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How to study abroad for free

Studying abroad is a priceless experience, but many students are put off by the cost of some overseas degrees.

Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to study abroad for free, or next to nothing. Here are some of the ways you could cut costs while having the adventure of a lifetime.

Find your dream university

Where can you study abroad for free?

Although academic fees are rising across much of the globe, some of the world’s most popular study abroad destinations continue to offer free college tuition for international students.

If you’re an EU or EEA citizen, you can study in lots of different countries very cheaply or without charge. You’ll need to leave room in your budget for accommodation and other living expenses, but studying abroad could lead to a huge saving overall.

Free study abroad countries for EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens

Free study abroad countries for all international students

If you’re from outside the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, don't worry. There are still plenty of countries where you can study abroad completely free, or at a very affordable price:

The majority of free programs are only offered at public universities. You could be asked to prove your language proficiency and pay a small registration fee before your course begins, but this is the only charge you’ll encounter.

Apply for grants and scholarships

If you want to study abroad without the price tag, it pays to do some research around grants and scholarships.

Universities, charities, foundations, and government organizations help thousands of international students each year with their tuition fees and living costs. Unlike student loans, you’ll never need to repay these sums of money.

With so much financial support available, it’s worth digging around to see which funding pots you might be eligible for. Visiting the websites of the universities that interest you is a good starting point, or get in touch with their admissions team if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

If your university doesn’t run scholarship schemes, you might need to look for third-party support. Here are some useful research tools you could use:

Earn while you learn

Lots of countries will allow you to work part-time alongside your studies. Although your job is unlikely to cover all of your expenses, it can help to offset the cost of studying abroad.

What’s more, the international work experience and professional skills you’ll gather will look great on your resume.

Begin fundraising


If you’re seriously passionate about studying abroad, you’ll be surprised at how many people will be willing to support you.

Throwing fundraising events, selling your old possessions, and using online crowdfunding pages are just some of the ways you could turn your dreams into a reality.

Study abroad virtually

With more universities than ever before delivering online programs, you can secure a top international degree from home.

Even though you won’t be living in another country, you’ll still meet people from different backgrounds, learn about new cultures, and improve your language skills. Better still, you’ll experience all of these benefits without breaking the bank.