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Study in Europe on a Budget: Low Tuition Fee Universities for Asian Students

Europe has always been a popular study abroad destination for students from Asia. With its rich history and culture, high-quality education system, and opportunities to travel, Europe attracts over 250,000 Asian international students every year. However, the rising costs of studying abroad, especially in Western European countries like the UK and France, makes it challenging for many Asian students to study in Europe.

The good news is that there are still affordable, low-cost universities available across Europe where Asian students can obtain a world-class education without breaking the bank. This article will discuss some of the cheapest countries to study in Europe for Asian students and highlight low tuition fee European universities that offer quality education at an affordable cost.

Why Study in Europe? Benefits for Asian Students

There are many good reasons why Asia students should consider Europe for their overseas education:

High-Quality Education

European universities are recognized worldwide for their education quality and academic excellence. QS World University Rankings feature over 200 European institutes among the best globally. This makes a European degree highly respected and valued across Asia.

Lower Cost Than the US or UK

While popular study abroad destinations like the US and UK can be extremely expensive, several European countries offer quality education for half the cost or even less. We highlight some most affordable places below.

Opportunity to Travel

Europe’s extensive rail networks and short distances between countries make travel easy and affordable. Students can see and experience vastly different cultures across Europe.

Gain Global Perspectives

Studying and living in Europe allows Asian students to expand their worldviews and gain new global perspectives valuable for personal growth and future careers.

Future Migration Opportunities

Graduating from a European university also makes it easier for international students to stay back and find work. Countries like Germany have post-study work visa schemes to help foreign graduates enter the European job market.

Low Tuition Fee European Countries for Asian Students

The cost of pursuing higher education in Europe can vary widely across different countries and universities. Here are some of the most affordable and low-cost places for Asian students to study in Europe:

Germany

Germany is hands down the most popular choice for international students looking for low-cost education. Over 350,000 foreign students were enrolled across German universities in 2021. Tution fees are extremely low or completely waived off at public universities across Germany. International students usually only pay a small administrative fee of €150-350 ($160-$370) per semester. This makes Germany by far the cheapest country to study in Europe.

Living costs are also moderate in student cities like Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt. Asian students can manage monthly expenses between €850-1000. While learning German is not mandatory, picking up basic langauge skills will help students adapt better and boost future work prospects.

Norway

Norwegian universities charge no tuition fees for international students from both within and outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Norway provides world-class education completly free of cost to foreign students. Only a small semester fee ranging from NOK 300-600 ($30-$60) is applicable.

Students do need to factor living costs like accommodation and supplies, which can range between NOK 12,000-16,000 ($1200-$1600) per month. Part-time work opportunities allow international students to offset some expenses. Gaining admission into English-taught programs at top Norwegian institutes like the University of Oslo and University of Bergen is highly competitive too.

Read Also: How to Get Scholarships to Study in Norway for International Students

Austria

Austria is an excellent European destination for affordable higher studies for Asian students. Public universities in Austria charge only €750-1500 ($785-$1580) per year as tuition fees from non-EU international students. Renowned institutes like University of Vienna and Vienna University of Economics offer over 180 English-taught master’s and bachelor’s programs catering specifically to foreign students.

Living expenses like housing, food, transport and supplies in student dorms and shared apartments range between €850-1100 per month in Austrian cities. Part-time work of up to 20 hours a week allowed.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic attracts over 45,000 international students each year with its low cost of living, stunning European architecture and vibrant student culture. Public university fees are extremely affordable ranging between CZK 9,000-15,000 (~$500-$700) per year for foreign nationals. Numerous English-taught programs are also available across tech, business, sciences, humanities and other streams.

Living costs in smaller student cities like Brno and Olomouc could be as low as CZK 8,000-12,000 (~$350-$530) per month for Asian students after factoring rent, supplies, transport and food expenses.

Poland

Poland is another emerging higher education destination in Central Europe that offers quality programs at very nominal costs for international learners. Annual tuition fees range between €2000-5000 (~$2100-$5200) even in top-ranked universities like Jagiellonian University and University of Warsaw. Over 75 English-taught programs are offered, especially in technology, business and medicine.

Living costs are also affordable – international students need approximately PLN 1200-1800 (~$290-$430) per month towards stay and supplies in Poland. Part-time work up to 20 hours weekly is allowed for foreign pupils too.

Cheapest Universities in Europe for Asian Students

Here are some of the lowest tuition universities in Europe recognized globally for their world-class education and research:

TU Munich, Germany

Ranking #56 globally, Technical University of Munich is Germany’s top technical research university offering over 120 English-taught programs in fields like engineering, natural sciences, management and more.

Cheapest Universities in Europe for Asian Students

As a public university, TU Munich charges zero tuition fees from Asian international students for undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Only a €62 admin fee and ~€110 semester ticket fee is applicable per semester. Living costs in Munich are moderate at €850-1000 per month.

University of Oslo, Norway

The University of Oslo (UiO) is Norway’s highest ranked institute at #113 globally. UiO offers several English-taught bachelor’s and master’s degrees to international applicants completely free of tuition fees as a state university. Some specialized programs like medicine, MBA and few others charge annual fees ranging between NOK 49,000-294,000 ($5000-$30,000) only. Living costs in Oslo are higher at around NOK 12,000-15,000 monthly.

Vienna University of Economics, Austria

Ranked #9 globally for business and management studies, WU Vienna University of Economics offers over 70 English-taught degree programs. As a public university, it charges only €763 ($800) as tuition per year from Asian students. With alumni strength over 111,000, graduating from WU can significantly boost future career opportunities. Living costs in Vienna are affordable between €900-1200 a month for students.

Charles University, Czech Republic

Founded in 1348, Charles University in Prague is the oldest and most prestigious higher education institute in Central Europe.

Cheapest Universities in Europe for Asian Students

It is ranked joint #302 globally. Charles University offers over 600 English-taught bachelor’s and master’s programs to overseas students across disciplines. Annual tuition fees range between CZK 9000-15000 (~$500-$700) only. Living costs are lower in Prague at CZK 8000-12000 per month.

University of Warsaw, Poland

As Poland’s best university, University of Warsaw is ranked #338 globally and offers over 75 English programs at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Tuition fees range between €2000-3000 (~$2100-$3150) per year for Asian international students. This is almost 5-8 times lower than tuition costs in the UK or USA. Living expenses in Warsaw are also modest at PLN 1200-1800 per month.

Read Also: Low-Cost Universities in Ireland for International Students

How Asian Students Can Study in Europe for Cheap or Free

Besides choosing affordable, low-cost European countries and universities to study in, international students also have a few other ways to reduce their overseas education costs further and make studying in Europe cheaper:

Apply Early for Scholarships

Applying 12-18 months before your study program commencement allows you to compete for more European scholarships, grants, teaching assistantships and fee waivers specifically targeted for foreign students. These offset between 25-100% of annual tuition fees at European institutes. Popular scholarship sources include the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degrees and national scholarship schemes like the DAAD in Germany or Government of Norway grants for international students.

Work Part-Time During Studies

Many European countries legally allow international students to work for limited hours during enrollment. As per new laws effective 2021, international students can now work for up to 20 hours per week during term-time and full-time during holidays/breaks across much of Europe. Average student jobs pay between €12-15 (~$12.6-$15) per hour – allowing students to earn ~€700-1200 per month part-time while studying.

Choose Affordable Accommodation

Living costs form the biggest portion of overseas education expenses. Finding affordable student housing options like university residence halls, shared apartments, homestays or private student dorms can reduce living costs by 20-50%. Student accommodations in cheaper Eastern European cities provide decent shared housing for as low as €150-350 per month on average.

Benefit From Favourable Exchange Rates

The recent strength of Western currencies against Asian ones further reduces effective costs for international students in Eurozone countries. With favourable EUR to INR, EUR to CNY and EUR to other Asian currency exchange rates, the actual tuition fees, living expenses and overall cost of studying in Europe is comparatively lower for Asian pupils right now.

Study Level Comparison Between Most Affordable European Countries

To help Asian students identify the cheapest places in Europe for their preferred study level, we’ve compiled this quick comparison table:

CountryTuition FeesLiving ExpensesBest Suited For
Germany€150-350 per sem€850-1000 per monthBachelors, Masters, PhD
NorwayNOK 300-600 per semNOK 12000-16000 per monthMasters, PhD
Austria€750-1500 per year€900-1100 per monthBachelors, Masters
Czech RepublicCZK 9000-15000 per yearCZK 8000-12000 per monthBachelors, Masters
Poland€2000-5000 per yearPLN 1200-1800 per monthBachelors, Masters

As visible from yearly costs, Germany and the Czech Republic offer the most affordable options for Asian students looking for English-taught bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Europe. Norway and Austria are better suited to graduate applicants given higher living costs, while Poland provides a cheaper alternative for undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

Read Also: Top 15 Asian Universities Offering the Best Education for International Students

FAQs on Low Cost Study Opportunities in Europe for Asian Pupils

1. Which European country is cheapest for Asian students?

Germany offers international students from Asian countries the lowest cost higher education opportunities in Europe by far. Public university tuition fees are completely waived off across Germany, with only small admin charges of €150-350 per semester applicable.

2. How much does it cost to study in Europe for Indian students?

For Indian pupils, the average cost of studying in Europe is estimated between INR 14-26 lakhs for a full-time bachelor’s degree and INR 20-35 lakhs for a Master’s program. Studying in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic or Norway can reduce overall expenses for Indian students by 50-80%.

3. Which countries offer free education in Europe for Asian international students?

Norway and Germany offer world-class higher education with minimal to zero tuition fees across public universities for bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. programs. Asian students from any country can study in Norway or Germany practically for free. Living costs would need to be covered though.

4. What are the cheapest postgraduate courses to study in Europe?

Some of the most affordable postgraduate courses in Europe based on low tuition fees suitable for Asian international students include:

  • MBA/Management courses in Germany, Poland, Austria
  • Engineering/Technology masters in Germany, France, Czech Republic
  • Masters in Computer Science/IT across Scandinavian and Eastern European institutes
  • Life Sciences/Medicine postgrad programs at accredited universities in Italy, Belgium, Sweden

5. Does Poland offer free education to international students?

While higher education in Poland is not completely free, it is almost up to 5 times cheaper than studying in the UK for Asian international students. Most programs charge between €2000-3000 in tuition per year – making Poland one of the most affordable places to study in Europe.

In summary, Germany should be the first choice followed by Norway, Austria, Czech Republic and Poland if you wish to study in Europe for the lowest possible cost. We hope this article helped you find and shortlist some budget-friendly European options for your international education plans!

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