10 Best Countries For PhD Studies and Settle Abroad After Graduation


The world is big…like…really big


You might be wondering what is the best countries for PhD studies and settle abroad?

Here’s a stone cold stat for you: 195 countries in the world with the total of about 7.5 billion population. How do you possibly know the best countries for PhD studies and settle abroad after finishing your Bachelor or Master degree?

Consider what this could mean for you.

If you have a dream, you should pursue it. Don’t wait until too late as you’ll regret at the end. Since PhD is the final education journey, you should really think about the best countries for PhD studies and settle abroad after graduation.

A piece of my advice: you should do what is right for you, not what is easy. Staying in your own comfort zone for long will not bring you to the next level of success.

You should treat this matter seriously, or else you risk your PhD qualification gathering dust on your shelves.5 Best Place To Study PhD At Emerging Economies Countries-EdiThumbs

Want to know the best part?

We’ve gathered many resources from the internet and respond from people all over the world and summarize into this article: 10 best countries for PhD studies and settle abroad after graduation.

Hope this article will give you some idea at the same time help you to determine the ultimate country to do your PhD. The list is based on an alphabetical order from A to Z.

Before reading the rest of this article, it would be best if you have the desired country that you want to go. Then, read through this article to see whether your desired country is on the list or not.

So let’s begin.


1. Australia

Pursuing your PhD at Australia is not a bad move either. In fact, Australia has the third largest number of international students in the world.

You surely have the chance to see many unique animals such as the koala, red kangaroo, and platypus if you select Australia to be the best countries for PhD studies and settle abroad.

Some of the top universities in Australia such as the University of Sydney and Australian National University (ANU) have a very strong background in research and outstanding education system.

You can learn from the best researchers who are expertise in their field.


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One thing for sure is you can enjoy the high standard of living. People at here is very friendly. The life at here is full of adventure and rich in cultures.

There are many opportunities for you to explore this wonderful land after you are graduated from your PhD program. You can even pursue your career either in Australia or internationally.

At some places, there are numerous excellent vantage points around the harbor, which you can get a great unobstructed view of the city skyline.

The vivid sunset is so breathtaking and really showing off! You even can enjoy the beach life, alluring Mother Nature, live music, and nightlife without any boundary.

As far as you have a valid work permit, it is quite easy for you to get a part-time job to enrich your life experience.



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2. Canada

Let’s take a closer look at Canada.

If you love the cold winter climate all year round, then Canada is the best countries for PhD studies and settle abroad.

Besides that, it is physically dominated by mountains and forest, which is notably green. These beautiful Mother Nature have decorated the entire country indirectly. One of the famous sports at here is ice skating.


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A lot of resources has been spent by government in research activities at Canada.

The world-leading universities in Canada comprise the University of Toronto and McGill University, which has a huge number of international students from various countries.

Canada is familiar with its diversity, dynamic, affordability, and friendliness of communities. Arts, fashion, historical spots, and creative industries have thriven the tourism sector.

One thing that is so special about Canada is its citizens are fluent in both French and English.




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3. France

Generally, the tuition fee at France is quite low. But, high living cost at some of the cities in France due to luxury lifestyle will make you spend more.

Generally, the climate of France is varied from place to place. The renowned universities such as Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) have produced quite a number of scientists, business leaders, thinkers, and politicians together with many innovative films, literature, and art works.



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You will love here for its multi-cultural environment, attractive view, exciting nightlife, historical building, and industry hub. These factors have made France to be the best countries for PhD studies and settle abroad.

After mingling around with the local PhD students and people at here, speaking Fence is not a big deal for you anymore. Developing France language skills will add more value not only to your PhD career but also personal life.



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4. Germany

If you like to experience the world-class education with the exemption or low cost of tuition fee, perhaps Germany is the best countries for PhD studies and settle abroad.

The sophisticated ecosystem at Germany along with its appealing traditional Bavarian culture certainly will open your eyes and enjoy your PhD journey.

You can travel to Paris or Rome easily as it is located in the middle of Europe. The Technical University of Munich and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München have become the fascinating study destinations for many international students.


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The mentoring programmes such as “Buddy” and “Tandem” will help you to settle down easily in Germany. You can make friends easily through these programmes.

Germany is also the hub for sports, fashion, music, and art, which is comparable to New York or London. If you love beer so much, you are coming to the right country.

You can enjoy the pleasure of booziest parties all year round. As a PhD student, you can enjoy an unlimited benefit of discounted prices at opera houses, cinemas, theaters, and other services as far as you bring along your student ID.

If you have an outstanding academic achievement and have a good record in extracurricular activities, getting a scholarship is just a piece of cake only.

Another good thing about Germany is the crime rate is very low. In other words, it is a good country to live with. If you faced any trouble, the police at there are reliable and willing to help you.

You can learn and speak German at here too. This will definitely open many doors for you.




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5. Hong Kong

Hong Kong is well-known for its research, innovation, and entrepreneurship both locally and internationally.

Hong Kong is also the rising star of an international education hub, especially with the strong presence of the internationally ranked universities such as the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) that celebrated 25th Anniversary celebrations and University of Hong Kong (HKU).


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The diversify and equality with no discrimination certainly will catch your attention to do your PhD over there.

In addition, there are many outstanding research facilities or research centers and institutes in Hong Kong to support the research and development (R&D) activities.

These strong networks can support and assist the transformation of research ideas into viable technologies that can solve many problems globally.

The living cost at Hong Kong is quite high. The accommodation fee is extremely high as compared to the transportation and food expenses.

If you like the modern and fast-paced lifestyle, Hong Kong should be the best countries for PhD studies and settle abroad. Apart from that, the sleepless city definitely will bring so much excitement in your life besides research.


  Related: 5 Best Place To Study PhD At Emerging Economies Countries

6. Japan

Can I consider Japan to be the best countries for PhD studies and settle abroad?

Absolutely. It is a developing and research intensive country. Well-known universities such as the University of Tokyo and Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed many cutting-edge technologies that help the development of the country.

The strong industry networks have generated many fundings for R&D activities.


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Let’s dig a little deeper.

Even though the lifestyle of Japan is quite hustle and bustle, it doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the beauty of Japan cultures. You can explore and experience the appealing environment especially during the cherry blossom season that normally occurs between March and April every year.

You even can enjoy many entertainments like karaoke and traditional tea ceremonies after a long hectic pace of PhD research. The presence of over thousands of onsens has caught the attention of tourists all over the world.

Ability to communicate using the Japanese language will give you an additional advantage.



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7. Singapore

Don’t judge Singapore based on its size. In fact, the research impact of this small country has thriven lately with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) being ranked the top 20 universities in the QS World University Rankings.

The best thing is the majority of people at here are communicating using English, which breaks down the language barrier.


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Despite densely populated, Singapore has low unemployment and crime rates, which makes it a very stable and booming economy.

The factors such as corruption-free society, low tax rates, and good facilities have attracted many skillful and talented people to pursue their opportunities at this land. In addition, the city is very clean and systematic. The trees have decorated the city.

Even though Singapore is the best countries for PhD studies and settle abroad, the accommodation at there is exorbitantly costly.

It is scorching almost every day due to the presence of many gigantic concrete buildings with minor forest and trees. It is a good destination for tourism from Malaysia, Cambodia, and Indonesia due to its epic view.



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8. South Korea

Recently, South Korea has been actively involved in the innovative research undertakings. This country offers many advanced research facilities, especially at the Seoul National University and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), which is under 50 years old.

South Korea is promoting work hard but plays hard culture at the universities. As an international PhD student, you also have many chances to experience its vibrant cultures and religions.



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It is very easy for you to find the Buddhist temples around the country. The wonderful environment in these Buddhist temples enables you to perform meditation and seek for relaxation to relieve your stress and find your inner peace in your life.

Besides that, if you like to play some video games in your leisure time, then you should visit PC bang. Besides enjoying gaming, you even can try many local foods and tea at there.

The rousing sounds from the night-markets, bars, and nightclubs will give you more excitement. You can drink, eat, and dance.

You can even visit historical sites and villages as shown in the Korean drama series as well as unique science and technology theme park together with your research group members.

It is also a golden opportunity for you to experience K-pop culture at South Korea by yourself rather than heard it from far. Knowing the Korean language will give you many unfair advantages for your future PhD career.


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9. United Kingdom

The reputation of the UK has been flourished recently due to the greatest achievements made by these universities: the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.

There are also many other prestigious institutions scattered throughout this country. Besides that, UK is excellent in all the areas. It is not difficult for you to find a university that matches your PhD research interest.

Facilities such as the British library that equipped with the huge database of manuscripts and books absolutely can help your PhD research life much easier.


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Well, UK does not only excel in academic performance, but also a hub for much fun entertainment, sports, gorgeous environment, businesses, delight cuisine, diverse cultures, arts, music, and historical spots.

The good reputation of the UK alone can heighten your value to go beyond international.


10. United States

The US is the best countries for PhD studies and settle abroad. You definitely will be inspired and motivated by its powerful slogan “American Dream”.

It is one of the most desirable countries for many ambitious PhD students due to the presence of many international ranked and strong reputation universities. Some of the world’s most famous universities in the US are Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University.

You definitely have the chance to experience many unique cultures in the US such as Halloween and Thanksgiving. You can also visit many historical sites such as the museum in your leisure time.

You can even do some part-time jobs on campus or off campus to reduce the financial burden if you have an up-to-date visa. If you want excitement, there are a lot of bars that are welcoming you.

The US is also an excellent country for you to master your English as English is one of the important communication languages. You can’t skip or say no to English.

You also will be inspired and motivated to try many things that you never try before in your life. The cultures at the US really worth more than just a visit or doing PhD research.


Did I miss anything?

In short, there are many reasons that people decide which country they choose to do PhD. A lot of those reasons can be boiled down to a few lists – supervisor, adaptability, language, and financial. Everyone deserves the right to enjoy the world-class education, especially PhD study.

The QS World University Rankings, THE World University Rankings, and Financial Times EMBA Rankings can be used to measure the performance of a university. But, these ranking indicators cannot use to measure the quality of the research being conducted.

Now it’s your turn.

You should not limit yourself based on what you have in your comfort zones. You should try hard and grab all the opportunities that come to you as such opportunities will not come twice. Set your goal and fight for it.

Based on the list of best countries for phd studies above, which country is your preference?

Or maybe I didn’t mention one of you favourite countries.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

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Chiong Sie Jing

Chiong Sie Jing

Sie Jing is an experienced proofreader and copyeditor with 8+ years of experience proofreading and editing for a variety of clients. He has helped many PhD students to publish their research in international journals with high impact factor. He is also a Certified Internet Marketing Practitioner (CIMP) & Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB).