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Study Abroad on a Budget?

January 2, 2015

Does anyone have tips for study abroad options for those on a tight budget?

3 Answers


It is certainly possible to study abroad without spending too much. Of course certain fees like airplane tickets are unavoidable (although even then, careful and thorough searching may save you a few hundred), but others are more variable.

Consider if you could possibly participate in a less expensive program, or perhaps opt for cheaper housing options if available. If these factors are also beyond your control, it is still possible to cut costs in other ways. Be mindful of your daily expenditures, often regarding food. On the weekend, consider activity related costs: instead of going to the bar both Friday and Saturday, maybe you could choose just one. Or perhaps instead of watching a movie or concert, you could consider going to the park or strolling through a scenic neighborhood. I know some programs have week-long breaks for students to travel, but that doesn’t necessarily mean traveling all the way to Shanghai or Xi’an. There’s probably plenty to do where you are, or close by. All in all studying aborad certainly isn’t cost-free but then not much in life really is. However with a bit of planning and tracking I do think it’s possible to spend less and still come out of China with a great experience.

Another thing to consider is looking into scholarship options! There are many funding options available, from merit and need-based scholarships to Chinese government funded scholarships!

Best of luck, and know that if China is your goal, there are many less expensive, non-traditional options for students on a tight budget to pursue!


Studying in China is a great choice for someone on a budget because the cost of living is low compared to other countries. At Tsinghua University where I studied abroad, the average cost of a meal on campus was about 10 yuan or $1.60! Of course campus food is cheaper than outside restaurants, but generally China is affordable.

Also look into your school’s financial aid and scholarships as mentioned above. There are actually many scholarships for those studying in China and learning Mandarin!


We do our best to keep the prices as low as we can while helping students out as much as possible. Heading to a second tier city also helps. For instance TFSU in Tianjin is US$4,240 for a semester of tuition and double dorm accommodation.

Get in touch if you have any questions, we’re genuinely here to help!