Study In Saudi Arabia - Requirements,Tuition Fees,Cost of Living & Universities

This is a comprehensive guide on studying in Saudi Arabia as an international student. This detailed post will give you all the necessary information you will need about studying in Saudi Arabia as an international student. It will answer most frequently asked questions such as


How to study in Saudi Arabia

Why study in Saudi Arabia

Cost of studying in Saudi Arabia

Universities in Saudi Arabia for international students

Cost of living in Saudi Arabia for international students

How to get a visa to study in Saudi Arabia

How to apply and study in Saudi Arabia

Tuition fees to study in Saudi Arabia

Applying to study in Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia is one of the best places to study abroad. Men and women are taught in different institutions, with programs lasting for 4 years in humanities and social sciences and 6 years in medicine, engineering and pharmacy.


The entry requirements for studying in Saudi Arabia depend on the course, institution and type of study you want to do.


Many courses are taught in English, but it is worth having conversational Arabic as this will be useful in your daily student life.


Selecting and applying to universities

Selecting universities is a very time consuming and important process not only from the admission point of view but also because applying to universities is very expensive. Hence it has to be restricted to around 6 or 8 universities which are best matched for your requirements.

The best university for you may not be the famous ones, but those that offer you your field of study as well as meet the other criteria important to you.

Requesting Application Forms:

There are two ways to get application forms:

1. Requesting Application Forms via email : You can request application forms from the universities website. Most universities have a form on their website which can be completed online to request application material.

2. Downloading from the university website : Many universities have a downloadable and ready to print versions of their application forms on the net. These can be used for applying just as regular forms.

Application Requirements:

Once you start receiving application forms and material, go through the material in detail and check the application deadline, minimum scores required in the standardized tests, recommendation letters needed and other such information.

Tabulate all these requirements and compare them with your objectives and group the universities under three categories :

1. Schools that seem to match your requirements

2. Schools that are not suited to your needs

3. Schools that do not completely fit in any of the above two categories

Recommendation letters:

Many universities have their own format and questions that have to be answered by the person who is giving the letter of recommendation on your behalf. Letters, which do not give enough information, can jeopardize a candidate’s chances of selection.

School records/Academic transcript:

The transcripts of your academic record are absolutely essential to the evaluation of your academic abilities. Your official transcript or academic record is the objective part of your application. Academic records greatly vary from one education system to the other. Systems of evaluation or grading and the formats used to present this information also differ widely.

Undergraduate : Students who are applying for a Bachelor program or any other undergraduate course would be required to submit a secondary school report and transcripts (report cards) of the final exams. The report form should be filled out by a school official like the principal, counselor or headmaster. This form should introduce you in the context of your whole school experience in relationship to the other students in your class. Admission committees will be interested in learning how you have performed in your own educational system. The school report should talk about your accomplishments and provide a statement of your chances for success in university-level studies.

Graduate : Students applying for Graduate courses (MBA, MS etc) are required to submit an official transcript from each college or university that they have attended after secondary school with complete details of the subjects, credits involved and other details like correspondence courses, diplomas etc. Most universities ask for the transcript to be sealed in an envelope and signed and attested across the seal by the registrar. This procedure is to be done for each and every college that you have attended. Some universities may ask for more than one transcripts but most require only one.


Tuition fees and living costs for international students in Saudi Arabia



The cost of studying in Saudi Arabia actually depends on the specific school you attend. All the universities and colleges in Saudi Arabia have different tuition fees.

Tuition fees vary among universities in Saudi Arabia. Universities in Saudi Arabia offers a lot of financial aid to international students which makes it a very good destination to study abroad.

This financial aid schemes provided  covers tuition fees and other related costs, as well as accommodation and transportation.

Normally the tuition fees for international students to study in Saudi Arabia is around US$6,000 for undergraduate programs or courses and a more higher fees for graduate and post-graduate studies..

There are no hostels or campus accommodation in Saudi Arabian universities so all international students will have to rent an apartment outside the school campus.

 The costs of student apartments in Saudi Arabia will be between US$800 and  US$1,050 a month. The price differs depending on the location or area you want to live.

Cost of living in Saudi Arabia according to expatistan

Saudi Arabia


            Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area        4,043

            Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area            2,524

            Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat     323

            Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area        2,753

            Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area            1,520

            Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio      367

            Internet 8 Mbps (1 month)        165

            40” flat screen TV        1,486

            Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands)            432

            Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.)         32

            Hourly rate for cleaning help      27


            1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar)     193

            1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers) 216

            1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands)         329

            1 pair of men’s leather business shoes    328


            Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, new 73,155

            1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas           0.92

            Monthly ticket public transport 281

Personal Care  

            Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands)      15

            1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) 44

            Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes)          132

            1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, ...)             22

            Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.)      20

            Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.)             15

            4 rolls of toilet paper     8

            Tube of toothpaste        10

            Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city 22


            Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub    94

            2 tickets to the movies 82

            2 tickets to the theater (best available seats)      214

            Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert             226

            1 cocktail drink in downtown club         22

            Cappuccino in expat area of the city      15

            1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.)    8

            iPad Air 2, 64GB          2,034

            1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans)    0.62

            1 month of gym membership in business district 364

            1 package of Marlboro cigarettes          19


Visa to study in Saudi Arabia

To study in Saudi Arabia as an international student, you require a visa. Below are the requirements and process of applying for a Saudi Arabia visa.

What documents will be required?

1. A passport valid for at least six months, with at least two (2) clear visa pages adjacent to each other and a visa are required for entry.

2. One (1) recent passport size color photograph with a white background.

3. A completed application form filled-out with a black ink pen or printed.

4. All visitors to the Kingdom must have a return ticket.

Visas are issued for business and work, to visit close relatives, and for transit and religious visits. Visas for tourism are issued only for approved tour groups following organized itineraries. Airport and seaport visas are not available. All visas require a sponsor, can take several months to process, and must be obtained prior to arrival. In the past, travellers were refused a Saudi visa because their passports reflected travel to Israel or indicated they were born in Israel, although this has not happened recently. Women visitors and residents are required to be met by their sponsor upon arrival. Women traveling alone, who are not met by sponsors, have experienced delays before being allowed to enter the country or to continue on other flights.

Women considering relocating to Saudi Arabia should be keenly aware that women and children residing in Saudi Arabia as members of a Saudi household (including adult women married to Saudi men, adult women who are the unmarried daughters of Saudi fathers, and boys under the age of 21 who are the sons of Saudi fathers) are considered household property and require the permission of the Saudi male head of their household to leave the country. Married women require the permission of their husband to depart the country, while unmarried women and children require the permission of their father or male guardian. Mothers may not be able to obtain permission for the departure of minor children without the father’s agreement. Entering Saudi Arabia on visitor visas normally do not need an exit permit but may be prevented from departing the country if they are involved in a legal dispute. If involved in labor disputes or employment dismissal will not be granted an exit permit prior to court resolution or abandonment of the case by the you. Saudi sponsors have substantial leverage in the negotiations and may block departure or bar future employment in the country.

If a woman is arriving in the Kingdom alone, the sponsor or her husband must receive her at the airport. Every woman must have confirmed accommodation for the duration of her stay in the Kingdom.

Visitors to Saudi Arabia should generally obtain a meningitis vaccination prior to arrival. A medical report or physical examination is required to obtain work and residence permits.

Residents in Saudi Arabia who are departing the country must obtain an exit permit prior to leaving and an exit/reentry permit if they intend to return to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi sponsor’s approval is required for exit permits.

List and ranking of all universities in Saudi Arabia

This is the list and ranking of all the universities in Saudi Arabia. The ranking is based on the quality of education each of the university provides and also the available academic and social facilities in the university. So below is the list of the of all the universities in Saudi Arabia and their ranking




Rank    University         Location

1          King Saud University


2          King Abdulaziz University

Jeddah ...

3          King Faisal University


4          King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals


5          King Abdullah University of Science and Technology


6          Umm Al-Qura University


7          Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University

Riyadh ...

8          University of Dammam

Dammam ...

9          King Khalid University

Abha ...

10        Qassim University

Qassim ...

11        Taibah University


12        Islamic University of Madinah


13        Institute of Public Administration

Riyadh ...

14        Majmaah University

Al Majma'ah ...

15        Jazan University


16        King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences

Riyadh ...

17        Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University


18        Taif University


19        Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University


20        Prince Sultan University


21        Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University

Riyadh ...

22        University of Tabuk

Tabuk ...

23        Najran University


24        Al Jouf University

Al Jawf

25        University of Ha'il


26        Alfaisal University


27        Effat University


28        Shaqra University


29        Al Baha University

Al Baha ...

30        Northern Borders University

Arar ...

31        Dar Al-Hekma College


32        University of Business and Technology


33        Dar Al Uloom University


34        Fahad Bin Sultan University


35        Al Yamamah University


36        Riyadh College of Dentistry and Pharmacy


37        Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies


Un        Al-Baha Private College of Science

Al Bahah

Courses you can study at universities in Saudi Arabia

Accounting and Finance

Aeronautical engineering

Manufacturing engineering






Art and Design

Oral science


Biological sciences


Business management

Chemical engineering


Civil engineering

Ancient history

Mass communication

Computer science


Creative writing






Electrical engineering


Film making

Food science


General engineering






Material technology


Mechanical engineering

Medical technology












Veterinary medicine

Items to pack while going to study in Saudi Arabia

In your carry-on bag

           Cell phone and charger

           Boarding pass(es)

           Cash (bring American dollars and the currency of your host location or money you can exchange for it—enough to use in case of an emergency, but not more money than you can afford to lose)

           Copy of birth certificate

           Copy of Social Security card

           Credit card (notify your bank that you’ll be abroad before you leave to avoid your account being frozen)

           Debit card


           E-reader or book

           Emergency contact list

           Face wipes


           Hand sanitizer


           Health insurance card


           Prescription medication(s) you usually take (make sure you bring enough refills to last your entire trip—but future prescriptions can go in your checked luggage)

           School ID

           Spare outfit (in case your luggage gets lost or delayed)

           State ID

           Student visa

           Travel itinerary

           Travel pillow

           Travel tickets (if you’re taking a train or other transport after your plane lands)



           Acne medication/cream

           Face lotion/moisturizer


           Mini shampoo & conditioner (until you get the chance to get full-sized bottles in your new country)

           Mouthwash (small)

           Soap (mini bottle if you're using body wash)





           Bobby pins


           Contacts, solution and case (again, make sure you have all the contacts you'll need for your time abroad)

           Glasses and glasses case

           Hair ties



           Nail clipper




           Tampons and pads



You will likely have the opportunity to do laundry on your trip, and you'll be able to purchase detergent in your host country.

           Downy Wrinkle Release spray

           Linens/towels (if your housing doesn’t have them)

           Portable stain remover pen

           Travel sheet (for hostels)


           Athletic sneakers (1)

           Bathing suits (1-2)

           Boots (1-2)

           Bras (2 sports bras, 2 regular bras, 1 strapless/convertible bras)

           Casual dresses (2)

           Everyday comfortable shoes (1-2)

           Flats (1)

           Flip-flops (1)

           Formal outfit (1-2)

           Gloves (1, if weather appropriate)

           Going-out outfit (3-5)

           Hat (1)

           Heavier coat for colder climates (1)

           Heels (1-2)

           Jacket (2; a light one and one for colder weather, if applicable)

           Jeans (2, one black & one blue)

           Jewelry (remember that bringing jewelry to another country is always a risk; don’t bring anything too valuable!)

           Leggings (1-3)

           Long-sleeve shirts (3-5)

           Pajamas (2-3)

           Pants (1-2 nice pairs)

           Purse (1-2)

           Raincoat (1)

           Scarf (1)

           Short-sleeve shirts (5-7)

           Shorts (2-4, if weather appropriate)

           Skirts (1-2)

           Socks (14)

           Sweaters (3-5)

           Sweatshirt (2)

           T-shirts (3-5)

           Tank tops (3-5)

           Underwear (14)

           Watch (1)

           Workout clothes (2-5)


Remember that most of your electronic items will need an outlet converter in order to work!

           Camera (remember your case and USB cords)

           Cell phone (keep in mind that you’ll be able to buy an international phone when you arrive at your destination)

           Chargers (laptop, phone, camera, e-reader, etc.)

           Flash drive



           Laptop case

           Outlet adapters (2-3)

           USB cable


           Adhesive bandages

           Allergy medicine

           Birth control

           Cold and flu medicine

           Eye drops

           Motion sickness medicine

           Over-the-counter pain medicine



           Backpack (small)

           Gift for your host family (bring something that they couldn’t get in their own country, like memorabilia from your hometown)


           Language dictionary


           Playing cards

           Travel guide

           Umbrella (small)


Benefits of studying abroad in Saudi Arabia or any other study abroad destination

1. See the World

The biggest reason you should consider a study abroad program is the opportunity to see the world . By studying abroad, you will experience a brand-new country with incredible new outlooks, customs and activities. The benefits of studying abroad include the opportunity to see new terrains, natural wonders, museums and landmarks of your host nation.

2. Education

Another reason you might consider studying abroad is for the chance to experience different styles of education. By enrolling in a study abroad program, you’ll have the chance to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home.

You’ll find that completely immersing yourself in the education system of your host country is a great way to really experience and understand the people, its traditions, and its culture. Education is the centerpiece of any study abroad trip—it is, after all, a study abroad program—and choosing the right school is a very important factor.

3. Take in a New Culture

Many students who choose to study abroad are leaving their home for the first time. When they arrive in their new host country, they are fascinated by the distinct cultural perspectives. When you study abroad you will find incredible new foods, customs, traditions, and social atmospheres.

You will find that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the nation’s people and history. You will have the opportunity to witness a completely new way of life.

4. Hone Your Language Skills

Chances are if you’re planning on studying abroad, one of the major draws is the opportunity to study a foreign language. Studying abroad grants you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a new language, and there is no better way to learn than to dive right in.

In addition to the considerable language practice you will get just in day to day life, your host university will likely offer language courses to provide you with a more formal education. Immerse yourself in a new culture and go beyond a purely academic experience

5. Career Opportunities

When you finish your study abroad program and return home, you will return with a new perspective on culture, language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers.

Many students find that they love their host country so much that they decide to seek work there. If you can relate, you will find that a local education will be very valuable when searching for a potential job in that country

6. Find New Interests

If you are still questioning why to study abroad, you should know that studying in a different country offers many new activities and interests that you may never have discovered if you’d stayed at home. You might find that you have an as-yet undiscovered talent for hiking, water sports, snow skiing, golf, or various other new sports you may never have tried back home.

You’ll also have the chance to discover other new and exciting forms of entertainment. Plays, movies, dancing, nightclubs, and concerts are just a few activities that you can enjoy.

7. Make Lifelong Friends

One of the biggest benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, you will attend school and live with students from your host country. This gives you the opportunity to really get to know and create lasting relationships with your fellow students.

After the study abroad program ends, make an effort stay in contact with your international friends. In addition to rewarding personal relationships, these friends can also be important networking tools later down the road.

8. Personal Development

There is nothing quite like being on your own in a foreign country. You might find that studying abroad really brings out your independent nature. Students who study abroad become explorers of their new nation and really discover the curiosity and excitement that they harbor.

A benefit to studying abroad is the opportunity to discover yourself while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Being in a new place by yourself can be overwhelming at times, and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations while being able to problem solve.

9. Graduate School Admissions

Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences. Students that study abroad display diversity and show that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges or put themselves in difficult situations.

Most importantly, students who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education. Graduate schools regularly look for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university. Students who have studied abroad have shown that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leader in graduate school.

10. Life Experience

Why study abroad? For most students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever get to travel abroad for a long period of time. Eventually you will find a job and career, and the opportunity to study abroad may turn out to be a once in a life time opportunity.

Hope this post was helpful

Question tags

How to study in Saudi Arabia

Why study in Saudi Arabia

Cost of studying in Saudi Arabia

Universities in Saudi Arabia for international students

Cost of living in Saudi Arabia for international students

How to get a visa to study in Saudi Arabia

How to apply and study in Saudi Arabia

Tuition fees to study in Saudi Arabia

Applying to study in Saudi Arabia

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