going to uni in europe
going to uni in europe

The European Countries With Cheap Universities and Tuition

Want to get a degree for free (or cheap)?

Going to uni in England isn’t cheap, with many students leaving with a high amount of student loan debt to their name. However, there are many other countries that offer free tuition with many of them extending this to international students too. So, if you’re considering studying abroad, these are the cheapest universities for international students in Europe.

Unfortunately, because of Brexit a lot of opportunities UK students would’ve had as EU nationals are no longer an option, but there are still plenty of countries post-Brexit that allow UK students to study for free or for a low fee.

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If you’re considering going to uni abroad, here are all of the places that offer free tuition for international students (or, very cheap fees in comparison to British universities!)

1. Germany

For undergraduates in Germany, there are no tuition fees for public universities and this extends to both German students and international students. While tuition fees are free, you will need to pay a small fee of around €150-€250 (£125-209) for admin costs, which is a small fee compared to the tuition fees you would be paying per year in a UK university!

The only exception to this is in Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany where tuition fees were introduced for international students in 2017, but for the rest of Germany, this doesn’t apply! So, shortlisting any universities you’re interested in within Germany is a smart idea if you’re after the cheapest European universities for international students.

Because of this, studying in Germany is becoming more and more popular. You’ll need a student visa to live and study in Germany, and in order to cover the costs of living you’ll probably need to apply for a German student loan aimed at non-EU students. You won’t be able to apply for a UK student loan, but there is support out there if you are thinking of studying in Germany.

There are different visas depending on the type and length of your study, so be sure to research this before applying. There will be some costs associated with getting the appropriate visa too and you will need to check the requirements with the German embassy.

2. Norway

Like Germany, in Norway university is free to all students including international students. Again, you will need to pay an admin fee of around NOK 300-600 (£25-50) per semester (which is a total bargain!) However, there is one drawback as the majority of classes and undergraduate programmes will be taught only in Norwegian and if you wish to apply you’ll need to show proof of proficiency in the language to be able to study there.

Luckily, if you plan on further education the majority of PhD and master’s programmes in Norway will have English-speaking classes available and tuition is still free, so if you can’t do your undergraduate degree in Norway, there’s always the option to progress further once you’ve graduated elsewhere.

3. France

International students can study in France for free, or at a very low cost. Unfortunately, due to Brexit UK students will no longer be able to benefit from the EU tuition pricing (which is much lower), but you can still study in France for cheaper than it would be in the UK.

For all non-EU citizens (that’s us now) tuition fees will be £2,317 per year but the French government is increasing the number of scholarships available to international students, from 7,000 to 21,000. While these fees are more expensive than in other European countries, it is still much cheaper than in the UK and France has always been a very popular place for students to live and study due to its culture.

Most university courses in France will be taught in French, but you can find English-spoken classes too but these may be harder to find. Overall, France might be the perfect place to study if you’re up to speed with your French skills or want to improve, especially as there are classes you can take to advance your knowledge before attending university in France.

4. Iceland


Iceland has always been an incredibly popular tourist destination and if you can see yourself living there, you’re in luck as the four public universities have no tuition fees, including for international students.

If you wish to study in Iceland while tuition will be free, you’ll need to pay a registration fee of around ISK 75,000 (£442) per year. While Iceland might be a great option due to free tuition fees, the cost of living in Iceland is very high and it’s commonly known as one of the most expensive countries in the world, so this is something to consider if you’re thinking of studying there.

5. Austria


International students from outside of the EU wishing to study in Austria can do so, for just £607 per semester, which is considerably cheaper than in the UK where you’ll be paying around £9,000 per year.

Austria is a super popular city for students, so you are definitely likely to find fellow international students studying there if you choose to go to university there.

6. Czech Republic


There’s good news if you speak Czech as you will be able to study in the Czech Republic for free at any of their public universities. However, if you don’t speak Czech but still have your eye on living and studying there, it will only cost you around £3,345-£10,035 per year to study in English. This could mean it is more expensive to study in the Czech Republic than it is in the UK, which will vary based on your course and which university you choose to apply to.

7. Spain


International and non-EU students are able to study in Spain for around £627-2090 per year. Living costs in Spain will greatly vary based on what city you’re living in, but with cities such as Madrid and Barcelona being ever-popular tourist destinations for students, and Spanish being widely learnt by many it’s the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Spanish culture, brush up on your language skills and enjoy some more sunshine than you would in the UK.

8. Greece


For international and non-EU students wishing to study in Greece, you can expect to pay around £1,254 per year. While this is not the cheapest country to study in on this list, it’s definitely a lot cheaper than tuition fees in the UK and the living costs in Greece are also much cheaper too.

9. Italy


Public universities in Italy charge tuition fees of around £752-3,345 per year, depending on where you’re applying. Italy is a country rich in culture with cities such as Milan, Rome and Venice being popular student tourist destinations. However, non-EU students will have to secure their own funding in order to attend university in Italy which could be more of a challenge than it is to score additional funding in the UK.

For more advice about tuition fees check out everything you need to know about student loans in the UK, how student loans work and the average student budget per month.