The cost of studying abroad really depends on your destination. The cost of living varies greatly between countries and cities, so it’s down to you to include this in your research when you’re deciding which institutions to apply to.
Costs to consider
If you’re studying for the full year you’ll pay 15% of your regular tuition fee to Essex. If you’re going abroad just for the term, you’ll be paying your regular tuition for that year. If you receive Student Finance to cover the cost of your tuition fees, this will continue as usual when you're abroad.
As an exchange student, you won’t be liable to pay any tuition fees to your university abroad. You can read more on our funding and finance page.
Health and medical insurance are often compulsory at certain destinations, usually where a visa is required to study abroad. There is more comprehensive information on Insurance further down the page.
Do the universities you’re interested in applying to have campus accommodation? If so, what are the costs? Are there compulsory meal plans included? Is accommodation guaranteed? If it isn’t guaranteed or there isn't accommodation available, what private housing is available? What is the average cost of renting a room? Factor in paying any deposits too.
We don’t recommend booking any flights until you have official confirmation from your host university, and you have successfully passed the second year, progressing to your third year of studies. Sometimes this means that you can’t book your flights far in advance, meaning that the cheapest deals are often gone. Depending on the time of year, and the destination, flight prices can vary. If you’re travelling further afield, particularly outside Europe, this is something to consider.
Depending on the passport you hold and your study abroad destination, you may need a visa to study abroad. Visa application costs can vary between countries and many often require the submission of financial evidence to prove that you can afford to live and support yourself for the duration of your time in the country. You should research these costs to avoid any nasty surprises.
If you hold a UK passport you will need to apply for a visa to enter the EU. This can be a long process and you need to start your visa application as early as possible.
This is one of the most important costs to consider when applying to study abroad. If you require a visa to study abroad, you are often required to provide evidence of how you will financially support yourself whilst abroad and a specific figure will be given. The amount can vary greatly between countries, institutions, and how long your study abroad programme is. You need to show you have access to the required amount of funds, most institutions/embassies accept confirmation of student finance loans and financial support from parents/friends/relatives, but it is important to make sure you definitely have this support available to you.
If you’re unable to prove financial evidence to the amount they request, the embassy won’t issue your visa and you won’t be able to study abroad. Do not get caught out. Do thorough research beforehand. Check the institution's guidelines so you are aware of the funds you would need to prove you have available to you at the point of applying to study abroad. If you don’t think you can reach this amount, do not apply for that university.
There is more information on Financial Evidence in our Moodle course.
Campus accommodation offered at some institutions abroad sometimes has compulsory meal plans as part of the package. This is an important additional cost to be aware of. Factor this into your research and see if this applies to the universities you’re interested in.
How to fund your studies abroad
- Student Finance
- Scholarships and bursaries
- Contributions from family/friends
After reading the information above, use our blank budget template to work out how much you can spend. Complete one for each institution not necessarily each country (if you apply to universities in different countries) as costs can vary from city to city, institution to institution, particularly when insurance cost and accommodation is involved.