The cost of living and the standard of living are two of the most important factors that can determine how long study abroad students stay in a particular location abroad.
Sometimes, the advantaged gained by low-tuition universities or even no-tuition education can be offset by the high cost of living. That is why it is important to always have an idea of the living cost before choosing a study abroad program in a particular location.
Of course, if you are on a comprehensive scholarship that covers the living cost (or you have unlimited personal or private funding), you might not be bothered about the cost of living.
To help you determine the comparative cost of living of different location, this study has produced some very interesting figures. Though the study looked at 48 study abroad countries US students prefer, the data could also be applied to students from other countries.
With data like this at your disposal, it would be easy to make a choice about where to study abroad, vis-a-vis the funding or finances you have access to.
How the data was compiled
The research done in 48 countries looked at the cost of nine popular items. That is, these items are the most likely things students would spend money on.
These items are:
- Rent and cost of Utilities
- Flight tickets
- Groceries and market
- Shopping for clothes
- Entertainment and recreation
- Cost of transportation
- Telephone and mobile phone bills
- Cost of Student visa
- Cost of eating in restaurants
Points (from 1 – 48) were assigned to each item based on the cost of each item. For instance, a score of 1 for rent and utilities means that particular country has the cheapest rent and utilities. A score of 48 means that location is the most expensive in terms of rent and utilities of the 48 countries studied.
The average score for all the items was calculated. The table was then created according to the scores from the lowest to the highest corresponding to cheapest to most expensive respectively.
The cheapest study abroad countries
The result of the study shows that no one particular region dominated for least expensive study abroad locations. For instance, Mexico in Latin America turned out to be the cheapest country, while India, in Asia, was the second cheapest destination.
The interesting thing about the table is that no developed country made it to the list of cheapest countries. Most of the countries on the cheapest countries list are dominated by developing countries.
However, South Africa, Russia, and Brazil are three countries with comparatively strong emerging economies that made it to the list of cheapest countries.
Rounding off the top 10 cheapest countries are Guatemala, Peru, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Kenya, Brazil, and Thailand.
Table of cheapest countries
- Dominican Republic
- South Africa
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
Most expensive countries for study abroad students
The most expensive locations show that most of them are located in Western Europe, mostly in the north of Western Europe.
Six countries in Western Europe make it to the top 10 of the most expensive countries to study. However, Singapore has the dubious distinction of being the most expensive destination to live in the world.
Surprisingly though, the small nation of Bahamas also made it to the top 10 of the most expensive list. Apart from the Bahamas and Ireland, all the countries in the top 10 list in this group are major world economies.
In terms of regions, even strong Asian countries like Japan and South Korea do not make the top 10 (except for Singapore of course). In Africa, Ghana and Tanzania made the list of the most expensive study abroad destinations at 16th and 20th position respectively.
Remarkably, both African countries are more expensive to study in than Spain (23), South Korea (21) and Argentina (24).
List of most expensive countries
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
- South Korea