The children of expats often have more of an international outlook on life and mrany chose to go to university in a country other than where they were born, but it can cost a lot more in some locations than others.

Research suggest that staying in the country where you have been born is likely to work out cheaper, although in some instances it can be cheaper for foreign students than locals.

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The research shows that universities in New York are the most expensive, followed by San Francisco, Sydney and London. Also in the top 10 costliest are Manchester, Toronto, Amsterdam, Madrid, Paris, Milan and Berlin.

These cities cost the most when tauition fees, accommodation and cost of living are taken into account, according to the research by international real estate firm Savills.

The monthly cost in New York amounts to just over US$5,000 of which less than $1,000 goes on the cost of living, around $1,000 on the cost of accommodation and the rest on tuition fees. San Francisco also has a high cost in terms of tuition fees, slightly cheaper accommodation and around the same in terms of cost of living.

The cost in Sydney is just over $4,000 in total with the cost of living taking up around $700, accommodation just under $1,000 and the rest going on tuition fees, while in London the overall cost is just under $4,000 with accommodation higher at around $1,000.

At the other end of the spectrum it is much cheaper to study in Berlin, Germany. There are not tuition fees, which means that the overall monthly cost is just over $1,000 with half of that going on accommodation and the rest on the cost of living.

Tuition fees are low in Madrid, Paris and Milan for students from these countries, accounting for only a few hundred dollars a month. Overall student living and accommodation costs in London are as expensive as those in New York and Sydney at around $2,000 per month, but double the cost of Amsterdam, Berlin and Milan.

But prospective students need to do their sums. Once tuition fees are factored in, for example, London is cheaper to foreign students than the United States and Australia.

Both the UK and the US are popular with international students seeking the best education. This is no surprise as London has the most number of universities in the top 50 of The Times university rankings with Imperial College, University College London, the London School of Economics and Kings College.

Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Durham, USA all have two universities each in the top 50. Beijing also has two, while Oxford and Cambridge are also ranked.

The Savills report suggests that cities such as London need to provide more affordable student accommodation if they are not to become havens for the very rich.

"London is one of the world’s most important centres of education. It is host to the largest number of highest ranking universities in the world and more than 360,000 higher education students,"the report says. "Some 27% of higher education students in London are from outside the UK. The capital accounts for 17% of the total UK student population, but 23% of the country’s foreign student population.

"While London enjoys an unrivaled reputation as a global centre of higher education and this esteemed standing will continue to see it attract students from around the globe, in order to avoid it becoming the preserve of the wealthy more must be done to expand student housing into lower value markets."