Last Updated on September 1, 2023Most Expensive Countries to Study Abroad
Studying abroad has always been an intriguing prospect, offering students the opportunity to gain valuable international experiences, enhance their cultural awareness, and broaden their horizons. However, one cannot overlook the significant financial implications associated with studying overseas. Tuition fees and living expenses can quickly add up, making it crucial for prospective students to be aware of the cost implications before deciding on a destination for their studies. In this article, we will explore some of the most expensive countries to study abroad.
1. United States:
Known for its prestigious educational institutions, the United States tops the list when it comes to the cost of studying abroad. Tuition fees in American universities can be staggering, particularly for international students who often pay higher rates than domestic students. On top of
Would you say you knew much about the most expensive countries to study abroad? Do you often get confused by the conflicting information you see on it online? You need not search further as you will find the answer to this question in the article below.
It’s a great way to get a different perspective on your field of study and how it applies in the real world. It’s also a fun way to explore new cultures and make friends with people from all over the world.
But before you pack your bags, you’ll need to consider how much this adventure is going to cost you. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top 5 most expensive countries in the world to study abroad (when you factor in travel costs), their education systems, and why they’re so expensive.
After crunching all the numbers, it turns out France, Spain and Italy all make the top ten most expensive countries to study abroad, with China sneaking in as the 10th most expensive. Australia came in as the second least expensive country to study abroad, followed by Germany and England. While many of us dream of studying overseas, these statistics show that the real world is not quite as simple as we bachelors were led to believe.
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Most Expensive Countries To Study Abroad
In this blog, we are going to take a look at the most expensive countries to study abroad. There is no doubt that studying abroad is a great opportunity to learn, grow, and experience a new culture. However, it comes with some serious costs that can be a major burden for families and students.
We’ll look at what makes these five countries so expensive, why you should study abroad anyway, and how you can make your trip as affordable as possible.
Cheapest Countries to Study Abroad
Pursuing higher education abroad is an exciting opportunity, but it comes with a price. The most expensive countries to study abroad may not come as a surprise, though there are some you might not expect to see on the list! Here’s how much you can expect to pay for tuition and other expenses if you want to attend school in one of these five countries:
- United States
- New Zealand
While the number of international students worldwide continues to grow, the cost of studying abroad does not seem about to move down. Students’ favorite study destinations are indeed quite often the most expensive ones. According to an HSBC survey, though nearly 74% of parents would like their children to go study abroad, more than 50% wish they had started saving earlier. Spotlight on the cost of international university study.
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International study costs across 15 countries
Australia is the most expensive study abroad destination. That’s what a recent survey from HSBC bank on the cost of studying abroad shows. The 15 countries included in the ranking are also studied in the Value of Education – Springboard for success HSBC report, which analyzes the behavior of over 4,500 parents towards their children’s education.
The ranking of countries where international study is the most expensive is not only based on the comparison of the average tuition fees in the 10 largest universities in each country. It also takes into account the average cost of living in the cities where the best universities of each country are located. Thus, even if US higher education tuitions fees are beating all records, the cost of living in Australia is so high that the country ends up being a more expensive study location than the United States.
Are high study abroad costs a quality guarantee?
The Value of Education study showed that more than half of the interviewed parents consider the United States as one of the three countries offering the best quality of education. The ranking of countries according to quality of university education seems to show that the more a country’s educational system is renowned, the more the cost of studying tends to be high. The highest rated countries are in fact in the top 5 of the most expensive destinations for foreign students…
- United Kingdom
- France, Singapore
- Hong Kong
- Brasil, Indonesia, Turkey, Mexico.
Top 10 Study Abroad Countries in the World – 2019
There’s no denying that studying abroad can be an incredibly life-changing experience.
But the fact is, studying abroad is expensive—and the costs can vary wildly depending on which country you choose to study in. On top of the travel expenses, you’ve got tuition and fees, accommodations, transportation, health insurance, books and supplies… It can really add up.
Browse programs in Australia
As a country famed for its stylish fashions, breathtaking French Riviera and the enchanting Notre-Dame Cathedral amongst so many other attractions, France sits at the top of most people’s bucket list. With a prestigious education system, and more than 3,500 higher education institutions to choose from, more and more students are considering this historic and captivating country to study in. Ranked #3 in the world for culture and #11 for adventure, you can experience everything from the cozy warmth of a snow cabin in the Alps to the glitz and glamour of Cannes.
Browse programs in France
Study abroad in Switzerland and join some of the happiest citizens in the world! Switzerland has so much to offer. For education, we ranked it #2 in the world for teaching quality and #6 for career goals. Pretty impressive for a small country, especially as it also boasts two of the world’s highest rated universities! Inside the classroom, critical thinking, interactive learning and active debating will be at the core of your learning, supplying you with skills that will take you far in whichever career you choose. In your study breaks, get ready to ski in the splendor of the Swiss Alps, wander through majestic fairy tale castles and savor the taste of some of the most delicious chocolate you can find! Why not join the Swiss and earn a top degree in this stunning, safe and sweet-filled haven!
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At #7, the Netherlands has also scored #3 globally for teaching quality and #4 for career goals. For such a small country, having eight universities in the Top 100 in the world is an impressive accomplishment! Choose from over 2,000 university programs taught in English, and enjoy an interactive and student-centered style of teaching that will set you up with skills for life! Many international students choose to study here and the country enjoys a diverse international community. Plenty of graduates choose to remain in the country after graduation, too. Although excellent government initiatives play a big part in this, it could also be because they don’t want to leave behind the spectacular beauty of the tulip festivals, artistic offerings from the home of Rembrandt and Van Gogh, and the progressive, healthy and balanced lifestyle of the Dutch.
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Costa Rica comes in a strong #6 in our global rankings. Thanks to its wild landscapes and extreme sports to explore, the country has scored #2 in the world for adventure #2 for finding friends. Costa Rica is a vibrant nation that is home to a very proud and peaceful population, making it well known for being one of the happiest countries in the world! Perhaps it’s the well-known gourmet coffee beans the country produces, the wonderful ‘Pura Vida’ attitude to living that Costa Ricans pursue or something else entirely. With over 60 universities to choose from, a broad level of respect for education throughout the country, and affordable living costs, Costa Rica is a great place to get your degree, too!
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Mexico is consistently a favorite with expats due to its fantastic climate, low living costs and welcoming locals. It’s the perfect place to study and live; coming in at an impressive #1 in the world for finding friends and #3 for adventure. Discover the secrets of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans while enjoying the modern cultural and artistic heritage the country has to offer! At #10 worldwide for culture, you won’t be disappointed! Outside of the cities you also have 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore as well as a myriad of mountains to trek, beaches to enjoy and rainforests to explore! Take this opportunity to learn a new language, enjoy some authentic enchiladas and experience the electrifying festivities of Dia de Los Muertos, and make your study abroad trip one to remember!
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As the world’s most educated country, Canada proudly features top universities and was rated an impressive #4 in the world for teaching quality and #8 for career goals. Outside of the lecture room, you can get swept away by the beauty of Niagara Falls, trek one of the many mesmerizing national parks or meet a polar bear in Churchill! As a country known for its diversity and inclusive values, studying abroad in Canada will be easy to adjust to, and you’ll get to experience the high standard of living that locals enjoy. Canada is internationally recognized as one of the best countries to live and study in, so what are you waiting for?
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You’ve probably heard of Thailand being a great place for a vacation, but could it be your next study abroad destination? As our #3 study abroad destination in the world (and #1 in Asia), and with top global rankings in culture (#8) and adventure (#8), Thailand offers so much more than a typical beach and resort holiday. Just imagine yourself attending university while taking study breaks enjoying the picturesque scenes of floating markets, gorgeous temples and palaces! With a low cost of living, delicious street food, universities that rank among the world’s best and an amazing climate to enjoy, living and studying in Thailand is a dream come true! Thailand is also home to some of the friendliest and happiest people you could meet (it’s not known as the ‘Land of Smiles’ for nothing!) Whether you are attracted by the legendary and thrilling nightlife of Bangkok, or the tranquil, stunning shores of Koh Samui, you can be guaranteed that you’ll have the time of your life!
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Earning the #2 spot in the world (and #1 spot in Europe), Spain makes for an irresistible choice for your study abroad destination! With low living costs, an excellent education system and over 70 universities to choose from, you’ll be spoiled for choice of where to further your education in this sunny, historical and beautiful country! Outside of your studies you’ll never be short of something to do either, which is why we ranked it an impressive #1 in the world for adventure and #3 for culture. Whether you’re sampling tapas on the Spanish sidewalks, admiring the artwork of Picasso and Gaudi or cheering on Real Madrid and Barcelona in their home stadiums, you will be guaranteed to have an amazing experience if you study abroad in Spain.
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and the winner is…
Are the Kiwis onto something? The answer is YES! With so much to offer, New Zealand proudly claims our #1 study abroad destination in the world! You may have already heard of its stunning natural splendor, abundance of adrenaline-filled extreme sports and scenic trails made famous by the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But did you know that you can get a first-class education here as well? With all of its eight universities in the top 3% in the world, New Zealand quite rightly deserved the top spot, along with #2 for career goals and #6 for adventure. Study here and you will always find fun activities to try, whether you want to ski, sail or skydive! Your adventure starts in New Zealand.
About Cheapest Universities in the World for International Students
As a student, it’s important to do some research before deciding where to study abroad so that you don’t overshoot your budget. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the most expensive countries for students to study abroad. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option (without sacrificing quality!), check out these countries instead.
These are 7 of the most expensive degrees in the world
Abby Jackson May 29, 2016, 2:14 PM
Harvey Mudd College students
Harvey Mudd College is one of the most expensive undergraduate programs in the US. Instagram/@harvey_mudd
At $1.2 trillion, student-loan debt in the US exceeds car loans and even credit-card debt. But education is an investment for the future, or so the mantra goes. Students routinely pay hefty costs to come away with the diplomas they desire.
With that in mind, Business Insider rounded up some of the most costly degree programs around the world.
The programs span some of the expected categories, like medical degrees and MBAs, to less likely bachelor of arts programs and music degrees.
The prices listed below reference only tuition costs without room and board and other expenses.
Below are seven of the most expensive programs in the world:
Wharton School — $192,900 Executive MBA
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has a two-year executive-education program that runs students $192,900.
Known as one of the top business programs in the world, Wharton grads have an average base salary of $127,280 upon graduating.
Sarah Lawrence College — $204,784 Bachelor of Arts
Sarah Lawrence College Campus Westlands
Sarah Lawrence, based in Westchester County, New York, costs students $204,784 for four years.
The liberal-arts school has a unique and individualized approach to learning where there are no required courses and examinations mostly don’t exist.
Harvey Mudd College — $209,532 Bachelor of Science
Harvey Mudd College
Harvey Mudd College/Facebook
Harvey Mudd appears to be one of the most expensive undergraduate program in the US. The Claremont, California-based program runs students $209,532 for four years.
It focuses on science, mathematics, and engineering, and graduates earn an early-career average salary of $78,200 and $133,000 mid-career.
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons — $230,536 Doctor of Medicine
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons/Facebook
Columbia’s med school will cost aspiring doctors $230,536 over the course of their four years of schooling.
The competitive program is ranked as the seventh-best med school among research programs by US News & World Report.
Tufts University School of Medicine — $238,056 Doctor of Medicine
Tufts Medical College
The Boston-based med school tips the scale at $238,056 for four years.
It ranks in the top 50 for research and primary-care programs.
Bard College — $253,520 Bachelor of Music
Bard College Ward Manor
Via Wikimedia Commons
The music major at Bard is typically five years and provides graduates with a bachelor of music degree as well as a bachelor of arts in a field other than music. It runs $253,520 for the five-year program.
The Bard College Conservatory of Music is ranked in the top 20 for best music conservatories in the nation.
The University of Cambridge — $332,000 Doctor of Business
Though the program is still in proposal phase, the four-year course is a doctorate of business and will cost students $332,000. That makes it one of the most expensive degrees in the world.
The program “will be very small and selective, demanding substantial resources for intensive teaching and support services,” a representative from Cambridge told Business Insider in an email.
Cheapest Countries to Study Abroad
But if you’re looking to save a few bucks while you chase your international degree dreams, this list of the most expensive countries to study abroad is a good place to start.
The cost of living can vary wildly depending on where in the world you choose to study. The U.S., for example, boasts some of the priciest universities in the world—with average annual costs of $34,000 or more per year (not including room and board). Meanwhile, studying in Canada or Australia will cost around $32,000 per year on average.
10 Of The Most Affordable Places To Study Abroad
By Sabrina Collier
Updated March 24, 2021
This article is adapted from the QS Top Grad School Guide 2016-2017. You can read the most recent version of the magazine online here.
Believe it or not, it is indeed possible to study abroad on a budget! Some of the best places to study abroad are also ones where tuition fees are low, or even non-existent. Read on to find out more about 10 of the cheapest countries to study abroad, in no particular order…
Although all of the Nordic countries are relatively affordable study destinations, Norway is our pick as it remains free for everyone, from both within and outside the EU, at public universities, with the exception of a few specialized programs. Europe’s Nordic countries are known for their high quality of life and stunning natural beauty, and Norway is no exception. Another reason to study in Norway is the availability of English-taught programs at all study levels, plus a high number of locals proficient in English. However, as with the other Nordic countries, Norway comes with a high price tag in terms of living costs; you’ll need around NOK 139,680 (~US$17,200) per year.
Heading to Asia, Taiwan is another of the cheapest countries to study abroad. For example, at National Taiwan University – the nation’s leading university at 72nd in the QS World University Rankings® 2019 – tuition fees for undergraduates start at TW$100,920 (~US$3,300) per year for liberal arts programs, up to TW$124,200 (~US$4,050). The country offers more than 120 courses taught in English, at over 40 universities, and Taiwan is also a popular destination in which to learn Mandarin. Taiwan also offers a good quality of life with relatively low living costs; accommodation costs as little as TW$88,000 (~US$2,900) per year.
Known as ‘the land of ideas’, Germany is continuing to grow in popularity with international students, and it’s not hard to see why – it offers reputable universities, relatively low costs, and a high quality of life. There are no tuition fees charged at undergraduate and PhD level at all public universities, excluding those in Baden-Württemberg. Master’s students who have not studied their undergraduate degree in Germany will typically pay upwards of €20,000 (~US$23,450) per year, but you may be able to find a scholarship to help. To cover living costs, you’ll need at least €10,200 (~US$11,950) per year, but possibly more, depending on your lifestyle, location and spending habits. And there are a range of English-taught courses, particularly at graduate level.
Tuition fees in France are the same for domestic and international students, and for 2019/19 are set at €170 (~US$200) per year for bachelor’s (licence) programs, €243 (~US$285) for most master’s programs, and €380 (~US$445) for doctoral programs. Fees are considerably higher at the highly selective grandes écoles and grands établissements, which set their own fees. Living expenses will be highest in the capital, Paris, but you may find it worth the extra cost – after all, Paris was named the world’s number one student city four times in a row (and currently stands at fifth). If you’re not yet a fluent French speaker, you can study in France in English, with the majority of English-taught programs found at postgraduate level.
Full of interesting and unique culture to explore, Mexico is one of Latin America’s most-visited nations, and has lots to offer international students. Tuition fees vary, with private universities charging more, and average around US$6,300 per year for international undergraduate students in the capital, Mexico City, which was named one of the world’s top 100 cities for students. Living expenses are also reasonably low in Mexico, with all living costs adding up to around US$9,250 on a standard budget in the capital, or US$6,450 elsewhere. Although the main language of instruction is Spanish, Mexican universities are offering more English-taught courses to attract international students.
Heading back to Asia for the next of our list of the cheapest countries to study abroad, India is a fantastic option for students who want to combine affordability with cultural diversity. While Hindi is the most prominent of the 100+ languages spoken, English is often used as the language of instruction at Indian universities, especially at postgraduate level. Living costs are incredibly affordable; a one-way trip using public transport can cost as little as the equivalent of 29 US cents. Tuition fees vary depending on your study level and university, but are typically no higher than US$7,880 a year, and you should be able to live comfortably on as little as US$4,600 a year.
The second-largest country in South America, Argentina boasts stunning natural beauty, with a diverse geography that makes it ideal for students keen on outdoor adventure and exploration. Argentina is also considered one of the safest countries in the region and is known for its fun-loving culture and passionate national identity. You can typically study for free at any state-funded (public) university, with tuition fees of around US$5,100 per year or more at private institutions. You’ll need around US$5,000 for living expenses, with rent costing as little as US$350 per month.
Another of the best places to study abroad on a budget is Poland, which also offers a high quality of education, along with plenty of fantastic culture and history to explore. You can study for free if you can speak Polish, and if you take the same entrance exams as Polish students and study your course in Polish. However, there are also many English-taught programs available, costing around €2,000-3000 (~US$2,340-3,500) per year. Living costs are also on the low side, as you shouldn’t need more than €6,600 (~US$7,700) per year. The capital city, Warsaw, was ranked within the top 20 cities for affordability in the latest QS Best Student Cities index, and 53rd overall.
Malaysia is undoubtedly one of the cheapest countries to study abroad, particularly in terms of living costs. Its capital, Kuala Lumpur, came first for affordability in the QS Best Student Cities 2016, and most students will only need about MYR 14,400 (~US$3,550) per year to live comfortably in Malaysia. In terms of tuition fees, you’ll pay an average of US$4,000 per academic year, but some courses are even cheaper. Malaysia is also home to a number of branch campuses of international universities, such as the UK’s University of Nottingham or Australia’s Monash University, offering the opportunity to gain a degree accredited by these institutions at a lower cost.
- South Africa
Concluding our look at some of the best places to study abroad on a budget, South Africa is renowned for its natural beauty, cultural diversity, and turbulent history. Another great choice for students with a love of the outdoors, it’s also reasonably inexpensive, with low costs of living and tuition fees. Fees vary, but come to an average of US$6,000 for international undergraduates studying at the University of Cape Town (South Africa’s highest-ranked university in the QS World University Rankings) and the University of the Western Cape. You’ll need around R 120,000 (~US$9,150) per year to cover your living costs.
To find out more about the best places to study abroad on a budget, check our article ‘Where Can You Study Abroad for Free?’ and our list of the 10 Most Affordable Cities for Students, based on the QS Best Student Cities. If you need help with finding a scholarship, check out our complete guide on How to Find Scholarships to Study Abroad.