How Much Does it Cost to Study Abroad?

Studying abroad for university can be a life-changing experience that offers many academic and career benefits. For example, it allows one to immerse themselves in a new culture, learn a new language, and gain a deeper understanding of disparate customs and traditions.

This exposure alone can broaden one’s perspective and help develop cultural sensitivity, tolerance, and empathy, which are critical skills in today’s globalised economy. In addition, studying abroad also allows students to learn new perspectives, theories, and methodologies to broaden their knowledge and competence.

This, in turn, can make them more competitive in the global job market and open up new career opportunities. In addition, studying abroad provides the opportunity to network with students from around the world and build lasting professional connections.

However, it can be daunting and confusing to decide where to study abroad. This post will look at the costs of studying abroad, especially in Australia, the benefits of study-abroad programs, and how to apply for such unique opportunities.

Costs to cover when you study abroad

While studying abroad for university is an exciting and rewarding experience, it also comes with various costs that one will need to cover to ensure a successful stay. Below are some of the major expenses to consider when planning to study overseas:

Tuition fee

This is the fee you pay to the university or college for the courses you will be taking. It is the primary expense for a majority of study abroad programs. Tuition fees usually vary depending on the university and country you choose to study in. Therefore, researching and comparing tuition fees is essential to find a program that fits your budget.

Textbooks and supplies

You will probably need textbooks, stationery, and other supplies to support your studies. The cost of such items may broadly vary depending on the program and the country you choose to study in.


You will need a place to stay while studying abroad. This might be on-campus housing, a homestay arrangement, or renting an apartment. The cost of accommodation largely varies depending on the location, type of housing, and amenities.

Fortunately, some study abroad programs include accommodation costs within their upfront program fees, especially if you choose to live in a dormitory with meals provided.



Some study abroad programs include the cost of flights to the host country. However, some don’t. Beyond the major flights, you will also need to get around your host city, which will dictate drafting a transportation budget.

In fact, you’ll probably be utilising public transportation daily, as owning a car might be expensive. Nonetheless, the cost of transportation varies depending on the location and the mode of transport you choose.

Living expenses

Living expenses typically include food, clothing, utilities, and other daily expenses. It will vary depending on the host country. As such, ensure you extensively research and estimate the living expenses in the country you plan to study in.

Additional expenses

Miscellaneous costs may arise while studying abroad, such as visa fees, insurance, and travel expenses. It is important to budget for these expenses to avoid unexpected costs.

Average cost of studying abroad

The average cost of studying abroad for university varies greatly depending on the country and university you choose to attend. Remember, the cost of studying abroad also factors in other expenses such as accommodation, transportation, textbooks, and living expenses, which can significantly increase the total cost.

For example, according to a report by the Institute of International Education (IIE), the average cost of tuition and fees for an international student to study in the United States for the 2020-2021 academic year was approximately $36,000 for undergraduate programs and $28,000 for graduate programs.

Nevertheless, it’s important to note that the cost of studying abroad can dynamically vary depending on many factors, such as the country, university, program, and personal expenses. Therefore, it is essential to research and compare costs to create a realistic budget before deciding to go overseas.

How much does it cost to study abroad in Australia?

The cost of living is a major factor affecting the price of studying in ‘the Land Down Under’.

However, this cost varies depending on the region or city you plan to live in. In general, the average cost of living per month is from $1800-$3000 USD per person. This figure, however, depends on housing type (rental vs owner-occupied), room size and whether there are any other expenses, such as food bills.

At least one thing students can be sure about is that the cost of living is significantly lower than that in the United States. Furthermore, Australian universities’ tuition fees usually range between $15,000 to $40,000 per year, depending on the course and institution.

study in Australia
Photo by Anvesh

Study aboard program

If you want to head overseas for your tertiary education, UOW Australia is a great option. For example, UOW Malaysia’s study abroad program that allows students to spend a semester in Australia with local tuition fees or to fully transfer their degrees to enhance their academic and professional prospects.

UOW Malaysia students who study abroad often have the opportunity to take courses not available in Malaysia, which can broaden their knowledge and expertise in their chosen field. This may help them demonstrate to potential future employers that they are adaptable, independent, and possess cross-cultural communication skills.

Furthermore, UOW Malaysia’s semester abroad program can provide an opportunity to gain unique work experience through internships in a different cultural setting. This helps develop skills and build professional networks that can be valuable after graduation.

How to enrol in UOW’s study abroad program?

To enrol for UOW Malaysia’s study program, check out the steps detailed in this article. However, students who wish to apply directly for this student exchange program can start by completing this application form.

Tips to save money when studying abroad

Studying abroad for university can be a fun and new experience, but it can also be expensive. Here are some tips to help save money when studying abroad:

  1. Before deciding on a study abroad program, research and compare the costs of different universities and countries. Consider tuition fees, living expenses, and currency exchange rates.
  2. Many universities and organisations offer scholarships and grants to help students aiming to study abroad. You can help offset the costs of studying abroad by applying for these scholarships.
  3. Consider alternative housing options, as on-campus housing can sometimes be expensive. Alternative options such as homestays, shared apartments, or living with a roommate may help save money on accommodation.
  4. Eating out can be expensive. Instead, consider cooking your own meals to save money.
  5. Public transportation is typically cheaper than taxis or rental cars. So, consider using public transport to get around instead of renting a car or taking a taxi.
  6. Take advantage of student discounts since many local businesses around universities typically offer them.


Study abroad FAQ

Why study abroad?

Studying abroad can be a valuable investment in one’s future, as it can lead to higher earning potential and career advancement. Students will also enhance their soft skills, like cross-cultural communication, adaptability, and problem-solving, whilst gaining a global perspective on their field of study, accessing world-class resources, and gaining valuable work experience.

Where can I study abroad through UOWM?

UOW Malaysia is part of the University of Wollongong Australia Global Network. This means its students can study abroad at any university within the network in Australia, Dubai or China. There is even an option to study with UOW’s partner universities in the UK or Switzerland.

How long can I study abroad?

You can spend a semester abroad or even choose to finish the remaining duration of your course abroad if you already started a program at UOW Malaysia.

Are there any study-abroad scholarships?

Yes, several scholarships and financial aid options are available to students seeking to study abroad.

What is the accommodation like while studying abroad?

When studying abroad, there are typically three main accommodation options: homestays, apartment living, or student dorms. Homestays involve living with a local family. This option can be a good choice for those seeking a more immersive experience or needing additional support in navigating their new environment.

Apartment living provides more independence and privacy. It’s ideal for those who prefer a more autonomous lifestyle. However, renting your own place may be more expensive and may not provide as much support in navigating the local culture.

On the other hand, dorms are typically on campus and offer a range of amenities, such as common areas and organised events, and can provide a good opportunity to meet other students.

How do I obtain a visa to study abroad?

To obtain a visa to study abroad, find the exact requirements for the country and university you seek to go to. Subsequently, apply to the university, or enrol in the student mobility program. Afterwards, complete your student visa application.

Is it safe to study abroad?

Yes, it is safe to study abroad as most universities have facilities tailored to support foreign students. Furthermore, countries like Australia have friendly cultures that are inclusive to all people, making it a haven for university education.


Studying abroad for university offers a unique opportunity for students to gain a global perspective on their academic field of study. It also provides access to world-renowned experts and researchers, and different teaching methods and approaches that might not be available in one’s home country.

However, when planning to study abroad, one should carefully consider the cost of tuition fees, textbooks and supplies, accommodation, transportation, living expenses, and additional expenses. Furthermore, one should extensively research and compare costs to create a realistic budget for a successful stay abroad. We hope this article helps you with your planning process and answers any burning questions you might have had.


11 May 2023


Education and Career