Cheapest Countries to Get a College Education

Spending a semester or year studying in another country has become a rite of passage for many American college students. Besides an immersion into a host country’s culture, history, politics, and cuisine, U.S. students can explore neighboring countries as well as gain a different perspective on America during their time abroad.

As great as the opportunity is to study overseas, some countries are more affordable for students, domestic and international, who are under pressure to stretch their dollars, pounds, or euros. (In the U.S., these are the cities where a college education pays off the most.)

To determine the cheapest countries to get a college education, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed cost components from Global Student Costs, a report compiled by DealA, a Singapore-based free coupon website for online shoppers. For each country, DealA averaged normalized scores given to each cost component, arriving at an overall student cost score, with those with higher numbers being less expensive.

Of the 12 countries on our list, Turkey and Poland are the two most affordable options. 

Turkey has the lowest annual living expenses of any country on the list at $5,838, which is more than $2,400 less than second-least expensive Malaysia. Turkey’s university accommodation cost of $42 annually is by far the lowest of any nation on the list. Turkey is astride Europe and Asia and has a rich culture and one of the most interesting histories of any country. 

Poland is a very good deal for students as well. Its monthly transportation pass cost is $9.30, the only country whose costs are below $10. Poland’s average university accommodation expense is $167 per year, the second-lowest of any country on the list. Among its institutions of higher learning is Jagiellonian University in Cracow, the oldest university in Poland, founded in 1364. (These are the oldest universities in the world.)

As for other incentives to study elsewhere, Germany, Austria, and Finland have no minimum public undergraduate tuition fees for international students. 

Click here to see the cheapest country to get a college education
Click here to read our detailed methodology

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