Grad School Abroad

The 7 Best Countries for Grad School Abroad in 2024

Considering where to go abroad for graduate school in 2024? Here are some of the best countries for graduate students across the globe, from Ireland to New Zealand.

Best Countries for Grad School - Pao I., Innoenergy Masters School

You've finally decided: it's time for grad school. Maybe you've been out of school for a few years or are a current undergrad and know that graduate school is a necessary step in your academic and professional career. Whatever the reason, graduate school is one of the few times you are completely in charge of choosing a school, deciding where to go, and making it all happen. Unlike in the past, your parents, career counselors, and classmates may all be less involved in this process. That's okay though -- it should feel exciting!

When I decided to enroll in grad school, I decided to go abroad to do it. I researched business schools in my favorite destination: London, England. I enrolled in a multi-country school that would allow me to explore England as well as a few other destinations during my year-long program.

As you try and decide which graduate program to enroll in, you can also consider where you want to enroll. This post will break down some of the best countries to get a master's degree or doctorate to help you open your mind to the world of opportunities out there -- and inspire you to make your grad school abroad experience even more impactful.

How did we pick these locations?

At Go Overseas, we want our community members to have the resources they need to find the destination that best fits their travel goals! To determine the locations for this article, we looked at various factors, such as the location’s history, cost of living/average salaries, things to do, and the number of programs offered in the location.

Lastly, we used our own industry knowledge to ensure we're recommending locations that are vetted both by you, the community members, and us, the experts, so that we feel confident the locations included are the best of the best!

1. England

Best for easy transition


🏠 Average monthly cost of living excluding rent: $1,250 (£1,100)
💰 Average master's degree tuition: $2,499 (1,985£)

England is one of the most popular places for grad school abroad, in part because so much about the experience is simple: they speak English, the culture is similar enough to feel like home quickly, and the academic system is also similar to the systems in North America -- making it easy to navigate all the steps from application to graduation.

If you decide England is the right country for you to do grad school abroad, don't forget to look beyond London. There are amazing programs in cities like Manchester, Liverpool, and even Brighton on the southern coast.

Here are some inspiring grad programs in England to consider:

2. Spain

Best for low cost student life


🏠 Average monthly cost of living: $1,294 (€1,200)
💰 Average master's degree tuition in public university: $4,315 (€4,000)

Spain might seem like a surprising grad study destination based on the criteria mentioned for England: the native language is Spanish, the culture is definitely different (and exciting), and the academic systems are totally unique compared to those you might be familiar with. Despite that -- or perhaps because of it -- graduate students flock to Spain each year.

The chance to immerse yourself in a foreign country and culture while pursuing a graduate degree -- which will likely be taught in part or fully in English, helping overcome the language barrier -- is why Spain is so popular as a destination for students of all levels.

Let these grad programs in Spain inspire you:

3. Italy

Best for art and design degrees

Best Study Abroad Programs in Italy - Featured Image - Florence

🏠 Average monthly cost of living: $1734 (1,608€)
💰 Average master's degree tuition: $4,000 (4,000€)

Italy, like Spain, draws postgrads who are up for a deep cultural immersion in the one- to three-year programs that most grad students will undertake. Just imagine walking from class to your apartment through Rome's historic streets, taking weekend trips to Venice and Naples, or setting up a little extracurricular activity to try all the different types of pizza across the country.

Italy also has some unique opportunities for grad students in specific professional areas such as design and architecture, in addition to more traditional ones. If you're up for the adventure of mastering la vita dolce while studying and thesis-writing, Italy might be perfect for you.

Use these graduate programs in Italy to jump-start your program research:

4. France

Best for affordable degree programs


🏠 Average monthly cost of living: $1,905 (1,766€)
💰 Average master's degree tuition: $300 (300€)

France is one of the world's most popular study abroad destinations for undergraduates -- so it's no surprise that it's on the list for graduate students too! Students love France for its affordable degree programs with graduate degree tuition averaging around $300 a year! And no, there are no missing zeroes there.

Paris draws most of the appeal and applications, but there are amazing destinations and universities across the country where you can spend the duration of your postgraduate program. You'll also save on the cost of living outside of the capital which can be extremely expensive for housing.

With a dynamic history throughout most of medieval and modern history, you can enroll in master's and doctoral programs in France, in just about any subject you want to study and the number of graduate degrees in English continues to grow. Oh, and you'll get to enjoy fresh baguettes and affordable delicious wine on the weekends -- further proof that the quality of life is just that good in France.

Start your search with these graduate programs in France:

5. Germany

Best for business degrees

A drone shot of Berlin, Germany a night.

🏠 Average monthly cost of living: $1,705 (1,581€)
💰 Average master's degree tuition: $1,500 (1,500€)

Germany is a great option for students who are looking for a wide range of degrees in English in Europe. As a leading player in many of the world's markets and industries, you have a huge opportunity to level up in the 21st-century job marketplace by enrolling in grad school in Germany. There are also many opportunities for scholarships for study in Germany through DAAD.

Germany is more than just Berlin and Munich. You can find fabulous universities across Germany -- and great degrees outside of the business world, too.

Start your search these postgrad programs in Germany:

6. Ireland

Best for health-related

Best Countries for Grad School - Ireland

🏠 Average monthly cost of living: $2,265 (2,100€)
💰 Average master's degree tuition: $19,000 (19,000€)

If you didn't already know, the team at Go Overseas loves Ireland as a destination for international students. So much so that they've given away several full-tuition scholarships over the years. It's hard not to be enthusiastic about a destination where you can study in English, enjoy a lower cost of school and living, and enjoy the famed Irish hospitality.

Ireland is a great place for graduate students too because you have a wide range of programs to choose from; there are posts here on Go Overseas about the most popular and most unique masters programs on the Emerald Isle. Many students though choose to study health-related degrees in Ireland like medicine, veterinary medicine, and occupational therapy because they're accredited in the US (meaning you can come home and practice!) -- and a fraction of the cost.

Let these top universities guide your postgrad research in Ireland:

7. New Zealand

Best for nature lovers

Study Abroad in Oceania: Queenstown, New Zealand

🏠 Average monthly cost of living: $1,819 (NZ$2,950)
💰 Average master's degree tuition: $21,000 (NZ$36,000)

The Go Overseas team also loves New Zealand, another country where they've given away scholarships for students to study for free. Like Ireland, New Zealand is a fantastic destination for international students with globally renowned universities and Kiwi hospitality.

For graduate students considering New Zealand, there's plenty to draw you: you can choose from a huge range of programs at universities in cities across the North and South Islands. For extracurriculars, you can enjoy New Zealand's fabulous outdoor adventure and scenery, learn about indigenous Māori culture, sip your way through wine tastings, or see the southern lights.

Read more: Why You Should Pursue Your Graduate Degree in New Zealand

Check out graduate programs at these popular universities in New Zealand:

Pursue your graduate degree abroad in 2024

Beyond these seven countries, there are obviously many other great destinations for graduate students. Some that didn't make the list but might call out to you include Australia, Scotland, and even Canada! Oh, and don't forget there are also multi-country postgrad programs where you can study in more than one country during the course of your graduate program abroad. Score!

Whichever country you choose in 2024, your graduate degree will help you take the next step in your career and life. Research programs, make your choice wisely, and enjoy the adventure to come.

Don't stop your research here! Check out more grad school abroad resources: