The cost of studying abroad is hugely variable depending on the country, and which region of the UK you are from. Whatever your circumstances may be, don’t be deterred from studying abroad based on worries around your budget. There is funding support available to help meet your financial needs.

Tuition fees

The cost of studying at an English university is now at a record high of £9,250 per year for UK students. For English students, the opportunity to study abroad is becomingly increasingly more attractive because a degree in a different country may significantly lower their tuition fee debt.

There are a number of places across the world where international students can study for free. This includes a significant number of universities in Germany, Norway and Iceland. While it is rare for tuition to be free for English students looking to study internationally, many European countries offer degree programmes at a fraction of the price of UK tuition fees. For example, tuition fees in France are approximately €2,500 per year, while most universities in Spain charge between €750 and €2,500 per year for an undergraduate degree.

For Scottish students, tuition is free across many of the EU member states including France, Spain, Greece, Austria and Hungary. For people in Scotland looking to enter higher education without the worry of tuition debt, studying abroad is a great opportunity. However, it is unclear how much longer free tuition for Scottish students will continue now the UK is transitioning out of the EU.

Just like within Europe, the fees for studying further afield vary between countries. In Australia, international students should expect to pay around £16,000 per year for tuition, while in America, tuition can range from £5,000 to £41,000 per year.

Living expenses

Alongside budgeting for your tuition expenses, before committing to overseas study, it is essential to take the time to research the average living expenses in your new location:


Housing costs vary considerably across the world. Even within the same country, the price of housing will likely differ significantly between cities. Moreover, if you are staying in university-provided accommodation, the prices of a room may be substantially different from the price of a private flat in the city.


The price of food is also variable across the world. Generally speaking, the UK tends to have lower food prices than other countries across Europe and continentally. If you spend time researching an approximate price you should expect to pay for basic food items, this will allow you to outline your budget before you move.


Public transport rates can differ depending on the country and city you are living in. Before travelling, research the amount you should expect to pay and find out if you are required to purchase specific contactless travel cards. If you have decided to study in a country outside of Europe, it will also be necessary to budget for the cost of long-haul flights.

Can I receive funding to cover my tuition fees and living expenses?

Students undertaking a degree within the UK are entitled to a tuition fee and a maintenance loan. It is commonly assumed such financial assistance is not available for those who chose to study abroad. However, the government offer travel grants for English students studying abroad that meet a range of criteria. To find out if you may be eligible for a travel grant and how to apply, visit the government website.

In addition to government funding, there are several study abroad scholarships specially available for UK students. The Global Study Award grant up to £10,000 to applicants that can demonstrate the potential to contribute to society through their studies, while the Fulbright Award is aimed at UK students that have achieved at least a 2:1 in an undergraduate degree and wish to study in the USA for a masters or doctoral diploma. Spend some time researching the range of scholarships available to see if you may be eligible for extra financial support during your studies abroad.

It is also worth checking with your university to see if they have any scholarships, bursaries or extra funding on offer to help make sure you can make the most out of your time overseas.