Nursing Study Abroad Programs

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Study Abroad Nursing Programs

Nursing Study Abroad Programs

Guide to studying nursing abroad

Imagine the thrill of learning about different healthcare systems and meeting new people from diverse backgrounds, while pursuing your nursing degree abroad. You may even have the chance to visit world-renowned healthcare facilities, engage in clinical rotations, and attend inspiring nursing conferences!

Although finding nursing courses abroad that will count towards your degree requirements may seem like a challenge, there are ways to make it happen! Read on to explore popular countries for nursing abroad programs, how to get started, and the costs you can expect.

Best countries to study nursing abroad

Finding nursing study abroad programs takes research and careful planning. Not all study abroad programs offer opportunities for nursing students and you’re more likely to find these classes in certain countries.

Here are some of the best countries with great nursing abroad programs:

  • Australia: The Land Down Under is an excellent study abroad option for nursing students due to the abundance of world-class hospitals and healthcare infrastructure. Like many other countries, Australia has a high demand for nurses. As a result, there is an abundance of scholarships offered by the Australian government for international students!
  • The UK: The UK is home to many of the world’s best universities, and if you decide to study nursing in the UK you'll be sure to receive a high-quality education. The UK is also a great place to work as a nurse overseas should you want to relocate permanently. The NHS actively welcomes international nurses and makes it easier for them to gain employment in the UK.
  • Canada: Canada is home to diverse and welcoming people and breathtakingly dramatic natural landscapes. The healthcare system in Canada is also one of the best in the world, which provides international students with a unique opportunity to gain insight into a healthcare system different from their own.

Types of nursing study abroad programs

Whether you want to do hospital shadowing or an entire nursing bachelor’s degree, there is a variety of exciting study abroad options for nursing and pre-nursing students.

  • Shadowing: Nursing students can gain valuable insight and experience shadowing doctors and nurses in hospitals abroad. Study abroad shadowing programs for nursing or pre-nursing students are specially designed to expose students to a wide range of specialties.
  • Pre-requisite courses: Most nursing programs have pre-requisite classes you need to complete to be admitted. Pre-nursing students can fulfill required classes like biology, anatomy, chemistry, psychology, and nutrition during their study abroad.
  • Nursing courses: It’s possible to take nursing classes that can be transferred back to your home university. This should be carefully planned and approved by your nursing advisor prior to enrolling.
  • Nursing degree: It’s possible to do an entire nursing degree abroad, even if you want to work in the US. You will have to prove that your overseas education is equivalent to a US nursing degree and will also be required to take the NCLEX, just like US nursing graduates.

How to apply for nursing programs abroad

While requirements may differ depending on the school, program, and location, these are generally the steps you’ll need to follow to study nursing abroad.

  1. Research programs and universities. Based on your budget and needs, you will need to evaluate the pros and cons of each study abroad option. You may choose to enroll directly in an overseas university, study abroad through your university, or participate in a third-party program run by an independent organization.
  2. Prepare your application materials. You will likely need to provide university transcripts, letters of recommendation, and/or a personal statement of purpose to your chosen program. If you don’t already have a passport, you’ll want to apply as soon as you’re accepted!
  3. Apply for a visa. Depending on the length of your program and/or the country you’re studying in, you may need to apply for a visa. Check with your program provider or university to confirm whether you need to obtain a student visa.
  4. Start budgeting and exploring scholarships. Create a budget that factors in not only tuition but housing, living costs, transportation, and materials you’ll need for class. Scholarships and grants can help defray some or all of your study abroad expenses.
  5. Prepare for your adventure overseas! Now that you’ve got your visa, start looking at plane tickets. If your program arranges housing, be sure to have the details confirmed prior to departure. If you need to find your own housing, it’s better to search in person when you arrive to avoid possible scams.

Cost and funding

Funding your nursing study abroad program is probably a big question on your mind. Check out the estimated costs as well as scholarship opportunities to make studying abroad more attainable.

Average costs of tuition

Studying nursing abroad can be more affordable when weighing the different enrollment options against tuition at your home university.

Direct enrollment is a type of study abroad where you as the student apply to your university of choice independently, in order to register as a short-term or long-term student. You will pay the overseas university’s tuition, which in many cases is more affordable than US tuition. For example, a semester abroad studying nursing can cost, on average, between $5,000 to $10,000 USD.

Another option is studying nursing abroad through a third-party provider. These programs are all-inclusive with fees covering tuition, housing, and sometimes meals. A semester through a third-party provider can cost anywhere between $12,000 to $20,000 USD.


Study abroad scholarships are a great way to reduce the amount you have to pay for your education abroad. Scholarships are available for overall academic achievement or they can be tailored specifically to nursing students. There are also opportunities for BIPOC students and students experiencing financial need.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many years does it take to study nursing abroad?

    If you want to complete a full nursing degree abroad, it will take about three to four years, depending on the country. However, there are study abroad programs of all lengths for nursing students. Depending on your preference, you can study for a semester, summer, or even for just a few weeks.

  • Can I study nursing abroad if I only speak English?

    The most popular places for studying nursing abroad are English-speaking countries. Many other countries offer English-language nursing classes for study abroad students, too.

  • Why is studying abroad good for nursing?

    Studying nursing abroad allows you to gain insight into how other health systems operate. You also gain important skills like intercultural communication and adaptability.

  • Can US nursing students study nursing abroad?

    Yes! US students can study nursing abroad, whether they do a few months or an entire nursing degree. If doing your nursing degree abroad, it’s important to check with your state nursing board requirements for foreign-trained nurses.

  • Which country is best for nursing study?

    The US, Canada, Australia, and the UK are some of the best countries for English-speaking nursing students.

  • Can I go to nursing school in another country?

    Yes, it is possible to go to nursing school in another country even if you plan to work in your home country after qualifying. You’ll just need to confirm that the education is equivalent and prepare for any licensing exams your country requires.

  • How can I study nursing abroad for free?

    The easiest way to have a low-cost or even free study abroad experience is to look into direct-enrollment programs. Some countries even offer free education to foreigners! You can always apply to scholarships or grants that will help cover the cost of your study abroad program.

  • What’s the best way to gain nursing experience abroad?

    To get practical nursing experience abroad you can always consider a hands-on internship! Many programs, like direct-enrollment programs, include field experience as part of their curriculum as well.

  • Which country is best for nursing?

    Many countries have excellent universities with stand-out nursing programs, but a few places that stand out, in particular, are Australia, Germany, and Singapore!

  • Can you study abroad for nursing?

    Yes! In fact, studying abroad is a great way to get exposed to global healthcare, learn new nursing skills, and get hands-on experience that will make you stand out from other nursing students.