide range of degrees and you need to find one that fits your career goals.  Industry accreditation can be an important factor, especially if you’re planning a career in an area like accounting or teaching.

It can also be a good idea to choose a university with flexible degrees that can be tailored to suit your specific career goals, and the ability to transfer to a different degree (or combine with another degree) if you want to change direction.


First-hand knowledge from family, friends, employers and graduates will give you a good idea about the quality of a university. Read current student and graduate testimonials and ask around with potential employers to find out their recommendations.

Find out why international students choose Macquarie University.