Study Abroad Countries That Are a Steal for US Students
US students have never been had a reputation for being avid study abroad participants. It’s not surprising, given that there are over 3,000 colleges and universities to choose from in the States alone. That’s a lot of options when it comes to courses of study, geographic regions, and even choosing between a city or rural backdrop. But still, the pull to travel and explore the world is hitting more and more students. In 2015, over 300,000 US students studied abroad for academic credit, while another 22,000 did non-credit hours (like internships and volunteering). That’s 1 in 10 undergraduate students – a steady increase from years past.
But with the strong dollar, you can find some pretty good bargains for students who’ve always wanted to study abroad but haven’t yet pulled the trigger. These countries are currently a steal for US students who want to study abroad.
1. The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is the second highest choice for study abroad students around the world. In 2015, they welcomed nearly half a million students from around the world, many from the U.S. For American students, Britain is an obvious choice because of the ease of transitioning to life in another English speaking country. But even aside from that, the UK is chock full of history, cultural institutions, and not to mention, some of the most prestigious universities in the world. You can browse through many of them here.
Normally, the UK isn’t a great bargain for US students as the pound is usually pretty strong against the dollar. You still won’t save a ton of money studying in the UK, but if it’s something you’ve always wanted to do (and for many US students, it is), now is definitely the time to do it given the favorable exchange rate due to the Brexit vote this past summer.
Germany has risen in prominence as a great destination for international students, given its openness towards international communities and vibrant cities like Berlin, where students from around the world enjoy world-class cultural institutions, cheap housing, and affordable university tuition. In fact, if you’re studying for your undergrad degree at a public university in Germany, you won’t pay any tuition fees – even as an international student. That reason alone is one of the driving factors pushing students interested in studying abroad to the popular European country.
As far as cost of living goes, despite Germany using the euro, the monthly cost of living for many students in cities like Berlin tops out at around $1,000 USD per month – and often comes in below that.
Spain is currently a bargain for US travelers, and for students wanting to study there, it’s the same deal. Madrid and Barcelona are world class cities that have a low cost of living, a huge variety of cultural institutions, and excellent universities such as the University of Barcelona. Plus, you can brush up on your Spanish skills. Culturally, Spain has a lot of offer US students such as the beautiful coastline in Barcelona and the bustling city life of Madrid. But there are also more low-key options for students in cities like Valencia, Granada, and Malaga.
The cost of living is also affordable for students studying in spain. If student housing isn’t an option, finding an apartment to share with other students can be a great option and won’t set you back nearly as much as it would in a comparable city in the States.
When most people think about studying abroad, they tend to gravitate towards Western Europe. But looking further east, you can actually find great deals at universities in Australia. Australia is not only home to some of the most breathtaking scenery you’ll ever see (we’re looking at you, Great Barrier Reef and the Great and the Pinnacle Desert), but it’s also got some of the world’s highest ranking universities.
And once you get yourself to Australia (admittedly, the flight there and back isn’t the cheapest) the cost of living for students isn’t bad at all. The Australian government requires all international students to provide proof of funds to pay for a year’s worth of living expenses for student visa approval, which is capped at $19,830 Australian dollars (or about $15,000 USD), which works out to about $1,250 per month.
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