Low-Cost Tuition Part 1: Europe

This blog explores low-cost post-secondary options in Europe. These programs are taught in English.

Low-Cost Tuition Part 1: Europe


It is challenging for counselors to navigate the broad range of programs offered worldwide. Data is scattered, and finding it drains time and attention from counseling. MaiaLearning has done the research and complied this information for counselors, allowing them to focus on supporting students.


Post-secondary planning involves many factors including financing. As counselors guide students to their " best fit" programs, tuition can be a deciding factor. Students are as unique as their options available after high school. As they develop their lists and modify application plans, it is critical for counselors to understand their deal-breakers. For some students, the deal-breaker is financial.


The Nordic countries are a great place to start when researching low-cost education. Norwegian universities do not charge tuition for all students; rather they charge a semester fee. This should cost around 250 Norwegian Kroners, or around American Dollars and 22 Euros. This is per semester and extremely affordable compared to other university systems. For more information, check out Study in Norway.

Aside from low tuition, the Nordics are known for safe cities, clean air, a stable healthcare system, and reliable public transportation. One downside to this part of the world is housing costs, thus most students rent apartments with roommates to share costs.


For students in the EU or a Nordic country, tuition is free. International students can apply for scholarships that cover full or partial tuition. Students can research scholarship offers here. In addition, they can research programs on this website.

Sweden has rolled out ample English programs as well as progressive programs over the last few years. For example, Malmö University offers an exciting bachelor's degree in human rights. While on their website there is a tuition fee listed, keep in mind this is for the entire program. Tuition costs around 24,000 Euros or 27,000 American Dollars. This covers an entire program, which is very affordable compared to alternative systems.


Universities in Denmark regularly appear on the QS World University Rankings. In 2023, The University of Copenhagen, The Technical University of Denmark, Aarhus University, and Aalborg University all were on the list. For a country of around 5 million people, this is certainly noteworthy.

For EU/EEA/Swiss students, studying in Denmark is free. International tuition costs start at around 6,000 Euros (approximately 6,500 American Dollars) and usually do not exceed 16,000 Euros (approximately 17,000 American Dollars). Tuition is billed per year. Denmark offers fully funded government scholarships specifically for international students. For more information about Danish universities, visit Study in Denmark.


The website Study in Finland calls this Nordic country "...one of the fastest-growing international hubs in Europe, housing some of the best universities in the world and offering a variety of new and exciting careers for graduates."

Although students are mainly focusing on their immediate next steps, long-term thinking is helpful for planning. For example, in some countries it can be challenging to stay and work after graduation. Choosing a destination where there are ample career and professional opportunities creates a feeling of stability and security after program completion.

EU/EEA/Swiss students study for free. International students pay tuition, but it is still lower than many worldwide systems. Rates are normally between 5,000-10,000 Euros per year (approximately 5,400-10,900 American Dollars). This is a very affordable cost for a university degree. For more information about tuition visit the website Study.eu.

The Netherlands

The higher education system in the Netherlands has been booming in recent years. Between Brexit and their dedication to rolling out English speaking programs, this small country has made its mark as a popular destination for students.

Their low tuition rates are very attractive, drawing students from countries where tuition is much higher. Starting around 6,000 Euros (6,500 American Dollars) per year for international students, studying in the Netherlands is a great way to get quality education at a low cost. For EU/EEA students, the annual tuition is around 2,300 Euros (2,500 American Dollars).

For more information about low-cost universities, read Yoket's article listing the Top 10 Cheapest Universities in the Netherlands. Study in NL is a great resource for researching programs taught in English.


In 2014, tuition fees were abolished in Germany for students enrolled in public universities. Although in many higher education systems there is a difference in tuition for EU/EEA students and international students, Germany does not make this distinction. Public universities are free for all students, regardless of where their passports are from. The QS World University Rankings listed 49 German universities, thus students can be confident about the caliber of their education.

The one cost students should anticipate is the semester contribution; this is mainly for administrative costs. The contribution costs approximately 300 Euros (329 American Dollars) per semester. In addition to the extremely low costs of education, the cost of living in Germany is very reasonable, making it a truly affordable country for post-secondary education. Study in Germany is a great resource for further research and exploration. Financing Your Studies in Germany is an informative article for helping students plan their finances.


Centrally located, boasting stunning nature and rich history, Austria is an attractive place to live and study.  Low tuition and reputable higher education universities contribute to a great overall study experience. Students from Switzerland and the EU/EEA should anticipate a cost of around 360 Euros (395 American Dollars) per semester. International students pay a range of 727-7,500 Euros (790-8,200 American Dollars) per semester.

8 universities made the QS World University Rankings, which is truly impressive for a country with a population of just under 9 million. As showcased in this article, low cost does not correlate with low quality. Further information about studying in Austria can be found at Study in Austria.


Post-secondary planning encompasses myriad factors beyond simply narrowing down programs. Financial planning is an essential piece of the puzzle. Counselors are great guides for students in each aspect of their planning, and we at MaiaLearning hope this blog is a helpful resource.

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