Saudi Arabia

Why study a Bachelor or Master in Saudi Arabia

Find all the study programs in Saudi Arabia

  • About
  • Study
  • Living
  • Universities
  • Student Visa
  • How to Apply
  • Scholarship

About Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia is a distinguished place in the Middle East and the Islamic world. It is home to Islam’s two holiest mosques. This makes the country a dream opportunity for international students.


The official currency used in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Riyal, which can be abbreviated as (SAR), or (SR), and one riyal consists of one hundred sections of a smaller monetary sub-class called the halala, or twenty sections. It is called Gersha, and the body responsible for monetary policies is the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, and in view of the price of the riyal against the dollar, one US dollar is equivalent to the value of the Saudi riyal 3.7500, according to the exchange rates of the year two thousand and nineteen.

Geographical information

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is located in the Arabian Peninsula, and occupies a wide geographical area. It is located on the borders with many Arab countries, and some bodies of water; It is bordered by the Sultanate of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, the State of Qatar, and the Arabian Gulf to the east, and to the north by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Republic of Iraq, and the State of Kuwait. The Gulf of Aqaba, and the Red Sea to the west, and to the southeast are bounded by parts of the Omani lands, and in view of the astronomical position, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lies between longitudes 34,500-55,670 degrees, and latitudes 32,150-15.660 degrees


Arabic is the official and national language in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the language used in most business and other communication purposes, and is spoken by all the indigenous people of the Kingdom.

As a result of the large number of immigrants in the Kingdom, there are many languages other than Arabic, and also many different Arabic dialects, especially the Egyptian dialect.

The largest foreign language in the world is the Tagalog language, with a number of speakers of 700,000 people, the majority of whom are Filipino immigrants, followed by the Rohingya language with a number of speakers estimated at 400,000 speakers.

What is the required language of Study in Saudi Arabia for international students?

Each university in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is unique in its teaching methods and what is related to it, such as the language used in the study.

Some universities depend on the English language in the study process, while others depend on the Arabic language.

Therefore, you must master the two languages well, and you can improve your Arabic language by registering in one of the most important institutes in Saudi Arabia, namely:

  • King Abdulaziz University
  • Princess Nora bint Abdul Rahman University.

life in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, modern life is mixed with ancient heritage, and you can live these two worlds together, but you have to adapt to its relatively warm weather. In some cities, the temperature in summer can reach 50 degrees Celsius.

Study in Saudi Arabia

Why should you study in the Saudi Arabia?

  • Saudi Arabia has a lot of universities and a sophisticated educational system, considered one of the best in the region.
  • The country houses a number of world-class institutions. There are 21 Saudi universities among the top 100 universities across the Arab world.
  • According to the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings, Saudi Arabia has also been featured as having the 36th best higher education system worldwide.
  • Yet, international students are generally accepted into the leading Saudi universities. However, restrictions among other lesser-known universities are likely to vary.
  • Admission for female students is limited to a select few universities and women-only institutions.
  • The country is pumping huge investments in higher education.
  • It has huge oil reserves—nearly 20% of the global reserves.
  • Most of the investments come from such resources. This makes the facilities at the leading universities in the country matchless.

How much does it cost?

Saudi universities usually set the tuition fees, which means prices vary widely. Universities in Saudi Arabia tirelessly seek to recruit international students, providing various incentives and funding assistance.

At King Fahd University, for example, exceptional master’s students can apply for a ‘research assistantship  This covers tuition fees, as well as providing a monthly stipend for living costs and free furnished accommodation, in return for time spent working in a teaching and research capacity.

The students who don’t receive funding assistance should expect to pay tuition fees of approximately US$6,000 for undergraduate programs and significantly more for master’s degrees.

Halls of residence don’t exist in Saudi Arabia, so international students will typically rent private accommodation through their university.

The costs of this can be abundantly expensive, ranging between 3,500 SR (US$800) and 4,500 SR (US$1,050) for a small apartment in Riyadh. However, prices are cheaper the further from the city you venture. In addition to accommodation, a daily budget of between US$50-100 is advised.

Tuition fees vary depending on the courses given at the Saudi universities. They range from SR60, 000 to SR80, 000. Some programs could cost between SR50, 000 to SR75, 000

Living in Saudi Arabia

Housing in Saudi Arabia for students is much cheaper than for expats. Students should be a Saudi nationalist though to own property. Then the only option for expats is to rent.


The cost of accommodation, however, tends to be more expensive than in Europe. Off-campus housing that accommodates about male students and usually located near universities and most institutions offer transport to students.

Housing is similar for locals and international students, and students have an option to choose their roommates. Most residents include a gym, swimming pool and spa, central restaurant and mini market.
Many students choose to live at the university or college (often referred to as ‘on-campus’) or live with a local family when they first arrive.

This allows them to become familiar with their new environment and instantly have a network of people to back them. If you choose on campus accommodation here is what to expect!

Living with friends in a rental property outside of the campus can be one of the most cost-saving options. However, this option does mean students will be living closely with other people.
Therefore, education in Saudi Arabia seems amazing.

There’s a new experience. They will be in a different country. It’s located in the Middle East with a conservative society. It’s a unique experience for them. Modernity and antiquity see eye to eye in the kingdom—which is an opportunity the students should never miss.

Other costs of living

As for transportation and food costs, it can be an average of 1,500 Saudi riyals per month. According to your lifestyle and needs, you can control these expenses to suit your desires.

Universities in Saudi Arabia

The top Three universities in Saudi Arabia

By searching for Saudi universities, you will find that they are always present in the Arab and international rankings every year, as a result of the continuous and rapid growth and development of their educational system. Here are the 3 most important Saudi universities in the QS ranking of the most important universities in the Arab region during 2022, which are:

King Abdulaziz University (KAU)

KAU is ranked first in the 2021 Arab rankings and jointly occupies the 143rd in the global rankings. The university was established in 1967. It houses over 82,000 students, with separate campuses for men and women. These are located in the city of Jeddah, and designed by well-known English architect John Elliott.

By 2017, KAU featured in the top 150 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject for mechanical engineering, agriculture & forestry and pharmacy. Yet, the university provides faculties in a wide range of subject areas, including art and design, humanities, sciences, medicine, pharmacy, business, law and dentistry.

In addition to providing a host of on-campus undergraduate and graduate programs, the university also teaches a distance learning program.

King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals  

King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals occupied the fourth position in the QS Arab Region University Rankings 2021. It was jointly ranked 186th across the world in the QS World University Rankings 2021.

The university was created in 1963 and is located in the city of Dhahran, an important hub for the country’s oil industry. The university presently enrolls more than 7,000 students. Female students are banned from admitting to the university. 

King Fahd University in fact provides courses in a wide array of subjects, covering traditional disciplines as well as engineering, science and business. The university performs incredibly well for those subject areas though.

In the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020, it’s ranked among the world’s top 25 universities for mineral and mining engineering, as well as the top 100 for chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering.

King Saud University  

King Saud University was founded in 1957. It is ranked sixth in the 2021 edition of the QS Arab Region University Rankings, and joint 287th in the latest world rankings. Of a similar level of prestige to King Fahd University, it puts a bigger focus on the life sciences alongside engineering. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, King Saud University is ranked among the world’s top 150 for mechanical engineering, agriculture and pharmacy.

The university is located in the capital city of Riyadh. It currently houses a total of 51,000 students, of which more than 1,100 are internationals. Female students are allowed to admit to the university.


Student Visa - Saudi Arabia

In the kingdom, Getting a visa can be easier said than done, due to the tight restrictions for tourists and travelers. Student visa documentation required for overseas students is usually as follows:

  • A confirmed place on a degree program at a recognized Saudi university.
  • An original birth certificate.
  • A medical certificate proving good health signed by a licensed doctor.
  • Proof of payment of all relevant visa fees.
  • A police report of the student’s criminal history.
  • Approval for travel from the student’s home government.

Student visa holders will not be permitted to work while they study in Saudi Arabia. But those who want to stay in the country after graduation will find a good selection of opportunities for work.

The validity of the student visa may also cause confusion as the dates will be noted in lunar months, as used in the Islamic ‘Hijri’ calendar, rather than the calendar used in the Western world. This can mean the validity of the visa may expire a couple of days earlier. The student, therefore, should make sure to work out his leaving day with this in mind to avoid an over-stay fine.

Should an international student leave Saudi Arabia after graduation?

The Saudi government does not obligate any international student to leave the Kingdom after receiving his graduation certificate. Rather, it allows him to work in many fields and gives them priority in job interviews over those with degrees from outside Saudi Arabia.

Among the most popular jobs you can work as an international student after graduation are:

  • oil field.
  • Information technology.
  • Health Services.
  • Banks
  • Education at its various levels.
  • Communications.
  • Construction and architecture.

How to apply - Saudi Arabia

The application requirements differ from one university to another. At the undergraduate level, universities require a secondary certificate, and some require passing an ability and achievement test
The master’s stage requires a bachelor’s degree and other papers that differ from one university to another.

Of course, for studies that are in English, a language certificate is required, such as TOFEL and ILETS at the rate required by the university.

In some universities, a student is required to enroll in a preparatory year before starting the basic program.

Should an international student submit a TOEFL or IELTS certificate in Saudi Arabia?

As an international student in Saudi Arabia, you must first provide official evidence of English language proficiency, which is the TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic test certificate, after confirming the requirements of the university you wish to study at.

Scholarship in Saudi Arabia

Scholarships offered by the Saudi government for international students are one of the best ways to get free education, so we will introduce you to the most important free scholarships within the Kingdom, which are:

Saudi Arabia Scholarships

These scholarships are the best of the kind offered to an international student and are an integral part of the government’s support scheme for scientific research. They include exempting the student from all academic costs, accommodation expenses and the cost of the airfare. These scholarships cover all levels of study: university degrees, master’s degrees and doctorates But there are some conditions that must be met, such as:

  • You must be at least 17 years old and up to 25 years old if you want to study for an undergraduate degree.
  • You must be at least 30 and under 35 when you wish to enroll in postgraduate studies.
  • Obtaining government approval in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Direct application of the scholarship within the university you wish to attend.

King Fahd University Scholarships

The scholarships of this university are specialized in postgraduate studies and its costs are fully covered by the tuition fees in addition to the accommodation allowance.

You can apply to it online by sending the required form after filling out all its data and attaching it to the required documents. One of the advantages of the scholarship is that you will get a monthly stipend to pay all the required expenses in addition to the free books.

King Abdulaziz Scholarships

These scholarships guarantee all stages of study, from undergraduate degrees to doctoral degrees, and cover full tuition costs in addition to accommodation fees.

And the expenses required of the student at any stage of study to which he joins. Also, this scholarship will give you free travel tickets and health care. This scholarship does not have a specific application period.

Islamic Development Bank Grants

The bank is located in the city of Jeddah and includes 56 countries as contributing members, so it provides grants in the form of financial aid to international students from those countries, and it includes aids for studying students at all stages, and you can apply for this scholarship every year specifically in the month of December and waiting for approval in February.

The scholarship covers all tuition fees in addition to accommodation costs.

Mahmoud Saleh Rabbani Scholarship

It is a Saudi institution called Lutfia Rabbani that gives scholarships to international students every year, and it calls it the Mahmoud Saleh Scholarships after the name of its founder.

It is given to those wishing to complete graduate studies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whether a master’s or doctoral degree, and the student beneficiary of this scholarship is granted an amount of up to 18,000 US dollars distributed over all stages of the study.