Top Affordable Study Abroad Destinations in Asia for 2023 – Compared to UK, USA & Canada

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2023 can be your year. These top 5 affordable study abroad destinations in Asia are some of the best options out there for international students!

Compared to Canada, the UK, and the USA, the tuition fees and living costs are cheaper in the following destinations:

#1 South Korea

South Korea is becoming one of the most popular destinations for international students. This is not surprising as this destination has its rich culture, excellent education system, affordability, amazing food, great activities, and more!

If you are thinking about studying in South Korea, you should know that learning the language can be very beneficial as it is essential for cultural integration.

Most international students start learning the language at a Korean university and then continue pursuing a degree. 

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Tuition fees in South Korea (per semester):

Private universities are more expensive than public universities. Programs like Medicine, Engineering, Pharmacy, etc, cost more than humanities programs. 

Undergraduate: The range is 2,000 – 8,000 USD depending on universities and programs ( higher for medicine) 

Postgraduate: The range can be around 2,000 – 12,000 USD. 

Language programs are more affordable. The price is usually 1,300 – 1,600 USD per 10-week semester.

Popular universities in South Korea:

  • Seoul National University
  • Yonsei University 
  • Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
  • Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)

Costs of living: 

The living costs vary, but it would be around $1,200/month, including rent. Keep in mind that the rent in South Korea is 48% less than in Canada.

Can international students work while studying in South Korea? 

Yes! With a permit, you can work up to 20 hours per week (30 hours per week on postgraduate programs).

#2 Japan

Japan is a multicultural destination with about 220,000 international students from more than 170 countries studying there! 

The education system focuses on academic achievements and other unique factors, such as human quality development. 

This is important as it prepares you to better understand the workforce and culture in Japan. 

Tuition fees in Japan: 

Undergraduate: Average is around $8,000/year but is higher for medical and pharmaceutical programs. 

Graduate: The range is $6,000 – $8,000/year.

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Popular universities in Japan:

  • Tohoku University 
  • The University of Tokyo
  • Osaka University 
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology 

Costs of living:

Japan’s living costs are considered affordable compared to places like the USA. Around $700 per month in Japan would be enough for rent, groceries, transportation, entertainment, and insurance. 

Compared to New York City, the rent prices in Tokyo are 66.81% lower. 

Can international students work while studying in Japan?

Yes! Initially, with a student visa, you won’t be allowed to work. So, you can apply for a work permit there, allowing you to work up to 28 hours a week.

#3 Hong Kong

Studying in Hong Kong is an unforgettable experience to many international students around the world! Many people described it as a unique combination of Eastern and Western cultures. 

Also, Hong Kong’s Universities offer many scholarships each year, allowing students to study at an affordable place with an excellent education system. 

And guess what? The two official languages there are Chinese and English! 

Tuition fees in Singapore: 

For undergraduate and graduate: The range can be between US$11,500 – US$34,000, depending on the program of choice and university. 

Popular universities in Hong Kong:

  • The University of Hong Kong
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Costs of living:

The average cost of living is around $1,500/month, including rent. 

Food prices in Hong Kong are very affordable! Compared to London, UK, restaurant prices in Hong Kong are 32.03% lower. 

Can international students work while studying in Hong Kong? 

Not always…

Generally, international students are not allowed to work during the study period. However, there are some exceptions.

For example, internships are allowed, or even part-time jobs that are related to their studies.

#4 Singapore

Singapore has a reputation for academic excellence across the world! It also has a rich culture of art, history, food, natural scenery, festivities, and more.

Singapore was ranked the second safest city in the world in the 2019 Safe City Index by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). 

Safety, beauty, and the fact that English is one of the official languages are all factors that attract international students.

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Tuition fees in Singapore: 

Undergraduate: The range is $14,000 – $29,000/year ( higher for MBAs). 

Popular universities in Singapore: 

  • National University of Singapore
  • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Singapore Management University
  • Singapore Institute of Technology

Costs of living:

The costs of living can be as low as $1,100/month! 

Singapore‘s restaurant prices are 21.21% lower than in Toronto.

Can international students work while studying in Singapore? 

Yes! International students are allowed to work for a maximum of 16 hours a week while studying. You must have a “Work Pass Exemption”.

What do you think of these affordable study abroad destinations in Asia? Share this content with your friends if you think it would help them achieve their dreams! 😉


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