Top European Cities to Earn Your Undergraduate or Master’s Degree for FREE or at a Low Cost

Are you a college student currently enrolled, just enrolling, or maybe you just graduated? You thought about the costs associated with getting education in U.S but especially knowing that in order to get a degree you need to have a four or five-figure budget at your disposal.

I wanted to share a little secret in this post, you can earn your Undergraduate or even Master’s degree in some of the most beautiful cities in Europe for free or almost free!

This kind of opportunity provides so many benefits, few that stand out to me the most are the ability to explore the world, learn new language, and actually save money during the process. 

Statistics show that average tuition fees at an in-state public college is $9,970 and a whooping $34,740 at private colleges.

How is Education Completely Free?

You might know how U.S education system works but in Europe, the education system is publicly funded – which means that education is often partially covered or fully subsidized by each country’s government.

*Note that I only talk about getting education free or almost free which does not include living costs.

1. Germany

Are you interested studying in Germany? Well, it is possible and the trend seems to be growing with many students moving to Germany to pursue their education. This is largely due to the fact that there’s no tuition fees at most public universities in Germany, and this applies to both German students and internationals, no matter what nationality you are.

Expect that there are “administrative fees” though but are only ranging between $170-300 (this includes public transport ticket).

What Stands Out about Germany: Germany is the largest economy in Europe and combined with low study costs, and affordable living costs — this country and its education in Germany is very appealing for students. Top University by ranking in Germany by QS World University Rankings is Technical University of Munich“. Also, Germany has high level of English-speaking population.

Top destinations to study in Germany are: Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, and Bonn.

Living Costs: Once you found University you want to attend, consider the living costs. To live in Germany you need a German student visa and need to prove you have around $10,500 per year for living expenses.

2. France

France is not widely known as Germany for affordable education, but you might be surprised to hear that you can also study in France for free or at a very low-cost.

If you are an American who want to study in France, I have a great news for you – to study in France it will cost you almost nothing.University tuition at public universities in France only costs $208 for undergraduate degree per year and $290 for graduate degree. Of course different fields of degrees will vary in costs as follows:

  • Engineering Degrees cost per year is around $720
  • Medicine Degrees cost per year is around $523

Most affordable universities in France are:

  • University Lille Sciences et Technologies – average tuition fees $303 year;
  • Université de Lyon – average tuition fees $581/year;
  • Université du Maine – average tuition fees $581/year;
  • Grenoble INP Institute of Engineering Univ. Grenoble Alpes – average tuition of $303/year;
  • University of Burgundy – average tuition fees $581/year.

Tuition fees at top-ranked universities in France:

  • École Polytechnique – average tuition fees $13,900/year;
  • Pierre and Marie Curie University – average tuition fees $406/year;
  • École Supérieure d’Electricite SUPELEC – average tuition fees $2,325/year
  • Paris Descartes University – average tuition fees $303/year

Living Costs: Living in France is relatively affordable, amounting to be around $11,000 per year. But expect to pay more if you want to live in capital city Paris.

3. Iceland

All public colleges in Iceland are free for American students. University of Iceland is one of the largest in Iceland and does not charge any tuition fees. There is, however a registration fee per year of $500 for American student

Living expenses: You will need approximately $1,000 a month to cover all of the living expenses.

4. Czech Republic

If you speak Czech. or willing to learn it, you will be able to study for free in the Czech Republic at any public university. Students who wish to study in English, can also study fairly cheaply, at around $4,000 per year. Public universities usually charge a small registration fee of around $25.

Czech Republic is stunning and a capital of the country Prague is actually one of my favorite cities in the world to which I keep coming back to again and again. Never get’s old. There is so much to explore in the beautiful country.

Living expenses: Living costs associated with living in Czech Republic are only of the cheapest in all of Europe at around $400-800 per month.

5. Sweden

Sweden’s gorgeous capital Stockholm is made up of 14 different islands – each has its own unique identity. There is also English on every school curriculum, so you can easily get by without speaking much of local language.

Many of the Swedish universities offer free PhD tuition to American citizen, and to sweeten the deal, most are taught in English. Another thing to keep in mind is that while you are studying PhD you will most likely be offered paid positions by universities or outside partners, so you are not only studying for free but also earning money.

Living expenses: You will need about $1,000 a month to cover living expenses in Sweden.

6. Slovenia

Many people don’t know about this beautiful country between Croatia and Italy. This hidden country provides great opportunities to travel to neighboring countries, breath-taking mountains, and beaches. University of Ljubljana is one of the largest universities in the world and is also located in one of the most beautiful cities.

Living expenses: I believe that this country is the best when it comes to the living essentials. Housing starts at just $230/month and dorms will run you in under $150. Daily meals will also cost you barely anything from about $6 to $15 in moderately priced restaurants.

Bottom Line

No matter where you decide to study, always plan out your path and don’t ever listen to somebody who wants you to become someone. Don’t get in position where you don’t like what you are studying. Traveling and getting education is other countries will help you in many ways but most important one is financial aspect comparing to U.S cost of education. Feel free to email me with questions or if you would like to add your experiences I will happily do so.

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Richard Barnett is a student majoring in finance, entrepreneur, marketer, content writer, traveler, and financial blog “Student Money Adviser” owner. You can read more about me here.

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