9 Best Cheapest Countries to Study Abroad

Thousands of students aspire to study abroad every year. For a majority of those prospective students, the expense is a matter of big concern. After all, studying abroad, especially in popular destinations like the US, UK, Australia, etc. is not at all cheap. Not everyone can receive scholarships due to a lack of solid academic performance. Few folks miss out on availing of bank loans due to a lack of collateral (read education loans without collateral to study abroad). But with your vehicle’s title, you could get money in no time! Visit this website for more information. There are a few countries, where the expenses are very low, but the quality of education takes a backseat. In this post, we will look at the best cheapest countries to study abroad where Indian and International Students can get good quality education at a very low price.

9 Best Cheapest Countries to Study Abroad

Co-authored by Parinita Gupta

1. Norway

Norway is known for its high-quality education, living standard, and stunning natural beauty. The best part is that universities in Norway do not charge any tuition fees. Yes, it’s FREE; even for international students. Read how to study abroad for free.

At the undergraduate level, you can study humanities, social sciences, law, theology, mathematics, and natural sciences, education, medicine, dentistry, energy, engineering, etc. But, of course, you won’t find too many options at the undergraduate level to choose from unlike the US, UK, Australia, Canada, etc. At the Masters’s level, Norway offers close to 200 programs that are taught in English.

There are 4 of Norway’s universities in the 2019 QS World University Rankings top 500. The highest-ranked is the University of Oslo, which is ranked 135th. The next highest-ranked is the University of Bergen, which is ranked 171st.

Top Subjects to Study in Norway

  • Industrial Engineering
  • IT & Computer Science
  • Life Sciences and Biotechnology
  • Agricultural Science
  • Natural Sciences
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Digital Media, Animation and Visual Arts

Top Universities in Norway

  • University of Oslo
  • University of Bergen
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • University of Tromso (Arctic University of Norway)
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
  • Bergen Academy of Arts and Design
  • University of Stavanger
  • Nord University
  • NHH School of Economics
  • Inland Norway University of Applied sciences

Study Costs in Norway

  • Tuition Fees: FREE
  • Living Expenses: NOK 116,369 (appx. INR 9 – 10 Lacs) per year

Public universities in Norway do not charge tuition fees even for international students. Depending on where you choose to study, you may be required to pay a small fee each semester, but that is normally between NOK 300 and NOK 600 (INR 2,500 to INR 5,000).

This semester fee gets you membership to the student union, access to health services, counselling, and sports facilities as well as an official student card. Your student card can reduce your fees on public transport and give you a discount for museums and art galleries. Read more about Study in Norway.

2. Germany

Germany is famous for its renowned universities and institutes and it is one of the cheapest countries to study abroad in comparison to the education quality it offers. The German education system is quite inclusive for international students.

The public universities of Germany do not charge tuition fees from students for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees irrespective of their nationalities. However, they charge a tuition fee for the Master’s degree in Germany if the student is pursuing a different subject than that of a Bachelor’s degree subject which he/ she has already completed. Read more about Study in Germany after 12th.

Top Subjects to Study in Germany

  • Computer Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrical-Electronics Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Natural Sciences
  • Finance
  • Business Management and Business Administration
  • Data Science & Data Analytics

Top Universities in Germany

  • TU Munich
  • RWTH Aachen University
  • LMU Munich
  • University of Berlin
  • Heidelberg University
  • TU Darmstadt
  • Universität Freiburg
  • TU Berlin
  • Universität Stuttgart
  • Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
  • Universität Konstanz
  • KIT, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
  • Universität Mannheim
  • Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
  • Universität Ulm
  • WWU Munster

Study Costs in Germany

  • Tuition Fees: EUR 125 – EUR 1,500 per semester | INR 20,000 – 2 Lacs per year
  • Living Expenses: EUR 650 – 800 per month | appx. INR 6.5 – 8 Lacs per year

The average cost of study at private institutions could be more than EUR 3,000 per year. But, private universities do also offer scholarships. Read Nandan Mishra’s story of Studying in Germany with Scholarship.

The average cost of living in this country ranges from EUR 700-1000 per month. In comparison, the cost of living in Germany is also very low compared to other countries. With a semester ticket, students can avail of public transport for free. If you can show a valid student ID, you will often pay less for tickets to the theatre, museums, opera houses, cinemas, and other cultural institutions.

You can also apply for DAAD scholarships to cover living expenses.

Top Cheapest Countries to Study Abroad for Indian Students

3. Switzerland

Switzerland is known for its accurate watches, reliable banks, chocolates & cheese, fairy-tale landscape, crystal-clear lakes, and peaceful mountains. However, what many people might not know is that Switzerland has also got one of the best education systems in the world. The country has a huge reputation for providing a strong rate of vocational training and a high level of skill diversity.

In total there are 12 universities in Switzerland and a smaller number of science and research specific higher education institutions. Eight of these universities in the QS World University Rankings, with the highest being ETH Zurich, ranked at number 10. Four of these universities are also listed in the top 100.

Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and is famous for its research work, living standards, and high-quality education.

Top Subjects to Study in Switzerland

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • International Business
  • Business Management
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Data Science & Analytics
  • Hospitality, Travel & Tourism
  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Sports Science & Sports Management

Top Universities in Switzerland

  • ETH Zurich
  • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • St. Gallen
  • IMD
  • University of Zurich
  • University of Basel
  • University of Bern
  • University of Lausanne
  • University of Geneva
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW)

Study Costs in Switzerland

  • Tuition Fees: CHF 500 – 2,000 per semester | INR 1.2 Lacs – 4 Lacs per year
  • Living Expenses: CHF 1,400 – 1,800 per month | INR 10 – 14 Lacs per year
  • The tuition fees at the state universities are pretty nominal (EUR 600 – 1,000 per year). Private universities can charge EUR 2,000 to EUR 16,000 per year.

Living expenses are on the higher side. But, top universities like ETH Zurich, EPFL, University of Lausanne, IMD, etc. do provide scholarships to cover living expenses to meritorious international students pursuing a Masters degree. Read more about the Scholarships to Study in Switzerland.

4. Denmark

With a population of only 5.5 million, Denmark punches well above its weight in education, ranking as one of the world’s most promising countries.

Largely due to a strong emphasis on research and high-quality education, Denmark’s innovative nature makes it an exceptional place for your study abroad. It’s also the perfect destination to let you grow as the best possible person, with great landscapes to explore and friendly locals to get to know.

Danish higher education combines traditional academic excellence with teaching that will make you think experiment and collaborate your way to greater knowledge. Danish higher education institutions offer more than 500 programs taught in English – all internationally recognized and accredited.

Danish institutes also put a strong emphasis on practical education. Danish higher education institutions cooperate with business to ensure an up-to-date learning environment where you can learn from industry experts and undertake internships in globally recognized organizations. Furthermore, Danish higher education institutions, science parks and public research institutes all collaborate in leading-edge research with national and international partners. These innovative public-private partnerships provide a stimulating research environment with global job opportunities.

Top Subjects to Study in Denmark

  • Civil Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology
  • Natural Sciences
  • IT and Computer Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Business Administration
  • Economics
  • Architecture
  • Renewable Energy & Sustainability
  • Web Design and Digital Marketing
  • Data Science

Top Universities in Denmark

  • University of Copenhagen
  • Technical University of Denmark
  • Aarhus University
  • Copenhagen Business School

Study Costs in Denmark

  • Tuition Fees: DKK 45,000 – DKK 120,000 per year | INR 4.5 Lacs to 12 Lacs per year
  • Living Expenses: DKK 6,000 – DKK 10,000 per month | INR 7.5 Lacs – INR 11 Lacs per year

Danish higher education institutions (universities only) receive a limited number of government scholarships each year to fund highly qualified international students.

The government scholarship consists of two parts and can be given as full or partial tuition fee waivers and/or grants towards covering your living costs. However, since the scholarships are administered by the individual higher education institution you should enquire at the institution of your choice for further details. Read more about Scholarships to Study in Denmark.

5. Belgium

Renown as the official headquarters of the European Union, Belgium has long been considered the heart of Western Europe. It’s also the home of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), making it a political hub. You can study in English but also practice your French, Dutch, and German. Overall, an excellent study abroad destination if you are looking for international job opportunities.

Rich in beauty and culture, this small nation’s heritage manifests itself in some of the most beautiful, fairy-tale settings Europe has to offer. Located in the heart of Europe, less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam by train, Belgium is well-connected to much of the continent. Full of medieval towns and renaissance architecture, Belgium is a great country to study abroad. Additionally, you can enjoy the famous Belgian Chocolates, Belgian Waffles, and Belgian Beer.

While most bachelor level courses will be taught in Dutch or French, there are plenty of courses, particularly at the master’s level and above, that are entirely taught in English.

Top Subjects to Study in Belgium

  • Architecture
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • International Relations
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Computer Science

Top Universities in Belgium

  • KU Leuven
  • Ghent University
  • Free University of Brussels
  • University of Antwerp
  • Liege University
  • Hasselt University
  • Vlerick Business School
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
  • Vesalius College

Study Costs in Belgium

  • Tuition Fees: EUR 900 – EUR 4,000 per year | INR 70,000 – INR 3.5 Lacs per year
  • Living Expenses: EUR 700 – EUR 1,200 per month | INR 7 – 11 Lacs per year

6. Italy

Italy attracts several foreigners due to its cultural legacy, diverse landscapes, historic treasures, and magnificent cuisine. What many people don’t know is that Italy also offers world-class and affordable education to foreign students.

The University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is recognized as the oldest university to still operate. Today, Italy is the home of many prestigious institutions of higher education. Many of Italy’s institutions perform well in the QS World University Rankings, appearing in the top 200 each year.

Italy is a great place for pursuing study abroad and the best part for the foreign students is that it’s pocket-friendly in terms of education and living costs compared to other top study-abroad destinations.

Related Article: Masters in Italy – Eligibility, Costs, Scholarships, Top Courses, Top Universities, Stay-Back and Jobs

Top Subjects to Study in Italy

  • Architecture
  • Economics
  • Biotechnology
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Fashion Design
  • Food Science
  • Fine Arts
  • Computer Science
  • International Business
  • Social Sciences

Top Universities in Italy

  • Politecnico di Milano
  • University of Bologna
  • Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (SNS)
  • Sapienza University of Rome
  • European School of Economics
  • University of Padua
  • Politecnico di Torino
  • University of Milan
  • University of Pisa
  • University of Trento
  • University of Florence
  • University of Pavia
  • University of Trieste
  • University of Genoa
  • University of Siena
  • University of Turin
  • Bocconi University
  • SDA Bocconi

Study Costs in Italy

  • Tuition Fees: EUR 900 – EUR 5,000 per year | INR 75,000 – 4 Lacs per year
  • Living Expenses: EUR 600 – 1,000 per month | INR 7 Lacs – 10 Lacs per year

On average, the majority of Masters’ programs charge EUR 3,800 (INR 3 Lakhs) per year. The private institutes in Italy offering programs in business and management can cost you up to EUR 20,000 per year.

In cities like Rome, Milan or Florence, the living expenses can cost you EUR 1,000 – 1,500 a month. Whereas, in other cities of Italy like Turin, Padua, Pisa or Bologna an average student spends between 550 Euros per month to 750 Euros per month.

There are options to help you fund your studies. The funding will be distributed according to your financial situation and academic merit. If you receive support, this can help with tuition fees, accommodation fees, and other living costs.

The Italian government offers scholarships at the regional and national levels. The scholarship offered is usually between EUR 5,000 to 12,000 per year. The scholarships and student grant opportunities that international students can apply via the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Some Italian universities such as Politecnico di Milano, University of Padova, Bocconi University, Bologna University, offer scholarships for international students; these are usually between EUR 5,000 and 12,000 annually.

7. Spain

The universities of Spain hold a great reputation internationally and provide high-quality university education at a very reasonable cost, hence it’s a popular choice for Indian and foreign students. The cost of living is favorable for international students including Indian students and the tuition fees in Spain are considered to be the lowest in Europe.

Expenses to Study in Spain

  • Tuition Fees: INR 50,000 – 3.6 Lacs per year
  • Living Expenses: INR 5.5 Lacs – INR 9.6 Lacs per year

The fees for Bachelors and Masters Programs are around 800 – 2500 EUR and 1000 – 3500 EUR per academic year respectively. However, for private universities, the tuition fees are around 16,000 – 20,000 per year. The overall living cost for international students is in the range of 500 – 1000 EUR per month on a student budget.

Top Subjects to Study in Spain

  • Marketing & Finance
  • Arts & Humanities
  • Law
  • Economics
  • Architecture
  • Biosciences and Biotechnology
  • Hospitality Management
  • Journalism
  • Business Analytics

Top Universities in Spain

  • Pompeu Fabra University
  • University of Barcelona
  • Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • The Complutense University of Madrid
  • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Autonomous University of Madrid)
  • University of Navarra
  • University of Valencia
  • Nebrija University
  • University of Granada
  • University of Salamanca
  • Carlos III University of Madrid

8. Poland

Poland consisting of some of the oldest universities is known to be an affordable European country, with a rich history and numerous high-quality university degrees offered in the English language. For Indian students, it’s one of the preferred education hubs because of its reasonable living cost and other costs (Food & Transport) associated with it.

Study Costs in Poland

  • Tuition Fees: INR 2 – 4 Lacs per year
  • Living Expenses: INR 3 Lacs – 5 Lacs per year

In general, the study program cost in Poland varies between 4,000 – 7,000 EUR per academic year, while few of the courses like MBA can cost over 15,000 EUR per year or even more for private universities. The affordable European country has a pretty stable economy hence the living cost for Indian students ranges between 350 – 550 EUR per month.

Top Subjects to Study in Poland

  • Medicine
  • Chemistry
  • Mass Communication
  • Biotechnology & Life Sciences
  • Business & Economics
  • Agriculture & Food Science
  • Graphic Design
  • Mechatronics

Top Universities in Poland

  • University of Warsaw
  • Jagiellonian University
  • Medical University of Warsaw
  • University of Gdansk
  • AGH University of Science & Technology
  • Warsaw University of Technology
  • University of Wroclaw
  • Wroclaw University of Technology
  • University of Agriculture in Krakow
  • Medical University Gdansk
  • Wroclaw Medical University
  • Poznan University of Life Sciences
  • University of Opole

9. Estonia

Estonia is a very small country with only around 1.3 million people residing there. They have an excellent quality education system which is also affordable compared to other countries for Indian students. The Estonian Universities are unique for their high quality 100+ degree programs taught fully in English.

Top Courses to Study in Estonia

  • IT and Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Business Studies
  • Law

Top Universities in Estonia

  • University of Tartu
  • Tallinn University
  • Tallinn University of Technology
  • Estonian Business School
  • Tallinn Institute of Technology

Study Costs in Estonia

  • Tuition Fees: EUR 2,000 – EUR 7,500 per year | INR 1.5 Lacs – 6 Lacs per year
  • Living Expenses: EUR 300 – EUR 500 per month | INR 2.8 Lacs – INR 4.8 Lacs per year

On average, you should expect a bachelor’s or master’s degree to cost between €1,000 and €8,000 per year. If you choose to take a specialized degree, such as a medical degree, you should expect it to cost around €11,000 per year. Scholarships are available for international students, but they are mainly at the postgraduate level.

Author Bio: Parinita Gupta is a full-time banking professional. Additionally, she is also a passionate blogger and digital marketer.

She mostly writes about the Banking & Finance, Technology, and FinTech sector. But, she also enjoys writing on other topics as well.  You can follow her on Twitter.

Featured Image Source: Free Educator

References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

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