Is the cost of an overseas education really worth it?

With many South African parents fast losing faith in the country's education system, looking to overseas options is becoming a reality for those able to afford it. 

And considering that the high cost of studying abroad is part and parcel of practically guaranteed job-security and competitive earning, if not why not? 

According to Crimson Education, an admission strategy agency, parents wanting to send their children overseas to study could fork out up to R1-million to cover annual tuition and living costs.

Acknowledging that the cost of studying abroad is steep, Crimson Education country manager Rebecca Pretorius says parents should view the costs as a long-term investment with a big pay-off, "with the average salary for Harvard graduates starting at R70 000 per month." 

Studying abroad also comes with additional benefits, particularly in the US says Pretorius where a student visa can be easily extended for up to three years after graduation, opening up unique employment opportunities. 

“The cost of educating your child is a significant expense, irrespective of whether your child is attending a private school in South Africa already. Not all universities bare the same price tag, with some institutions costing only slightly more than what parents are paying currently,” says Pretorius.

Also see: How to help your child study abroad

So what does it cost to study abroad? 

We had a look at the fees of a number of top international universities, and pooled the details in the table below: 

Use this link to convert the above figures from each currency to Rand.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

University of Cambridge 

general Fees or financial aid 

ETH Zurich 

University of Melbourne

general fees or financial aid 

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