What is the cheapest country to study?

Students these days have become more mobile than ever. They have been moving out of their home countries to pursue higher education, to explore different cultures,  and to look for wholesome experiences. But, when it comes to studying abroad, the costs are often quite high which not everyone can afford. In such situations, often, financial institutions help students fund their higher studies. To help such students further, we have put together four countries that are the most inexpensive places to study in and still have quality education and an equally great student life.


This Nordic country is one of the destinations that top the list for international students. Public universities in Norway offer free education for bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and Ph.D. courses. Students would, however, have to incur the additional expenses that come along with living anywhere like rent, food and utilities, transport, and books. If you are low on budget and feel that you will be able to spend either just on living or on tuition, Norway could be your choice. The quality of education, life, and the beauty of Norway is extremely high, and having a degree from the reputed Universities in Norway would add a lot of weightage to your resume. While some private universities charge tuition fees, the public universities that don’t are, University of Oslo, University of Bergen, BI Norwegian Business School, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NHH Norwegian School Of Economics.

While studying in Norway, you might spend about 36% of your total expenses on accommodation, i.e., 300-700 EUR per month. This amount could be higher if you love in larger cities, closer to the city center or the happening places. The best option while studying is to share an apartment with friends or to stay in student accommodation.

Another way to save a few bucks is to learn how to cook instead of eating out. If you can cook for yourself, the cost would be between 100-200 EUR. Your travel, books, and an occasional drink could again be taken care of within 150 EUR every month. While these figures might still seem quite high, compared to a few other European countries, the cost is comparatively low whereas, the quality is high.

South Africa

If you are a nature lover and would love to go trekking or enjoy picturesque sceneries on the weekends, South Africa is the place to be in. Apart from being rich in its culture and heritage, studying in South Africa can be quite cheaper when compared to the US and UK. To give you an idea of what the tuition fees are like, undergraduate courses can cost anywhere between $3800-$4600, master’s courses can cost $1800-$5000 a year, and Ph.D. or MBA courses can cost up to $29,300. These are the costs applicable to international students. However, if you are a member of the South African Development Community, you will be able to pay the same tuition fees as the South African students.

International students can also benefit from the scholarships and bursaries that the Universities have to offer based on merit. For some universities, all international students get registered for their scholarship programs automatically on admission, while for others, you might have to fill a form. Living expenses here are also comparatively cheap. With $7500 a year, all your accommodation, food, travel, and miscellaneous expenses can be taken care of.


The student body in Austria is diverse and multicultural, making your student experience in Austria well rounded. Not only do you get to study at the most renowned universities here, but you save a lot of money. On average, a non-European student might spend about $750-$800 per semester, and the additional cost of living would fall between $700-$800 a month. However, you will be required to be proficient in speaking German and must have a recognized certificate proving this. You can also apply for the various scholarships that are available at different universities. Some of the renowned Universities in Austria are the University of Vienna, Medical University of Graz, University of Innsbruck, Johannes Kepler University Linz.

Making friends in Austria is super easy, especially if you are a part of the Erasmus groups. Vegans and vegetarians might struggle here a bit because the Austrian cuisine is quite meaty and often loaded with cheese. Also, being a predominantly Catholic country, most shops are shut on Sunday, so it is best to ensure you do not land there on a Sunday.


This country is another multicultural country, and about 2 million out of the 10 million population belong to foreign cultures. The education level in Sweden is considered to be quite high and very affordable. If you are an international student from Switzerland, EEA, the EU, or Nordic countries, your education in Sweden could be completely free. All you would have to take care of is your living expenses, which you can also do by taking up part-time jobs. For other international students, Swedish Universities offer many scholarships and also support the option of part-time jobs to help you meet the expenses when you study. The tuition fee could range between 7500 EUR-25000EUR each year, where courses like architecture and design cost on the higher side.

Even though knowing Swedish could be a plus, most people here speak in English very well, and most University courses are taught in English too. The cost of living in Sweden could be a tad bit higher than some European countries where you might spend 700EUR-1200EUR per month. You can reduce this by staying in dormitories where you can meet people from different cultures, shared apartments, or student housings. The amount you spend on food could range up to 200 EUR based on your eating habits and whether you cook or not.

While many countries are great places to study, these are the top 4 that we found to be the most pocket friendly for students. The costs mentioned here could still seem exorbitant, but by making a few conscious choices like cooking in instead of eating out, and buying from inexpensive supermarkets, you could save a lot. Also, universities offer many scholarships for deserving students to study in their reputed universities. Students can also work at part-time jobs to meet other expenses. All these have been crafted keeping in mind the student population and to help them make their experience while studying a much enjoyable one.