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Evaluating the True Cost of Studying Abroad: What Can You Expect?

Studying abroad seems like a brilliant idea – exposure to new cultures, a change of lifestyle and the chance to broaden your network. However, from the accommodation to the course fees, there are many ways in which your bank will suffer when studying abroad. That’s not to mention the extortionate cost of living.

In this blog, we’re going to discover the true cost of studying abroad at a university or college and whether it’s really worth it.

Keep reading to learn more!

What Is Studying Abroad?

Studying abroad refers to enrolling in an educational program in a foreign country. The student will typically live in the country and attend classes at the university or college they’ve enrolled in. However, there are lots of options available. For example, students can enrol in a study abroad program via a UK university, or they can enrol directly with an overseas university.

What Expenses Should You Expect to Pay When Studying Abroad?

The overall cost of studying abroad will differ for every student. For example, some may choose to do only part of their degree abroad, while others opt for the whole degree. It’s also wise to take other factors into consideration, such as your lifestyle, medical bills, insurance and so on. So, here are 3 major expenses when studying abroad:

1. University Fees
Depending on the country, this will probably be the most significant expense you’ll pay whilst studying abroad. For example, if you choose to study at a state college in the United States, you’ll be looking at paying upwards of £20,000.

Similar to universities in the UK, there is usually an option to pay in instalments. However, this will vary depending on the institute you wish to study at.

REMEMBER: You’ll likely have to pay out for study materials, such as textbooks as well.

2. Cost of Living
The cost of living includes all of your monthly expenses. This is typically based on your general habits, interests, and lifestyle choices. For some people, this may even include factors such as childcare. Here are some of the most common expenses:

3. Accommodation
Your accommodation will likely be one of your highest monthly payments when studying abroad. Although this depends on quality and price. The location of your accommodation can also determine both factors. For example, living on-campus is generally more affordable than renting an apartment or house in the city.

4. Food
Of course, buying food is a necessity for all students abroad. Although, there are ways to save money such as shopping in supermarkets versus visiting restaurants. However, this can still be pricey in some countries such as Norway, which is known for its lavish way of life. Savvy budgeting is the easiest way to keep costs down.

5. Travel
Considering your travel expenses when studying abroad is something many students overlook. However, the expenses can add up fast. Firstly, it’s wise to think about how you’ll get from your home country to your place of study. Think about the questions below:

  • What are my options for travelling to the country?
    ○ Is it feasible to travel by car or will you need to pay out for expensive flights?
  • How often will I be travelling to and from the country?
    ○ Will you want to visit home during the holidays?
  • What additional expenses will I need to pay?
    ○ For example, if you’re flying overseas, you may need to account for extra luggage charges.

TOP TIP: Before enrolling in any program, evaluate the local transportation options regarding your daily commute. For example, will you need to pay for public transportation regularly or is it possible to walk?

6. Insurance
When you’re studying abroad, health and travel insurance are a must. Just like when you go on holiday, you need to protect yourself should an unexpected event occur. Depending on your personal needs, such as ongoing health conditions, your total bill could add up pretty quickly. This could be anywhere from a few pounds to a couple hundred pounds per month. Can you spare this money?

5 Affordable Universities Across the Globe

It’s vital to consider the above points before deciding which country to study abroad in. However, there are some countries where the cost of studying is significantly lower. Here are our top 5 cheapest universities from around the world:

The chance to get a recognised degree at zero cost is an attractive proposition for many. Aside from those enrolling in specialised programs, most students can study at a Nordic university for free regardless of their country of origin. The Norwegian government holds the belief that a quality education is a basic human right. However, what you don’t pay in study fees, you’ll certainly pay for in the cost of living.

Low living costs, diverse cultures and lots of English-taught programs make Taiwan an excellent choice for studying abroad. Even better, their university fees are some of the lowest you’ll find – if you’re committed to moving halfway across the globe.

With incredible public universities offering free tuition such as LMU Munich and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany is a great option for all students. Thanks to next-level research and teaching, German universities boast an unrivalled worldwide reputation.

Studying at a public institution in France will cost just a few hundred pounds per year. Plus, if you avoid popular locations such as Paris, the cost of living can be relatively affordable. However, the capital was formerly named the world’s number one student city. So, if you can spare the money, it may be worth it.

If you speak fluent Polish and take the necessary entrance exams, you can study in Poland for free. If not, you’ll pay a few thousands pounds per year. The cost of living is also relatively low.

Savvy Banking for Students Abroad

Need to pay your university fees? Perhaps you’re looking to send money to a student in another country. DT&T’s Multi-Currency Account is the safest and most secure option for savvy spenders. Here’s why:

  • Instant conversions at the real rate
  • Instant worldwide payments
  • Low, upfront fees
  • 9x cheaper than banks
  • 180+ countries
  • Selected 24/7 delivery

We ultimately make worldwide money transfers easy, whilst helping you save a little cash. Visit the DT&T website for more information about our Multi-Currency Accounts.