Going overseas for a cheaper college education

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by yourockglencoco, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. yourockglencoco macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2007
    Hey all,

    As a junior in high school, now's the time for me to start thinking about college. In the US, most schools that i'm looking at for a pre-med degree are about $15k for tuition and $10-15k for room and board per year. Could I potentially save a bundle by travelling to another country, like the UK, Ireland, Australia, or Germany, and earn a cheaper college degree?

  2. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    Well, if good research is the sign of a good student, you failed already.


    If its anything like it is here in the US it goes like this:

    in-state tuition = X
    out-of-state tuition = 5X
    out-of-country tuition = 5X+

    So with that in mind, you wont save much.

    now when it comes to Masters and PhDs, abroad is usually cheaper.

    but, like all higher education costs, its about where you go that really amounts to the cost.

    Oh and I forgot to mention that a weak USD$, does not make abroad education really cheap at all when you consider all costs.
  3. barr08 macrumors 65816


    Aug 9, 2006
    Boston, MA

    But yeah, I am sure whatever state you live in has a nice state school you can go to for study in whatever field you want. It is usually mad cheap too.
  4. Leareth macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    Not necessarily

    some places charge international students up to five times more than nationals for tuition.

    For example at my uni , undergrad is charged $151 per credit but international students pay $484 per credit.

    Cost of living might be less than what it is where you are or might be alot more.

    you really need to do your research on where you want to go , and if your degree is recognized by the US school where you want to do med school.
    Also some courntries do not allow international student to do complete degrees only 1 year exchanges.
  5. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    I hate to say it, but I will anyways. The education outside of the US might be of equal quality, but it will not be viewed that way when you apply to a US medical school. I suspect this is your big plan, as you indicated pre-med in your post.

    The reputation of your university, combined with how well you perform while there are both significant factors to getting into medical school (as is the MCAT, letters of rec., amongst other things).

    I would hesitate to go abroad in order to save money. There are many benefits to traveling and living abroad, but if your ultimate goal is to get into a US medical school your plan *may* backfire.
  6. mooncaine macrumors regular

    Dec 19, 2004
    You've got some research to do, and I think you're finding that this site doesn't have the answers you need.

    I was an exchange student 12 years ago in Germany, and my costs were not high. It seemed that school [Uni Mainz] was very low cost for everyone, natives and foreigners alike, but I don't know what the natives had to pay. I can't recall figures now, but I remember realizing it was cheaper, lots cheaper, per credit there than at Georgia State University, which doesn't charge much and cost even less then [before the HOPE scholarship affected enrollment rates and boosted GSU's number of students].

    I was on an exchange program -- just one year.

    The point of my story is that things differ from place to place, and from time to time, and you'll just have to do your research on particular schools and their locations.
  7. jng macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007
    Wow, looks like you failed Sdashiki due to bad research! :p

    It really depends on the country and studying abroad can be easier and cheaper. Getting a PhD abroad can be much cheaper because you're paid to go there (TAing required and/or research required).

    Anyway, I know several people who have gone abroad for their undergraduate education even.

    There are several things to look at:
    • Your grades / Intellectual Ability
      It's more difficult to get into a foreign school in general. Many universities are subsidized by their countries, whether formally or via research grants. That being said, there is an incentive to educate one's own first, especially on the margin. Therefore, you should be of high academic caliber if you want to get into a foreign university, especially the highly reputable ones.

      Secondly, intellectual ability comes into play here because you may be studying in a foreign language (you mentioned Germany).

    • Potential Financial Aid, Income
      Whether or not it'd be cheaper to go abroad also depends on your family's income situation. You're likely only to benefit if you're in the middle income bracket (in which case you're screwed by financial aid and you expect to take massive loans) or if you're in the upper class bracket (forget about aid).

      Apply to schools at home of course, because you never know what academic aid you might receive.

      Don't expect for much aid from a foreign university.

    • Reputation and future career plans
      Where do you want to be a doctor? Make sure that whatever University you choose they are reputable and that a bachelors in degree x will count as a bachelors in degree x equivalent here. That being said, don't go majoring in something random like pottery of the 18th century (completely made up but I've seen some random majors in Germany).

      Also FYI, no such thing as a pre med major. Just pick something you enjoy and can do well and excel at it. I've seen English majors or Engineering majors go to Med School. If anything it makes your application more interesting.

      Reputation also matters depending on where you want to be a doctor. An Indian medical school degree might not be recognized in the United States, for example. Less pertinent to you and if you're just looking at Undergrad.

      But seriously, I think it's the med school education that will drown you in debt, not the undergrad.
    • Example: A friend of mine just finished her Undergraduate at Oxford, with each year totalling about $25,000 (including moving costs and yearly round trip air fair), which was cheaper than staying at home because she's upper middle class and got screwed by financial aid at home. Plus it's Oxford!
  8. jng macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007
    People plan too much for med school, as a friend of mine is currently intently doing.

    Don't worry about it too much. If you really want to go abroad (for the sake of going abroad, not for saving money), then do it.

    Also, I generally advise that people don't apply to med school right away anyway. Get your education abroad, do something different than every other med school applicant out there, and the results may surprise you.
  9. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2007
    If you are planning to go to med school why are you worried about a little cost difference? Lets say you save $5-15K over the four years... is that going to make that much difference when you have $100-200K in debt after med school? Just take out loans for your undergrad and pay them back when you are pulling in lots of money as a doctor.

    Now if you want to go overseas to school for other reasons, that is completely valid.
  10. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2005
    Manchester UK
    http://education.guardian.co.uk/students/internationalstudents/story/0,,2106523,00.html - juding by the numbers in this article you don't want to come to the UK to save money (You get about $2 for every £1 if you want to Americanise it).

    As a UK native I payed about £1100 a year for University (thats about $2200) but there is no way you will get it that cheap now, especially as a foreign student. Even UK natives are now having to pay 3 times what I did and I only graduated 1 year ago.

    Education is expensive, but I would highly recommend it. You do get very good value for money.
  11. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    London Town
    I'm sure this has already been said, but with the weak US $, and the strong British £, as well as the fact that outside EU students are getting charged more and more each year in UK universities, and then factoring in travel between the UK and US for holidays, etc, then it appears that studying in the UK is no longer a particuarly cheap option for US students.
  12. it5five macrumors 65816


    May 31, 2006
    New York
    Exactly. A lot of places in Europe have cheap education since the government subsidizes it. It costs very little for students (even international) to go to school in France. A few hundred Euros for tuition. The problem is housing there; there isn't much university housing unless you get accepted for a scholarship.
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    It's essentially free in Germany, even for foreigners, I believe.

    No, it's not really much cheaper to get a PhD abroad. This is coming from someone who's doing that now. ;)

    I don't know how much being a PhD costs in America, but I'm assuming that by paying around $17500 USD per year in tuition, this isn't considered cheap. For locals, it's essentially free, so I do pay out the ass. I get a scholarship, but it's only around $21500 per year. If I stayed in Canada, tuition would have been cheaper........not free, but much cheaper

    For an international student, it would have cost me 13500 quid to do it at one of the London unis (this was several years ago), and they would have given me a £15500 scholarship, if I remember correctly. For local students, I think it would have cost around £3k or £4k per year.
  14. jng macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2007
    500 Euros per semester is standard tuition now, as of this past academic year.

    Housing, other fees (health insurance is req.), etc. are extra.

    AbstractWhere are you doing your PhD? And in what subject?

    One of my friends is doing a PhD in Political Science and has to pay, but because he's doing research and TAing, it really is negligible (tuition + fees). All he has to do is pay for part of his housing.

    Another one of my friends is going to do theoretical phsyics and is getting paid. He'll be making money actually. =/

    It can be cheaper, depedning on what kind of program you're enrolled in, in the States at least. I know very few people who are pursuing PhDs abroad (not including England).
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Medical Radiation Physics......and no, the tuition for International Students (in almost any country) is generally so high that it offsets the amount made by TA'ing and such, regardless of the course/subject you're researching. Then there's rent, food, entertaining yourself, etc.

    Yes, I know. I said it's "essentially" free. They're just covering administrative costs and other such things. Housing still needs to be paid for, but that's it. I considered going to Germany, but it probably wasn't as good.
  16. cleanup macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
  17. eMac4ever macrumors regular


    Nov 26, 2005
  18. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    May 15, 2007
    I'm where I need to be
    Having done this kind of research myself in the past, I've noticed that many government funded universities in western Europe, of the ones I looked at were very low cost. Many of them didn't charge hardly anything of domestic or foreign students. The catch is that you have to of course get in... since the high school diploma is not equivalent to, for example Germany's Abitur, you have to have an additional 1-2 years of college here in the United States, depending on your course level. Another thing is getting a student visa. To get a student visa you have to show proof that you can financially support yourself for your entire course of study. They base this on a average per month number... lets say its $1,500 for every month you'll be studying. You can't count money earned working because most student visas limit you to about 20 hours a week of work. Hope I explained it decently enough and was of at least a little help :)
  19. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    Outside of the English speaking countries, you're going to have to do your degree in another language. Are you capable of doing that? Like others have said, you'll also have to factor in travel costs back to the US and if you plan on working to pay for some of your degree, you may be limited in the hours you can work or for that matter the type of work you can do.

    It's a great way of gaining global experience and I highly recommend study abroad. But, for it all to work out, you need to do your homework before hand. Make sure the degree will transfer, the coursework will be recognized, etc.

    Good luck!
  20. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    This is definitely worth looking at seriously. At least two states (Michigan and California) have internationally known and prestigious medical schools. Of course, Michigan is not particularly cheaper than going to a private school. :rolleyes: But especially at the undergraduate level, there are many states, particularly in the midwest and west coast, that have very palatable state schools for undergraduate degrees. I went to a state school (Michigan) as an undergrzd, and I'm in my doctoral program at another state school (University of Florida) now (although it was not my home state before starting this program, and a fellowship pays my tuition anyway).

    The other thing to consider regarding medical school is that, if you're willing to make sacrifices in terms of your first few years of practice (e.g. serving an underserved population), you can often get state or other agencies to pay most of your loans off anyway. I think in the end it will be more lucrative than going abroad. Particularly also in terms of your whole credential stack if you want to be in a specialty practice area.
  21. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I want to know what the hell he is looking at to get the 20-30k/year for the cost of school (including living expensise) because I pay less than $15k a year to cover everything for school)

    I also want to know why he is not looking to an instated school for the undergrad. Really hate to tell you this but the school you go to is not as imporatent as you think it is for undergrad heck it really does not matter. MAYBE for graduated lv work yes but for undergrad it just not as important where you go and considering the common undergrad degree for premed is biology... most school offer that. (there is no degree call pre-med. Med school is a graduated degree and general to get in you require an undergrad degree.)

    Plus be careful about limiting your self to medical school. Get a undergrad degree that can open more doors for you if you choose not to go to med school. A lot of the time the common undergrad degree is not going to be useful for much else other than med school.
  22. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
  23. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Apr 10, 2003
    The "Garden" state
    From Smartmoney

    This is an interesting analysis of when and why it can be more appropriate to study abroad. You should look at the requirements here for grad degrees to make sure whatever you study abroad applies to it, and if you have any money saved by relatives, etc in a 529 or coverdell account make sure the school you end up in abroad qualifies.
  24. M3G4 macrumors regular

    May 4, 2007
    Kent, UK
    Just a warning coming from a UK university, I was looking at overseas student fee's, they're A LOT higher than mine (me being a UK native :))

    Weigh up the pro's and con's, the UK has some outstanding educational institutions, but I'm pretty sure the US does too, and for cheaper. The dollar is much weaker against the british pound sterling than it used to be, however, I have no gauge of how expensive education where you are can cost.

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