Studying Abroad: How much will it cost? Here are estimates for 5 countries

Study Abroad Cost by Country: Experts weigh in on budgeting for a degree abroad and whether you should worry about currency values and visa timelines.

Studying Abroad: How much will it cost? Here are estimates for 5 countries Study abroad destinations such as Australia, Canada are seeing longer waiting periods for visa (source: Shutterstock)
Atul Krishna | Dec 8, 2022 - 10:18 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: In 2021-2022, Indian students spent more than USD 5.16 billion for studies abroad, according to a report by the Reserve Bank of India. Moreover, the number of students aiming to study abroad is increasing by 50 to 60 percent according to education consultancies. This is despite the depreciation of the Indian rupee compared to US dollars, the global economic downturn and visa issues recorded in many countries.

Experts have attributed this increase to many factors, a primary one being countries becoming more accepting of international students and granting more visas than ever before.

“There are a lot of things that we can attribute this to. Primarily, you would see that the destination markets, governments such as the US, Australia or others, are positioning themselves as ideal destinations for international students. So, because of the competition of getting the best and the right students, they’re extending themselves and opening up the markets a whole lot. What that is doing is that it is naturally creating more options for students,” said Karunn Kandoi, head of operations (India) at ApplyBoard, an international education technology platform. “Governments are openly creating a sort of, I shouldn’t say targets, but an estimate on the number of students that they want to bring in a few years. This is also encouraging the institutions to actually go out and look for those students.”

Some of these changes can be attributed to the reliance on international students’ fees for certain universities. The Guardian has reported the UK Parliament’s public accounts committee (PAC) saying that some universities are heavily reliant on overseas students’ fees, using that income to cross-subsidise research and other activities.

Currency values

The fluctuations in currency values are not significant enough to prompt Indian students to rethink their decisions.

“Students don’t really make decisions on the basis of the currency exchange value. That is only six to seven percent fluctuation on average. The cost is a factor in the decision but it’s not the top criterion. Quite often they consider this exchange towards the end when they complete degree,” said Piyush Agarwal, director of Abroad Education Consultants.

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“There is no dip in the quantum of people going to foreign universities or any visa issues. The study abroad market is booming. You take a loan in India and get a job in America, you will always have the upper hand. And the higher education courses in foreign universities are done with long-time purview,” said Vibha Kagzi, founder and CEO of ReachIvy.com.

Experts said that students are more concerned with better part-time work opportunities and stay-back possibilities.

“Students are more concerned with job opportunities and stay-back opportunities. Whichever country offers a better stay-back opportunity they would consider that country. In terms of the preferences, they are the same,” said Agarwal.

Student visa issues

Due to the surge in international students world-wide, most countries are also facing a back-log of visa issues.

“Australia is still a popular destination but there is a backlog of visa applications. So, this is one of the few factors that is affecting students’ decisions like the longer waiting periods for visa in Canada and Australia. The visa success rate in Canada is dropping whereas the success rate in the UK is picking up,” said Agarwal. “Canada is currently recruiting for September 2023. The UK is recruiting for January 2023. If a student is keen to go abroad, they probably do not want to wait for the next nine months. If they are neutral towards the destinations then they will pick up the UK,” said Agarwal.

Also Read| Nearly 2 lakh Indian students enrolled in US universities in 2021-22, a 19% increase: Report

However, some experts believe that this will not affect the overall student migration trends yet. “If I applied for a visa in Canada and I realise that the waiting time is five months and I start another application in Australia, it will still take me time to do research, find out the right school that will accept my offer, then all that process would happen. When I get to these activities, it will end up taking a similar amount of time. So because of that we do not see a shift yet,” said Kandoi. “What might happen from the next round is that students will start to realise visa processing time is already high in Canada and they might apply to a couple of other countries.”

Study abroad cost comparison

Despite this, students will be expected to spend around Rs 30-32 lakh per annum for studying abroad, regardless of the country. This would include Rs 15-20 lakh on tuition fees and Rs 10-12 lakh on living costs.

“The tuition fees in the US would cost you around Rs 12-13 lakh per annum, depending on the university. In Canada, if you get into a community college, it might cost you around Rs 9 - 10 lakh. In UK, it would be around Rs 12 -14 lakh for tuition fees. In Australia, it would be around Rs 14 lakh. The average living costs for each of these countries would be around Rs 10-12 lakh per annum,” said Agarwal.

Given below is a breakdown of the approximate costs that a student will have to bear during their studies abroad in select countries, as shared by a consultancy, Abhinav Immigration Services. The value in rupees is as per conversion rates prevailing on November 26, 2022.

Cost of studying in UK

Factors

Average Cost (Pounds)

Average cost (Rupees)

Tuition Fee

11,400 per annum

9.7 lakhs per annum

Accommodation

500 to 700 per month

42,500-60,000 per month

Food, groceries

100 to 200 per month

8,500 to 17,000 per month

Transportation

30 to 40 per month

2,500 to 3,400 per month

Household Bills

40 to 50 per month

3,400 to 4,200 per month

Miscellaneous

200 to 300 per month

17,000 to 25,500 per month


Cost of studying in Canada

Factors

Average Cost (CAD)

Average cost (Rupees)

Tuition Fees

35,000 per annum

18,84,000 per annum

Flight Expense

1,600 per flight

97,500

Study Permit Fees

200

11,000

Work Permit Fees

210

11,500

IELTS Fees

-

14,700

Accommodation

5,000 to 10,000

2.7 lakhs to 5.4 lakhs per annum

Travel Costs

80 to 110 per month

4,800 to 6,700 per month

Health Insurance

300 to 800

18,200 to 48,800 per month

Food

300 to 400

18,200 to 24,400


Cost of studying in Australia

Factors

Average Cost (AUD)

Average Cost (Rupees)

Tuition Fees

18,000 per year

10 lakh per year

Study Visa Fees

630

34,800

Accommodation

440 to 1,100 per month

24,300 to 60,600 per month

Travel Costs

30 to 70 per month

1,650 to 3,800 per month

Health Insurance

609 to 3438

33,500 to 1.9 lakh

Food

500 to 1,000 per month

27,500 to 55,000 per month


Cost of studying in USA for Indian students

Factors

Average Cost (USD)

Average Cost (Rupees)

Tuition Fees

50,000 per annum

40 lakh per annum

Study Visa Fees

510

40,000

Accommodation

9,800 to 11,100 per year

8 lakh to 9 lakh per year

Health Insurance

500 to 1,000 annually

27,500 to 55,000

Food

150 to 200 per month

8,200 to 11,000 per month


Cost of studying in Germany

Factors

Average Cost (Euros)

Average Cost (Rupees)

Tuition Fees

3,000 per year

2.5 lakh per year

Study Visa Fees

75

6,300

Accommodation

250 to 750 per month

21,200 to 64,000 per month

Health Insurance

105 to 111per month

9,000 to 9,400 per month

Transportation

30 to 90 per month

2,500 to 7,600 per month

Food

50 to 150 per month

4,200 to 12,800 per month

Source: All estimates provided by Ajay Sharma, president and founder, Abhinav Immigration Services

Even though public universities in Germany don’t have tuition fees, the living expenses can be substantial.


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