“When I applied to university, I faced a dilemma. The schools I wanted to go to were unaffordable, and the schools I could afford to go to were boring, nearby state schools. I didn’t want to spend the next 4 years of my life 30 minutes from my home. I wanted to get out and see the world. Those goals seemed incompatible—but they weren’t. After ruling out expensive private or out-of-state schools, I looked abroad. I ended up going to the University of Hong Kong, where I got a degree in International Business for about $21,000. That’s the cost of a semester at a private school, or one year at an out-of-state school.”
“The United States has great schools and studying in America is not at all a bad thing,” Webb told us. “But it’s shocking how much more affordable education is in other developed countries. Even top universities in comparable countries like Britain can be tens of thousands of dollars cheaper.”
The Cost of College Outside of the U.S.In the States, college students pay about $38,000 per year on tuition alone for a private university. For a public, four-year school, it’s still pretty expensive, at about $24,000. As an in-state resident at a public school, you still pay almost $10,000.
In Some Countries, Tuition Is Free
How Employers View Foreign Degrees
Some Degrees Are Better Overseas
Before practicing in the U.S., dentists with a foreign degree typically have to attend a two- or three-year program at a U.S. dental school, which can cost more than $100,000, including living expenses. For doctors, being able to practice in the U.S. requires passing a series of medical licensing exams and participating in an American residency program. While it’s possible to secure a residency in the U.S. as a graduate of a foreign medical school, it’s typically tougher than with a degree from an American medical school.
Research the School’s Reputation
“It’s a mixed bag,” Webb says. “Top foreign schools like Cambridge or Beijing University are well known and respected by international companies, but many smaller schools will be largely unknown. There are a few worldwide rankings of schools that can help you decide. The Times Higher Education and QS World Rankingsare two popular ones. If you’re not certain about a school don’t hesitate to contact other international students who are studying there. If you don’t hear good things, or there aren’t any international students there now, that is a big warning sign.”
Other Costs to Consider
“I think the primary barrier is psychological. Most people don’t want to leave home, and many Americans have never really considered leaving the country for anything but a vacation,” Webb says. “But given how much money you can save and what an adventure you’ll have, it’s totally worth it.”