Right after you decided you want to study abroad, you start making some calculations about how much it will cost you. One of the first things you check when searching for a degree is the cost of tuition.
Usually, there are two different costs listed for programmes on university websites. Tuition costs are different for EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students.
The difference between EEA and non-EEA countries is that universities in EU countries follow the same educational standards and provide equal student rights. As a result, universities keep their tuition fees the same for their own national students and any citizen of a country in the European Union and European Economic Area. This rule does not apply to students who do not belong to the EEA, who usually have to pay higher tuition fees.
In this respect, non-EEA students may have a more difficult time finding an affordable Bachelor's or Master's degree in the European Union.
Detailed information about tuition fees in European countries.
Here are three ways non-EU students can avoid paying high tuition fees in Europe:
1. Find tuition-free programmes
Tuition fees should not discourage you from looking for a study programme in Europe. Some European universities offer a number of programmes free of charge. Public universities from Germany, and Nordic countries including Norway (non-EU country) don't charge tuition fees to international students worldwide (to both EU and non-EU students) for a significant amount of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
Check examples of tuition-free universities:
- Norwegian University of Science and Technology
- University of Wuppertal
- University of Bremen
- Aalborg University
- Dalarna University
2. EU countries with low living costs and low tuition fees
Even if you may not enjoy free tuition, in certain European countries, universities charge low tuition fees and living costs are quite affordable. Studying abroad is no financial burden in countries like:
In these countries, students usually spend between 500 and 800 EUR/month for monthly living costs, while average tuition fees range between 1,000 and 5,000 EUR/year in public universities.
Find out more details about cheap study destinations in Europe.
3. Apply for university funding and government scholarships
You may also apply for a study programme that requires tuition fees and look for available funding options. You need to carefully review funding/scholarship information on university web pages. For additional details, you should directly contact the programme director or international student office. Some universities have a scholarship section in their application form, making the application process much easier.
Usually, universities offer scholarships based on academic excellence, while in some cases, special scholarships are provided to a certain level of degree. For instance, Swiss universities provide more scholarships to PhD students.
Other university scholarships cover tuition fee, part of living expenses, and health insurance.
In addition to university funding, you may consider applying for a scholarship provided by the government of your country of destination. In addition to covering your tuition fee, a government scholarship may also provide some extra money to spend during your studies.
Most government scholarships are provided to students coming from a certain country or interested in studying a certain field of study. For instance, the U.S. government provides numerous scholarships to students coming from India, Nigeria or Pakistan and talented students who plan to pursue an engineering degree.
You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies abroad.
Need more scholarship information?