Let’s face it – with today’s skyrocketing university fees in almost every other country, it has become a hectic endeavor to find a university that offers tuition-free course studies.

It almost seems like earning a recognized postgraduate degree – either at home or abroad – is quite impossible without access to a four-figure budget, or without securing a scholarship.

This isn’t necessarily the case. If you are thinking of studying abroad, you’ll be delighted to know that there are many countries in Europe where you can study for free or for a very affordable tuition fee. You just have to know where to look.

Top 4 European Countries with Tuition-Free Postgraduate Programs

Sweden

What comes to mind when you think of Sweden? A country steeped in Viking history? Or is it its grand cityscapes? Or better yet, a country whose coastline speckles of rocky landscapes?

Well, Sweden is not just home to Ikea. It’s one of our world’s most progressive countries when it comes to accessible and quality education. Although it’s among the European Union’s most expensive countries, you might have a different experience as a postgraduate student.

Wondering how you can take advantage of a tuition-free course study in Sweden? It’s easy. European Union (EU) citizens, those who reside in the European Economic Area (EEA) or in Switzerland are eligible. However, non-EU students will have to part with some fees.

Sweden has a diversity of about 53 colleges and universities you can choose from. Back in February 2016, the non-EU, EEA or the Swiss students had to part with about SEK900 ($110) as tuition fees.

What of now? The tuition fees are about SEK80,000 ($9,800) to about SEK140,000 ($17,200) per academic year. You might also have to part with about SEK8,000 ($1,000) for minimal living expenses.

All that said, the cost of tuition in Sweden is evidently cheaper in contrast to most countries. What’s more? Most postgraduate courses are taught in English. This surely takes away the necessity to learn Swedish for most students.

Finland

This is certainly a country with heaps of character. And it’s not just because of its avant-garde urban zones. In winter, Finland is dotted with vast frozen forests whereas its summer holidays feature midnight daytime saunas!

Back in 2012, a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit for Pearson holds that Finland has the best education system in our world. However, Finland introduced tuition fees to non-EU/EEA master’s students taking a course in English in the autumn of 2017. Postgraduate applicants from any country are eligible for tuition-free doctorate level studies that are taught in Finnish or Swedish. There are scholarship schemes for non-EU students in some universities.

How can Finland afford this? Well, with an annual budget of about €11.1 billion, it certainly can. Actually, the country attracts more and more international students every other year. At any one time, there are over 6,000 foreign students enrolled for a degree program in Finland. It might interest you to know that there are over 330 master’s courses of English language in this country.

Each Finnish university defines its own tuition fees. By legislation, the minimal annual tuition fee is set at about €1,500. Nonetheless, you can expect the eventual amount to be higher than this. Case in point – the University of Helsinki states that the tuition fees will range from about €10,000 – €25,000 annually. You also have to consider the cost of living in Finland. You might have to part with about €700 – €900 a month.

Germany

Full of multi-ethnic, student-friendly cities satiated with culture and history, Germany presents an impeccable university experience for students from across the globe.

Germany put an end to tuition fees for undergraduates studying at public universities back in 2014. This makes education accessible to anyone who chooses to study there. Even though there still are tuition fees for postgraduate studies, the typical cost still is far less than anywhere in the world. What’s the good news? The fee for domestic and international students is the same, regardless of where you’re from.

In case you’ve already studied a bachelor’s degree in Germany and you intend to go ahead to study the consecutive master’s program – tuition will be free. However, if you’re studying a non-consecutive postgraduate degree outside Germany, you might have to part with over €10,000 per semester.

You might want to brush up your German language skills before you submit your application. Why? Most courses are taught in the native tongue. There’s a wide range of scholarship schemes available for postgraduate students studying in Germany, some of which are based on individual needs. Every successful applicant must prepare to part with about with about €40-€70 per semester to cover administration costs.

There are over 900 English language degree courses on offer at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Germany. In comparison to western European countries, the living costs in Germany are almost the same – but definitely lower than those of Scandinavia. Students will have to part with about €670 a month to cover food, accommodation, and other expenses.

Norway

Can you imagine a first-hand revel of the northern lights or an experience of the vast Scandinavian outdoors? Well, there truly is no better place in our world to get up close to nature than in Norway. Its cities are exciting with great music scenes and a growing coffee culture.

Even though there may be a language barrier to overcome for those who wish to study in Norway, there are no tuition fees for postgraduate students. Regardless of your country of origin, you are eligible for tuition-free studies.

The English language courses are fairly conventional at the postgraduate levels. Otherwise, you will have to attest your proficiency in Norwegian right before you’re accepted to a study course. It might interest you to know that there’s accessible financial support to help students cover their living costs in this expensive Scandinavian country.

Each and every student should prepare to part with a semester fee of about 500 NOK (€66). Nonetheless, this will only put you in a position to realize and take advantage of a couple of discounts.