It’s the dream, right? A casual jaunt overseas, studying at local universities so you really ‘immerse’ yourself in the culture (which let’s be honest at uni is pretty much just different ways of getting drunk). I’m not even a Francophile but I always imagined myself doing this in a beret.

You know what sucks though? Reality. Studying isn’t exactly cheap even when you stay at home to do it, so adding exchange rates and accommodation and sight-seeing into the mix is a little financially intimidating, to say the least. And yet, we are the YOLO generation and sometimes the experience is worth the crippling debt.

Does cost mean it can’t be done? Absolutely not. It just means you need to plan ahead and get saving. Worldfirst.com.au have analysed the real cost of studying abroad in some of the most popular (and of course most exxy) countries around the world. I should just note that our very own Melbourne came in at a breezy #7.

1. The Big Apple

No shocker here. New York is pretty pricey just to visit, so it makes sense it’s also the most expensive country to study abroad in. Thanks in large to the exchange rate, making rent costs come in at an estimated AU$19,670 and tuition fees at AU$46,950, the total estimated cost of furthering your learning here is AU$76,000 for just 1 year.

2. Los Angeles

Keeping on the theme of that damn exchange rate, here comes LA at number 2. Beach, glamour, fame…and apparently complete lack of fortune for foreign students. You’re looking at a decent AU$50,440 JUST to pay for ridiculously overpriced uni fees, they’re almost double any other top 8 cities. Whaaaat? So the total cost per year is just under New York at AU$75,990.

3. London

QS, aka place that ranks universities around the world based on student employability afterwards, has London at the top of their 2018 list. Which is encouraging seeing as you’ll still be forking out AU$45,720 a year to live and study there. But hey, it’s a hell of a lot less than America and staying at the university halls instead of trying to survive with London’s crazy high rentals can actually help you stick to budget. Also definitely keep in mind that the Pound is almost double our dollar, and that suuuuucks.

4. Edinburgh

You know what’s adorable? Scottish accents. And you know where it’s AU$5000 cheaper to study than London, but still in the UK? Edinburgh. No points for guessing correctly, it was literally the title. So the much more affordable living costs take your yearly budget down to $40,610.

you, going to Scotland, get it?

5. Montreal

Need a cheaper option but still pretty keen on North America? Pop over the border and brush up on your French in Montreal. The exchange rate is pretty much on par with the Aussie dollar so that makes it easy to work out what you’re spending. Overall your yearly cost is around $33,510.

6. Hong Kong

Fund fact, Hong Kong itself is actually the least affordable city in the world according to this Housing Affordability Survey, foreign study fees here are only about the same as studying at home (or at least, our most expensive city to study, Melbourne). Accommodation at the uni’s is also a whole lot cheaper than staying on campus in Australia at AU$3060. Which means overall, you’ll be paying about the same amount yearly as Montreal, at $33,980.

8. Paris

Nothing else on this list has particularly surprised me, but I really thought Paris would be higher up. But no, here it is at number 8 (remember 7 was Melbourne so we skipped it?). To study in the city of love you’ll need a casual $29,500 yearly budget. Tuition fees can be as low as AU$250, isn’t that crazy?! Rent is also only about AU$5,610 yearly. But of course, once again you’ll be kicked in the gut a bit with that damn exchange rate.

So there you have it, get saving kids.