Study Aboard For Free in These Countries

University fees continue to rise in many parts of the world, causing some to think that getting a recognized degree qualification, either in home country or abroad, is not feasible without having a four-or five –figure budget at disposal or without obtaining a scholarship. But there’s goodnews! There are many countries worldwide where students are able to study abroad for free or for a very affordable amount; you just need to know where to look. The following are some of such countries:

GERMANY: 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, and this applies to both German students and internationals, regardless of nationality. Only a small nominal university fee is charged, of around €150-250 (~US$160-265) to cover administration costs. However, that will not be for long. This is because the state of Baden-Württemberg in south-west Germany recently announced plans to reintroduce tuition fees for non-EU students from autumn 2017, meaning non-EU students will be required to pay fees of around €1,500 (~US$1,600) per semester to study at universities in the state, such as Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg.If you’re successful in finding a university at which to study in Germany for free, therefore, you will of course still need to budget for living. If you need a German student visa, you’ll need to prove you have around €8,700 (~US$9,230) per year for living expenses.



 True, 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 €184 (~US$195) per year at 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 substantially. Like it is Germany, the majority of programs offering the chance to study in France for free are taught in the native language. However, there are a growing number of opportunities to study in English, particularly at graduate level. Alternatively, you can also attend a preparatory school to perfect your French skills before beginning your degree, but this you will have to pay for.

The Costs Of Living in France, it is relatively affordable, amounting to around €9,600 (~US$10,180) per year, though you should expect to pay more if you choose to live in capital city Paris.



 Known for their high quality of life, stunning nature and liberal politics, Northern European nations (known as the Nordic countries) also boast some of the strongest higher education systems in the world. Nordic nations 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 studylevel 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 PhD level, English language programs are far more common and free tuition still applies.

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. PhD programs in both countries are fully funded, offering exceptional PhD candidates the chance to gain their degree without paying fees, and earn a salary.

Finland will soon join some countries in charging tuition fees to non-EU students starting from autumn 2017, which will be a minimum of €1,500 (~US$1,600) per year.

In both Denmark and Sweden, international fees at bachelor and master levels varies. 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 €400 a year (~US$425).

Cost Of Living : The costs of living in Northern Europe are among some of the highest in the whole of Europe. This is probably largely due to the healthy economy of the region overall and the strength of the Nordic currencies, so paying more for living when the streets are clean and the people are happy perhaps isn’t so bad!.



Another country where students can study in Europe for free (or at a very low cost) is 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 which, students pay a fe:e of just €363 (~US$385) per semester. International students from outside of the EU/EEA should expect moderately higher fees of around €726 (~US$770) per semester.

 Cost Of Living is approximately between €10,200-12,000 (~US$10,820-12,730) a year.


EU students will pay a maximum of only €835 (~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 €890 to a maximum of €4,175 (~US$940-4,430) per year.

 Cost Of Living is around €11,400 (~US$12,100) a year.


Public universities in Italy are markedly cheaper, charging between €850 and €1,000 (~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.

 Cost of Living in Italy are also not as high as some might expect, at around €12,000-18,000 (~US$12,760- 19,145) per year.



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 €680 and €1,400 (~US$720-1,500) per year at public institutions. Fees are charged on a per-credit basis and can be higher at graduate level.

 Cost of Living in Spain is between €10,800 and €13,200 (~US$11,500-14,050) a year in living costs.


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.

 Cost of Living in India are, for most students, likely to be very appealing – according to Numbeo 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.


While students from Argentina all enjoy access to free universities, international students should expect to pay a moderate, 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.


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 2016-2017, last year charged undergraduate students just TW$100,920-124,200 (~US$3,175-3,900) per year. In the QS Best Student Cities 2017, Taipei was ranked 16th for affordability.

About the author

Joseph Sunday

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