7 Best Places to Study Abroad for the Cost-Savvy

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If you’re a bargain-hunter in search of international adventure, you’ve come to the right place. At IES Abroad, we know that study abroad doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve put together a list of the seven best (and cheapest!) places to study abroad, so that you can have the educational adventure of a lifetime while staying under budget.

1. Shanghai, China

Shanghai’s low cost of living makes this city an ideal place to study abroad on a budget. With cheap food (and lots of it!), you’ll try adventurous, new cuisine, and save money while you’re at it. (Tip: Our study abroad in Shanghai programs are some of our most affordable ones, too.)

2. Quito, Ecuador

Imagine exploring Quito’s vibrant neighborhoods, admiring the beautiful colonial Spanish architecture, and visiting the city’s Museum of Culture. You’ll do all of this – and more! – for free when you study abroad in Quito. Plus, because Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar, it’s super simple for you to make and follow a budget. Check out all of our study abroad Ecuador programs.

3. Cape Town, South Africa

If you have an adventurous soul, Cape Town is the place to study abroad. With mountains, beaches, and more at your fingertips, every day is a free adventure to explore this scenic city. On our study abroad Cape Town programs, you experience all that Cape Town has to offer – without spending a dime! And, did we mention that South Africa has a low cost of living? This means you’ll be enjoying more for less.

4. Berlin, Germany

As one of the cheapest cities in Europe, studying abroad in Berlin is a no brainer for the cost-savvy traveler. Plus, our study abroad Berlin programs include our International Affairs & Security Studies Program, which offers 12 credits for 12 weeks. Not to toot our own horn, but that is a deal that can’t be beat.

5. Madrid, Spain

Like Berlin, Madrid is one of the cheapest cities in Europe. Plus, Madrid is full of beautiful parks and plazas for you to meander to your heart’s content for free. Oh, and did we mention the tapas? Delicious and easy on the wallet – you get the most bang for your buck in Madrid.

Bonus: Madrid is centrally located, making it easy and inexpensive to explore the rest of this diverse country. If you’re full of wanderlust, but traveling on a budget, Madrid is the study abroad destination for you. Check out all of our study abroad Madrid programs.

6. Beijing, China

Beijing’s low cost of living makes the city an affordable study abroad option. Be sure to check out our programs available during the semester and summer if you're ready to study abroad in Beijing

7. Rabat, Morocco

Rabat is rich in cultural heritage and diversity, and its low cost of living and favorable exchange rate makes it an ideal location for an immersive and inexpensive study abroad Morocco experience. Plus, Rabat offers plenty of activities that won’t break your bank, from art galleries and museums to cultural festivals held throughout the year. In Rabat, there is plenty to keep you busy while on track with your budget.

Plus, our Europe & the Muslim World: Granada & Rabat Program is a highly-affordable option, offering 12 credits for 12 weeks. Study abroad in two cities for the price of one? Sounds good to us!

While we’ve listed seven affordable study abroad destinations, we know that there’s a lot more to deciding where to study abroad. We’re here to help you figure it out. Discover the best place to study abroad for you based on your hobbies, interests, and more.