7 Best Cities To Study Abroad For Students On A Budget

Expat life
22 Mar 2018
5 mins read
Written by Team Instarem

A lot of us harbour dreams of a studying abroad, but the huge financial costs are a damper. However, contrary to popular belief, studying abroad is not reserved for the rich. In-depth research and careful financial planning can make your dream a reality. Apart from planning and research, you also need to know about foreign destinations that offer low tuition and living costs.

Don’t know where to start? We are listing down some of the most affordable destinations for studying abroad.

1. Kuala Lumpur

Guess what! The capital of Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur – came first in terms of affordability in QS Best Student Cities 2016. In fact, it is still one of the most affordable destinations to study abroad. As a student, you just need RM 12,000 to RM 18,000 (approx. US$ 2,800 to 4300) to live in Malaysia. You pay an average of RM 17,000 (approx. US$ 4,050) per academic year as tuition fee and when it comes to meal expenses, you may end up paying RM 2,000 to RM 2,500 (approx. US$ 500 to 640). Do not let the affordability of this nation make you think of the country otherwise in terms of education. It has some of the most prominent universities such as UK’s University of Nottingham, Australia’s Monash University, etc. While you are in Kuala Lumpur for studying, do make sure that you visit the Batu Caves, Genting Highlands, Bird Park and other such hotspots.

2. Warsaw

Warsaw is the capital city of Poland and another affordable place to study abroad. In terms of tuition fee, you need to spend somewhere between €2,000-3000 (approx. US$ 2,185 to US$ 3,280) per year. When it comes to the cost of living, it is somewhere between €2,000-3000 (approx. US$ 132 to 161) per month. Even the cost of accommodation in Warsaw falls on the lower side. Students who live on their own need to pay approximately €370 (US$ 108) and those who are enrolled in the residential program of their university, need to pay €269 (US$ 80). However, Warsaw is not just about affordable education; students can also explore the fantastic history & the culture of the country while they are pursuing their academic career.

3. Mexico City

From relishing the lip-smacking tacos to marvelling at the exhibits at the National Museum of Anthropology, everything turns warmth and energy in this beautiful city. The progressive charm provides the students with a plethora of opportunities to explore modern Mexico. If you are a part of public universities, the tuition fee in the city ranges from MXN$ 7000 to 15,350 (approx. US$ 378 to US$ 818). The cost of accommodation in Mexico City ranges from MXN$ 1500 to 1900 (approx. US$ 80 to US$ 100). On the whole, it is very much affordable to pursue an academic career in Mexico City.

4. Budapest

Budapest is a home to plenty of prominent universities. All these universities provide oodles of programs and courses that are the gateway to numerous career opportunities. While many of these programs are in English, there are certain programs in German as well. Apart from universities and programs, the low cost of living makes Budapest a preferred destination for students. With 600 euros (US$ 730), you can enjoy a great student lifestyle here at Budapest. The tuition fee in the city is somewhere between €4,500 to €20,000 (US $ 5530 to 24,578) per year depending on the course, university, and specialization.

5. Kiev

The capital of Ukraine is known for its open-air folk architecture museum, WWII artefacts, lively beach area and many recreational centres. All of them together make Kiev a great place for not just the tourists but for students as well. Other than these hotspots, it’s the affordable education and cost of living that attract many students towards Kiev. The tuition fee in the city ranges from ₴ 40628.39 to 108342.36 (approx. US$ 1500 to 4000) per year. Food, books, and accommodation in Kiev can cost you ₴ 6800 to 10800.36 (approx. US$ 250 to 400) per month. Thus, studying and staying at Kiev is quite affordable.

6. Johannesburg

Studying in the biggest city of South Africa is an experience in its own. From the sprawling Herman Eckstein Park in the northeast to the Johannesburg Zoo spread over a large area, everything here infuses you with a positive energy. In fact, as a student, you can even explore the Gold Reef City theme park which boasts of thrill rides and an underground tour imparting knowledge on the mining history of the town. The city is also known for its affordable education system and a comfortable living that doesn’t drill a hole in your pocket. The average tuition fee is R14,634 to R171,150 (approx. US$ 1250 to 14680) per year depending on the course and the university. Even the cost of living is quite affordable in the city. The average cost of a meal in Johannesburg is somewhere around R14,000 to R20,000 (US$ 1200 to US$ 1700) per year.

7. Vienna

Austria’s main city, Vienna is considered quite expensive for tourism. However, when it comes to education, the city offers it for free to the students of European Union and European Economic Area.  These students just need to pay an insurance fee of EUR 18 (approx. US$ 22) per semester to public universities. For non-EU students, this fee is EUR 1,450 (approx. US$ 1780). For private universities, the tuition fee ranges from EUR 1000 to EUR 40,000 (approx. US$ 1230 to 49300). Unlike tourists, students can live comfortably in Vienna at an affordable price. A monthly budget of EUR 850 to 950 (approx. US$ 1050 to 1170) per month is sufficient to take care of your accommodation, meals, transportation and social activities. 

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