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Navigating the Cost of Living for Students in Different Cities of Wales


For many students, pursuing higher education is not just about attending classes and earning a degree; it’s also about gaining valuable life experiences and exposure to different cultures. If you’re considering studying in Wales, a beautiful and culturally diverse part of the United Kingdom, one crucial aspect to consider is the cost of living. Wales offers a range of cities, each with its own unique charm and character. In this blog post, we’ll explore the cost of living for students in various cities across Wales, helping you make an informed decision when choosing your study destination.

Navigating the Cost of Living for Students in Different Cities of Wales

  1. Cardiff – The Capital City

Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, is a popular destination for students. While it offers a vibrant atmosphere and numerous educational institutions, the cost of living can be relatively higher compared to other Welsh cities. On average, monthly living costs, including rent, food, and transportation, can range from £750 to £1,000. However, the city’s employment opportunities and amenities offset the higher costs, making it an attractive choice for many students.

  1. Swansea – A Coastal Gem

Swansea, a coastal city in South Wales, offers a more affordable cost of living compared to Cardiff. Monthly expenses typically range between £600 and £800. The city provides a beautiful blend of beaches, parks, and cultural attractions. Additionally, its lower living costs make Swansea an appealing option for budget-conscious students.

  1. Bangor – A Scholarly Retreat

In North Wales, Bangor is a smaller city with a lower cost of living, making it an excellent choice for students. Monthly expenses can vary from £500 to £700. Bangor University, with its serene surroundings and friendly community, is a draw for many international students.

  1. Aberystwyth – Seaside Serenity

Aberystwyth, located on the west coast of Wales, is a picturesque town surrounded by natural beauty. Monthly living expenses generally fall within the £600 to £800 range. While it may not have the same urban appeal as Cardiff, Aberystwyth offers a unique environment conducive to studying and personal growth.

  1. Newport – A City with Ambition

Newport, situated in South Wales, offers a balanced mix of affordable living and urban amenities. The monthly cost of living can range from £600 to £800, making it a cost-effective choice for students. The city is known for its thriving arts scene, making it a creative hub for students pursuing such disciplines.

  1. Llandudno – A Tranquil Seaside Retreat
  2. on the northern coast of Wales, is a charming seaside town that provides a serene atmosphere. Monthly living expenses generally range from £550 to £750. While it might not be the first choice for every student, its tranquility and beauty attract those looking for a peaceful study experience

Is studying in Wales cheaper than England?

Yes, studying in Wales is generally cheaper than England. This is true for both tuition fees and living costs.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for international students vary depending on the university and the course of study, but they are generally lower in Wales than in England. For example, the average annual tuition fee for an undergraduate degree at a Welsh university is £15,000, compared to £16,500 at an English university.

Living costs

Living costs in Wales are also lower than in England. This includes the cost of accommodation, food, transportation, and other expenses. For example, the average monthly rent for a student flat in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is £700, compared to £900 in London, the capital of England.


Overall, studying in Wales is a more affordable option than studying in England. This is especially true for international students, who often pay higher tuition fees.

Here is a table comparing the average tuition fees and living costs for international students in Wales and England:

Tuition fees (undergraduate)£15,000£16,500
Living costs (per month)£700£900

It is important to note that these are just averages, and the actual cost of studying in Wales or England will vary depending on your individual circumstances. For example, if you choose to study in a more expensive city, such as Cardiff or London, your living costs will be higher.

If you are considering studying in Wales or England, it is important to do your research and compare the costs of tuition fees and living costs for different universities and courses. You should also factor in other costs, such as travel and visa fees.

Do Welsh students get more money?

Yes, Welsh students generally get more money in student finance than students from other parts of the UK. This is because the Welsh government has its own student finance system, which is more generous than the UK government’s system.

For example, Welsh students who are living away from home are entitled to a maintenance grant of £1,000, even if their household income is above the threshold for the UK government’s maintenance grant. Welsh students are also entitled to a higher maintenance loan than students from other parts of the UK.

Here is a table comparing the maximum maintenance support available to Welsh students and students from other parts of the UK in 2023/24:

CategoryWelsh studentsStudents from other parts of the UK
Living away from home£11,720£9,700
Living at home£8,100£7,300

It is important to note that the amount of student finance you receive will depend on your individual circumstances, such as your household income and where you are living while you study.


Choosing the right city for your studies in Wales involves weighing various factors, including the cost of living. While Cardiff offers a bustling urban experience but at a higher cost, other cities like Swansea, Bangor, Aberystwyth, Newport, and Llandudno provide more budget-friendly options with their own unique appeals.

Before making your decision, it’s essential to consider your budget, the specific courses and programs offered at various universities, and your personal preferences. Each city in Wales has something special to offer, and with careful planning, you can make the most of your student experience while managing your living costs effectively. Ultimately, Wales has something for everyone, no matter your financial constraints, so make your choice wisely and embark on an unforgettable academic journey in this beautiful part of the UK.


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