Cheapest countries to study as an international student

Studying abroad changes your life by exposing you to a new culture, school of thought, way of life, and language. The experience and benefit one gets from studying abroad are limitless at the same time expensive.

When considering studying abroad, one must first assess his/her budget to determine the entire financial cost of the study. The expense of studying abroad is greatly determined by how you plan it. You must choose a place, figure out how to pay for it, prepare for your time away and figure out how to make the most of it.

Most of us are taught to prioritize the country of study above our choice of university or program. We are expected to put into consideration tuition fees, living expenditures, culture, professional aspirations, work possibilities, visas, residence, and the opportunity to develop friends. The ability to plan will help erase the high-cost factor and find you the ideal destination abroad, where you can get your degree and benefit from low tuition and overall low living costs. 

This may be accomplished by conducting a thorough study. You must learn about different universities and their tuition prices. Examine the effectiveness of education, networking, and relationships. This will allow you to determine whether it is worthwhile to go deep into your finances. Living expenditures are another issue to consider. 

Tuition costs may be within your budget but living expenditures for a struggling student may be out of this world. As a result, many students have little choice but to work several jobs and live on less than a dollar per day to survive.  

As a student on a tight budget, you must inquire on where you can locate a city where both tuition and living expenses are affordable. Not to worry, because we have come up with a list of cities that would work for any student on a study abroad budget. Some of the cities are:

Most affordable countries to study abroad

Norway: Nordic countries are reasonably priced study locations. Except for a few specialized programs. Norway provides free education to all citizens, both inside and outside the EU, at public institutions. There is also the availability of English-taught programs at all study levels, as well as many native English speakers. However, like with the other Nordic nations, Norway has a high cost of living; you will require about NOK 139,680 ($17,200) each year.

Taiwan: Taiwan is one the cheapest countries to study abroad. The nation’s leading university is sitting at 72nd in the QS World University Rankings® in 2019. Tuition fees for undergraduates start at TW $100,920 (the 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.

Germany: Germany is becoming increasingly popular among foreign students, offering prestigious colleges at a cheap cost and a great quality of life. Tuition fees are not levied at all public institutions, except those in Baden-Württemberg, at the undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees. Master’s students who did not study for their undergraduate degree in Germany would generally spend €20,000 ($23,450) each year with access to grants. To pay living expenses, you will need at least €10,200 ($11,950) each year and can be more depending on your lifestyle, location, and spending habits. There is also a variety of English-taught courses, particularly at the graduate level.

France: Tuition fees in France are the same for domestic and international students. Tuition can be as low as €170 (US $200) per year for Bachelor’s (license) 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 theirs. 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). Students who are not yet fluent French speakers can study in English, with most English-taught programs found at the postgraduate level.

Mexico: Full of interesting and unique cultures 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. 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.

India: India is a great 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 the 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 $4,600 a year.

Argentina: 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 $5,100 per year or more at private institutions. You’ll need around $5,000 for living expenses, with rent costing as little as $350 per month.

Poland: Poland offers a high quality of education, along with plenty of fantastic culture and history to explore. You can study for free on the basis that you can speak Polish, take the same entrance exams as Polish students. However, there are also many English-taught programs available, costing around €2,000-3000 ($2,340-3,500) per year. Living costs are also on the low side, as you shouldn’t need more than €6,600 ($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: 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 ($3,550) per year to live comfortably in Malaysia. In terms of tuition fees, you will pay an average of US $4,400 per academic year, but some courses are even cheaper. Malaysia is also home to several 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.

Czech Republic: Studying in the Czech Republic can be free under the condition that you must be able to speak or be willing to learn Czech. So, if you have Czech roots or learning languages comes naturally to you, then the Czech Republic is best for you. Life here is incredibly cheap and filled with all sorts of craft beer brands. 

Iceland: Iceland is a huge green and yet treeless island, so unless you are a fan of small communities and natural landscapes, you might overlook it as a potential student destination. The exciting part is that it is tuition-free at the country’s public universities. If you opt for private, the cost is still highly manageable with the University Centre of the West Fjords taxes being about 2,500 EUR/year for Masters.

Sweden: Sweden is a country where there are study options for any budget. Some universities might only require a symbolic tax of 100 EUR. But most of them usually have tuition fees of between 1,000 and 5,000 EUR/year. The most awesome part about studying in Sweden is that even if you pay for your Master’s, you will get paid for a Ph.D. What’s that? Well, PhDs in Sweden require some teaching and research, which is paid. As a doctoral student, you become an employee of the university. 

Finland: Education in Finland used to be free at public universities until the government introduced paying taxes for non-EU students in 2017. The good part is that tuition fees remain affordable. Tuition fees vary between 1,600 and 8,000 EUR/year in general and have one of the best educational systems in the world. 

Now that you are aware of these affordable countries, begin to plan that budget and work towards studying abroad.

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1 Comment

  • Muhammad

    Hi…. I eave in kano state of Nigeria intend to study abroad especially euro continent but due to financial issue get me an affordable university so study master? Tanks a lot my contact is +23408040405340

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