Study in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia is rapidly developing in a modern country. This makes it interesting for international students to choose it for pursuing their higher education. Around 200,000 students are currently studying at Saudi’s higher education institution. If you are also looking forward to study in Saudi Arabia, here is the complete guide for you.

Why study in Saudi Arabia

With the increasing expenditure on higher education, Saudi Arabia has taken active steps in the past few years to enhance its universities and research facilities. Here are the main reasons why international students choose Saudi Arabia as their study abroad destination.

  • By studying abroad in Saudi Arabia, you will get a chance to make friends with both locals and students coming from all over the world.
  • The broad range of soft skills gained from studying abroad, along with a specific understanding of Saudi Arabian professional and cultural contexts, will help you to get more job opportunities in any part of the world.
  • You can study in Saudi Arabia in English. You will find many courses in Saudi Universities which are taught in English. 
  • Many universities in Saudi Arabia offer various funding incentives and scholarships to international students. This would help you to decrease the financial burden of studying abroad. If you are successful in gaining a fully-funded scholarship then you can study in Saudi Arabia free.
  •  The cost of studying in Saudi Arabia is low. Bachelor degrees are more affordable than a Masters degree.

How to study in Saudi Arabia

The procedure of studying in Saudi Arabia is fairly simple. You just need to follow a few steps and you will be in Saudi attending your classes. Here is the full process of it:

  1. Explore the universities and find a suitable course for you.
  2. Check whether you are eligible or not. Also, check the document requirements on the university page.
  3. Assemble all the documents accordingly.
  4. Fill the application form and Apply online for the admission. Submit the documents with the application form.
  5. Once the university in Saudi Arabia decides to provide a seat, it will issue an offer letter.
  6. After receiving the offer letter, start preparing for your visa.
  7. Once you get the approval of the visa, pack your bags and fly to Saudi Arabia for your further education.

Top universities in Saudi Arabia

The Ministry of Higher Education is responsible for establishing, administering and supervising the higher education system in the country. There are around 24 private universities in Saudi Arabia. For the public universities in Saudi Arabia, the count is around 21. Some of the top universities in Saudi Arabia, as per QS University Rankings 2021 are tabulated below with their rankings :


QS World University Ranking 2021

King Abdulaziz University (KAU) 


King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals


King Saud University 


Umm Al-Qura University 


Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU) (formerly UNIVERSITY OF DAMMAM) 


King Khalid University


Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd university


Islamic University of Madinah 


King Faisal University


Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University



Top courses to study in Saudi Arabia

Saudi institutions provide a wide variety of course options to international students. No matter which study field you are, you will find your interested course in Saudi Arabia. Here are some of the popular courses to study in Saudi Arabia for Indian students and other international students:

  • Study Engineering in Saudi Arabia
  • Study Agriculture in Saudi Arabia
  • Study Medicine in Saudi Arabia
  • Study Education in Saudi Arabia
  • Study Computer science in Saudi Arabia
  • Study Nursing in Saudi Arabia
  • Study Information science in Saudi Arabia
  • Study Law in Saudi Arabia
  • Study Finance in Saudi Arabia
  • Study Business in Saudi Arabia

Requirements to study in Saudi Arabia

You must apply directly to the higher education institution of your choice. To get admission in the universities in Saudi Arabia, you will need to submit some of the supporting documents with your application. Generally, the documents asked are: 

  • Proof of previous academic qualifications and grades, 
  • Proof of language proficiency (English or Arabic) 
  • Passport size photos
  • Secondary school diploma or certificate: Original and photocopies
  • Academic records: Undergraduate documents (for post-graduate studies)
  • A good conduct certificate
  • Identification cards: 2-3 photocopies
  • Letter of recommendation: At least two academic recommendation letters, from a professor who have taught you before
  • Approval of the custodian for female students
  • A valid copy of passport
  • A birth certificate

Entry requirements will vary depending on the institution. So, contact the institution to know in detail about the admission process. Also, note that all the documents must be authorized by the Saudi officials or Saudi Arabia embassy in your home country.

Cost of studying in Saudi Arabia

The individual Saudi universities fix tuition fees. Thus the prices vary widely. In many cases, universities in Saudi Arabia offer various incentives and funding assistance. Those who are not receiving funding assistance should expect to pay tuition fees of around US$6,000 for undergraduate programs and considerably more for master’s degrees.

The cost of private accommodation can be fairly expensive, ranging between 3,500 SAR (US$800) and 4,500 SAR (US$1,050) for a small apartment in Riyadh, although prices are cheaper the further from the city you venture. In addition to accommodation, a daily budget of between   187-375SAR( US$50-100) is advised.

Study in Saudi Arabia with Scholarship

The Saudi government and higher education institute in the country offer several scholarships for international students. These scholarships help to ease their financial burden. Here are some of the scholarships to study in Saudi Arabia for international students. 

  • King Abdulaziz University Scholarships in Saudi Arabia 
  • Effat University Full Scholarship in Saudi Arabia
  • King Abdullah Scholarship Program
  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Fellowship For Saudi Arabian and International Students, and 
  • KAUST Fellowship Program for PhD and MS or PhD level in Saudi Arabia.
  • King Saud university PhD scholarship

Student Visa to study in Saudi Arabia

International students who wish to study abroad in Saudi Arabia will need a study visa before being allowed to enter the country. They need to apply for the visa in their home country with some of the important documents. Student visa documentation required for international students are:

  • Confirmation of the admission in a degree program at a recognized Saudi university
  • Original birth certificate
  • A medical certificate signed by a licensed doctor
  • Proof of visa fee payment
  • A police report of your criminal history

Once you get approval for the visa, you should pay close attention to expiration dates. Because the dates will be noted in lunar months, as used in the Islamic ‘Hijrah’ calendar, instead of the Western solar calendar. This means the visa may expire a few days sooner than you expect, so be sure to work out your leaving day with this in mind to avoid an overstay fine.

Working in Saudi Arabia

International students are not permitted to work while they are studying in Saudi Arabia. However, those wishing to stay in the country after graduation will find a good selection of work opportunities. International students who want to get work in Saudi Arabia must first find a job, then the potential employer will apply for the appropriate work permit.

There are many opportunities for post-graduate employment in Saudi Arabia for international students. Saudi Arabia employs roughly 8 million foreign workers. Majorly, there are many opportunities for graduates with master’s degrees in the petroleum and financial industries. Other industries for foreign workers are teaching, IT, healthcare, telecommunications and construction. 

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