Where to study abroad in Asia: top 3 popular academic destinations

Eager to pursue undergraduate or post graduate programs in Asian countries? This article provides information on studying abroad in Singapore, Hong Kong and China. You will find a list of popular universities in these countries which offer educational program to international students, including those from India.

Many students from India aspire to study abroad, their main destination for academics being USA and UK. However, the costs to study and live in these countries can be quite intimidating. A lesser dent on the wallet may be created by choosing an Asian country since, as compared to USA & UK, the educational costs are lesser not only in terms of tuition fees but also living expenses. Best of all, job opportunities abound once you have completed your academic programs. You may even get recruited in a reputed multinational company in the same Asian country as the one where you studied.

Overseas Education Asia

Tips before you head to Asia to study

First of all, ensure that the university you are joining is a credible one and that the academic programs it offers are authentic. That is, it should have proper accreditation. If the university has government accreditation, you have nothing to worry about.

Secondly, applying to an Asian university is a breeze, with a simple online application & the requisite documents to be produced. However, it is not exactly a cakewalk to get the actual admission! The admission process in any Asian university can be quite strict. It helps if you have good co-curricular activities to showcase in your application, not to mention honing your communication & leadership skills which would greatly help in the interview round of admission.

Thirdly, check out the scholarship offers at each university as also unique fellowship programs for Indian students. Applying for and getting a scholarship will greatly ease the financial costs of studying in the Asian university.

Fourthly, know that likely there are dual degree programs being offered by the Asian University as these may benefit you with the opportunity to study in a US university with a visa or at a UK university too for a couple of months.

Finally, find out about a work visa in the country where you will study. There are post-study work visas, part-time internship programs, etc. Working will help you to recover part of the costs of studying.

Studying in Singapore

One of the first Asian countries you could consider is Singapore. The universities here are on par with the best in the world due to the stress on high academic standards. What's more, thanks to tie-ups with reputed universities in other countries, the degree you get is likely to be recognized globally. A few of the degrees for which students head to Singapore to acquire are: design, arts, science, medicine & technology.

The most reputed universities in this country are:
  1. Nanyang Technological University: This university offers Undergraduate, Graduate and Global programs as well as professional & personal development courses.
    Address: 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798
    Ph: (65) 67911744
    Website: http://www.ntu.edu.sg/Pages/home.aspx
    Email for foreign admissions: adm_intnl@ntu.edu.sg
    Contact number for foreign students: (65) 67905806/5807
    Contact number for scholarships: (65) 67906766
    Contact number for financial aid: (65) 67904115

  2. Singapore Management University: Student exchange programs with other universities are organized by the university, with transfer of credits being provided. The university has academic programs under different Schools, Institutes and Centres. The programs are of a varied variety, including economics and accountancy, management, finance, business & marketing, law, social sciences, information systems, etc.
    Address: Administration Building, 81 Victoria Street, Singapore 188065
    Ph: +65 6828 0100
    Email: enquiry@smu.edu.sg
    Website: http://www.smu.edu.sg/

  3. National University of Singapore: In collaboration with the Carnegie Mellon University, USA, NUS offers a dual degree program which allows students to study in both universities. Programs include: Business, Engineering, Medicine, Dentistry, Computing, Arts and Social Sciences, Music, Law, Public Health, etc. You do not need to make a separate application for a scholarship if you are not a resident of Singapore. You can be eligible for a scholarship based on your admission application. Financial aid is available for Singaporean students.
    Address: 21, Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore – 119077
    Ph: + 65 6516 6666
    Email: enquiry@nus.edu.org
    Website: http://www.nus.edu.sg/

One thing to note is that though the tuition fees will be less that what it is in USA or UK, the living expenses can be equivalent to what it is in those countries. The plus side is that as an international student, you can work on a part-time basis for a certain number of hours a week.

Studying in Hong Kong

Another Asian country that beckons with its world-class educational institutions is Hong Kong. Both faculty and infrastructure are of very high levels with English as the primary medium of instruction. Many of the universities are funded by the Government and hence authenticity of the educational courses is ensured. Other than engineering, some of the popular courses are those in biosciences, art and design. What's more, there are lots of job opportunities in Hong Kong for you to explore once you complete your studies here.

The top universities in Honk Kong include:
  1. Chinese University of Hong Kong: This university offers undergraduate and post graduate programs in Arts, Science, Engineering, Medicine, Law, Social Sciences, Business Administration, etc. There are also summer programs and student exchange programs.
    Address: Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR, The People's Republic of China
    Ph: : (852) 3943 7000 / 3943 6000 // Fax: (852) 2603 5544
    Email for UG admissions: ugadm@cuhk.edu.hk
    Email for PG admissions: gradschool@cuhk.edu.hk
    Website: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/english/index.html

  2. City University of Hong Kong: This university offers a wide variety of Majors and Minors across disciplines. Departments include arts and sciences, social sciences, engineering, creative media, law, environment, accountancy, finance & economics, management (including HR management), marketing, etc.
    Address: Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
    Ph: (852) 3442 7654 [general queries]
    Admissions enquiries for international students: (852) 3442 8009 / 3442 7373 // Fax: (852) 3442 0299
    Email: overseas@cityu.edu.hk
    Website: http://www.cityu.edu.hk/

  3. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology: Undergraduate and post graduate programs include humanities, science, engineering (including biomedical engineering), management, economics, etc (all subjects of UG are not offered as PG courses though).
    Address: Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    For UG admissions contact through this page: http://join.ust.hk/contactus
    PG Admissions Ph: (852) 2623-1120 // Fax: (852) 3521-0049 // Email: gradmit@ust.hk
    Website: http://www.ust.hk/

  4. Hong Kong Polytechnic University: International students can apply for under graduate courses in accountancy, management, building engineering, international shipping & logistics, aviation engineering, social work, hotel & tourism management, computing, etc. On the post graduate level, there are some unique courses such as E-commerce, Construction & Real Estate, International Wine Management, Geomatics, Speech Therapy, etc.
    Address: Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    Ph: (852) 2766 5111
    For Academic Information, send email to: asdept@polyu.edu.hk
    Website: http://www.polyu.edu.hk/web/en/home/index.html

Studying in China

China too is a good option for studying in an Asian university, with quite a few being ranked in the list of top universities in the world. Educational programs in technology, business and medicine are much sought after not just by students from India but also those from other countries.

One of the most well-known universities is Tsinghua University, which has got the reputed tag of "MIT of China" due to its internationally acclaimed programs in technology.
Address: International Students Office: Zijing Apartment Building No. 22, Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, P. R. China
Ph: For UG programs: +86-10-62784857 // For Graduate programs: +86-10-62788503
Email: For UG programs: undgrad@tsinghua.edu.cn // For Graduate programs: grad@tsinghua.edu.cn
Website: http://www.tsinghua.edu.cn/publish/newthuen/

Other universities known for their quality education are Peking University (Website: http://english.pku.edu.cn/) and Xiamen University (Website: http://www.xmu.edu.cn/en/).

Note that a foreign student studying an academic program in a Chinese university will be taught Mandarin as part of the syllabus, but the official medium of instruction is English. Also, the curriculum is likely to include a study tour of the country.


By no means is this article providing a complete list of great places to study abroad in Asia. There are other countries too in the Asian continent where you can find quality educational programs at a lower cost than in other places around the globe.

Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

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Author: MANISH K RAO07 Oct 2015 Member Level: Silver   Points : 2

But to survive in China, one must know Mandarin language right? It is a difficult language to master and in colleges professor may mix local languages making other students life difficult. For example in Germany you have to learn German so that you can complete your study successfully. I don't know exactly about China or Hong Kong but I guess the conditions are similar to Germany as English is not too widely followed in China.

Author: Vandana07 Oct 2015 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 1

Manish, in China a foreign student will get to learn Mandarin as it is part of the syllabus. The university faculty will teach in the medium of English.

Author: MANISH K RAO07 Oct 2015 Member Level: Silver   Points : 2

Yes. But in western countries there is no need to learn local languages as English is sufficient. Reputation and the job postings are also better there. But economically it can be a burden whereas eastern universities may be relatively cheaper. So, not a bad try I guess.

Author: Kailash Kumar07 Oct 2015 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 1

Nepal is also a preferred destination of Indian students, particularly for medical education. It offers few additional advantages like there is not so much cultural variations and language challenges. Commutation is easier and there is no visa requirement.

Author: Partha K.07 Oct 2015 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 0

Is Nepal also a hub for medical education (for Indian students)! I didn't know. Overall, a very useful article and responses.

How can I save the article and the responses?

Author: MANISH K RAO08 Oct 2015 Member Level: Silver   Points : 2

You can take a screen shot as downloading is not possible, I guess. Nepal may be good for Ayurveda; but for modern medicines Indian colleges are better. Studying medicine in India itself is burdensome, I can only imagine the economic burden if a guy goes to study medicine in western countries. Even with scholarships the economic need might be heavy.

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