UK vs US: Which is Better to Study Abroad for International Students? Image
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UK vs US: Which is Better to Study Abroad for International Students?

Yocket Editorial Team
20 mins read

Have you ever wondered why Indian students often prefer the US and the UK for higher studies? One can expect countless advantages while studying in these nations, like scholarship options, exceptional employment opportunities, top-notch quality of education, higher standards of living, part-time job opportunities, and much more. As both these countries attract a huge pool of international students, a comparison between UK vs USA is inevitable. Based on various aspects , the blog highlights the differences between studying in USA vs UK.

Table of Contents:

  1. Higher Education Institutes in UK vs US
  2. Top Universities in UK vs US
  3. Top Courses to Study in UK vs US
  4. Admission Requirements to Study in UK vs US
  5. Cost of Studying in UK vs US
  6. Student Visa in UK vs US
  7. Work While Studying in UK vs US
  8. Stay Back Options In UK Vs US

Higher Education Institutes in UK vs US

It’s essential to compare US vs UK education systems for better understanding. So let us discuss different institution types in US vs UK.


  • Public and private universities: Often run by British government and private organizations
  • Group of Institutions: Many small colleges and universities combine and form groups, also known as ‘mission groups.
  • Autonomous institutions: Backed by the public funds, either run by a government or private organizations
  • Degree awarding institutions: The degree-awarding institutions have the right to provide some specific research, associate, and teaching degrees

Complete Guide to Education System in UK


  • Public universities: Also known as state universities, backed with the support of public taxes, and regulated by US government
  • Private universities: Not supported by US government, funded by alumni donations and faculty research grants.
  • Technical schools: Specialized in providing engineering and science and degree courses
  • Liberal arts college: Higher educational institutions specialize in specific undergraduate courses of social science, science, and humanities streams.
  • Community colleges: The community colleges provide 2-year associate degrees and are relatively inexpensive than other universities.

Top Universities in UK vs US

While comparing USA vs UK it is essential to go through the top ranking universities in both the study abroad destinations. Seeing the QS World University rankings 2022, the rankings of US universities have improved in the last few years. Ranking comparison of top universities in USA vs UK is tabulated below:

Top 7 Universities in UK

UK Universities

QS World University Rankings 2022

University of Oxford

2nd rank

University of Cambridge

3rd rank

Imperial College London

7th rank

University College London

8th rank

The University of Edinburgh

16th rank

The University of Manchester

27th rank

King’s College London

35th rank

Top 7 Universities in USA

US Universities

QS World University Rankings 2022

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

1st rank

Stanford University

3rd rank

Harvard University

5th rank

California Institute of Technology

6th rank

University of Chicago

10th rank

University of Pennsylvania

13th rank

Yale University

14th rank

Top Courses to Study in the UK vs US

When you compare the UK vs USA for Indian students, one of the most common things you’ll find is that both nations are well-known for providing high-quality education. Both the countries offer a wide range of courses to international students. As we’re comparing UK vs USA for Indian students, we mention the top courses to study in these countries below.

Popular Courses in UK

Popular Courses in USA

Business and administration studies

Business management

Bioscience, health, and medicine


Computer Science

Maths and Computer science

Design studies

Social Science

Business management

Physical and Life Sciences





Preclinical medicine

Medical science



Sports and Exercise Science

Fashion design

Subjects allied to medicine

Accounting and Economics

Suggested: Top 10 Courses to Study in UK for International Students

Admission Requirements to Study in the UK vs US

Between the UK or USA which is better for education, the eligibility criteria play an important role. The eligibility criteria to study in both nations is very straightforward.


  • You must clear your 10+2 from an authorized school/college and board. The minimum marks required for admission vary from university to university and study program to study program.
  • Some UK universities also require candidates to submit their GRE or GMAT scores. The top-rated UK universities conduct special selection rounds like personal interviews to provide seats only to deserving candidates.
  • If you plan to pursue management courses, you should have some years of work experience in the relevant industry.
  • TOEFL, PTE, and IELTS are the English proficiency tests accepted in UK universities. Securing an IELTS score of 6.5 with 6 in every band is necessary for admission to the desired universities.

Everything You Need to Know about Requirements to Study in UK


As an Indian student, if you’re planning to pursue higher studies, below have a look at the below pointers.

  • You should clear your 10+2 from an authorized school or college and respective board. You should have all the original copies of all your previous qualifications.
  • The interested candidates need to sit for competitive exams like GRE, GMAT, SAT, and TOEFL. If any candidate is pursuing some subject-specific courses, he/she needs to appear for MCAT, DAT, PCAT, and VCAT.
  • Apart from the requirements mentioned above, you’ll also need a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) to apply to US universities. The LOR should be signed by the faculty member of your previous institute.
  • Apart from LOR, you’ll also require a Statement of Purpose (SOP). On the other hand, some universities ask for Admission Essays instead of SOP.
  • You should show your financial statements that you have enough funds to study and survive in the United Kingdom.

Coming to the UK or USA which is better for education, the eligibility criteria of both the countries is almost the same.

Cost of Studying in UK vs US

As we’re talking about whether the UK is better than the US, it’s imperative to discuss the cost of living, and the cost of studying in both countries is important. Below, we explain the tuition fees and cost of living in both nations.

Tuition Fees in the UK vs US

Study program

Tuition fees in the UK

yearly (in GBP)

Tuition fees in the US

yearly (in USD)

Bachelor’s degree

£8,000 to £15,000

$20,000 to $40,000

Graduate degree

£10,000 to £15,000

$20,000 to $50,000

Doctoral degree

£10,000 to £25,000

$25,000 to $55,000

Coming back to the discussion of UK or USA, which is better, the UK universities are slightly expensive in terms of tuition fees on bachelors and doctoral levels.

Cost of Living in UK vs US

Major expenses

Cost of living per year

(in GBP)

Cost of living per year

(in USD)



£3,600 to £4,000

$3,000 to $4,500

Private accommodation

£4,000 to £6,000

$4,000 to $7,000

Public transportation

£1,500 to £1,800

$2,000 to $3,000


Depends on lifestyle and personal preferences

Depends on lifestyle and personal preferences

Household bills

£200 to £400

$1,000 to $2,000


£100 to £150

$100 to $200


£500 to £1,000

$1,000 to $2,000

Note: All the costs mentioned above are tentative and depend on one’s lifestyle and personal needs.

Student Visa in UK vs US

If you’re thinking about UK vs US for international students, you should check out the student visa procedure of both countries. Below, we’re sharing the detailed visa procedure of both nations.

Student Visa for UK

Tier-4 is the full-time student visa of the UK. The overall cost of the Tier-4 UK visa is around £350. If a dependent is also coming with you, the same visa fee will be required. You also need to pay an international surcharge of £705

The visa officer might or might not call you for the interview round.

Documents Required for UK Student Visa

  • A valid passport
  • The reference number of Confirmation of Acceptancefor Studies (CAS)
  • Passport-size photographs
  • Tuberculosis screening report might be asked
  • Assessment documentation
  • ATAS (Academic Technology
  • Approval Scheme) clearanceReport
  • Documents of the student loan (if you have taken a student loan from any bank)

Student Visa for USA

In the US, there are three types of student visas which are as follows:

  • F1 student visa- Study programs that require 18 hours of study weekly like MBA, MS requires the F1 visa
  • J1 Exchange Visitor Visa- This visa is for the students and lecturers pursuing exchange programs in the US.
  • M1 Visa- Students interested in studying at technical and vocational schools require an M1 visa. The procedure of applying for an M1 visa and F1 visa is the same

Documents Required for Student Visa in USA

  • A valid passport
  • A printed copy of the DS-160 application form
  • SEVIS fee receipt (visa fee receipt)
  • The original and copy of the interview appointment letter
  • The original and copy of the Form I-20 sent from the university/college you’re enrolling in
  • Visa fee payment confirmation receipt
  • The bank statements to prove you have enough funds to reside in the US
  • A copy of your previous qualifications
  • The score sheets of your chosen English proficiency exam

Suggested: Find out the Difference Between F1 and J1 Student Visa

Work While Studying in UK vs US

Fortunately, both the US and the UK allow abroad students to work while studying, with conditions that are mentioned below:


  • Tier 4 is the UK student visa which allows the abroad students to work 20 hours a week part-time.
  • You’re eligible to work on the university campus or under a university-affiliated employer.
  • International students can work off-campus, depending on their chosen study program and the university’s terms and conditions.


  • You can work on-campus up to 20 hours per week and full-time (up to 40 hours per week) on the holidays.
  • Working off-campus is pretty complicated because most US universities disallow international students from working off-campus for safety reasons.
  • However, you can’t work after completing your study program using your F1, M1, or J1 student visa.

Stay Back Options In UK Vs US

Around two years back (2019-2020), the British government has made some changes regarding the stay back option for international students. Initially, abroad students can only stay for two months in the UK after completing their studies. As per the new rules and regulations, international students pursuing undergraduate degrees and higher can stay in the UK for two years after completing their studies.

International students can only stay back in the US if they apply for STEM OPT (optional practical training). According to this program, students who apply for general OPT can stay for 12 months after completing their studies. On the other hand, STEM OPT candidates can stay and work for up to 36 months.

We hope the comparison of UK vs US education system and other aspects helped you. Selecting the right study destination depends on your preferences and other important factors. For a better clarity on the question USA or UK which is better to study, connect with Yocket Counsellors and choose your study destination wisely.

We wish you the best of luck in your career!

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