Saturday, October 24, 2015

English Medium University Options Ranked by Cost: A Guide for the Perplexed

Over the course of my work as an English tutor, my students have often asked me about affordable study abroad options offered in English. Here is an overview of what I have discovered so far:

The United States

Delta State University, in Mississippi, is the most affordable four-year institution in the US with typical admission standards, excluding special-purpose institutions like Berea College in Kentucky, which provide free or very low cost tuition, but are extremely competitive.
A breakdown of Delta State fees and expenses is given here.
Delta State’s total cost is $17,328 per year.
The second least expensive is Minot State, which also presents a higher cost of living, as shown here.


Canada is more affordable than the US for our terms, due in part to education subsidies in certain provinces and the relatively weak Canadian dollar. The most affordable option here is Memorial University with a breakdown of expenses here.
$19,513 CAD is approximately $14,418 USD as of the 23rd of October 2015, making Canada $2,910 less expensive in US dollar terms. However, in terms of frugality, both pale in comparison to…


Although tuition in Germany is normally free, the German government requires proof of 8,000 euro per year for living expenses. Still, this is currently a quite reasonable $8,814 in USD terms. Bear in mind, however, that it is nearly impossible to live on this alone, and Germany can vary widely regarding overall cost of living: cities like in the east like Leipzig are less expensive than Berlin, which is in turn less expensive than costly cities like Munich and Frankfurt am Main.
There is a European outlier that requires less, but is not less expensive in itself…


Tuition in Finland, like Germany, is free, and the Finnish Migration Service only requires 6,720 euro per year, or currently just over $7,400 USD. However, it’s definitely not possible to live on that little by itself, given thecost of living is higher in Finland than Germany across the board. For example, take this comparison between the German city of Leipzig and Oulu, a Finnish regional center.
This makes Germany perhaps the biggest bargain in the developed world. But let’s imagine you’re in a different situation, perhaps a student from South Asia or Africa for whom even 8,000 euro is far out of reach. You have an option too…


Among the least expensive destinations for international students in the entire world, Kyrgyzstani institutions like Jalalabad State University offer costs less than half that of Germany, opening the possibility of studying abroad to those who might never afford to leave their countries otherwise. However, the educational system still carries the legacy of the Soviet period, with difficult local conditions and limited international respect. Even so, it’s the obvious answer for those who might need it most.
I hope you found this helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me: or
I double-checked some of this info using a great new research service called Wonder. You can get a free question using my invite code:

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