Studying Computer Science Abroad: Countries, Costs, Universities and Colleges

Computer Science is the study of information technology, programming, algorithms, and data structures. It is the foundation of all computing disciplines and involves everything from the algorithms that make up software to how software interacts with hardware and how well software is developed and designed.

Nowadays, studying computer science abroad can be a great opportunity for those who want to work in the IT field and get a promising and well-paid job.

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Abroad

Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science is academic degree that prepares students for careers in the IT field.

  • High school graduates with a secondary school diploma or the one of an equivalent education institution;
  • Students interested in information technology, programming, algorithms, and data structures.

  • Enrollment application – an electronic application that you can fill in on the website of a university or a college;
  • Secondary school diploma – is a document confirming that the student has finished secondary school or has an equivalent education;
  • Transcript – a document that contains information about the subjects the applicant studied at school and the grades for each of them;
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers or other persons who know the student and can describe his or her qualities and achievements;
  • Certificate of language proficiency – a document confirming the level of the English language proficiency;
  • Essay that the student needs to write to demonstrate their analytical skills and logical thinking.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the requirements and admission conditions of the universities you are interested in;
  2. Gather the necessary documents;
  3. Prepare for and take English language exams (IELTS, TOEFL) if required for international students;
  4. Submit your application and documents to the university within the specified deadlines. Pay close attention to the deadlines as they may vary depending on the institution and country;
  5. Await the selection results. Universities typically review applications for several months and communicate their decisions via email or through the university's online portal.
  6. The application process may vary in different countries and universities, so be sure to carefully study the requirements and instructions on the university or college website.

Master’s Degree in Computer Science Abroad

A Master's degree represents the highest level of professional education and prepares students for a successful career in the IT field. It is the next step in your educational journey.

  • Candidates should have a bachelor's degree in Computer Science or a related field;
  • Candidates who demonstrate a high motivation to study computer science and possess the necessary skills and knowledge for successful education in computer science master's programs abroad.

  • Bachelor's Degree from an accredited university or college;
  • Excellent academic performance and high GPA. Usually, the required value ranged from 4 to 5 points;
  • Certificate of language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS if the program is taught in English);
  • Work experience or internships in the financial field (not always mandatory);
  • Recommendation letters from professors or employers confirming the candidate's academic and professional achievements;
  • Motivation letter in an essay where students are to describe their goals, motivation, and interests with regard to the chosen graduate program;
  • Results of standardized tests (GMAT or GRE): some universities or colleges may require you to pass the standard tests.

The process of enrollment in a graduate program in computer science abroad may vary depending on the university or college, but usually it consists of the following steps: 

  • Fill in an online application;
  • Provide all the necessary documents;
  • Pay a registration fee (from $50 - $150 or more), which covers the administrative costs, such as document revision, qualification check, and language skill assessment;
  • Pass language exams or other tests (if required);
  • Have an interview (if required). 

Computer Science Majors

Computer Science is a field that includes a variety of majors – from programming and software development to artificial intelligence and bioinformatics. As you can see, the list of majors is rather long, but usually, studying computer science is regarded as programming courses abroad. Let’s look at some of the most popular majors that different foreign universities and colleges may offer:

  1. Software engineering and development implies studying various programming languages, software development methods and technologies.
  2. Databases – within this major, students will learn big data operation, database creation and optimization, and data processing using SQL and other languages.
  3. Information security – this major is related to data protecting and countering cyber attacks. Students learn to detect vulnerabilities, assess risks, and develop strategies to ensure information security.
  4. Artificial intelligence and machine learning – as part of this major, students study methods and technologies related to developing and applying machine learning and AI algorithms.
  5. Bioinformatics – this major is about using information technology to analyze and understand biological data. Students study methods and technologies related to analyzing genomes, proteins, and other biological information.

Each of these majors represents a separate knowledge area of computer science, which has its own methods, technologies, and tools. By choosing one of these majors, students can get deeper knowledge and skills that may be in demand in the corresponding fields of the labor market.

The World’s Best Universities in Computer Science

For those who want to deal with programming, software development, machine learning, and other IT-related fields, getting an education in computer science is an important step. For those who want to get a high-quality education in this field, choosing a university is the key point. In this section we’ll look at the world’s best universities that offer educational programs in computer science.

Below is a table that shows the best universities in computer science according to QS World University Rankings 2022:




Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA

Technics, informatics, natural science

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), founded in 1861, is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT is known for its strong programs in engineering, science, and economics, as well as its interdisciplinary approach to research. The university has produced many notable alumni, including 97 Nobel laureates, 58 National Medal of Science winners, and 29 National Medal of Technology and Innovation winners.

Stanford University, USA

Informatics, natural science, engineering

Stanford University is a prestigious private research university located in Stanford, California. The university has successful programs in various sports and guarantees housing for all four years. Stanford University is recognized for its contributions to research, teaching, and societal impact, and it is consistently ranked among the top universities globally.

Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Informatics, engineering, art

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a private research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.The university consists of seven colleges, including the College of Engineering, the School of Computer Science, and the Tepper School of Business. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) offers a comprehensive and prestigious Computer Science program.

University of California, Berkeley (UCB), USA

Natural science, engineering, social science

The University of California, Berkeley, is a public land-grant research university in Berkeley, California. Established in 1868, it is the state's first land-grant university and the founding campus of the University of California system. Berkeley is known for its pioneering discoveries and driving innovation.

University of Oxford, UK

Humane studies, natural science, medicine

The University of Oxford, located in Oxford, England, is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. It offers a wide range of bachelor’s and master’s programs, including a renowned Computer Science program through its Department of Computer Science. The department is known for its strong emphasis on research and innovation in teaching.

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland

Technics, natural science, architecture

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) is a leading technology-oriented university with a strong focus on computer science. The Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich is known for its highest quality in computer science research and education. ETH Zurich has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally for Computer Science and is an ideal place for students who seek high educational standards in the field.

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland

Technics, informatics, natural science

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is a leading research university in Lausanne, Switzerland, known for its strong emphasis on science and technology. The School of Computer and Communication Sciences at EPFL offers a comprehensive range of programs in Computer Science, including bachelor's and master's degrees. The Computer Science program covers various aspects of the discipline, such as advanced digital technologies, security systems, data analytics, cyber security, networking, and more.

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU), Singapore

Engineering, informatics, design

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is a public research university located in Singapore. It was founded in 1981 and is one of the two major national universities in Singapore. NTU is known for its strong emphasis on science and technology and is frequently ranked among the top universities globally.

University of Toronto, Canada

Humane studies, natural science, medicine

The University of Toronto is a public research university located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Established in 1827, it is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Canada. The Computer Science program at the University of Toronto provides students with a broad training focusing on the entirety of a field that is constantly changing, offering them the opportunity to develop innovative applications and gain real-world experience.


The choice of a university to study computer science depends on each student’s personal interests and goals. Before making a decision, we recommend studying enrollment requirements, program descriptions, scientific achievements and reputation of each university.

Careers with University Degrees in Computer Science

Studying computer science abroad can lead to numerous career opportunities and high wages. Graduates with degrees in computer science are in great demand and can pursue various career paths, including programming, system administration, data analysis, software development and testing, and information security engineering. 

The popular career directions to mention in this field are as follows:

  1. Programmer — Graduates can work on software development, coding in a variety of programming languages, as well as participate in various projects, including mobile app, website, and computer game development.
  2. System administrator — This specialist’s tasks include computer network management, ensuring system security and reliability, as well as solving all kinds of technical problems.
  3. Data analyst deals with processing and analyzing big data, thus providing companies with analytical information to support the key decision-making tasks.
  4. Software Development and Testing Engineer — This position includes tasks related to software development and fault-based testing.
  5. Information security engineer — This specialist maintains computer systems in operational condition and deals with data protection and prevention of cyber attacks.

The average annual pay for computer science professionals varies by region and specialization. 

In the USA, programmers can earn about $85,000-$100,000:

  • The average annual pay of a system administrator is about $75,000-$85,000;
  • The average pay of an information security engineer is about $100,000-$120,000 per year.

In Europe, programmers can earn about 40,000-60,000 euros:

  • A system administrator’s average annual pay is about 30,000-50,000 euros;
  • An information security engineer’s average pay is about 50,000-80,000 euros per year. 

Overall, pursuing a career in computer science can provide high wages, diverse job opportunities, and the chance to work for various companies, from startups to large corporations such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.

Studying abroad can also provide access to scholarships to cover tuition fees, and it offers the opportunity to develop valuable skills for a globalized industry.

Frequently Asked Questions about Studying Computer Science Abroad

Some of the most popular countries to study computer science abroad include the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Australia, and New Zealand. Each of these countries offers a variety of programs, courses, and majors in computer science, so students can choose the one most corresponding to their needs.

There are various levels of education in computer science, including bachelor, master, and postgraduate programs. Bachelors’ programs usually provide basic knowledge in computer science, while masters’ and postgraduate give more advanced knowledge and allow to specialize in particular areas, such as machine learning, Artificial Intelligence and cybersecurity.

Some of the most prestigious universities in the field include Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University in the USA, University of Cambridge and University of Oxford in the UK, ETH Zurich in Switzerland, Technical University of Munich in Germany and University of Toronto in Canada.

The documents required to enroll in a foreign university may vary depending on the country and university. In most cases, you need to provide certificates and diplomas confirming your education, the language proficiency test results, and letters of recommendation. Some universities may also require an essay or portfolio. You can learn more about the required documents on the educational institution’s website.

The tuition fees and cost of living abroad may significantly vary depending on the country, university, academic major, and other factors. Usually, studying abroad is more expensive than in your native country, but many universities and colleges offer scholarships or grants as financial aid. Besides, students may consider working on the campus or outside the university for additional earnings.

Students who want to study abroad should consider various financial aid opportunities, including scholarships, grants, and loans. Many universities and colleges offer scholarships for international students depending on their academic achievements. There are also a number of public and private organizations that provide financial aid to those who want to study abroad.

The requirements may vary depending on the country and university. Usually, universities provide a list of the language requirements to those who want to enroll in the program. If a student’s native language is other than English, then the level of the language proficiency must be confirmed by, for example, passing TOEFL or IELTS tests. Some universities may also require knowledge of other languages, such as French, German or Spanish, if the program is taught in these languages.

Computer technology and information technology are incredibly fast-growing sectors and are a source of great demand for highly qualified specialists. Students with a degree in computer science from a foreign university may enjoy a competitive advantage when looking for a job in the industry in their native country or abroad.

The most popular programming languages in the industry include Java, Python, JavaScript, C++ and C#. These languages are used to develop various software products, web and mobile apps, computer games, and so on.

You can gain the first experience by participating in internships or projects. Many universities and colleges offer internship opportunities at local companies or at the university campus. Besides, students can participate in contests, hackathons, or other computer science-related events to gain real-life experience and develop their skills.

Leonid Kurza