Some of the biggest study destinations that an international student may consider were either between the United States and Europe. However, Saudi Arabia has been continuously capturing the attention of foreign citizens because of the country’s growing prominence, travel opportunities, the diverse international community, work opportunities, and more.
The country offers a lot of benefits which is one of the factors why a student chose to study abroad. Saudi Arabia has also proven to help students reach their full potential in the strategic industry. As the country is part of the top twenty economies in the world, universities in Saudi Arabia have consecutively trained all their students to be competitive by giving them an excellent education program. With awesome scholarships in Saudi Arabia, it will be no surprise that Saudi Arabia will top the list for popular choice among international students.
Living Costs for International Students in Saudi Arabia
The cost of living in Saudi Arabia is high and not much an advantage for international students since it can take about $1,500 per month to cover all study and living expenses. However, Saudi Arabia provides excellent scholarship grants covering all expenses, in aims to engage more international students to study in the country.
Are International Students in Saudi Arabia allowed to work?
Like any other study program from different countries, every international student studying outside their home country will be given a student visa throughout their study period. However, this student visa shall not be used in any irrelevant use such as attempting to work in the country.
This is because the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sets its rules and regulations that any student visa holders shall not be permitted to work in the country unless they have completed their field of study and acquired a certificate.
Top Three Universities in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has several well-known and top-ranking universities in the world. Although they have recently started to expand their vision and perception of their education system, there are a lot of Saudi Arabia universities that have been included in different rankings either internationally or within the boundary of Western Asia.
With that, it is expected that the country will soon top the University rankings if they constantly correct all flaws within the system. According to the International rankings, the top universities in Saudi Arabia are King Abdulaziz University, Alfaisal University, and King Saud University.
Best Scholarships in Saudi Arabia
The annual government-funded scholarship in Saudi Arabia is open to outstanding international students who want to pursue their program study in Saudi Arabia. The program is founded to contribute to human cultivation by means of distributing knowledge, scientific research, and worldwide foster of communication. To be an eligible candidate for the scholarship program, the applicant must hold the following conditions:
- Applicant must not be lower than the age of 17 years old nor exceed 25 years of age for the undergraduate level, 30 years of age for the Master’s, and 35 years of age for the Ph.D. degree, respectively.
- Must acquire approval by their home country’s competent authorities, that they are permitted to travel in Saudi Arabia.
- Must have not yet been awarded a scholarship grant by any other Saudi Arabian institution.
- Vouched credentials and certificates by their home country’s appropriate authorities.
The awarded candidates for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Scholarship Program will receive benefits such as health care and travel expenditures, medical assistance, financial allowance within their first and last period of study, academic staff supports, incentives, and many other benefits that a native Saudi Arabian student experience.
The field of study and other supporting requirements will solely depend on the government university’s regulation therefore, the applicants must reach out to their chosen university and field of study. This Saudi Arabia scholarship program is open for students who will be taking up Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in any field of study, excluding medicine and health-related specialty.
King Abdulaziz University, or commonly abbreviated as “KAU”, is a public university prestigious for its international ranking in the field of research and innovation. The institution offers an annual scholarship grant, in aims to support international students to conduct research and help develop their time devotion in the midst of achieving their study program degree at King Abdulaziz University.
Applicants who wish to be a KAU scholar must submit all documents and supporting certificates showcasing their good academic standing in their native country’s institution.
Those who will be granted this Saudi Arabia Scholarship will receive numerous benefits including a monthly stipend of SR 1900, preparation allowance worth SR 1800, medical assistance, accommodation, travel, and meal expenditures, as well as printing service stipends worth SR 3,000 for Master’s, and SR 4,000 for the doctoral degree. The university shall expect fulfillment for the scholar’s duties and responsibilities such that they need to give their best knowledge and ability to accomplish their respective research studies.
The King Fahd University offers a scholarship twice every academic year to provide support for international students who want to pursue their Master’s and Doctoral degrees in the field of Engineering, Sciences, and Business at the institution. All interested applicants must accomplish all the requirements and supporting documents such as:
- Photocopy of Identifications— Passports, Government ID, etc.
- Official Transcript of Records and Certificate for Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree.
- Recommendation letter obtained through the online recommendation system after submitting all the requirements.
- A one-page original essay of the statement of purpose focusing the student’s career and research goals at the King Fahd University.
- GMAT score for those candidates applying for MBA.
- TOEFL or IELTS
Granted applicants will receive a full cover of tuition fee expense, medical assistance, and monthly allowance to cover all living and personal expenditures. The beneficiaries will also experience a free-furnished house, sponsored meals, travel expenses, etc. Before being selected as the right candidate for this Saudi Arabia scholarship, the applicant must keep in mind that they must need a good academic background and must meet the University’s requirements to be considered.
Islamic Development bank, abbreviated as the “IsDB”, is designed to attract students and help them build their own competencies to contribute to society. The concept of IsDB not only relies on the idea of it being a scholarship program, but to an extent that they provide straight financial assistance to qualified students who shows an excellent academic record.
The bank offers its financial aid program to international students residing from either one of their 56 shareholding member states globally. The Islamic Development Bank offers six scholarships for students who want to pursue a Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral/ Post-Doctoral degree. They also offer IsDB-ISFD for Technical Vocation Education and Training (TVET), IsDB-ISFD Bachelor studies, and IsDB-The World Academy of Science (TWAS).
Students who wish to apply for either of the six Saudi Arabia scholarships offered must adhere to the requirements of the one they are applying to. Granted students will receive the scholarship as an interest-free loan where they need to fulfill an obligation under the conditions of each program after their graduation.
Mahmoud S. Rabanni Scholarship, commonly known as MSR Scholarship, is considered the best scholarship program in Saudi Arabia for international students who wish to study for their Master’s and Doctoral degrees in this country. The program aims to foster good communicative interaction between the Arab and European students, broaden their scope of perspective and fulfill the foundation’s mission. To be an eligible candidate for the program, the applicants must meet the requirements of the foundation such as:
- Must be national of any of the selected countries within Europe.
- Obtained an official acceptance letter for Master’s and Doctoral degree in the Netherlands, and an acceptance letter from the Arab World if you are a Dutch student.
- English Langauge Proficiency and mastery of the language of study.
- Other supporting documents are needed showcasing good academic background, curriculum vitae, etc.
Grantees from the MSR Scholarship will receive a maximum amount of €15,000. The students must keep in mind before applying to the foundation that the scholarship grant will not support the succeeding tuition expenditures and will only be applicable for the full academic year they have applied to.