As the number of international students seeking study abroad opportunities increases, many are searching for the most affordable countries to study in.
While some universities worldwide do not charge tuition fees, they may impose administrative fees to support student administration and supervision. In countries like Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Poland, and Sweden, education is free for certain nationalities and degrees.
These countries are divided into two groups based on monthly living expenses for students: average-to-high cost of living (€1,000-€1,900/month) and cheap-to-affordable cost of living (€400-€999/month).
Albania, Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Spain, and Sweden are some of the nations with low to moderate costs of living, while Andorra, Austria, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Spain have average to high costs of living. After graduation, many countries allow students to remain in the country for up to a year to seek employment.
If you are considering studying in any of these countries, you should be aware of the cost of living, work permit requirements, and post-graduate work visa regulations.
Germany’s world-renowned educational system, coupled with its policy of free higher education and job opportunities, make it a sought-after destination for international students. Since the abolition of tuition fees in 2014, students are only required to pay an administrative fee of €250 per semester.
With a total of 440,564 international students currently enrolled in German universities, they can work for up to 120 full or 240 half days each year while studying. Furthermore, they are eligible to apply for an 18-month extension to their stay in Germany after graduation to seek employment in their field of study.
Although the average monthly cost of living ranges from €1,040 to €1,277, students can live comfortably with an estimated monthly expense of €934.
France has a thriving student community, and it boasts some of the world’s best universities. Low tuition fees and cost of living are among the benefits of studying in France for international students, making it a popular choice for studying abroad.
Its higher education institutions have about 370,000 international students currently enrolled.
During their studies, students in France can work for up to 964 hours per year and are permitted to remain in the country for up to one year after graduation to pursue job opportunities.
With its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and excellent education system, Albania is an attractive destination for studying abroad. The country boasts beautiful beaches, impressive architecture, and a thriving countryside.
Moreover, Albania is among the most affordable countries in Europe, with an average monthly cost of living ranging from €466 to €567, and a yearly tuition fee of $220 to $4,000, which can be managed with careful budgeting. Students in Albania are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week while pursuing their studies.
Greece is an attractive study-abroad destination with its excellent academic institutions, free education, and affordable housing options. Its vibrant student life is enriched by the country’s status as a significant tourist destination. With an average monthly cost between €761 and €895, studying in Greece is a more affordable option than many other popular study-abroad destinations.
International students in Greece are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during the semester and up to 40 hours per week during breaks.
Iceland is a popular destination for international students due to its free or low-cost education and excellent universities. However, living expenses can be expensive, with a monthly range of €1,369 to €1,976. International students can work up to 15 hours per week during the academic year and stay for an additional six months after graduation to look for work.
Spain is among the top study-abroad countries, with an average monthly spending range of €805–€1,098. Tuition fees and living costs are significantly lower compared to many English-speaking nations. International students are permitted to work 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during semester breaks. They can stay in the country for up to 12 months to search for jobs after graduation.
Belgium is known for its extensive history, vibrant culture, and top-notch education, among other things. International students can apply for a one-year post-graduation residency visa that allows them to work up to 20 hours per week and look for a job. Tuition fees are relatively inexpensive.
Hungary is a favourite among international students due to its high academic standards and affordable tuition. Living costs range from €612 to €742 per month, and international students can work up to 24 hours per week while enrolled in classes. Graduates abroad can apply to stay in Hungary for up to 9 months to look for work after graduation.
The Netherlands is known for its distinctive lifestyle, practical teaching approach, and relatively affordable living costs ranging from €1,165 to €1,646 per month, including rent. International students can work up to 16 hours per week and full-time during the summer. They can also remain in the country for up to a year to search for employment after graduating.
Andorra offers a unique student experience due to its amazing natural beauty, excellent higher education, and environment focused on the students’ needs. Tuition is only 750 euros per year, and living expenses start from €1,011 to €1,270. International students can take up a part-time job in this country.
Norway offers free tuition, world-class universities, and a tolerant culture. The cost of living in Norway ranges from €1,211 to €1,578 per month, which is reasonable for the country’s high educational standards and secure environment. International students can work up to 20 hours a week while attending classes and stay in the country for up to a year after graduation to look for work.
Switzerland is renowned for its extensive selection of study programs, high standards of teaching, and world-class universities. Living expenses range from €1,872 to €2,416 per month, depending on the lifestyle and financial habits of the student. International students can work up to 15 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during the summer. They can petition to stay in the country for six months to look for work after graduation.