When one might have been relentlessly stressing out over the expenditure of their parents’ entire livelihoods on their education, or drowning in debt for the rest of their lives, the possibility of earning a degree, completely free of cost, can be difficult to comprehend. Moreover, a degree free of cost abroad, in one of several universities ranked within top 100 in the world. Many students on the road to university are, unfortunately, quite unaware of the world of opportunities right at their doorstep, merely due to the inherent lack of knowledge surrounding it- until now.
The majority of countries offering such opportunities to local as well as international students exist in Europe, specifically those of the Nordic region- Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden- as well as Germany and France. Fundamentally, universities offering degrees, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, are capable of doing so due to being state-funded. This, in particular, is most prominent in Germany, where tuition fees were abolished in public universities, which in no way outdo private universities in the nation.
There is no lack or limitation of courses to be taken up in these universities, whether students wish to study veterinary science, engineering, or the fine arts, etc. Several courses throughout are taught in the English language, but many are offered in each country’s own national language. Hence, oftentimes students are required to take a one or two year language course in order to be proficient in the language of their intended course: German in Germany, for example.
This, however, is not meant to be discouraging- students on the lookout for a complete and unique university experience would welcome such an opportunity with open arms. Learning a new language would not only enhance one’s resume but also allow themselves to be immersed in a vastly different culture from their own, something which is near to impossible to do if one chooses not to divert from the safety of their mother tongue or the English language.
Each country, nevertheless regards tuition-free study differently. Universities in France, if not entirely free, are generally extremely low cost, in particular when compared to other top ranked universities in the United States of United Kingdom, for example. Denmark and Sweden’s universities are free, but more so for local citizens and those belonging to the EU and EEA regions than other incoming international students. Finland and Germany remain as the only countries where all public universities are entirely tuition-free.
Where’s the catch? There is none, essentially. Typically, international students are only required to pay a small admission fee, along with student union etc. fees, which are required of local students as well. Altogether, one’s education amounts to a few 100 euros per year. Educational books and living and travel expenses are to be on the student, as with every other university worldwide. At times, scholarships are made available which, in fact, fund students’ living expenses.
The drawback in acquiring such an education abroad, however, concern the above mentioned living expenses. While ranked as some of the best student cities and appearing high up on the good nations list of 2016, most countries in Europe, in particular those of the Nordic region, tend to be quite costly to manage a lifestyle in for a few years. However, if one were to measure up the cost of a fully self-funded local education against an education abroad, exempt of tuition fees, it is highly possible this option might just cost much lesser- all while attaining a degree from an abroad, world-renown institution.
For students looking to invent for themselves an exceptional university life and beyond, learning new languages and embarking on adventures in new countries, all while living worry-free off tuition, nothing proves more rewarding than this particular prospect.