Monthly student costs for 20 study destinations

International students interested in studying abroad are constantly looking for the most affordable yet highest living and educational standard. Today, we bring you the analysis of total monthly student costs for 20 study destinations.

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Comparative costs for 20 study destinations Education Beyond Borders Podcast

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20-MAR-2023 | Even before the pandemic, the affordability of different study abroad options was rising as a consideration for many prospective international students and their families. This reflects a growing emphasis on the return on investment of study abroad, especially in South Asia and Africa, where increasing numbers of students are considering travelling abroad for education but where family finances may be relatively limited.

This year, the costs of study, living, and accommodation have come into even greater focus for students. Prices are rising for food and household goods and inflation is spiraling upwards around the globe. On top of all that, there are real issues with the availability of affordable housing in many countries.

A 2022 analysis from real estate specialists Savills offers an interesting window into comparative costs for selected destinations. The analysis relies on some common reference points in converting costs to US dollars for an international student enrolled in a STEM undergraduate degree program and living in purpose-built student accommodation.

The following chart provides estimated monthly costs for a student fitting that profile in 20 destination cities:

Total monthly student costs for 20 study destinations, given in US$

Estimated monthly student costs for 20 study destinations, PRODIREKT
Note that the accompanying arrows on city names indicate change up or down the ranking since 2019. Source: Savills Research

New York, San Francisco and Boston retain their position at top of the cost rankings, charging the highest tuition fees, upwards of $85,000 by the year, which comprise two-thirds of their total costs to students. London and Sydney, two more English-speaking cities, follow.

Some European cities have become particularly attractive to international students because of their comparatively lower cost of living, relatively affordable rent and tuition. More English-taught courses, vibrant social and cultural scenes, as well as the opportunity to learn a new language make Warsaw, Vienna and Berlin increasingly attractive to international students in particular.

It is important to note though that students comparing destinations should factor in both tuition and cost of living when deciding whether they can afford to study there. Lack of tuition does not necessarily mean students will need a small budget to study in one country. For example, while international students do not pay tuition in Norway, Norway is not known for affordable cost of living.

In addition to questions about tuition fees, costs of living, and the availability of scholarships, educators should also be prepared to answer students’ queries about the opportunity to work while studying. ICEF’s agent survey in the summer of 2022 revealed that the ability to work during studies is currently even more important to many prospective students than post-study work opportunities.

We can anticipate that in 2023 more students will be carefully evaluating costs of living and studying in their decision-making about where to study.

Source: ICEF MonitorVerbalists Education

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