The Cost of Higher Education Around the World

How do you quantify the value of college? Most students believe a bachelor’s degree is the necessary ticket to a middle-class life. That’s why tuition in the United States continues to rise at an exorbitant rate. Some students receive financial assistance from their families, and others earn full or partial scholarships. But for many, that prized diploma will come with the burden of student debt.

It doesn’t have to be that way. For high-school senior Ronald Nelson, value meant choosing a free ride from University of Alabama’s honors program rather than the shaky promise of “demonstrated financial need” assistance from the Ivy League. However, that’s not the only way to combine financial value with a high-quality education. If you like to travel, the answer may be to attend university in another country. Read on to discover the best educational values across the world.




For American students, the idea of attending college for free seems like a fantasy. Yet that is the reality for many countries in the European Union. Even better for Americans, many foreign schools offer classes and programs in English.

Germany, Finland and Norway are the leaders in offering tuition-free schooling. Other EU countries such as France and Slovenia offer much lower tuition fees than the United States. Sweden also provides a low-cost education, and its Ph.D. programs are completely free.

You may not need to learn the native language to study, but chances are you’ll pick it up over the course of your stay. Becoming bilingual is an added benefit to studying overseas. It will also make it easier to remain in the country to work after graduation, should you desire to take this path.

Europe and Central America offers a range of low-cost continued education options for students looking into international education options.

Austria – EU/EEA students benefit from two free semesters of study then pay just US$ 390 per semester. Students from the U.S. are charged a slightly higher fee of US $790 per semester.

Greece – Students from EU or EEA are able to study for free, while international students pay a very small fee of US $1,630 per year.

Czech Republic – Students are charged a fee of US $1,080 per semester unless you speak Czech, that is. If you speak the native tongue, any student is permitted to study in the country for free.



Asian colleges and universities also offer more bang for your buck. According to Times Higher Education, top schools that have a similar average cost as their European counterparts include:

  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • China
  • Republic of Korea
  • Turkey
  • Taiwan
  • Israel

Students who study in Asia may have an easier time landing well-paying English teaching gigs after graduation. Even if you plan to return to the US after graduation, your exotic degree will communicate resilience, independence, creative thinking and a risk-taking spirit to potential employers.

Australia and New Zealand

Average tuition in these countries is twice as much as in Europe and Asia, but it’s still cheaper than the US. The fact that English is the national language makes it easier to live as well as study there, too. Nine schools including Australian National University, University of Sydney and University of Melbourne made it onto the Times Higher Education’s list of international school rankings.


North and South America

It’s no surprise that average tuition costs are highest in the continent containing the US. However, Canada may be an attractive option for American students who don’t want to go too far from home. While Canadian universities don’t offer free tuition, the fees are less than half the cost of American universities in some cases. McGill University, University of Toronto and University of British Columbia are among the Canadian schools that offer economic value and access to a highly-ranked education.

As mentioned before, Central America offers a range of low-cost continued education options for students looking into international education options.

Additionally, South American offers many low-cost higher education options for those willing to look!

Argentina – Argentinian students enjoy their higher education completely free of charge while international students are charged a very small fee per year to study in the country. The Universidad de Buenos Aires ranked in the top 15 in a university ranking from Top Universities.

Making It Work for You

Whether your primary motivation is to see the world, save money or obtain a prestigious education, going to college in another country can give you all of these things and more. Of course, you’ll want to factor in additional expenses like cost of living, and make sure your international degree will be accepted by American employers.

But overall, studying abroad makes sense for adventurous, flexible-minded students who want to beat the student-debt trap suffered by so many graduates of American schools. Get out your passport, and start the application process today!





This post was written by Savannah Hemmings, a personal stylist and lifestyle blogger that never stays in one place for too long. She has a long list of places to visit, and an entire world to experience. To learn more about Savannah and read more of her work, visit her blog, Sincerely Savannah!


Prev post: Things I am glad I did during my exchangeNext post: Leaving a life behind

Related posts

Latest Posts
follow me on IG
No images found!
Try some other hashtag or username