- Just 4 countries feature in the top 10 most expensive cities in the world for international education; USA, China, Switzerland, and the UK. This is the first time since our research began that the UK has featured in the top 10.
- Asia dominates as the most expensive region for international education. Of the 23 Asian cities included in our research, 16 feature in the top half of price rankings with 4 featuring in the top 10.
- Africa is still the most affordable continent for international schooling, although prices within the continent have shifted - only two African cities have the same ranking as last year.
- Europe has the second least expensive fees after Africa, but only in certain countries. Europe also 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 the world. 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. We are now in our third year of this project, and we have been able to pinpoint certain price trends such as the most expensive regions, the regions with the biggest variety of prices, and more.
Below, we have analysed the worldwide price data from 72 cities in 47 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
The four most expensive countries for international education - USA, China, Switzerland and UK - are all known for having some of the best international schools in the world. However, they are also known for high costs of living, particularly in the cities that feature in our top 10 rankings. These include New York, San Francisco, London, Zurich, Beijing and Shanghai. London is the only UK city to feature in our research and is ranked within the top 10 for the first time.
For the third year running, Africa remains the most affordable region for international schooling. However, there have been some surprising changes within the region itself. Casablanca has dropped from 44th on the list (i.e., in the middle of the overall rankings) down to the second cheapest city at number 72. All other African cities included in our research have also shifted places, with the exception of Cape Town which remains the cheapest city, and Johannesburg at number 68.
European cities are among both the most expensive and the cheapest in the world for international education, showing the region’s wide variety of prices. However, Switzerland and the UK dominate the top of the list, with the next European entry (Brussels) only appearing in 16th place. Copenhagen and Spain represent the best value in Europe - both countries appear within the 10 cheapest cities.
Asia tells a similar story. China features heavily among the most expensive cities, andwhile other wealthy Asian countries such as Korea and Singapore aren’t far behind. Affordable prices can still be found in the region however, with Phnom Penh, Kuala Lumpur and Penang all among the cheapest cities on the list.
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.