10 Most Affordable Cities For Students In The World

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Before traveling to another country for a study abroad program, it is best to check out the most affordable cities for students in the world. This will give you an insight into the most affordable cities where you can get top-notch education.

In this guide, I’ll show you the most affordable cities for students in the world. This ranking is an approximation based on Mercer Cost of Living Survey and Best Student Cities index

Most Affordable Cities for Students in the World

If you are an international student looking for an affordable study abroad destination, below are the most affordable cities for students in the world to opt for.

Hsinchu, Taiwan

Hsinchu, Taiwan
Image credit Asian Wanderlust

For most international students looking for a study abroad destination, Taiwan is barely on their considerable study abroad destination. But if you are the type that is looking for a not too busy city to study abroad that is affordable, you won’t make a mistake by opting for Hsinchu.

Hsinchu boasts as the second city laying claim to the title ‘The Windy City’ (after Chicago). Holding the 10th position of the most affordable cities for students in the world and 68th overall in QS Best Student Cities index, Hsinchu is an am zing study abroad destination for international students who wants to study in a less populated and safe city in Taiwan.

The city also has two highly rated universities featured in top 250 of the QS World University Rankings in 2020. The universities that hold the position are: National Tsing Hua University and National Chiao Tung University. And with tuition fee of about US$2,900 per year, what more can be expected from one of the most affordable cities for students in the world?

Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg
Image credit: Culture Trip

The only African city on the 10 most affordable cities for students in the world is Johannesburg.  This sunny city is ranked 78th overall in the Best Student Cities index, and holds the ninth position worldwide for the most affordable cities for students in the world. Individuals in the cities can expect to pay US$471 in rent per month for one bedroom.

The tuition fees of universities in Johannesburg is very affordable, with international students paying an approximately US$2,300 per annum. The city also boasts of two universities in the top 550 best universities in the world rankings.

Manila, Philippines

Most affordable cities for students - Manila
Image credit: Budget Your Trip

Manila is the capital city of Philippines and one of the oldest cities that has been in existence in the world. Manila is ranked 85th in the Best Student Cities index, and the 108th out of 209 in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey. Overall, the city is ranked the eight position in the world’s most affordable cities in the world for students.

As you would expect from a capital city from a renowned country like Philippines, Manila boasts of four excellent universities in the world out of top 356 universities in the world according to QS World University Rankings, which is led by the popular University of Philippines.

With most of the top universities in Manila offering top-quality education to their students, the tuition fees are remarkably low. With US$2,400 tuition fees per annum, you can get an outstanding education experience in Manila.

Bangalore, India

Bangalore
Image credit: Culture Trip

With a comparatively low tuition fee compared to other most affordable cities for students on this list (except Wroclaw, which offers free tuition), Bangalore is an amazing cheap study abroad destination.

The university ranks 81st on Best Student Cities index, with an eye-catching cheap tuition fee of US$100 per annum on average. The living costs in Banglore are also extremely low, with one bedroom apartment in the city center only costing US$250 monthly on average.

Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Bangalore Thapar University are two of the top universities that Bangalore boasts of in the world’s high rated university rankings.  The city also ranks highly in both the employer activity indicator and student view indicator, which means that the employability rate of graduates from the city is high across the world.

Novosibirsk, Russia

Novosibirsk
Image credit: Britannica

Novosibirsk is Russia’s third largest city, packed full of parks and tree lined avenues. The city is also one of the major manufacturing and administrative center in Russia.

According to the Best Student Cities index, Novosibirsk ranks 92nd by climbing six places from its previous ranking. The city is among the most affordable cities for students, with tuition fees averaging at US$2,600 annually for international students. The living cost is also considerable low as compared to other affordable cities in the country.

Tomsk, Russia

Tomsk
Image credit: Brodyaga

Along with fellow Russia cities St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk, Tomsk holds the fourth position of the most affordable cities for students.

Tomsk is known as the ‘cultural capital of Siberia’ from 1960s, when it was filled with writers, film directors, and artists, and is still known as a major scientific, educational, and innovation center today in Siberia. The leading institutions in Tomsk are also affordable, with international student tuition fees costing an average of US$2,600 annually.

St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg
Image credit: Russia Beyond

After Moscow, St. Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia, with inhabitants of over five million people. According to Best Student Cities  index, St. Petersburg ranks 66th position. And it also holds joint fourth position in the affordability indicator, with tuition fees costing an average of US$2,600 annually from its three leading universities.

If you are interested in studying in this amazing city, the cost of living is 28.2 percent cheaper that the nation’s capital, Moscow. And apart from being renowned as one of the most affordable cities for students in the world, St. Petersburg has also gained popularity among students, with an improvement in the student view indicator.

Wroclaw, Poland

Wroclaw

Wroclaw is a new entry in the Best Student Cities index and ranks 108th on the list, and no doubt the city is one of the most affordable cities for students in the world. With the tuition free education that is offered to citizens or international students who which to enroll in programs taught in Polish, the only expenditures to consider is the costs of living. The cost of living in the city is also low, costing an average of US$597 for a single person living in the city center.

If you wish to study English taught program in the city, the tuition fee is also relatively low as compared to other universities in the most affordable cities for students.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur
Image credit: Kuala Lumpur

Since 2017 up until this year’s ranking, Kuala Lumpur ranks the second in the most affordable cities for students in the world. The city is the capital and largest city in Malaysia.

According to the Best Student Cities index, the city holds the 29th position, making it one of the most popular study abroad destinations in Asia.

Malaysia boasts of five highly ranked universities in the world, with the tuition fee costing an average of only US$2,500 annually for international students.  The living cost is also fairly affordable, costing an average of US$568 per month.  And according to Mercer Cost of Living Survey, Kula Lumpur ranks the 141st out of 209 countries in terms of expenses.

Also read – 10 Most Affordable Countries to Study Abroad

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest
Image credit: Budapest – Ticketbar

Budapest powers over three million inhabitants in the city, and also boasts of three world leading universities. Hungary’s capital holds the first position once again as the most affordable city for students in the world.

If you wish to study in Budapest, the annual tuition fee for international students cost US$1,400. This is much cheaper than universities in most affordable cities for students in the world.

Conclusion

Going for one of the most affordable cities for students in the world as your study abroad destination will help cut costs, and it is the best decision to make when you don’t have deep pockets to cover your study abroad expenses.

Hat’s it on today’s guide on 10 most affordable cities for students in the world.

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