More than 1 million Indian students are studying in 85 countries outside India. Source: Narinder Nanu / AFP

Are you an Indian student who aspires to study abroad? If so, then you’re likely feeling frustrated at a depreciating rupee. The currency is predicted to fall further against the US dollar over the rest of the year, according to a Reuters poll

You might even feel demotivated to seek the cheapest countries to live in as an Indian student. Look at Google for the cost of living at the most popular study destinations, and you will find exorbitant figures. Take Australia, the third most popular destination for international students, for example. It costs around US$42,093 on average — for a single year of study. 

What if we told you there is a way to study abroad on a budget without compromising the quality of education you’ll receive? Yes, it is possible — with a little more research. With that said, here are our top picks: 


Malaysia is one of the most affordable countries in terms of living expenses and tuition fees. Source: Odd Andersen / AFP

Here are the four cheapest countries for Indian students to live in:


Picture annual tuition fees that range from US$5,400 to US$11,370. Think US$300 average monthly living cost. Imagine food from different countries such as Chinese, Malay, and Indian — and for cheap. 

That’s not all. Experience the sun all year round and some of the region’s scariest (but magnificent) thunderstorms — an experience that will enhance your study abroad experience. 

Malaysian universities are rapidly growing and almost on par with institutions in Singapore and Hong Kong. They offer a wide range of courses from several disciplines like engineering, natural sciences and medicine. 

Some of the best Malaysian universities that have made their way to the QS Asia University Rankings 2023 include University Malaya, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Taylor’s University and more. 


Poland is next on the list of cheapest countries to live in for Indian students. Expect to spend around 350 to 550 euros per month here — which is much cheaper than other European nations. 

This country, nestled strategically between Western and Eastern Europe, is home to institutions that consistently rank in the top spots of the QS World University Rankings.

Take the University of Wroclaw (UOW), for example. Home to over 25,000 students, it is among the biggest universities in the Central European region and the only university in South-Western Poland that qualified for the “Initiative of Excellence – Research University” programme. It is also relatively easy to study here, considering the university participates in numerous international exchange programmes like Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters or the Fulbright scholarship. 

Its student town complements UOW’s affordability. Immerse yourself in Wroclaw, a town filled with theatres, a concert hall, galleries and museums for a living expense of around US$602 (582.68 euros) per month, plus an additional US$735 (711.42) for rent. 


Study abroad in Italy, where the cost of living is affordable, and the food is even better. Source: Andreas Solaro/ AFP


Dreaming of studying in the land of pasta, pizza and gelato? Well, you’e in luck as Italy is considered one of the cheapest countries for Indian students to live in. The average cost of living starts as low as 700 euros a month.

While some parts of Italy may be more expensive than others, students can expect to spend around 300 to 600 euros on housing and 150 to 200 euros on food.

Aside from beautiful countryside, cultural legacy, rich heritage and amazing cuisine, Italy offers higher education to international students that is not only exceptional but also affordable.

According to the QS World University Ranking 2022, the Polytechnic University of Milan, University of Bologna, Sapienza University of Rome and University of Padua are amongst the top universities in the country. The University of Bologna, however, is more than just a top-ranked university. Established in 1088 and still running to this day, the university has been recognised as the world’s oldest university. 


Last on the list is none other than the country that has been labelled the “Asian Tiger.” Taiwan has become one of the most popular countries for Indian students looking to further their studies. 

In the last five years, the number of Indian students in the country has increased significantly, from 1,000 students five years ago to 2,783 in 2019-20 and 2,239 in 2020-21. Indian students are currently ranked as the country’s top 10 groups of international students. 

Indian students are drawn to Taiwan for many reasons. One of the main reasons is the affordable cost of living — which is estimated to cost around US$705 to US$913 a month

Aside from affordability, Indian students are drawn to the country’s highly-ranked unis. In the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings, Taiwan ranked 19th among a total of 50 countries. Renowned for its research, the National Taiwan University (NTU) is the highest-ranked university in the country coming in 77th in the QS World University Rankings.