10 of the cheapest countries to study abroad

By Edvoy• Last updated: Mar 15, 2024
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The world seems to be getting smaller and smaller. With the advent of social media and the ease, affordability, and accessibility of air travel, more and more students are opting to study abroad.

In fact, according to Terra Dotta, the number of students studying abroad has been increasing exponentially over the past decade, with a whopping 72% of students surveyed reporting that they would be studying abroad in 2023. 

The pandemic changed the game for students who wanted to study internationally. With the closing of borders and orders to self-quarantine, many students had to put their plans on hold. The global pandemic has also taken a toll on the economy, leaving many students and their families struggling to afford tuition. 

While you might think these conditions have taken a toll on the international education community, the numbers indicate a rosier outlook. It seems the sector is rebounding, and many students are again looking to pursue their goals for global education.

List of top 10 cheapest countries to study abroad

Here are 10 of the cheapest countries to study abroad

  • Ireland
  • Canada
  • Nepal
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Argentina
  • Bulgaria
  • The Czech Republic
  • India
  • Malaysia

1. Ireland

It’s not just the luck of the Irish that makes this country one of the cheapest countries to study in Europe for international students.

Reasons why should consider Study in Ireland

  • The cost of living is relatively low, at 10.68% lower than in the US.
  • There are many scholarships and financial aid options available for students. 
  • You can work while you learn to help offset living costs and tuition costs.

Rent for one person is between $1400 and $1500 USD per month, which is a whopping 14.50% lower than rent in the US. Ireland also has the fastest-growing economy in the EU – so jobs are aplenty if you want to work alongside your studies!

Also read: Explore the Top Universities in Ireland

2. Canada

The Great White North is great for a reason. Students flock to Canada to further their education for reasons other than just its natural beauty. The reasons Canada is a country to have cheap and best education is because:

  • It has a large number of universities that offer affordable education to international students. In 2021, there were 621,565 international students with permits to study in Canada.
  • Many scholarships and financial aid programs are available for students who wish to study in Canada
  • The cost of living in Canada is low compared to other developed countries, sitting at 8.61% lower than in the United States. 

Tuition fees for international students are estimated between C$20,000 and C$30,000 per year, and scholarships can lower this amount even further.

Canada University Guides

3. Nepal

Nepal is not just known for its scenic mountain ranges and friendly people; It is one of the most affordable places to study abroad. International students studying in Nepal can expect to find:

  • Tuition fees in Nepal are highly reasonable.
  • In Nepal, it is possible to find cheap accommodation in hostels and guesthouses. A bed in a shared room can cost as little as US$3 per night.
  • The cost of living in Nepal is 64.78% lower than in the United States. Wow! Essential items such as food and transportation are also very affordable.

You’d be hard-pressed to find cheaper tuition fees than in Nepal. The most affordable universities cost around $1800USD per year, while the more expensive universities are still cheap at around $3200USD.

4. Mexico

Mexico isn’t just the land of margaritas and ancient ruins. More and more international students are choosing this diverse country as an affordable option for studying abroad.

  • The cost of living in Mexico is 49.11% lower than in the United States, making it one of the most affordable places on this list.
  • Mexican universities also relatively have inexpensive study abroad  programs compared to other countries.
  • There are many affordable housing options available to students in Mexico; you can expect to pay around $450 per month for a one-person apartment.

Some parts of Mexico can be dangerous for foreigners who don’t know their way around, but it’s easy to stick to the safe areas like Merida and Mexico City. 

5. New Zealand

As any Lord of the Rings fan knows, New Zealand is a country of breathtaking beauty. It is also widely known for being one of the cheapest country for Indian students.

  • New Zealand isn’t as affordable as places like Nepal and Mexico; however, the cost of living is still 11.25% lower than in the US.
  • There are eight universities spread across NZ, all of which are ranked in the top 3% of universities worldwide.

As an international undergraduate in New Zealand, you can expect to pay around $14,900 - 21,700USD per year; fairly standard for developed countries, but still more affordable than most!

Also read: Why to study in New Zealand

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6. Argentina

With its rich culture, kind people, and incredible landscape, Argentina has much to offer any student wishing to save a dime by studying there. Argentina is one of the most affordable countries because:

  • The Argentine peso is currently very weak against the US dollar, making it an affordable destination for American students.
  • Food, accommodation, and transportation prices are relatively low compared to other developed countries.
  • It costs 55.77% less to live in Argentina than in the United States.

There are 47 national universities in Argentina, and 6% of student intakes are international. You can apply for scholarships to help secure a place and save on tuition fees via Latin American institution Universia.

7. Bulgaria

Bulgaria is known for its culture, food, wine, and history. It is also fast earning a reputation as one of the cheapest places to study abroad. Pros of studying in Bulgaria include:

  • Compared to other Western European countries, you’ll pay a lot less to live in Bulgaria. 
  • Bulgarian universities offer a high quality of education at a fraction of the cost of universities in other developed countries.
  • The Bulgarian government offers scholarships to international students, which can help to cover the costs of tuition.

How would you like to pay substantially less rent while you study? Believe it or not, Bulgaria’s rental prices are 80.88% lower than in the United States.

8. The Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is not only known for its beer and its castles, but it is also one of the places which produces cheapest education in the world. The Czech Republic has a meager cost of living.

  • It is a member of the European Union, which offers many benefits to students in terms of travel and work opportunities. 
  • There are numerous scholarships and financial aid programs available for international students. 

A one-bedroom apartment in the city will cost you only $620 USD per month on average; this helps to offset the price of tuition ($22,350 USD per year on average).

9. India

India's rich traditions and flavorful cuisines entice many international students each year. These globe-trotting learners save money by studying abroad in India because:

  • Students can complete their degrees in a shorter amount of time due to the semester system used in India.
  • Rent is over 80% lower than in the US, and the cost of living is over 60% lower.
  • Food is particularly inexpensive in India for foreigners. 

Some people find the poverty levels in India confronting; it’s a developing country, and the culture shock can be substantial. The country is rich in culture, however, and there are beautiful places to explore and things to learn!

10. Malaysia

This tiny Asian country known for its beaches and rainforests is also an economic education destination for global-minded students. 

  • Tuition fees at Malaysian universities are very affordable because the government provides significant subsidies to its universities.
  • The Malaysian government is committed to making higher education accessible to all, regardless of financial background.

By studying in Malaysia, you can look forward to a low cost of living (53.92% lower than the US) as well as a rich culture and beautiful day-trip locations. 

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Cheapest universities in the world

Why do so many students want to study abroad? 

There are many reasons these adventurous students wish to study abroad, such as: 

  • To experience a new culture. One of the best things about studying abroad is that you get to experience a new culture. This can be beneficial in many ways, such as helping you become more open-minded and understanding of others. It can also give you a new perspective on your culture and country. 
  • To learn a new language. Another great reason to study abroad is that it provides an opportunity to learn a new language. This unique skill can be highly beneficial both professionally and personally.
  • To gain independence. For many students, studying abroad is their first experience living away from home. Living in an entirely different country can be an excellent opportunity to gain independence and learn to care for yourself. 
  • To get a better education. In some cases, students choose to study abroad because they feel they will receive a better education in another country. This may be due to the quality of the schools or the availability of specific programs.

Another of the primary motivators for young learners to venture abroad is money. It is often said that studying abroad is a costly proposition. 

While this may be true if you study in some of the world's most popular destinations, such as the United States or Australia, many countries offer high-quality education at a fraction of the cost. 

When it comes to higher education, there are many factors to consider when deciding where to study. For international students, the cost of studying and living in a foreign country is often one of the most important considerations. 

In this article, we'll look at ten countries where the cost of studying and living is relatively low, making them some of the cheapest countries to study abroad.

Are you ready to learn more about the 10 cheapest countries to study abroad? 

Let’s go!

Factors to keep in mind when choosing where to study abroad

Choosing where to study abroad is no easy task; from the exchange rates of local currencies to finding the perfect program in your area of interest, there are many variables you need to research before choosing the cheapest country to study abroad. 

Some things to consider are:

  • Cost of tuition fees
  • Cost of living in each country
  • Available scholarships and financial aid options
  • Whether or not you need a student visa to study there 
  • The quality of education and infrastructure

The easiest way to find the answers to the best place to study abroad for you is to use a one-stop-shop platform like Edvoy.com. Edvoy combines knowledge, passion, and technology to provide students with the resources to research and connect with educational providers all over the globe.

Please note that average tuition fees at the universities discussed in this article range between $1,800 and $22,350 per year.

Confused about universities?
Explore, filter, shortlist universities with ease and get free counselling

Where would you like to study abroad?

One might choose to study abroad for many reasons, but the cost is often a deciding factor. This article looked at 10 of the cheapest countries to study abroad. 

We considered many factors, such as the cost of living, the cost of tuition, and whether scholarships and financial aid are available.

If you’re looking at studying abroad, your first step needs to be thorough research of your intended institution and destination. 

A great starting point would be websites like edvoy.com, where you can browse programs, upload documents, and apply online all in one place. 

It’s never easy deciding on an educational path, but hopefully, this article will give you a great resource to start your journey. Wishing you luck in your endeavors as you set off on your adventures in higher learning!

Applying to foreign universities can be overwhelming, but fret not! Our experts will streamline the application process, ensuring all paperwork and requirements are met with precision.


Which is the cheapest country to study for Indian students?

Malaysia is undoubtedly one of the cheapest country to study abroad for Indian students, particularly in terms of living costs. Its capital, Kuala Lumpur, came first for affordability in the QS Best Student Cities 2016.

Which are some cheapest universities in the world?

Here are some of the cheap universities in the world:

  • University of Wuerzburg
  • Brigham Young University
  • Florida State University
  • University of Central Arkansas
  • Brandon University
  • Bucks New University
  • University of Burgundy
  • Osaka University

What are the cheapest cities to study abroad?

Some of the cheapest cities to study abroad are,

  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Montreal, Canada
  • Cork, Ireland
  • Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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