9 Countries Where American Students Can Study Free or Affordable Degrees

“American student looking to study a Bachelor’s or Master’s abroad without costing me an arm and a leg”. Does this sound like a tagline you can relate to? Well here’s our reply: Dear American student, worry no more. We know what you need.

We have checked out what are the best study abroad destinations for you in terms of tuition, and we can confidently say that you have plenty of options for your graduate or undergraduate studies.

Except for Australia and the UK, where tuition fees are comparable to those in the US, you are likely to find cheaper study programmes in many countries, especially European ones. But here we are going to talk about the most affordable of them all: countries that have no tuition fees or extremely low ones.

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1. Germany

In case you didn’t know, most public universities in Germany charge no tuition fees, especially for Bachelor’s. There will be a minor student fee (100 EUR) but that’s just dust. Plus, life in Germany is also very affordable compared to other developed European countries. Here are some examples of German public universities you should check out:

Naturally, there are also private universities in Germany. They usually require tuition fees. But compared to the US, a fee of say 6,000 EUR/year is a mere flea bite.

2. France

France is not only a long-time dream destination for many American students like you – An American in Paris, anyone? – but also one of the most affordable countries to pursue a Master’s. The standard fee is only 237 EUR/year. We kid you not!  French Public Universities have a fixed tuition set by the government. Eh voila, how could you say no to that? Some examples? Yes, please:

And if you think you might be missing home, you can go for a Master’s at Georgia Tech Lorraine. As the name suggests this is the French branch of the super cool Georgia Tech in your country. There are some higher fees, but nothing you can’t manage.

And talking of fees, you will find more of those if you opt for private schools and universities. But if you think that in the US you’ll pay at least 10,000 EUR/year for a Master’s, paying about 5,000 EUR/year AND living in France sounds like the better deal.

Some private French School where we can help you apply right now are:

3. Luxembourg

Although it is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe, and thus fairly expensive to live in, Luxembourg does compensate through really cheap higher education. Master’s degrees have a fixed annual cost of 400 EUR.  Since Luxembourg is more of a city-country, there aren’t many universities and competition is high. But it’s totally worth it. The main place to go study? The University of Luxembourg.

4. Austria

Higher education in Austria is not totally free, but the costs are surprisingly low considering how much the country has to offer in terms of academics, culture and every day life.  Like in France, Austrians have fixed tuition fees at public universities, namely 726 EUR/year. One of the best and most popular public university among internationals like you is dear old University of Vienna.

If you are considering going private, the cost of education is indeed a bit spicier. The MCI Management Center Innsbruck - the Entrepreneurial School®  for example has tuition fees starting at 9,000 EUR/ year.

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5. The Czech Republic

Studying in the Czech Republic can be absolutely free. With one condition. You must be able to speak or willing to learn Czech. So, if you have Czech roots or learning languages comes natural to you, why not make the best of your education in this Central European country? Did we mention that life here is incredibly cheap and filled with all sorts of craft beer brands? Here are some university picks for you:  

affordable countries for American students

6. Norway

Brace yourself! Winter is coming! Or rather you are going to want to go to winter. All Nordic countries have highly accessible tuition fees for you as an American.  But let’s take them one at a time.

Norway, also known as the land of happy penguins (How could they not be happy in one of the wealthiest countries in the world?). In Norway, all public universities are free for all international students. Isn’t that lovely?  However, you should take this with a grain of salt as life in this arctic country can be quite expensive. But if you are willing to give it a go, here are some of the best public universities:

7.  Iceland

Iceland is a huge green and yet treeless island, so unless you are a fan of small communities and natural landscape, you might overlook it as potential student destination. But don’t make that mistake! In Iceland there’s zero tuition fee at the country’s public university. Zero! That’s the University of Iceland

If you opt for private the cost are still highly manageable with the University Centre of the West Fjords taxes being of about 2,500 EUR/year for Masters.

8. Sweden

Next on our Nordic countdown is Sweden where there’s study options for any budget. Some universities might only require a ‘symbolic’ tax of 100 EUR. But most of them usually have tuition fees between 1,000 and 5,000 EUR/ year.

The most awesome part about studying in Sweden is that even if you pay for your Master’s, you will get paid for a PhD. How’s that? Well, PhDs in Sweden require some teaching and research which is paid. As a doctoral student you become the employee of the university. Here are some Swedish universities you can check out for your studies:

9. Finland

Education is Finland used to be free at public universities. However, since 2017 they introduced taxes for non-EU students. The good part is that even so, Finnish universities remain affordable. Tuition fees vary between 1,600 and 8,000 EUR/ year in general.  But hey, you’ll be studying in the best educational system in the world.  To get an idea about popular Finnish universities, here are some examples:

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