6 Best Countries to Study and Work Abroad

Carolina Jacobs

Jan 9, 2023
best countries to study and work abroad

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The cost of higher education in the United States continues to climb, and it doesn’t look like people will get any relief soon despite politician’s promises. However, you need a degree to get many jobs that pay well enough to support you and your family. 

Have you considered traveling overseas? Not every nation considers education a luxury — many prioritize investing in humanity’s future. Here are six of the best countries to study and work abroad and earn while you learn. 

1. Germany

Back in October of 2014, Germany decided that all international students studying at a public university would be free from paying normal tuition fees. You have to pay some administrative costs, but these ring in on average at €250 per semester. That’s considerably more affordable than the least expensive public school stateside. 

There’s more good news if you never subscribed to the American ideal of non-stop grinding your body into the ground but prefer to enjoy your life a bit, too. Germany limits the number of hours that students can labor. You can’t work more than 20 hours per week during the semester, giving you ample time to hit the books and explore the countryside. 

Like many European countries, your ability to speak the language comes in handy but isn’t essential. You can learn while you are there, and many citizens understand enough English to make daily navigation possible. However, if you hope to find high-paying employment, it helps to master the tongue first.

2. France

While you won’t enjoy free tuition in France, you can get it at a discount that well offsets travel costs. Plus, you get to enjoy experiences like watching the sunset from the Eiffel Tower and touring artists’ villages in Province. 

French citizens and permanent residents of the European Union pay as little as €170 a year for a bachelor’s program, €243 for master’s and €380 for a Ph.D. Those from other countries will have to pay tuition at a fraction of the price of U.S. universities. 

Even if you did your undergraduate work stateside, you might consider this option regarding your graduate studies. Such a possibility is ideal if you have a chronic health condition — you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card and experience affordable care even if you age out of your parents’ policy. You could find work as an au pair and earn while you learn while possibly scoring room and board out of the deal. 

3. Norway

The Scandinavian countries take education seriously, and Norway displays its commitment by not charging tuition fees to any students, regardless of their country of origin. If you always wanted to frolic near the shore of a frozen fjord, you can do so while saving a bundle. 

The cost of living is higher than in many European countries, but the money you save on tuition lets you devote any working income to room and board. If you enjoy the life aquatic, you’ll find no shortage of jobs in the seafood industry. Those who are more people-oriented can find employment in the booming tourism sector. 

If you are a hiker, you’ll find no shortage of breathtaking natural landscapes to test your camera’s lens. You can even travel above the Arctic circle and take a picture of one of “Santa’s” reindeer. 

4. Brazil

You don’t necessarily need to board a jet and head to Europe to study abroad. Brazil makes public universities tuition-free for international students. Even private colleges charge a fraction of U.S. prices at only $1,800 to $10,000. 

If you adore nature, ensure you take a day trip to Iguazu Falls, where a semicircle of 247 waterfalls tumbles into a gorge. The surrounding forest is home to over 1,000 species of birds and mammals, including capybaras and ocelots. 

5. Iceland

If you don’t like big crowds, consider heading to Iceland for your higher education, where approximately 1,800 students attend one of the nation’s seven universities. Public universities do not charge tuition fees, although you will have to cover administrative costs. 

If you are female, put this island nation at the top of your list. According to the World Economic Forum, the country ranks first for women’s equality. 

Despite the name, the jet stream keeps the climate relatively temperate here. You can also warm up in one of the nation’s many hot springs. 

6. Finland

If you are an undergrad, you have to be a European Union member to enjoy free tuition in Finland. However, if you already completed that part of your education but were considering a Ph.D., pack your bags. You won’t pay fees for doctoral studies regardless of your country of origin. Plus, you can extend your visa for a year after you complete your degree to find work.

You can’t complete your journey without seeing the Northern Lights. Book a stay at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort and sleep under the most spectacular show nature ever invented. 

Consider These 6 Best Countries to Study and Work Abroad

If you are considering studying or working abroad, investigate these six countries. You could find less expensive tuition and more opportunities. 

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