Looking to Avoid Student Loans? Consider Heading Overseas for More Affordable College
March 31, 2014

If you’re partway through college and drowning in student loan debt, or if you’re prepping to go and worried about your financial future with the debt monkey on your back, one alternative to consider is leaving the US for school. Many countries offer drastically cheaper tuition rates while offering comparable degree programs. Here’s a look at a few affordable international alternatives to matriculating in the states that are worth considering. You’ll get your degree more affordably, plus pick up some world travel street cred and maybe even some language skills to boot if you head overseas to study.

Student going overseas

Skip the student loan debt by studying overseas

Germany – You don’t even have to sprechen sie Deutsch to attend university in Germany. English is the primary language for many degree programs and the nation is one of the most supportive communities for international students that come to learn. Many German colleges don’t charge tuition at all and those that do charge very affordable fees and charge the same for locals as internationals. The main expense to matriculating in Deutschland will be your living expenses, but you may be able to work while in school. Germany is great because public transportation is ubiquitous and cheap and most locals speak English and are very welcoming to Americans.

Australia – Colleges in Australia aren’t free, but there is a lot of financial aid available. The Australian government offers more than $200 million in scholarships annually for international students. Plus the costs of school are cheaper. Bachelors degrees down under run $14,000-$30,000. That’s not per year – that’s for the whole degree! You will still have to cover the cost of living expenses, but many scholarship programs will include that, as well. Plus, since English is the primary language, you can feel confident in your communications. Plus a Bachelor’s in Aussie land only takes three years, which further cuts your costs!

S. Korea – You may think that pursuing an education in Asia is out of reach because it’s half a world away and the languages can be a challenge to learn but, in fact, many universities in Korea (and other Asian countries) offer entire degree programs exclusively in English. They also actively encourage international students to come matriculate there and offer generous scholarships to those intrepid enough to do so. The cost of living in South Korea is comparable to the US in terms of food and standard costs, but rents are often more affordable. Room and board costs are also covered by many scholarships.

Just as international students flock to our country to study and live among Americans, many countries welcome US students and encourage us to choose their schools. If you’re interested in pursuing schooling abroad, most foreign university systems have websites dedicated to foreign students. Just don’t use an “agent” of any sort that wants to charge you to help you apply to school, find scholarships, etc. You can work directly with the foreign university and get all the info you need for free.

Even though many international schools don’t require you to know the local language prior to matriculating there, you’ll no doubt pick some up along the way, which is another selling point on your post-college resume. Even if you’re not ready to commit to a full three or four years at a foreign university, you may want to consider a year or two abroad at a more affordable college to save on your overall college costs. Plus, it can be the experience of a lifetime.

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