Going to university is a major milestone. For many students it's their first step into adulthood (and independence!) and the first foray into living away from their parents. This new-found freedom also has its downsides... cooking, cleaning and, the worst part, being responsible for your own finances.

Whilst the nerves and anxiety that come with stepping away from Mummy and Daddy and making it out in the big world might be universal, the challenges are not the same for everyone. Spotahome built this infographic to grind down some of the basics to consider when you're making the leap... it might even sway you to one country over another.

Student Fees

According to the latest figures by education charity the Sutton Trust, the number of students planning on attending university has fallen to its lowest level in eight years because, as the research showed, the increasing costs of education mean that people just aren't as willing to chuck themselves into years of debt.

British students looking to go to university, but without the major price tag should consider studying abroad. Studying in Austria or Germany is free, whilst those that would like to study in Italy, Belgium, France or Spain will have to contribute a maximum of €1,500 towards their studies. The places where you'll need to fork out the most dosh are UK and Ireland, where EU citizens will have to pay up to €11,500 a year.

Financial Support

Aside from it being the most expensive places in Europe, EU students in UK and Ireland can't apply for financial support. This means that they must be able not only to pay their student fees, but also cover the cost of accommodation, transport, food and other general expenses. Still, these countries are hugely popular options for foreign students because of the opportunity to emerge themselves in the English language. Belgium and Austria also don't provide EU students the opportunity to apply for financial support.

Thankfully, there are some EU countries that do provide students with access to funding, including France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain.


The next biggest chunk of your budget is going to be thrown at your accommodation. Research conducted by National Union of Students (NUS) discovered that the cost of student housing in the UK has increased by almost a quarter in the past seven years, so living in shared accommodation can be a great way to save money, not the mention the obvious social benefits that come with it. The average cost for a room within university residence halls in London is between £856 and £1400 per month for a double room. In comparison, the cost for a furnished room in a shared house is between £650 and £750 a month.

Not only do students in Rome get to lap up some of the best weather in Europe and live La Bella Vita, but they also pay on average the cheapest rent, with accommodation costing between €430 - €530 a month, closely followed by Madrid and Brussels.


One of the most exciting parts of living abroad is the getting the chance to explore your new city and its surrounding areas. Travelling around can quickly rack up, especially for those living in Dublin where the cost of a monthly student travel pass is €114.50. London is the second most expensive city when it comes to travel costs - the average cost amounts to €62.

But there are some cities where student travel is an absolute bargain, with the cheapest city being Brussels at €7.50, closely followed by Madrid, Milan, Vienna and Paris, where students will pay between €20 to €28 a month for a travel card. This is great news for students that live off campus and will have to travel to and from their classes.

Free Things to Do

After all this talk on what's draining our wallet, there is a some light at the end of the tunnel - all the major cities have lots of great things to see and do that will cost you zilch. For those moments when you can escape your studies and feel like taking in the local culture, the Prado Museum in Madrid is free to visit. Or if you love the feeling of sand between your toes, don’t miss out on a trip to the Danube beach in Vienna.

Try something new

One of the fastest ways to assimilate into a new culture is to get to know (and love) the local sports. Each country has a sport that is unique or particularly dear to them such as stone lifting in Spain, dodgeball in Germany or Rugby in the UK.

The majority of these sports are team orientated, so they're a great opportunity to make some new friends and show your new classmates just how much of a local you've become. !

Moving to a new city to study? Find your new home here!

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