8 Countries With Free Education for Study Abroad

Carolina Jacobs

Jan 11, 2023
8 countries with free education

We are a reader-supported education publication. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission to help us keep providing content.

Do you have a lust for adventure? If your wanderlust could save you tens, possibly hundreds of thousands, would you update your passport? 

While higher education costs a small fortune in the United States, other countries don’t exclude the financially challenged who nevertheless want to learn and better themselves. Here are eight countries with free education to consider for study abroad. 

1. Norway

Few other countries have as liberal an educational philosophy as Norway. They believe so much in the value of learning that they don’t charge any tuition regardless of where you come from in the world to study. 

Are you considering a career in engineering to move into the energy industry after graduation? If so, make this country top your short-list of possibilities. Oil, gas and hydropower are among the nation’s largest sectors, nearly ensuring you a well-paying job after you switch your tassel if you decide to stay. 


2. Brazil

Free education isn’t the sole province of European nations. Here on this side of the pond, you can journey south to Brazil to do your undergraduate or postgraduate work. You’ll find tuition-free public universities throughout the country, and private colleges charge a fraction of the cost of those in the U.S. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the rainforest. Before you depart, visit the statue of Christ the Redeemer that towers over the border with nearby Argentina. 

3. France

France, sadly, doesn’t qualify as free unless you are a member of the European Union. However, as an American, you can attend for less than €3,000, saving you thousands over staying stateside, even after travel costs. 

You’ll find no shortage of things to do, from learning classic French cuisine in Burgundy to biking around Bordeaux. You can tour the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral once it is rebuilt and enjoy a sunset view from the Eiffel Tower. 

4. Germany

Do you know that more than a third of international students cite the lack of tuition fees as their impetus for studying abroad in Germany? While you will have to pay administration fees and buy a parking permit, you’ll save thousands per semester. Plus, you’ll secure a future free from having to call Navient to make student loan repayment arrangements. 

Many Germans speak English, making navigation possible even if you haven’t perfectly mastered the language. Plus, you’ll get to experience an authentic Oktoberfest — which ironically takes place in September. 

5. Iceland

Does the thought of attending a crowded lecture hall intimidate you? Iceland is home to only 1,800 students — in the entire country. Approximately 5% of them come from away, many because of the free public tuition. Other than annual administration costs, you can use your working dollars for exploring the nation’s wonders. 

If you are female, rejoice. This country ranks highest in female equality, according to the World Economic Forum. 

6. Finland

Unfortunately, you won’t find tuition-free undergraduate programs in Finland, although a scholarship might make them so. However, if you already have your degree but are considering a Ph.D., put this nation at the top of your options list. You won’t pay fees for doctoral-level studies, and you can return home to teach at a university stateside once you earn your credential. 

While there, soak in Mother Nature’s most glorious light show. You can see the Northern Lights during several months of the year. 

7. Sweden

Sweden is another country to consider if you already completed your undergraduate work and are seeking your Ph.D. Like Finland, you won’t pay any tuition for research-based work. Considering that the average graduate school costs stateside ring in at approximately $20,000 per year, that’s a lot of green to save. 

However, you won’t have as much time to explore this European nation as others if you work for a living. The high cost of living means you’ll need a hefty savings account if you don’t plan to get a job while you finish your dissertation. However, you will save a bundle on healthcare if you plan to stay for more than a year and register for access. 

8. Czech Republic

Do you speak Czech? While it isn’t the most widely spoken language, the Czech Republic government wants to preserve it. By law, all university programs in the language are free. If you wish to pursue a different course of study, scholarships can help you do so. 

A significant advantage of pursuing a free education in the Czech Republic is the central European vacation. You are only a few hours’ train ride away from the canals of Venice and Paris’ many museums. You can fulfill your backpacking dream and get a free degree — talk about a win-win. 

Consider These 8 Countries With Free Education to Study Abroad

The cost of attending university in the United States continues to climb. Consider one of these eight countries with free education for your study abroad. 


Written By