Updated: Jul 31
Study abroad may be one of the most advantageous experiences for university students. However, for some, the thought of studying abroad in Europe may be seen as too expensive compared to other continents. From personal experience, people often ask me ‘What are the cheapest European countries to study abroad?’ therefore I know that many University students wish to study internationally but fear the costs.
In this post, we will find the most affordable countries to study abroad in Europe by exploring the top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad.
To do this we will examine the most affordable countries to study abroad in Europe, by calculating the cost of accommodation, the cost of living as well as the cost of University tuition.
Sweden is considered one of the top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad. And here is why! Firstly, many Swedish universities offer a variety of partial and full scholarship packages as tuition waivers for international students. Additionally, depending on your current university, there may be a possibility to undergo a study abroad exchange program if your host university has a partnership with a Swedish institution. However, without scholarships, the tuition fee can be relatively high, at GBP£5,000 per academic year. Nevertheless, despite the cost of living being relatively similar to the UK, the cost of rent is on average 9% lower. Which may counteract the other costs you may incur.
Falling number 10 - Ukraine is one of the cheapest countries to study abroad in Europe! The reason for this is that firstly most universities in Ukraine offer one of the cheapest medical education and engineering degrees compared to other European nations. Another reason why Ukraine is considered one of the cheapest countries to study abroad in Europe is that the cost of living in Ukraine is very reasonable, whereby the cost of living in Ukraine in 2020 is 54.24% lower than in the United Kingdom. For example, a one-way train ticket can cost GBP£0.21 and monthly rent costing between £200-300. Finally, the tuition fees in 2020 is averaged at GBP£4,000 per academic year, making Ukraine one of the cheapest countries to study abroad in Europe
Poland falls 9th in our top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad. Firstly, Poland not only offers a high quality of education but is also a great country to explore considering its cultural and historic roots. What’s more, you can study for free if you can speak Polish! However, if you cannot speak Polish, there are also many English-taught programs cost around GBP£1900-2,700 per academic year. Another reason why Poland is one of the cheapest countries to study abroad in Europe is that the cost of living in Poland is also very reasonable. For example, accommodation, utilities and foodstuffs can cost no more than GBP £5,800 per year. Lastly, a final reason why Poland is considered one of the cheapest countries to study abroad in Europe is that Warsaw (the capital of Poland) was ranked 27th by the QS Best Student Cities index for affordability in 2020.
Italy is considered one of the top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad. In particular, Italy is known for offering the best and affordable education for those who wish to study fashion, liberal arts, history and arts. Another reason why Italy is one of the cheapest countries to study abroad in Europe is that the cost of accommodation in Italy is on average 26% lower than the UK and other Northern European nations. What’s more, the average cost of tuition is approximately £1,200 per academic year making Italy one of the most affordable countries to study abroad in Europe.
Falling 6th - France is considered one of the top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad. Firstly, France is known for its low tuition fees for both local and international students. For example in 2020, average tuition fees for international students cost around £1700 per year, due to the fact that most higher education institutions in France are funded by the state. What’s more, Paris ranks as 7th in the QS Best Student Cities in 2020. Another reason why France is considered one of the top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad is that the cost of living in cities (outside the capital) is reasonable, for example renting accommodation in France is on average 11% lower in cost compared to other Western European countries (UK, Germany, Belgium) As well, what’s more, the quality of life index for France is ranked ‘very high’ in 2020, illustrating that you can get the 'best of both world’- by living in an affordable country whilst at the same time experience higher than average living standards.
Romania falls 5th in our top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad. Let’s firstly give a background: Romania has been known for its folk traditions, however, do not let this put you off, as Romania is also futuristic and has a developed higher education system. Looking at the cost of studying abroad in Romania it has been found that in 2020, an average student can be paying as little as £400 per month for rent and living costs, for example, rent can be as little as £200 per month and meals as little as £3.50. This not only makes Romania an attractive option for students but also allows the country to fall within the top 5 cheapest European countries to study abroad.
Another reason why Romania is an affordable destination to study abroad is that tuition fees can cost as little as £1900 per academic year.
Hungry is considered one of the top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad. Firstly, the country not only homes some of the cheapest universities in the world but also the standard of living is very reasonable. Firstly, accommodation is affordable, for example in 2020 it has been found that on average renting within Hungry was found to be 55% lower than within the UK, what’s more, the cost of living was also 40% lower.
Lastly, a final reason why Hungry is considered one of the top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad is that universities within the country also offer various international scholarships. For example, the Stipendium Hungaricum is one of the fully-funded scholarships offered to international students. Therefore, it is clear that Hungary is awarded fourth place within our top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad.
Making our top 3 - Germany is undoubtedly considered one of the top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad for international students. Firstly, Germany within 16 states offers international students and national students the ability to study for free, with just a small cost to cover administration per semester (approximately £50). Such low fees have been one of the reasons why Germany has been regarded as the 4th most popular destination for students studying internationally (after the US, UK and Australia). Another reason why Germany is seen as one of the top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad is that within most German cities it is very affordable to live in. For example in 2020 average rent is approximately 6% lower than that of the UK.
Greece - our ultimate ’student-friendly’ destination, making Greece fall second in our top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad. Firstly, for EU students wishing to study in Greece, tuition costs are free, however, if you are a non-EU student the cost of study in 2020 is found to be £1,300 - which arguably inexpensive compared to a majority of EU countries. What’s more, in 2020 it has been found that the average cost of rent is 60% lower in Greece compared to the UK and other Northern European countries. In addition, Greece offers an abundance of different scholarships for international students through their National Scholarship Foundation - Meaning that if tuition is not free already, it will most likely be!
Bulgaria is cheap! No wonder it falls first place in our top 10 cheapest European countries to study abroad. Interestingly, the country is viewed as the crossroad between eastern and western civilisation. Firstly, depending on the course will depend on the price of tuition for example some courses such as Engineering, Economics, Journalism or Veterinary Science cost approximately £2500 per year, when combined with the unbeatable living costs makes your overall studied affordable and cheap. For example, the cost of living in Bulgaria ion 2020 was 43% lower than in the UK and other westernised countries, as well the cost of accommodation is also 67% lower. Making studying abroad in Bulgaria undoubtedly cheap and affordable for international students.
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What do you think? Do you think a different country should have made the rankings? Leave your ideas in the comments.