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The basics
Study abroad : Student Finances

Comparing the cost of degrees overseas

Take a look at the below infographics which compare the cost of expenses for students studying in the UK, US, Canada, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand...

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Daily living costs must be considered in addition to tuition fees when considering your study abroad options. We investigated which study destination is the best value for money, which can be seen in the infographics below.


The figures we used here are only the estimated costs as of course there will be some variation depending on the year and economic climate of the country. However, the figures should provide you with an idea of what you might expect from each of these countries as an international student.


We examined tuition fees and living costs in six popular study destinations: Australia, New Zealand, UK, U.S., Canada and Malaysia. These results can help students weigh up the overall costs of studying abroad and may help to narrow down your options.



Tuition costs

When comparing the annual cost of a postgraduate or undergraduate degree in these six countries, the differences in tuition fees can be significant. The figures below are a rough guide as courses vary so widely. We recommend that you use our search tool to find university websites and specific information on tuition fees.



Student living costs

Another important factor when assessing the total cost of a degree is how much students will spend on day-to-day living costs in their host country. We’ve compared a few essentials like rent, transport and entertainment costs to show the average cost of living in these top study destinations.



Reputation and location

Living costs are lower than in Australia in the UK and the USA, but the fees can be much higher. Don’t forget, however, that the higher cost of a degree in these countries can be justified by the future benefits of a degree from a prestigious British or American institution. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010-2011 is dominated by institutions from the UK and USA, with 67 institutions from either the States or the UK in the top 100.


Mike Elms, founder of Hotcourses, had this to say about the comparison:

‘Quality and cost are always the two most important factors mentioned by international students when selecting a destination to study abroad. The UK and USA have always done well in terms of perceived education quality, however, Asia is proving powerful competition offering degrees taught in English at a fraction of the overall cost.’


Future earning can be influenced by the reputation of the university you choose, so a short-term investment in an expensive degree from a prestigious institution can reap dividends in the long term. It’s important for students to weigh up the cost overall, alongside a consideration of where in the world they want to be.