Yearly, many international students choose Europe as their study destination. Aside from its exciting culture, lifestyle, and places, this continent has a lot to offer, especially in the field of education. European universities and colleges have been highly recognized globally for their outstanding performance in various disciplines. That’s one main reason why many foreign students strive to enter a European university.

While Europe offers a fulfilling experience of studies and educational training, it comes with a price. As an incoming student here, you need to consider the cost of your studies, accommodation, allowance, and a lot more. The financial costs of studying in a European country can burden many aspiring international students.

However, here’s the good news: International students can study in Europe with little cost or for free at all. This continent is known for providing affordable tuition fees without sacrificing the quality and performance of education. There are also selected European countries with free tuition fees for both local and international students.

Now, aside from tuition fees, you should also consider the cost of your stay in Europe. Compared to other continents, living in Europe might be costly because you need to fund your allowance, accommodation, and a lot more. To help you with this, Europe generously offers scholarships. This will be a big help for your studies.

Are you planning to study in Europe for free? If yes, you need to prepare early. Since a lot of students are applying, you need to make sure that you maximize your resources during your application process to study in Europe for free. In this article, we’ve compiled some tips on how you can study in Europe for free! Make sure to read more!

How to Study in Europe for Free

1. Research Your Country and University Options

Europe is big. In fact, there are 44 countries on this continent. Now, if you want to study in this continent, you need to choose a country and a university to enter, and you can do that by doing thorough research. Since your goal is to study in Europe for free, you need to search for countries that have affordable or tuition-free universities.

Narrow down your country options and do your research early. If you narrow down your options, you can easily choose a university. For example, the countries of Norway, Germany, and the Czech Republic offer higher education for free to everyone. So, by knowing the countries, it’s easy to choose an institution that is best for your program.

Another benefit of researching your country and university options is that you can easily compute or track your expenses. At the end of the day, you still need to consider that you’ll pay something, so it’s better to prepare early.

2. Prepare an Impressive Application and Submit Early

Now that you have your chosen European country and university, it’s time to prepare your application. Your application will play a very big role in your acceptance to a university. It’s more than just documents because it will present your achievement, qualifications, and personality.

First off, make sure to present an outstanding academic performance from your previous educational level and school. Having high grades and academic achievements will highlight your strengths and potential. Your final grades in your major subjects will be highly reflected in your application, so make sure to get high grades on these subjects.

You also need to meet language proficiencies. This will depend on your program, degree, or university, but usually, they will require you an English proficiency test result. For the European languages, it will highly depend on your chosen program – on its medium of instruction. If you need tips regarding this, you can visit the TOEFL Guide or IELTS Guide for more information.

Additionally, you also need to prepare documents for your European student visa. Along with your academic application, this will be a part of the process, so make sure to process them early.

Overall, having an impressive application and submitting it early can increase the chances of getting free higher education.

3. Apply to Affordable European Universities

There are more than 2,700 educational institutions in Europe. With this, you’ll have a lot of options in choosing a university, especially if you’re considering the financial cost of your studies.

In Europe, there are a lot of public schools open to international students, and they can offer low cost of tuition fees for non-European students. There are a lot of cheap universities in the continent that are globally recognized for their excellence in the field. Choosing a cheap university to study at will help you with your finances. It will lessen your worries in managing your finances.

4. Look and Apply for Scholarships

After searching and applying for a university, you can apply for scholarships. As an international student in Europe with a limited budget, you want to maximize your resources, especially if you can get more funds for your studies. Luckily, Europe is very generous in giving scholarships. The government in European countries have arrangements for scholarships and awards for foreign students.

If you’re already accepted into an affordable or tuition-free university, it is still highly suggested that you apply for scholarships that can cover your allowances, accommodation, and other expenses. As we all know, Europe has a high cost of living, so you need extra funds for your daily living.

So, with a combination of affordable tuition fees and a scholarship that covers your allowance, you can actually study in Europe for free! One example, take a look at some of the best scholarships for international students in Denmark. Here, you can see that scholarships are offered in various degrees – undergraduates, masters, and Ph.D. The Danish Government also provides scholarships for foreign students at selected universities in the country.

You can apply for more than one scholarship in a particular country. This will increase the chances of getting a scholarship. Please be resourceful in searching for scholarships and make sure to have an impressive scholarship application.


Study Undergraduate in Europe for Free

More than tuition and program fees, kindly consider your living cost in your chosen European country. Overall, Europe has a high cost of living compared to other continents, so make sure to prepare your funds. One way to do that is to get scholarships. Now, if you’re an incoming undergraduate student in Europe, you can consider the following European universities and their scholarships.

Going to the Netherlands, Utrecht University is one of the oldest educational institutions in the country, and they offer various scholarships for international students. One award, the Utrecht University Scholarship, is open to international undergraduate students. This award is given to outstanding foreign candidates, and the monetary award can range from €5,000 to €17,000.

The University of Twente also lists some scholarships, and one of them, the Holland scholarship, is given by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science. It is given to international students having high GPAs. Students can start their application after their acceptance to the university.

On the other hand, if you’re going to Denmark, the University of Copenhagen offers a free tuition fee if you’ve come from EEA, EU, and Scandinavian countries. If not, you can still apply for free tuition if you have a permanent residence permit.

Check Also: Available Programs in Europe for International Students


Study Master’s in Europe for Free

Having a master’s degree in your profession can leverage your knowledge and expertise in the field. Also, it can open many opportunities. However, it can be pretty expensive, especially if you choose to study for your master’s degree in Europe. To help you with this, here are some universities and their scholarships that you can apply for.

Flying to Central Europe, the University of Zurich in Switzerland has the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships open to international graduate students. This award is divided into two types: research and art. For research, the basis for this award will highly depend on the students’ profile, research works, and potential.

The University of Manchester in England listed several scholarships for international graduate students. They have the GREAT scholarship for students coming from selected countries such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and others. Another scholarship they have is the Equity and Merit Scholarships that cover tuition and the student’s cost of attendance.

Lastly, if you want to study in Finland, the University of Helsinki provides various scholarship programs to foreign graduate students. These awards are open to all nationalities at the university, and it covers the tuition fee and living stipends.


Study Ph.D. in Europe for Free

If you’re eyeing for a doctorate degree in a European country with a limited budget, you can try checking these universities and the scholarships they offer.

The University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom provides the Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarships to all foreign doctorate students in the university. It widely covers the expenses of doctorate students, starting from the tuition fees, research, and living allowances.

On the other hand, the University of Zurich offers the Ph.D. Scholarship to international students. This scholarship will cover the tuition fee for 36 months. For the process, applicants will go through a selection process, and they will be based on their academic performance, research project, and potential for research activities.


We hope that this article on how to study in Europe for free was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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