Incredibly Affordable Master’s Programs in 8 Expensive Cities/States

The thought of joining an international college has crossed all our minds at least once. And why wouldn’t it? The thought itself is so fascinating; so imagine, how the real experience can be. Well, exploring new places and receiving education from the top academic institutions is something that we all desire as a student. However, not all of us get to live that dream. While the admission requirements are often too high to get past, the cost of living and studying in those places aren’t quite favorable as well. Unfortunately, most of the top institutes in the world are located in some of the most expensive places across the globe.

Expensive Cities

Well, it can be little disheartening for anyone to realise that their desires are going to remain unfulfilled. While a majority of the students swallow the bitter pill, there are several students who make it by acquiring a scholarship or by taking a good amount of bank. But what if I tell you that there are some incredibly cheap master’s degrees that you can pursue even in the most expensive states in the world? Sounds a bit oxymoronic, right? Well, the living expenses can be high in these particular places. However, you won’t have to think about the course fees if you enrol yourself in one of the master’s programs that are exceptionally affordable.

So if you still have the desire to live and pursue higher studies in one of the top countries in the world, you must know that there are ways to fulfill that dream, even if you are little short on your budget. Well, to cover the living expenses you may have to get a bank loan, which has become much simpler in today’s date, or perhaps you can apply for a scholarship that covers your living expenses as well as your tuition fees. The option of working part-time in those countries is also wide open which help thousands of international students sustain in those countries despite the high amount of living expenses. So here is the list of some master’s programs in the most expensive places in the world that anyone can afford.


USA is the most favorite destination for the international students from across the globe, thanks to its higher quality of education and high standard of living. The fact that the U.S. institutes get featured consistently in the list of top universities of the world doesn’t surprise anyone anymore. While the private institutes have some extremely expensive courses to offer, pursuing a study abroad program in the public university is apparently lower, and that is what you should aim for if you are a little short on the funds. Three of the most expensive states in America – Hawaii, New York, and California have quite a few public universities where you can pursue some nice and cheap master’s programs.

Hawaii is the most recent state to join the list of 50 US states. The location of this island state has made transporting the basic goods quite expensive, which explains why the place is so expensive. In fact, the energy bill is almost three times costlier than what it is in California. Despite all that facts, people willingly visit the place and some choose to stay there longer than expected. Well, Hawaii is an extremely popular destination for tourists, thanks to its amazing wildlife, scenic beauty and rich culture which make people fall in love with the place. It is also a great place to study topics like Anthropology or Natural Sciences.

There are a total of 9 schools in Hawaii where they provide a master’s degree. The University of Hawaii, Manoa is one of the cheapest universities in the state to offer master’s programs. Here you can study a variety of courses in the disciplines of Business studies, Economics, Administration Studies, Management Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication, and much more. The Master of Arts programs apparently cost lower than the science courses. The University of Phoenix, Hawaii is also among the institutions to offer cheap master’s programs in Hawaii. Here you can study Business, Nursing, Healthcare, Technology, Education, Law, Human Services, Sciences, and Communication.

Among some of the most affordable Universities in the USA, California State University North-ridge, Marshall University, Depaul University, University of Maryland, and Tulane University are worth mentioning.


The United Kingdom consists of 4 countries including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. There are a total of 69 recognized cities (as of 2015) in the entire United Kingdom, among which 51 are in England. Well, England and the rest the UK for the matter, has been a popular destination for the international students, given the fact that it has been the leader in the field of Medical Sciences for a more than a century. However, the cost of living and studying in the top cities of the UK has been a major concern for most of the students as the expenses are quite higher than the global standards. Besides, the fee structure in the UK has recently taken a hike, which makes it quite difficult for the students who aspire to join one of the study abroad programs in the United Kingdom, especially when we are talking about the most expensive cities like Oxford, Greater London or Winchester. However, there are also a few universities that offer affordable master’s programs for the native students as well as the international ones.

  • Oxford and Greater London

The city of Oxford is quite famous for being the home of the popular academic institution, the University of Oxford. Well, unfortunately, if you are a non-EU student, then you are subjected to pay more at the University of Oxford. Honestly speaking, staying and studying in Oxford can be an extremely expensive affair. On the other hand, you get plenty of options in the great city of London. There are around 40 institutions in Greater London that offer higher education to the native, EU, and non-EU students. Some of these institutions have secured top ranks in the QS top universities in the world. And the University of London is one of them.

Since there are not too many choices of institutions in Oxford, you are left with no other option than spending a good amount of money to join the study abroad programs at the University of Oxford. However, in Greater London, you have the option to choose from 40 odd institutes. The most affordable institution in London with post-graduate programs is The Royal Veterinary College where you can join courses on Veterinary Medicines. Buck New University London is the second in the list where you can get plenty of choices at the post-graduation level. Most of the courses on Arts are apparently cheaper, and on an average, they cost between £4,700 and £9,400 per year. The Royal School of Speech and Drama (an undertaking of University of London) is also among the most affordable academic institutes in London.

Apart from these institutes mentioned above, there are several institutes across the UK that are comparatively cheaper. The University of Chester, University of Bedfordshire, York St. John University, University Campus Suffolk, University of the Highlands and Islands, Newman University, and the University of Cumbria are worth mentioning.


There was a time when people used to believe that Australia is all about coral reefs and wildlife. There were so many misconceptions about the country that the international students used to think that they might get attacked by a wild animal on their way to the college if they join a study abroad program in Australia. Well, things have changed, and people have finally started to realize that Australia has much more to offer than just wildlife safari and a tour to the coral reefs. In fact, in the past few years, Australia has become one of the most preferable destinations for the overseas students. While Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide are among the most preferred cities in the country for the international students, regarding expenses the state of Western Australia tops the chart.

Covering the western third of the country, Western Australia is mainly populated in and around the city of Perth, which is also the capital of WA. Despite being the largest state in the state in the country, the population in this state is less dense than the other states in Australia. A large area of the WA state is semi-arid and unsuitable for habitation, which explains why most of the people in WA lives in the south-west portion of the state. Despite its geographical disadvantages, WA (especially Perth) enjoys the reputation of being one of the hubs of higher quality education in the country.

There are five universities in WA that are based in the larger Perth city. There are more than 134,000 students in Western Australia which include 35,000 international students. On an average, the post-graduation courses in WA cost around AU$20,000 to AU$37,000 per year. The cheapest option here is the University of Notre Dame Australia which offer masters courses at an average of AU$25,000. The Arts and Education programs are the most affordable among the lot. After University of Notre Dame Australia, there are Edith Cowan University (AU$28,000 a year) and Murdoch University (AU$29,000 per year) which offer comparatively cheaper Master’s programs.

Apart from these afore-mentioned options, there are some institutes across the country that offers cheap master’s degrees in Australia. University of New England, Southern Cross University, University of Southern Queensland, University of the Sunshine Coast, Charles Darwin University, and CQUniversity are worth mentioning.


Canada is the largest country in the North America with ten provinces and three territories, and it’s located in the northern part of the continent. It is considered one of the safest countries in the world, and it promotes a high standard of living. The weather of the country varies from one place to another since the country covers a large amount of area with five different time zones. Vancouver is a warmer place compared to other popular cities like Montreal or Toronto. The crowd in Canada consists of a multicultural and diverse population. Studying in Canada can be interesting as the people are very friendly and the standard of living is very high. However, the living expenses can be little too much in Canada, especially if you are staying in the most expensive state in the country – Ontario.

Ontario is the most populous province of Canada which is located on the east side of the country, sharing the borders with US states like New York and Michigan. It is also considered the cultural hub of the country which draws a lot of attention of the tourists. Besides, it is home to 11 of the country’s top universities, which pulls a lot of crowd in the form of international students. Although it is one of the safest and most habitable places for international students, the tuition fees in most of the universities are quite high.

However, there are a few universities in the province that offer comparatively cheaper master’s programs. The University of Western Ontario is the most affordable university in the province where the average tuition fee for a post-graduation course is between CAD12000 and CAD14000. The Macmaster University and the University of Ottawa are also there offering the post-graduation courses at an annual tuition fee of CAD14000 – CAD16000. Subjects like Social Sciences, Humanities, Design, Education, mostly the Master’s of Arts disciplines are among the cheapest in Ontario, Canada.

Besides the aforementioned universities there are some other universities across the country which offer much cheaper masters programs. The Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of Saskatchewan, Simon Fraser University and Athabasca University are worth mentioning. In fact, the average tuition fees at the Memorial University of Newfoundland are 1,700 CAD per year.

New Zealand

If a student wants to settle in the island country of New Zealand, they have plenty of options in their hands. The crime rates are considerably low in New Zealand, and the natural beauty of the land can make anyone go head over heels. Both the islands (North and South) of New Zealand offer moderate maritime climate and temperature. One of the best things about the country is that if a student is visiting the country for the first time, it will take less than a week for the student to make good friends on the campus or in the locality where he/she may choose to live. In the recent times, eight universities in New Zealand have made it to the QS World University Rankings, which has caused an increase in the number of enrollments of overseas students in the country’s top universities. Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, and Dunedin are some of the most preferred Kiwi cities for the international students. However, living in Auckland can be quite an expensive affair.

Among the 16 regions in the island country of New Zealand, Auckland is the most expensive one to live in. As you might have guessed, the region is based on the largest urban area of the nation, the Auckland city. Around 34% of the nation’s population resides in Auckland; however, it is also the second smallest land are in the country. Being the home to one of the top universities in the world, Auckland sees a huge crowd of international students every year. The University of Auckland currently holds 82nd position in the QS World University Ranking and it offers a variety of master’s degrees in the disciplines of Art studies, Business Studies, Engineering, Law, Management, Economics, Design, Journalism and Mass Communication, Natural Sciences, Technology, Sports, Commerce, and many more. The Auckland University of Technology is the second largest university in the country, with three campuses in Auckland region.

Now coming to the tuition fees of the post-graduation courses at the universities in Auckland, the course offered at the University of Auckland is apparently cheaper than the most of the top universities around the world. In fact, it is the fifth most affordable university in the country. The fee structure at the University of Auckland is based on points. Among the available post-graduation courses, the study of Arts, Education, Music, Teaching, and Theology are the most affordable ones. Those courses cost around NZ$32,400 a year is quite reasonable, given the standard of expenses in the region. Being a public university, the course fees are comparatively lower than what it is at the private institutes.

Apart from the University of Auckland, there are several other universities in the country that offer master’s programs at an affordable price. Some of them are the University of Canterbury, Massey University, and Lincoln University (New Zealand).


In the past 20 years, UAE has seen a lot of changes. It has emerged as one of the most beautiful countries in the Gulf region and has also its name as one of the most potential countries in the field of global economy. A huge investment in the tourism industry has also helped the country enhance its elegance which was already blessed with natural beauty. The endless white sand, turquoise seas and the huge desert attracts a lot of tourists each year. Its welcoming environment, interesting cultural influence and architectural brilliance make people come back to the land time and again. The job opportunities in the country have also been able to pull a huge crowd of international students in the recent past, and it continues to do so. However, the living expenses are way too high in the UAE which makes it quite difficult for the overseas students to pursue their higher studies in this middle-eastern country.

Dubai is undoubtedly the most popular city (and an emirate) in the United Arab Emirates, and the statistics show that it is the most expensive one as well. It is also the most populous city in the country since the job opportunities, and the standard of living is much higher than any other cities in the UAE. The spectacular architecture of the skyscrapers and other significant monuments gives the city a sophisticated outlook which can put some of the most popular European cities to shame. The higher education institutes in Dubai are also making some amazing contribution in the field of global education, which is one of the reasons why the international students are showing a lot of interests in joining a study abroad program in Dubai.

There are five public and 58 private institutes in Dubai that offer higher education to the native students as well as the overseas ones. The public universities are more affordable than the private ones, and despite being the most expensive city in the country, some of these universities can offer some cheap post-graduation courses for the international students. The Canadian University of Dubai is the most affordable university in the UAE. The MBA courses in CUD university costs around 93,000 AED a year which is comparatively lower than the other universities in the region. The Al Ghurair University and the British University in Dubai are also among the cheapest universities in the country.

The expense of living and studying in Dubai or any other city in the UAE can cost you a huge amount of money. The aforementioned options are comparatively cheaper, but they can still cost a considerable amount of fund.


Singapore is one of wealthiest countries in the South East Asia, and there are a number of reasons to fall in love with this country. World-class zoos, historical structures, luxurious hotels, amazing food: all in a place that is 4,716 times smaller than India. Singapore definitely is one of the places that prove the statement: Size doesn’t matter. In fact, the wildlife, the parks, its urban lifestyle, the cultural diversity and its delicious cuisines can make anyone a fan of this island city-state. There are five major publicly funded autonomous universities in Singapore which offer a number of master’s programs to the students (native and international), but it is important to remember that Singapore is the wealthiest and the most expensive city in the world.

Among the six local universities which offer master’s degree courses in Singapore, Nanyang Technological University is considered the most affordable one. The courses apart from Accountancy, Business, Computing, Computer Engineering and Renaissance Engineering in NTU cost around S$17,400 annually, while the master’s programs in Medicine at NTU can cost around S$70,000 a year. The Singapore Management University and the National University of Singapore are also among the cheaper options in the most expensive city of the World.


Among the Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia is surely one of the most beautiful ones. The fascinating fact about the country is their diversity. On the one hand you can explore modern cities and fast lifestyle; on the other hand, you can enjoy colonial architecture, beautiful beaches and go a jungle safari through the lush green. It also offers a diverse culture that has the influence of Chinese and Indian cultures. The Orang Asli people, who are indigenous to the land makes up 12 percent of the total population. The capital Kuala Lumpur is the capital of the country, and it is the largest and most expensive region of Malaysia. However, Malaysia has the reputation of being one of the most affordable countries to study abroad.

Kuala Lumpur is the economic, cultural and financial centre of Malaysia and the home of Malaysian King. Kuala Lumpur is one of the three territories of Malaysia enclaved within the state of Selangor. Although it’s the most expensive region in the country, Kuala Lumpur has been noted as the best student city in the world (QS Rankings, 2016) in terms of affordability. The living expenses in the city are around MYR 12,000-18,000 a year on an average, which is simply unimaginable. In terms of education, Kuala Lumpur has been one of the leading study destinations in the Southeast Asiatic region. Kuala Lumpur is home to the top three Malaysian universities which have gotten ranked by QS.

The annual tuition fees at the Malaysian higher education institutes are apparently the cheapest in the world. On an average, a student needs to pay around MYR 17,000 a year, and the most interesting part of the fee structure is that some of the courses are even cheaper than that. Universiti Malaya (UM) is the best institute in the country which offers numerous masters and bachelor’s degrees in various disciplines. Each of the post-graduate programs at UM is exceptionally cheap, especially the courses on Education and Arts studies. The International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) are also among the Kuala Lumpur’s top higher education institutes, which offer affordable masters degrees.

 If you are willing to live in one of these states (or cities, or province) which are excessively expensive, you need to ensure that you have enough funds to support your living expenses. The master’s degree courses that we have mentioned in the text are perhaps quite cheap, but they can still cost you some considerable amount of money. So do your research properly before joining a study abroad program, especially when you are thinking of some of the most expensive areas in the world.

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