Even studying abroad sounds like a very expensive adventure, there are some places where you can do it on budget. In some countries, you do not need to pay any tuition fees; in others, living costs are not that expensive. Read our list below to find out the most affordable countries to study abroad.
Taiwan is one of the cheapest countries to study abroad. For example, very popular National Taiwan University, that is 68th in the QS World University Rankings this year, asks tuition fees for undergraduates only around TW$100,900 (~€2,660) per year up to TW$124,200 (~€3,260). The country offers more than one hundred courses taught in English, at dozens of universities. Taiwan also offers a good quality of life with relatively low living costs. Accommodation here costs as little as TW$74,000 (~€1,950) per year. During your stay, you can learn the Mandarin language, and it is a good point to reach other traveling destinations in South East Asia, such as Philippines, Hong Kong, etc.
Germany offers reputable universities at relatively low costs and there is a range of English-taught courses. You do not need to pay any tuition fees if you are undergraduate and PhD at the public university, excluding those in Baden-Württemberg. Master’s students who have not studied their undergraduate programme in Germany pay around €10,000 (US$10,800) per semester. However, it is possible to find a scholarship to cover that. For living costs, you need at least €8,700-9,600 (~US$9,500-10,500) per year, but it depends on your individual lifestyle.
One of the cheapest countries to study in Europe is Poland. The capital city, Warsaw, was ranked the second most affordable city for students in the QS Best Student Cities 2016, and joint 63rd overall. This “Holy land” also offers a high quality of education, as well as interesting history and rich culture. Here, you can study for free. However you need to speak Polish and pass a Matura, a Polish “A-Levels” as the majority of students does. There are many English programmes available that cost around PLN 8,400-12,600 (~€2,000-3000) per year. To live a comfortable life here is also not that expensive around PLN 32,800 (~€7,800) per year.
In France tuition fees are set at €180 (~US$200) for bachelor’s (licence) programmes, €255 (~US$280) for most master’s programs, and €390 (~US$425) for doctoral programs per year. However, the fees in France are the same for French and international students. Talking about living expenses, the capital city, Paris, is the most luxurious place to stay, but anyway it has been named the world’s number one student city four times in a row. So, it must be not that bad tho. If you are not yet fluent in French, you can study some programmes in English, with the majority of English-taught courses found at postgraduate level.
It is known that almost all of the Nordic countries are relatively affordable study destinations, but only Norway remains free for everyone, from EU and overseas countries at public universities. Another reason to study in Norway is that there are plenty of English-taught programmes at all study levels. However, like other Nordic countries, Norway is a quite expensive place where living costs can be way bigger than in your home country. You need approximately NOK 120,000 (~€12,360) per year to live a normal student life. Despite that, Nordic countries in Europe are known for their high quality of life and stunning nature, so it can be an extraordinary experience to have a chance staying in “the land of Vikings”.
Certainly, one of the most affordable countries to study abroad is Malaysia because of its cheap living costs. The capital city, Kuala Lumpur, was nominated in the QS Best Student Cities 2016 because students here need around MYR 12,000-18,000 (~€2,000-4,000) per year to live comfortably. For tuition fees, you need to pay an average of MYR 17,000 (~€3,450) per year, but some courses are even cheaper. In this country, there are also a number of branch campuses of famous international universities, such as the University of Nottingham (United Kingdom) or Monash University (Australia). Studying in Malaysia at international university means the opportunity to gain a degree accredited by these institutions at a lower cost.
7. South Africa
South Africa is known for its wild African nature, diversity of cultures and interesting lifestyle. It is also less expensive compared with other popular destinations for students. Both, living costs and tuition fees depend on the city you live and different higher education institutions. For example, South Africa’s highest-ranked university in the QS World University Rankings at joint 191st, the University of Cape Town charges around €2,300 for master’s degrees, while a bachelor degree costs around €2,800. You will need around ZAR 96,000 (~€6,700) per year to live a decent student life.