Nordic countries in Europe are at the top of many foreign students study abroad wish lists, due to their free-tuition policies, their proven stellar education and the importance universities place on research and practical training. Top study abroad locations like Finland, Germany and Norway welcome thousands of international students each year.
With the mindset of educational transparency and providing each student free access to higher education, these three countries from Northern Europe are home to some of the best universities worldwide that manage to always be present in the most reputed rankings. That's why it's so important to distinguish the best tuition-free universities in Finland, Germany and Norway and help you decide if they are the right choice for your international study adventure. Don't forget to also check out living costs in Germany, Norway and Finland to get an overall feel for how you need to prepare financially.
1. Tuition fees in Finland
Who doesn't pay tuition fees in Finland?
Public universities in Finland are divided into universities and universities of applied sciences and they are all tuition-free for students coming from EU/EEA countries. However, non-EU/EEA students enrolling in English-taught degrees will need to pay tuition fees. The minimum tuition set by the Finnish government is around 1,500 EUR/year for Bachelor and Master programmes, but most programmes charge a tuition above this amount.
Tuition fees in public Finnish universities range from 10,000 to 25,000 EUR/year, with University of Helsinki as the most expensive university. Private universities can charge higher fees.
All international students who plan to pursue a degree taught in Finnish or Swedish are still not charged any tuition. Make sure you also take into account the living costs of studying in Finland. The average costs are at least 700 - 900 EUR/month.
Tuition-free universities in Finland
- Aalto University;
- University of Helsinki;
- Metropolia University of Applied Sciences;
- University of Jyvaskyla;
- Lappeenranta University of Technology.
Examples of subjects to study for free in Finland
Some of the most popular disciplines you can study in Finland are:
To enrol in a Master’s degree in Finland, you will need to have completed your Bachelor studies in the same field or closely related to the one you plan to apply to. Entry requirements for a Master’s programme in a university of applied sciences also require at least three years of work experience. Check details on how to apply to a university in Finland.
International student experiences in Finland
See what these students have to say about studying in Finland:
2. Tuition fees in Germany
Who doesn't pay tuition fees in Germany?
For both undergraduate and graduate degrees, you can study for free in public German universities. This is generally true for international students worldwide, inside, or outside the EU/EEA zone. The only fees required are called “administrative fees” that cost around 100 - 200 EUR/year and they are dedicated to student services, covering costs for bus tickets to the university, student cafeterias and more.
However, according to new education policies, starting from autumn 2017, non-EU/EEA students who want to study in a university in the Baden-Würrtemberg region will have to pay tuition fees. Private universities in Germany charge tuition fees and these are between 2,000 and 20,000 EUR/year.
Living costs in Germany are around 800 - 900 EUR/month.
Tuition-free universities in Germany
- Hamburg University of Technology;
- University of Leipzig;
- Ruhr University of Bochum;
- University of Stuttgart;
- Darmstadt University of Technology.
Examples of subjects to study for free in Germany
Within around 450 public universities in Germany, you can apply to numerous study fields available in English and German as well. Popular disciplines in Germany include
Similarly to Finnish universities, prospective Master students are eligible for admission only if their prior studies are in the same field as the one for the Master course they plan to enroll in. Read more about how to apply to a university in Germany.
International student experiences in Germany
See what these students have to say about studying in Germany
3. Tuition fees in Norway
Who doesn't pay tuition fees in Norway?
Norway has 40 public higher education institutions that include universities, colleges and other institutions specialised in a certain field. Just like Germany, Norway universities are tuition-free for all international students, whether they come from the EU/EEA countries or not. Students will just have to pay a semester fee for the student union between 32 and 65 EUR. The student union fee covers health and counselling services, sports and cultural activities held on campus.
In private universities, both national and international students will have to pay tuition fees. Compared to other European countries, private universities in Norway are cheaper, as they have fees between 7,000 and 10,000 EUR/year.
Monthly living costs in Norway add up to around 1,000 EUR/month.
Examples of subjects to study for free in Norway
Many international students that decide to study abroad in Norway pursue degrees in
More information about how to apply to a university in Norway.
Tuition-free universities in Norway
- University of Bergen;
- Nord University;
- UIT The Arctic University of Norway;
- NHH Norwegian School of Economics;
- Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.
International student experiences in NorwaySee what these students have to say about studying in Norway:
Search Bachelor and Master programmes in these countries and many other tuition-free programmes worldwide, and choose a world-class study degree that will prepare you for a blooming career. Also, read about Bachelors at tuition-free universities in Norway, Germany, Finland and Sweden.