Studying abroad comes at a price, however, if you can afford the tuition fee of studying abroad you’re lucky. On the other hand, if you can get a scholarship opportunity, you’re also lucky.
In this article, you’ll learn about the top 10 tuition-free universities in the world for international students. If you’re on a low budget and want to study abroad, then you should explore these tuition-free universities.
Education is some countries is seen as benefiting the whole society and a human right accessible to everyone. Most advanced countries think of international students as a vital part of the higher education process. These countries offer tuition-free admission to international students.
Importantly, the information provided on this page is subject to change at any time. Universities and the Federal Government might decide to change their policy and start accepting tuition fees from international students in the future, be guided.
- 1 10. University of Helsinki, Finland
- 2 9. Heidelberg University, Germany
- 3 8. University of Bergen, Norway
- 4 7. RWTH Aachen University, Germany
- 5 6. Nord University, Norway
- 6 5.University of Oslo, Norway
- 7 4. Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin, Germany
- 8 3. Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany
- 9 2. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany
- 10 1. Technical University of Munich, Germany
10. University of Helsinki, Finland
The University concentrates on high-level scientific research and researcher education. Scientific research is also the basis of the teaching provided by the University. The University operations support the development of society, as well as business and industry. University representatives offer their competencies for the benefit of society through a number of positions of trust and expertise. The results produced by the research and teaching carried out at the University have been widely acclaimed. The University participates in more than half of the national Centres of Excellence in Research, elected by international scientific panels.
Tuition fees have been introduced to foreign-language Bachelor’s and Master’s programme at the University of Helsinki. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees.
At the University of Helsinki, the tuition fee is 13, 000, 15 000 or 18 000 euros per academic year, depending on the academic field of the degree programme. However, international students with dual citizenship or from EU/EEA countries are exempted from paying tuition.
9. Heidelberg University, Germany
Heidelberg University, founded in 1386, is Germany’s oldest university and one of the strongest research institutions in Europe. In terms of educating students and promoting promising early-career academics, Heidelberg relies on research-based teaching and an outstanding, well-structured doctoral training. Heidelberg University is a comprehensive university, offering the full spectrum of disciplines in the humanities, the social sciences and law alongside the natural and life sciences, including medicine.
Up until recently, there were no tuition fees at Heidelberg University for international students. However, this still applies only to international students from EU and EEA member states, as well as international students with a German university entrance qualification.
International students from non-EU (European Union) and non-EEA (European Economic Area – Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway) countries with a foreign university entrance qualification will be required to pay a tuition fee of EUR 1500 per semester for Bachelor’s/Staatsexamen and consecutive Master’s degree programmes at all institutions of higher education in Baden-Württemberg (Germany).
8. University of Bergen, Norway
The University of Bergen is Norway’s urban university, with most of its premises concentrated in two areas. Årstadvollen is the University’s “health campus”, where dentistry, medicine and health-care lie close to the Haukeland and Haraldsplass university clinics. Other subjects – natural and social sciences, psychology, the arts and law – are taught at Nygårdshøyden, a mixture of houses, shops and seats of learning. The University of Bergen is intricately woven into the geographical, historical and cultural framework of the city.
As a Government policy, public universities in Norway are tuition-free, as such the University of Bergen does not charge tuition fees. This is applicable to both Norwegian and international students. The only fee to be paid at the University of Bergen is the semester fee to the Student Welfare Organisation (SiB), currently NOK 590. Students on exchange programmes do not have to pay the semester fee. This is why the University of Bergen is attractive for graduate study.
Importantly, no undergraduate programmes are offered in English. Applicants with education from outside of Norway must document Norwegian language proficiency in the application process. On the other hand, there are a lot of English-taught postgraduate programmes for international students and there are totally tuition-free.
7. RWTH Aachen University, Germany
RWTH Aachen University is the largest university of technology in Germany and one of the most renowned in Europe. Every year, numerous international students and scientists come to the university to benefit from its high-quality courses and excellent facilities, both of which are recognised at an international level.
RWTH Aachen University is in the process to become an integrated, interdisciplinary technical university. The engineering focus of the university is associated with the natural sciences and medicine. The arts, social sciences and economics, structurally linked to the core disciplines, also make a significant contribution to the university’s teaching and research profile.
With its 260 institutes in nine faculties, RWTH Aachen is among the leading European scientific and research institutions.
RWTH Aachen University does not charge a tuition fee for both local and international students. However, all students are subject to a student body and social contribution fee of €291.48 Semester Fee.
Importantly, RWTH Aachen University currently does not offer any English language Bachelor’s degree programs. However, there are a lot of English-taught programs for postgraduate studies.
6. Nord University, Norway
Nord University was established on January 1, 2016, after a merger between University of Nordland, Nord-Trøndelag University College and Nesna University College.
Nord University offers studies at bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The university has study locations in Central and Northern Norway, with state of the art teaching and research facilities, located in a spectacular northern setting. Nord University also facilitates a range of flexible and online study programmes via the active use of learning technology.
As a publicly-funded Norwegian university, Nord University doesn’t charge tuition fees. However, students at Nord University must pay the semester registration fee each semester. This fee covers administrative costs and contributes to student welfare services. The Semester fee is currently NOK 725 (approx. 75 Euros) per semester.
Additionally, as a non-EU citizen, you are required to prove that you have the funds to support yourself for a year in Norway in order to get a visa to study there.
5.University of Oslo, Norway
The University of Oslo is Norway’s largest and oldest institution of higher education. It was founded in 1811 when Norway was still under Danish rule. Today the University of Oslo has approx. 30,000 students and 4,600 employees. Four Nobel Prize winners indicate the quality of the research at the University.
Just like every other state university in Norway, the University of Oslo does not charge tuition fee from both national and international students. However, students must pay a small semester registration fee of NOK 600 (approx. 75 euro). This fee gives you the benefit of the services of the Foundation for Student Life (SiO).
If you do not have the finances, you can work 20 hours a week during school and 40 hours a week on holidays to help with finances. If you are a PhD student, there will be fellowships available for you to finance your education.
Importantly, all our bachelor’s programmes are taught in Norwegian. You can apply if you can document that you are already proficient in Norwegian, however, no Norwegian language courses will be provided prior to admission. On the other hand, there are several master’s programmes taught in English at the University of Oslo.
4. Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin, Germany
The university was founded in Berlin in 1810, and the foundation concept of Wilhelm von Humboldt gave it the title “Mother of all modern universities”. The concept of the academic and statesman Wilhelm von Humboldt was influenced, among others, by the reform ideas of the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, the first vice-chancellor of the university, and by the theologian and philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher.
There are NO tuition fees at Humboldt Universität Zu Berlin! Neither for German and EU students, nor for international students from other countries. However, the total amount of € 307.09 in the summer semester (€ 257.09 for exchange students) has to be paid.
3. Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany
At Freie Universitaet, the basis for educating outstanding young academics and scientists lies in granting utmost freedom for the pursuit of ideas, combining personal liberty with strong individual support from academic advisors, and establishing a multitude of opportunities for disciplinary and interdisciplinary networking with young academics as well as seasoned scholars. The university thus encourages graduate students to pursue their studies with a high degree of autonomy and independence. At the same time, Freie Universitaet fosters individual supervision by faculty members from the respective departments and opportunities for regular peer reviews with other graduate students.
Except for some graduate or postgraduate programs, the Freie Universität Berlin does not charge tuition fees; students are merely responsible for paying certain fees and charges each semester.
Your living costs mainly depend, of course, on your personal requirements and habits. You should count on spending a minimum of 600 to 700 Euro (rental fees, grocery, leisure time etc.). In order to obtain an entry visa or a residence permit for study purposes, you must prove that this monthly amount is at your disposal, independent of any job.
Degree program students with a residence permit for study purposes are allowed to work for a maximum of 90 days (or 180 half days) per year. Jobs as a student tutor at the university do not count.
2. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany
Ludwig-Maxmilians-Universität (LMU) München is one of Europe’s leading research universities with over 500 years of tradition. It has been selected as a “university of excellence” within the Excellence Initiative, a competition launched by the German government to promote top-level university research. As a genuine “Universitas” LMU Munich offers a broad spectrum of all areas of knowledge, ranging from the humanities and cultural sciences, law, economics and social studies, to medicine and the sciences.
Students don’t have to pay tuition fees for most programs. There are tuition fees for summer programs and some English-taught Master programs, so you should check the individual course for details.
However, all students are required to pay a fee of €129,40 for student services (€62) and the basic “semester ticket” (€67,40) entitling students to travel within the Munich “MVV” regional transport network in the evenings and weekends. (You can also get a top-up card called IsarCard Semester 24/7 for €197,70 per semester that gives you unlimited travel.)
1. Technical University of Munich, Germany
The Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) offers a wide range of studies in engineering, natural sciences, life and medical sciences and economics. TUM covers a wide spectrum of fundamental and applied research. The course program contains about 160 courses of study, 98% with bachelor and master degrees. TUM has drawn up double degree agreements with more than 20 universities and maintains partnerships with around 170 universities worldwide. Today TUM comprises thirteen faculties with about 37,000 students (about 20 per cent of whom come from abroad), 475 professors and roughly 10,000 members of staff, academic and non-academic.
There are no tuition fees at TUM. Students need only pay semester fees in the amount of € 129.40 consisting of a Student Union Fee and a basic Semesterticket for the public transportation network.