Ready to study Finance abroad but don’t know exactly where? It’s not always easy to decide, especially when there are so many variable and factors to keep in mind. Every student has their own needs and preferences — and it’s so easy to get lost in the sea of endless Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Finance.
In this quick guide, we’ve used three main criteria to identify the best countries for future Finance experts. These are university tuition fees, top universities in international rankings and career opportunities for graduates.
This way, you can choose the best place to study a Finance degree, based on available funds, or based on how prestigious the university is globally, or on how high your chances of employment are after graduation.
Best country to study Finance: tuition fees
For those of you who want to study Finance but don’t want to get into debt to do it, there are countries where tuition fees are low, or Finance studies are even free:
Almost all public universities in Germany offer free Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. This applies to all disciplines, including Finance, and to all international students regardless of their nationality.
As a student, you only need to cover the administration fee of around 100–350 EUR per semester. As for living costs, you’ll need between 700 and 1,000 EUR per month.
France is another ideal destination in terms of tuition fees. At public universities, all international students pay tuition rates of under 1,000 EUR per year at all study levels (Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD). You should also know that French institutions of higher education are well regarded worldwide.
In terms of living costs, you’ll spend around 800–1,000 EUR in most cities, with the main exception being Paris. Here, costs grow significantly, up to 1,500–1,800 EUR per month.
Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden
If you come from the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), you can study a Finance programme for free at public universities in Denmark, Finland, or Sweden. Norway receives bonus points for applying the free-tuition policy to all international students.
As for costs of living, these Nordic countries are generally more expensive than other European countries. Depending on the city in which you’ll live and study, the monthly budget will range between 700 and 1,400 EUR.
Find Finance Bachelors and Masters in Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden.
Best country to study Finance: top-ranked universities
If you won’t settle for any university and want to study at the crème de la crème, these are the best universities for Finance studies according to the latest QS Rankings:
- Harvard University, the US
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the US
- Stanford University, the US
- The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the UK
- University of Oxford, the UK
- University of Cambridge, the UK
- University of Pennsylvania, the US
- University of California, Berkeley (UCB), the US
- University of Chicago, the US
- New York University (NYU), the US
The following are other important universities which made it in the top 20:
- National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
- University of Melbourne, Australia
- Bocconi University, Italy
- HEC Paris, France
- The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR
As you can see, the US and the UK dominate the top 10. Therefore, if you want to study at the best schools for Finance, these are the first destinations you should consider.
Check out the full QS Finance Ranking.
Best country to study Finance: career opportunities
Not all cities are created equal; this is why you should aim to study in a country or at least an area where Finance jobs — and opportunities in general — are plentiful. According to Investopedia, these are some of the most exciting cities for future Finance graduates:
The United States
- Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco
In the US, the job outlook for positions like ‘Financial Analyst’ or ‘Financial Examiner’ is great. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a growth of 5-7% in these fields in the next 10 years. The median salary of around 81,000 USD per year shouldn’t be overlooked either.
- Want other reasons to become a Finance expert in America?
- New York is often seen as the finance capital of the world
- Numerous investment groups and large banks have their headquarters in the US
- Chicago is a hotspot for trading
- Boston is well-known for its asset management market and thriving businesses
The United Arab Emirates (UAB)
It’s no secret that Dubai wants to become the financial capital of the Middle East. And thanks to its fast development, it looks like this will happen sooner, rather than later. Numerous international organisations are opening branches and local offices here, which also creates new opportunities for Finance professionals.
In addition to the option of studying for free in Germany, you can also look for a Finance job in Frankfurt, a city whose thriving economy makes it the unofficial financial capital of Europe.
Frankfurt is also home to large institutions, like the Deutsche Bank and other international companies eager to hire the best candidates for their Finance-related positions.
While Bern might be the official capital of Switzerland, Zurich is definitely its financial and banking capital. Important global giants in the banking and trading fields have their headquarters here, and you can secure a high-paying job at one of them.
Bonus tip: to further increase your chances, speaking either French or German in addition to English is a significant advantage!
- Hong Kong SAR
Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of China, is one of the most influential financial cities in Asia. The city is home to thriving banking, wealth management, and trading markets, which make it an attractive place for international companies.
If you want to earn big in a city where the Western and Eastern mentalities meet, Hong Kong should be at the top of your list.
Check out other cities ideal for Finance professionals on the official Investopedia website.