The cost of studying abroad: Tuition fees and living costs in the UK, Netherlands and Ireland

Studying abroad is an exciting opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, explore a new culture and receive a world-class education. It is a highly sought-after experience that has changed the lives of millions of students across the world.

Despite the incredible benefits that students can gain from studying abroad, it can be a costly adventure. Tuition fees, accommodation costs, transportation and even daily living expenses all need to be taken into consideration.

To help you decide if studying abroad is right for you and your wallet, we have broken down the tuition fees and living costs of 3 popular destinations: the UK, Netherlands and Ireland.

Plant growing from pot with coins

Cost of studying in the United Kingdom

Tuition Fees in the UK

Tuition fees for international students in the UK vary greatly depending on the institution you are studying at, your academic level and your chosen course.

After Brexit, students belonging to the European Union are no longer able to take advantage of student finance and must pay the standard international student fees.



Undergraduate degrees usually last for 3 years across the UK, with Scotland being an exception; here, you will need 4 years to conclude your studies. Tuition fees range from $17,000 – $45,500 per year.

Despite this, some universities have lower fees and scholarships for EU students that can lower the tuition fees to a value between 5,500£ and 12,000£.

To learn more about this, book a meeting with our student advisors.


Postgraduate tuition fees range from  $15,000 –  $36,000 per year.


Most postgraduate degrees in the UK can be completed in one year of full-time study. This provides financial and career advantages due to cheaper associated costs, as well as the ability to enter or re-enter the job market much more quicker.

Living costs in the UK

Monthly living costs include accommodation, food, transportation, textbooks and supplies, apparel, as well as entertainment. The UK has a relatively high cost of living, with an average value of $1,200 – $1,550 per month. In London, living costs are much higher, with monthly expenses typically ranging between $1,800 – $2.400.

Living costs in the UK

Cost of Studying in The Netherlands

Tuition Fees in The Netherlands

The Netherlands is one of the most popular destinations for international students due to its low tuition fees, high quality of education and English-taught courses. The fees at Dutch universities vary depending on whether the students are from the European Union or not.


Students from the EU are eligible for the same tuition fees as Dutch nationals and can study for as little as $2,430 per year. A typical undergraduate program in the Netherlands usually consists of three or four years.

Non – EU students, on the other hand, will find a heftier price tag for their studies, ranging from $6,350 to $15,880 per year.


Similar to the UK, postgraduate degrees tend to have a duration of one year if completed full-time. In this case, EU students will also pay the same price as Dutch nationals: $2,430 per year, while non-EU students will pay between $8,800 and $21,200 per year.

Living Costs in The Netherlands

The cost of living in the Netherlands is slightly lower when compared to other European countries such as England and can range between $850 – $1,600 per month. This includes rent and bills, food, transportation and entertainment expenses.

Living costs in the Netherlands

Cost of Studying in Ireland

Tuition Fees in Ireland

The Republic of Ireland is another popular destination for international students as the fees are relatively affordable, particularly for EU students, due to the Free Fees Initiative.


EU nationals do not have to pay tuition fees at public universities, but are required to pay an annual maintenance fee of a maximum $3,300. This fee varies from institution to institution and is used to fund student services such as libraries, sports facilities, clubs and societies. Non-EU students, however, are required to pay tuition fees that range from $10,400$58,200.


When it comes to postgraduate degrees, there are no differences between EU and non-EU students regarding tuition fees. Postgraduate fees range from $10,500$37,000 per year.

Living Costs in Ireland

Monthly living costs in Ireland are relatively affordable compared to other European countries and will typically range from $800 – $1,450 per month. This includes accommodation, food, transportation, textbooks and supplies, apparel, as well as entertainment expenses. Depending on where you decide to study, the type of housing and your lifestyle preferences, your cost of living will vary.

Living costs in Ireland

All the countries mentioned above offer students amazing education, cultural experiences and career opportunities. Studying abroad, however, requires financial planning in order to cover the costs of tuition fees and living expenses. To ensure a successful experience abroad, it is important to compare the different tuition fees and living costs of each destination before you decide where to study.

Hopefully, with this blog post, you have a much clearer idea of which country is the right one according to your financial needs.

For more detailed study abroad information and advice, book a meeting with one of our student advisors. Good luck with your studies!


Read other blog posts