Studying abroad can be an incredibly rewarding experience for college students looking for a different university experience. From experiencing a new country and culture to a wider and more diverse selection of post-graduation career prospects, the benefits of studying in a different country have been well documented.
There are, however, factors that every student should think long and hard about before committing to study in any given country. Educational opportunity is only one of the considerations that should play into choosing where to study abroad. Another important aspect to consider is the cost of living. A high cost of living can have a very real impact on your university experience by requiring that you work off campus to make additional money, which can cut into time for study and create unnecessary stress.
These four countries (most of which are in Europe) offer a bargain for international students by combining reasonable tuitions with an affordable cost of living that can make college life less complicated and more productive. And while tourism in some European cities have slowed due to concerns over safety, Europe is still incredibly safe overall, which has created some incredible bargains for international students wanting to study there.
Germany is a very popular country for international students to study abroad, and for good reason. Many of the approximately 300 universities offer affordable tuition, and private universities do not charge tuition costs for undergrad and grad students. Along with that, Germany is quite open to diversity. They’ve led the way in helping refugees from Syria relocate and integrate into German society and cities like Munich and Berlin are known for their affordable cost of living and diverse culture.
Spain’s economy has been rough for the past few years, but as it finds its way into a more stable economic situation, it’s still a bargain for international students. Tuition costs in Spain are some of the lowest in the EU at an average of around 1,000 euros per semester at public schools. And while costs of living in cities like Barcelona and Madrid may be a little higher, the cost of living is still quite favorable compared to other countries.
While Canada might not be the first low-cost option for international students, their tuition is, on average, far more affordable than tuition at many US institutions. The cost of living has increased in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, but there are still deals to be had, and attending a university in Canada can still be a pretty good deal for an international student – especially if you look at schools that are outside the major metropolitan areas. You can find some great university programs in Canada here.
When you think about studying abroad, one place that probably doesn’t immediately pop into your mind is studying in Hungary. But, Hungary is a great country for international students as they play host to a few globally ranked universities; have a very low cost of living (especially compared to other countries in Europe); and is much less competitive than top-tier schools in highly competitive countries. Students also get the benefit of living in a beautiful European city that offers many cultural landmarks, museums, and activities that can contribute to a high quality of life.
When you’re looking to study abroad, the possibilities can seem almost endless. Looking at key factors, like the local cost of living; tuition cost and financial assistance; and available job opportunities can help you figure out what country can provide the best situation for you. Just remember – studying abroad can be a hugely rewarding experience if you choose the right location and the right school carefully. Start your search early and find out what your best options are.