It costs nearly 7 times less to study in these two countries compared to the U.S.

Germany and Sweden are the most affordable countries to attend university, according to an analysis by FairFX.

Putting together the average cost of tuition with the average cost of living, the UK-based currency service calculated that it costs only around £6,700 to study in either of the two countries – nearly three times less than the cost of studying at a UK institution, which is slightly more than £18,200.  

In fact, both Germany and Sweden, as well as Finland, offer free tuition to locals and citizens of European Union member nations.

Top 10 most affordable countries to study in
Country Average Tuition Fee Average Living Cost Average Total Cost
1) Germany* £331 £6,369 £6,701
2) Sweden* £13 £6,694 £6,707
3) South Africa £3,496 £3,452 £6,948
4) Finland* £88 £7,226 £7,313
5) Taiwan £2,498 £5,006 £7,503
6) Denmark £0 £8,193 £8,193
7) Austria £650 £7,651 £8,301
8) Belgium £741 £7,849 £8,590
9) Russia £4,665 £4,627 £9,292
10) Norway £110 £9,202 £9,313
Countries marked with an asterisk (*) don’t typically charge tuition fees, only semester/student/admin fees. Source: FairFX

FairFX looked at the top 200 institutions based on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, which have just been updated to the 2016/17 edition.

Out of the 200 universities, FairFX found that 33 of them offer either free tuition or fees below £500, meaning that students at these institutions only have to worry about living expenses.

South Africa and Finland are also among the most affordable countries to study in, coming in at third and fourth respectively with combined average tuition and living costs of just £6,948 and £7,313 a year.

On the other end, the U.S. was found to be the most expensive country, costing an average annual total of up to £45,700, followed by Australia and New Zealand, which cost £31,265 and £28,912 respectively, while the UK comes in at sixth place with £18,227.

Top 10 most expensive countries to study in
Country Average Tuition Fee Average Living Cost Average Annual Cost
1) United States £31,296 £14,403 £45,699
2) Australia £18,611 £12,654 £31,265
3) New Zealand £16,905 £12,006 £28,912
4) Canada £15,732 £8,268 £24,140
5) Hong Kong £12,626 £6,336 £18,963
6) United Kingdom £8,994 £9,233 £18,227
7) Singapore £11,882 £5,796 £17,678
8) Israel £2,555 £13,932 £16,487
9) Switzerland £1,152 £14,797 £15,949
10) Japan £6,111 £8,361 £14,471
Source: FairFX

FairFX also released a list of the top 10 universities offering the best value:

Top 10 best value universities to study at
University Tuition Fee Living Cost Total Cost
1) Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (Italy) £0 £0 £0
2) Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Italy) £0 £0 £0
3) KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) £0 £4,569 £4,569
4) TU Dresden* (Germany) £346 £5,101 £5,447
5) University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) £4,392 £1,513 £5,905
6) University of Bonn* (Germany) £231 £5,696 £5,927
7) University of Münster* (Germany) £408 £5,526 £5,934
8) Free University of Berlin* (Germany) £518 £5,526 £6,043
9) University of Würzburg* (Germany) £177 £5,951 £6,127
10) Aarhus University (Denmark) £0 £6,376 £6,376
Universities marked with an asterisk (*) don’t typically charge tuition fees, only semester/student/admin fees. Source: FairFX

The top two universities which offer value for money are in Italy: Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.

Both institutions offer not only free tuition, but even give students an allowance to help cover living costs.

German universities took up half of the list, led by TU Dresden in fourth place – it doesn’t charge for tuition, only a “term contribution”, which comes up to £346 a year.

CEO of FairFX, Ian Strafford-Taylor, told the Independent that the costs for UK students to attend university are “steep” compared to other countries, which puts a “significant burden” on them to find ways to make ends meet.

“Studying abroad is certainly a viable option and we could see it becoming an alternative to taking a gap year with its opportunity to expand horizons and gain new experiences alongside an education,” he said.

Strafford-Taylor added than when considering study destinations, students should not only look at tuition fees, but also how much it costs to live comfortably.

“It’s worth taking into account trends in long-term exchange rates which will give you even more value for money,” he said.

FairFX has also made a handy Study Abroad Cost Calculator, which students can use to look at how much it’ll cost to study at a university overseas.

Image via Unsplash

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