You may wonder why students choose to study in America from Australia, when an America education is considered quite a costly country to study in.

While this is true, the amount of students choosing America as their ideal destination for an international education is consistently growing.

To put this in perspective, a recent survey conducted by Universities Australia found that the United States was the most popular destination (equal with the UK), for a study abroad experience, with 18% of Australian students favouring America.

Why is this? Why is America a popular destination for an international education over say, Paris. Or Florence, London or Malaysia for that matter? What is the appeal of America, and why should you consider following suit as a young Australian student?

Lack of language barrier

This may seem like an obvious point, but in all honesty, language barriers can be one of the most challenging parts of a study abroad experience.

So, while European study abroad experiences, for example, are extremely appealing in terms of setting and culture, the difficulty that the language barriers impose make it a less popular destination than America for international students.

Students often admit that the most difficult period of time when immersing themselves in an international study experience is the initial few months when they are trying to settle in, make connections with other students and become accustomed to living abroad.

This can be a very stressful and uncertain time in a student’s experience, so if one concern can be overcome quickly, the more likely a student will be able to enjoy the early challenges. It’s for this reason that many students choose to study in America from Australia.

Particularly for first-time travellers, taking the issue of language barriers out of the equation could make all the difference in a student’s reflection of their study abroad experience.

Australian/American relationship

In general terms, throughout history Australia and America have maintained a positive and beneficial relationship.

According to US Bilateral Relations, Australia is considered a friend of the United States.

The United States and Australia maintain a robust relationship underpinned by shared democratic values, common interests, and cultural affinities. Economic, academic, and people-to-people ties are vibrant and strong.

While some might say that Australia has equally positive relationships with other countries, a solid foundation of communication, trade and travel with America has made the US a secure destination for students wishing to study abroad.

For students to study in America from Australia, or any international destination for that matter, it’s important for not only the student to feel safe and comfortable, but for the student’s parents to feel at ease also. With the strong connection that has been established between the two countries, students and their families have become increasingly drawn to the education pathway that America offers Australian, and New Zealand students by extension.

Standard of American education

One of the key reasons why America stands out above other international destinations as an overseas study experience for Australians, is the quality of the education.

It’s generally understood that an American education is considered among the best in the world. A high school education in America makes for easier admission to tertiary education. A college degree, by extension, makes for broader global opportunities for graduates.

We Make Scholars mention that students who graduate with a degree from a US school are viewed favourably by employers, with American Universities being considered highly worldwide.

‘In a survey for top universities in the world from 2014, 40 out of 100 universities are located in the U.S, 7 of which are in the top 10,’ it said.

Sporting opportunity

Another unique trend that sets American college apart from other tertiary schools around the world is the opportunity to combine high quality sport with a globally-recognised education.

Many students who wish to study abroad and have a strong passion for sport have the opportunity to combine both pathways in one experience in US colleges.

The college sport culture in the US is impressive to say the least and one of the key reasons behind students choosing to study in America from Australia. The American college sport pathway is well known around the world and while it may seem like an opportunity that is out of reach to regular students who have an interest in sport, in reality, American colleges offer such a variety of sporting programs that there is likely to be an opportunity for every level of student-athlete.

The chance to combine two opportunities is one of the motivations behind why so many Australian students choose America as their ideal destination to study abroad.


It’s no secret that America is considered a ‘powerful’ country. According to US News and World Report, the US is the most ‘influential’ country in the world (equal with the UK) in terms of;

  • economic power
  • influential culture
  • politically influential
  • strong international alliances

Based on these findings, it is fair to say that America holds a lot of weight in building future opportunities for students. Other findings from the study into the ‘best countries’ were based on an extensive variety of factors, a lot of which reflected positively on the education landscape in the US.

For example, America ranked highly in the areas of power and entrepreneurship.

In addition to this, the US came in at number three for the best country to study abroad in as well as the best country to start a career in. In terms of the above rankings, it can be safely assumed that the US is a powerful country for international students to build connections both within America and abroad for future career opportunities.

Australian, and New Zealand students, recognise the opportunity for future investment that America provides and embrace the chance to secure a US education.

Affordable living

While the price tag of an education abroad in the US is commonly a fair bit higher than in Australia, the cost of living is cheaper overall by comparison.

The average student’s expenses include; rent, transport and groceries. In general, the affordability of these necessities is quite high in Australia when compared with the US.

For example, according to data updated in February 2017, the cost of living in Australia is 11.97% higher than in the US.

Although you could argue that the cost of living is much lower in countries throughout Asia, or South & Central America, the safety, language and cultural familiarity of the US combined with the affordability that living in America presents creates an ideal destination for Australian students.

College culture appeal

For Australian students, University at home is often considered as a purely educational experience.

In Australia, the inclusive and interactive culture that we associate with US colleges makes the American pathway increasingly appealing. The opportunity to live on campus, connect with students and professors on a personal level and engage in campus sporting culture and social activities is a particularly inviting quality for Australian students.

From what I now understand about the American college environment, my Australian University experience in terms of culture and atmosphere, was incomparable to the US.


A key concern Australian students and their families have about choosing to study in the US is the hefty price tag that often comes with it. Yet, as I mentioned earlier, the quantity of students embracing a US education is consistently rising.

You may wonder how then, are these families making their US college opportunity an affordable opportunity?


As there are over 4000 colleges across the US, the variety of scholarships available are also broad. Scholarships can have the potential to offer students full funding; covering tuition, accommodation, academic materials and meals.

While there are scholarships aplenty, it can be difficult for international students to navigate the various opportunities available to them for funding. With the right partner in your corner, you can optimise your chances of securing a college scholarship in order to make your international education attainable.

Those were just eight of the most common reasons why students choose to study in America from Australia, with the appeal of an American education high.

While high school graduates in Australia evidently see the value that education holds, many students crave a break from study after high school. For these students, a gap year may hold appeal. The concept of a gap year is becoming increasingly popular among high school graduates, and you might find it worthy of your time to explore your opportunity for a gap year further in order to determine if it is right for your future.

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