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A Guide to Cost of Living in Europe for International Students (in 2024)

Updated on 25 March, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

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 world's oldest and most prestigious universities. 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 2024. 

In fact, a short-term course from European universities adds much value to the candidate's resume 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 city you live in and the university you choose to pursue your course. For example, the cost of living in London for international students, provided they live single, is around £3,153 per month. Whereas, if you are living in Paris, you may need €3,580. 

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

Important Link : Cost 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 monthe Coultatio

Study in Europe
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Monthly Expenses in Poland Best Universities in Poland


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 €934. 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 – €100 per month

3. Socializing: €61 per month

4. Travel / Transport: € 94 per month


The cost of living in Spain can vary significantly depending on the region, city, and lifestyle. Generally, Spain is considered to have a lower cost of living compared to many other Western European countries, but major cities like Madrid and Barcelona tend to be more expensive than smaller towns and rural areas. Here's a breakdown of some typical expenses:

  • Housing: Rental prices vary widely depending on location. In major cities, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from €700 to €1500 per month, while outside the city center, it might be around €500 to €1000 per month. Purchasing property follows a similar pattern, with prices varying greatly depending on the area.
  • Food: Spain offers a wide range of options for dining, from budget-friendly tapas bars to high-end restaurants. Grocery costs also vary, but you can expect to spend around €200 to €400 per month for groceries for one person.
  • Transportation: Public transportation is generally affordable in Spain. Monthly passes for metro, bus, or train services might range from €30 to €80, depending on the city. If you prefer to drive, you'll need to consider fuel costs, which can be around €1.30 to €1.50 per liter.
  • Utilities: Utilities, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage, can vary based on usage and location. Expect to pay around €80 to €150 per month for a small apartment.
  • Healthcare: Spain has a public healthcare system that provides free or low-cost medical care for residents. Depending on coverage, expats might need private health insurance, which can cost around €50 to €150 per month.
  • Entertainment and leisure: Costs for entertainment, dining out, and leisure activities can vary greatly depending on personal preferences. A meal at a mid-range restaurant might cost around €10 to €30 per person.

It's essential to research specific costs based on your location and lifestyle preferences, as these figures are just averages and can vary widely.

Important Scholarships to Study Abroad:

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

Living Costs in 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, which 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 in for studies. The 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.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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