Obtaining higher education from abroad, although a life changing experience, requires considerate amount of expenditure. Most students, now-a-days, are flocking towards mainstream foreign study destinations such as USA and the UK, however, the tuition fees of most universities in US and UK are quite high along with an expensive standard of living. The average expense of a student in UK amounts to over $ 25,000 per year, whereas, a student in US has to shell about $ 56,000 per year.
But, believe it or not, there are countries and universities where you can study abroadfor free or for negligible tuition fees and low living costs. Moreover, these universities are also world-recognized and in sync with international academic standards, so, academic excellence within a shoestring budget is a win-win situation!
Germany is one of the best European countries to study abroad! The public universities in Germany do not charge any undergraduate tuition fees but a small semester fee, which makes it an ideal destination for students and their parents worldwide. Moreover, THE (Times Higher Education) World Rankings 2017-18 has ranked 9 German universities in the top 100 with TU Dresden, University of Bonn, University of Münster, Free University of Berlin and University of Würzburgas the biggest names in the list. Germany is known for its strong economy and an excellent higher education system. The annual living expenses ranges from about $ 10,000 to $ 11,500, making it the perfect educational hub.However, language may act as barrier as most European countries, including Germany, have strong lingual influence, but the undergraduate, PhD as well as postgraduate courses in Germany are taught in English.
Taiwan offers a great value with great academic excellence and affordable programs. Taiwan is one of the cheapest Asian countries to study abroad. The tuition fees in the National Taiwan University (NTU) varies from $ 3,000 to $ 4,500 per year. Fluency in Mandarin is a plus point for students aspiring to study from Taiwan. NTU offers an extensive number of courses which are taught in English and specializes in liberal arts programs, making it a viable option to study abroad at undergraduate level. Taiwan offers a good quality of life with relatively low cost of living with an average expense of $ 6,500 to $ 7,500 annually.
In Norway, higher education is available free of cost for all students, both from European Union citizens as well as non-EU citizens. A relatively small fee is charged per semester, for both undergraduate as well as postgraduate students. However, the annual cost of living in Norway is higher as compared to most European countries and a student in Norway would have to spend $14,000 and upwards per year. Also, most programs at the Masters and PhD level are taught in English, however, one needs to showcase proficiency in Norwegian language to obtain admission at undergraduate level in the public universities at Norway.
Swedish Universities offer free higher education to students from the European Union, but, other international students need to pay tuition fees while studying in Sweden. This is applicable for bachelor’s as well as master’s programs which ranges from $ 9,500 to $ 17,000 annually for most courses. However, PhD programs are fully funded, and amounts to zero cost for PhD aspirants, except for their cost of living. The KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden is regarded as a value university. The cost of living for students in Sweden varies from $ 7,500 to $ 10,000, depending on their lifestyle preferences. But in Sweden also, basic proficiency in Swedish language is a requirement for admission in public universities.
Renowned for its picturesque locations and cultural history, South Africa is one of the best places to study abroad on a budget. The living cost and tuition fees in universities of South Africa is pocket friendly. Additionally, there is no language barrier as English is the primary language of communication in South Africa. The average tuition fees per year in South Africa ranges from $ 3,000 to $ 4,500 for most courses. University of Cape Town is renowned for its Master’s degrees in Humanities as well as Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences. The University of Witwatersand in South Africa is regarded as a value university. If you aspire to study from South Africa, you will have to spend approximately $ 7,000 to $ 8,000 to cover your cost of living on an annual basis.
Similar to Sweden, Finland also offers free education to students who belong to European Union countries, however, an annual tuition fee starts from $ 5,000, depending on the course that is to be pursued. Again, this is applicable to courses at undergraduate and Master’s level only as students at the PhD level do not have to pay any tuition fee, regardless of their nationality. In addition, Non-EU students can study in Finland for free if they study in either Swedish or Finnish language. The cost of living in Finland on an average annual basis for a student amounts to around $ 9,000, roughly the same as other Nordic countries.
Hungary boasts of a wide range of programs, both at Bachelors and Masters level, along with relative low costs of living. Most of the leading universities of Hungary are established in Budapest but Pecs and Szeged also offer Master’s programs across all streams. For a small country such as Hungary, 5 global ranked universities are quite a lot. Moreover, similar to most European countries, Hungarian universities do not charge any tuition fee for students belonging to European Union countries, but very low tuition fees for non-EU students with an average of $ 2,000 to $ 5,000 per year at local universities. The cost of living is comparatively cheaper in Hungary than most European countries.
Another country where students can study in Europe for free or at a very low cost is Austria. Vienna, the capital of Austria, is considered one of the best student cities and boasts of free of cost higher education for EU students, whereas, non-EU students have to pay a tuition fee ranging from $ 2,000 to $ 5,000 per year, depending on the program and the degree level. However, the cost of living in Austria is on the expensive side with an average of $ 13,000 per year.
Denmark is regarded as one of the best countries for education, ranking as of the world’s most innovative countries. Dutch education lays a great emphasis on research and high-quality education, enunciating specialized courses at all degree levels. Quite similar to its Nordic sisters Norway and Sweden, Denmark also offers free tuition for students for EU, however, the tuition fee for students from other countries is on the same lines of about $ 7,000 to $ 19,000 per year. Aarhus University in Denmark is considered as a good university as per global standards. The cost of living in Denmark is also on similar lines as that of Norway and Sweden along with the fact that the Nordic countries provide high-quality education.
It is widely unknown but students can study in France for free or for a very low cost, regardless of their nationality as the concept of university fees does not exist at public universities in France. Although, some programs at undergraduate level charge a tuition fee, but that is pretty reasonable as compared to most countries. However, university fee is considerably higher for selective courses and grand universities, which set their own fees. Additionally, French is a global language, making France a much more viable option for studying abroad than the Nordic countries. The courses offered by French Universities are world-class with new programs being introduced at Bachelor and Master level in English every year. But the cost of living in Paris is the highest as compared to other cities of France, but it may be worth the cost as Paris is considered as one of the student-friendliest cities in the world.
Apart from these, countries such as Argentina, Poland, Malaysia, Mexico, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, etc. also boast of providing best value education, both in terms of affordability as well as quality education at all degree levels. So, go find your dream course, set your parameters and aim big because higher education is the foundation to your future!
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