How to Study in Saudi Arabia for International Students

If you want to study abroad, Saudi Arabia could be your next best option. This Middle Eastern nation has a population of over 33 million and is renowned for being the top oil producer. Many of the world's oldest colleges are located there, and international students can apply for grants and scholarships to help pay for their education. Saudi Arabia is a desirable location for international students seeking a distinctive study abroad experience because of all of these characteristics.

When it comes to the choices that are available, Saudi Arabia currently has 39 universities, from which 29 universities are a part of the public sector and 10 universities are private institutions.

Suppose you’re not just looking for any school but a well-performing school. In that case, the top universities in Saudi Arabia you should definitely check out are King Abdulaziz University, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and King Saud University.

Being able to study in Saudi Arabia as an international student starts with planning ahead of time, as the process of researching your institution, filling out forms, and completing your paperwork can take a vast amount of time. In this article, you will find out the application process to study in Saudi Arabia, along with information on tuition, language requirements, and visa applications. So, let’s dig in!

1. Cost of Studying in Saudi Arabia

The cost of your studies is a big factor to consider when you're planning to study abroad. It can financially burden you, but here's the good thing: the public universities in Saudi Arabia don't charge tuition fees to international students like you! there is Jouf University a tuition-free school. You will just be required to pay some registration and other study fees, but these won't be as high.

On the other hand, if you choose to study in a private institution, expect that you'll pay higher fees. Here are some of the private universities in Saudi Arabia with their tuition fees:

Institution Bachelor’s International Tuition Fee Master’s International Tuition Fee
Alfaisal University 94,000 SAR 100,000 SAR
Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University 58,000 SAR 25,000 SAR - 40,000 SAR
Dar Al-Hekma University 80,000 SAR - 90,000 SAR 71,400 SAR - 91,200 SAR
University of Business and Technology 51,500 SAR - 80,400 SAR 67,200 SAR - 70,100 SAR
Effat University 70,000 SAR - 90,000 SAR 65,000 SAR - 70,000 SAR
Al Yamamah University 65,000 SAR 72,000 SAR - 94,500 SAR
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology 0 SAR

2. Requirements to Study in Saudi Arabia for International Students

Once you have an idea of how much tuition fees are to study in Saudi Arabia, it’s time to consider preparing the paperwork to apply to those universities. Academic institutions have varying admission requirements, but the ones you should always prepare in advance are your academic records, such as a transcript of records or diploma from a previous academic level, and travel documents, such as your passport and visa.

Some institutions that offer master’s programs might also ask for a statement of purpose, a curriculum vitae or résumé, and letters of recommendation. There are also degree programs where you need to take an admissions test before you can apply. Besides these, universities might also require you to submit proof of language proficiency.

In Saudi Arabia, English is the main language of instruction. An academic institution in Saudi Arabia may require non-native English speakers to prove language proficiency by taking standardized English tests, such as the International English Language Testing System also known as IELTS, and the Test Of English as a Foreign Language or TOEFL. You can also check out if your target university is accepting a Duolingo English Test score because some universities in Saudi Arabia are accepting Duolingo scores. When you take any of these tests, note that you’ll need to get at least the required minimum score to qualify for your preferred university.

To give you an idea, here are some universities in Saudi Arabia and their required minimum scores for each program level.

Al Yamamah University

Master’s degree

Alfaisal University

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Dar Al-Hekma University

Bachelor’s degree

Master’s degree

Typically, you can find information about language requirements on the admissions requirements page of the university. You can also check out if the university has a dedicated language requirements page for international students.

Application Procedure to Study in Saudi Arabia

The specific admission process may vary depending on the university. The good news is that most institutions in Saudi Arabia have online applications available on their websites, like King Abdulaziz University and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. To help you with this, we also compiled the official websites and admission pages of some of the top institutions in Saudi Arabia.

King Abdulaziz University

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

King Saud University

Make sure to gather all the information you need for the admission process. As you apply to these institutions, expect that they may ask for additional requirements depending on your nationality, degree, or program. So, it’s best to keep your lines active.

After completing your academic and language requirements, it’s time to apply!

The admission process in Saudi Arabia differs from one university to another, so it’s best to contact your chosen school beforehand. Please note that the admission process for international students may take some time, so be sure to know the application dates and apply early.

The application process may take weeks or months, depending on your timing, nationality, degree, and other factors. To make the most of your application, make sure to completely follow the admission steps and submit the necessary requirements to ensure that you’ll be accepted to your chosen university in Saudi Arabia.

The key to being admitted to your chosen school will depend on your punctuality and the quality of your application. So make sure to complete the requirements beforehand and follow the steps in applying. After this, you’ll wait for a week or a month for the results.

4. Visa Application for International Students in Saudi Arabia

Now that you’re accepted into your chosen institution, it’s time to apply for a student visa in Saudi Arabia. A student visa is an essential document for studying abroad. It’s an important government document that you need to present before going to Saudi Arabia as an international student.

In this section, let’s briefly discuss the requirements needed and how you can apply for a student visa in Saudi Arabia. If you’re going to stay here for your studies, you will need to obtain a Study Visa.

To start your student visa application in Saudi Arabia, you will need to present the following:

  1. Certificates and transcripts certified by the Saudi Arabia embassy in your home country
  2. Authenticated copy of your or your guardian’s bank statement for the last 6 months, showing sufficient balance to cover first year’s tuition fees
  3. Financial guarantee from a recognized body (if available)

Kindly take note that these requirements may vary depending on your nationality. So, please expect that may ask for additional requirements. Moreover, you will be required to pay a student visa application fee. The visa application fee in Saudi Arabia is 300 SAR.

After preparing your requirements and application fees, it’s time to apply for a student visa! The first steps in getting your student visa are:

  1. Accept the offer from your host university.
  2. Submit visa application requirements.
  3. Your host university will apply for a student visa for you.
  4. Await for confirmation of your student from your host university.

For more information regarding the specific steps in applying for a student visa, visit or contact the nearest embassy or consulate in your home country. They are the ones responsible for processing your student visa application.

That’s it! After getting your student visa, you can now officially study in Saudi Arabia. Make sure to book a flight early, before your classes start, so that you’ll have ample time to explore and familiarize yourself in your new place!