15 Most Affordable Places to Study Abroad for International Students

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Hello reader, are you looking for the most affordable places to study abroad for international students? haven’t decided where to go? Don’t know what to look for or where to start? Well, don’t worry, here at startskool, you can rest assured that your questions will be answered.

As an international student, finding an affordable place to study abroad can be quite a huge task. You are faced with an enormous pile of data and information to go through. Quality education is something we all want and so it becomes really difficult to decide, especially when living costs and other additional costs are taken into account, right?

Sure, some find what they are looking for pretty quickly, but for most of us, the search is a tedious and exhausting one. Quality of education is no longer the only factor you consider. Living costs, the standard of living, tuition, and financial aids also come to mind.

Well, if that’s your predicament, do not fret for you are in safe hands as we at SS analyzed all this data and will give you better information, making your choices and thought processes less tasking.

We will look at all the factors an international student would critically analyze when searching for an affordable place to study abroad for international students. So relax as all the information you are looking for is right here starting from the factors you should consider, to places you’re looking for.

Factors International Students Should Consider

There are very important factors all international students that seek affordable places to study abroad should consider. These are factors students will inevitably face, one way or another.

These factors to be considered are;

  1. Cost of living: the average cost per year to live in any location. We will rate this factor on a scale of 0-10, with 0 being abysmal and 10 being perfect.
  2. Standard of Living: the quality of life in any location at a given period. As with the cost of living, this factor shall be graded on a scale of 0-10.
  3. Quality of education: how valuable is the education that is being taught in institutions in the locations of choice. This will be measured on a scale of 0-5.
  4. Tuition and other educational fees: the school fees, dorm fees, books, student levies, and other payments which are asked of the student.
  5. Financial aids: these include loans, grants, scholarships, and other aids which may ease the burden of being separated from friends and family.

Note that the grading is based strictly on our internal observations and investigations.

Problems International Students May Face

It’s not news to know that there will be problems you will face when migrating to a new country. We want you to be as ready as possible and so have prepared likely challenges you’d come across.

  1. Language Barrier: if you are migrating to a new country where English, or any language you are comfortable with, isn’t spoken there; it poses quite the challenge. I personally suggest using Duolingo. Its simple interface and fun way of learning are great for quicker understanding. Any other language app would also work just fine.
  2. Environmental changes: moving from a hot environment to a cold one can be very bad for the body. Your body will need to re-adapt and this can take time, as well as cause unintended reactions and sicknesses.
  3. Time lag: changing time zones can be one of the most stressful. Imagine leaving Japan on Tuesday for America, just to get there on Monday. Quite a Painful right? You would also need to adjust your sleeping patterns to the new time zone.
  4. Knowing your area: when you come to a new place, the first thing to do is explore the area, you need not stay indoors all day unless you have a class, that would be terrible, c’mon, you’re not an island so when you get to your study country, take your time to know the lovely places there.

There are other challenges you would face, some would be unique to you depending on the situation you find yourself in. For more on adapting to a new country, see getting accustomed to a new country. Now that we have established the certain factors which most of you would consider the challenges you’d probably face, let us now look at the 15 most affordable places to study abroad for international students. This is going to be a great read so sit tight as we take you through this guide.

15 Most Affordable Places to Study Abroad for International Students

Before getting into the 15 most affordable places to study abroad for international students, please note that this listing is not a ranking. We have simply shared these affordable study places with you.

Also note that the “Cost of Living” is measured per month, while “Tuition” is measured per year.

All expenses shown are estimates and may vary over time.


Germany- the most affordable place abroad to study for international students.

This country is seen by most observational institutions as the most affordable country to study in. Some of the most affordable cities in Germany are Stuttgart, Hamburg, Berlin, and Munich.

  • Cost of Living: $600 ~ $800 (6/10).
  • Standard of Living: one of the best places in the world (10/10).
  • Quality of education: 5/5.
  • Tuition: free in most public institutions.
  • Financial aids: there are scholarships to Germany which are available to international students.


In Poland, some of the most affordable cities are Wroclaw, Bialystok, Warsaw, Gdansk, and Krakow.

  • Cost of Living: $600 ~ $700 (7/10).
  • Standard of Living: great living infrastructure, as with Europe in general. (9/10).
  • Quality of education: sound with various English courses on offer(4/5).
  • Tuition: $1800 ~ $3500.
  • Financial aids: free education for Polish speakers with an A-level in Polish. Scholarships are also made available.


Some of the Asian nation’s most cost-friendly cities are Kaohsuing, Keelung, Taichung, and Hualien.

  • Cost of Living: $450 ~ $650 (9/10).
  • Standard of Living: Relatively good (7/10).
  • Quality of Education: various English language courses on offer. (4/5)
  • Tuition: $1200 ~$3000
  • Financial aids: unknown


Malaysia- an international students go to place for studying abroad

This beautifully structured country is home to some of the cheapest cities you’d ever see, some are Johor Bahru, George Town, and Kuala Lumpur.

  • Cost of Living: $400 ~ $500 (10/10).
  • Standard of Living: (8/10).
  • Quality of Education: Some renowned universities, such as the University of Reading, have their branches in this country. (4/5).
  • Tuition: $2500 ~ $4000.
  • Financial Aids: there are scholarships made available to those who wish to study in Malaysia.

South Africa

South Africa - the perfect place abroad to study as an international student

The Rainbow nation is home to some affordable cities such as Bloemfontein, Durban, East London, Richards Bay, and Port Elizabeth

  • Cost of Living: $600 ~ $700 (7/10).
  • Standard of Living: most developed African nation. Very beautiful and we’ll organize cities. (10/10).
  • Quality of Education: top-notch institutions, with the University of Cape Town among the best 200 in the world. (5/5).
  • Tuition: $2000 ~ $3000.
  • Financial Aids: Unkown

If you are interested in university rankings, check out the QS world university rankings for 2020


Mae Hong Sun, Krabi Town, and Cha-Am are just a few of the cheapest places to live in within this tourist destination “Thailand”.

  •  Cost of Living: $400 ~ $500 (10/10).
  • Standard of Living: great tourist destination, good enough. (7/10).
  • Quality of Education: introduction of newer courses for international students, though not known for education. (3/5).
  • Tuition: quite expensive for a relatively unknown place to study. $2500 ~ $4500.
  • Financial Aids: unknown


Most of Vietnam is cheaper to live in than Thailand. Some of the cheap cities to live in are Hanoi, Da Nang, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh and Phu Quoc.

  • Cost of Living: $350 ~ $450 (10/10).
  • Standard of Living: known cheap living and tourism. (7/10).
  • Quality of Education: not known as a learning hub (3/5).
  • Tuition: $1000 ~ $2000
  • Financial Aids: unknown


Szeged, Debrecen are just two of the cheap cuties one can afford to settle in when looking for a place to study abroad.

  • Cost of Living: $400 ~ $500 (10/10).
  • Standard of Living: very decent (8/10).
  • Quality of education: excellent (5/5).
  • Tuition: very expensive: $4000 ~ $5500.
  • Financial Aids: there are scholarships to Hungary available for international students.


The most affordable cities in the Norsk country are Hedmark, Telemark, Oppland and rural Østfold.

  • Cost of Living: $1000 ~ $2000 (2/10).
  • Standard of Living: excellent (10/10).
  • Quality of Education: top-notch. (5/5).
  • Tuition: free in public universities, even for international students.
  • Financial Aids: scholarships have been made available.


Vilnius, Klaipeda, Siauliai and Kernave are some of the most affordable places you could study in when coming to the centre of Europe.

  • Cost of Living: $400 ~ $500
  • Standard of Living:  (8/10).
  • Quality of Education: very good, with an inclination to practical skills (4/5).
  • Tuition: $1500 ~ $3000.
  • Financial Aids: unknown


Puerto Iguazu, San Carlos Bariloche and El Calafate are the cheapest and most affordable places to live in if you plan on studying this South American beauty.

  • Cost of Living: $400 ~ $500 (10/10).
  • Standard of living: (8/10).
  • Quality of Education: (4/5).
  • Tuition: Free in most public universities.
  • Financial Aids: unknown.

Looking for something else, how about you see our other article on studying in Singapore.


Magas, Belgorod, Saransk, Grozny and Nalchik are the least expensive cities to live in while in the great country of Russia.

  • Cost of Living: $400 ~$600 depending on the city. (8/10).
  • Standard of living: (9/10).
  • Quality of Education: (4/5).
  • Tuition: very high. $5000 ~ $6500.
  • Financial Aids: scholarships are made available for international students.


Lund, Malmo, Kalmar, Södertälje and Nykvarn are some of the cheaper cities you’ll find in a very expensive Sweden

  • Cost of Living: $600 ~$650 (8/10).
  • Standard of living: (10/10).
  • Quality of Education: sound,  (5/5).
  • Tuition: free education in public schools, just minimal administration fees.
  • Financial Aids: scholarships are made available for international students.


Finland- the cold winter and affordable study abroad for international students

The most affordable places to study in this country are Laaperanta, Pori and Tampere.

  • Cost of Living: $650 ~$750 (8/10).
  • Standard of Living: quality of life is good. (10/10).
  • Quality of Education: (5/5).
  • Tuition: just as in Sweden, public schools are free of charge, but require small administrative fees.
  • Financial Aids: unknown.


Marseille, Lille, Grenoble, Montpellier and Nantes are some of the most affordable places you could live and study in while in France.

  • Cost of Living: $1000+ (2/10).
  • Standards of Living: among Europe’s most elite nations. (10/10).
  • Quality of Education: very good. (4/5).
  • Tuition: $2000 ~ $4500
  • Financial Aids: anglophone speakers from Africa can study in France easily due to the history between the clubs. Scholarships for international students are also made available.

These countries have been researched thoroughly before being listed out. There are other affordable places to study for international students, but these came out as the most cost-effective.

So if you are looking for affordable places to study as an international student, you should quickly look up the universities in the countries listed above.

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  1. Hello Tessema, if you are looking to pursue a higher degree. There are a vast number of opportunities out there for you. If you are looking for scholarships, there are schools that only offer them students looking to pursue a PhD, doctorate or master’s degree. I believe your search should start from the points I have mentioned. Goodluck to you.

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