How Do You Send Your Kid to Uni Overseas?

Any tips or stories from parents who’ve successfully done this?

I work in field that’s given me access to a number of professors at ‘top’ universities in Melbourne and Sydney and it seems like the quality of unis have really dropped off. It’s not just lots of foreign students but the courses themselves can have 50% group work components and there just isn’t a lot of essay writing and old school learning. Plus with hecs now they wind up up 50k of debt anyway. I didn’t come to this conclusion overnight but I guess the kicker was finding out one of my contacts has kept her daughter out of uni during covid because of the standards and is now sending her to the UK. Doesn’t work for me as I don’t have a UK passport.

Is overseas education possible? Probably not in America with all their crazy fees but has anyone got a successful strategy or useful experience?


  • I had a friend look into this for a second undergrad.

    He ended up looking into Eastern European countries. I hear Estonia is crazy cheap for tuition and also cost of living.

    Most of Europe has low fees for Australians too. It’s generally free for locals, but some countries charge more for Australians.

    And in many countries, half or more of the classes are all in English to encourage locals to immerse themselves in English to better learn it.

    • My brother in law’s little brother is currently in Romania doing a medical degree. He was telling me that he could buy a relatively new apartment in the middle of the city, for about $160k AUD

    • +6

      He ended up looking into Eastern European countries.

      Also look into African countries.
      There are lots of cheap university courses going in countries like Nigeria.
      I keep getting emails from an old rich uncle there who apparently works in one.

  • +3

    I come from a uni in Melb and I don't have an issue with the uni. Same with my friends whom went to other unis in Melb. I would stick to Melb for career prospects too. Some of my friends are working overseas too.

    • +1

      It is like high school exit scores, it doesn't matter once you are in uni. Uni matters when you want to get your first job. Then if you are really good then it doesn't really matter. It is the companies you work for and value you've added.

      • correct and I did not get the Year 12 score to get me into my course but I go in through another avenue (with luck).
        In my field no employer asked me what uni I went to or how many HD's I had, as long as I had graduated from the applicable course that all that mattered.

        • Except you probably already told them which uni you went to on your resume, so they wouldnt ask you again.

  • +13

    Isn't it about getting the piece of paper (P's get degrees) not necessarily the quality of the course or the syllabus material / delivery method? Covid has created some unique scenarios that require unique solutions.

    but I guess the kicker was finding out one of my contacts has kept her daughter out of uni during covid because of the standards

    This is very odd and controlling parenting of a young adult. In fact this is really weird. I feel sorry for the daughter.

    Don't worry about what your [email protected] contacts are doing. You are over thinking the whole uni thing.

    • For me it’s about the quality of the education. I wouldn’t feel sorry for the daughter, she’s attending a name brand school in the UK, just like her mum did.

      • +9

        At University level it's not about you (the parent)

        Let your kid be an adult and stop worry about your reputation and bragging rights.

        • Yeah, I think you might be reading too much into this?

          It’s pretty normal for parents to want to set their kids up. Tradies help their kids skip steps. Helping you kid get into a good university isn’t just about reputation and bragging rights. It’s about a superior education to make them smarter and have better opportunities?

          I’m not in this for the bragging rights, I just am looking for options. I doubt my kid would ever be able to get into a university like that and I certainly am not selling my house to pay for it. But maybe there’s some middle ground, just a decent research uni or something.

      • +11

        It is weird that a mother would be deciding where the daughter studied for uni. At that age the daughter is an adult, not a child holding on to mummy's apron strings and should get to start being independent.

        • At that age the daughter is an adult, not a child holding on to mummy's apron strings

          Sadly thats a growing trend..

      • a name brand school in the UK


  • +1

    If you're Australian, a CSP degree is a no brainer. After all, your taxes have already been paying for it. And unless you're thinking of a hyper-competitive field where the 'quality of education' (lol) truly matters, then it ultimately doesn't matter where they go to school, so long as they get a diploma and are set up for employment.

    • -1

      Does it sound pretentious to want my kid to go somewhere that the quality of education matters?

      It sounds like if it doesn’t matter where they go then if things don’t work out they can always find a job anyway because they’ll have the diploma.

      I went to school here and I thought it was great but as I said, I think things have changed in the last couple decades. I’m not sure the current quality is what it was.

      • +7

        The quality of the education is more closely correlated to how much effort the student puts in vs. the school. Great students will get a great education in any university in Australia. But if you are looking to encourage your child to get a broader educational experience, then encouraging them to explore university immersed in another culture would expose them to things that they simply couldn't in Australia - I wish I had the opportunity.

        There is no way I'd push them though. As mentioned above, they are young adults now and your post read like someone trying to control their kids experience

      • But what does that even mean? You realise most of those global rankings are based on research goals which are largely irrelevant for most undergraduates. Even graduate employment figures can be juked if it isn't relevant to your degree (see: every art student at Gloria Jean's).

        'Quality of education' is so subjective. I've met hopeless graduates from sandstone unis, and great ones from regional ones. IMO, this 'best college' mentality is an elitist import where Oxbridge and Ivy League parents pay top dollar so their kids get wasted at slightly nicer dorms.

  • -2

    If you worry about covid, go to China.

  • +5

    Are you willing to pay 50k+ a year? And are your children expecting to be in the top 1%?

    If not then don't bother, just send them to the best university here.

    Your only better option than Australia is US (which you have excluded) or UK (eg Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews , Imperial college).

    Without citizenship you'll be paying 50k in tuition and then add all other associated study and living costs.

    It's also very competitive to even get in. There are people all around the world wanting to study there. It's recommended to sit the International Baccalaureate so you'll need to go to a school here that offers it.

    There are companies that you can hire to assist you getting into the top universities. So more cost there if you are serious about it.

  • How old is your kid? My son is currently doing an International Baccalaureate so that he has overseas option if he wishes.

    • What did he do for his personal project?

      • For CAS?

        • the personal project they do in year 10 at the end of the middle years program.

          • @Bjingo: He is doing the diploma programme, didn't do the middle years.

            • @brendanm: ah of course, my highschool had everyone do MYP and then you got to pick IB or WACE.
              Personal Project was awful.

  • +2

    It is going to be more expensive studying overseas than here. Unless you want to go to a third world country. The government pays a lot of the tuition here, and international students always have to pay more than domestic students. Plus living costs - at least here there is youth allowance and austudy so you don't have to work as much to live while studying. You'll have to send over bucketloads of money just for them to live as they won't have work rights.

    But it should be your son or daughter's decision where to study and what to study. Don't be one of those controlling parents. You're just creating a person that can't make good decisions if you never give them a chance to do things on their own.

  • +8

    isn’t a lot of essay writing and old school learning.

    You’re joking, right?

  • -1

    stay in australia, keep it australian. we are already importing so many tech, medical, accounting, etc… from other countries because most Australians don't do it and just want to be a tradie. Australia would love to hire australians, but there isn't much of a pool to hire from.

  • +1

    probs send them on a plane OP?

    I no doubt overseas top tier unis suffer from the same shit our ones do. rich parents pay the uni to get their kids in, nothing to do with ability, then its just a churn factory - money in degree out. didn't you see the uni bribe scams in the USA recently?

    as others have said top 1%, ye nah, if you kid is a mini einstein top 0.001% dont bother, your wasting your money, your kid isnt special, tell them to do well at school and get into a G08 uni in australia, if they cant even make a G08 uni in australia then they have no chance overseas.

    Search for free/low fee courses that teach in English. There's been quite a few reports in the UK press about kids going to Europe because of the UK fees. Based on my limited knowledge I prefer the German education system, but plenty of decent unis in Europe teaching in English.

  • -2

    Is overseas education possible? Probably not in America with all their crazy fees…

    Fees isn't the only thing to worry about in American unis. The kid may come back with green hair and gets offended by the person next to them because they're just breathing.

  • The way education is delivered has changed. essay writing and "old school learning" is just that - Old.

    The LNP has certainly gutted universities of funding since the Howard years, but many of our universities are still of a high standard - It all depends on your field of study, but ANU ranks highest amongst Aussie universities (Generally) with a few of ours in the 30-40 rank (QS) out of 1000 in the list, so well in the top 5%

  • Scholarships are a good way to partially support your kid going to uni overseas. There are options in the UK and US, obviously your kid has to have the marks or some other talent (eg sports).

  • +7

    Old school learning is great if your kids wants a job in 1950. If they show up at a grad interview and the uni experiences boil down to essay writing they are not going to be competitive.

    Groupwork sucks, but working in a team in many professional situations is also frustrating. Uni is a great time to figure out how to thrive working in a team despite challenges.

    • Groupwork sucks, but working in a team in many professional situations is also frustrating. Uni is a great time to figure out how to thrive working in a team despite challenges


      Kids aren't graduating from uni nowadays to work for the public service writing memos and reports.

  • How capable is your child? Below average, average, above, top.

    What do you hope to achieve?

    If they are the in top cohort (combo of smarts and hard worker trade off), they can win scholarships, get employers to pay. E.g. a mgt consulting firm paid for my brother to go to HBS.

    If they are average or below, how do you think foreign unis do it differently to get a better outcome? Higher staff ratio?

    Have you considered short courses?

  • Overseas : they go by plane.
    When they were here, they used to take a bus.

  • +3

    quality of unis have really dropped off.

    OP, I reckon compared to when you, went to uni, it is much harder to get placement than nowadays. When the quantity (placements and unis) increase, the average quality (students) also decrease.

    The top end unis and courses are still difficult to enter, but the amount of courses and unis to take in the average student would have increased significantly.

  • If the kid is good enough stick them in the best uni in Australia. If the kid is driven enough and has the academics they can get a scholarship for oversea or go and self fund when they work.

    Coming from someone who got a degree in Melbourne (not university on HECS) and then self funded one from Imperial College in London, UK.

  • +1

    Offer to drive them to the airport, the rest they can sort out themselves, old school learning style.

  • +2

    How Do You Send Your Kid to Uni Overseas?

    1 - Enrol them in an overseas uni
    2 - Book your kid a flight

  • +1

    A parent wanting to set their child up for success is admirable. However, be mindful also of where the world is today.

    So perhaps have a discussion with your daughter about what she wants to achieve in life, and see what compromises or methods exist to achieve it. If the degree is required for the career path she wants to take, then pursue it.

    In today's world, money is earned in a multitude of ways outside of the traditional degree-education path.

  • $$$$$

  • More important you need to look at what degree they want to do and use that as the basis for university selection.

    Some Australian Universities would be better for some subjects than overseas Universities.
    Others have mentioned this but the most important thing for a solid university education is the students engagement with the content.

    Depending on the subject, If you want to get the absolute best use out of it what you should be looking into is the professors relating to the field they want to do. If they want to do commerce or law it doesn't really matter their own efforts are more important. but if they want to do science or medicine the staff at the university is more important.

    I don't know what field they want to study but overall I find essays are just a lazy method for attempting to assess a students knowledge on a topic, it seems like a waste of time in my opinion to do essays as what real world application do they have? I have not written a single essay since University, but I sure have written a lot of reports, presented a lot of information verbally and worked on a lot of projects with my peers.

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