A report from the British Council found more than a third of young adults were preparing to take courses overseas – a near doubling in just 12 months.
Figures show a “thirst for travel and adventure” and experiencing other cultures were cited as the most popular reasons for wanting to take a university or college course abroad.
But more than half of students said they were considering moving overseas because of the sharp rise in tuition fees at British universities, which can now charge up to £9,000 a year for a degree.
The scale of overseas study has prompted concerns in the past that British business could be losing thousands of talented graduates to companies overseas.
But the British Council said it was vital that young people gained a greater appreciation of other countries to enable them to compete in the emerging “global economy”.
The biggest barriers to studying overseas were worries about fitting into another culture, a lack of confidence in foreign language skills, concerns that the degree programme may be too difficult or a belief that the length of the programme did not fit their needs.