Survey: Foreign Education is Expensive, With US in 3rd

An international education is very expensive in most cases. US students seeking higher education in a foreign country will find that the annual cost for college in Australia is $42,000, Singapore costs $39,000, and the UK will run about $37,000.

MarketWatch says that a Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) report, The Value of Education: Springboard for Success, surveyed 4,500 parents in 15 countries (400 in the US), It found that although parents recognize the value of a good education, many are financially unprepared for the costs of college.

Approximately 89% of parents want their children to go to college, but 51% wish they had started saving earlier. 74% said they would consider sending their child to another country to get an education.

Andrew Ireland, Executive Vice President and Head of Premier Banking, HSBC Bank USA, N.A. said:

"Among the key reasons to send children overseas are international experience, independence and the chance to learn a foreign language. The prospect of educating children, especially if parents choose overseas education, can seem daunting, but with proper planning and an astute investment plan, most of the financial uncertainties can be eliminated."

The report included these facts: 51% rank the US in their top three choices of countries that provide the highest quality education; the US is is the third-most expensive university destination at about $36,000 annually; the three least-expensive options for college are China, Mexico, and India; 58% of parents say that paying for their child's education is the "best investment you can make".

The report found that the average annual cost for an undergraduate student in India is $5,642, writes Prashant K. Nanda of LiveMint. This cost includes tuition and living costs. The survey also asserts that the quality of education is better in some countries, but it is also much more expensive. Sanjiv Sud, head of retail banking and wealth management for HSBC India, says:

"Education costs are lower in emerging markets such as India because the state-run universities are heavily funded by the government and also, the cost of living for overseas students is lower here," Sud said in statement.

Indian parents rank US colleges as best, followed by the UK and then Australia. Although India ranked eighth in quality, ahead of Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Taiwan, and Turkey, 85% of Indian parents want to send their children abroad for their education. The survey says that the Indian opinion is that overseas education offers international work experience, "openings to opportunities in life, instilling confidence, exposure to new ideas, and income earning potential".

NewsWire Canada reports that the average cost for an undergraduate education in Canada is almost US$30,000. Parents are reminded that other costs must be considered before deciding to study in another country. A holistic analysis is important when calculating the total expenditures. Such additional concerns as books, rent, food, and transportation must also be weighed and are sometimes as important as quality of education and the "livability" of a certain country.

Executive Vice President of Retail Banking and Wealth Management of HSBC Canada, Betty Miao, said:

"Parents send their children to school internationally to acquire new languages, build international experience, and foster independence and self-reliance. Because parents often fund the bulk of their children's education, they are keen to make the best available choice in order to provide their children with a competitive advantage to position them for better career opportunities."

Twenty percent of respondents to the survey ranked Canadian schools at the top in regard to education, but the Canadian Bureau of International Education shows that Canada ranks seventh most popular for international college destinations. Over the past decade the number of international students in Canada has nearly doubled.

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