Lots of people have asked me about living in Europe. For North Americans, we can go to Europe for 90 days without a visa, but for those wishing to stay past the 90 days, it can get complicated. There are a few other options like getting a Holiday Working Visa (although not available for Americans) which lets you live and work in certain European countries for up to a year, but what I think is the best option for anyone looking to really experience living in Europe for a few years is to study there. And it’s a lot cheaper than you think!
For one thing, tuition for public universities in most European countries costs anywhere from 0 to 500 euros a semester, even as an international student from a non EU-country! And if free tuition isn’t the best part, alcohol tends to be significantly cheaper in Europe, travelling around the continent is super easy and cheap (international partying has never been easier), and despite being free (or at really low tuition costs), Europe boosts some of the best universities in the world, like the University of Munich, the University of Vienna, and Paris-Sorbonne University.
Since none of the these universities are in English-speaking countries, the only downfall would be being able to speak in the language of the country. However there’s also lots of Masters programs taught completely in English! Plus the added bonus of studying in a non-English speaking country means that you can quickly pick up a new language during your time there, and make your resume look even more international.
For a quick look at the prices of tuition in Europe, I’ve made this handy list below!
In Austria, the tuition fee is free for EU citizens, or € 363.36 per semester for international students, which isn’t free but incredibly cheap. There’s also a students‘ union fee of € 18 per semester. For some non-EU countries, they are exempt from tuition fees, so if you’re thinking of studying in Austria, check out that list since all you would be paying is € 18 a semester!
In Finland, tuition is free for Bachelors and Phd programs, but some Masters programs require tuition for non-EU citizens. The cost of some Masters programs can range between € 2,500 to € 12,000, so do some research on the programs you’re interested in!
Tuition ranges from € 150 to 700 per semester at most universities and public engineering schools. All business schools are private or partly private and charge significantly more.
In most of Germany, no tuition is charged at state universities (the vast majority of universities). Only the state of Niedersachsen still charges about 500 € per semester after Bavaria removed them starting in October 2013. Semester contributions (which includes a transit pass, which in some universities can be used for travel in your entire state!) are usually somewhere between € 150 and € 250 a semester and vary from university to university.
Studying at Norwegian state-run universities and colleges is free. There is a semester fee of NOK 300-600 a semester ($50-100 USD), but that includes a gym membership and reduced fares on transit.
In Spain tuition is charged by credit point, with prices ranging from 9.50 to 30 €. This comes out to at the most, 900 € per semester, which is still a really good price, especially considering how you’ll be studying in sunny Spain!
Have any of you considered studying in Europe? When I tell friends that even as an international student, I can get a Masters degree in Germany for free, they were pretty blown away. It’s pretty amazing and I think if you have the opportunity to study abroad, you should go for it!
Earlier this year, I’ve applied to a bunch of grad schools in Germany, and have started to get my offer letters right now! I’m waiting until I hear back from every university before making my final decision, but I will definitely let you guys know in a week or so where I’ll be heading! And if you have any questions about the process, feel free to comment or send me an e-mail!