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2021-12-26 21:07:58

Free education in Europe: how to enroll and study for free

Free education in Europe: how to enroll and study for free

As long as prices around continue to rise, including for education in foreign countries, it may seem that it is impossible to study abroad without having a four- or five-figure amount in the bank. But this is not necessarily the case – there are many countries in the world where students can study for free or for a very affordable amount. Just need to know where to look!

Contrary to popular belief, studying in Europe does not always cost a lot of money. State universities in many countries offer to study for free in the national language or with a minimum cost of administrative fees. That is why students from all over the world are sent to European countries to receive high-quality and relatively affordable education.

If you dream of studying in Europe for free, take a closer look at the following list of countries: in them you can study for free in the national language. In these countries, you can get a scholarship or grant that will cover up to 100% of the costs while studying in another country.


Almost all universities in Germany provide the opportunity to study for free on German-language programs. Students only pay union dues once a semester and also pay for accommodation. On average, the monthly expenses of students range from 100 to 500 euros - very good for a world capital with a strong education system. The exception is the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, which from the 2017-18 academic year charges non-EU citizens a tuition fee of 1500 euros per semester.

As for scholarships, the world-famous academic exchange service DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) operates in Germany. Every year it provides financial support to almost a hundred thousand students. Thanks to the scholarship, they receive an average of 850 euros per month for spending, and also study for free or with a large discount.


Austrian universities, like German ones, offer high-quality education at a minimum cost – this is the state policy. International students only have to pay student fees (€746). Of course, everything is not so simple: you can apply for a budget place only in state universities + quotas for foreigners. Low tuition prices can only be found at public universities and art schools, and popular universities of applied sciences will charge high fees, as will private educational institutions.

To receive a grant or scholarship, you must apply through the ÖAD Unified Service. According to statistics, the highest probability of receiving a grant from candidates for a master's degree at the age of 23-24 years. The average size of the scholarship = 940 euros per month.


You can study in Norway in the national language for free. The country's policy applies to all students regardless of their citizenship. To do this, you must pass a language proficiency test. But this does not stop students: thousands of students study at universities.

For a comfortable life during your studies, you will need about 800 euros per month + contributions of 40-70 euros once a semester. You can cover the cost of living with the help of a scholarship or grant. Examples of grants:

  • Norwegian scholarship program covers NOK 11,020 per month
  • "Global Education" – up to 2.76 million rubles per year
  • Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree covers all expenses during the study.


State universities in France are a good option for foreigners who dream of studying for free. They provide students with many opportunities to reduce tuition costs: thanks to the ERASMUS+ program, students on the budget pay a registration fee once a year from 2770 euros and study for free. There is also the Eiffel Scholarship, one of the most popular among international students.

The cost of accommodation, food and travel by public transport in France is estimated at 600-800 euros per month.

The Czech Republic

This country is very popular among students: you can study at the universities of the Czech Republic for free, for this you only need to master the Czech, which does not cause great difficulties for students. Often, in order to study on a budget, students attend preparatory programs for about a year, where they master the language, and then successfully enter universities.

Another positive aspect of studying in the Czech Republic is the relatively low cost of living (from 350 to 750 US dollars per month). In addition, the country is located in the heart of Europe: students have a chance to easily travel to neighboring countries.


The cost of education for foreign students is low and averages 1500 euros per year. But Greece requires applicants to know Greek in order to enter public universities. Given the relatively low costs during the stay, Greece is one of the most affordable destinations for studying abroad: it will take from 450 to 700 euros per month to live.


You can enroll in public universities in Italy, study in Italian and pay about 600 euros per half year. In addition, students are offered many scholarships, both from the state and various foundations. For example, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy awards scholarships to students of art schools, master's and doctoral students, finances scientific research with the help of grants. Most Italian universities award their scholarships to students: for example, the Technical University of Milan (Politecnico di Milano) - ranging from $ 5,000 to $ 11,618.


Public universities in Switzerland also provide a chance for students from other countries to study for free, paying only an annual fee of about 1500 CHF. But it should be borne in mind that this country is one of the most expensive to live in, and it is quite difficult to be enrolled in the budget. If this does not stop you, then we recommend that you study for two years at a university and then enter the universities of Switzerland - so you will make up for the difference in secondary education.

TOP free universities in Europe

  1. The Scuola Normale Superiore (Italy)
  2. The Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies (Italy)
  3. The Free University of Berlin (Germany)
  4. The University of Göttingen (Germany)
  5. RWTH Aachen University (Germany)
  6. University of Vienna (Austria)
  7. Nord University (Norway)
  8. University of Nantes (France)
  9. University of Paris-Sud (France)
  10. University of Athens (Greece)
  11. University of Crete (Greece)
  12. Universität Basel (Switzerland)
  13. The Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg (Germany).

How to enroll on a budget and study for free in Europe

Each country has its own requirements for applicants, but there are several common criteria that increase the chances of free study in Europe.

  • High academic performance and achievements in studies, sports, creativity, volunteering and social activities.
  • A research project is the main requirement at the level of master's and doctoral studies.
  • Motivation letter that reveals the potential of the student. The essay should show the student from the winning side and convince the commission to award him a scholarship. A well-written letter often overlaps with not the highest score and lack of incredible achievements.
  • Properly executed package of documents. There should be no inaccuracies, errors and even typos in the documents - one mistake can negate the years of preparation for admission.
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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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