How to Study in Saudi Arabia for Free (8 Steps)

Saudi Arabia is one of the most popular Middle Eastern countries in the world today. With its vast deserts and oil reserves, Saudi Arabia has, even more, to offer to those who want a chance to study in the said country as an international student. For those who opt to try their hand at studying in Saudi Arabia, they will realize upon their first few days there that Saudi Arabia is a country that adheres to tradition. With a good number of people that flock to the country for pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, the country is definitely no stranger to outsiders. Despite its adherence to tradition and religious practices, Saudi Arabia is also a rapidly developing modern country, which makes for an interesting addition to a list of possible international study choices. In this article, we will be going over how to study in Saudi Arabia for free.

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Study in Saudi Arabia for Free

1. Perform Well in Your Current Studies

To get into a good university, nothing is as effective as performing well in your current studies. Doing well in any school before trying to apply for a university will help prove that you are a student that the university can depend on to do well in his or her academics. Having a good track record shows that you are capable of handling the academic workload, and doing well. Getting good grades while performing extra-curricular work is an effective strategy towards creating a stellar record. When it comes to universities in Saudi Arabia and their application processes, choosing students who perform well and ace most of their tests are more favored than others. Thus, performing well in whatever school you are in at the moment is a good way to get into the university of your choosing and study in Saudi Arabia for free.

2. Prepare a Good Application with Recommendations

Sometimes, universities opt to have application requirements such as written essays and recommendations from professors. This is usually a mechanism used by said universities to get an unbiased understanding of how you are as a student. Recommendations are usually made in the form of a private letter made by your chosen professor in your current school and sent directly to the university you are choosing to apply to. By having good recommendation letter from esteemed professors at your school, the foreign university will be more likely to believe in your capabilities as a student. Having someone vouch for you can be an effective tool to showcasing who you really are as a student, and what you can achieve when given the right tools and expertise.

3. Practice for Any Possible Interviews

Aside from recommendations and essays, there is always a possibility that you may be asked to sit through an interview with any number of panelists or professors of the university you are applying to. This is nothing to be afraid of, since interviews can be done with ease given the proper preparations. The best way to prepare for one is to expect that there will be one. Reading up on the information about the university, such as their research endeavors and principles, is also a good way to prepare for possible interviews. This is usually a way for the university to get to know you as a person and as a student, which is why putting your best foot forward by practicing is the best way to get into the best universities, and may even get you a scholarship.

4. Identify the Universities that are Affordable in Saudi Arabia

By identifying the affordable universities in Saudi Arabia, you will be able to narrow down your search for a university that fits both your educational needs and financial needs. There can always be a balance between the amount spent on education and other related expenses, as well as the money you are financially capable of producing. Attending an affordable university in Saudi Arabia is a good way to help you to study in Saudi Arabia for free. If you are interested, read about the Affordable Universities in Saud Arabia.

5. Get Scholarships from Universities in Saudi Arabia

Since it is important to provide education to all types of students regardless of their financial capacities, Saudi Arabian universities like the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, located in Dhahran, offers a scholarship for graduate students in Engineering, Science and IT, as stated on their website. The scholarship allows students to have free tuition, a monthly stipend, as well as other benefits like free books and housing. The scholarship also offers students the opportunity to participate in different research and conference activities, which means that quality education may still be provided at a more affordable price. Getting scholarships from universities in Saudi Arabia such as King Fahd University is the best way to study in Saudi Arabia for free.

Another example of a university which offers free education in the form of scholarships is the Alfaisal University. According to their website, they offer not just one, but several scholarships to students based on academic excellence and merit, as well as financial need. For students who need scholarships based on financial difficulties, certain requirements such as providing proof of financial need, as well as a list of special skills or talents are required. The amount of tuition discounts provided by the university can reach up to 20%, and also depends on whether the student can maintain a good academic standing throughout such scholarship.

6. Apply for a Working Permit as an International Student

Working in a part-time job or another job while being a student is an option for some who study abroad. Sometimes, having a job to defray the expenses of day-to-day living as a student is necessary for those that do not have scholarships or allowance to pay for such expenses. Most of the time, working while studying in a foreign country requires a permit issued by the government agencies in charge of the educational system in said country. For Saudi Arabia, the visas that are allowed for students are only those for studying and residency. The Ministry of Education only allow students to stay as residents while studying, but with no option to work. Thus, if you are considering taking up international studies in Saudi Arabia, you have to prepare for the expenses without depending on finding a job there.

7. Apply for Government Scholarships

Applying for scholarships is a good way to attend great Saudi Arabian universities at an affordable price or even study in Saudi Arabia for free! Scholarships can be offered either by the public and private institutions of the foreign country itself, or by the institutions of your own country. There are offers and grants made by organizations that believe in better education and having a more culturally-diverse experience, which is why applying to these scholarships might be your best chance at international studies.

8. Learn to Appreciate Simplicity in Living Expenses

Living expenses tend to take a huge portion of the financial savings you have allotted for your education. In Saudi Arabia, the average amount of tuition costs $6,000 for an undergraduate program, and even more for advanced degrees. Saving up on costs of living expenses by choosing a simpler lifestyle can help lower the overall cost of your education abroad.


I hope that this article on how to study in Saudi Arabia for free was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Asia Scholarships Page!