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13 Most Expensive Countries for International Students

Expensive Countries for International StudentsThis is going to be a huge surprise for many. The Most Expensive Countries for International Students is not USA

Australia is more expensive compared to USA. This is due to strengthening of Australian Dollar. UK comes in third place with expense just above $30,000.

I wasn’t expecting Germany to be the least expensive country with yearly expense just above $6,000.

There is a huge difference in cost between Germany and top 3 countries – Australia, USA and UK.

I would have been happy if New Zealand was included in the above study.

Methodology used for this calculation is actually quite simple : data from previous studies.

  • The research was compiled from data in 13 countries around the world
  • Fees represent the average tuition cost for international students based on the top 10 largest institutions in each relevant country (sourced from individual institution data)
  • Cost of living sourced from HESA Global Education Rankings 2010 where possible and adjusted to account for inflation and from and HSBC Studying Abroad Research (Oct 2012)
  • Ivy League costs based on total average costs for attending a top ranked US University according to Forbes.
  • US Dollar conversion exchange rate as at July 17, 2013
  • The number of international students enrolled in U.S. colleges climbed 6% to a record 764,495 in 2011, according to a study in the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication

Most Expensive Countries for International Students

Country Annual Fees Annual Cost of
Annual Total
Australia $25,375 $13,140 $38,516
United States $25,226 $10,479 $35,705
United Kingdom $19,291 $11,034 $30,325
United Arab Emirates $21,371 $6,004 $27,375
Canada $18,474 $7,537 $26,011
Singapore $14,885 $9,363 $24,248
Hong Kong $13,182 $9,261 $22,443
Japan $6,522 $12,642 $19,164
Russia $3,131 $6,310 $9,441
China $3,983 $4,783 $8,766
Taiwan $3,270 $4,987 $8,257
Spain $1,002 $6,004 $7,006
Germany $635 $5,650 $6,285
In US$ per year

Studying abroad is more beneficial in long run. You get new perspective and long term career impact.

But choice of country depends on one’s career goals, affordability and feeling confident about the choice of higher education destination.

Now, you have a good idea about cost of studying in various countries.

After viewing the cost of  studying in  Germany, would you consider Germany or at least explore the possibility of studying in Germany even if it wasn’t your top destination to study abroad?


  1. naga sai on October 5, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    Thank you Raghu,
    you gave me an useful information.
    I also want to know about the job opportunities in germany after
    completing M.S from electrical stream.

  2. ARC on August 30, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Hey do we get decent jobs back in India after doing a reasonably good MS abroad??…in case i want to come back to India…..which country’s degree count more…or does the country not matter as long as the university is good ??

  3. Javo on August 18, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Raghu Im regular follower of HSB, but the way you are promoting US universities and degrading other countries is not GOOD. Countries like germany have lots of international programs. Also no of students from India to germany increased drastically whilst to US decreased. Better know the facts. Thank you.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 18, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Can you list a single sentence in 3000+ blogs where I have written about degrading other countries? What’s listed in the article is research report by HSBC bank and I have published it here.

      • Javo on August 19, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        yes in the above post itself
        “germany is good for those who are cash strapped” what does it mean? by the way people who can bear even larger amount are preferring…you could have done some research buddy. last thing i regularly read your posts and they are awesome. sometimes mistakes occur, you need to accept them positively.

        • Raghuram Sukumar on August 19, 2013 at 1:28 PM

          Yeah that us correct. But your interpretation is different from what I intended to say.

          I didn’t say Germany is good only if you are cash strapped.

          If you want to get higher education from abroad and cannot afford to study in USA or other expensive countries then Germany is a good option.

        • Javo on August 22, 2013 at 3:43 AM

          By the way…how about job oppurtunities for Mech students in Australia?? (wollongong,griffith universities) Thanks in advance.

    • Dev on August 19, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      When did he do that?? Heyy c’mon he did not do that. See challenges are there in every country be i Germany US or any other.On one hand in US the costs are high and in another in Germany the courses in English are a bit less “comfortable” than those in German… These are facts man!!

      • Rohit Dhakarey on August 19, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        May I know, what do you mean by “less comfortable ” here ?

        • DEV on August 20, 2013 at 12:22 AM

          In some univs, mark “some”, the profs are not that fluent in English as they are in German(ofcourse its their mother tongue) and hence,the overseas students face a little difficulty to get the premium quality teaching as their German counterparts. Now I don’t say that all univs are like this,and may be u never faced this: I guess u are doing ur Phd in Germany and even I have a preference to study there in Darmstadt. But this happens in some parts of the country . I had read this in a blog for expats long back when I was comparing countries like US,Germany,Singapore, and New Zealand…

          • Rohit Dhakarey on August 20, 2013 at 7:52 AM

            Do you know what a ‘Professor’ means in Germany? it means an excellent career record and atleast 12 years of research career with some international visits. Not a single country can give you a long term visa on a professor’s recommendation except Germany. And you are saying ‘in some universities, the prof. are not proficient’ !, If you say this for the ‘part time lecturers’ then it is acceptable. I have visited many universities for some collaborating research projects but I have never observed it. Sorry ! People write many good and bad things on internet but you can only judge them after you observe the things by yourself.

        • DEV on August 20, 2013 at 12:55 PM

          Thanks bro! See,I haven’t been to the country,so I will tell what I have read. But genuinely thanks for the input. Can u write an article for studies in Germany?? That would be very helpful. Cheers!!

  4. chinnailu on August 15, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Good Article !

  5. asit on August 15, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Thanks raghu for your great information.i am from Bangladesh.i have completed my B.s.c Engineering with textile side.i want to take MBA degree from USA.There consulting center told me,now USA offer student to take graduate degree or undergraduate degree with or with-out IELTS or TOFFEL or any test.Do you know about it? it is true?
    please reply my question.

    • M.M. on August 15, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      in am from BAN. too brother and i tell you never to fall for anything that agencies tell you.a good university will never take you up w/o ielts toefl, that’s for sure.please look for authentic info. and please validate your info. by looking at as many places as you can.a good thing to do is to directly mail your coveted univ.besides if you want to take MBA in good north american univ.s then you can never get into it w/o dont leap ahead and then cry.

  6. Rakesh on August 14, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Does the last seven or eight countries have universities which will teach in English?

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 14, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      Maybe but not popular destinations for courses taught in English. Germany will be good options for student who are cash strapped.

      • rohitbiotech on August 15, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        To improve the overall ranking of german universities in the world and to attract more and more foreign students, universities are launching more new courses in english each year. I think, the only point why german universities lag behind in rankings is just because of less courses and information in english. But now the condition seems to be improving day by day!

    • M.M. on August 15, 2013 at 10:35 AM

      do not know about others but germany certainly offers course in english in post grad but not in undergrad level.for undergrad you have to take testDaf upto certain level within 1 year or 1&half and pass those levels to continue study at undergrad level.but in post grad that is not the case.Germany is really good for engineering degrees.

  7. John on August 14, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Australia is the most expensive? OK! But students can work part time and the salary is enough to cover the living cost and tuition fee. Besides, there are so many financial support for the students. Many of my friends study there penniless.

  8. Rohit Dhakarey on August 14, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    I guess, in living expenses you only calculated the rent of the apartment. For annual fee, you are fairly right. There is no such tuition fee in german universities but here we call it as ‘semester contribution’ which is almost equal to a semester fee what we pay in Indian govt. universities. By the way, I am a PhD student in Germany.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 14, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      Rohit – Would you be interested in sharing your experience in Germany with us?

    • M.M. on August 15, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      yeah yeah. but do you call it ‘semester contribution’ or student activity fee?? varies in different universities but all are in and around 500-600 euros for each sem. isn’t it?

      • Raghuram Sukumar on August 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        He’s going to write few articles about Germany.

      • rohitbiotech on August 15, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        The fees varies from state to state. I am enrolled at KIT, Karlsruhe which is among the best technical universities of Europe. Since, the state in which Karlsruhe lies is quite a rich state so the fee or semester contribution is very nominal, I pay around 127 euros/semester which is far less than the semester fees of any IIT for PhD. Included in this amount are – the costs for library, student council, internet services and free local transport between 6pm to 5am in the morning on workdays and full days on holidays or weekends. In case if you travel more by trams in the region of 50 kms radius around the city, the semester ticket costs around 130 euros for the students which is valid for whole duration of semester. For normal people, this tickets costs atleast 5 or 6 times more.

  9. Hanu on August 14, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Yes. I am an engineering student and I am in the process of finishing my Masters in US and would have choose Germany if I had known abt the cost

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 14, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      What is your goal? Work in USA or back in home country?

  10. prs on August 14, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    is this mainly due to the depriciating rupee ??

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 14, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      This is based on USD.

  11. Eshan Patil on August 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Studying in Germany was always my first choice but due to their high demand of educational qualification I couldn’t apply to any of German Universities. Now I am doing my Major here in USA.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 14, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      What do you mean by High demand?

      • DEV on August 15, 2013 at 12:08 AM

        Actually german univs don’t consider GRE(mostly), a majority of them just focus on ur Academic scores and some like TU Munich also want GATE results alongwith high bachelor’s score. But for USA if u score really high in GRE you may slide past ur “not-so-good” academic score(hope I am not too wrong). Moreover,when u are considering Germany u look for the name that sound famous like Munich,Dresden,Darnstadt,Berlin etc. but not some German villages,just bcoz we are not familiar with the names and these “famous” univs give a lot of importance on ur scores… AFTERALL U R STUDYING ALMOST FOR FREE…

      • Javo on August 19, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        suppose you didn’t get admission from one of university which is not even in top 200 with academics 75% and good gre. you could get one of the top 100 univetsities in US

  12. vish on August 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    This is good data Raghu.

    I have a small comment though. I guess this data is a little old. Nothing much has changed except I think Singapore may have moved lot higher up in the list. In last 2-3 years Singapore has become very expensive to live.

    I have very strong experience with both USA and Singapore and I can tell you personally Singapore is way more expensive than NYC.

    You have to pay north of $700 (US) a month to get a room in a 3 Bedroom HDB with NO cooking privileges (In remote areas like clementi etc). You have to eat out all the time which makes it even more expensive. Public transportation is good but again expensive and there are no monthly passes.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on August 14, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      This report came out in last couple of days.

  13. prs on August 14, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    i thought Canada was more expensive than the US ,turns out its not .i was wrong

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