Cost of Studying Abroad

This is an area which most students would like to have detailed information first, before they plan their education abroad. In fact, knowledge about the costs involved is a ‘must’ before one venture into this not-so-cheap process.

Here is a comparison of education costs: (All amounts indicated are in US $)

Comparative costs undergraduate courses

Country Arts Business Science
AUS 10,000 10,000 13,000
UK 16,100 18,680 21,078
USA 23,000 23,000 23,490
Ireland 14,300 16,800 18,000
New Zealand 11,000 12,000 13,000

Postgraduate Courses

Country Arts Business Science
AUS 11,000 12,000 14,000
UK 16,000 16,340 21,260
USA 33,000 33,000 33,450
Ireland 11,520 12,480 13,000
New Zealand 12,000 15,000 14,400

Details of specific costs are,

Application costs Scores reporting costs
Tuition and fees Cost of living expenditure
Insurance Books and supplies

Application costs

The very first stage is the application process. When you consider applying to around 4-5 colleges/universities, costs will include application fee, courier charges, cost of documentation and miscellaneous expenditure like faxing, Xerox etc.

The average application fee ranges between $30-75 per US university. Some do accept applications without any fee, if applied online. But, most have an application processing fee, which is mandatory for international students.

For UK, France and Switzerland, there is no application fee for post-graduate applicants.

Some Australian and New Zealand universities charge an application fee, whereas some overlook them.

Like US, most Canadian universities do charge an application fee, which is around the same costs as US universities.

Altogether, the average cost of applying to 4-5 universities may come to Rs 25,000 for USA and Canada and around Rs 10,000 for UK, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and France.

Scores reporting costs

Almost all US universities require TOEFL and GRE / GMAT / SAT scores to be directly reported to them in order that applications be processed. Following are the present charges for score reporting (in addition to what ETS / College Board allows free, at the time of registration)

TOEFL – $17 GRE – $23
GMAT  – $28 SAT – $ 9
IELTS   – Local center will determine the cost of additional score reporting

Tuition and fees

For Bachelor’s level, the cost of education in USA is more than for Master’s level, because of the number of credits students are expected to take, per semester.

Average cost for Bachelor’s level – $ 15,000-25,000 per year

Average cost for Master’s level (Non-MBA programs – $8,000-35,000 per year

Average cost for MBA programs – $ 15,000 – 50,000 per year

Please note that all the costs indicated are approximate and depends upon the universities and programs. These costs keep changing from one year to another. However, the average increase is around 5-10% per annum.

Tuition and fees will be around Can. $ 11,000-20,000 in Canada.

In UK, the costs could range between

In Australia, the costs are between 10,000-25,000 Aus.$, annually.

Cost of living expenditure

Cost of food, without taking other expenses like entertainment, rents etc. come to approx. $ 300 per month within USA, Canada and around the same, in other countries, in their respective currencies.

If you include other incidental expenditure like rent, entertainment and other expenses, the average could be around $ 800-1000 per month, for a single student.


Insurance is mandatory for all international students, who plan to study abroad. Depending upon the company and policy taken, the cost of insurance for a student could be around Rs 15,000 – 20,000 per year, in any of the countries being discussed.

Books and supplies

This could be anywhere between US $ 400-1200 per year, depending upon field of study and the courses chosen.

Other costs

Visa application fee, air fare and settlement expenses like deposit on room/flat, basic necessities etc. are also to be factored in while calculating the expenditure involved for studying abroad.

Presently, the application fee is Rs 4,400 for USA, Rs 5,100 for UK

Air fare could be between Rs 15,000 to 45,000 depending upon the country, season and airline.

In summary, it would be best to plan for a total expenditure of Rs 1 lakh for USA towards preliminary expenditure – including coaching costs for TOEFL, GRE etc. and an additional Rs 3-4 lakhs towards tuition and fees for one semester and living expenses for two-three initial months.

In case if bank loan or any other educational loans is available, you may not need to carry much money physically, since most payments would be taken care by the loan-granting institution. Some private education loans even pay for your living expenditure when you study abroad!

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