10 Affordable Student Cities in 5 Countries

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From tuition fees to accommodation, transportation, and everyday expenses, there are so many factors to consider when budgeting for your international education. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to some of the most affordable student cities in five study destinations: Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

Get ready to discover some of these countries’ most affordable cities. We’ll share what makes them great places to study, to help you make the best choices for you. Plus, we’ve included a bonus section highlighting the top budget-friendly cities

Note: The figures provided in this blog are approximate estimates only and have been sourced from Expatistan and Numbeo for general reference. 

  • Where applicable, numbers have been rounded to the nearest dollar. 
  • American dollar values are provided so you can easily compare prices between global cities using one currency. 

Whether you’re into big cities or prefer cozy towns, ApplyBoard is here to support your studies there. Try our free-to-use platform today!

Affordable Places to Study in Australia

Australia is known for its gorgeous weather, sunny beaches, and laid-back vibe. If the Land Down Under is on your radar, but not the hefty price tag which can come with living there, keep on reading! We’ll be comparing the following cities below to Australia’s most popular city, Sydney.  

Gold Coast, Queensland

Gold Coast (in the state of Queensland) is home to Surfers Paradise, an entertainment hub with city skylines, sandy beaches, and an up-and-coming culinary scene. It’s also 25% cheaper than Sydney, Australia! For students considering Gold Coast as their study destination, here’s a breakdown of the expected expenses

  • One-Bedroom Apartment: A$2,067–A$2,208 per month (US$1,356–US$1,449)
  • Utilities: A$255 per month (US$167)
  • One-Way Ticket for Public Transportation: A$5 (US$3)
  • Cappuccino: A$6 (US$4) 

Perth, Australian Capital Territory

If you appreciate a laid-back lifestyle with stunning natural landscapes, then Perth, located in Western Australia, might be your best bet! Want more great news? Living there is 17% cheaper than Sydney! For students considering Perth as their study location, here are the average expected costs:

  • One-Bedroom Apartment: A$1,945–A$2,670 (US$1,277–US$1,752)
  • Utilities: A$353 (US$232)
  • One-Way Ticket for Public Transportation: A$5 (US$3)
  • Cappuccino: A$6 (US$4)

Check out Australian study courses in these affordable locations on the ApplyBoard platform!

Flag of Canada.

Affordable Places to Study in Canada

Want to study in the True North? Canada is the home of hockey, maple syrup, as well as tons of natural beauty from Niagara Falls to the Rocky Mountains. If you’re looking to get the Canadian experience without breaking the bank, consider these affordable student cities! We’ll be comparing the cities below to Toronto, Ontario. 

Moncton, New Brunswick 

With rivers, lush forests, and beaches, natural beauty is at a surplus in Moncton, New Brunswick. Best of all, the cost of living is much more affordable than Toronto—it’s a whopping 38% more affordable! Below are some of the approximate expenses in Moncton

  • One-Bedroom Apartment: C$1,107–C$1,345 per month (US$819–US$995)
  • Utilities: C$164 per month (US$121)
  • One-Way Ticket for Public Transportation: C$3 (US$2) 
  • Cappuccino: C$4 (US$3)

Regina, Saskatchewan

Get the best of both worlds in Regina, Saskatchewan, with an abundance of rich history and parks, as well as a cost of living that’s 29% cheaper than Toronto. If you can handle their cold winters, it might be worth your while to consider Regina! Students can expect to spend, on average

  • One-Bedroom Apartment: C$950–C$1,323 per month (US$703–US$979)
  • Utilities: C$304 per month (US$225)
  • One-Way Ticket for Public Transportation: C$3 (US$2)
  • Cappuccino: C$5 (US$3)

Check out 7 great Saskatchewan colleges and universities for international students on our blog. 

Flag of Ireland.

Affordable Places to Study in Ireland

Considering the Emerald Isle? Ireland (the Republic of Ireland) is the full package, from its breathtaking landscapes and excellent education system to the world-renowned technology hub in Dublin. To get in on what Ireland has to offer while keeping affordability a priority, consider the following cities compared to Dublin.

Limerick, Munster

If you appreciate fine arts and rich culture, then Limerick, Munster is calling your name! Appreciate Limerick’s beautiful scenery, friendly locals, and vibrant arts scene, while being in a place that’s 22% more affordable than Dublin. For students considering Limerick as their study destination, here’s a breakdown of the expected costs:

  • One-Bedroom Apartment: €1,375–€1,450 per month (US$1,499–US$1,580)
  • Utilities: €186 per month (US$202)
  • One-Way Ticket for Public Transportation: €2 (US$2) 
  • Cappuccino: €3 (US$4)   

Galway, Connacht 

Studying in the festival capital of Ireland means an abundance of live music, exceptional food, and being near the seaside. And even better, living there is 17% cheaper than Dublin! If you want in on the fun studying in Galway, Connacht, below is a breakdown of some of the costs.

  • One-Bedroom Apartment: €1,338–€1,545 per month (US$1,458–US$1,684)
  • Utilities: €211 per month (US$230)
  • One-Way Ticket for Public Transportation: €2 (US$2) 
  • Cappuccino: €4 (US$4)

Check out the many excellent Irish courses available on ApplyBoard

Flag of the United Kingdom.

Affordable Places to Study in the United Kingdom

With historic and world-renowned academic institutions, and a high quality of life, the United Kingdom (UK) is a top destination for international students. We don’t blame them! While the cost of living in the UK’s capital city, London, can get pricey, these other cities are about half as expensive! Check them out below.

Cardiff, Wales

Enjoy Cardiff’s castles, parks, excellent educational institutions, and job opportunities while studying abroad. You’ll also enjoy a cost of living that’s 53% cheaper than London! Students in Cardiff will have the following average expenses

  • One-Bedroom Apartment: £785–£1,010 per month (US$999–US$1,286)
  • Utilities: £290 per month (US$369)
  • One-Way Ticket for Public Transportation: £2 (US$3) 
  • Cappuccino: £3 (US$4)

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Belfast, the capital of North Ireland, is an up-and-coming city. It offers a wide range of amenities, as well as historical and famous landmarks, like the birthplace of the RMS Titanic. You can expect to save 48% on monthly expenses compared to London, England. Here are some average amounts:

  • One-Bedroom Apartment: £663–£913 per month (US$844 – US$1,162)
  • Utilities: £127 per month (US$162)
  • One-Way Ticket for Public Transportation: £3 (US$3) 
  • Cappuccino: £3 (US$4)

Planning to study in the UK? Find out how to prepare for the UK credibility interview on our blog.

Flag of the United States of America.

Affordable Places to Study in the United States

Have your sights set on the US? Its world-famous universities with cutting-edge technology make it a popular study destination for many international students! While big cities like New York or San Francisco are expensive, these affordable student cities are much more affordable in comparison. Check some of them out below! 

Springfield, Missouri

Enjoy small city living, with peaceful nature trails, and high-quality educational institutions. Choosing Springfield to study abroad means you’ll be spending 57% less than you would in New York City! Below is a breakdown of some expected costs

  • One-Bedroom Apartment: US$822–US$825 per month
  • Utilities: US$186 per month 
  • One-Way Ticket for Public Transportation: US$1
  • Cappuccino: US$4

Youngstown, Ohio

Missouri, the city of Youngstown, Ohio is similarly affordable, with a lower cost of living. With historical sights and a friendly community, you can enjoy the benefits of living in the US and stay on budget: it’s 56% cheaper to live here than in New York City

  • One-Bedroom Apartment: US$900–US$1,000 per month
  • Utilities: US$180 per month
  • Taxi Start: US$5
  • Cappuccino: US$4

Find and apply to affordable American study programs on ApplyBoard

An illustration of a blue star.

Bonus: Top Budget-Friendly Cities

  1. Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada)
  2. Moncton, New Brunswick (Canada)
  3. Springfield, Missouri (US)
  4. Youngstown, Ohio (US) 
  5. Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK) 

From Gold Coast, Australia to Regina, Canada, we hope this guide helped you discover about some affordable student cities. Best of luck on your study abroad journey! 

Whether you’re into big cities or prefer a small-town vibe, ApplyBoard is here to support you every step of the way. Try it out for yourself!

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