Insight Into the Affordability of Studying Abroad for Aspiring International Students

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Gaining international experience and widening your perspective are only two benefits of studying abroad that will benefit your professional growth and résumé. In addition to being enlightening, studying abroad may also prove to be a more economical option.

Research from the College Board shows that, after accounting for inflation, the cost of a four-year degree at an American public university grew by three times between 1989 and 2019. Additionally, there is an opportunity to save a significant amount of money by pursuing a semester, year, or even an entire degree at a university abroad.

Due to the promise of lower tuition, more and more college-bound Americans are selecting international colleges. The proportion of American undergraduate applicants to British colleges has climbed by 49% over the previous five years, according to a study from the Colleges and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), which is in charge of managing the admissions procedure for public universities in the U.K.

The number of Americans choosing to study in France has increased by 5% over the past five years, and it increased by 50% between 2020 and 2021. On the other hand, a CBS News piece asserts that American Internet searches for higher education abroad have more than doubled since the beginning of 2021.

Affordability of International Education Beyond Tuition

While American students find studying in other countries cheaper, affordability still depends on more than just tuition fees. 


Below are three of the things to consider when determining if studying overseas is more affordable:

1. Cost of Education and Financial Aid Offered

The cost of education abroad might differ depending on the place, the nation, and the kind of institution a student chooses. 2014 saw the end of public university tuition in Germany for all students, including those from abroad. On the other hand, overseas students at the prestigious Oxford University in England pay up to about $53,900 annually.

Federal help for international institutions, which includes loans, is occasionally available to newly arriving American college students. Additionally, rather than taking four years, undergraduate degrees from foreign institutions typically take three. This is the same as paying for tuition and living expenses for an entire year.

The good news is that there are a number of businesses that provide student loans for students from abroad, and they might be worth looking into.

2. Standard of Living or Living Cost

The standard of living or cost of living for an international student varies depending on the nation and city he chooses to reside in, affecting the amount of money needed to pay for food, housing, and other essential needs besides tuition. For instance, Norway has long provided free education to all students, regardless of their circumstances. However, the typical student in this area needs to set aside around $1,200 per month for living expenses.

3. Exchange Rates and Other Expenses

According to Jessica Sandberg, dean of international enrollment at Duke Kunshan University, the constantly changing rates can make it quite challenging to forecast an international education’s full cost. Building some flexibility into the budget to adjust to the fluctuating exchange rate will help make studying abroad affordable. Also, students may want to consider studying in a country that has a good exchange rate with the currency of their country.

Health care, visas, and travel costs should all be taken into account when choosing an affordable foreign school. Many nations require students to contribute annually to the national healthcare system. A student must prepare and save aside money in case he decides to travel during his free time. Unexpected occurrences like a relative being sick could result in greater travel costs.

Last but not least, the majority of places or nations demand resident permits or student visas. These are often not significant charges, however, some may require documentation of your financial stability. For instance, in the UK, students must demonstrate that they have enough money saved up to pay for their first year of tuition as well as about $11,200 in living expenses.


Can college abroad actually save you money? Here’s a breakdown. (2023, February 22). CBS News. Retrieved from

Trends in college pricing highlights – College Board research. (2023). College Board. Retrieved from


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