GuidesSavings

How Much Should I Save to Study abroad?

5 Mins read

“How much should I save to study abroad?” you’re wondering. 

Before you got to this point, you had probably considered all the legal ways to leave your country and decided that studying was the most suitable option for you. 

Or, you’ve decided that you want that extra spice on your Linkedin profile when you update it with “I bagged a first-class degree from the University of Lekkingham” 🌚

There’s no school like this, don’t mind me. It’s just Lekki that went to the UK. But you get what I mean.

There are many reasons why you may have decided that studying abroad is worth the investment, and whatever your reason is, it’s likely valid.

The next step is planning your finances to ensure that you are very well prepared for all the costs involved.

That’s where this post comes in.

So how much should you save to study abroad? Well, the answer depends on a lot of factors. The two most important factors are: where you plan to study, and how long your program lasts. 

Studying abroad can be expensive, especially if you don’t have any scholarships or aids, but with the right plan, it is very feasible. This post would give you insight into what you should plan for financially as you prepare for your studies abroad.

What are the basic costs involved?

Between application, securing admission, getting visas, and actually navigating a new country as a student., you’re likely to spend on a lot of things, including application fees, agency fees, visa fees, tuition, flights, health insurance, transportation, rent, and other miscellaneous costs.

The most popular destinations for aspiring students are Canada, the USA, UK, and some countries in Europe. This piece is going to focus on the first three as they are the most popular. Some of the costs are similar regardless of destination, but others could differ, so let’s break them down based on your preferred destination.

Canada

Canada is known for its diversity in culture and fondness for immigrants, so there’s no wonder it’s a top choice for many international students. They get to meet and connect with people from many nations around the world and have access to some of the top schools on the globe.

Also, because relative to the UK and US, the cost of living based on prevalent exchange rates is not as high. Most Canadian schools also exempt Nigerians from English tests like IELTS, TOEFL, etc. So what costs should you consider if you plan to study in Canada?

College Application Fees

On average, students apply to 2-3 schools to enable them to have options and backup plans. Application fees are typically around 100 – 125 CAD per application for universities and about 70 – 90 CAD for Colleges. 

Tuition Costs

Tuition in Canada can range anywhere between 3,000 CAD to 50,000 CAD depending on your program. For undergraduate courses, it costs about 25,000 CAD on average and 18,000 CAD for postgraduate programs. However, there are many opportunities for bursaries and scholarships.

Living Costs

Living costs are approximated at 12,000 CAD per year but are also dependent on your lifestyle choices. For visa approvals, you’d basically need to have twice your tuition, for one-year post-graduate programs plus an additional 10,000 CAD per extra year (for more than one-year programs). However, if you hire an agent, they would likely advise you appropriately.

Agency Fees 

Agency fees can range between 600 – 1500 USD depending on the agency and the scope of the service they’d be offering you. Most of the agents charge in USD regardless of your destination. Sometimes the agency fees are inclusive of visa fees, but you’d need to confirm from the agent.

Miscellaneous Costs

These include flight tickets, COVID-19 related expenses like tests and accommodation for mandatory quarantine, international passport renewal, etc.

In total, you should budget about 35,000 CAD or about 15 million naira (based on prevalent exchange rates at the time of this article) for the first year.

United States of America

Most people choose to study in the US because of the array of opportunities that exist after. Many headquarters of tech companies are in the USA, so people looking to start careers in that space tilt more towards the US for study.

Many schools in the USA, unlike Canada, require Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or GMAT. They may also require English proficiency tests like IELTS and TOEFL from Nigerians which are not free to take, and as such should be considered.

College Application Fees

Many schools in the US are free to apply to, but on average, applications cost about 75 USD for each school you apply to.

Tuition Costs

Tuition in the US can range anywhere from 8,000 USD to 70,000 USD depending on the calibre of the institution, and type of program. However, like Canada, there are many opportunities for bursaries and scholarships, especially with research-based programs.

Living Costs

Living costs are estimated to cost between 10,000 to 18,000 USD depending on your lifestyle choices. In addition to your tuition, you would be required to have this amount in your proof of funds for visa approval. Again, if you have an agent, you would be guided accordingly.

Agency Fees 

Agency fees can range between 600 – 1500 USD depending on the agency and the scope of the service they’d be offering you. Most of the agents charge in USD regardless of your destination. 

Miscellaneous Costs

These include flight tickets, COVID-19 related expenses like tests and accommodation for mandatory quarantine, international passport renewal, etc. You should have a budget of 2,000 USD to cover these expenses.

In total, you should budget about 40,000 USD or 21 million naira (based on the prevalent exchange rate) for the first year.

United Kingdom

The UK is known to give admissions relatively easily when compared to other destinations. However, because of the exchange rate of pounds to naira, many international students apply for scholarships and/or bursaries – especially for research-based programs.

The most popular destinations in the UK are England and Ireland.

College Application Fees

On average, students apply to 2-3 schools to enable them to have options and backup plans. Application fees are typically around 50 – 90 pounds per application for universities and Colleges. 

Tuition Costs

Tuition in the UK, for UK and EU students, can start up to 9,000 pounds. But international students’ degrees vary and start from up to 10,000 pounds. Medical degrees can go up to 38,000 pounds. There are also many opportunities for bursaries and scholarships up to 100%.

Living Costs

For schools in London, living costs about 1,300 pounds per month. This is the amount immigration would require you to show in your proof of funds for up to 9 months. Outside London, the living costs can be around 1,000 pounds per month. Also, this can vary based on your lifestyle choices. You’re likely to find more information on the immigration website.

Agency Fees 

Agency fees can range between 600 – 1500 USD depending on the agency and the scope of the service they’d be offering you. Most of the agents charge in USD regardless of your destination. 

Miscellaneous Costs

These include flight tickets, COVID-19 related expenses like tests and accommodation for mandatory quarantine, international passport renewal, etc.

In total, you should budget about 25,000 pounds or about 16 million naira (based on prevalent exchange rates at the time of this article) for the first year.

Europe

Because of the endless opportunities to study in EU countries, this section may not be as specific. Europe has become a top choice because relatively recently, they offer international students the opportunity to study for free – zero tuition fees. However, you would still need to show that you can sustain yourself during your stay there.

A few countries you may want to look into are Norway, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Finland, and a few others. The requirements would be on their respective immigration websites.

In Conclusion

Studying abroad can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be if you prepare early enough for it. Create a long term savings plan and start saving towards it while earning juicy returns on your savings.

If you found this helpful, please share it with someone whose dream is to study abroad. You might just be making their hope come alive again.

Related articles
Money Tips

Lessons from The Smart Money Woman.

GuidesMoney Tips

The Wonderful World of Debt-Free Living: How to Get There

GuidesMoney TipsSavings

Money Lessons from Ronaldo's move to Manchester United

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *