Disadvantages of studying abroad

In the world we live in today, postgraduate studies have become a very crucial part of a student’s academic goal. The quest to have a good education is on the increase yearly and this has brought about studying abroad. This abroad study is largely on the postgraduate level.

A master’s degree will certainly help students acquire academic and specialist skills. A master’s degree abroad offers students not only an excellent education, but also a global level. Canada, among many other popular countries, has slowly but surely become a top choice for higher education abroad. International students have both advantages and disadvantages when studying abroad.

In this article, we will be focusing on discussing many of the disadvantages of studying abroad which will help international students make a wise choice. There are some things I will look at that make studying in my home country better than studying abroad. Some of the disadvantages of studying abroad are tuition fees, climate, cost of living, language barrier and many more.

In discussing the cons of studying abroad, will we be taking them region by region or country by country. This is important because there are some disadvantages that are specific to some countries.

In all we will be looking at disadvantages of studying as an international student in

  • Canada
  • Europe
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Poland
  • Germany
  • Cyprus
  • Ukraine
  • Turkey

As you carefully read the following reasons why you should not study abroad, make sure you understand them well and see how you can survive if you must study abroad.


Disadvantages of studying in Canada as an International student

Though Canada is one of the best places in the world to get quality education today, there are still some limiting factors you need to prepare for before leaving for Canada. Below are the disadvantages of studying in Canada for international students.

Tuition Fees

Although Canadian universities offer many financial advantages to students, studying in Canada can still be an expensive proposition given the strong value of the Canadian dollar. However, there are scholarships for students from other Commonwealth countries, such as the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program, which can make studying in Canada a little more affordable.

So if you want to study in Canada, you must be buoyant enough to pay for your fees and this will not be easy if you are coming from countries that have low currency value, like international students from African countries.

Medical Care

Canada is one of the countries that has a good healthcare system. However, the amount of time you have to wait for attending to minor injuries and specific surgeries can be very long. 

Although Canada has a more effective health care system when compared to most of the neighboring states, the time it takes to attend to patients is long and this can also be more to that of international students. 

This is one of the reasons not to study in Canada if your health needs urgent attention.

Cost of living in Canada

When we are looking into the cost of living in any country, the most important factor determining the cost of living for an international student in this case in Canada is the city in which they want to live. In Canada big cities like Toronto and Vancouver are very expensive while cities like Montreal, Calgary and Halifax are more affordable. 

Furthermore, the cost of living is also dependent on your lifestyle as a student in Canada. If you plan your expenses, part-time jobs, and having sensible and well tailored expenses will definitely help you as a student to have a comfortable life while studying in Canada.

Choice of School

There are some reasons why not many international students apply to study medicine in Canada. Canadian medical schools do not accept, or even prohibit, international students unless the government has a special arrangement with the students. 

Canadian universities do not offer a bachelor’s degree in medicine or surgery; Instead, you must apply directly to the Doctor of Medicine program using the 60 credit hours you earn from a bachelor’s degree. The program is divided into two parts called rotation, two years of pre-clinical courses and two years of clinical training.

So if you want to go to medical school as an international student, then Canada is not for you. This is one of the disadvantages of studying in Canada for international students.

Type of college

Some people like to attend all male or female colleges but it is not so in Canada.  Almost all Canadian universities and colleges are mixed-gender. There is no all-male university like Hampden Sydney, although those interested in a women’s college can consider Brescia University College in Ontario, the only single-sex college/university in Canada. 

So if you are a student that want a single sex University, then you should change your choice of country because you will be disadvantaged if you choose Canada.

No private Universities

There are a number of private post-secondary institutions in Canada, but only one is non-religious. Quest University in British Columbia.  As the only secular private university in present-day Canada, founded in 2007,it is still under the supervision of the Canadian government.

All accredited universities and colleges you can see in Canada today are public institutions with their own management and control, and admission of Students up to 20,000 people.

If you desire to study at an institution whose management is totally independent and not influenced by the government and its funds, or if you want a high-level university with fewer than 5,000 enrollments, Canada is not that ideal choice. Many universities in Canada are relatively young. 

The University of Waterloo, for example, was founded in 1956; and Simon Fraser University traces its roots back to 1965. However, it is difficult to find an alternative educational paradigm in the post-secondary sector in Canada. 

There is no Minerva school or Montessori education and you cannot find fully specialized independent institutions like the Stockholm School of Economics or the London School of Economics in Europe. Canadian universities operate the traditional way, although some are slowly reforming

Lenient Education

A North American degree is about that assignment, schoolwork, essays, tests, and projects. In the undergraduate level, the courses usually make up 60%, while the final exams make up 40%. 

It’s not uncommon for professors to ask for multiple essays or to have a small to medium-sized assignment each week. It’s also not surprising to see courses where 100% of the points come from courses. 

That being said, there are also courses (like math) where the intermediate and final exams are essentially 85%. If you’re doing your best in a full exam setting or hands-on pedagogy, that middle ground can be challenging for you

Climate change

Canada is spread over a large geographic area; the climatic conditions of the region depend on the location. Since the average temperature is 35 ° C in summer and -25 ° C in winter, students from warm countries may find it difficult to adapt in winter. 

Sometimes winter lasts six months and the temperature can sometimes even drop to -30 ° C, but as mentioned earlier, it depends on your location and your ability to adapt to a new environment. Cities like Vancouver, Halifax, and Toronto are some cities with warmer winters in Canada. 

Extreme weather conditions can certainly be managed with appropriate clothing, by wearing layered warm clothing. With the right equipment and winter clothing, international students from tropical climates can cope with cold conditions over time.

Disadvantages of studying in Europe as an International student

Studying in Europe can prove to be an enriching experience, attracting different cultures, countries and experiences. The bad news about living in Europe is that things are not always as good as they seem. 

We are going to look at the disadvantages like f studying in Europe as an international student. Below are the reasons why you might reconsider studying abroad in Europe.

High cost of living in Europe

Tuition fees in Europe are not as high as in the US, but they are quite expensive. Not finding a suitable scholarship for the students would mean taking huge loans from banks or other means. 

Apart from the tuition fees, countries like the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway etc. have high living costs which means that housing and grocery shopping can also be expensive


Racism has been around for as long as we can remember. And so far it is still dominant in one part of the world. Especially in the white countries. Africans studying in Europe can sometimes face this challenge. They can be seen as inferior among their partners. 

This is not good as it can affect not only their education, but also their way of thinking and self-esteem. Currently, some international students are faced with racism. So think about it before you decide to study abroad

Cultural diversity

Cultural values ​​are different for every country. The food, the sense of clothing, the lifestyle, etc. make up the culture of a country. Surprisingly, this can be an obstacle to studying. 

Of course, since you are an international student, your culture is different from theirs. And because yours is different, you could be treated like an outcast and lose your sense of belonging. This has direct or indirect consequences for your studies and your stay abroad.

Quality friends

Yes, loneliness is another major disadvantage. It has a greater impact on students who are emotional and those who have a hard time making friends. The thought of not seeing your sibling, parents, or friends for years can cause loneliness. 

These thoughts make such students vulnerable to immersion in the classroom. The chances of this happening in your own country are slim as they are all easy to get to. So keep that in mind if you decide to study abroad.

Language barrier

Language is a powerful tool that promotes communication and, of course, learning. But because the world is full of different languages, studying abroad can sometimes be difficult. If a Chinese person wants to study in Europe, there is already a problem and that is the language barrier. 

Mandarin is the official language in China and English in the United States. In order for such a person to study in Europe without any problems, they should first learn and speak English fluently. And mastering a language is not a day job.

Disadvantages of studying in France as an international student

Starting a university education is an exciting experience. But the excitement and fear of change increases when the university is outside our own country. Studying abroad has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Of course you can visit new places, meet people and learn about a new culture. However, the unfamiliar environment, the language and the lack of familiar faces are all things that can deter you from going abroad. 

In this part of this article about disadvantages of studying abroad, we are going to look into Disadvantages of studying in France as an international student. These reasons will help you to choose your home country over abroad.

High tuition fees at private Universities in France

While most courses are offered at public universities, a small number of courses are only available at private universities. The problem with this, however, is that in France, as in any other country, private institutions can be expensive.

So if you are looking for a cheap private University in France, you might not be successful. This is a disadvantage of studying in France.

Language Barrier

Most universities in France use English as a medium in teaching foreign students. So studying shouldn’t be a problem. However, it is known that the locals mostly only speak French there. 

Therefore, interacting with fellow students or communities can be stressful for you, which means that you will have to put extra effort into learning the language.

 If you can’t catch up fast with the local languages in France, you will be lacking many things since you can’t communicate effectively. 

Getting a job in the place as a student to help you offset some of your expenses will not be possible since many of the locals speak French and it is one of the most noticeable disadvantages of studying in France.

High cost of living is France

While students can get financial assistance and discounts, studying and living in France can be expensive. According to The Economist, the French capital is the most expensive city in the world alongside Hong Kong and Singapore. 

As a result, it can be a little difficult to manage the cost of living there. You might want to choose smaller French cities like Poitiers, Brest and Limoges.

As a college student, funds are always limited since you don’t have high paying jobs and you don’t have all the time to work, so you must plan well. Studying in France will be a disadvantage.

Can I work as a student with student visa in France

Students can work part-time in France on a student visa. However, there is a limit of 964 hours in a year. This deadline changes when you get a residence permit / visa

Are Universities in France good for international students?

France has one of the most prestigious educational systems in the world. It is also one of the European countries that welcomes the highest number of international students annually

Must I learn French to study in France

Many courses are offered in English, so no knowledge of French is required. However, learning French is a plus for you to get the most out of your study abroad. Learning the guest language is always the first step to make it easier to get used to.

Disadvantages of studying in Ireland for an international student

With top education destinations like the US and UK getting expensive, students from all over the world are looking for alternatives to study abroad and pursue a career abroad. Ireland is considered by many to be the next major center for student education due to its versatility. 

If you’re considering choosing Ireland for your higher education studies, check out the different cons of studying in Ireland.

Availability and cost of accomodation

While the cost of living in Ireland is quite cheap, some places like Dublin can be expensive if you’re looking for an independent place to live alone. 

Universities offer different types of residents, such as hostels and dormitories, but most of them are difficult to reach because they are limited in number and fill up quickly. 

However, you need to book this property well in advance before they are all booked. Every university has one available, so it’s best to meet it first if you’re not booking any of the places in hostels.

Climate Change

Ireland experiences constant weather changes throughout the year and is quite gloomy as it is usually dark and rainy. Students from temperate countries may find it difficult to adjust to the Irish weather. It is a good idea to prepare mentally before arriving in Ireland. This also helps you to pack the right clothes for the changing seasons.

If you are not conversant with how to live in places with a cold, you need to learn or stay out from studying in Ireland. This is one of the disadvantages of studying in Ireland for international students coming from temperate regions.

Disadvantages of studying in Poland for international students

Poland is a country in the center of Europe. Since Poland joined the EU in 2004, the country has experienced phenomenal economic growth. It is certainly interesting to note that during the Great Depression of 2008, when all national and international companies in the world were on the brink of bankruptcy, Poland was the only country in Europe to report financial stability. 

It is important that you choose an economically stable country to study as it offers you a viable career opportunity after graduation. Studying in Poland certainly improves your profile, both academically and professionally. 

Advantages and disadvantages of studying in Poland with its rich historical background and cultural heritage, studying in Poland can give you the full European experience. According to current statistics, there are now more than one million students studying in Poland, including about 57,000 international students. 

The growing number of international students in Poland is a result of the country’s burgeoning industry, increasing quality of higher education and excellent living conditions. If you are considering studying abroad but are unsure of the country, this article can help you decide. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of studying in Poland.

Medical care

It is mandatory for international students to purchase health insurance during their stay in the country. Poland is one of the few countries with a free health care system; however, this only applies to Polish citizens. 

Therefore, international students must obtain health insurance in their respective home countries before coming to Poland to study. There is a huge demand for this service due to the availability of free high quality healthcare. Studying in Poland certainly improves your profile, both academically and professionally.

Language Barrier

Despite the fact that the academic system in Poland follows an English-language curriculum, proficiency in Polish can be very beneficial considering that most recruiters in Poland prefer to hire students who have basic Polish language skills. 

In addition, learning Polish can be challenging, especially for non-EU students. There are many reliable courses online that can help you learn the basics of Polish, with Duolingo being one of the most reliable source

Limited employment opportunities for international students in Poland.

Employment opportunities for international students in Poland are limited. This in turn depends on the Polish language skills, the chosen field of study and the job offers. However, students with a Polish degree can work in any other EU country in which there are many opportunities

Disadvantages of studying in Germany as an international student

Exam Grading

Depending on the system to which you are accustomed, the German assessment / testing system can be quite confusing / burdensome. First, in most classes, the grade for the entire course of study is determined on the basis of the final examination / dissertation. It is stressful and means that the final exam at the end of each semester is a very intensive time for all students on campus. 

Another big difference that struck me between the USA. and German university systems registered for exams. If you are enrolled in a course in the United States, you will be automatically enrolled for the required exams. Not in Germany! You have to register for an apprenticeship and to take the exam for half the semester. As the only foreigner in my education, I naturally forgot to register for an exam in the first semester.

No free standard learning facilities

This is seen especially if you are going to a public university in Germany, you should not expect to have a variety of student resources available (for free) on campus. This means no high-tech computer lab, no super-modern student center, no team of personal counselors.

 Also, the resources that are available will likely cost you. For example, a student membership to the on-campus gym at my university costs about 20€ per month.

Language Barrier

It is important to let you know that even if the course you are admitted to is meant to be taught in English, you still need to learn German. Even if you live in a large student city, everyday life will be filled with uncertainty and confusion if you think that you can get by with English. So if you are absolutely not interested in a German course, stay at home. 

Don’t get me wrong when I say you have to learn German or stay at home – you don’t have to speak fluent German before you come to Germany. The Germans are incredibly accommodating and most of the young people speak English. However, if you are planning a longer stay, sign up for a German course (which is often offered free of charge by your university)

Working limit as international students

Students who are Non-Europeans  enrolled at a German university are only allowed to work 120 full days or 240 half-days. If there is a need for working more, students need to get permission from German employment authorities and the request may be also rejected.

Disadvantages of studying in Cyprus as an international student

Cyprus is one of the many destinations for Students seeking education abroad. There are many international students today in Cyprus that are also doing well in their academics. Before you choose to study in Cyprus,  especially North Cyprus, take notes of these disadvantages of studying in Cyprus.

Discrimination and Racism

There is a lot of racism and discrimination in Cyprus. Not all people living in Cyprus are racist or bad, but most of them are highly racist.

Even though people are educated, they tend to discriminate against people, especially those who are of color. This is the worst thing that I don’t like about Cyprus.

So, if you don’t like getting discriminated against, don’t come to Cyprus.

Limited working time for non citizens

International students in Cyprus are only allowed to work for 20 hours per week.

Usually, the minimum wage per hour is 5 Euro, which means you can earn 100 Euro a week.

So as a student, you need to work hard especially if your parents don’t have Enough money to sponsor your stay there but it has been limited. So it is important to think about it. This is one of the disadvantages of studying in Cyprus.

You can only do limited jobs

You can aim to get a high class job as an international student in Cyprus but that is not possible because those jobs are only reserved for their citizens.

If you have completed your bachelor’s and master’s degree in Cyprus, you might get to do the jobs in your field. But if you are just doing a bachelor’s, they won’t even consider taking you for an interview.

Limited travelling opportunities

Although Cyprus is a European nation, it is not yet a member of Schengen. If it is not a Schengen country, it will be difficult to travel to other Schengen countries. You can easily travel to Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia as they are also not in the Schengen area. Otherwise it is very difficult to get a tourist visa for other European countries.

Disadvantages of studying in Ukraine

Embassy problem

The Embassy system is very unstable for example, for Nigerian students. So you are advised to follow due process and don’t fall into the hand is scammers.

Admission process

In Nigeria, the admission process into any of the Universities is not direct but through agents. Hence you cannot deal directly with any school. You will always have to be through an agent. Don’t be deceived, not all those websites you see online carrying the names of the Universities are the real University websites. Many of those supposed University websites are managed by Agents. 

Language Barrier

Going to any foreign country will mean that you will have to adapt to the new country. Students are taught the local language (Ukrainian or Russian) as part of the curriculum. If the student puts enough interest in the subject, they will have a good command of the language and it will help them in their daily life. However, if the student does not show interest in the local language, he will lose focus

Courses duration

The course duration for MBBS in Ukraine is 5.8 years. This is longer than the duration in some other countries like Kazakhstan, Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan

Education Curriculum

The curriculum taught by all European countries is excellent and it focuses on overall growth and development of the student without putting the students under immense pressure. This, however, is a problem for some students as they don’t feel motivated enough. Lack of a good attitude can lead to failure among students.

Disadvantages of studying in Turkey as an international student

Turkey has always been an attraction for students because the country offers many advantages. The temperate climate, healthy living conditions, employment opportunities, food and affordable housing all contribute to the country’s rewards. The country’s education system is expanding and growing year after year, giving students more choice. The economy of the country is also thriving, which benefits the people.

Quality Education

The quality of education in Turkey is not that high though it mainly depends on the university you choose to go to, and the course you choose to study, but an overall evaluation of the country’s education system is not likely to be good.

Some of the international Students complain of not being able to  use various resources and the language issue they face while communicating with their professors. One has to be vigilant while choosing the university they want to do their higher education from.

Language Barrier

The major disadvantage of studying in Turkey is language. International students find it really difficult to communicate effectively with the Turkish locals.

Turks are more willing to communicate in their own language. Though Turkish is an easy language to learn as an international student and does not require much effort, people from different countries find it difficult to interact with people in the initial stages.

Work permit

If you are interested in working in Turkey as an international student, operating a business of any kind, you will need a work permit and that process of getting it involves a lot of paperwork and you will find yourself in and out of various government buildings throughout the day. 

The process is exhausting and time consuming. And besides, as mentioned earlier in this article, the official speaks their native language, which makes the situation even more challenging.


From the above information, you can see that there are many disadvantages of studying abroad, be it in Canada, Europe, Germany, Cyprus, Ukraine or turkey. Major disadvantages we have discussed are language barrier, High cost of living and accomodation, climate and health care. All these are very important for anyone. So if you are not prepared for any of these, it is better to study in your home country.