The Most Affordable Medical Universities Worldwide for International Students

Do you want to study medical degree and looking for the cheapest medical universities in the world for international students? You just found it.

In this article, we attempt to target two categories of prospective medical students according to their budget. The choice of a university is one of the most important decisions in the life of every student. Choosing the wrong university, especially foreign universities can have lifetime effects on your career, and that is why every student needs to consider the options carefully before committing to any. This article is intended to help medical students who seek opportunities abroad for quality and affordability.

We make no assertion that this is the perfect guide for you as a prospective medical student. We have done a good job of studying the options available to you and have compiled a number of recommendations. As earlier mentioned, there are two kinds of students in mind: (i) students on a budget who want to get the best quality they can for as little as possible, (ii) students who are financially strong and just want institutions with quality and popularity regardless of expenses.

We will begin by providing some details on at least ten of the best universities for students on a budget. These will be picked from across the seven continents of the world. These universities may not be popular at all, but they will deliver quality. Each university on the list combines quality and affordability, including the cost of living in that country.

The next part of the article will discuss the highest-ranking countries on each continent for medical degrees. These countries are picked according to the university rankings of each country. For example, if China has universities that rank in the top ten in Asia, then China will be among the countries that are seen to provide quality education in Asia. This does not mean that we recommend China. It is just an example. We are including this information for students who want to attend prestigious schools even if the cost can be insane.

The final section of this article will discuss the top 10 Medical universities in the world. We do not recommend these so-called top universities for medical students. They deliver quality that is equal, less than, or not much more than other less known institutions, yet they cost over a hundred time more just for tuition. Host cities to these universities are also too expensive to live in. We are including these institutions just for the few who, despite the irrationality of attending over-priced universities, would still prefer to go for them. For example, students on government scholarships or those that are so rich they don’t care.

Also read: 10 Reasons Why You Should Study Medicine



According to an analysis by a Foreign Exchange Company, FairFX, the first two cheapest universities for international students is in Italy. There are: Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna. There is no tuition for both EU and non-EU students of these universities. All the students have to take care of is their living expenses.

These two and other free universities are very competitive. But it is not only free universities that are affordable for international students. There are lots of other universities in Italy that charge low tuition for all students. The average tuition fee in Italy is between 850 and 1000 EUR per year for public universities. EU students pay lower than others.

About the cost of living in Italy, accommodation ranges from 200 to 300 EUR a month for students paying alone. You can live with a roommate and spend half of that amount a month. Another good accommodation option is to stay with a host family. Generally, the amount will be agreed upon between the student and the host which will usually include feeding and utility bills.

Transportation in Italy is also very affordable. Public transport will cost only 25 to 35 EUR a month. Taxis are a little more expensive. You can also rent a bike for a daily 2.5 EUR or 6 EUR a week.

In total, living expenses in Italy is between 1000 and 1,500 EUR a month. This includes accommodation, public transportation, food, local travel, and entertainment. This figure depends largely on the location. In other cities like Turin, Padua, Pisa or Bologna, the average a student spends in a month is about 550 EUR.

Also read: Top 10 International Scholarships to study Medicine


The next on our list is eight German universities. Just like in Italy, many universities in Germany are free. Paid public schools are also very cheap but for a few that charge international students some extras.

Germany is a popular destination for international students. Not only is their tuition fee lower than most European countries, but their education standard is superb, and they also have lots of scholarship opportunities for all students.

The cost of living in Germany is also cheaper than for most European countries. housing will be your highest monthly expenditure, taking about 34% of the budget. Cheaper options for international students are in residence halls and shared private apartments. Living alone will usually cost you 360 EUR/month, on-campus will cost between 150 – 240 EUR/month. Rooms are kind of difficult to secure at the students’ residence halls will only 11% of international students find on-campus accommodation. 55% of students are satisfied with the quality of accommodation in student halls. The utility can cost about 200 EUR/month for students living alone, and internet costs 27 EUR a month.

As a student, you can spend up to 170 EUR/month on food. You will spend a lot less at cheaper super markets. Dinner in a restaurant will cost about 10 EUR and a three-square meal about 45 EUR. According to a DAAD study, 10% of your expenses will go to transportation. Public transport will cost between 30 and 60 EUR a month, but you can buy or rent a bicycle at a considerably lower cost.

Overall, you can expect to spend between 600 – 1000 EUR every month. Not too bad for such cheap institutions with great qualities. Personally, I will prefer Germany.

Below is a list of low-cost German universities and high-ranking institutions with the tuition fee for each.

The average tuition for top-ranked German universities:

Also read: Top 10 German Universities to Study Medicine


Technical University of Munich, Ludwig Maximilians University, Heidelberg University, Karlsruher Institute of Technology, Humboldt University of Berlin, Free University of Berlin, RWTH University, Technical University of Berlin, University of Tubingen, Albert Ludwig University, Georg-Augusta University of Göttingen, University of Hamburg, University of Bonn, Goethe University, University of Stuttgart, Darmstadt University of Technology, and TU Dresden.


This is one of the best medical universities in Romania that teaches in English and other languages. It is well known for the outstanding medical education and research it provides. Tuition in all Romanian universities ranges between 2000 and 5000 EUR a year.

Rent can be up to 200 EUR a month in larger and more expensive cities. The figure is considerably lower with smaller cities. Food will cost a student about 310 EUR a month but can be much lower if you do not eat out too often. You can expect to spend on average $100 a month on utilities, $40 for TV and Telecom, and $45 on health insurance every month. Overall you can budget $760 a month for living expenses.


The oldest Medical College in Bangladesh, located in Dhaka, offers a five-year degree course in MBBS. Tuition is approximately $3000 a year. This university found its way onto our list because of the low cost of living in Bangladesh and the quality of education the university provides. A one bedroom flat in Dhaka costs about $152 month but considerably lowers for houses at the outskirts of the city which can go lower than $90 a month. A monthly expense on transport is about $12 and meals can be lower than $50 a month. Bangladesh is indeed an affordable country for any international student.


It is a key university in the Anhui province and one of the oldest there. It combines teaching and research to produce the best doctors and graduates.

Students can expect to pay about 750 Yuan a month on accommodation and 15 Yuan a day on food. For more information on the cost of education and living in China, check the section of this article about the top universities in Asia.


This Georgian university has graduated more than 170 thousand scientists, doctors, politicians etc. it is ranked as the second best medical university in Georgia, and among the first-class schools, by the World Health Organization (W.H.O). Tuition fee is 4500 EUR for the first year and 3500 EUR for subsequent years.

A ticket for public transport will cost only $0.2 and students who flash their student card will pay just $0.09 for a ticket. Tickets will expire in one and a half hour. Students are recommended to budget $300 – $500 a month for accommodation. The average cost of utility bills for international students is $50 a month. A kilogram each of beef, potato, and 1gel of bread will cost $2.4, quite cheap.


This is one of the cheapest medical universities on the planet for international students. Located in the city of Ternopil in Ukraine, the university was established in 1957 and has consistently ranked among the best universities in the world, according to the Ukrainian ministry of health. Its ambitions and research-oriented approach to training has seen TSMU graduate highly-skilled medical experts at par with their international peers. Over 5500 students are currently enrolled with more than 1500 international students from 53 countries. The annual tuition fee ranges from $3700 to $4100 depending on the language of instruction.

The cost of living in Ukraine is viewed widely as being affordable and a lot cheaper than in other European countries. a two-bedroom apartment in a city can go as low as $230 a month. Divide this between two people and the monthly rent will drop to $115, an incredibly cheap amount for a European country. Plus almost all universities in Ukraine have student hostels that charge from $40 to $100 a month. This is why most students in Ukraine live in hostels.

A one-way bust ticket costs between $0.4 and $0.7 and monthly pass is within 8 and 12 dollars. Expect to spend a total of $200/month living in Ukraine.


This Russian state university is one of the best and cheapest in the country and also a good option for international students looking for affordable and quality institutions to study medicine. Tuition for international students fall between $3000 and $5500 a year, and international students are allowed to work while studying.

In Russia, rent can cost between $8 and $583 a month depending on the region, location, lodging and other factors. Shopping for food will cost about $130 to $330 a month. Telecom costs around $6 a month, a T-shirt and jean will cost $5 and $21 respectively.


The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Debrecen was Central Europe’s first campus medical school. The University was officially inaugurated on October 23, 1918 and at that time consisted of four faculties: Arts, Science, Theology and Medicine.

The Faculty of Medicine became an independent University Medical School under the supervision of the Ministry of Health in 1951. Today, the Medical School has 22 departments of basic sciences and 25 clinical departments. The various fields include clinical chemistry, internal medicine, surgery, orthopaedics, radiology, neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology and pulmonology, oto-rhino-laryngology, dermatology, ophthalmology, stomatology and finally urology.

The Medical School serves as the city hospital for Debrecen, therefore students can get an all-round clinical training here. And for all this, you pay as low as 5500€uros only in tuition fees. To pay lower for your medical degree, apply for the Hungaricum Stipendium or other types of Hungary scholarship that opens at the beginning of the year.

Also read: Tuition Free Universities in Germany Taught in English


This section of the article takes a holistic look at the average amount a candidate should expect to pay for a medical degree program. We consider the average cost in Europe, America, Asia and other continents. Our analysis will only consider the most popular universities in these regions and the countries in which they are located. For any country we select, we will not be detailing a particular university. We will consider the cost of studying medicine in that country as a whole.

We will also look at the cost of living for students, the number of international students, and the cheapest university in that country. Our logic or assumption is simple: If a country managed to get a couple of their universities to rank in the world, then the quality of education in that country must be good. Universities in every country are controlled by a single organization in that country. If that organization approves a university, regardless of whether that university is globally known, it follows that the university must also be of a high standard, particularly for courses like medicine that deals with people’s lives.

The cost of a medical degree varies greatly around the world. Even within continents or regions like the Middle East, the cost of education is usually not the same. By far the most expensive countries in the world for foreign students are in America or Europe. The same goes for the cost of living. Naturally, if the cost of living in a country is high, so will the cost of education.

While some countries will boast self-declared best institutions in the world, maybe due to propaganda, every student should make deep and objective research before embarking on any international schooling. You can have medical universities in India or Malaysia graduating, on average, better medics than their counterparts in the US or Europe. Only determined and objective research has a good chance of pointing you in the right direction.

The bottom line is: as long as you will have access to good education, affordable tuition, low living cost, plus a secure and conducive learning environment, do not go for anything more than this. Obsess not over the social status of an institution around the world as most are a result of propaganda. Provided a study destination has the qualities mentioned above, it will be good for you. The media hardly says the truth about anything these days.  You need to carefully filter information and conduct thorough and objective research to assess any assertion that is not backed with sufficient proof.

Also read: 25 Things You Didn’t Know About Studying Medicine


Also read: Best Canadian Medical Schools for International Students

  1. Tsinghua University, China
  2. National University of Singapore, Singapore
  3. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
  4. University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  5. Peking University, China

Japan leads the way with 103 universities in the ranking, while China comes second with 72 ranked institutions. India is the third most represented country with 49 universities, up from 42 last year. Hong Kong is the most represented territory in the top 10, with three universities included.

The cost of a medical degree depends on tuition and other academic expenses and the living condition of a country or city. These are the best cities to study medicine due to quality, living costs, and safety.


The application fee for universities in china vary from $90 – $150 depending on the course but usually does not exceed $200 with MBBS being the most expensive. This fee also depends on the popularity of the institution in China. The tuition fee for universities in China ranges from $3300 to around $9900 a year, considerably lower than their western counterparts like in the US or UK and other European countries. The cheapest MBBS program is offered by Jiangsu University in Zhenjiang, about $3000 to $4000. This is for courses in English.


Living costs in china vary widely with your location. If your school is located in metropolitan areas like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, you should expect to spend about $700 to $800 a month. Other cities can have considerably lower costs, some from $250 to $580/month. Nevertheless, the cost of living anywhere depends on your lifestyle. Overall China is one of the cheapest countries for a student considering the quality of education relative to cost. Notably, studying in smaller cities in China will see your cost decrease by about 20% – 30%, particularly in cities in Western China. For example, cities like Xi’an, Chongqing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Changsha, Shenyang, Dalian, Qingdao, Lanzhou, Urumqi, Guiyang, will cost considerably lower for studies than cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Dalian, Guangzhou and others. In general, MBBs courses in taught in English will cost considerably higher than those in Chinese.

Also read: Top 10 Cheapest Countries to Study as an International Student


Estimates show that it will cost approximately $6000 on average to attend one of the world’s top medical schools in Singapore, and this is the lowest cost. Medical schools in Singapore cost significantly higher than those in China, but also lower than their western counterparts in most cases. National University of Singapore charges for citizens of Singapore is $10205 annually. In terms of prestige, NUS’s medical school was ranked 23rd overall by QS. Other universities like Nangang Technological University charges MBBS students $24753 yearly. Other universities in Singapore charge a lot higher than the aforementioned.

Living expenses in Singapore for students is not much different from those in Chinese cities. On average it costs about $550 to $1500 a month. Accommodation cost between $200 and $500 and varies with location, demand, facilities and number of students sharing. Utilities will cost $40 to $100 for students staying off-campus. Food will cost from $10 – $15 a day for three meals. Transportation comes at $50 depending on the distance. Full-time students enjoy discounts on public transport. Transportation will be around $50 a month, while books and stationaries can climb up to a hundred.


Tuition for international students varies with level and course of study. You can expect to spend between $11500 and $34000 annually for tuition. Accommodation provided by universities will cost $650 t0 $2000 a semester. Living off-campus will cost a lot higher. You will also need some $4000 to $6000 dollar a year for living expenses, or even less depending on your extravagance.

Hong Kong may sound cheap to live and study, but it is not. Cost of food, rent, clothing and other necessities can come on par with New York and London. However, there are significant differences in transportation costs and one can find a few remote places where a meal is really cheap. The same thing with telecom, public healthcare and other public services – they cost less than in most western countries. Student discounts are also available for most public services. In Hong Kong it is best to live in a University provided accommodation due to the convenience, cleanliness, and affordability. Transportation is ridiculously cheap in Hong Kong. It can be a good place for a student on a budget. Plus Hong Kong has reputable universities. Take advantage of the discounts offered at museums, cinemas, transport companies, restaurants and some retail outlets by showing your student ID. If you run into financial difficulties, contact the international office or student affairs office of you institution for assistance.


National universities in South Korea cost less than private universities for obvious reasons.  Public universities cost from £1400 to £3200 per semester with medical courses being at the top. Private universities charge something between £2100 and £4300 a semester. The average annual tuition at the 16 internationally ranked universities in Seoul is US$6800 in a semester.

Accommodation in South Korea can be cheap and expensive depending on where you live. For private accommodation, you can spend between $266 and $1700 a month with substantial personal deposits required by some landlords. An alternative to private accommodation is the hasukjip, a kind of boarding house. They vary from $300 to $500 monthly. Food in most universities is affordable. Some cafeterias can go as low as $2.5 a meal. According to estimates by the South Korean government, the cost of food for students per month is $300 if they predominantly use the university’s catering. There is also a mandatory healthcare insurance of $20 per month, internet will cost $30 per month and bus fare costs around $1 for each journey.


These are the top five medical universities in Europe according to Times Higher Education 2019.

  1. ETH Zurich, Switzerland (ranked 11th worldwide)
  2. LMU Munich, Germany (ranked 32nd worldwide)
  3. Karolina Institute Sweden (ranked 40th worldwide)
  4. Technical University of Munich, Germany (ranked 44th worldwide)
  5. Heidelberg University Germany (ranked 47th worldwide)


Public universities in Switzerland receive significant funding from the government. They cost much less than their counterparts in the UK or USA. Tuition is the same for EU and non-EU students for both public and private universities in Switzerland except for a few universities that charge foreign students extra fees. Bachelor’s degree programs range from EUR 1600/year for other courses, to 16000EUR/year for medical courses. As a medical student in Switzerland, you should expect to pay 16,000 EUR per year. Switzerland is no place for international students of medicine. The country hardly admits international students for medical courses.

Cost of living in Switzerland is pretty high. Expect to spend between $1300 to $1800/month to pay for housing, food, transportation, tuition, and other supplies.


The cost is quite low for public universities in Germany except in Baden-Württemberg. You will pay a semester fee of EUR 250 or thereabout. However in the state of Baden-Württemberg non-EU students now need to pay fees of 3000EUR a year. Private universities will charge a lot higher. Germany is a very good study destination for medical students.

You should expect to spend about 9000 EUR every year for accommodation, food, utility bill, transportation and other expenses. Overall, Germany is a lot cheaper to live than other EU countries. There is also a yearly semester contribution that students are required to pay, usually not more than $300.


In Sweden tuition fee vary with institution and program. Fees range from $9200 to $14600. Students spend on average $77/month on textbooks. Students are also supposed to join the local student union for access to various student activities and discounts.  This fee can be anything from $5 to $36 a semester. There is also application fee of about $100. Overall, students should expect to spend on average $925. This amount can vary slightly with location.


Tuition for medical students in South Africa is pretty cheap compared to other parts of the world. The most expensive university charges around $4200. This is way higher than for any African country. The least expensive tuition is about $2100. Every other institution falls in-between. There are European countries, like Germany and Ukraine, that do not charge this much. International students are required to pay a flat course fee of $2441 even if the tuition is lower than that.

Rent is considerably cheap. It costs between $450 and $1650 for a three-bedroom flat annually. You can expect to pay higher in the cities than the suburbs. Utilities like water, gas and electricity will cost about $80 a month. Broadband and television subscriptions cost from $40 to $100, and $18 respectively. Public transport will cost between $32 and $46 a month. Average grocery bill for essentials is between $150 and $200 a month.


On average, international students will be paying between $7000 and $14000 a year to study in Egypt. Not quite a cheap place to study. Currently, Egypt has 20 public universities with 2 million enrolled students and 23 private universities with 60,000 enrolled students. Egyptian universities enjoy higher education standard than any African country except for South Africa.

How much a student will spend in Egypt depends on their lifestyle and town or city.


University of São Paulo Brazil

University of Desarrollo Chile

Pontifical Javeriana University Colombia


Brazilian public education is free up to postgraduate level for domestic and international students.  Most public universities will only charge registration fee. Private universities charge tuition depending on the course and university. Usually tuition fees cost between £1,600 and £8,200 a year. This makes it very difficult to be admitted to study medicine in Brazil.

The amount to spend on food, accommodation, utility bills and travel approximates $3000/month. Not much universities in Brazil offer student accommodation. It means a student should expect to stay in a private rented home which comes at a mighty £170 to £252 a month.


Universities in Chile have the luxury of setting their own fees, both private and public. As a result, tuition keeps increasing. International students pay on average $6300 a year as tuition, depending on the course they study. Some universities charge matriculation fee normally in the range of $250, like the Universidad de Chile.

Chile is among the most expensive countries in Latin America, thanks to a booming economy. It also has the highest standard of living in that region. Obviously the exact cost of living will depend on location and spending habits. Student on average need some $700 to $1100 monthly. A cheaper option will be to find a Chilean host family to stay with. This will often cost no more than $600 per month including all utility bills and food.


Medical courses in Colombia can cost up to $90000 a year including living expenses. This country is no option for a budget student even though they have a high education standard. Many countries such as Germany, China, Singapore and Japan can provide the same or a better quality of education for a ridiculous fraction of the cost in Colombia.


Students’ contribution to medical education is capped at $9792 a year with increases expected in the future. Tuition is estimated to rise by 270% to $37000 a year following changes on education policy in Australia.

Cost of accommodation in Australia for Hostels and Guesthouses is between $90 and $150 a week, shared rental is between $85 and $215 a week, On-campus is from $90 to $280 a week, Homestay cost about $235 to $325 a week, rental costs $165 to $440 a week, and Boarding schools between $11000 and $22000 a year. Quite pricy! Other living expenses such as groceries, restaurant, gas, electricity, phone, internet, transportation and entertainment will total $380 to $940 a week! The minimum amount you need to survive in this luxury country is $18600 a year.


Institutions in New Zealand can set their own fee. This means that what you pay will largely depend on the university of your choice. Undergraduates should expect to pay between $22000 and $32000 for a bachelor’s degree.

Living cost depends on where you choose to study and your neighborhood. The bigger or more classy your city or neighborhood, the higher you pay. You are recommended to budget between $15000 and $27000 a year. It is certainly no place for a student on a budget.


As reported by AAMC, the average cost of attending any public medical school in the US is $34,592 and $58,668 for out-of-state students in 2016 – 2017. Private schools cost significantly higher regardless of whether one is a state or out-of-state student. However, not all medical courses are that expensive. There are schools that charge as low as (US standards) $16,432 a year.

The approximated living cost in the US for a year is way over $12000. This includes your accommodation, food, travel, textbooks, clothing and entertainment. Books and study materials will cost around $500 to $1000 a year, travel will constitute $300 to $700, accommodation is between $5000 and $7500, meals should be around $2500 if you do not eat out too many times, clothes will cost you $500 annually, while personal and variable expenses will reach $2000 per year. These are conservative estimates. So if you wouldn’t want to spend this much for a medical degree, it is best to consider other options.


Universities in Canada are allowed to set their own fees. As usual, what you pay depends on the course and sometimes destination of study. International students pay about twice their Canadian counterparts – up to $20600 a year according to Statistics Canada.

The Université de Montréal estimates that international students should expect to spend a total of $11700 a year to cover for housing, food, study materials, telecommunication, and miscellaneous expenses. Provided you are very careful with spending and do not eat out too often, you should do just find on this budget.


As was mentioned in the introduction, universities in the list below are not worth the cost. They are good universities but you can get the same or even better quality studying at other universities that will only cost a fraction of the costs associated with the so-called best medical universities. Do not be surprised to discover that they are not the best in terms of quality. In fact, I suspect this is the case. Bias and media propaganda plays an important role in ranking these universities, but overall, they are still of high quality – just not as high as the propaganda would want to have us believe.

  1. Harvard University USA
  2. University of Oxford UK
  3. University of Cambridge UK
  4. Stanford University USA
  5. Johns Hopkins University USA
  6. Karolinska Institute Sweden
  7. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) USA
  8. Yale University USA
  9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) USA
  10. UCL (University College London) UK

Also read: Top 10 Cheapest Countries to Study and Work Abroad

Each of these universities will cost in the hundreds of thousands and the cost of living in the host cities very high. Go for them only if you have enough money to throw around. It does not mean that they have better qualities than other institutions. The ranking considers a lot of things, including those that have no effect on quality of education. For example, a research study shows that Germany is leading the world when it comes to producing the best doctors, and so is Israel, but they are not on our list of top ten medical schools in the world.

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