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Average Cost of Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is an experience that will stand to you for the rest of your life. It sets you up for an international career and helps you to establish your global network through the friends, lecturers and work experiences that you’ll have along the way. While gaining an international qualification is an investment in your future, it’s always a good idea to have a solid understanding of what the cost of that investment may be. We’ve put together a guide to the costs of studying abroad in Ireland and the UK, including Foundation Programme, University tuition fees, accommodation expenses, living expenses and much more.

It’s important to note that Ireland uses the Euro (€) currency, whereas the UK uses the Pound Stirling (£). The exchange rate is approximately €1 : £0.85 at January 2020.

Tuition Fees

The tuition fees you pay will vary depending on where you choose to study and what programme you are studying. Degrees with labs included tend to be at the higher end of the scale and Medicine degrees in Ireland and the UK are usually a lot higher in fees. Below is a outline of the estimated costs of tuition fees for international students.

Annual Tuition FeesIrelandUK
Foundation Programme€10,000 – €18,000£15,000 – £25,000
Undergraduate€10,000 – €20,000£9,000 – £20,000
Medicine€45,000 – €55,000£35,000 – £38,000 per year
Masters€11,000 – €20,000£13,000 – £25,000

In addition to tuition fees, there may be additional fees to pay to your college or institution such as bank charges, examination fees, course materials/textbooks and medical insurance.

DIFC student accommodation

Cost of Accommodation

There are a variety of accommodation options for international students, but it is important to note that in some cities demand is very high. Therefore, privately rented accommodation options may be in short supply. Accommodation options include independent student accommodation complexes, on-campus accommodation, homestay and private rentals.

Many of the larger student accommodation complexes will require the full year to be paid in advance, however options such as homestay and private rentals can be paid on the monthly basis.

Monthly Accommodation CostsIrelandUK
On-Campus Accommodation€900 – €1,300£400 – £800
Student Accommodation Complex€1,100 – €1,300£500 – £2,000
Homestay€700 – €800£500 – £600
Private Room Rental€550 – €1,000£500 – £900

Transport Costs

The easiest way for students to get around in any city is by public transport.

In Ireland, students can get discounted fares if they have a Student Leap Card . These cards are loaded with credit and then you scan them when you get on and off any bus / commuter rail services in Ireland. The fare is automatically deducted from your Leap Card account. The card also entitles you to discounts in other stores. In most cities in Ireland, student leap card travel is capped at €30 per week.

In the UK, student travel costs can be from as little at £10 per week, depending on how close you live to campus.

Visa Costs

In Ireland, students who need to apply for a visa before they travel, need to pay a visa application fee of €100. Following arrival in Ireland, all international students must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) and pay a €300 registration fee. Details on applying for a visa to study in Ireland are available from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.

In the UK. students applying for a visa to study for up to 11 months must pay an application fee of £322 – £839 depending on where you apply. Furthermore, a health surcharge of £150.

Previously international students applying for UK visas in the UK could previously go to their local post office to upload documents and provide biometric data, they must now attend one of just six “core centres” across the country that offer a free service, or another 51 that charge a fee starting from £60.

Further information about UK study visas is available on

Other Living Expenses

Your usual living costs would include food, utilities (if in private accommodation), clothes, medical, mobile phone and entertainment. Generally, we would recommend budgeting around €350 – €500 per month to cover all other living expenses in Ireland and around £300 – £400 in the UK.

An Investment In Your Future

When you look at all the separate costs of studying abroad, it all adds up very quickly. But, the important thing to remember is that the cost of studying abroad is worth it! It is an investment that will pay back for years to come – not only for your future career, but you development as an independent person, the global friendships and connects you’ll make and the personal experiences you’ll have.


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