Dec 13, 2019


It is almost certain that since you are reading this, you would have seen, read, or heard somewhere that studying in Ukraine is cheap. If you haven’t, well, now you know. However, you may not know the exact figure in order to do your calculations or properly plan a budget. To tell you the truth, I do not have the exact cost – go figure – this is because I cannot generalize as there are many factors that affect your cost of studying in Ukraine.

There is more to the cost of studying in Ukraine than knowing only tuition fees and the cost of living. Therefore, in this article, you are going to learn about all possible expenses before you do your university registration until the end of your study. This way, you can get the closest range of costs and significantly reduce the number of unpleasant surprises when it comes to expenses.

Hold up! In NO way am I implying low the low tuition fees are a front and that living and studying in Ukraine is expensive (it isn’t), what I mean is that for you to know the overall amount of money you will spend, you need to take into account different factors or aspects of studying in Ukraine.

These factors include:

  1. Admission: All the costs from application to getting your invitation letter.
  2. Visa: Standard cost of applying for visa and other Visa related fees if you need a student visa to study in fees.
  3. Travel: Although this depends on your country, you need to include this as well.
  4. Registration: All the first-year fees and some other non-tuition fees.
  5. Tuition Fees: This has some subcategories or mini factors as well they include school, program, course, year, and language.
  6. Accommodation: This also comes with mini factors – for a hostel or rental apartments – which are location and standard.
  7. Transportation: The average cost of public transportation or otherwise.
  8. Other Living Costs: Everything concerning feeding, clothing and other basic bills.
  9. Lifestyle: How some of these costs can increase based on your lifestyle.
  10. Miscellaneous: Somethings you will need to budget for but you do not know the price.

Before we continue, you need to know that as an international student, no matter what school you choose, these cost are common with the exception of visa. Although some countries or universities will broadcast their low tuition, their cost of living is very high and they avoid mentioning this as well as other cost that may be incurred while studying there.

Therefore, even with all these factors, when you compare studying in Ukraine with studying in most Western countries, you are still likely to spend at least half of what it costs to study in other countries. Moreover, when you have that overall cost, there is a chance that it may be less than just the tuition of some universities.

Also, the prices which will be given are in dollars so if this is not your country’s currency, you can convert it if you wish. Lastly, these costs do not include data charges, but maybe it should – *wink.

Without further ado, let us now look at factors that affect how much you will spend when you study in Ukraine.

  1. Admission: I included this factor because this is where you start spending money to study in Ukraine. You can enrol as a student in Ukraine online or download and submit a form. The preparatory department which teaches you Ukrainian is for one year and you can apply whenever you want. However, for other programmes, there are two periods to apply:
  • January admission in Ukraine.
  • September admission in Ukraine also known as Winter admission in Ukraine.

For more information on these admission periods, click here (insert link to article here). However, when applying, here are the things that you may be required to pay for.

  • Acceptance fee.
  • Visa support charge.
  • Courier fee.
  • Invitations charges or the likes.

The cost of all these will range between $500 to $650 including bank charges.

  1. Visa: After you get the invitation letter and the rest of the letters, you need to check if citizens of your country need to have a visa to study, if you do, you need to apply for one. Examples of countries who do not need visa are USA, UK, Russia, Romania, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Germany and Bulgaria but you should still check to confirm. After you confirm that you need a visa, check the website of the Ukrainian embassy and look for instructions on how to apply and all you need.

Apart from the cost of transportation to the Embassy (if you are required to visit or attend an interview), here are some things, apart from the letters gotten from the university, that you will need which will cost you, although I cannot say how much. You could find the cost of these if you want.

  • Visa application form (keep receipt)
  • Original and recent medical certificate (not later than a month) from your country’s ministry of health.
  • Other medical forms like HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis screening results, also approved by the ministry of health and within a one month period.
  • Translation of all documents (one translation usually costs $50 to $90 depending on your country).
  • Medical health insurance (optional, can also be done in Ukraine).
  • Recent passport photographs. (Check the required size and number and take extra.)
  • Bank statement, meeting the required credit limit for the required period. It may be either yours or your sponsor’s account. It is needed to ensure that you have the financial capability to cover all academic and living costs.
  1. Travel: Even while in the Visa stage, you need to have purchased two-way flight tickets. Apart from this, you are going to need to pay for your airport pick up and transport to the university whether by your school of study consulting firms. Without the pick up who brings a letter from the school, you will not be allowed to leave the airport or collect your migration card without which you cannot complete school clearance.
  2. Registration: For freshmen, especially for international students, there are a lot of procedures to undergo and some of these procedures will cost you. They include:
  • Medical insurance.
  • Medical test.
  • Residence permit.
  • Immigration insurance.
  • Hostel insurance.

Fortunately, the cost of these will be added to your tuition and you will pay for everything together in your first-year fees.

  1. Tuition Fees: As I stated earlier, there are five other factors that influence tuition fees. They are:
  • University: Ukrainian universities are of great quality, have good student to teacher ratio, top-notch facilities, great curriculum and teaching staff, even national accreditation and international recognition. There are three types of universities in Ukraine based on ownership: State, Federal and Privately owned universities. Although the tuition fee is still low amongst the three, the latter type (private universities) are the most expensive.

For a list of cheapest universities to study, click here (add link to article here).

  • Program: There are different programs with different costs. They include: Preparatory department/ faculty, Bachelors (B.Sc), Masters (M.Sc), Doctor of Philosophy (P.hd), Specialist and Senior Specialist programs. The cheapest program is the Preparatory Department/ Faculty which has a tuition range between $1000 to $2000 for just a year. The next is B.Sc with a range between $1500 to $6000 yearly. M.Sc and P.hd programs cost approximately $1500 and $2500 more respectively.
  • Course: Just like with the programs, some courses have higher ranges than others. This is like a common phenomenon in universities globally – specialized courses are more expensive – especially when you compare art and medical courses.

The most expensive courses are Aviation, Medical and Engineering courses which range between $2500 to $6000 for Bachelor’s degree alone. Business, Art and Social Science courses usually cost less with a range between $1500 to $3500.

  • Year: There are yearly fees of course, but based on the fact that there are more procedures in the first year, there will be more fees for freshmen. Some of these procedures were stated earlier in the registration aspect so compare when doing calculations.

Charges that only occur in the first year are: Airport pickup for $100 to $150 and Service Charge from $700 to $1000. Other yearly fees include: Immigration insurance of $200, medical insurance of $100 and Registration fee of $100 yearly

  • Language: A large number of universities in Ukraine offer courses in at least two to three languages (Ukrainian, Russian and English) while some (medical courses) are offered in four languages including French. Courses offered in Ukrainian and Russian are cheaper than courses in English and French so that there is a $100 to $1000 difference between a course offered in Ukrainian and the same course offered in English.
  1. Accommodation: You can either choose to stay in a hostel, rent an apartment or stay with a foster family although you are advised to stay in the university hostel for the first year as it is cheaper and helps you get more integrated into the school, culture and mix with other students. Hostel cost ranges between $500 to $1200 depending on the standard i.e., room size, number of occupants, etc. Rental apartments, on the other hand, cost more depending on the standard and location of the apartment. Apartments located in cities like Kyiv and Kharkiv are more expensive than apartments anywhere else. The average apartment costs $200 monthly but you can find something lesser or more expensive than that depending on these factors.
  2. Transportation: If you stay in the university hostel, chances are you will not spend as much on transport as one who stays a distance away from the university. That is, except you want to go touring or visiting. Public transport like electric buses and subway trains cost the least with you spending at most $30 the first month (on touring and getting lost), and lesser in other months so about $250 yearly (again this depends on your preference). Students can also enjoy discounts through their student cards. Apart from public transport, taxis cost more and you have to haggle prices with the driver so if you don’t know the distance or the standard prize, you will end up paying more than you should. However, there is also transport applications like Uber, Bolt and a local app called Uklov.
  3. Other Living Costs: Cost of living in Ukraine is cheap but defers from city to city, Kyiv being the most expensive. An average student can live comfortably with an average of $2000 for the first year and $1500 annually for the rest (depending on your lifestyle of course). This includes feeding and clothing (which you may not buy much). Except if you’re living in an apartment where there are other things to do like get furniture and appliances as well as pay bills for the basic amenities i.e, light, water, gas, etc. This is another reason why you are advised to stay in the hostel. However, if you can afford it and feel more comfortable staying in an apartment, you are free to. You can also find a roommate and split the cost and bills as well.
  4. Lifestyle: Apart from the tuition fee and other university charges, and despite the low cost of living, a major factor affecting how much you spend is your lifestyle. From the beginning till the end, your expenses can be determined by your lifestyle. Your choice of accommodation, transportation, feeding, clothing etc. will definitely influence your budget.
  5. Miscellaneous: These are the extra money set aside for stationeries, textbooks and other charges for class or social activities. After calculating or setting your budget for every month or year, add a miscellany cost of at around 2% – 10% of your total cost.

Tips for managing funds while studying in Ukraine.

  1. Find a sponsor if you can’t completely afford to study in Ukraine.
  2. Choose to stay in the hostel or if you want to stay in an apartment get a roommate (a responsible one) to split costs with.
  3. Find a place close to a school where you can walk to and fro.
  4. You may not be much of a cook, but for the sake of your health and budget, reduce the fast food intake and learn to make simple meals at home.
  5. Public transport is your friend.
  6. If you want to go touring, go with a group which includes locals, they know the areas and prices so ask questions and enjoy yourself.
  7. If you can’t afford an extravagant lifestyle, don’t live one. Even people who are economical can live well and have fun too.
  8. Bring the standard clothes for every season along to Ukraine and shop for few additions when you get to Ukraine.
  9. Don’t hurt yourself trying to budget every drop of water. Live a little, but wisely okay?
  10. Get a job. If part-time will be too stressful get a job during the breaks. Ensure that you get a work permit first if necessary.

Ask around, there will be programs that support students – even international students – financially or otherwise.

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