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The world’s most expensive study destinations

Students who wish to study abroad have to consider more than just tuition fees, as living expenses often account for the bigger part of the overall costs: accommodation, visa, health insurance, food and services… So many things prospective students and families have to consider when looking for the perfect study destination. This month, HSBC released a study looking at the average annual cost of studying abroad in 13 popular study destinations for overseas students. The information used are compiled from publicly available data and based on average tuition costs in the top 10 largest institutions in each country. The results show that Australia is the most expensive international study destination worldwide, with university fees and living expenses averaging EUR 28 800 per year. The United States and the United Kingdom are close behind (EUR 26 700 and EUR 22 700 respectively), followed by the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan (all over or close to EUR 15 000 a year). Germany, ranking number 13, is the cheapest on the list, with an annual average of EUR 4 700. Despite these significant annual costs, Australia remains one of the most popular study destinations for overseas students, together with the U.S. and the UK. According to OECD’s Education at a Glance 2013, Australia hosts more than 6 % of the world’s foreign students, placing it third after the U.S. (16% of international students) and the UK (13%). The most expensive countries for international students thus also are the most popular ones, making us wonder whether money really plays such a big role in the choice of study destination, or if quality of life, institutional reputation and language of instruction are more important?