Studying abroad is one of the most exciting things any student can wish for. Not just that you will have a wonderful studying experience, you will also be able to learn the diversity of cultures aside from your culture.
Unfortunately, the cost of studying abroad as an international student in most of the prestigious university is always expensive and can discourage you. But the good news is there are places you can still study for free.
Many countries worldwide allow students to able to study abroad for free or for a very affordable amount; all you have to do is just to know where to look.
So if you are asking whether it’s possible for you to study abroad without having to pay through your nose, and if ‘YES’, where, this article will give you the answer.
This article will provide information on countries where you can study abroad for free as an international student.
How can I study abroad for Free?
Different opportunities options are available for you to pursue the degree of in choice as an international student abroad without having to spend much. Some of the options include:
- Having a Scholarship: The two forms are covered: one for the dispensation of fines, and the other for living expenses.
- Scholarships offered by individual institutions may be offered to anyone who already owns more than 50 percent of the other student candidates’ profile in the league.
- You can also go for Education Exchange programs which are very useful. This is because of the numerous MOUs were signed by the Indian Government with various foreign countries.
- Get an Assistant to PhD and MS scholars, including Doctoral Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Thesis Assistant, and Doctoral Research Assistant.
- Having a scholarship, which is a monetary prize that is not merit-based but financial-based, can be used by Indian students.
- Part-time work can help students achieve 20 hours of work a week, providing you with a job of at least $10-12 an hour.
- Paid – Internships may help obtain structured job experience for prospective employees over time and help improve a candidate’s profile and have a successful scholarship opportunity.
- Cracking an ACT, SAT, GRE or GMAT score are several strong choices that help to obtain access to up to 100 percent scholarships from various IVY league universities around the world. Choosing alternatives such as Germany, Poland, Slovenia, and Norway is a reasonable choice for a partial or full fee waiver.
Countries Where You Can Study Abroad for Free
Below you’ll find a selection of countries that offer low-cost or free tuition, with details on eligibility and what current (low) university fees you can expect.
#1 Study in Germany for free
Interest in studying abroad in Germany just seems to keep on growing. This is largely due to the fact that there are no undergraduate tuition fees at public universities in Germany. This applies to both German students and internationals, regardless of nationality.
In German Public universities, only a small nominal university fee is charged, of around $177.18-250 (~US$160-265) to cover administration costs.
However, these low study costs combined with Germany’s strong economy and excellent higher education system, makes the prospect of undertaking study in Germany for free extremely appealing for both students and their parents worldwide.
More than 40 German universities are featured among the world’s leaders in the QS World University Rankings – again, beaten only by the US and UK – with the highest place taken by Technische Universität München.
If you’re successful in finding a university at which to study in Germany for free, you will of course still need to budget for living costs. If you need a German student visa, you’ll need to prove you have around $10,276.44 (~US$9,230) per year for living expenses.
Two of the top destinations for study in Germany, Munich and Berlin, were also ranked within the top 20 most affordable cities to study in the QS Best Student Cities.
#2 Study in France for free (or at low cost)
France may not be quite as widely known as Germany for affordable higher education. But international students may be surprised to hear that they can also study in France for free (or, at a very low cost), regardless of their nationality.
Although technically, university fees do exist at public universities in France, they’re just a fraction of those charged in most countries, amounting to just $217.34 (~US$195) per year at the undergraduate level to cover course administration.
Additional charges can bring this price up, particularly for more specialized programs such as medicine and engineering, but not dramatically.
If you’re looking to study at a leading grande école, however, expect fees to vary widely. As is the case in Germany, the majority of programs offering the chance to study in France for free are taught in the native language.
Alternatively, you can also attend a preparatory school to perfect your French skills before beginning your degree, but this you’ll have to pay for.
Note, living costs in France are also relatively affordable, amounting to around $11,339.52 (~US$10,180) per year, though you should expect to pay more if you choose to live in the capital city Paris.
#3 Study in the Nordic countries for free
Known for their high quality of life, stunning nature and liberal politics, Northern European nations (known as the Nordic countries) also boast as one of the strongest higher education systems country in the world.
Nordic nations include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden all offer opportunities to study free or at low cost:
In Norway, university study is available free of charge to all students, regardless of study level or nationality. The majority of undergraduate programs are taught only in Norwegian, and international students need to demonstrate proof of proficiency in Norwegian in order to study at this level.
At master’s and Ph.D. level, English language programs are far more common and free tuition still applies.
On the other hand, Denmark and Sweden only extend their free higher education perks to students from within the EU/EEA and Switzerland, meaning that students from outside these regions must pay tuition fees for bachelor’s and master’s programs.
Ph.D. programs in both countries are fully funded, offering exceptional Ph.D. candidates the chance to gain their degree without paying fees, and earn a salary.
In Denmark, university fees range from between DKK 45,000 and DKK 120,000 (~US$6,420-17,115) annually, while in Sweden they fall between SEK 80,000 and SEK 140,000 (~US$8,730-15,270).
In Iceland, there are no tuition fees charged at the country’s four public universities, with only a registration fee of around $472.48 a year (~US$425).
But what about living costs? Well, this is the catch, as the costs of living in Northern Europe are among some of the highest in the whole of Europe.
This is largely due to the healthy economy of the region overall and the strength of the Nordic currencies, so paying more for a living when the streets are clean and the people are happy perhaps isn’t so bad! Four Nordic capitals have been ranked among the world’s top student cities: Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, and Stockholm.
Other places to study in Europe for free (or at low cost)
What about other places to study in Europe for free or at a low cost? There are a number of Europe countries which offer affordable or free universities, without any need to sacrifice on quality. See below for more examples.
Another country where students can study in Europe for free (or at a very low cost) in Austria.
EU/EEA students enjoy the same rights as Austrians when it comes to the cost of higher education, and can study for free at any degree level. After this time, students pay a fee of just $428.78 (~US$385) per semester.
International students from outside of the EU/EEA should expect slightly higher fees of around $857.55 (~US$770) per semester. Living costs will set all students back approximately between $12,048.24-12,000 (~US$10,820-12,730) a year.
Vienna, Austria’s capital city, is ranked 16th in the QS Best Student Cities 2019.
There are two main language communities in Belgium, each with their own stance on university fees. However, EU students will pay a maximum of only $986.3 (~US$890) a year.
And while it’s just EU students who get the major benefits of being able to study in Europe for free, fees are still very affordable for international students, ranging from $1,051.27 to a maximum of $4,931.51 (~US$940-4,430) per year.
You can live in Belgium with a budget of around $13,465.68 (~US$12,100) a year. Brussels, the capital city, was ranked 45th in this year’s QS Best Student Cities.
Students who speak Czech are able to study abroad for free in the Czech Republic at any public university. Students who wish to study in English can also study fairly cheaply, at around CZK 108,334 (~US$4,260) per year.
Living costs are more affordable than in many countries in Western Europe, at around CRK 106,900-229,070 (~US$4,200-9000) per year.
The Czech capital city, Prague, is ranked 30th in the QS Best Student Cities.
All students from within the EU/EEA are able to study abroad for free in Greece at public universities and colleges, with the exception of some master’s programs.
And if this doesn’t sound like enough, you could also get your course textbooks for free! International students from outside of the EU are also eligible for low-cost higher education, at approximately $1,771.8 (~US$1,600) per year.
Greece offers one of the lowest costs of living in the European Union.
Although private universities in Italy can be known to charge fairly high tuition fees, public universities in Italy are markedly cheaper, charging between $1,004.02 and $1,181.2 (~US$900-1,060) per year for undergraduate programs.
EU students are eligible for the same funding opportunities as Italian students, including loans, grants, scholarships, and fee waivers. Living costs in Italy are also not as high as you might expect, at around $14,174.4-18,000 (~US$12,760- 19,145) per year.
Milan is ranked 33rd in the most recent QS Best Student Cities, while capital city Rome is 65th.
With the same education rights as Spanish students, EU students are not required to pay high education fees.
International students, meanwhile, are able to study in Spain for between $803.22 and $1,653.68(~US$720-1,500) per year at public institutions. Fees are charged on a per-credit basis and can be higher at the graduate level.
To live in Spain you should expect to spend between $12,756.96 and $15,591.84(~US$11,500-14,050) a year in living costs.
Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia are all featured in the QS Best Student Cities 2017, with Barcelona the highest ranked at 23rd.
Other places to study abroad for free (or at low cost)
While Argentinian students enjoy access to free universities, international students are expected to pay a small, nominal fee to enroll at public universities in the country.
Private institutions in Argentina, on the other hand, can charge upwards US$5,000 a year. In the QS Best Student Cities 2017, Argentinian capital Buenos Aires is 42nd.
In India, international students will typically pay tuition fees of no higher than US$7,300 a year, though private university and graduate fees tend to be more expensive.
Living costs in India are for most students. According to Number, consumer prices are 187% cheaper than in the UK, while rental prices are as much as 373% cheaper.
Overall, you should be able to live comfortably on as little as US$5,000 a year.
Tuition fees in Taiwan offer great value, with the nation’s top universities offering affordable programs. For example, National Taiwan University (NTU), the nation’s leading university at joint 68th in the QS World University Rankings, last year charged undergraduate students just TW$100,920-124,200 (~US$3,175-3,900) per year. In the QS Best Student Cities, Taipei was ranked 16th in the world and 16th for affordability.