- The 3 most expensive countries in the world for international education are the USA, China and Switzerland.
- Asia is the most expensive region for international education. 5 of the 10 cities with the most expensive international school fees in the world are located in Asia.
- Africa is by far the most affordable continent for international schooling.
- Europe has the widest range of international school fees in the world.
At the International Schools Database, we help local and expat parents choose the perfect international school for their children. Our database allows parents to find, research and compare international schools in cities across five continents. Naturally, this means that we gather and analyse a huge amount of information about international schools all over the world.
Starting in 2019, we began using this data to evaluate the prices of international schools across the globe. In 2019 we compiled price data at regional levels for Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, along with worldwide price trends. For 2020 we have expanded this research even further to include the Americas as well.
Below, we have analysed the worldwide price data from 73 cities in 50 countries, in graph and table forms. While we have used all price data available to us, there may be additional schools and prices not included in each city, because they do not make their price data available or it is unknown to us. Links to additional research focusing in each of the regions individually can be found at the bottom of this article.
Worldwide Prices of International Schools Per Year
The graph below is known as a box plot graph. It shows a comprehensive view of the range of prices in each city, instead of just an average, as a single average price may not necessarily represent the full picture of prices in each destination. Since there is a lot to unpack in this graph, we have also provided a little explanation on how to read the graph easily at the end of the article.
Highlights and takeaways from the research findings
Just four countries are represented among the top 10 most expensive cities for international education - USA, China, Switzerland and South Korea. All of the top 10 are cities with notoriously high costs of living, including New York City, San Francisco, Zurich and Shanghai.
African cities are much, much cheaper for international schooling. Casablanca, the most expensive African city for international school fees, ranks only as the 45th most expensive in the world out of a total of 73 cities in our results. The rest of the African cities have cheaper international school fees, ranking below 60. This is a clear indicator that Africa is the most affordable region for international education by far.
Europe has the widest range of international school fees in the world. In our results of 73 cities, European cities appear among both the most expensive and the cheapest cities in the world for international education.
Asia’s domination as the most expensive region in the world for international school fees is mostly due to China, which is notoriously expensive for international schooling. Most other Asian cities have an even spread of expensive, cheap and ‘middle of the road’ international school prices.
On that note, despite having 5 cities within the top 10 most expensive places for international education, Asia also has some more affordable options too. Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for example, is the 3rd cheapest city for international school fees in our database.
You can find a breakdown of exact prices for each city in the table below. But if you’d like even more analysis, we have also compiled price data by region; you can find links to this additional research at the bottom of this article. If you require any further information or have additional questions, don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.