Jul 3, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

If you’re thinking of studying abroad, you have a long list of destinations from which to choose. The good news? Each is amazing in its own way. The bad news? Trying to choose between them can be overwhelming. In order to help students sort through the glut of information and get a better picture of student life and costs, La Repubblica gathered comparative data for 15 major European cities into one handy infographic.

About the Findings

La Repubblica’s comparative table evaluated Erasmus cities across seven measures: number of public universities; student population; price of a shared room; tuition; meal costs; transportation costs; and the price of beer.

While some of the information is likely to be aligned with your expectations, other data is more surprising.

Prepare to Pay

Home to 36 universities and 400 million students, London has long called to international students. However, those on a budget may want to think twice about whether all of the city’s well-known allures are worth the high cost of studying there. Why? Because London topped the list of destinations when it came to housing, tuition, transportation, and food -- often by a significant measure. In fact, the only evaluated criterion for which London was not the most expensive was beer.

Joining London at the top of the list in terms of tuition fees were Amsterdam, Prague, and Barcelona -- although London was still roughly five times costlier than its nearest competitors in this area.

Steeper Savings

Conversely, standing out in the comparison for their affordability were Warsaw, Monaco, and Berlin thanks to their free tuition policies. Meanwhile, Paris -- on the expensive side for criteria like housing and food -- was also among the least expensive options for tuition fees.

One area where Paris didn’t shine, however? Beer. In fact, it was more expensive than every other city on the list. For a cheap pint, however, the comparison reveals that you can’t beat Prague or Budapest. These same cities also fared well when it came to the cost of meals, so if nights on the town with abundant food and free-flowing drinks matter to you, then these cities deliver and then some.

One last thing stressed by La Repubblica and therefore worth keeping in mind? The infographic is not intended as a ranking, but instead as a comparative tool aimed at helping students make smarter decisions based on their own unique wants and needs. After all, what may be important to you may not be important to someone else. Understanding your priorities and how prospective study abroad cities measure up to them can help you make the most informed choice.


Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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