Iceland is one of the most beautiful countries with a low population and a great standard of living. It’s also a great choice for international students looking to study quality education in that environment. Currently, up to 5% of a total of 18,000 students going through the higher study are from abroad.

Studying in Iceland is much cheaper than in other countries in that tier mainly because the public universities here are completely free from tuition fees. Still, the living costs alone can be expensive. To overcome all expenditures, here are some ways you can study in Iceland for free.

How to Study in Iceland for Free

1. Have an Excellent Application

Your previous grades are the first thing authorities will notice, which plays a big part for them to judge you. Having better grades than average can make it easier to be admitted to universities and get scholarships or grants for further privileges. You must have a good result and a clear understanding of your study topics by when you’re going to apply.

Another important key is to have a good application. Applications are the second element authorities will learn about you. A good step is to prepare applications early. This can be helpful as you can upgrade your applications along the way when needed, and check if you’re progressing academically over time. With a great result and a shiny application, you can stand out among numerous other competitors easily.

2. Receive Scholarships from Universities in Iceland

Although Iceland’s public universities are free to study, the private ones cost a good amount. Also living costs there can be difficult to bear. To completely cover all your expenses and study truly without paying, scholarships are your best bet.

As there are very few universities in Iceland, scholarships can be scarce to come by. Still, many scholarship opportunities come and go over the years. Keeping an update on these scholarships will help you prepare yourself for applying, and earn money instead of spending.

3. Apply for Affordable Universities in Iceland

There are 7 major universities, 4 graduate schools, and 3 defunct institutions in Iceland. Fortunately, all public universities here offer free education with only 750 USD annually for the registration fee. Among the universities, only 3 are private ones, costing up to 150 USD per credit unit.

Applying to affordable universities in the first place is a better choice to cover up all your expenditures much easily. In this aspect, public universities should be a way to study. With an added scholarship, you can live and study in Iceland for free.

Check Also: Available Programs in Europe for International Students

Tuition-free Options for Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. Studies in Iceland

To study for free, scholarships can help you achieve it. Unfortunately, due to a low number of universities, scholarships are scarce to come by. The University of Iceland is considered the best in the country, and it offers regular scholarships as well. These scholarships are mostly for Ph.D. studies, but some can be found for undergraduate or master’s as well depending on the period of the year.

There are more than 10 types of grants and scholarships offered here including doctoral grants, travel and research, equipment fund, and recruitment funds. Values can range up to 870,000 EUR within the Grant of Excellence, which is the highest form of grant given. Ph.D. students can be benefitted from up to 325,000 EUR grant for projects, and 116,000 EUR as a general grant. Another Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant of 173,600 EUR is also available. These are very generous amounts to pursue, which can easily cover expenses and be added to savings.

Another great way to study free in Iceland is by utilizing Erasmus Mundus (Erasmus+) Scholarships in the universities of Iceland. Erasmus+ is an extremely popular scholarship funded by the EU, but applicable for any international students. Local students within the EU are in Category B, who receive up to 20,000 EUR annually for 2 years. International students are in Category A, and they receive 47,000 EUR annually for 2 years. Students also get travel and accommodation allowances from the scholarship and receive monthly payments too. These are the best ways to study in Iceland for free.


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

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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