European countries that offer free education
Austria, Germany, Norway and the Czech Republic offer various programs in higher education, most of which are completely free.
Dasha Kroshkina
CEO&Founder of StudyFree
One of the most pervasive stereotypes about studying abroad is that it costs a fortune. Not a lot of people know that some European countries offer higher education programs for minimal costs or for free.

Most of Austria's state universities offer free education for foreign students (a definition which includes us). Students coming from outside of the EU must only pay the minimal administrative fee (300 Euro/semester). This policy applies to all programs and levels of education. The average living costs in Austria are around 800 Euro/month.

However, you should know that most bachelor's degree programs are taught in German and that, in order to apply at a freshman year level, you will have to complete a program at prep college.

This requirement exists due to the fact that the Austrian school education system includes 12 years instead of 11, and therefore students are asked to "gain" an extra year.

Master's degree programs offer more options that are taught in English.

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Many of Germany's state universities offer free education at Bachelor's degree and PhD levels, both for in-state and foreign students. Conditions may vary based on the region. Master's degree programs usually come with compulsory tuition; however, the cost is still significantly lower than in a lot of other countries.

Average living costs in Germany are 500-800 Euro/month. In some cases, these may be covered by additional scholarships.

The conditions for applying for Bachelor's degree programs in Germany are similar to those in Austria: most programs are taught in German, and, in order to attend university, you have to "gain" the 12th year in prep college.

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Czech Republic
Education in Czech Republic's state universities is free for all students. The only exception are private universities and certain programs and specialties.

An important distinction is that the "free education" rule applies to programs that are taught in Czech: analogous programs that are taught in English come at a higher cost.

However, that is no reason to get upset! Year-long Czech language programs are widely available. After completing the program, students take the state language exam and then apply to university.

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Education in all of Norway's universities is free of cost regardless of the program and speciality. In some instances, additional payment is required (for example, such is the case with certain programs at the Master's degree level). However, the main difference of this policy from those in the rest of the EU countries is that the tuition cost for foreign students will be no higher than for Europeans.

An important distinction is that living costs in Norway are significantly higher than in most European and world countries.

This should be taken into account when planning your budget. However, you should also keep in mind the existence of residential scholarships.

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