For anyone planning to study abroad, the prospect of college expenses can seem overwhelming. While many countries have tuition and even housing costs that are cheaper than in the United States, finding scholarships, grants and other financial aid to offset those costs can take time and effort you don’t have to spare when preparing to leave home and start your studies. Fortunately, there are ways to get an education without paying anything up front. Here are 10 countries offering free tuition and scholarships to international students so you can consider where you want to study without having to worry about money—at least for now! Apply
In 2015, over 2.3 million international students chose to study in USA and one of their top motivations was financial: U.S. colleges and universities are among the most affordable in the world with costs that are roughly half of what they’d pay at a leading private institution in their home country (source). The cost of tuition is only part of it, though; room and board can quickly add up to $20,000 per year or more—and even these fees don’t cover other expenses like books or travel. The good news is that there are many scholarships available for international students who want to study in USA, including those offered by individual schools as well as government programs funded by Congress. For example, there’s a popular scholarship called FAFSA which gives out billions every year—and all you have to do is fill out a form! To find out more about free tuition and scholarships for international students studying in America, check out our guide here .
The tuition fees for international students in Study in UK are around $11,000. However, if you’re willing to study outside of London, you can actually save some money. For example, universities in Manchester and Cardiff offer free tuition while studying a full time undergraduate course. There are also plenty of scholarships available for international students across a variety of subjects. Start your search here!
Canada is offering free tuition for study in Canada international students through their Canada Excellence Research Chairs initiative. These grants cover tuition, living expenses and research materials. In addition, international students in Canada are eligible for many scholarships like The Undergraduate Awards, which offers $8,000 to full-time undergraduate students or $4,000 to part-time students who have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.0. Another scholarship program is called The Woodrow Wilson Awards, which awards a number of scholarships that range from $2,500 – $15,000 per year.
Undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students from around Asia who have graduated with top honors can apply for an educational scholarship. In addition, Malaysian universities offer exchange programs with universities in Singapore, China and Australia that also cover tuition costs. Even if you don’t study in Malaysia, there are various scholarships available. For instance, if you’re a Malaysian citizen applying for a bachelor’s degree program at any university outside of Malaysia, you could be eligible for the Malaysian Educational Scholarship (MES). The MES covers 100% of tuition costs. If you’re an international student coming to Malaysia on a local government scholarship or sponsorship but want funding to study abroad again as part of your degree program (for example at a partner university), then ask about both types of scholarships—you may qualify for both!
China, where parents are willing to spend a fortune on their kids’ education, offers scholarship programs for international students. If you’re from a developing country and attending one of China’s top universities, you can receive free tuition for your four-year undergraduate degree. The catch? You must be in one of China’s key subject areas, such as science or engineering. In addition to tuition waivers, some Chinese universities offer scholarships that cover living expenses (but not travel costs). To learn more about studying in China as an international student, check out our guide to applying for Chinese government scholarships . And if you want a guaranteed job after graduation, consider enrolling in a vocational program—China has plenty of those! A postgraduate diploma in engineering will get you at least $500 per month; add an MBA and it jumps up to $1,000 per month.
The Indian government offers one of world’s most extensive scholarship programs for international students. Around 16% of all Indian higher education institutes are government-funded, and all offer scholarships to foreign students. If you qualify, you can study at undergraduate level for free at some of India’s top universities, including Delhi University, IIT Kharagpur, and Banaras Hindu University. You may also be eligible for living expenses and summer salary grants if you stay on after graduation. Check out our guide to study in India for more information.
France is one of Europe’s most well-known countries for its top notch higher education, great wines and cuisine, famous fashion designers, beautiful countryside, etc. It also is one of few countries in Europe where international students don’t have to pay a dime for higher education. The French government offers free tuition to all international students who want to study at public universities in France. The only requirement is that they must be enrolled full time (minimum 12 credits per semester). In addition, there are no tuition fees for Masters programs or PhD degrees at public universities in France. This means that if you want to study abroad in Paris or another major city like Lyon or Marseille you can do so without worrying about paying off student loans!
Italy has a range of opportunities available for international students who wish to study there. The universities in Italy are all public, meaning that tuition is free. Moreover, many universities offer scholarships and other perks as an incentive for international students. The Italian government also operates a number of initiatives aimed at helping international students settle and succeed in Italy, making it an extremely attractive destination for higher education seekers.
While American students are drowning in debt, many of their counterparts in Portugal can study for free at one of its six universities. Last year, more than 42 percent of Portuguese 25- to 34-year-olds had a college degree, according to Reuters. For international students there’s a catch—they must commit for two years after graduation before working abroad or being paid into Portugal’s social security system.
Getting a Slovenian education is free for international students! As one of Europe’s most sought-after destinations, Slovenia’s universities and schools offer state-of-the-art facilities and attract some of Europe’s finest minds. The top institutions are located in Ljubljana, which is less than 200 kilometres from Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary. Oh, and did we mention Slovenia is one of only three countries worldwide where English is an official language?