Tuition Fees for International Students in European Universities Costs and funding

Everybody’s dream is to study abroad. If you’re attracted to study in Europe, surely, you’d like to know where can you find study degrees taught entirely in English, which are the most affordable countries in terms of both tuition and living costs and where you can actually study for free.

Since the Bologna declaration, more European students have embraced the idea of studying abroad within Europe. Universities in Europe have opened their doors to international students worldwide (from both the EU and non-EU), and just to make things easier for them, they increased their number of English-taught degrees.

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Read below to see in which countries universities provide the largest number of English programmes, where you can benefit from free tuition and which European locations have the lowest living costs.

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Countries with the largest number of English-taught programmes
The UK

The UK is one of the most popular study abroad destinations worldwide, welcoming around 1 million foreign students each year.

In the UK, you can enroll in one of the 150 universities, all providing degrees taught in English. But what are the costs of studying abroad in the UK? Everyone knows it is one of the most expensive countries, especially when it comes to university fees. However, EU students are charged the same tuition as local students.

Here is a range of tuition fees in British universities:

  • EU/EEA students: between 5,000 and 11,000 EUR/year
  • Non-EU/EEA students: between 12,000 and 20,000 EUR/year

More information about tuition fees in the UK.


Often viewed as a more affordable option of studying abroad compared to the UK, Ireland is one of the most welcoming nations in the world.

Just like in the UK, universities in Ireland offer only English-taught programmes and you can apply to over 60 universities and higher education institutions.

Tuition fees in Irish universities:

  • EU/EEA students: between 3,500 and 9,000 EUR/year
  • Non-EU/EEA students: between 7,000 and 17,000 EUR/year

Find detailed information about tuition fees in Ireland.

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In the Netherlands, you will find more English-taught degrees than study programmes that are taught in Dutch. In terms of academic performance, you can’t go wrong with choosing to study in the Netherlands, since Dutch universities are competing with UK and German universities; they are ranked similarly in the most popular university rankings.

Average tuition fees in universities from the Netherlands:

  • EU/EEA students: between 700 and 5,000 EUR/year
  • Non-EU/EEA students: between 6,000 and 20,000 EUR/year

More details about tuition fees in the Netherlands.


When it comes to attractive places to study abroad in Europe, Germany certainly comes into mind. Public universities don’t charge tuition fees to all international students (both EU and non-EU), they offer outstanding training and academics, and as a bonus, Germany has affordable living costs.

English-taught degrees are mostly available at postgraduate level, for Master and PhD programmes.

Average tuition fees in German private universities: between 3,000 and 20,000 EUR/year

More details about tuition fees in Germany.

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Tuition-free countries in Europe

If you believe you can’t successfully combine high-standard education with low of even free tuition, think again! Nordic countries like Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden have been proving this is possible. In these havens for international students, particularly if you come from the EU, you won’t be charged any tuition fees. However, living costs usually exceed 1,000 EUR/month, but the quality of life in these countries is also very high.

Find out the exact status of tuition fees in Nordic countries:


Home to over 40 universities, more than 18,000 international students worldwide come to study in Denmark each year. EU citizens and students coming on an exchange study programme don’t have to pay any tuition; fees are only applied to non-EU students.

Average tuition for non-EU students:

  • Public universities: between 5,000 and 15,000 EUR/year
  • Private universities for non-EU students: between 10,000 and 36,000 EUR/year

Just like Denmark, public universities in Finland only charge non-EU students for an annual tuition fee. However, courses taught in either Finnish or Swedish remain tuition free for all international students.

Average tuition fees for non-EU students:

  • between 4,000 and 18,000 EUR/year (available in both public and private universities)

In public universities from Norway, all students coming from both EU/EEA and outside the EU are exempted from paying tuition fees. You will only be charged for a semester fee which is between 32 and 64 EUR.

Private universities charge around 8,000 – 9,500 EUR/year for international and local students as well.


Similar to Denmark and Finland, in Sweden, students who are citizens of EU/EEA countries will benefit from the free tuition scheme, will international non-EU students will have to pay tuition.

The only tax EU/EEA students will be charged is an application fee of around 100 EUR.

Average tuition fees for non-EU students:

  • Public universities: between 6,000 and 45,000 EUR/year
  • Private universities: between 12,000 and 25,000 EUR/year.

Find more information about tuition fees in Nordic countries.

European countries with affordable living costs for students

While universities from some European countries don’t have a wide offer of English degrees, they have the advantage of affordable or even low living costs. A few examples would be Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Lithuania, where you won’t have to make too many compromises when it comes to your monthly budget. Additionally, tuition fees in these countries are also some of the lowest you will find throughout Europe.

Check out the average living costs for international students in these European countries:


Average living costs in big cities like Rome and Milan: 1,000 to 1,500 EUR/month.

Average living costs in small student cities (Pisa, Padua, Turin): 750 EUR/month maximum

Monthly living expenses should cover housing, food bills, public transportation, local travel and social activities.

Find out more about studying abroad in Italy.


Average living costs: 800 – 950 EUR/month

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With this sum, you can fairly include all your monthly expenses (food bills, social activities and transportation), and in some Spanish cities, like Cadiz or Jaen, even the accommodation costs.

More details about studying in Spain.


Average living costs: 650 EUR/month, including accommodation, food and leisure.

The most popular student cities in Portugal are Lisbon, Porto, and Coimbra.

More about studying in Portugal.


Lithuania has some of the lowest prices in Europe, which is a great advantage for international students. Although not so popular among foreign students, Lithuania is home to a few universities that offer several English taught programmes, especially at postgraduate level.

Average living costs: 500 EUR/month

The amount includes expenditures like accommodation, groceries, social activities and public transportation.

Major student cities in Lithuania are with Vilnius, and Kaunas.

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Consider your study options in Europe before enrolling

You’ll find plenty of study programmes available in English throughout the entire Europe. The question remains where exactly in Europe you will choose to pursue the degree of your dreams. Countries with free tuition are always tempting, but in some cases, higher living expenses might not make going to a certain country an affordable deal.

On the other hand, you can enjoy low living costs in several countries but will you find your matching study degree in one of these countries? The important thing is to not give up because the perfect degree is somewhere out there waiting for you; you just have to discover where it is.

You also have the chance to cover part or your entire tuition, as well as living costs, if you apply to a student scholarship or grant. Check out scholarship opportunities for international students worldwide!

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