Students having a group study outdoors

This Is How Much It Cost To Send Your Child For An Overseas Education!

International students are welcomed by many hosting nations. In fact, it’s common for most of these countries to roll out the red carpet and green cards for international student who will eventually fit the profile that can contribute to the host country’s global competitiveness. Aside from honing their country’s future leaders and workforce (and taxpayers), the billions of dollars that these students bring into the host country in the form of tuition fees create employment, revenue, taxes and consequent social services.

It cannot be denied that the money that international students bring into their hosting nation is indeed lucrative. In 2015, the US economy alone earned $30.5 billion (1.5 trillion) according to the US Department of Commerce. Meanwhile, Australia raked in $17.5 billion (₱880 billion), and $8 (₱402 billion) to $10 billion (₱503 billion) in the UK.

Obviously, studying in countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia offers a huge leap in terms of achieving a job opportunity and income potential. Thus, for Filipinos, studying abroad is more than just seeking greater knowledge and better credentials, but it’s also an opportunity to find greener pasture.

That’s why, international students (especially those from less developed countries like the Philippines) are the ones who will benefit the most in such program. Not only will it train them to be globally competitive, but it will also open doors of opportunities that promise a brighter future.

Top overseas tertiary education destinations

For parents and students in Asia, the top three most popular destinations for overseas education are the US, the UK, and Australia. First off, the quality of tertiary education in these countries is one of the best. Studying in the US, for instance, will grant your child access to some of the best technologies and advancements that will set your child on the right career path.

In the UK, your child stands to gain from a historic tradition of world-class excellence coupled with a leading reputation for research. And in Australia, you are assured of leading your child to globally-recognised educational frameworks and qualifications that will give your child a competitive edge, wherever he or she goes.

These countries offer equally promising opportunities and are almost equally expensive, that’s why choosing the host country for your child’s studies isn’t necessarily a question of who is less expensive or more prestigious. Instead, it’s going to be a choice between which country provides the career opportunities aligned with your child’s career goals.

Cost of an undergraduate degree program

The first point of contention that you need to be able to navigate around is the cost of the undergraduate degree program that your child will be taking. Firstly, take note that these fees are higher for international students.

Second, fees vary according to the number of years that the program requires until completion. For instance, an entire program in the UK may cost less compared to the same program in Australia because the UK is able to provide programs that can be completed in three years.

The cost of an undergraduate degree program in the US depends on the type of program, as well as the college or university. For example, according to Top Universities, the average cost of studying an entire program in the US in 2016 for out-of-state students totals US$35,370 (₱1,780,348) for public colleges, and US$45,370 (₱2,283,698) for private non-profit colleges.

On the other hand, there are many undergraduate programs in the UK that your child can complete in three years, but it’s not cheap. For example, students who intend to study Mathematics at the University of Cambridge for 2018 will be paying around £21,411 (₱1,406,319). At Leeds Beckett University – which was rated as the least expensive university for international students in 2016-2017 by The Complete University Guide – the annual tuition fee for most undergraduate courses for the incoming intake year is £10,500.
According to Study in Australia, the government’s education resource for international students, the average cost of an undergraduate program in the country can go from A$15,000 (₱598,789) to A$33,000 (₱1,317,336).

Average cost (foreign currency)£10,500Public colleges - US$35,370

Private nonprofit colleges - US$45,370
A$15,000 to A$33,000
Cost in Philippine currency₱689,703Public colleges -₱1,781,763

Private nonprofit colleges - ₱2,285,513
₱598,798 to ₱1,317,357

Living expenses

Aside from the tuition and related fees, living expenses should also be calculated. These differ according to the school, city and country. The University of Cambridge, for instance, estimates that the minimum amount your child need to cover cost of living in the area for 2018-2019 is £10,310 (₱677,638). The University of Technology Sydney, on the other hand, estimates living expenses to be between A$18,876 (753,298) and A$27,872 (₱1,112,308).

Room and boarding

USAUKAustralia (Sydney)
MonthlyPublic colleges - US$672
Private colleges - US$992
£440On-campus - A$2,080

Off-campus (shared house) - A$1,075
AnnualPublic Colleges - US$10,440
Private non-profit - US$11,890
£5,280On-campus - A$24,960
Off-campus (shared house) - A$12,900
Annual cost in Philippine currencyPublic Colleges - ₱527,794.2

Private non-profit - ₱601,098.95
₱346,685.45On-campus - ₱996,485.71


Food and transportation

Food (Monthly)US$300£180A$500
Public Transport (Monthly)US$91£80A$50
Annual TotalUS$4,680£3,120A$6,000
Philippine Currency₱235,380.60₱204,900.38₱239,539.83

Note: These expenses are limited to food and transportation only.

Financial preparation

Studying abroad entails an extensive financial planning, which you can’t just do overnight or in a few months (unless you have a few hundred thousand peso lying around, of course). Despite money being a major issue when studying abroad, it’s not something that’s impossible to achieve. You just need to give yourself enough time to plan and save.

Grants and scholarships are also not uncommon for host countries who welcome international students. Typically, these are initiated by their government and can be availed through their affiliated agencies. It helps to seek consulting agencies for information of your chosen country as they usually have access to the information about scholarship and grants.

In the Philippines, there are placement agencies like IDP who conduct seminars annually. Sometimes they conduct these seminars and consultation for free. When they do it for free, most likely there is a demand for international students in the country that they represent.  Attending consultations and seminars will help you find opportunities like these easily, and can provide you information and resources that can help you prepare not just financially.

When it comes to the aspect of financial preparation it’s really going to be a challenge. That’s why saving up should be done years before the planned study of your child, unless you have access to personal loan lenders that will grant you a good enough amount which could cover a big fraction of your expenses. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s not impossible.

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Choosing a host country based on your financial capacity can be counterproductive since the financial challenge is what you will be preparing for to begin with. The preparation will take a long time, so might as well choose what’s best for you child, not what’s best for you finances.

Choose the country where your child will earn the opportunity that he or she needs and has an open market for your child’s chosen field. Selecting the right degree to study abroad is as important as deciding which country to send your child to. So, if your child already has an idea of what he or she wants to pursue, it is best to let that be the guiding post on your plan.



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