Study abroad for free – When you choose an overseas education during your university years, it is generally one of the most rewarding decisions you can make in your life. Studying abroad helps students gain global experience and new prospects for future endeavors. When you travel outside your home country to study in a foreign country, it opens the door to cultural experiences, unique customs, new languages along with an opportunity to make lifelong friendships and connections. Students receive an education that goes a long way in their holistic development.
Constant rise in tuition fees all around the world has led many aspiring candidates into dropping the very idea of pursuing education abroad as study abroad can be an expensive affair which many could not afford. However, there are many countries worldwide where students can study abroad for free or low tuition fees. Students must have to look for such study abroad programs/courses and enquire in detail before deciding on the country to study abroad.
Reasons to study abroad:
- Become responsible– Generally, Indian students who live with their parents are quite dependent on them during their school and college time. Travelling abroad for education makes them independent. They become more responsible because they have to take care of their well-being and education all on their own without the safety net of their parents’ support in a foreign land.
- Making friends and relations– Students get to meet new people in their classes, locality and also at workplaces if they work on a part-time basis. They make friends with most of these new people they meet on daily basis which ultimately helps them builds interpersonal skills. These new friends can become life-long assets for them.
- Study learning exposure– Indian students are used to one form of learning and they will get to experience a more engaging and active learning style while studying abroad. This may involve active learning through class participation, dialogue exchange, case studies and practical off- and on-campus experiences that make learning fun and meaningful.
- New experiences– Students’ experiences in a foreign country does matter to the future employer abroad or in the home country. It might show them that the student can thrive and grow in an environment away from his/her comfort zone. An open mindset and adaptability to new languages and customs while studying abroad can help students develop creative problem-solving and outstanding communication skills.
We have listed top European nations where international students can go to study abroad for free or at a low cost.
Study abroad for free – Germany
Germany’s low study costs, combined with its strong economy and excellent higher education system, makes the prospect of undertaking study in Germany extremely appealing for international students. There are no undergraduate tuition fees at most public universities in Germany, and this applies to both German students and international ones, regardless of nationality. A nominal fee is charged, of around EURO 150-250 (approx. USD 170-280), to cover administration costs. This applies to almost all study programmes at public universities.
If you are from outside the EU, you will need a residence permit before you arrive in the country and you will have to finish your studies in Germany. There are almost 300 public universities in Germany and 1,000+ study programmes in total, and hence, there are many options to study in Germany for free. Germans generally believe that education should not be treated as a commercial product and that free access to higher education ensures economic growth and welfare for the greater population. Therefore, the German government promotes free education in public universities so that everyone can have access to quality education. In fact, many of these institutions regularly rank among the top 100 in international rankings and has a world-class education system.
Some of the German universities where international students can study for free are listed below *:
- University of Cologne
- Ludwig Maximilians University Munich (LMU)
- Goethe University Frankfurt
- RWTH Aachen University
- University of Münster
- Ruhr University Bochum
- University of Duisburg-Essen
- Universität Hamburg
- FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
- Technical University of Munich (TUM)
What are the Immigration friendly countries to study abroad?
Scholarship to study in Germany
Government Scholarships available to international students to study in Germany are:
DAAD Scholarships – The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers many scholarships for international students to study in Germany at various degree levels.
Erasmus+ – The largest provider of scholarships for study in the EU, Erasmus+ is led by the European Commission, funding international students to study in Europe.
How to plan your study and stay in Germany? CLICK HERE
Study abroad for free – France (at low cost)
Technically university fees do exist in public universities of France, but they’re just a fraction of the amount charged in most countries. In France, the EU/EEA/Swiss students are charged around EUR 170 (approx. USD 220) per year at the undergraduate level and international students have to pay EUR 2,770 (approx. USD 3,100) per year for a bachelor’s degree. To make the French education system more affordable for international students, the French government has decided to increase the number of scholarships available to international students from 7,000 to 21,000 in the academic year 2019-20. The students must keep in mind that more specialized programs such as medicine and engineering can cost more as compared to general degree programs. 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 at the graduate level.
Students who come to study in France as part of student exchange programs between universities are provided with a total exemption from enrollment fees (like the Erasmus+ exchange programme). Students who have been awarded a French government grant (BGF) or have been awarded a grant from their host institution can also study abroad for free.
Top 10 colleges to study in Paris
According to QS world ranking , the top colleges in Paris are:
- Université Paris Descartes
- Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2)
- Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
- Université Paris Diderot
- École des Ponts ParisTech
- Université Paris-Sud 11
- Sciences Po Paris
- Sorbonne University
- École Polytechnique (ParisTech)
- Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University (PSL)
Study abroad for free – Nordic Countries
Nordic nations such as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden all offer opportunities to international students to study abroad for free or at a low cost.
In Norway, university study is available free of charge to all students, regardless of study level or nationality. The students only have to pay a semester fee, around NOK 300-600 (approx. USD 35-70). 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. In Iceland, there are no tuition fees charged at the country’s four public universities, with only a registration fee of ISK 75,000 (approx. USD 600) a year.
In Denmark, Sweden and most recently Finland, students get free higher education perks if they from within the EU/EEA and Switzerland, meaning students from outside these regions have to pay tuition fees for bachelor’s and master’s programs. In Denmark, university fee ranges from DKK 45,000 to DKK 120,000 (~USD 6,800-18,100) annually, while in Sweden, they fall between SEK 80,000 and SEK 140,000 (approx. USD 8,500-14,900) for most courses. In Finland, the recently introduced tuition fees currently amount to at least EUR 1,500 (approx. USD 1,700) per year.
Want to know about postgraduate study work permit?
Study abroad for free – Other countries (at low cost)
There are a number of other European countries which offer affordable or free education, without any need to sacrifice on quality.
Austria is one such country where students can study at a low cost. Students from outside of the EU/EEA should expect slightly higher fees, around EUR 726 (approx. USD 815) per semester.
Fees are fairly affordable for international students to study in Belgium, which is around EUR 4175 per year.
Students who wish to study in English can still afford it. The tuition fees may cost around EUR 4,000-12,000 (approx. USD 4500-13,500) per year. Students who could speak Czech language and demonstrate moderate skills in the language can avail free study plan.
International students from outside of the EU are also eligible for low-cost higher education, at approximately EUR 1,500 (approx. USD 1,700) per year. Greece offers one of the lowest costs of living in the European Union.
Italy and Spain
Public universities in Italy are markedly cheaper, charging between EUR 900 and EUR 4,000 (approx. USD 1,015-4,500) per year for undergraduate programs. In Spain, international students are able to study for a cost of EUR 750 to EUR 2,100 (approx. USD 845-2,370) per year at public institutions. The fees are charged on a per-credit basis and can be higher at the graduate level.