The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of higher education systems at different universities. Students who had experience of studying abroad (N= 45) and those who did not have that experience (N= 46) assessed the extent to which education at higher education institutions embedded flexibility, teamwork, collegiality, creativity, cooperation, openness, competitiveness, critical thinking, cognitive skills, knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit in the education process. In addition, the study examined to what extent education at these institutions is characterized by quality, interactivity, an objective system of grading and the professors' availability. Results have shown that students with experience of having studied abroad evaluated the features of studying abroad significantly higher than the features of studying in their home country. These differences in findings were discussed in the context of the theoretical and practical implications relating to an effective higher education system.
Keywords: Internationalization, higher education, effectiveness, students’ experience, Serbia