How Much Does it Cost to Study Abroad

Updated: Jul 31

Are you wondering How Much Does it Cost to Study Abroad? Well, here at 'Go Studying Abroad' we explore the cost of study abroad as well as why studying abroad can bring so much more value to your life which far outweighs the cost of the study abroad tuition fees.


How much does it cost to study abroad?

The 'cost of study abroad’ is a question that is on most students’ minds before even considering any of the next steps of Studying Abroad.

As firstly, there are the issues surrounding the actual cost to study abroad

….and secondly, you may also be thinking about the value of undergoing another year at university, in which many students (like myself during first year of university) may just be thinking, ‘I just want to graduate and get a job and not have an additional cost of studying abroad’.


The major components making up the average cost of studying abroad are as follow:


1. Study abroad tuition fees – Firstly, the primary expense for a majority of study abroad programs is the cost of study abroad tuition. Interestingly, the study abroad tuition fees will vary depending on the program and the location of study. Check out our other blog titled ‘Cheapest Countries to study abroad’ to find out the most cost-effective locations to study; as some countries offer free tuition, whilst other countries or regional Universities offer various scholarships for international students.

2. Housing – the second major cost of studying abroad relates to the cost of accommodation. In some instances, selected study abroad programs will include this price of housing within the cost of the overall fee. If not, depending on the country you choose to study, it will be best to start looking early for affordable accommodation.

3. Transportation – An additional cost of study abroad relates to the cost of commuting or cost of internal travel -Firstly, there is the cost of travelling to your study abroad destination which will need to be accounted for.

Next, beyond the cost of flights to and from your study abroad destination, you also want to take into consideration the cost of public transportation when working out the overall cost of studying abroad. For example, whilst in Tokyo, I lived a 30-minute commute from campus and the cost of my commuter pass, came to $400 for the year. Meaning that I could travel as often as I liked from my student halls to campus. Other countries will offer similar passes, that’s why it will be best to research your country, in-detail beforehand.

4. Insurance –An additional cost of studying abroad is insurance. However, before assuming that you, as a student will bare the cost, it is key to note that nearly all students taking a year abroad as part of their overall degree will be covered by the Universities travel insurance policy. However, additional insurances, such as medical and health insurance is sometimes mandatory within some countries (Japan for example) in which you must also factor into, when calculating the cost of studying abroad.

5. Food & Entertainment - The average cost of study abroad will not be accurate without including the cost of entertainment and food. However, before getting too alarmed, most universities offer a variety of free events directed towards international students, to allow students to embrace the culture without baring all the costs. For example, in Japan, I was offered day trips to location in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures for no additional cost.

Average cost of study abroad programs

Placing an average cost on studying abroad can be counterintuitive, as the cost of studying abroad varies massively between different countries and different programs. Plus, estimates vary widely on the subject; there is no common consensus on what the average cost of studying abroad actually is. For example, the cost of entertainment and internal travel within your country will vary depending on the individual.

Nevertheless, there are some statistics released by the International Institute of Education, who estimate that the average cost of studying abroad, costs around $19,000 per semester, or $38,000 per academic year. However, studying abroad as part of your university degree, the cost of tuition is usually paid for by your home institution therefore the cost of studying abroad may be less expensive than the overall rounded figure provided.

For more information on the average cost of study abroad check out the costs of the top 10 cheapest countries to study abroad in where we have calculated the cost of living, the cost of accommodation as well as the cost of tuition.

How to budget for study abroad costs

In budgeting for the cost of studying abroad the first thought that ought to come to your mind should be ‘scholarships’.

Between those offered by universities, government organizations, non-governmental organisations, and other private institutions, there are literally thousands of scholarships, grants and bursaries out there ready to be put to use every academic year. Check out our cheapest places to study abroad post to find out the most affordable places to study abroad.

Why studying abroad is worth the cost

Like myself, during the first year of university you may just be thinking, ‘I just want to graduate and get a job and not have an additional cost of studying abroad’, and you may then come to the conclusion that: ‘yes, the cost of studying abroad is an expensive waste of time…and then close your laptop’.

However, I believe these thoughts are an instant reaction and the benefits of studying abroad far outweigh the costs. For example

Have you considered the cost of studying abroad in some countries may be less expensive than the cost of studying abroad in other countries?

1. Or have you considered potential scholarships or Government grants awarded to International students to help assist the cost of studying abroad?

2. Or, even contemplate that ‘just getting a job after graduation’ may not be more beneficial?

Or, even contemplate that ‘just getting a job after graduation’ may not be more beneficial?

How I see it:


What is one more extra year of university in the grand scheme of things? As most individuals will be working until retirement (aged 65 or so), so why not take a mini retirement before working life begins by taking a year abroad.

  • I do not know about you, but would you rather have a year abroad an explore in your mid 20s, or would you rather be in full time employment and receive that year when you are 65?

  • Yes, you may be earning money once employed and have 28 days paid holidays, but what is money if you are only allowed 28 days to enjoy and explore?

Regardless of the point above, I believe in taking all opportunities that are afforded to me, in which others may be less fortunate to even receive in the first place. As well, you may not get the opportunity to have a year-long vacation when you start your working life and settled into full time employment, so why not take the opportunity and run with it? As the cost of study abroad can actually be subsides or reduced if you are able to take advantage and research into grants, scholarships and additional funding to help with your cost of studying abroad.

Also, on a positive note, there are benefits of studying abroad, including improving your resume, improving your cultural awareness, increasing your social circle and much more (click the link to find out more). Which, in turn, may land you with a better, more rewarding Job which you may not have applied for or been accepted for in the first place, thus the cost of studying abroad may be earned back in the future.

Study abroad is an investment in your future that is likely to pay personal and professional dividends for years to come.

Lastly, if you are still not convinced that the cost of study abroad can be affordable, if you do a quick google search ‘ cheapest countries to study abroad’ or ’scholarships offered to international students’ you will be landed with a mountain of information at your fingertips.

Overall, I believe that the cost of study abroad should not be the reason to instantly put you off applying, as down the line you may be offered scholarships, studentships and more, which can help assist in financing your year abroad. Alternatively, in in the long run you may be landed with a higher paying job due to the additional benefits studying abroad provided for you.

I hope this information has answered your question of 'How much does it cost to Study Abroad', and that the information has been useful. If you wish for more information drop us an email and we will soon be back to you.

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Here at 'Go Studying Abroad' we explore the benefits of study abroad as well as explore why study abroad programs and studying internationally can be right for you

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