Countries Offering Nominal Cost / Free Education To International Students

Education, today is a very very large word….As most parents would resonate with that thought. It is slowly becoming a luxury rather than a necessity, and that does not carry any amount of exaggeration. As i scour through the newspapers and social media about parents clammering to get their prodigies through the best schools and universities, Their is one thought that comes to mind….What next?

With the exams around the corner, the stress of which college will align to the results, or is studying abroad the right thing to do??….and the cost??

i understand the plight of the children and parents alike. So, here is where i ease out, or so i hope, some load off, by listing some countries offering freed education / nominal cost fees to international students.


free education

Sweden, though offers free university education to EU citizens, it inculcates low cost education for non EU applicants. Even though there are no tuition free universities in Sweden anymore, a large number of these institutions offer full scholarships (tuition waivers, etc. actually ) for international students.

Application and tuition fees apply for those who are not citizens of an EU/EEA/Nordic country or Switzerland studying at the bachelor’s or master’s level. The Swedish Institute and a significant number of Universities offer full and partial scholarships in the form of tuition waivers for international students.

Top Tuition Free Swedish Universities

  • Lund University
  • Halmstad University
  • Uppsala University
  • Stockholm University
  • Stockholm School of Economics
  • Jonkoping University
  • Uppsala University



free education

University of Oslo

Norway is an extremely popular study destination for international students because of high quality education. Generally, Norwegian public universities and state university colleges do not charge tuition fees for both native and foreign students because government finances education with taxpayers’ money. However, certain programmes/courses may have fees. And private institutions normally do charge tuition fees.

Though, Post graduate and Doctorate level programmes are free of cost, the catch for international students is that proficiency in Norwegian language is compulsory. The good news is that Masters and PHD courses offer options in the English language. But sure, cost of living will need a bit of planning into.  living expenses in Norway is more expensive, and you need to pay for your own study materials (books/teaching). NOK 300-600 ($50-100) fees per semester, varies on school, may be required. Although official average student expenditure of about NOK 9000 (approx. EURO 1 000) per month.

Tuition Free Norwegian Universities:

  • The University of Oslo
  • University of Bergen
  • University of Stavanger
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB)
  • University of Agder (UiA)
  • The University of Nordland



free education

University of Stuttgart

Mostly touted as the tuition free country, German universities have only recently started charging tuition fees for undergraduate study programs. At present, Baden-Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Hamburg, and Lower Saxony- charge tuition fees that are as little as 500 Euros per semester. All other federal states just request a small semester contribution of around 50 Euros with no tuition fees charged. Tuition fees are charged for Master’s programs. Here the fees range from 650 Euros to 3,000 Euros per Semester.

Germany has become a popular destination for foreign students looking for an international education. German Universities offers internationally recognized programs at a relatively cheaper cost compared to UK, USA or Australia. Moreover, there are a significant number of available scholarships that allows foreign students to study in Germany for free.

The point to note is that for a student visa in Germany, proof of possesssing around 8700 Euros for living expenses is mandatory.

Tuition-free universities in Germany for EU/EEA students:

  • Friedrich Schiller University Jena;
  • University of Cologne;
  • Ruhr University of Bochum;
  • University of Stuttgart;
  • Darmstadt University of Technology.



free education

University of Patras

Students from European Union countries who enroll for bachelor degree programs are usually not allowed to pay tuition fees but some master programs may require students to pay tuition fees.

Students from non-European countries pay a tuition fee of about 1500 Euros every year for all study programs including course textbooks. As an estimate, the average living cost in Greece is about 1000 Euros a month which covers expenses like food, accommodation, books, transport and more.

Low tuition universities in Greece

  • University of Patras
  • International Hellenic University
  • University of Piraeus
  • Technical University of Crete



free education

Aalto University

Finland universities till last year would not charge tuition fees. 2018 will see non- EU/ EEA students pay ingtuition fees (for courses offered in English). Each University will have its fee structure. The University of Helsinki and the University of Turku are top ranked universities of Finland. Students need to cover their living expenses.

All international students who plan to pursue a degree taught in Finnish or Swedish are still not charged any tuition. Make sure you also take into account the costs of studying in Finland. The average costs are at least 700 – 900 EUR/month.

Tuition-free universities in Finland: 

  • Aalto University;
  • University of Helsinki
  • University of Tampere
  • University of Jyvaskyla
  • Lappeenranta University of Technology



free education

Vienna University of Economics and Business

If you plan or still ponder if you should pursue your studies in Austria, you should know that most international students rated their study abroad experience in this country as excellent. The main reasons were: the high standard academic environment. Austria is also one of the safest countries in Europe and if we add the fact that universities charge low tuition fees, then you probably agree that Austria is a great choice for studying abroad.

Education in Austria is not tuition free, but tuition and fees is quite low! For EU/EEA nationals tuition is almost insignificant and for non European countries it’s 730 EUROS per semester ( INR 55000).

Some top ranked Universities are University of Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, University of Innsbruck, Vienna University of Technology.

Free-tuition universities in Austria for EU / EEA students:

  • WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
  • Johannes Kepler University Linz
  • University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria
  • FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences


Czech Republic

free education

Prague International University

Czech Republic offers free tuition for students who want to study in Czech language while tuition fee for international students who want to study in English language is between 2000-3000 Euros per year. Living in Czech Republic is quite low and affordable. Monthly cost is usually estimated to be between 350-600 dollars which is used to take care of food cost, accommodation, transportation and more.

The respite comes in the allowance that Foreign students who hold a visa and have a job permit are allowed to work on part time basis to aid their study.

Low Tuition Universities in Czech Republic:

  • Prague International University
  • Silesian University
  • University of Ostrava
  • University of Pardubice
  • University of South Bohemia
  • University of west Bohemia
  • University of Economics, Prague
  • Charles University, Prague


free education

Universite de Lyon

France, is the most sought after destination for international students, not just in terms of beauty, but being home to some of the best universities in the world. Though not free, French universities charge a nominal fee from non EU / EAA. The programmes and courses are conducted in the French language, but you couls always enroll in a french language course which are extremely light on the cost.

Most affordable universities in France:

  • University Lille Sciences et Technologies
  • Université de Lyon
  • Université du Maine
  • Grenoble INP Institute of Engineering Univ. Grenoble Alpes
  • University of Burgundy


* Any additions / suggestions will be well received… please do share!


About Author

Dipti Datta

Dipti is an entrepreneur and a libertarian. Previously associated with some of the most renowned television channels and personalities as a stylist and being a qualified fashion designer her creative bent is apparent. Also,Having worked copiously with a team as an Operations Manager on an online portal, her conviction to work as a team player is undaunting. Her inclination to write is very strong as well, inevitably, as she holds a bachelors degree in English literature. Dipti is A travel buff, an avid reader and a painter and also dabbles in writing poetry. She believes that creativity is the best form of reform.Dipti is determined to associate herself with people and work alike, that refine her tastes and sharpen her sensibilities.


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