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Nov 05 2017
by Zoe Forest

7 Affordable Countries to Study Abroad

By Zoe Forest - Nov 05 2017

One of the biggest regrets I have heard from college graduates is that they never studied abroad. Studying abroad is an amazing, unique opportunity to immerse oneself in another culture that rarely comes along again. Yet many students are deterred by finances and never study abroad due to the perceived notion that it is expensive. While some study abroad programs are rather pricey, there are several countries where free or low tuition costs, combined with a low cost of living, can actually make studying abroad less expensive than a semester in your home university. Here is a list of seven of the most affordable countries in which to study abroad.

1. Argentina

Most public universities at Argentina are free, even for U.S. citizens, meaning the only tuition costs will be any fees your home university charges. The cost of living in Argentina is also relatively low and if you budget correctly, $500 a month should be enough. Also, knowledge of Spanish will be very useful and it may be difficult to find courses taught in English. 

2. Malaysia 

Malaysia is an extremely affordable place to live, even in the capital of Kuala Lumpur. College is not free here, but tuition costs are significantly lower than in the U.S. with most students paying less than $5,000 per academic year.

3. Germany

Germany is another place where public university education is free to all regardless of citizenship. Additionally, there are many classes taught in English, so extensive knowledge of German is not necessary. Depending on what city you study in, the cost of living is comparable to or higher than the U.S., but many students live off of $10,000 for a year.

4. Mexico

Tuition fees are relatively low in Mexico, though it varies from university to university. The average cost of attendance in Mexico City is around $6,000 for an academic year. The cost of living here is very affordable, averaging around $500 a month. Most classes are taught in Spanish, though it is possible to find English options. 

5. India

India is not the cheapest place when it comes to tuition costs, though still more affordable than certain universities the United States. Students can expect to pay around $7,500 per year for tuition costs. The cost of living in India is extremely affordable. English is also the main language of instruction at many universities, so knowledge of the local language is not necessary. 

6. Taiwan

The government of Taiwan hopes to attract many more international students in the coming years and thus made studying abroad here relatively affordable.  College fees at most Taiwan universities are around $2,000 per semester, much less expensive than many U.S. universities. The cost of living is on the higher side, with most universities recommending around $4,000 per semester for living expenses. Many classes are taught in English and there are several scholarships for those who want to study in Taiwan. 

7. South Africa 

South Africa is a beautiful and diverse nation and also one of the most developed in Africa. Tuition fees at South African universities vary, but students can expect to pay around $5,500 per year. The cost of living in South Africa is around $7,000 a year. 

As you can see, college education in many countries is significantly more affordable than college in America where fees and living often total more than $30,000. There are also many scholarships provided by universities and outside organizations to help students study abroad. Talk to your school's study abroad advisor if you are passionately about studying in another country and have an idea of what countries will be affordable. 

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Zoe Forest - University of California, Berkeley

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