Tuition Free Universities in Finland, Norway and Germany in 2016 Costs and funding

You may have heard of the financial treasures of Europe for international students. The international fuss turned Finland, Norway, and Germany into three study destinations that impress students through their accessibility, affordability, and high standards education.

Each of them has a unique study offer and advantages in the international world of education. Germany is famous for its openness towards international students, who comprise around 12% of all university learners in the country, and the numbers are growing. This diverse country has in its offer more and more English-taught undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and a renowned tradition in subjects related to engineering and science.

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Finland is one of the Scandinavian countries well-known for their advanced educational systems. Newsweek ranked Finland as the best country to live in. As you can imagine, this also reflects on student life in Finish cities. Technology is mixed carefully with the natural surroundings and students enjoy learning in this Nordic environment. Finland focuses on equal opportunities for students from all over the world.

When you hear of high-quality teaching and class flexibility, Norway usually comes to mind. The country of Aurora Borealis is proud of its 15,000 international students and the informal study atmosphere which makes lessons more appealing.

The costs of student life in Germany

When Germany abolished the tuition fees for higher education students, the news circled around the world. More specifically, public universities from 16 German states were open to students from any country and the yearly living costs for students decreased from 9,225 EUR to a bit over 1,050 EUR/month, in Berlin or Tarnow. If you’ve chosen a university or a polytechnic in a small German student town, such as Wolfsburg, Duisburg or Siegen, then you will likely need to pay a total of 500 EUR/month, as living costs.

Tuition may be free in Germany’s public universities from “the country of poets and thinkers” and inventions, but international students still have to pay a monthly fee that covers administrative costs and is around 100 – 250 EUR/semester. Also, each semester you have to re-enrol in the university programme.

Search through 654 Bachelor degrees in Germany

Did a German Bachelor’s degree in a private university catch your fancy? Then, you will need to pay around 17,520 EUR/month for the tuition fee. When it comes to Master studies, the tuition fee is around 2,050 – 6,000 EUR/year. Ph.D.students usually pay a semester contribution of 150 – 230 EUR/year. Some other living expenses in Germany you may have include:

  • Public transport: 100 EUR/month
  • Phone/internet/TV/postage: 33 EUR/month
  • Health-related expenses (insurance, medication): 70 EUR/month
  • Course/learning additional materials: 30 EUR/month.

Students will still need to finance their studies, so scholarships are available. The most popular services for student aid are the DAAD and BAföG.

The financial life of an international student in Finland

While offering tuition-free programmes for international students from the EU/EEA areas, Finland will charge citizens of non-EU/EEA countries starting from autumn 2016. Specialists estimate that the costs will be around 10,000 – 16,000 EUR/year for Bachelor and Master programmes, while the government-set minimum fee is 1,500 EUR/year for Bachelor and Master programmes taught in English. Courses taught in Finnish/Swedish, as well as Ph.D. will remain free, encouraging international students to learn the local language. Check out the Finnish language learning opportunities here!

The average living costs of a student in Finland are of at least 700 - 900 EUR/month. The minimum sum that you must prove that you have at your disposal during your study is 560 EUR/month. The sum depends on the city where you will reside in.


See what these students have to say about studying in Finland:

The most expensive cities are Helsinki and Espoo while your cheapest options are Oulu, Kuopio, Lahti, Lappeenranta, and Pori. The student union fees also have charges, but these depend on each university. Here are the most common expenses as an international student in Finland:

  • Public transport: 50 EUR/month
  • Phone/internet/electricity: 135 EUR/month
  • Health-related expenses (insurance, medication): 36 EUR/month

Financial aid for students mostly applies to Ph.D. courses and research. So you may need to find a university or non-university options independently.

Find out more about scholarships in Finland!

Financial resources you need to study in Norway

In Norway, all students from all countries do not pay tuition fees, if they are enrolled in Bachelor, Master, or Ph.D.programmes in public universities. The only mandatory tax is the student union fee of around 32 – 64 EUR. However, the fee provides benefits such as discounts for transportation. Private institutions charge approximately 8,300 – 10,000 EUR/year for international and Norwegian students.

Monthly living costs in Norway add up to around 1,000 EUR/month. The extremes are Oslo, Bergen, Tromso as the most expensive cities and Volda, Sogndal, Porsgrunn, and Narvik. The regular expenses in Norway are:

  • Public transport: 75 EUR/month
  • Phone/internet/electricity/garbage: 210 EUR/month
  • Course/learning additional materials: 530 EUR/month.

By attending a degree course in Norway, you can benefit from an international student financing programme or even a collaboration of the universities with institutions from other countries. These are targeted at certain fields or students from some countries, but they are available and accessible to international students.

Check out testimonials from these students who followed a degree in Norway:

These are a few of the countries that can ease your moving to a country abroad for your studies. You can check out the tuition-free universities or find the most suitable option for your preferred field of study. Either way, your study abroad will certainly be a rewarding and unforgettable experience.

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