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10 Cheapest Countries to Study for International Students

Are you interested in pursuing your higher education abroad but feel concerned about the costs? Well, we have good news for you! The 10 cheapest countries to study for international students, listed in this article, provide high-quality education at reduced costs.

Believe it or not, it is indeed possible to study abroad on a budget! Some of the best and cheapest places to study abroad are places where tuition fees are low, or even non-existent.

Read on to know about some of the cheapest countries to study abroad along with their approximate costs and top universities to help you in making your choice.

Top 10 Cheapest Countries to Study Abroad

  1. Germany
  2. Taiwan
  3. Norway
  4. South Africa
  5. Mexico               
  6. Poland
  7. Malaysia 
  8. Argentina
  9. India
  10. France 

 Take a look! 


Top on our list of some of the cheapest countries to study in is Germany. Coupled with its high-quality education, and the student-friendly environment, Germany’s no tuition payment for undergraduates and PhD courses in some of its states have pushed the country forward to be on the hot list options for the cheapest country to study for international students, as free education are available at public universities for undergraduate and Doctoral programs.

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Master’s degree students have to pay tuition fees if they have not completed their bachelor’s degree from Germany with the average fees being around €17,000 and €22,000 in public and private universities respectively.

Private institutions like Berlin School of Business & Innovation (BSBI), offer post-graduate courses in the range of €8,000 – €11,800 for international students, and also have different campuses across Europe for blended studies with an option to finish studying in Germany.

Cost of Living in Germany – €850 per month


Heading to Asia, Taiwan is one of the affordable countries to study and is gradually becoming a popular study destination for international students. Due to the efforts by the government who ensured that higher institutions offer more degrees that are taught in the English language, this country now offers more than 120 courses taught in English, at over 40 universities.

Tuition fees in Taiwan vary for different universities and fields of study, with a range of $1650 to $4700 per semester depending on the course and levels of study. Apart from being among the cheapest foreign countries to study, there are also various scholarships available for international students funded by both various universities and the government.

Cost of living in Taiwan – $786 (NT$22,065) per month


Europe’s Nordic countries are known for their high quality of life and stunning natural beauty, are part of the best cheap countries to study abroad and Norway is no exception. Although all of the Nordic countries are relatively affordable study destinations, Norway is our pick because Norwegian public universities offer education free of any cost for all students, both local and international, with only a small amount between $35 to $71 to be paid as semester fees, making it one of the most affordable countries to study abroad.

Another reason to study in Norway is the availability of English-taught programs at all study levels, plus a high number of locals proficient in English. International students looking for the cheapest English speaking countries to study abroad, need not look further, as Norway is a great choice.

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Just like other Europe’s Nordic countries, the living cost that comes along with studying in Norway is somewhat on the higher side. International students will have to spend around $17200 (146,315 NOK) annually as living costs, although there are various scholarship opportunities as well.

Cost of living in Norway – $1,433 (12,190 NOK) per month

South Africa 

South Africa is renowned for its natural beauty, diverse community, history and rising economy. Apart from being one of the cheapest countries for studying abroad, South Africa is also a go-to place for international students from different parts of the world who like to explore and learn a different culture or environment.

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This country is a great choice for international students, as it is the least expensive country to study abroad, has a reasonable standard of living, and a high standard educational system.

Tuition fees vary depending on the institution and course, with an average of US$6,000 for international undergraduates studying at the University of Cape Town (South Africa’s highest-ranked university in the QS World University Rankings) and the University of the Western Cape. To live comfortably in South Africa as an internal student, you’ll need close to R120,000 ($9,150) per year to cover your expenses.

Cost of living in South Africa – $762 (R10,000)


Being one of Latin America’s most-visited nations and full of interesting and unique cultures to explore, Mexico has a lot to offer international students. This country is not only rich culturally, but also offers quality higher education opportunities for international students, and is among the popular and low-cost countries to study abroad.

Tuition fees in Mexico vary greatly depending on the subject, university, and level of study. On average, public universities charge tuition fees between $378 to $818 per year for undergraduate degrees, while private universities charge more, and average around $6,300 per year for international undergraduate students in the capital, Mexico City, which was named one of the world’s top 100 cities for students.

Although the main language of instruction is Spanish, Mexican universities are offering more English-taught courses to attract international students.

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Cost of living in Mexico – $600 per month


Poland is one of the best affordable countries to study on a budget. This country offers quality education, along with plenty of fantastic culture and history for international students to explore. With its rich cultural heritage, and high-quality education combined with comparatively low costs, study in Poland is gradually gaining popularity as one of the top cheap countries to study abroad.

Although Poland offers free higher education to its citizens, international students are required to pay tuition fees. Public universities may charge between $2,230 – $4,180 per year for international students, while private universities can charge up to $6,600 per year.

You can study for free if you can speak Polish, and if you take the same entrance exams as Polish students and study your course in Polish. However, there are also many English-taught programs available, costing around 2,000 – 3,000 euros ($2,314 – $3,471) per year.

The living costs in Poland is considerably cheaper than in other European countries, with a student needing to spend around 6,600 euros annually to cover all costs.

Cost of living in Poland – $636 (€550)


Malaysia is undoubtedly one of the cheapest countries to go to university and is gradually becoming a popular country among international students for higher education. Its capital, Kuala Lumpur, was ranked the most affordable city for the QS Best Student Cities in 2016.

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Malaysia also boasts of a high standard of education as it houses a number of branch campuses of international universities, such as the UK’s University of Nottingham or Australia’s Monash University, offering the opportunity to gain a degree accredited by these institutions at a lower cost.

The tuition fees in general at Malaysian universities average close to $4000 per year, with some courses being even cheaper. The cost of living is also considerably low, as most students will only need about MYR24,636 (US$5,892) per year to live comfortably in Malaysia. 

 Cost of living in Malaysia – $491 (MYR2,053)


Argentina is the second-largest country in South America, with diverse geography and a very beautiful landscape that makes it ideal for international students keen on outdoor adventure and exploration whilst studying. Aside from being one of the best and cheap countries to study abroad, Argentina is also ranked as one of the safest countries in the world which accepts foreigners and is known for its fun-loving culture.

International students can study for free at any state-funded (public) university, or pay a tuition fee close to $5,100 per year or more at private institutions, You’ll also need close to $5,000 per year for living expenses, with rent costing as little as US$350 per month.

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Cost of living in Argentina – $416 per month


Heading back to Asia, India is a very good option for international students who intend to combine studying with cultural diversity. While Hindi is the most prominent of the 100+ languages spoken, Indian institutions offer courses that are taught in English, especially at the postgraduate level.

Tuition fees vary depending on your level of study and the university but are typically no higher than $7,880 per annum, and you should also be able to live comfortably on a budget as little as US$4,600 a year. International students looking for countries to study abroad cheap should consider India as a perfect option.

Cost of living in India – $380 (28,549INR) per month


If you’re not yet a fluent French speaker, you don’t need to worry because you can study in France in English, as some higher institutions in France offer courses in English, with the majority of English-taught programs found at the postgraduate level.

Being among the top 10 cheapest countries to study abroad, French institutions also provide world-class education to students from all over the world, regardless of the sort of profession you choose to pursue, be it full-time or part-time.

Tuition fees in France are the same for domestic and international students. Non-EU/EEA students commencing their studies in public French institutions will pay an average of €190 per year for undergraduate programs and €243 per year for master’s degrees. PhDs are the same price for all students, at €380 on average. The tuition fees at private universities vary depending on the school and course but are usually around €2,770 per annum for the bachelor’s program, and €3,770 per annum for the master’s program.

Living expenses will be highest in the capital, Paris, but you may find it worth the extra cost.

Cost of living in France – $1,619 (€1400) per month

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