University Costs for Expat Kids – 5 Things You Should Know!

University Costs for Expat Kids – 5 Things You Should Know!

The party could soon be over

If you’ve been an expat for quite some time then more than likely your company funds your children’s education fees or they give you an allowance to it yourself. This situation is going to change though not because of current trends in the expat employment market. No, it is going to change when they head off to university and boy are you going to notice the difference and here’s why. University costs for expat kids can pose very different challenges to those faced by

Much depends on where they’ll be going to university and as international kids it may not be where you’re from. Even if they do then it may not be an advantage as more countries make you pay for tuition. Whilst the U.K. has reduced tuition fees for domestic & EU students, expat kids are treated as foreign students. This means that they pay the full course fees as well as living expenses.

What are you looking at?

We’ve looked at the most expensive places for kids to go to university and we have also looked at the cheapest.

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We’ve looked at the cost of studying at university now we’ll look at the quality. We are looking at the geographical breakdown of the top 100 ranked universities globally.

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The USA dominates the top 100 with over 40% of the universities. So, if you want your kids to go to a top global university they may well go there. The same goes for the UK which has 3 of the top 10 and University of Oxford ranked number one.  The fact is that almost ¾ of the top ranked global universities are based in the most expensive countries. This means that there is a good chance that your kids are looking at between £50,000 to £150,000 for their degree.

The good news is that Germany ranks number 3 in the top 100 list. Even better news is that all the German universities that made the list are public institutions. Even so there is going to be a cost though at around £25,000 one that is much more affordable.

No Regrets?

Over the past 20 years we’ve spoken to many long-term expats about their experiences living abroad. One of the questions that we always ask is do they have any regrets and what would they do differently. Without any doubt the overwhelming response is that they wished they had saved for their kids’ college/university fees. Many comment on the impact that funding these costs from their income had on them.

The likelihood is that this situation isn’t going to get any easier. Education costs are increasing faster than any other sector at between 7-10% per annum. More countries are starting to pass the cost of tuition fees onto students and sadly Germany is more of an exception than the rule.

Personally, I am a great believer in kids getting jobs whilst at university and contributing financially towards their education. It sets them on their way in life, gives them a sense of reality and achievement. Having said this I am also aware that starting out can be tough for young people today. Property prices in many countries make owning their own home more difficult than ever before. Add to this that most student loans systems are expensive charging relatively high interest rates. This leaves our children with a mountain of debt before they’ve even started.

What does it all mean?

If you’re kids go to university you’re going to have to put your hand in your pocket. The extent of how much depends on where they go. One thing for sure is that if you pay out of income it is going to have an impact on your lifestyle.

If you decide that you’re going to save then remember the following:

  • The longer you have the better so start early.
  • Leaving it so that you’ve got 5 years or less before is going to be a struggle.
  • The longer you have the more options you have.
  • If you start early enough don’t be conservative, take some risk. You’ve got time to recover.
  • If they don’t go to university you can always spend it!

If you need help with how much you need to save then feel free to use our University Fee Calculator.

All information used in this article is from Times Higher Education (THE).

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