Emma Freer, a high school senior in 2011, was not attracted to American campus culture. She didn’t like the sororities, football, and broad course requirements. Although her parents had enough money to pay for her tuition in Ohio, Emma Freer says that she knew she didn’t want Ohio State span.

The solution was to study abroad. Freer graduated in 2016 from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, with no debt and a master’s degree of English and social anthropology.

Freer states that she received a great academic education and a second education in travel, living in foreign countries, and being an outsider in a different culture. “I never regretted going to school in the U.S span>

College-bound Americans are becoming more interested in programs abroad, largely because they believe that it will be cheaper tuition.

According to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (which manages the U.K.’s public university admissions system), U.K. universities have seen a 49% increase in U.S. undergraduate applications over the past five years. According to Campus France, an agency of the French government that promotes higher education for foreign students, the number of Americans studying abroad has increased by 5% in five years. It also jumped 50% between 2020 and 2021. Since February 2021, more than two-thirds of all U.S. Google searches for “college abroad” have been conducted.

College affordability is more than tuition. Before you book your one-way flight, it is important to understand the costs involved in international education.


Jennifer Viemont, the founder of Beyond the States (a company that assists American students to find degrees in Europe), says, “The tuition is the thing that draws people in.

The cost of tuition abroad will vary depending on where you live, what country you are from and which school type. Germany for instance, has eliminated tuition fees at public universities for international students in 2014. International students can pay as much as $53,900 annually at Oxford University in England.

Students from the United States can sometimes receive federal aid, which includes loans, for international school tuition. Students can save a year on tuition and expenses by getting their undergraduate degree from a school abroad in three years instead of four.

Living costs

The cost of living in different countries and cities will affect how much you spend on housing and food.

Norway, for example, has offered tuition free of charge to students of all nationalities. However, the University of Bergen estimates that the average student should have a budget of about $1,260 per monthly to cover living expenses.

Portugal’s basic expenses are half the price. According to ISPA (Institute of Applied Psychology in Lisbon), a student will need $640 per month to make ends meet.

Exchange rates

It can be difficult to estimate the total cost of education due to fluctuating exchange rates, according Jessica Sandberg, dean for international enrollment at Duke Kunshan University. This joint venture is between Duke University in North Carolina, China’s Wuhan University and Duke University.

Freer was studying at St. Andrews when the exchange rate was not in her favour. She says, “I would work all summer saving up and then deposit the money into my Scottish account to get it almost half of what I had put in in dollars.” She says that tuition fees can fluctuate by as much as a few hundred dollars depending on when she pays her tuition.

Allow for some flexibility in your budget to accommodate exchange rate changes.

Other charges

Students must pay an annual fee for access to their national health system in many countries. Although it may be a small amount, the coverage is very generous. Viemont’s son broke the wrist in the Netherlands. There was no out-of-pocket cost.

Travel. Travel is a dream for students who have the time and money to go. Travel expenses can increase due to unexpected events, such as a sick family member. David Hawkins, founder and CEO of The University Guys in the U.K., advises that it is more costly to be financially prepared for an emergency. Some travel expenses can be reduced by using credit cards that are designed for studying abroad.

Visas. Many countries and regions require visas for students or residents. Although these aren’t usually expensive, some require “proof of financial resources,” according to Sandra Furth (certified educational planner, founder of World Student Support). For example, in the United Kingdom, you will need to have enough savings to pay tuition for the first year and living expenses for at least $11,200.

Sandberg states that “Overseas living costs can be a bit higher a la carte. That’s perhaps a blessing or a curse for young people who will have to budget and make decisions.” It can be cheaper, but it will depend on the individual’s spending habits span>

This article was written and published originally by The Associated Press by NerdWallet.