Top 5 Countries to Study Tuition-Free

Top 5 Countries to Study Tuition-Free 2015

Studying in Europe can be very exciting and rewarding with so many experiences and of course a world class university degree. However, it can also be very expensive to study there and most university tuition fee is more than you can afford. Although, there are numerous scholarships provided by these universities and other organizations to help pay for part or all of your tuition, it can be difficult to get one because of the limited amounts available or the your inability to qualify for a scholarship.

If you fail to qualify for a fully-funded or partial university scholarship, all hope is not lost, there is another option of enrolling in a tuition-free university, yes a non-tuition paying university. There are countries in Europe that have tuition free programs for international students. Countries such as Finland, Austria, Norway, Germany, and Sweden all offer some form of tuition fee schemes for international students. In this article, SEG Study in Europe has outlined important information and guides on tuition-free colleges and universities in these countries. 

Tuition Free Universities in Finland

The first country on this list with a tuition-free university scheme is Finland. According to studyinfinland.fi, there are (at the time of writing) currently no tuition fees charged in Finland, irrespective of the level of studies and the nationality of the student. Nevertheless, remember that even if there are no tuition fees, you still need to plan your finances. This is because you are expected to cover your own everyday living expenses during your stay in Finland. 
 
At the present moment, scholarships are mainly available only for Doctoral level studies and research.  
 
The personal cost of study in Finland include: Estimated living expenses of a single student in Finland average around 500-800 Euros per month.  
 
For further information on studying in Finland and how to apply to a university, follow the following links: 

Source: studyinfinland.fi  

Tuition Free Universities in Austria  

The second country on the list is Austria. Unlike Finland, universities in Austria do charge tuition fee but it is very low in comparison to other European countries. According to studyinaustria.at, If you are an non-EU/EEA student, federal/public universities in Austria only charge about 363.36 or 726.72 Euros per semester for tuition fees plus 17.50 Euros for the Student Union membership fee and 0.50 Euros insurance fee per semester. If you are a citizen of a least developed country, you may be exempted to pay tuition fees at public universities in Austria and only need to pay the Student Union membership fee and insurance.  
 
Just like in Finland, you will need to cover your everyday living expenses. The estimated cost of living in Austria is approximately 800 Euros per month which covers accommodation, food, and personal expenses. 
 
For further information on studying in Austria and how to apply to a university, follow the following links: 
List of Higher Education Institutions in Austria
 
Source: studyinaustria.at 

Tuition Free Universities in Norway

The beautiful Nordic country of Norway also offers tuition free college education. According to studyinnorway.no, Norwegian state universities and university colleges as a rule do not charge tuition fees to all students including international students. This rule applies to all levels, including undergraduate studies, Masters programmes and Ph.D. programmes. Take note however that some state universities and university colleges may have tuition fees for some specialized programs which are mostly at the Master level. Students will also be required to pay a semester fee of NOK 300-600 each semester. 
 
The cost of living in Norway is much higher than other countries so you should expect to spend more on personal expenses. The average living cost per year is NOK 90,000 - 100,000. 
 
For further information on studying in Austria and how to apply to a university, follow the following links: 
List of Universities in Norway 
List of Scholarships in Norway for International Students  
 
Source: studyinnorway.no 

Tuition Free Universities in Germany

Starting October 2014, all Universities in Germany will not charge any tuition fees for undergraduate studies 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). This current tuition fee structure is subject to change in the future however. You can refer to this Page for the latest information on tuition fees in different states in Germany. 
 
Unlike undergraduate studies, most Master’s or PhD studies in Germany are fee-based. The costs for postgraduate studies are in addition to the enrollment and confirmation fees. 
 
The cost of living for German students on average is between 500-800 Euros for accommodation, transport, feeding, and miscellaneous expenses. Depending on your life style you might spend more or less as a foreign student. 
 
For further information on studying in Germany and how to apply to a university, follow the following links: 
List of German Universities and Colleges 
List of Scholarships in Germany for International Students 
 
Source: Deutsche Studentenwerk

Tuition Free Universities in Sweden

For many years, Sweden has been one of the top study destinations for international students and this is with good reason. According to studyinsweden.se, Tuition fees apply for students who are not citizens of an EU/EEA/Nordic country or Switzerland. The fees apply only to Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes and courses, while PhD programmes however are tuition-free. Other fees include student union fee (SEK 50-350 per semester).  
 
Therefore, Sweden is not a really tuition-free destination however,  a lot of universities in Sweden offer numerous full or partial scholarships or tuition waivers to international students. 
 
For further information on studying in Germany and how to apply to a university, follow the following links: 
List of Universities in Sweden that offer scholarships/tuition waivers
List of Scholarships in Sweden for International Students 
 
Source: studyinsweden.se  

Online Tuition-Free Universities

If you have gone through all the options above but you are not completely satisfied or you do not want to travel out of your home country but still want a top European degree then an online education is an excellent option. 
 
There are now a  good number of Universities that offer online degrees/courses for free. The first such University is University of the People which is a tuition-free, non-profit, online academic institution dedicated to opening access to higher education globally. University of the People offers online Associate and Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Computer Science. 
 
Another excellent choice is edX which is an initiative of combined effort from MIT and Harvard University. edX is a learning platform that gives students from any country the opportunity to take free online courses offered by three premier Universities in the US – Harvard, MIT, and UC Berkeley and about 50+ Universities and institutions. 
 
In line with this trend, Coursera was introduced which is an online learning platform that partners with the top universities in the world to offer online courses in many fields of study for anyone to take, for free. 
 
For further information on Online Tuition-free Universities and how to apply to a university, follow the following link: 
List of Universities offering free online courses