10 Cheapest Countries to Study for International Students

Views: 505     08 May, 2024

10 Cheapest Countries to Study for International Students

Studying abroad is an enriching experience, but affordability is a major worry for many students.

This article discusses 10 fantastic countries that offer students a balance between budget-friendly living and solid academic opportunities. We'll go beyond tuition fees, using a multi-metric approach to assess affordability. We considered the following factors to create this list:

 

  • Estimated Total Cost of Tuition Fees: We gathered information on the estimated cost of tuition fees, especially for international students. Public universities were prioritized because of their generally lower cost.   

  • Average Cost of Living: This metric provides an estimated cost of expenses like food, accommodation, transportation, and other essential living costs. 

  • Housing/accommodation cost: The estimated average monthly rent for houses in each country is included. 

  • English proficiency: This metric considers the country's prevalence of English language study programs.

  • Visa Application Cost: We factored the estimated cost of applying for a student visa for each country.

  • Health Insurance cost: The estimated cost for health insurance coverage is included, an important factor for international students.


Go through this comprehensive guide to see a list of the 10 cheapest countries to study for international students. This will help you make careful considerations before choosing a final study destination. 

 

10 Cheapest Countries to Study for International Students

Below, we’ve highlighted a list of the 10 cheapest countries for international students to study in. Review this list and decide on the most suitable country for you. 

 

1. India

A land of ancient traditions and modern innovation, India offers a unique and affordable study-abroad experience. Public universities in India have low tuition fees, and the cost of living is very economical. Engage yourself in the rich ancient Indian culture and explore historical monuments as an international student in India.

 

  • Estimated Total Cost of Tuition fees: $3,300 - $7,800 for each academic year, regardless of your level of study

  • Average Cost of Living: The average cost of living per month in India is $324

  • Housing/accommodation cost: The average monthly Rent for 1 bedroom apartment is $245

  • English proficiency (the prevalence of English language study programs): High. English is widely used in education. 

  • Visa Application Cost: A student visa to India varies depending on your nationality, but you can budget between $100 - $300

  • Health Insurance: The cost of health insurance for students in India varies between $100-$300.  

 

Interesting Read: 50 Cheapest Universities for International Students 

 

2. Mexico

Mexico, located in North America, has a well-established higher education system with a growing number of universities offering programs in English. The cost of living in Mexico is also relatively affordable, which makes it a suitable country for international students.

 

  • Estimated Total Cost of Tuition Fees: the average cost for public universities in Mexico is anywhere between $378 and $818 per academic year. On the other hand, private universities charge between $1,600 to $16,000 per academic year.

  • Average Cost of living: about $1000 per month

  • Housing/accommodation cost: Living costs in Mexico are relatively cheap, as international students need about $270 - $350 per month on housing.

  • English proficiency (the prevalence of English language study programs): Moderate. However, Spanish is mostly used in education.

  • Visa Application Cost: The cost of a student visa for Mexico varies depending on your nationality. It usually costs at least $36.

  • Health Insurance: A comprehensive health insurance plan costs about $5,900 annually.


 

3. Hungary

Hungary, located in Central Europe, offers a unique blend of affordability and academic excellence. Public universities in Hungary charge low tuition fees for international students, particularly in programs taught in Hungarian. Nonetheless, English-taught programs still have reasonable tuition fees compared to Western counterparts. Hungary is moderate, with affordable housing options and a well-developed public transportation system.

 

  • Estimated Total Cost of Tuition Fees: Depending on the university and study program, your tuition fee can range between $3,000 - $18,000

  • Average Cost of living: about $500 - $600 per month

  • Housing/accommodation cost: about  $250 - $350 per month for a shared apartment, depending on the area. 

  • English proficiency (the prevalence of English language study programs): High. Many educational programs are taught in English 

  • Visa Application Cost: This costs about $65, depending on your nationality.

  • Health Insurance: cost between $50 - $100 per month.


 

4. Malaysia

A Southeast Asian nation reputable for its multicultural society and natural beauty, Malaysia is an attractive option for international students. Public universities offer affordable tuition fees, and the cost of living is relatively low. Malaysia offers a blend of different cultures, delicious food, and vibrant festivals you can explore.

 

  • Estimated Total Cost of Tuition Fees: The average cost of a bachelor's degree is about $6,000 - $12,000 per year, while a master's degree costs around $5,000 - $15,000 per year

  • Average Cost of living: at least $500 per month

  • Housing/accommodation cost: Monthly rent varies between $350 and $1,000+, depending on the apartment's area.

  • English proficiency (the prevalence of English language study programs): High. A considerable number of universities teach their programs in English).

  • Visa Application Cost: The Malaysia student visa application fee is around $16.22 per year of study.

  • Health Insurance: The exact cost of health insurance for international students in Malaysia can vary between $27 - $136 per month.

 

5. Poland

This Eastern European nation is a suitable location for budget-conscious international students. Public universities in Poland have low tuition fees, and the cost of living is very affordable. As a student, Poland offers you a rich history, beautiful architecture, and a warm and welcoming population.

 

  • Estimated Total Cost of Tuition Fees: tuition fee varies between $3000 - $ 13,000 per year, depending on the university and academic program

  • Average Cost of living: The Average Cost of Living is around $500-$800 per month, depending on your lifestyle choices and city of residence.

  • Housing/accommodation cost: monthly rent varies between $300 - $500 (for shared apartments and student hostels) 

  • English proficiency (the prevalence of English language study programs): Moderate (English programs are increasingly available) 

  • Visa Application Cost: The average student visa application cost to Poland for international students is around $60. However, this price can vary depending on your nationality.

  • Health Insurance cost: The cost of health insurance for international students in Poland is estimated to be around $200 per year.


 

6. Norway

This Scandinavian nation may surprise you, but you can be rest assured that you’re on the right path if you choose to study in Norway. Public universities in Norway famously boast free tuition for all international students. While living costs can be high, scholarships and part-time work opportunities can help to ease your burden.

 

  • Estimated Total Cost of Tuition Fees: Tuition fees are free for EU/EEA and Swiss students. However, for students who are not from these regions, it costs about $7,000 USD - $13,000 per year.

  • Average Cost of Living:  Around $1,100-$2000 per month, depending on your lifestyle choices and city of residence.

  • Housing/accommodation cost: about $800 - $1,200 per month 

  • English proficiency (the prevalence of English language study programs): High (English is widely spoken) 

  • Visa Application Cost: a visa to Norway cost around $545 

  • Health Insurance: around $22 - $55 per month for basic coverage

 

Read Also: 15 Best Countries to Work and Study Abroad
 

7. Argentina

This South American nation offers you a passionate and enriching academic environment at an affordable cost. Public universities in Argentina have low tuition fees for international students. The cost of living can vary depending on location, but it is generally lower than in many Western countries.

 

  • Estimated Total Cost of Tuition Fees: Public universities in Argentina are renowned for being virtually free for international students at the undergraduate level. The estimated yearly fee for private universities is $3,000 - $20,000. Masters and postgraduate fees range between $2,300 to $27,000 per annum

  • Average Cost of Living: Around $500 - $700 per month, depending on your lifestyle choices and city of residence.

  • Housing/accommodation cost: about $50 - $125 monthly for on-campus dorms and $125 - $250 monthly for private rentals

  • English proficiency (the prevalence of English language study programs): Moderate (English programs are available, but Spanish is dominant)

  • Visa Application Cost: around $150 

  • Health Insurance: around $50 - $80 per month for basic coverage


 

8. Taiwan

This vibrant island nation in East Asia is a haven for affordable education. Taiwan boasts of excellent universities with many programs taught in English. Tuition fees are significantly lower than in Western countries, and the cost of living is quite reasonable. 

 

  • Estimated Total Cost of Tuition fees: between $1,500 USD - $8,000 per year.

  • Average Cost of living: $500 - $700 USD 

  • Housing/accommodation cost: $300 - $500 USD (shared accommodation)

  • English proficiency (the prevalence of English language study programs): Moderate (English programs are increasingly available) 

  • Visa Application Cost: The visa application cost for international students in Taiwan is about $185

  • Health Insurance: around $165 per semester


 

9. Germany

Germany is a leader in European education. Public universities in Germany charge minimal tuition fees for international students, with most costs covered by a low semester fee. This country is also renowned for its efficient public transportation system, which makes it easy and affordable for students to explore different cities.

 

  • Estimated Total Cost of Tuition Fees: between $23,000 - 46,000 per year for private universities, while public universities pay about $95 - $115 per semester.

  • Average Cost of living: about $900 per month

  • Housing/accommodation cost - about $380 - $600

  • English proficiency (the prevalence of English language study programs): Moderate (English programs are increasingly available, especially at Master’s level)

  • Visa Application Cost: Germany student visa costs about $90. However, this price may vary depending on your nationality.

  • Health Insurance costs: This cost between $116 (for students under 23) and $118 (for students aged 23 to 30) per month.


 

10. Slovenia

Slovenia is a hidden gem for budget-conscious students. Public universities in Slovenia charge low tuition fees, especially for undergraduate programs. The cost of living is also quite affordable. Studying abroad in Slovenia allows you to immerse yourself in a safe and friendly environment with a high standard of living without breaking the bank.

 

  • Estimated Total Cost of Tuition fees: about $2,140 - $11,770

  • Average Cost of living: about $500 - $1000 every month

  • Housing/accommodation cost: $300 - $500 (shared accommodation)

  • English proficiency (the prevalence of English language study programs): High. English is widely spoken.

  • Visa Application Cost: about $77, depending on your nationality 

  • Health Insurance: about $30 - $50 per month for basic coverage


 

Final Thoughts

Studying abroad doesn't have to be financially stressful. These 10 countries offer affordable education, allowing international students to pursue their academic goals without compromising on quality. With a combination of low tuition fees, cost of living, visa application costs, and health insurance, you can make your dream of studying abroad a reality in any of these countries.

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