Studying abroad can be costly due to tuition fees, living expenses, travel, and study materials. If you’re searching for an inexpensive study destination with excellent academic options, you may be interested in the most affordable countries to study in Europe.
Following are the top 5 budget-friendly destinations in Europe. These countries range from Mediterranean coastal areas to central and eastern Europe, providing various study experiences depending on your preferences.
Italy, located in the heart of Europe, offers a wide range of cosmopolitan cities and charming historic towns, making it an incredible study abroad destination. It is also one of the most affordable countries in Europe, with housing costs 50% cheaper than in London and food prices 23% lower than in Paris.
Tuition fees in Italy are generally lower compared to other European countries. While private universities may have higher fees, most universities charge around €500 to €4,000 per year. Some Italian universities even offer reduced tuition fees based on your country of citizenship, allowing for even lower costs for international students.
On average, living expenses in Italy should not exceed €1,500 per month, depending on your location and dining choices.
Germany is a popular choice for international students due to its exceptionally low tuition fees. In many states of the country, international students are exempt from paying tuition fees and only need to cover a small administrative fee of around €250 per semester.
However, it’s important to note that if you plan to study in Baden-Württemberg, which includes cities like Freiburg, Heidelberg, Stuttgart, and Mannheim, you will be required to pay €1,500 per semester, totaling €3,000 per academic year. Despite this, it is still considerably cheaper compared to countries like France and the United Kingdom.
When it comes to living expenses, cities such as Munich or Frankfurt can be relatively expensive. However, other major German cities offer more affordable options. In Berlin, the capital city, rental prices are 10% lower than in Paris, and supermarkets and restaurants are generally cheaper. The German government estimates that you would need around €867 per month to study in Germany, with rent accounting for just over €300 per month.
If you’re looking for a place with abundant sunshine and affordable living costs, Portugal is the ideal destination. With an average of 300 sunny days per year, you can enjoy a pleasant climate. When studying in Portugal, your monthly living expenses should not exceed €800 on average.
Tuition fees in Portugal vary depending on the university you choose. On average, they range from around €2,000 to €6,500 per year. While this may be higher than some other countries, it is important to consider the overall lower cost of living in Portugal.
In terms of transportation, public transport expenses will typically amount to no more than €20-€30 per month. Additionally, you can enjoy a meal at a restaurant for as little as €12.
Hungary is a popular destination for many tourists who want to relax along the Danube River, explore the lively city of Budapest, and discover its beautiful mountainous landscapes. Additionally, it is known as one of the most affordable countries in Europe for studying, making it an attractive choice for international students.
At state universities in Hungary, the annual tuition fees are generally affordable, ranging from €2,500 to a maximum of €8,000. EU or EEA citizens may even find universities that offer tuition for free, making studying in Hungary highly cost-effective.
Living costs in Hungary are also budget-friendly, especially in Budapest. Renting an apartment in the city can be as low as €250 to €350 per month. If you choose university accommodation or decide to live in a smaller city, your rent expenses will be even lower. Overall, international students can comfortably live in Hungary with expenses ranging between €500 to €700 per month.
Poland is the most affordable country to study in Europe, attracting a growing number of international students. From the academic years 2020-2021 to 2021-2022, the country experienced a 5.6% increase in international student enrollment, reaching nearly 90,000 students. Students are drawn to Poland’s rich history, unique culture, and low cost of living and tuition fees.
International students can expect to pay between €2,000 and €6,000 per year for their studies in Poland, which is much cheaper compared to similar countries. Moreover, with a student visa, it is possible to work part-time to cover living expenses while studying in Poland.
However, due to the low cost of living, students may not even need to work. In Warsaw, where many top universities are located, it is recommended to have around 2300 PLN (€500) to 2800 PLN (€610) to cover rent, groceries, and entertainment expenses.
Poland is the most affordable country to study in Europe, but there are also other countries on this list where costs are significantly lower. If you’re concerned about expenses while studying abroad, consider choosing from Hungary, Poland, or Germany. In these countries, your monthly costs will be much lower compared to other European destinations.