Most Expensive Countries to Live as a College Student

Studying abroad has become a major part of the college experience for many American students. Besides an immersion into a host country’s culture, language, history, and cuisine, U.S. students can explore adjacent nations as well as gain a different perspective on America during their time outside the U.S.

As great as the opportunity is to study overseas, some countries are more expensive for students, who are under pressure to stretch their dollars, pounds, or euros. (In the U.S., these are the cities where a college education pays off the most.)

To determine the cheapest countries to get a college education, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed cost components from Global Student Costs, a report compiled by DealA, a Singapore-based free coupon website for online shoppers. For each country, DealA produced an overall student cost score, with higher numbers indicating cost is less expensive. To break ties, we have chosen tuition fee for home students, with higher fees ranking as more expensive.

The English-speaking countries of the United States and England carry the highest premium for college students. 

Of the five categories DealA included in its index — average monthly public transportation pass cost, average university accommodation cost, minimum public undergraduate tuition fees for international students, public undergraduate tuition fees for home students, and average living expenses — the U.S. is the second-most expensive country in two areas and third most expensive in one area. 

America, with more top universities than any other nation, also has the highest minimum public undergraduate tuition fees for international students, amounting to the lowest student cost score, meaning most expensive. 

England, home to Oxford and Cambridge, two of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the world, is first in minimum public undergraduate tuition fees for home students. (These are the oldest universities in the world.)

Four countries have an average annual university accommodation cost of $1,000 or above — South Korea, U.S., New Zealand, and the Netherlands. Three nations — the U.S., Australia, and Canada — have minimum public undergraduate tuition fees for international students of $20,000 or more. England and the U.S. are the only countries where public undergraduate tuition fees for home students exceed $11,000. As a point of contrast, the cost of tuition in the international and home categories is zero in Norway.

Click here to see the most expensive countries to live as a college student
Click here to see our detailed methodology

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