The Reality of Expensive University Fees Abroad: What You Need to Know?

Higher education options in this global era have branched into an endless loop of foreign opportunities. Almost everyone admires the idea of pursuing studies abroad. Many students dream of taking a flight overseas and stepping into the new world of career and education. It is a popular option as it provides one with abundant opportunities along with a lifetime of experience to learn about the new culture and country.

Unfortunately, various questions need to be answered when thinking of studying in foreign. Is studying abroad expensive? How much will my education cost? Is it the right time to start saving? How to save money? So, it is better to plan in advance to save yourself from all the end moment hustle.. Therefore, the next step after getting accepted into your dream college is to pen a budget plan to allocate funds based on several parameters. But precisely what expenses do this entire “studying abroad plan” encompasses?

Read the article to learn about the truth behind the expenses you would incur in foreign lands when studying and some tricks to save money for the same!

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How much will education abroad cost?

Studying abroad is undoubtedly costlier when compared to one’s home country. A student has to lay out a budget plan for the entire academic year and duration of the program. There are various aspects to consider from A to Z. Moreover, you will have to research a little to set your budget. 

Here are the overall average expenses when studying abroad:

1. Tuition

First and foremost, tuition is the biggest financial transaction for a student desiring to study abroad. It is the primary expense of various research programs overseas. The cost is not definite as it depends on the course and program. Tuition cost varies as per  the curriculum of the course and the country you are targeting. Mostly, master’s degrees require a higher annual cost than the bachelor’s program of 3-4 years. However, graduate programs have a shorter duration, leading to a cheaper tuition fee. 

The table below showcases the average tuition fee across the world’s most popular study-abroad destinations: 

Country Bachelor’s Degree (per year) Master’s Degree (per year)
United States  $26,000 – $50,000 $20,000 – $35,000
United Kingdom  $13,150 – $34,190 $15,030 – $25,050
Australia  $14,393 – $32,384 $15,832 – $35,982
Germany Public Universities: $0

Private Universities: $26,300

Public Universities: $0

Private Universities: $24,000 – $36,000

China $1,665 – $3,030 $4,200 – $13,760
France $200 – $3,272 $287 – $4,453
Spain Public Universities: $802 – $2,947

Private Universities: $5,894 – $23,557

Public Universities: $1,179 – $4,126

Private Universities: $5,894 – $23,577

Russia $1,750 – $12,570 $1,133 – $5,900

2. Accommodation

Once you have decided to study abroad, you will need a place to stay. This place will be your home for the next few years. Accommodation is one of the things that comes to mind when you receive your selection mail. This price might be included in the package costs for specific study abroad packages, regardless of whether you choose a homestay or dormitory with meal service. And if it is outside your package, it is better to get on the ball early and explore the available options. Although it is tiring, it is vital to make this decision accurately based on the expenditures and budget to find a suitable residence.

Take a look at the average spending on rent and utilities in various countries:

Country Monthly rent cost Monthly utility cost
United States  $500- $3,500 $185
United Kingdom  $719 – $855 $131
Australia  $273 – $864 $133
Germany $248 – $785 $130
China $114 – $530 $75
France $236 – $540 $83
Spain $424 – $766 $135
Russia $500 – $700 $79
Japan $114 – $558 $103
Canada  $190 – $531 $129

3. Textbook and Supplies

Textbooks and study supplies are indispensable so remember not to pay attention to these expenses. You may not have to pay as many countries include these students’ necessities in the tuition fee. However, some demand extra fees for study materials. From textbooks and art supplies to laptops and notepads, you would be responsible for your things. Course materials prices’ vary depending on the program. 

The average costs for textbooks and supplies around the world are as follows:

Country Cost of academic supplies (per year)
United States  $1,170
United Kingdom  $962
Australia  $550
Germany $356
China $446
France $712
Spain $1,060
Russia  $300
Japan $336
Canada $459

4. Groceries

Unless you live in catered homestays and residence halls, you will have to manage  your grocery and cooking expenses. Your lifestyle and the food you enjoy will directly influence your monthly grocery costs. However, it does not mean that you should compromise your health by not eating food properly. Groceries do not have to eat up your finances and disrupt your foolproof budget. You can incorporate some measures to control your finances.

For instance, replace brand products with value items, improve your cooking skills to avoid feasting on take-outs and restaurants, say hello to stores that offer student discounts on shopping, register for a loyalty card in the supermarket, or split the expenses with your housemates. 

The average grocery shopping costs in the well-known study abroad destinations are 

Country Grocery cost (per month)
United States  $180
United Kingdom  $263
Australia  $228
Germany $118
China $200
France $293
Spain $235
Russia  $143
Japan $175
Canada $151

5. Transportation charges

Transportation comes as a free package when studying abroad. The transport-related expenses begin at the time you book your flight. Unless you have a scholarship, you must cover the return and outbound flights. It is better to buy the tickets earlier at reasonable prices. 

Besides the traveling costs, transport charges also depend on your daily commute. If you live far from the college, you will have to pay for using the bus or cabs. However, you can avail of students’ coupons and discounts to make your foreign stay budget-friendly. 

The table below represents the average transport fee:

Country Transportation charges 
United States  $80 – $130
United Kingdom  $15 – $20
Australia $150
Germany $80 – $150
China $15 – $20
France $30 – $80
Spain $20 – $50
Russia $390
Japan $40 – $50
Canada $50 – $80

6. Medical Support and Insurance

Studying abroad implies staying away from home for at least 1-3 years (or more). So, shield your healthcare wherever you go to come back home safe and sound.

Moreover, many universities refuse or turn down applicants with no insurance policy. Even if the place you are going to does not require health insurance, it is essential to purchase a policy. It will not only help you steer away from eye-watering medical bills, but it can save your life. You can research every policy you come across. Explore for a while, visit price comparison websites, and only then select an insurance quote. 

The table below outlines the average medical cover cost annually:

Country Health costs (per year)
United States  $1,020
Australia  $105
Germany  $1,134
China $116
France $496
Spain $212
Russia  $150
Japan $288
Canada  $294

7. Student Visa

A visa is an official travel document that legally allows you to enter a foreign country. They come in multiple types. Student visas are available to help the younger generation follow their dream. You will need to secure a student visa, as it permits you to stay in a nation for the duration of your course. Many countries charge a visa application fee, while some ask for payment for a temporary residence permit too. Student visas differ in application procedures and charges in each country. 

Following are the visa application costs for some countries:

Country Visa application fee 
United States  $510
United Kingdom  $458
Australia  $446
Germany  $71
China $97
France $117
Spain $70
Russia  $160
Japan $28
Canada  $114

8. Additional University Costs

Now, you have covered almost all the corners in financial terms to proceed with your journey. But does it end here? No, it does not! It is nearly impossible to anticipate and evaluate every potential charge and fee coming your way. There can be field trips, printing expenses, club memberships, and course-specific spending. Although it may not be necessary to partake in these activities, they might be relevant and Mandatory for your course. You would want to avoid falling short of money on such occurrences. Therefore, assessing how much you would need for them is preferable to inserting additional costs in your little budget plan book. 

Aside from a financial plan, you can search for various ways to transact in a foreign land. Additionally, consider using the best cards for foreign transactions to eliminate the heart-wrenching exchange rates.

Decoding the University Fees

There is no need to worry about these daunting costs. Because as overwhelming as it sounds, you always have options to reduce expenses. Multiple alternatives can help you significantly reduce the cost of studying abroad. 

1. Scholarships

Many schools and universities propose scholarship plans to help students reach their potential. You can ask for relevant details about scholarship programs from the career and student counseling departments. They will assist you in taking the correct path to attain your ambitions. 

2. Fellowships

Similar to scholarships, fellowships offer good chances to pursue higher education at known universities. However, the disparity between them is that the latter provides instructions in a particular skill set. It is an excellent opportunity to sharpen skills, hone your talent, and study at a reasonable cost hand-in-hand. 

3. Grants

The government provides several incentives to give a hand to students aiming for higher studies abroad. Stay tuned with the current affairs and look out for adequate open-up funds and grants that you can use. However, keep in mind that the competition is high in the talent market, so you must build an impressive portfolio to level up your chances of getting government grants. 

4. Savings

You surely don’t wake up one day and think you are going abroad. In reality, most students start aspiring for it from a young age. When you have already thought of your long-term dream, why not take advantage of your time? You can open a savings account to help you stay in foreign. Search for guidelines regarding the freelance or part-time jobs in the country you would be studying. Save as much as you can to attain the required sum. 


Although studying abroad indeed costs more than obtaining an education locally; it is nothing that in-depth research cannot simplify. You would fare better when you have a thorough idea of where to put your expenses. There are alternatives present for everything to ease the cost of living. For example, you can save money by replacing restaurant dinners with a week’s worth of groceries, taking the metro or public buses instead of hailing taxis, and limiting your movie nights or opting for free shows. Finally, while an education abroad is undoubtedly pricey, it is still manageable! 

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