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International Scholarships for Europe’s Nordic Countries

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Northern Europe oozes style, high living standards and world-class higher education. So it’s little wonder that the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) are prime destinations for study abroad students.

While higher education in most Nordic countries was free for all up until a few years ago, tuition fees are being gradually introduced. As it stands, only Norway and Iceland remain tuition-fee free to all. As a result, there’s growing demand for international scholarships for this part of the world, and even those looking to study in Iceland or Norway may be able to gain funding to cover living costs and other fees.

Keen to attract talented students from around the world, each of the five Nordic countries offers various scholarship opportunities for international students. Read on for a summary of international scholarships available for study in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Denmark

Universities in Denmark offer free tuition for Danish students, EU/EEA citizens and exchange students. International students from outside of the EU/EEA are subject to tuition fees, and are required to show proof of funding before receiving a residence permit or a place on a Danish university program. Some popular scholarship opportunities for study in Denmark are listed below.

Government scholarships

University-specific scholarships

Iceland

Tuition fees in Iceland vary depending on whether the university you wish to study at is state or privately owned. While state universities charge just a nominal registration fee for all students, private institutions charge tuition fees, which will be higher for non-EU students. As an example, all undergraduate tuition fees for EU students at Reykjavik University are €3,260 (~US$3,680) a year, while non-EU fees start at €10,700 (~US$12,075) annually.

Government scholarships    

Icelandic Government Scholarships – International scholarships for students pursuing studies in the Icelandic language at the University of Iceland.

University-specific scholarships

Finland

Although there are currently no tuition fees for domestic or international students undertaking study in Finland, it was announced in October 2015 that the Finnish government has decided to charge tuition fees to non-EU/EEA students starting from August 2017, at a minimum of €1,500 (~US$1,600) per year. There may be more scholarships available for international students from 2017 onwards, but for now some funding is available to help cover the living expenses and other costs.

Government scholarships

Finnish Government Scholarship Pool – Government-funded scholarships for graduate students pursuing doctoral level study in Finland. Open to international students and researchers from selected countries.

University-specific scholarships

Norway

Although all state universities in Norway offer free tuition to both domestic and international students, many students who choose to study in Norway will need to gain some sort of funding to cover the high living costs. Here are a few examples of what’s available:

Government scholarships

  • EEA and Norway Grants – International scholarships for students from selected countries within the EEA, including Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
  • High North Fellowship Program  Funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this program offers scholarships to students from Canada, the US, Japan, South Korea and Russia to study in Norway at selected institutions in Northern Norway.

Sweden

Similar to the rest of the Nordic nations, tuition fees to study in Sweden only apply to students from outside of the EU and EEA. International students should expect to pay SEK80,000-140,000 (~US$9,660-16,900) per year of study for bachelor’s and master’s programs, and even more for medical and fine art subjects. PhD candidates may be happy to note that PhD programs in Sweden are free of charge. To cover any costs for study in Sweden, you may be interested in the following:

Government scholarships

  • Swedish Institute Scholarships – The Swedish Institute (SI) is a government agency which offers scholarship opportunities to international students and researchers looking to study in Sweden. Eligibility criteria varies.

University-specific scholarships

For more university-specific scholarships to study in Sweden, visit StudyinSweden.se.

Other scholarships to study in the Nordic countries:

This article was originally published in November 2014. It was updated in June 2016. 

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Laura Tucker's profile image
Written by Laura Tucker
Laura is a staff writer for TopUniversities.com, providing advice and guidance for students on a range of topics helping them to choose where to study, get admitted and find funding and scholarships. A graduate of Queen Mary University of London, Laura also blogs about student life.

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28 Comments

Hi my name is Nick and i am from Greece.During the last year i have been looking for MSc in economics or finance.The biggest problem is the living costs because i cant afford 12000 per year.During my research 12000 is the annual costs i have to spend for living in countries such as Denmark or Sweden.If anyone know anything about any type of scholarships or any similar way to help,please suggest any link that might be helpful.Thank you and have a happy new year.

Hi my name is Nick and i am from Greece.In the last year i have been looking about scholarships and similar things in Scandinavian countries.Sweden-Denmark more preferable choices for me.I also know tha there are no tuition fees for EU students.But the most difficult part is the living cost.I can't afford 12000 per year and i want some help.If anyone knows something and can give me links about scholarships it would be great.Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all

hi im matty from albania , im interested in studying abroad in europe or us , where can i find full scholarships or low fee tuition? thank you!

A Canadian interested in study aboard in Europe and where is best place to go study and that offers free t free tuition or scholarships? Thank you.

Hi Nyon, I've replied to your comment here. 

hi am Lynda from Ghana, please how can I get a scholarship to study hospitality and leisure in any of the top universities in the states or Canada?

Hi Lynda, you might like to start by browsing our lists of scholarships to study in the US and Canada, as well as checking the official websites of any US or Canadian universities you're interested in, to see what funding opportunities they have available. Hope this helps, and good luck! :) 

any mbbs scholarship ?

Hi Shahid, you can view a list of scholarships to study medicine here. :)

Hi I'm Gili Noj from Albania.I graduated from night school with great results. My passion is mathematic and physic and I would would like to study computer science or electronic.I don't have the money to cover the cost of living so I am looking for scholarship in Germany and Norway.Can you help me please ?
Thank you :)

Hi am Abdulrashid Mohamed Omar from Kenya. I recently graduated from one the universities in Kenya on BSc. Food Nutrition and Dietetics undergraduate course with First Class Honours and i would like to pursue my dream masters in Human Nutrition/Public Health Nutrition or Community Nutrition in Europe, America or Asia. May i get any scholarship on these areas of specialization?

Hi. I'm Ashar from Pakistan. I have passed BA hons in 2012 in English Literature. I want to get Law degree. May I get any scholarship?

Hi Ashar, please have a look at our list of law school scholarships around the world. :)

Hello
My name is Winny from south Sudan but living now in Sudan cause my country has a war and I don't have the money to offer for university so am looking for scholarship free tuition university if you can found university in Norway it will be fine

Hey, I'm a UK Student and I am concerned that I will no longer be eligible for free tuition fees since we have voted to leave the EU. It is likely that we will leave the EU halfway through my second year and I cannot get a student loan from the UK government if i choose to study abroad. Is there by any chance some funding or scholarship that i could get to help me financially. Thanks! (I'm currently looking at International Relations in a scandinavian nation)

Hi Louis, unfortunately there is some uncertainty at the moment regarding whether or not UK students will need to pay tuition fees to study in European countries in which tuition is free for EU students (particularly as you say, if the UK leaves the EU during your studies), so it may be best to contact the universities you're interested in to ask if they have a plan in place for this situation, or can offer you any advice. You could also try browsing their official sites for information on any scholarships they have available. Hope this helps!

Hi I am Mduduzi from SA and I am in my final year of high school and plan on doing very well and pursue a course in science and do music in my spare time. I have not yet created my passport but I am planning on doing so. I wrote my NBTs in South Africa and finals here I wanted to ask how can I surely score a scholarship to go study abroad because no one in my family is prepared to help and I have exactly Zero money in my name and cant c=get a job soon enough. What is the best way for me acquire funding cause I really need it

I am looking a volunteer who is willing to fully sponsor me for BSC. Civil Engineering. I have finished a Higher Diploma in Building and Civil Engineering from my Country Uganda last year. I have the passion for my Course but I have limited source of Funding. I will be very grateful to the volunteer who will help me out of this burden. May God bless you as you come for my help. Kind Regards. Solomon Emodu.

Hi Emodus, please take a look at our list of scholarships for engineering students. 

Hi, I'm Zaeem from Pakistan. I'm in final year of my Bachelors in Software Engineering (BESE). I wish to study abroad for masters degree with job, so that I don't have to wait after my bachelors is completed. My preference is Germany because of their free education, but if other countries offer same thing then I'm okay with that too, as I cant spend my parents money for further education. So can you please guide me regarding university scholarships and suitable sponsors that can help me grow? Also I wanted to ask you whether GRE or IELTS is required in my field ?

Hi Zaeem, I'm afraid masters degrees in Germany are usually not free for students who have previously studied their undergraduate degree elsewhere. We've listed scholarships to study in Germany here. Some universities will ask for the GRE - you can find the exact requirements on the institutions' official websites. You will need to provide the IELTS or another English language test result if you want to study in English and haven't previously done so for your bachelor's degree. To help you to choose a university, you might like to view our rankings by faculty for engineering and technology, with the results narrowed down to show only German universities. Hope this helps!

hai,i'm SIVAMUTHURAJA from india.i had completed my BACHELOR OF ENGINEERING WITH 8.0 AGGREGATE.I wish to study my master degree with my job in overseas .what i want to do for that?i need better information about the scholarship because my background is middle class family.so ,i unable spend more money for my futher education.please sugesst me some sponsers who put an effort to furnish me as like as gold...?

Hi Sivamuthuraja, what you need to do to study abroad depends on where you'd like to study - you can find detailed information on studying in different countries in our guides. We've listed scholarships for engineering students here. To find out about eligibility requirements and how to apply, simply click on each external link. :)

I'm a Sri Lankan student currenly studying for my bachelor's degree in hospitality management...which ccountriesi can apply for scholarships?

I`m Tanzanian degree student in Education field, I`m seeking for full masters scholarship in Europe or America concern Management and administration in education or politics matters.

Hi Kasto, please take a look at our list of scholarships to study in the US and Europe. 

Hi Laura,
I'm an Iranian master student in the field of genetics. I'm seeking for universities in Denmark with free English-taught PhD courses. but I don't know how I should start searching information about it.
I would be thankful, if you can help me.

Is there any medical mbbs scholarship ??