A guide to cost of living in Europe for international students

Cost of Living in Europe

Palaces, castles, cathedrals, beaches, vineyards, architecture, culture, and art are some of the things that come to our mind when we think about Europe. One of the seven continents in the world, Europe is home to some of the oldest and prestigious universities in the world. University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Imperial College London, University College London (UCL) and ETH Zurich are among the top 10 universities in the world, as per QS World University Rankings 2023. Even a short-term course from the universities in Europe adds a lot of value to the resume of the candidates in the long run. Nevertheless, the cost of living in Europe is a matter of concern among international students. Well, it also depends on the country and the city you are living in and the university that you choose to pursue your course. For example, the cost of living in London for international students, provided they are living single, is around £3,153 per month. If you are living in Paris, you may need €3,580. 

In the article, let’s discuss three European countries; United Kingdom (UK), France, and Germany, to understand the average cost of living in European countries.

Important Link : Cost of Living for Studying Abroad

Cost of living in Europe 

To understand the cost of living in Europe for a family, let us discuss the average cost of living in the UK, France, and Germany.

United Kingdom

  1. For a family of four, the approximate monthly cost is £4,273
  2. For a couple, the monthly expenses would be £ 3,804
  3. For a student to live in the UK, the average monthly expense would be £2,542

Country-Wise Cost of Living Guides


  1. A family of four would need around €3,923 to live in France
  2. A family of two would require around €3,000 to sustain in the country
  3. A student would need around €2,034 to meet the expenses in France


  1. A family of four needs €3,947 per month to live in Germany
  2. A family of two needs € 2,800 per month
  3. A university student would require €2,144

United Kingdom

The cost of living in Europe for international students is one of the major concerns. However, when we talk about the UK, the bills will be something like this:


Halls of residence: £400 – £600 per month

Private: £320 – £530 per month

1. Food: £160 – £200 per month

2. Mobile phone: £15 – £50 per month

3. Socializing: £120 per month

4. Travel / Transport: £32 per month


In France the essentials such as accommodation and other overhead expenses can be managed by the students within these limits:


Halls of residence: 200 EUR per month

Private: Between 400 and 700 EUR per month

1. Food: Between 250 – 300 EUR per month

2. Mobile phone:28 EUR per month

3. Socializing: 200 EUR per month

4. Travel / Transport: 30 – 75 EUR per month


The maximum amount that a student can withdraw from a German blocked bank account is 861 euros. Let us see the average expenses of international students in Germany.


Private: Between €200 to €400 per month

1. Food: Between €200 to €400 per month

2. Mobile phone: Between €25 – €100per month

3. Socializing: € 61 per month

4. Travel / Transport: € 94 per month

Important Scholarships to Study Abroad:

 State Scholarship | Fulbright Scholarship | Vidya Lakshmi Portal | Narotam Sekhsaria

Living costs in the UK

While the UK is considered on the costlier side when it comes to the average rent in Europe, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that it is only at 33.03 on the rent index compared to the Switzerland that is at 54.92. On the other hand, the cost-of-living index here is 70.64 which makes it a moderately priced country to reside for studies. UK has many of the cities in Europe with low costs of living which are nearby to some of the great educational institutions. The average rent in the UK is £547 a month, which can be considerably higher in London.

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Living costs in Germany

Similar to the UK, Germany also has a moderate cost of living which is great for students who want to pursue their studies in Europe. When it comes to the cost-of-living index, Germany stands only slightly behind the UK at 67.85. The rent index here is 33.03 which is just as much as the UK. If you want to study abroad and considering coming to Germany, that is great news as it has many amazing universities and colleges however the rent is lesser. There are also some good universities where students can get educated at no tuition fees or heavily discounted tuition fees. Students can expect to pay an average of €323 a month in Germany.

Living costs in France

France is arguably one of the most beautiful and culturally rich countries where students can pursue their higher education. It has a rent index that is lower than both UK and Germany at 27.07 which is great for students looking for affordable housing. On the contrary, however, the cost-of-living index is 77.59 which is on the higher side. While comparing the cost of living in Europe for Indian students, France may come up a little on the expensive side. It is, however; much lower than the top countries in Europe for their cost-of-living. The average rent in France for students comes to €550 monthly.

Read More: Study in Europe without IELTS

Candidates who study abroad get a lot of exposure. It helps them shape up their resume in the best possible way. Europe is home to some of the best universities in the world. 

Here are the names of some of the universities mentioned along with the average tuition fees, which will give you an idea of the cost of studying in Europe.

Well-known universities in the United Kingdom

1. University of Oxford: 11,000 GBP/year

2. University of Cambridge: 10,000 – 13,000 GBP/year

3. Imperial College London: 11,000 GBP/year

4. University College London: 11,000 – 16,000 GBP/year

5. London School of Economics and Political Science: 14,000 – 18,000 GBP/year

The average tuition fee in the UK is between £9,000-9,250 for EU students at undergraduate level, for international undergraduate students outside the EU, it is £10,000. For a masters degree, the fees are between £11,000-32,000 for international students.

Universities in France

1. University of Orleans: 170 – 601 EUR/year

2. University of Strasbourg: 184 – 610 EUR/year

3. Grenoble INP Institute of Engineering Univ. Grenoble Alpes: 122 – 470 EUR/year

4. University of Burgundy: 170 – 601 EUR/year

5. École Polytechnique: 12,000 – 19,850 EUR/year

6. Paris Descartes University: 170 – 380 EUR/year        

The average cost of tuition fees for EU/EEA students for undergraduate programs at public universities are mostly around €170. For masters, the tuition fee is around €243. The tuition fees at private universities are higher.

For the non-EU/EEA students, the average tuition fees are €2,770 per year for the undergraduate programs. For masters programs, the tuition fee is around €3,770.

Some of the best universities in Germany

1. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich: 258 EUR/year

2. Heidelberg University: 20,000 EUR/year 

3. Technical University of Munich: 258 EUR/year 

4. Humboldt University of Berlin:  no tuition fees

At the undergraduate and doctoral level, tuitions fees are not charged from the students, except for Baden-Württemberg where non-EU students are charged tuition fees of €3,000 per year. For most of the non-consecutive masters programs, €20,000 is charged.

Read More: Best countries to study abroad for Indian students 

Food Cost in Europe

Food cost in Europe also varies from country to country, depending on how much you are eating out and what you are eating every day. Also, the food cost in Eastern Europe is cheaper than in Western Europe. 

For example, in Greece, you can have a delicious lunch at just 2 Euros, while it is quite expensive in Paris. If you eat fast food, it may cost around between 9-15 Euros. At the restaurants, the food price starts from 15 Euro and may go higher depending on the food you order. 

Transportation Costs in Europe

Transport costs in European countries differ from each other. There are cities in Europe with low cost of living, where the transportation cost is comparatively low. However, if we take examples of some of the well-known cities in Europe, we can find in Paris the price of a single ticket is €1.90, a single bus journey in London costs £1.55, in Berlin, you can make a monthly travel card which will cost you around €81.

Average Utilities and Bills Cost

Like everything else, the cost of living in Europe for Indian students depends on the country and city that they are living in. However, if we take examples of three countries such as the UK, France, and Germany, we can get an idea of the utility bills in these countries that one has to bear.

United Kingdom

Utility bills: £40 – £50 per month


Utility bills: 140 EUR per month


Utility bills: €220 per month


Read More: Top 9 reasons why you should study in Europe | Guide to settle in Europe

Tips to save money in Europe

We often wonder what is the minimum cost of living in Europe and end up assuming that it is higher than our native country, especially if we are going from India. Isn’t it? Well, the cost of living in Europe is certainly higher and much higher if you live in countries like UK, France, Germany, etc.

Here are some tips that can be helpful for students to save money.

1. Plan your budget and try to stick to it

Planning your budget is one of the most important things you can do to save money, especially when you are a student studying in one of the European universities. You can check out the living expenses of a single person in the specific European city you are going to live in and plan your budget accordingly.

2. Accommodation within the budget

If you stay at the hall of residence, it will be quite cheaper as compared to the private apartments. If you are interested in staying at a private apartment, it is better to take help of the locals and find a small apartment.

3. Try to eat home-cooked food

The more you eat out, the more you will spend money. You can instead buy groceries from a local store and cook your meals at home. This will help you to save a lot of money at the end of the month. 

4. Don’t get into tourist traps

As you are in a new city, everything seems interesting and you might feel like exploring them. Well, take your time before visiting those attractions that over-charge the tourists. Once you save some money, you can visit those places.

5. Use student discounts as much as you can

When you are in Europe, you will get ample chances to use your student discounts. Do not miss using them ever. You can even do some homework and find out the stores that offer student discounts.

If you have made up your mind to go to Europe to pursue higher education, then the best place to get started is the upGrad Abroad programs. These programs are run in collaboration with some of the foremost educational institutions of Europe. Visit the website to know more.


Q1. Which country in Europe has the lowest cost of living?

A. Although, all the above-mentioned countries are quite affordable in terms of cost of living, Germany is still considered as one of the most affordable countries for international students. The education is free and the maximum amenities offered to the students are by educational institutions and government. Germany’s cost of living is relatively affordable in comparison to that of the UK and France.

Q2. Which is the most expensive city in Europe?

A. Paris is the most expensive city in the entire Europe to live for international students. It being the top tourist destination affects the overall cost of living here. Also, because the standard of living in Paris is of top-quality, the expenses are higher here.

Q3. How many Euros do I need per day in Europe?

A. The amount you need to survive in Europe depends on the lifestyle you have. However, to live in comfort, you need between 60 Euros (INR 5,000) to 100 Euros (INR 8,300) per day.

Q4. How much does it cost to eat in Europe per day?

A. It will cost around 50-70 Euros (INR 4,000-5,500) per day in Europe on food. You can save money by cooking at home and not going out to restaurants or partying in clubs. However, if you want to live that kind of life it may cost you around 90-100 Euros (INR 7,500-8,300) a day.

Q5. How do I plan my budget for staying in Europe?

A. It can be challenging to plan a budget and stick to it but adhering to it will help you save a lot of money and help you live comfortably. You can save by living in a shared apartment, cooking at home, using public transportation and finding a part-time job to meet the extra expenditures. Sign-up for a health insurance plan to save money during medical emergencies.

Q6. How much money do you need for a month in Europe?

A. To sustain a comfortable life in Europe, you will need around 600 Euros (INR 50,000) per month. This will cover your accommodation costs, food, clothes, and basic utilities. However, this may differ based on the country and city you live in.

Q7. Which is the cheapest European country to live in?

A. Ukraine is the cheapest European country to live in terms of cost of living. The basic amenities, food, apartment rent, groceries and more are relatively cheaper in comparison to other European countries.

Q8. Is Europe expensive to live?

Europe encompasses more than 50 different countries, while some countries have expensive, some are affordable. Germany is one the most affordable counrties for international students as most of its universities don’t charge tuitions fees from students. 

Q9. Which country in Europe has the highest cost of living?

The answer for this question would be Switzerland, it has been ranked number one in the list of the country that has the highest cost of living. The cost of living index of Switzerland is 131.75.

Q11. How much money do you need to live comfortably in Europe?

Although it depends on lifestyle you have. To live in Europe in comfortably, you will need €600 per month. 

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