June 29, 2020

Three Countries Offering Free Education In Europe For International Students

By Vineetha Saji

Many young students wish to pursue their higher education abroad. What attracts students to foreign countries is quality education, better career opportunities, quality of living and plenty of courses to choose from. But some students can’t afford the exorbitant tuition fee and the cost of living abroad. But there is an exception- there are countries with free education, where all you have to pay is for the living. So if you’re in the lookout for free education in Europe, you can consider Finland, Germany, or Norway, where you can fulfill your dreams of studying abroad, free of cost!


Germany is one among the top countries that offer free education in Europe, for International students. Germany is one of the most popular study destinations in the world in stiff competition with destinations such as the UK or Holland. It doesn’t matter if you’re an EU or EEA citizen, you can study in Germany without spending a fortune! But this applies to public universities in Germany, which makes it the cheapest country to study. Tuition fees in public universities were abolished in the year 2014. 

Free Education In Europe

You have plenty of public universities and study programmes to choose from. Some of the largest public universities in Germany are-

  • Goethe university frankfurt
  • University of Münster
  • University of Cologne
  • RWTH Aachen university
  • Technical university 

The list doesn’t end here- in fact; there are almost 300 public universities in Germany and above 1000 programmes in Germany. 

How to Apply?

  • Search for universities and study programmes 
  • Check the admission requirements 
  • Learn the German language
  • Get your finances in order
  • Apply in the university of your choice
  • Apply for a German student visa
  • Find accommodation in Germany


  • Academic certificates
  • Proof of financial means
  • Proof of German language proficiency( if german-taught program)
  • Proof of English language proficiency( if english-taught program)
  • Copies of your valid passport 
  • Passport size photographs
  • Letter of recommendation
  • CV
  • Work experience certificates if any

There are specific language requirements, as well. If the language of instruction is German, then you have to submit proof of German language proficiency, such as TestDaF or DSH. But if the language of instruction is English, and you’re not a native speaker of English, then you need to submit IELTS or TOEFL scores. 

When you apply for a student visa, you need a blocked account, as a proof of financial means. There should be a minimum of €10,236 per year or €853 per month in the account (in effect from January 1 2020), to facilitate living expenses while you’re in Germany. Find more information on Germany blocked account here.

University Application Deadlines

Summer intake deadline- Beginning of September to January 15

Winter intake deadline- End of May to July 15

Still, deadlines vary among courses and institutions. You can expect an official answer from the university where you have applied for, one or two months after the deadline. If you’re looking for free education in Europe, look no more than Germany. 


Norway is one among the top countries that offer free education in Europe. You can study in Public universities in Norway, and that too free of cost, regardless of your country of origin. This Northern European country stands apart with its standard of education, teaching and research. Universities and university colleges of Norway are renowned for the quality education that it provides. There are programmes where the language of instruction is English. In fact, up to 200 study programmes are taught in English. Visit the country website for more information on different study programmes.

Free Education In Europe

Top Universities and Colleges Located in Norway

  • BI Norwegian Business School
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology 
  • University of Oslo
  • University of Tromso 
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences 
  • Nord University
  • University of Stavanger
  • University of Bergen
  • Bergen Academy of Arts and Design

How to Apply?

  • Choose a Norwegian university and study programme 
  • Check the university website and find out the requirements
  • Appear for language proficiency exams
  • Get your finances in order
  • Register your application
  • Apply for a student visa

Language Requirements

Even though you’re free from learning the Norwegian language, to pursue education in Norway, you need an English proficiency certificate. This is applicable if you’re a non-native speaker. You can submit test scores of IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson PTE or C1 advanced. You need a specific score to qualify for admission. You can check the university website of your choice, to know the score requirements.


The list of documents required is pretty straightforward. 

  • Certification of academic qualifications
  • Proof of language proficiency 

Some universities may ask you for documents like-

  • Letter of Recommendation
  • General certificate of education
  • High school graduation diploma
  • Senior school certificates
  • National senior certificate

Application Deadline

For most of the study programmes in Norway, unlike in the case of Germany, there is only one admission period. For all study programmes that commence in the fall semester, i.e., September, the deadline is March 1. There are pre-qualification deadlines in the case of a few universities. You have to check it on their website. 


Many Nordic countries are renowned for academic excellence and excellent quality of life. Even Finland is no exception. Not only Finland provides quality education, but it’s also home to universities with a great reputation. When compared to other countries, such as the US, UK, Australia, the living costs in Finland are much lower. Find the detailed information on living cost in Finland here.

Each year, more than 31,000 international students choose Finland as their study destination, and there are more than 400-degree programmes having English as the mode of instruction. In Finland, there are two main types of academic institutions- Universities and UAS(Universities of Applied Sciences).

Free Education In Europe

During the first year of your course, you need to pay tuition fees. But for international students, if you have the mark, credit and value point as prescribed by the University, from second year onwards, you will be exempted from paying tuition fees. 

You’re eligible to apply for a scholarship if you’re required to pay tuition fees. You can apply for a scholarship while you apply for the study programme. Normally the universities handle all the scholarship applications. Because of the limited availability of resources, you need to apply early. 

Some of the Institutions Located in Finland

  • The University of Helsinki
  • The University of Oulu
  • Hanken Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration
  • Aalto University
  • Lappeenranta University of Technology
  • The University of Turku
  • The University of Eastern Finland

 Here is the complete list of universities in Finland.

How to Apply?

  • Choose the University and study programme
  • Check admission requirements
  • Submit your application
  • Get your finances in order
  • Apply for a student residence permit 

Language Requirements 

Many Finnish universities have English as their mode of instruction. If you’re a non-eu student, or if English was not the language of instruction for the last course that you have attended, then you need to prove your English proficiency. You need to take IELTS or TOEFL. 

Excellent skills in the English language is required for degree programmes with English as the language of instruction. Many Finnish universities accept SAT scores for bachelor degree programmes or conduct their own entrance exam to assess your language proficiency where you don't have to submit the proof of language proficiency. The SAT score required varies from one university to that of another and also the study programme. 

Application Deadline 

If you wish to study in a Finnish university in September, then you need to apply in the month of January. There is slight variation in exact dates from one year to that of another. At the same time, if you wish to study in Finnish universities of Applied Sciences, then you need to apply by March or April.You can refer to the government website to get more updates on admissions of English study programs.

Documents Required 

Since there are two main types of academic institutions- Universities and UAS(Universities of Applied Sciences), the requirements vary according to the institution.

For UAS, the documents required are-

  • Copies of in-progress or completed qualifications 
  • Proof of financial resources
  • Official translations of documents 
  • Employment certificates 
  • Original copy of diploma 

In case of universities, the universities will provide you with the complete list of documents required, once you start applying.

Are you thinking “Is there a way to study abroad for free?” Yes, you can! There are ways to make it possible. You can start applying to the course of your choice and enroll in universities abroad.


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