Places to Get a PhD Abroad

Places to Get a PhD Abroad

Getting your PhD is a huge achievement, but it takes a great deal of work and a substantial amount of financial investment to get there. That is why a growing number of grad students are beginning to look outside of the United States when it comes to choosing where to study for a PhD. There are a number of benefits that are associated with choosing to go abroad to get your PhD. One of the main reasons is that it can often be much cheaper to study abroad than in the United States, where the average cost of a PhD is around $35,000 per year! Aside from the financial savings, studying abroad also offers students a unique opportunity to experience a culture and a lifestyle that is completely different from their own. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the places that American students can go to get their PhD abroad.

Top 5 Places to Get a PhD Abroad


One of the main reasons why students decide to go abroad to obtain their PhD is that it can be so much more affordable than studying in the United States. Spain is a popular choice because graduate programs there are much cheaper at an average of $2,000 per year. A very diverse range of subjects are available to study in Spain although the dominant area is definitely science.

South Africa

South Africa is often referred to as the ‘rainbow nation’ because it is a melting pot of cultures. Following the end of apartheid in South Africa, universities took advantage of the new found freedom to offer a wide variety of areas of study – especially those which were previously banned. It costs around $4,000 per year for an international student to study a PhD in South Africa which is more expensive than some of the European programs, but less than half the cost of studying a PhD in the United States. The cost of living is also fairly low in South Africa which is attractive to many grad students since it gives them the option of studying for their PhD without facing a few years of living on Ramen!


There is a very good reason why France has long been associated with the intellectual lifestyle. Higher education is France is something that is taken very seriously and values both quality and culture. Where America holds the likes of Tom Cruise and Kim Kardashian as icons, France is more inclined to worship intellectuals. The Ecole Normale Superior de Paris is ranked number 28 in terms of the world’s top universities, and the cost of tuition for international students is about 500 Euros annually, which equates to around $575!


In Sweden graduate school is actually free. The cost of living is fairly expensive, but with no tuition fees to worry about it is more manageable to maintain. Another good reason to choose Sweden to study for a PhD abroad is that many of the universities offer a large number of programs in English making it far more accessible to most students.


One of the countries that American students often overlook when they are thinking about studying for a PhD abroad is Singapore. Asian grad students are flocking to Singapore thanks to the low cost, high quality education that is available. International tuition is around $4,000 per year and as a benchmark, the Singapore National University is ranked number 30 in the world.

These are just a small selection of the countries where American grad students could choose to study for their PhD. There are many others out there and each of them provide an opportunity to experience a whole different way of life and culture while also saving money on the cost of a PhD! It’s a win-win situation!