Do you harbour dreams of studying abroad?

We know that learning overseas can offer a myriad of benefits, like being able to see the world, build international connections, and learning to be independent and develop a strong cultural awareness, all of which are useful for your personal and professional development.

But despite its benefits, we know that depending on your country of origin, and of course, the country you dream of visiting, finances can play a major role in whether your dream of studying abroad materialises.

But don’t let that stop you – here are four countries worth considering if you’re keen on studying abroad.

Norway

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Norway can be an expensive place to live, but tuition is free. Source: Shutterstock

Education at public universities in Norway is typically free for everyone, both for EU and non-EU students, but you may have to pay a small semester fee of about €50 (US$56).

For example, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology notes that “There are no tuition fees at NTNU”, but says students need to cover their living expenses. All international students who are not citizens of EU/EEA/EFTA countries must be able to document that they have enough funding to live in Norway to be granted a student visa.

It’s worth noting that most undergraduate courses are taught in the local language, but it’s more common for graduate programmes to be taught in English.

The cost of living in Norway is expensive. The University of Bergen estimates that the average student budget in Norway is about NOK11,640 (US$1,400) per month (for 2018) for most expenses, including housing, food, study materials, transport and activities. However, when education itself is free, this may balance out for international students.   

Taiwan

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Taiwan is not just a place for a gastronomical adventure. Source: Shutterstock

Taiwan is famous for its food and may not be on your radar for an affordable education, but the country can offer international students reputable programmes at a competitive price. Study in Taiwan notes that undergraduate courses can cost around US$1,500 to $1,800 per semester, and around US$1,600 – $2,000 per semester for a Master’s or PhD.

For example, estimated fees for international students at the National Taiwan University (NTU) – one of Taiwan’s top institutions – is US$1,682 (liberal arts, social sciences, law) to US$2,638 (Department of Medicine) per semester, depending on your course of study.

There are two semesters in an academic year, which means you’ll pay between US$3,364 to US$5,276 per year solely for your education. Housing and electricity can be expensive in Taiwan, depending on where you come from, but food and transportation are considered affordable.

India

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India is home to thousands of higher education institutions. Source: Shutterstock

India has a lot to offer to travellers, thanks to its rich history, breathtaking views and historical landmarks.

But the country is also home to thousands of higher education institutions and was ranked 26th in the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings 2018, which assess the overall strength of higher education in each country.

Some of the country’s top universities include the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), which is ranked 29th and 44th respectively in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2018. Google CEO Sundar Pitchai’s alma mater, the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur ranks 501–600th in the THE World University Rankings 2019.

Courses are typically taught in English, while THE notes that “frugal students could survive on as little as £3,500 a year”.

South Africa

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Stunning natural wonders aside, South Africa is home to an affordable university education for international students. Source: Shutterstock

You may be familiar with some famous individuals from this ethnically-diverse country, including former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, comedian Trevor Noah and actress Charlize Theron, but the country can prove to be an affordable study abroad destination students, especially compared to the US and UK.

To get a benchmark, QS notes that the “University of Cape Town’s 2017 fees ranged from R53,440 to R64,890 (US$3,800 – 4,600) at undergraduate level. At [the] master’s level throughout the country, fees range from R25,000 to R70,000 (US$1,800-5,000) per year. Specialised postgraduate courses and MBAs can cost up to R410,000 (US$29,300).”

The country is home to some top-ranking universities, including the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University. The cost of living is also relatively low, making it an ideal study location for international students.

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