Germany


Research reveals the cost of studying abroad

by Ray Clancy on November 2, 2016

The international student market is growing globally with strong growth in Australia, Germany and France while China remains the country with the largest number of students seeking to study abroad.

China has almost four times the number of students than India, the next largest and demographic forecasts suggest Nigeria and Saudi Arabia will grow in importance in the next decade, new research shows.

StudentCities in the United States are by far the most expensive in which to study and live, followed by the UK and Australia. But German cities offer exceptional value for both domestic and international students, according to the report on world student housing from international real estate company Savills.

It explains that many universities are now trying to attract more international students by offering courses taught in English and there can be fierce competition for students as they bring enormous economic benefits in terms of fees and spending.

The Netherlands leads the way in this with international students contributing to the local economy as well as the bottom line and diversity of a university. It now boasts the largest number of enrolled students in English taught programmes accounting for 57,000 or 7.2% of total student numbers.

‘International students often pay higher fees, spend more on both accommodation and living, and bring new insights and cultural perspectives to a country,’ the report says, adding that this is particularly the case if they stay on to work in the country after graduation and take their newly acquired, but overseas paid for, skills into local businesses and the economy.

‘More institutions, and countries, are recognising this value and are targeting overseas students, especially those that face a shrinking domestic university age demographic,’ the report explains.

Currently, the US and UK attract the lion’s share of international students, accounting for 19% and 10% of all globally mobile students respectively. Australia, France and Germany round off the top five, together hosting a further 17%.

The research shows that that the amount that students pay for accommodation away from home can vary widely across the world, as does tuition and general cost of living. Students in high ranking US institutions can expect to pay between $3,000 and $4,000 per month in tuition, and a further $1,000 to $1,600 for private, purpose-built accommodation, on top of monthly living costs.

London, Sydney and Melbourne follow, given high fees for international students of $2,000 to $2,400 per month and comparatively high accommodation costs. Indeed, based on purpose built student accommodation alone, London is the most expensive city at $1,600 per month, just ahead of New York at $1,580 per month.

By contrast, mainland European cities stand apart for their affordability. Living and studying in Berlin and Munich is of comparable cost to studying in Beijing and Shanghai but with even lower tuition fees. Both domestic and international students pay a nominal $20 and $30 a month in ‘semester contributions’, cost of living is low, and private accommodation usually costs less than $650 per month.

But the report points out that while certain cities have a clear affordability advantage, the reputation of an institution, the appeal of a city, the job prospects after graduation and the language in which a course is taught will often play a greater part in a student’s university choosing process.

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