Study in Saudi Arabia: the ultimate guide for a Short Course in 2023
Saudi Arabia

The Ultimate Guide to Studying in Saudi Arabia in 2023

Browse all short courses in Saudi Arabia

  • Jan-Jan Academic Year
  • 1 Listed Institutes
  • 69,000 Int. Students
  • 1,573,000 Students
  • 35,845,000 Population

Study in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has one of the fastest-growing and most impressive higher education systems in the Middle East. Thus, it is hardly surprising that thousands of international students choose to enrol at Saudi Arabian universities and colleges every year.

With a colourful blend of modern architecture, ancient sites, and the beautiful Red Sea coast, it’s easy to understand why many want to study and live in this kingdom, at least for a while.

Why study in Saudi Arabia?

1. Saudi Arabia invests a lot in education

In Saudi Arabia, education is taken very seriously. Over 20% of the annual budget is invested in developing, improving, and maintaining a high standard of teaching at all education levels.

This is also reflected in the large number of higher education institutions: there are over 25 public universities and more than 65 private colleges where students can enrol.

2. International students have access to funding

Saudi Arabian universities offer scholarships to all international students, regardless of their country of origin. Usually, the scholarship application is included in the university application process.

The most substantial scholarships cover full tuition fees and a large part of the monthly living costs.

3. Modern infrastructure and facilities

Students enjoy state-of-the-art resources and facilities, both in terms of studying and living. Universities have the latest technologies necessary for lab work and advanced research.

As for on-campus accommodation, at some universities, students even benefit from air conditioning, gyms, swimming pools, and restaurants.

4. Saudi Arabia is an economic powerhouse

It’s no secret that oil is the key asset that has transformed Saudi Arabia into one of the top 20 economies in the entire world. This has allowed the beautiful Arab country to build an impressive infrastructure, a stable financial system, and to position itself as an attraction for tourists with money to spend.

As an international student, it’s a bit harder to find a job after graduating from a Saudi Arabian university. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Students with specialist skills can find work in fields like IT, banking, telecommunications, or the oil industry.

In 2018, for example, the average salary was around 7,250 EUR per month, making Saudi Arabia the highest paying country among the five Gulf Cooperation Council states.

What is it like to study in Saudi Arabia?

One aspect noticed by all internationals is the different culture and system of values. Gender segregation is widespread, so girls and boys will study at different universities and live in campuses that are far apart. In terms of infrastructure, you can expect modern facilities and resources.

Most extra-curricular activities take place in schools or on school grounds. You’ll also observe various limitations; for example, all forms of public performances, like theatre plays or concerts, are prohibited.

What to study in Saudi Arabia?

International students can enrol in various English-taught degrees. The following are only some of the most popular study options:

Which universities to attend in Saudi Arabia?

These are some of the top-ranked universities in Saudi Arabia:

How to apply

Each university in Saudi Arabia has its own admission system on their website that allows future students to apply for and enrol in their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programmes. So, once you select the university of your choice, you can go through their application and submit your materials there.

Here are some documents you might need to submit during your university application:

  • A scan of your diploma (high school or Bachelor’s degree)
  • A transcript/record of your previous courses
  • A scan of your passport and/or birth certificate
  • Your CV
  • Testing scores
  • Evidence of scholarship or funding
  • Letters of recommendation (2 or 3)
  • Portfolio and/or writing samples

Helpful ways to make sure you qualify for a Saudi Arabian university

Take preparation courses

This kind of courses enables degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.

Try a pre-MBA, pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.

Improve your English through an English-language prep course.

If you’re attending a degree programme in Saudi Arabia, you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.

English-language tests

To study in Saudi Arabia, you’ll need to provide proof of your English language proficiency. The certificates generally accepted by Saudi Arabian universities are:

Still, you should always check your university’s website to be sure what the exact requirements are.

Living in Saudi Arabia

Let’s take a closer look at the tuition and living expenses in Saudi Arabia:

Tuition fees at universities in Saudi Arabia

Tuition ranges wildly at public universities in Saudi Arabia. Study programmes can cost anywhere from 0 (yes, completely free!) to over 22,000 EUR per academic year. At some institutions, tuition is calculated using the total number of credit hours — very similar to the American education system.

Like in most other countries, private universities are more expensive.

Living costs

Depending on the type of accommodation and your lifestyle, you will need anywhere between 650 and 1,000 EUR to cover your monthly expenses. Here are some of the average costs of living in Saudi Arabia:

  • Accommodation (rent a private flat): 325–565 EUR/month (on-campus rooms are usually cheaper)
  • Utilities: 120–140 EUR/month
  • Monthly public transport pass: 34 EUR (without discounts)
  • Three-course meal for 2 people at a mid-range restaurant: 22.50 EUR
  • Milk: 1.15 EUR
  • Loaf of bread: 0.65 EUR
  • Cappuccino: 2.65 EUR

Check out other living expenses in Saudi Arabia.

Universities, colleges and schools in Saudi Arabia

Interesting programmes for you

Find Short Courses in Saudi Arabia

Numerous education initiatives in the world were formed to promote international cooperation and academic exchange between universities as well as attract students and staff worldwide. This focus on international student education provides high quality programmes in various fields of study and prepares students for future careers anywhere in the world.

Studying, for instance, in Australia, Asia, Europe or America represents a wide range of opportunities to see the world and interact with other students from different countries. Different study options allow students to hold a job during their study years in order to pay for their education, if they wish to do so. Online programmes help you get an international education without having to leave home.

The number of English-taught short courses in Asia, Australia, Europe and The United States are continuously rising in popularity in the last few years. Many countries offer English-taught study programmes, including: Australia, China, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain, Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States and more. Other English short courses may be found in the rest of the European countries as well.

Short courses / Summer Courses

Short courses offer a great variety of subjects for a short and fixed period. This period can vary between a week to six weeks, depending on country, institution and course. This is an excellent opportunity to gain academic, cultural and social experience if you are not able to access long-term study opportunities. A wide variety of countries and institutions offer summer and short courses in all kinds of subject areas. It is a great opportunity to get some background information for your own research, to learn a language or to gain knowledge on a related topic.

Sometimes summer and short courses provide students with short-term housing. Therefore, it is useful to find out if housing is included in the fee of the summer or short course you wish to apply for.

Discover other countries

The Netherlands is a very popular study destination. Internationals choose this beautiful country because Dutch universities are some of the best in Europe, the living standards are high, foreigners are always welcome, and you get to live in one of the happiest and safest countries in the world. The Netherlands is also renowned for innovative technologies and engineering solutions, which is reflected in the wide range of Engineering degrees offered by universities. English is spoken by around 90% of Dutch citizens, so forget about language barriers. Also, bike lanes and the “cycling culture” will help you to stay fit and healthy, and there are diverse job opportunities and internships for international students.
Finland is an excellent choice for all internationals and especially for EU/EEA students who can study at local public universities for free. The beautiful Nordic country has one of the best education systems in the world and ranks among the safest and happiest nations in the world. You can also choose from over 400 English-taught programmes. In your spare time, you can explore the breathtaking Finnish nature and landscapes, as well as the numerous lakes that give the country the nickname ‘The Land of a Thousand Lakes.’ From here, you can easily travel to neighbouring countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, or Estonia.
Ireland is among the top countries in the world in terms of quality of life, peace, safety, and development. It represents an appealing blend of beautiful landscapes, English-speaking environments, and a strong, welcoming, and rich culture — of which the Irish people are very proud. International students also enjoy the full support of Irish universities, which hire and train staff that are able to help with accommodation, studies, visa details, or any other challenge.
Norway is a paradise for anyone who wants to study abroad for free. Public universities don’t charge any tuition fees. This policy applies to all international students, regardless of their nationality. The academic standard is very high, and professors are easy to approach, always willing to go the extra mile for their students. Additionally, classes are organised in small groups, which further improves learning and cooperation. You can choose from a wide range of English-taught programmes, and you don’t need to worry about language barriers outside of classes either, because most Norwegians speak English as a second language. Internationals should find it easy to adapt to Norway’s society, which is based on equality and fair opportunities — reflected both in the legal system and in people’s behaviour.
Greece is the cradle of European civilization and the birthplace of philosophy. Greek universities and colleges have a long history in academics, attracting international students from all over the world. Classes are not typically formal, so you can expect open discussions between students and professors, in line with the classical philosophical debate tradition. EU/EEA students don’t pay any tuition at public universities, while non-EU/EEA citizens pay low fees. In Greece, you’ll also enjoy the well-known local hospitality and the wonderful Mediterranean climate. There are many landmarks and monuments waiting to be explored, including the Acropolis, Delphi, the Parthenon, and many others.
Sweden is a very ambitious, eco-friendly, and visionary country. For example, by 2040, it aims to produce all its energy from renewable sources. Universities play an important role in achieving development goals, thanks to their world-class research facilities. If you’re from the EU/EEA, you can study at public universities for free. As a student, you will discover and easily adopt the three main values of Swedish society: freedom, equality, and sustainability. These values are reflected in every aspect of the local society, and you’ll quickly learn to appreciate them. Language barriers are also almost non-existent since around 80% of Swedes speak English.
Switzerland has one of the most advanced free-market economies, which is reflected in the high living standards and the satisfaction of people living here. In terms of higher education, Swiss universities are constantly ranked among the best in Europe, and they shine in areas like Business, Tourism, Culinary Arts, and Engineering. When compared to Western universities, tuition fees in Switzerland are affordable, and all studies — especially PhD programmes — are world-class. You’ll have the opportunity to develop in a multilingual environment and try learning international languages like German, French, or Italian. If you settle down here, the unemployment rates are low, and salaries are well above the European average.
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Universities in the UK are some of the most highly regarded in the world, and for good reasons. Some of the world's most highly regarded research takes place in British universities, which are regularly featured in international rankings. While studying in the UK, you will be able to develop in a highly multicultural environment with high chances of pursuing lucrative careers after graduation. The teaching in the UK is designed to encourage new idea generation, encouraging individual research and group cooperation, through class discussions and creative assignments.
Canada is one of the most popular study destinations in the world due to its high focus on the quality of its universities and its emphasis on attracting international students who can later immigrate. Canadians are very welcoming to international students and they invest a lot into making sure students are safe, treated fairly, and enjoy their stay in the country. Study in one of the strongest economies in the world while enjoying a high living standard and a flexible study environment. Classes have smaller student groups ensuring everyone gets the attention they need, and encouraging group assignments and debates.
United States
United States
The United States is home to some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world. With over 150 universities featured in international rankings, the U.S. has some of the best business schools, medical schools, and engineering schools. Universities and colleges in the U.S. are well known for academic flexibility and ways to customize your study experience with optional studies and extracurricular activities. Depending on where you will be studying, you will be able to visit iconic places like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Goldengate Bridge, The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Disney's Magic Kingdom Park, and much more.
Israel attracts international students through high standards of education and a wide range of English-taught degrees. Local universities shine in areas like Technology, Sciences, Business, and Entrepreneurship. In fact, Israel is a renowned land of innovation, having earned itself the nickname ‘Start-Up Nation’. While living and studying here, you will discover a wonderful culture developed throughout 4,000 years of history; different cultural influences are noticeable everywhere, especially in Israeli food, art, and history. In major cities, English is widely spoken, so communication shouldn’t be a problem. In your spare time, you can visit one of the over 400 nature reserves and 80 national parks.
By studying in Australia you will take advantage of the great student environment both inside and outside classrooms. In addition to some of the best business and engineering schools in the world, you will be able to explore a greatly developed country that still retains its wild side with its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and the Great Outback, with over 500 national parks. Many Australian universities provide internships and work placements, preparing students early on for the job market.


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