17 Tuition Free Countries For International Students to Consider

There are tuition free countries for international students to look at and we have listed some of these countries in this article. Most of these countries are tuition free for domestic/home students only.

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Everyone has a secret desire to travel the world and further their education in another country. We all wish we could leave our familiar lives behind and experience life in a completely new setting.

Who wouldn’t want to go somewhere fresh and experience a whole new way of life? When you study abroad, you get to do all of these things and more.

However, the sky-high cost of education and other related fees almost invariably proves to be an insurmountable barrier.

Okay, that’s not the case any longer. Our knowledge of international education is limited to the United States, the United Kingdom, and a few other well-known European countries, and we rarely consider the many other possibilities.

Fortunately, there are certain countries that welcome both domestic and international students by providing high-quality education at low cost or tuition free.

Then we compiled a list of them for your convenience. Now you can get closer to your goal of moving abroad. Below are the tuition free countries for international students.

Top 5 Tuition Free Countries For International Students

  • Norway
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Finland
  • Sweden

Norway

Norwegian state universities and university colleges as a rule do not charge tuition fees to all students including international students. This applies to all levels, including undergraduate studies, Masters programmes and Ph.D. programmes. However, students will have to pay a semester fee of NOK 300-600 each semester.

Austria

If you are a non-EU/EEA student, federal/public universities in Austria only charge about 726.72 Euros per semester for tuition fees plus 20.20 Euros per semester for student union membership fee “ÖH-Beitrag” and the student accident insurance fee.

An exemption from paying tuition fees or a full/partial refund of the tuition fees is possible in special cases (e.g. for holders of certain scholarships, for participants in exchange programmes and university partnerships, for students from certain countries).

Germany

As of October 2014, all Universities in Germany except Baden-Württemberg* will not charge any tuition fees for bachelor’s and consecutive master’s degree programs for all students including international students.  

In some Federal States, Universities will charge a semester contribution (about 50 euros) and/or administration fees (about 50 euros).

Finland

Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students has been introduced from autumn 2017 onwards for English-taught Bachelor’s or Master’s programmes. 

Only Doctoral level studies will remain free of tuition fees,  regardless of your nationality.

Sweden

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.

However, the Swedish Institute and a significant number of Universities offer full and partial scholarships in the form of tuition waivers for international students.

PhD positions in Sweden are usually offered as paid positions by universities or external funding bodies. 

Full List Countries For International Students to Consider

Here are 17 countries where international students can get a top-notch education, tuition-free or next to nothing:

1. Germany

Top-notch university education may be had in Germany for next to nothing.

While tuition is free in Germany’s public universities, a small cost for university administration of €150–250 (about 11,500–19,000) is assessed; this is comparable to the annual price we pay at a DU college and is therefore not prohibitive.

2. Norway

The Norwegian government covers the full cost of higher education at all levels, including graduate, postgraduate, and doctoral study, for all international students.

However, there is one stipulation: you must be fluent in Norwegian, as the language of instruction for the vast majority of the required prerequisite courses.

Keep in mind that they can ask for evidence of your language skills. If you are seriously considering applying, you should begin preparing immediately.

3. France

Foreign students may be surprised to learn that they can study in France for free (or, at very low cost) regardless of their nationality, despite the fact that France is not as well-known as Germany for affordable higher education.

Public universities in France do charge tuition, but it is extremely low compared to other countries; for students from the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland, the annual cost of an undergraduate degree is just €170 ($190).

However, starting with the 2019/2020 school year, fees for students from outside the European Union and the European Economic Area will increase to €2,770 ($3,065) per year for a bachelor’s degree.

Nonetheless, the French government is tripling the number of scholarships it offers to international students, from 7,000 to 21,000.

Extra fees may increase your total tuition amount, especially for highly specialized majors like medicine and engineering. However, you can expect a wide range of costs if you want to attend a top-tier grand école.

The majority of free study abroad opportunities in France, like those in Germany, are conducted in the country’s official language.

Opportunities to pursue higher education in English, especially at the graduate level, are expanding. To further your French proficiency before starting your degree, you may also enroll in a preparatory school, but this will incur additional costs.

The average annual cost of living in France is around €9,600 (US$10,620), though of course, this will increase if you decide to make your home in the country’s capital, Paris.

4. Austria

Austria is another European nation where students can get a European education for free (or close to it) by attending university there.

Students from the European Union and the European Economic Area have the same access to free higher education in Austria as Austrian citizens do. After that period, the cost per semester drops to €363.

Fees for students from countries outside of the EU/EEA average around €726 (US$803) per semester.

Every student will need to budget about €11,400 a year (US$12,600) for living expenses. The capital of Austria, Vienna, placed thirteenth on the 2019 QS Best Student Cities list.

5. Belgium

There are two major linguistic groups in Belgium, and they have different opinions on tuition. But the annual cost for students from the European Union will be no more than €906.

Foreign students from outside the European Union still pay just about €4,175 a year ($4,620), despite the fact that only EU students enjoy the major benefits of being allowed to study in Europe for free.

An annual salary of €11,400 ($12,600) is sufficient to cover living expenses in Belgium. This year, Brussels, the country’s capital, tied for 43rd place on the QS list of the Best Student Cities.

6. Czech Republic

Students with a command of the Czech language can attend any of the country’s public universities for free. A student who wishes to study in English can do so for a reasonable annual cost of between €4,000 and €2,000 (about $4,425 and $13,275).

The annual cost of living is roughly US$9,000, making it cheaper than many countries in western Europe. Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is tied for 35th place on the QS list of the Best Student Cities.

7. Greece

To the exception of a few master’s degree programs, all students from the European Union and the European Economic Area are eligible to study for free in Greece’s public universities and colleges.

In addition to EU citizens, students from outside the EU can also take advantage of affordable higher education at a cost of about €1,500 (US$1,660) annually. The cost of living in Greece is among the lowest in all of Europe.

8. Italy

Public institutions in Italy are significantly more affordable than private ones, with undergraduate tuition ranging from €900 to €4,000 (US$995-4,420) each year.

Loans, grants, scholarships, and fee exemptions are all available to EU students, just as they are to Italian students. The most current QS Best Student Cities list places Milan at number 40, while Rome comes in at number 70.

9. Spain

International students can attend a public university in Spain for the equivalent of between €750 and €2,500 (US$830-2,760) each year, while EU students pay no tuition at all.

Payment is made on a per-credit basis, with graduate-level tuition potentially being more expensive.

The annual cost of living in Spain is estimated to be between €10,800 and €13,200 ($11,940 and $14,600).

The QS Best Student Cities list includes the Spanish cities of Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, with Barcelona ranking highest at number 21.

10. Argentina

Public universities in Argentina are free for Argentine students, however overseas students may be required to pay a minor enrollment fee.

In contrast, private schools in Argentina can cost as much as US $5,000 each academic year. The capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires, ranks 31st in the QS Best Student Cities 2019 list.

11. India

Tuition for international students at public universities in India is capped at US$7,300 per year. However, tuition at private universities and for graduate degrees is often higher.

According to Numbeo, consumer prices in India are 163% cheaper than in the UK, while rental prices can be as much as 391% cheaper, both of which are likely to be quite attractive to students.

If you really need to, you can get by on less than US$4,300 a year. However, it should be noted that foreign students are not permitted to hold jobs in India while they are enrolled there.

12. Taiwan

Great value may be found in Taiwan’s tuition rates, as several of the country’s finest educational institutions offer programs at surprisingly low prices. Undergraduates at National Taiwan University (NTU), the top school in the region and ranked 69th in the world by QS World University Rankings, paid just TW$100,920-124,200 (US$3,200-3,965) per year in tuition in 2017/18. Taipei placed 17th overall and 14th for value in the 2019 QS Best Student Cities report.

13. Sweden

For master’s and doctoral programs, Swedish universities do charge application and tuition fees to students from outside the European Union, the European Economic Area, and the Nordic nations.

However, PhD jobs in Sweden are free of these costs and even include a stipend. Then, why don’t you preface your Swedish name with “Dr.”?

14. Finland

There is currently no tuition cost in Finland, regardless of educational level or country.

However, beginning in 2017, students from outside the European Union and the European Economic Area will be required to pay tuition for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs offered in English.

15. Sweden

Swedish universities are predominantly public, and students from the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland do not have to pay tuition to earn Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees at Swedish institutions.

However, Sweden welcomes and supports international PhD students from any country by offering them tuition-free education and funding for their dissertation research.

16. Brazil

Brazil, the largest country in Latin America and the fifth largest in the world, is another option for international students seeking free study abroad programs.

Most state colleges in Brazil do not charge tuition to their domestic or international students. Comparatively, tuition at private universities varies widely depending on the student’s chosen major.

Students planning to enroll in a Brazilian institution must first establish their Portuguese language proficiency. Food and transportation in Brazil are less expensive than in many neighboring nations, making it a more wallet-friendly option for students.

17. Singapore

Only citizens or permanent residents of Singapore are eligible to receive free higher education. For their education, international students must pay tuition fees.

Singapore is one of the best places in the world for foreign students to acquire a university education despite its somewhat high tuition costs (a few thousand dollars on average).

To ensure fairness, several different types of financial aid, including scholarships, bursaries, and other forms of support, are available to international students.

Scholarships come from both private organizations and public institutions.

FAQs

Which Country Is Best for Free Study?

Courses in the fields of medicine, dentistry, law, engineering, and the natural sciences are exceptionally well-respected in Germany, making it one of the top countries with free education.

Countries like Norway and Finland also tend to be highly sought after by students from elsewhere in the world.

International students in nations like Austria, the Czech Republic, and Sweden pay only a small fee to study there.

Which Country Has Completely Free Education?

Public universities in Germany either do not charge any tuition or charge only a small amount.

There will be minimal administrative fees in the range of EUR 150–250 (INR 12,865-21,443). Anyone, regardless of country, who can communicate effectively in Norwegian is welcome to enroll in any degree program at any level at no cost.

How Can I Study in Another Country for Free?

If you want to save money on your education, you can enroll in a foreign language school or university without ever leaving the country.

Alternatively, you might apply for a grant or scholarship to help defray the expense of your education, or you can participate in a job and study program.

There are a plethora of open-source tools that make it possible to “learn abroad” from the comfort of home.

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