Have you ever considered studying abroad in Europe? If so, you’re not alone in your aspirations. Europe is renowned for its superior education, rich culture, and cutting-edge technology, making it one of the most sought-after study destinations globally.
However, studying in Europe can be expensive, especially for international students from Africa. Every year, millions of students opt for higher education abroad, and time and time again, affordability has proven to be a critical factor in their decision-making process. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the cheapest countries to study in Europe based of the following key considerations:
- Tuition fees
- Costs of living (accommodation, food, transport, etc.)
- Availability of scholarships
- Study work opportunities
The Cheapest Countries to Study In Europe
- Germany: Germany has a lot to offer, from its rich culture and history to its world-renowned universities which are at the forefront of modern research. There are many reasons why Germany is our top recommendation as one of the cheapest countries to study in Europe.
Germany offers free tuition at public universities for all students, including international students. Students only need to pay a small semester fee, which covers administrative costs and provides access to various university services and transportation. The total cost of living is estimated at €800 – 1,000.
The international student community in Germany is very large, so there are many programs fully conducted in English, even at the undergraduate level. Most German universities also organize language learning courses for those who would like to invest time and energy into learning German.
Germany offers many scholarships, grants, and employment opportunities. International students in certain cases can have access to the Federal Student Financial Aid Program, which offers numerous grants and interest-free loans. Students outside the EU (from Africa for example) are allowed to work up to 120 working days per year.
Lastly, Germany has a long and rich history as one of the educational, cultural, and technological centers of Europe. Not only will you receive quality education, but you’ll also get to see and experience many cultural and historical landmarks and events.
If you’d like to see how studying abroad in Germany looks firsthand, check out Emelda’s story. She’s one of our student ambassador from Cameroon currently studying in Freiburg, Germany.
- Poland: Poland is a great destination for students looking for a unique international experience, as students who study in Polish don’t have to pay any tuition fees regardless of nationality. Most PhD programs are also free. However, programs in English can cost a few thousand euros per year depending on the university and program, with some universities charging as little as €2,000 per year for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. There are many scholarship and loan opportunities available to help international and exchange students pay for their studies.
What you’d pay in tuition is offset by what you save on living costs, as prices in Poland are some of the lowest in Europe, especially compared to the rest of the EU. On average, you’ll need between €300 and €700 per month, making it one of the cheapest countries to study abroad in Europe.
Students in Poland can work up to 20 hours per week while attending classes or full-time during the three months of summer vacation. The average pay is between €500 and €700 per month depending on the city and job.
- Hungary: Hungary is an increasingly popular destination for international students, with several universities offering programs in English at relatively low tuition fees. Hungary’s higher education system is well-regarded, with several universities ranked highly in international rankings.
Hungarian universities offer a wide range of programs in areas such as medicine, engineering, business, and the arts.
Although Hungarian is the official language of Hungary, many universities offer programs in English, making it easier for international students to study there. However, it’s still a good idea to learn some basic Hungarian phrases to make the most of your time there.
Hungary is a relatively affordable country to study in, with low tuition fees and a low cost of living compared to other European countries. However, tuition fees can vary widely depending on the program and university you choose. There are several scholarship opportunities available for international students, both from the Hungarian government and from private organizations.
Many Hungarian universities have active student organizations and offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, from sports teams to cultural events. Hungarian universities also have a strong international student community, which can be a great way to make new friends and connections.
Most higher education institutions in Hungary have their own careers offices where students can obtain information regarding available jobs. These offices offer job opportunities through databases as well as organizing programs for students looking for jobs, and they help you with career planning and management. There are also many student jobs available in Hungary, including internships, part-time jobs, and full-time jobs. If you are a citizen of a country that is not part of the European Economic Area (non-EEA state), you can be employed during your studies with a residence permit for study purposes and work 24 hours a week during your study period, or 90 days or 66 working days outside your study period.
- Norway: Studying in Norway is a great option for international students who are interested in high-quality education, a unique culture, and stunning natural landscapes. Norway has a strong higher education system with high-quality universities and colleges. Norwegian universities are well-regarded for their research and academic excellence, and many offer courses taught in English.
Norway is generally an expensive country to live in, but tuition fees for international students are relatively low. Public universities do not charge tuition fees for undergraduate and graduate programs, but there are some administrative fees to consider. Private universities, on the other hand, may charge tuition fees. Norway offers a range of scholarship opportunities for international students. The Norwegian government, universities, and other organizations provide funding for international students based on academic merit and financial need.
While many courses in Norway are taught in English, Norwegian is the official language of the country. It can be beneficial to learn some Norwegian to fully immerse yourself in the culture and make the most of your experience.
Norway is known for its stunning natural landscapes, including fjords, mountains, and glaciers. The country also has a rich culture and history, with a focus on sustainability and environmentalism. Norway is a safe and welcoming country with a high standard of living.
There are study and work opportunities in Norway. Students from the European Union and the European Economic Area can work and reside in Norway without necessarily needing a work permit but would need to formally register their status with the authorities. International students can work for up to 20 hours per week during studies and full 40 hours during the summer1.
There are many professional jobs in Norway, including many engineering and construction fields, along with ICT and many research fields. Part-time and seasonal work is also commonplace
- Portugal: Portugal is a great study abroad destination for students on a budget. It offers excellent quality of education and a warm and welcoming culture, all at a reasonable price. Tuition fees in Portugal range from €3,000 to €7,000 for students from countries outside of the EU. However, some private universities don’t charge for lectures at all depending on the student’s final grades. Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens studying in Portugal on a student visa are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during studies and full 40 hours during the summer.
There are many public and private scholarships available for international students wanting to study in Portugal. Some are state-funded, some are offered by individual universities, others are merit-based, and some are set in place for students in particular fields, like the scholarships for studies in Portuguese language and culture. Living costs in Portugal are also fairly cheap compared to the rest of Western Europe, setting you back €500 to €800 on an average month.
For these reasons, Portugal is one of the cheapest countries to study in Europe. It provides excellent education at a much lower cost than other Western countries, while still remaining competitive in terms of international student experience and travel opportunities.