Allan E. Goodman is the president and chief executive of the ‘institute of international education’ and Stacie Nevadomski Berdan is an international careers expert. As co-authors of the book ‘a student guide to study abroad’, they proclaimed that “studying abroad is the most effective means for students to develop needed skills because it pushes a student to get out of their comfort zone, and experience another culture, language, environment, and education system.” This statement couldn’t be more accurate as both studying and travel broadens the mind, allowing us to appreciate difference and diversity first hand.
Now before you pack your bags to study abroad, it is important to understand the varying expenses involved. These can include the cost of the education itself, your opportunity costs of living abroad, and your general living costs. This article will focus on living costs, highlighting just how much, it can vary from country to country.
The following table will break down student living costs into a few subcategories, with a final total being presented in USD. This enables us to rank the destinations from most costly to least costly, allowing for some interesting comparisons.
The table above compares some of the most popular destinations to study abroad, ranging from Europe to the Americas and to the Asian Pacific. The student living costs in the UK, USA and Australia are approximately double that of Singapore’s and Hong Kong’s. With all of the housing, food & drinks, transport, and recreation & culture costs being far higher, we can now see how the living costs disparity is down to an array of sectors in the country’s economy. This living cost differential could be the difference between staying in a sound financial position while on your foreign exchange experience verse really struggling for every last dollar. Additionally, there’s an abundance of quality schools and universities in every country listed above. The resultant lack of fears regarding a quality education makes studying in a country with low costs of living an even more attractive proposition.
The simple fact of the matter is, most people do not have access to unlimited funds, when travelling and studying abroad. Therefore they will need to carefully consider each potential travel destination on a range of factors, with particular importance given to living costs. Hopefully, this article can help guide you to make a more informed decision. Good luck, and have a safe and enjoyable journey abroad.