Europe offers plenty of affordable study options for international students. In many countries, education is free for European students. And there are even some places where non-European students can study for free. Read on and find out where you can study on the cheap – even if you do not receive a scholarship or a bank loan.

Overview: Where can you attend university for free?

With very few exceptions, these are the countries in Europe that offer free tuition at their public universities:

CountryTuition fee for students from EU/EEA (per year)Tuition fee for students from other countries (per year)
Austriafreeca. 1,500 EUR
Denmarkfree45,000 – 120,000 DKK
(6,000 – 16,000 EUR)
Finlandfree5,000 – 20,000 EUR
Francefreefree
Germanyfreefree
Greecefreeca. 1,500 EUR
Hungaryfreeca. 1,500 EUR
Norwayfreefree
Polandfreeca. 2,000 EUR
Sloveniafreeca. 5,000 EUR
Swedenfree80,000 – 200,000 SEK
(8,300 – 20,800 EUR)

Austria

  • Tuition-free for students from the EU/EEA
  • Tuition fees around 1,500 per year for students from other countries

Tuition at public universities is free for Europeans that want to study in Austria. Non-Europeans are charged a still very affordable 1,500 euros per year.

Denmark

  • Tuition-free for students from the EU/EEA
  • Tuition fees around 45,000 – 120,000 DKK per year (6,000 – 16,000 EUR) for students from other countries

Denmark is a popular country for European students because it offers free tuition at high standards. Non-European international students pay up to 16,000 euros per year.

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Finland

  • Tuition-free for students from the EU/EEA
  • Tuition fees around 5,000 – 20,000 EUR per year for students from other countries

Since summer 2017, universities in Finland have been charging tuition fees to non-European students. The costs are set by the universities and range between 5,000 and 20,000 euros per year. Citizens from the European Union and EEA continue to study for free in Finland.

France

  • Tuition-free for students from the EU/EEA
  • Tuition-free for students from other countries

With world-class education, and more and more Bachelor and Master programmes offered in English, France attracts a large number of international students every year. Aside from a negligible registration fee, most public universities in France do not charge any tuition fee. Vive la France!

Germany

  • Tuition-free for students from the EU/EEA
  • Tuition-free for students from other countries

Germany is one of the most popular countries for international students and was ranked 1st in our Country Ranking 2017 and 2018. With the exception of a few private universities, you can study in Germany for free – regardless if you are from Europe or elsewhere. There is usually a small administrative semester fee, but this covers a a public transport ticket at the fraction of its usual price.

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Greece

  • Tuition-free for students from the EU/EEA
  • Tuition fees around 1,500 per year for students from other countries

One of the sunnier places, Greece offers free education to all Europeans. And the cost for international students also low, at around 1,500 euros per year. Combined with relatively low cost of living, Greece is among the more affordable study abroad destinations.

Hungary

  • Tuition-free for students from the EU/EEA
  • Tuition fees around 1,500 per year for students from other countries

When it comes to money, Hungary ranked among the top in our Country Ranking 2018: No tuition fees for Europeans, very low tuition fees for non-Europeans and very low cost of living.

Norway

  • Tuition-free for students from the EU/EEA
  • Tuition-free for students from other countries

Universities in Norway offer free education to students from Europe, Asia, Africa and anywhere else. However, Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world. So make sure to compare the living expenses to other countries you are considering.

Poland

  • Tuition-free for students from the EU/EEA
  • Tuition fees around 1,500 per year for students from other countries

Poland is a very affordable country for students: It ranked most affordable in our Study.EU Country Ranking for 2018. Europeans study for free and non-Europeans pay only a small amount. Plus, it is very cheap to live there.

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Scotland (United Kingdom)

  • No tuition fee for for undergraduate degrees for Scottish or non-British EU citizens
  • Otherwise, tuition fees for EU/EEA students
  • Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students

You are looking for a Bachelor’s degree in Europe, and are a citizen from the European Union or EEA? Then studying in Scotland may be more affordable than you thought: The Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) covers tuition fees for undergraduate degree programmes if you are from Scotland or from elsewhere in the EU. That means that this generous discount does not apply to students from elsewhere in the UK, i.e. England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whatever the effect of Brexit on tuition fees may be is, however, still unclear.

Slovenia

  • Tuition-free for students from the EU/EEA
  • Tuition fees around 5,000 EUR per year for students from other countries

Slovenia is among the less-explored study abroad destinations. Most universities offer free tuition for Europeans, but cost around 5,000 euros per year for other international students.

Sweden

  • Tuition-free for students from the EU/EEA
  • Tuition fees around 80,000 – 200,000 SEK per year (8,300 – 20,800 EUR)

Europeans can study in Sweden for free. Other international students should expect hefty fees when studying in Sweden, combined with relatively high cost of living.

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