The cost of studying abroad for international students can be quite expensive, with costs ranging from as low as $3,200 per year to as high as $19,288 per year, depending on the country and university of choice. For many students, the high cost of tuition is a deterrent to studying abroad, but there are a number of scholarships and financial aid options available to help offset the cost.
The tuition fees for international students can be very expensive, depending on what country you want to study in. However, there are a few countries, such as Argentina and Germany, that offer tuition-free studies at some of their universities.
- The cost of living also varies depending on the standard of living and the benefits that countries offer for international students. For example, in Australia, student expenses exceed the amount of $14,493 per year.
International students can find cheap accommodation options at around $150 per month in some universities that offer student housing or free accommodation with host families in countries like the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
Average Cost of Studying Abroad
When choosing a country to study abroad, international students should consider many factors including the lifestyle, living expenses, and university costs. Some of the most popular study abroad destinations offer affordable or no tuition fees, affordable living standards, or a great education system.
This is the average cost of studying abroad in some popular countries:
- Getting an online degree abroad can be cheaper and more convenient, with tuition fees of a maximum of $2,250. With online learning, you can save on travel and accommodation costs, and you’ll have more flexibility when it comes to scheduling your studies around work and other commitments.
The United States is the most popular study abroad destination for international students, with nearly 1 million currently enrolled. The UK follows close behind with 605,130 international students. These numbers show just how popular studying abroad has become in recent years!
- For international students, both Russia and Argentina offer low living costs per year, which is ideal for those who want to learn more about new cultures while also saving money. On average, living costs can range from $2,500 to $4,000 annually in either country.
- Australia is an expensive country to live in for international students, with living costs ranging from $14,290 to $19,288 per year. This can make it difficult to afford living expenses, especially if you are studying full-time. However, there are ways to save money while living in Australia. Here are a few tips:-Share accommodation with other students to save on rent
-Cook your own meals rather than eating out
-Take advantage of free activities and attractions
– Use public transport instead of drivingBy following these tips, you can reduce your living costs and make studying in Australia more affordable.
- On the other hand, India is one of the most affordable countries to study abroad in with living expenses being around $3,200 – $4,000 per year.
- Universities in the United States and Australia boast some of the highest tuition costs in the world, with annual fees ranging from $32,000 to $60,000. Ireland comes in a close second, with universities charging up to $45,000 per year.
- Spain is a great place to study for international students because the tuition fees are low, averaging from €700 to €1,200.
Studying Abroad Expenses
Studying abroad has been found to be more expensive than if a student were to stay in their home country for university. The average international student has to consider the budget for an entire academic year and factor in the expenses of travel and living in a foreign country. Some ways to cut costs would be to look for scholarships specific to your situation, look for a part-time job, or take out loans with lower interest rates.
Here are the overall average expenses of studying abroad:
In most cases, international students attending universities in popular study abroad destinations face higher tuition fees than their domestic counterparts.
United States: $32,000 to $60,000 per year.
China: $2,000 per year.
Canada: $11,800 – $15,750 per year.
Australia: $10,060 – $35,730 per year.
Textbooks and Supplies
In some countries, the cost of tuition includes the necessary student supplies like textbooks and other study materials. In others, there are extra fees charged for these things on top of the tuition rate.
Here is what international students spend on average on textbooks and supplies:
- United States: $1,240 per year.
- China: $60 – $100 per year.
- Canada: $1,500 per year.
- Australia: $360 – $1,080 per year.
The cost of living as a student can differ significantly depending on the country you choose to study in. Here is a breakdown of the average monthly cost of renting an apartment in some of the most popular countries for international students:
- United States: $1,500 – $3,100 per month.
- China: $150 – $1,000 per month.
- Canada: $350 – $500 per month.
- Australia: $600 per month.
Most international students studying abroad have to spend the majority of their income on necessary everyday expenses, leaving little room in their budget for other activities.
Here’s the average cost of transportation in some of the most popular study abroad destinations:
- United States: $90 – $130 per month.
- China: $15 – $20 per month.
- Canada: $30 – $80 per month.
- Australia: $150 per month.
International students and members of nationalities who come from non-EU/EEA countries usually have to pay visa fees. The fees can range from $80 up to $1,000, and it all depends on the country and the nationality of the applicant.
- United States: F1 visa: $510 per application.
- China: X1 Visa for longer than 6 months, X2 for less;
- $130 for American citizens; $30 – $90 for other nationalities.
- Canada: Study permit: $120.
- Australia: $420.
Average Cost of Online Study Abroad Programs
In comparison to studying abroad in person, online studies are way more affordable and both easier to apply and get accepted. Considering the most popular study abroad destinations have a higher tuition fee for foreign students than domestic students, the option of online study abroad programs is more convenient and cheaper.
The average cost of online education for summer programs ranges from $280 – $2,250, making it a much more affordable option for students.
Salzburg College offers Virtual Study Abroad programs, which is a great option for students looking to study abroad without spending a lot of money.
Student Loans to Study Abroad
When studying abroad for a semester or a year, you can apply for either a federal or private student loan. The loan you choose should be based on many deciding factors, such as the length of your study abroad program, the type of university you’ll be attending, the country of choice, and the tuition fees along with estimated living expenses.
Applying for a loan to study abroad can be a different process than applying for a regular student loan. Be sure to consult with the university’s financial aid officials to find out which option is best for you.
The international student loan can cover all or the majority of the following student costs:
- Tuition fees.
- Living expenses.
- Accommodation and food services.
- Health insurance.
- Travel expenses.
One way to cut costs while studying abroad is by taking out loans specifically for this purpose. This way, you can lower the overall expenses that come with studying in a foreign country.
Scholarships to Study Abroad
The majority of international students who opt to study abroad do so by first finding funding and scholarship options to help pay for their studies. Scholarships and grants offer students the opportunity to study in another country without having to worry about the high cost of tuition, living expenses, and other associated costs.
Here are some of the most popular study abroad scholarships in the world
Fund for Education Abroad: The Fund for Education Abroad offers scholarships of $1,250 to $10,000, depending on the duration of the program.
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: The program offers scholarships of $3,000 during summer, $4,000 per two semesters, or $5,000 per academic year.
CIEE Study Abroad Scholarships & Grants: CIEE offers scholarships of up to $2,000, depending on the program duration.
USAC Scholarships: USAC offers scholarships that vary in amount, depending on the study program and course.
The Intern Group Global Leadership Grants: The Intern Group offers grants that vary in amount, depending on the study program and course.
CEA Study Abroad Scholarships: These scholarships range from $400-$1000 for summer programs and $500-$3000 for programs lasting longer than one summer. We believe that study abroad is a transformational experience and are committed to making it possible for as many students as possible to participate.
Popular Study Abroad Destinations
Finding an affordable place to study abroad can be tricky for international students, as many popular destinations are known to be quite expensive. However, there are a few countries that offer a great mix of affordable tuition, high living standards, and plenty of funding options for students. Check out the list below for some of the most popular study abroad destinations, along with the number of international students, tuition fees, and funding options during studies.
Number of international students: 914,095.
The average cost of living for international students: $10,000 – $18,000 per year.
United States is among some of the highest in the world, averaging anywhere from $32,000 to $60,000 per year. Your total tuition cost will depend on your chosen major, where you decide to live, and what type of university you attend.
For example, if you choose to study engineering at a public university in California, your tuition will be lower than if you choose to study business at a private university in New York.
Here are some of the most expensive and cheapest public/private universities for international students at the undergraduate level:
|Affordable Universities||Expensive Universities|
|University||Annual Tuition Fee||University||Annual Tuition Fee|
|Sonoma State University||$9,500||Scripps College||$79,700|
|Arkansas State University||$5,400||Harvey Mudd College||$56,680|
|Southeast Missouri State University||$15,300||University of Chicago||$31,910 – $33,910|
|Bradley University||$35,900||University of Pennsylvania||$61,170|
|Ashland University||$23,000||Amherst College||$76,800|
|Bellevue College||$3,000-$11,880||Columbia University: School of General Studies||$58,440|
|Westcliff University||$13,550||Georgetown University||$59,784|
|Minnesota State University—Moorhead||$21,900||Brown University||$60,944|
|South Dakota State University||$25,550||John Hopkins University||$57,917|
|City University of New York||$18,600||Boston University||$59,050|
Applying and starting the study abroad experience can be very simple and quick if you choose to go through a third-party program. Many times, the fee you pay to the third-party program can include tuition and other university fees, meaning one less thing for you to have to worry about!
Below you can find the most popular third-party programs to study abroad in the US:
- The University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) offers study abroad programs in more than 50 universities in the US.
- International Studies Abroad (ISA) offers study abroad programs in 26 fields throughout the US.
- Academic Programs International (API) offers study abroad programs at universities around the world.
- The American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) offers financial assistance for students studying abroad, up to 50% of total fees.
The United States is known for being relatively expensive to live in, so international students should put savings at the forefront of their minds to ensure they can live comfortably. The average yearly cost for a student living in the US ranges from $10,000 to $18,000 – though this number can differ based on factors such as the location within the US and the student’s chosen living conditions. Surroundings such as these can have a significant impact on the amount of money spent per year, so it’s important to be mindful of these differences when making your budget.
Here is a list of the everyday expenses for the average student living in the US.
|City||Accommodation||Groceries and Restaurants||Transportation||Other|
|New York||$2,200 – $3,100||$260||$130||$280|
|Boston||$1,900 – $2,600||$200||$90||$230|
|Chicago||$1,250 – $1,800||$150||$100||$270|
|San Francisco||$2,470 – $2,900||$250||$80||$250|
|Philadelphia||$1,120 – $1,700||$200||$97||$250|
|Los Angeles||$1,600 – $2,290||$220||$100||$260|
|Atlanta||$1,180 – $1,600||$190||$95||$270|
|Washington DC||$1,790 – $2,250||$220||$100||$250|
Note: Health insurance for international students can range from $500 – $1,000 per year, however you should keep in mind to try and avoid the cheapest option as it does not include all the healthcare services.
Number of international students: 605,130.
The average cost of living for international students: $17,000 per year.
- The average tuition fees for international students studying in the UK range from $14,100 to $38,000 for undergraduate and graduate studies.
- There are 109,145 EU students enrolled in higher education studies in the UK.
- The number of Non-EU students enrolled in UK universities is 452,225.
Here are some of the universities with the highest number of international students and their tuition:
|University||Undergraduate Programs (USD) per year||Graduate Programs (USD) per year|
|University College London||$28,000||$10,500 – $36,000|
|King’s College London||$26,000 – $59,000||$24,000 – $45,000|
|Coventry University||$17,000 – $18,000||$20,300 – $25,000|
|The University of Edinburgh||$28,275 – $37,000||$16,000 – $42,000|
|Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine||$38,000 – $55,500||$20,000 – $78,000|
|The University of Manchester||$24,500||$57,000|
|The University of Glasgow||$22,500 – $58,000||$8,800 – $31,600|
|University of the Arts, London||$28,900||$31,600 – $40,300|
|The University of Warwick||$27,300 – $55,500||$25,400 – $37,700|
Here are some of the most popular scholarships for international students in the UK:
– Chevening Fellowships
– Cardiff India Scholarships
– Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships
– Inlaks Scholarships
Most universities in the UK usually have third-party providers to help make the application process simpler for students. Third-party providers are not associated with the university and students use them to find degree programs that match their interests and needs.
Here are some popular third-party programs in the UK:
- Arcadia University
- Butler University
- International Studies Abroad (ISA)
- The Study Abroad Foundation.
Aside from the study costs and fees, students who wish to study abroad in the UK should also get informed about the living arrangements and expenses. The living costs usually depend on the city, whether the university offers dormitories, the students’ lifestyle, and many other factors. In order to help make your experience abroad as seamless as possible, check out this list of estimated living costs in some of the most popular student cities in the UK:
-London: £1,265-£1,700 per month
-Edinburgh: £950-£1,250 per month
-Manchester: £950-£1,200 per month
-Glasgow: £950-£1,200 per month
-Birmingham: £950-£1,100 per month
Below you can find a list of some of the elementary monthly living expenses for international
|Accommodation||Student housing – $500 – $740.Apartment rent: $980 – $1,200.|
|Food and groceries||$50 – $120|
|Transportation||$15 – $20|
Number of international students: 492,185.
The average cost of living for international students: $5,500 – $10,000 per year.
Here are some scholarships that some universities offer in cooperation with the Chinese Government Scholarship or CSC Scholarships:
- CSC Scholarship in Tsinghua University
- CSC Scholarship in Zhejiang University
- CSC Scholarship in Peking University
- CSC Scholarship in Wuhan University
- CSC Scholarship in Xi’an Jiaotong University
- CSC Scholarship in Shandong University
Here is the average monthly cost of living in China:
|Accommodation||Student housing – $150 – $400 Apartment rent: $300 – $1000|
|Food and groceries||Home-cooking: $170 – $200Outings: $3 – $10 for a meal|
|Transportation||$15 – $20|
Number of international students: 416,437.
The average cost of living for international students: €11,208 per year.
Germany is a very popular country for students who want to study abroad because many universities offer free tuition for international students. Germany is also an affordable country to live in, with a monthly average of €930 in living expenses, depending on the city. Student fees per semester can range from €100 to €350 depending on the university location.
A number of public universities in Germany do not charge tuition fees for either local or international students, with some exceptions for administration and student fees per semester. For example, the Technical University of Munich, the University of Mannheim, the University of Bremen, and the University of Cologne are all tuition-free for students.
Before deciding to study abroad in Germany, take the time to learn about all of the opportunities available to help fund your studies. There may be additional financial support options you didn’t know about that could make studying in Germany more affordable for you.
Here are a few of the most common study abroad, exchange, or scholarship programs available for international students:
- Erasmus+ is a great way to fund your academic studies. You can receive up to 12 months of funding for your studies.
- German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is another great option to support your studies. They can support you for your entire studies or only for short-term courses.
- Congress – Bundestag Youth Exchange Program is another great option to support you during your studies or internships. They offer support for one year depending on your objectives.
Here are the differences in monthly living and additional costs between some of the most popular cities.
|Munich||€1,200||€300 – €400||€100||€265|
|Berlin||€800||€150 – €350||€120||€260|
|Frankfurt||€880||€200 – €360||€130||€270|
|Stuttgart||€850||€160 – €200||€150||€240|
|Cologne||€740||€150 – €180||€100||€250|
|Hamburg||€860||€140 – €150||€90||€230|
|Leipzig||€550||€130 – €150||€80||€220|
|Dortmund||€500||€130 – €140||€90||€290|
|Essen||€470||€130 – €140||€80||€200|
|Dusseldorf||€750||€140 – €150||€80||€230|
Note: The average monthly cost of health insurance for international students in Germany ranges from €33 – .€130, depending on company and age of the student.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Number of international students: 65,447.
The average cost of living for international students: $5,850 to $11,700 per year.
If you’re looking to study abroad, the United Arab Emirates is a great option – on average, it’s around 14% cheaper than in the US. The tuition fees for international students at UAE universities start from just $10,209 per year, with some of the top universities costing $19,000 per year.
- The cost of a student visa for studying in the UAE is around $816.
- The tuition fees for postgraduate studies usually range from $14,970 to $20,420.
Here are different types of UAE scholarship and funding options for international students:
|Government Scholarships||College Scholarships||Other Dubai Scholarships|
|The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships.||The Marie Wright Scholarship for Non-Traditional Locations.||Financial Hardship Scholarship 2021.|
|The David L. Boren Scholarships.||The American University in Dubai.||Outstanding Academic Excellence Scholarships.|
|The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowships.||HH Sheikh Hamdan Scholarships.|
|William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Scholarships.||The Indian High School Dubai Scholarships.|
The monthly living expenses range from $650 to $1,300.
Here is an average of how much an international student spends per month while studying abroad in UAE.
|Accommodation||On-campus housing – USD $1,633. Rent – USD $860 – $2,450.|
|Food||Groceries: USD $50 – $80. Restaurant: USD $8 – $10 per person (one meal).|
Here is the average living cost per month In the top cities of United Arab Emirates:
- Ajman: $2,230
- Dubai: $2,750
- Abu Dhabi: $2,500
Number of international students: 49,348.
The average cost of living for international students: $3,200 – $4,000 per year.
India offers some of the most affordable tuition fees for international students, with an average cost of $3,300 to $7,800 for both undergraduate and graduate studies. Ph.D. students can study for free in India, with a minimum stipend of $340 per month. The average monthly living cost for international students in India is around $2,600.
Here are some of the most affordable universities in India for international students:
|University||Average Tuition Fee per year (USD)|
|Jamia Islamia University||$600|
|Jawaharlal Nehru University||$750|
|National Institute of Technology, Delhi||$3,500|
The Indian government offers financial support for international students who can prove monetary need, but only after three years of studying in the country. If you are an international student looking for financial aid, make sure you plan ahead and budget for your first three years of study in India. After that, you may be eligible for government support.
- The Study in India Scholarship is one of the most popular funding options for international students. It includes monthly payments for living expenses and free tuition for up to five years.
- The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) awards numerous scholarships for international students depending on the study level.
Although life in India is becoming more expensive, international students can still afford to live a comfortable life while studying.
|Accommodation||$450 in rent; $66 – $132 In-campus|
|Food and Outings||$108 – $250|
Analysis: Is Studying Abroad Worth It?
In recent years, there has been a notable trend of students from all corners of the world deciding to study abroad in order to receive a higher quality education. This is because many countries have made significant upgrades to their education systems and Universities in order to make them more appealing and attractive to international students. As a result of this, we have seen a significant increase in higher education enrollment from all nationalities in the last ten years. Therefore, the importance of studying abroad has increased right along with it.
What makes studying abroad a worthwhile experience?
- Learn about new cultures.
- Start a career
- Expand your network.
- Increase employability chances.
Disclaimer: This article does not rule out any country as an adequate study abroad destination. However, it refers to some of the most commonly chosen study abroad destinations in order to provide a conclusion on how much studying abroad can cost.