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How Much Does it Cost to Study in Europe?

How Much Does it Cost to Study in Europe? main image

Want to study in Europe, but unsure about the costs? Read on to discover the average costs of tuition fees and living expenses in a range of European countries – and to find out about opportunities to study in Europe for free!

Bear in mind that the figures given below are averages. For exact tuition fees, check the details provided on your chosen university’s website, and remember that estimated living expenses will vary depending on the city you study in, and the kind of lifestyle you adopt.

Austria Innsbruck, Austria

Average tuition fees: Free for domestic/EU students; €726.72 (~US$780) per semester for international students at all levels.

Average living costs: €10,200-12,000 (~US$11,000-13,000) per year

Students from the European Union (EU) are able to study in Austria for free, unless you take more than two semesters longer than the standard amount of time to complete your course, in which case you’ll have to pay fees of around €363.36 (~US$400) per semester. There’s also a student union membership fee of €17.50 (~US$20) per semester, which all students are required to pay.

Belgium Bruges

Average tuition fees: Maximum of €890 (~US$960) per year for EU students; €890-4,450 (~US$960-4,820) per year for non-EU students. These figures apply at all study levels.

Average living costs: €10,200-11,400 (~US$11,050-12,300) per year

There are many reasons to study in Belgium: well-respected universities, great opportunities for international networking, famously diverse cities, a range of regional cuisines and specialties, attractive countryside, overall high quality of life, and, of course, delicious Belgian chocolate. And as another bonus, tuition fees are on the affordable side.

Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark

Average tuition fees: Free for home/EU students at all levels; €6,000-16,000 per year for others (~US$6,500-17,350).

Average living costs: DKK 84,000 (~US$12,200) per year

Denmark can be an affordable option for study in Europe, especially for students from within the EU. Although most teaching is conducted in Danish, there are more than 600 internationally recognized programs taught in English, and 86% of the country’s residents can speak English.

Finland Helsinki, Finland

Average tuition fees: Free for all until August 2017, when non-EU/EEA international students will pay a minimum of €1,500 (~US$1,600) per year.

Average living costs: €9,600 (~US$10,400) per year

Finland is a little more affordable than fellow Nordic countries Norway, Sweden and Denmark in terms of living costs, and public universities are currently free for all (except for small number of specialized postgraduate courses). There are plenty of things to do while you study here, and the country boasts an extremely high quality of life, with considerable (and reasonably equally shared) wealth.

France Paris, France

Average annual tuition fees: €189 (~US$200) for most undergraduate programs at public universities; €256 (~US$280) for most master’s programs, and €391 (~US$425) for doctoral programs. Private universities charge considerably more.

Average living costs: €9,600 (~US$10,500) per year

The most popular international tourist destination in the world, France is also a popular study abroad destination, offering relatively affordable tuition fees and living costs. Tuition fees are the same for domestic and international students, and are considerably higher at the highly selective grandes écoles and grands établissements (great schools and establishments), which set their own fees. Living expenses will be higher in the capital, Paris, but you may find it worth the extra cost – after all, Paris has been named the world’s number one student city four times in a row!

Germany Germany

Average tuition fees: Free for all students at undergraduate and PhD level; €10,000+ (US$10,800+) per semester for most non-consecutive master’s programs.

Average living costs: €8,000 (~US$8,700) per year (according to German student visa requirements)

Germany is one of the world’s most popular non-Anglophone study destinations, offering world-class universities and a high quality of life. Undergraduate programs are free for all students at public universities. Those studying at master’s level who completed their bachelor’s degree elsewhere are classed as ‘non-consecutive students’, and will usually pay tuition fees. PhD programs are free for at least the first six semesters. All students pay around €250 (~US$270) per semester to cover administrative costs.

You can read a more detailed breakdown of the costs of studying abroad in Germany here.

Ireland Limerick, Ireland

Average tuition fees: Free for EU/EEA students at undergraduate level (with a fee of €3,000 for student services); from €10,000 (~US$10,800) per year for non-EU students at undergraduate level. From €3,800 (~US$4,175) per year for EU postgraduate students, and from €10,500 (~US$11,400) per year for non-EU students at postgraduate level.

Average living costs: €7,000-12,000 (~US$7,500-12,870) per year

Ireland’s varied selection of higher education institutions combines with historic cities, beautiful countryside and unique culture to make the country a highly attractive study destination. If EU students want to study in Ireland, they’ll only need to pay a charge of €3,000 to cover non-tuition student services.

Italy Rome, Italy

Average annual tuition fees: €850-1000 (~US$920-1,100) at undergraduate level at public universities; €1,500 (~US$1,600) at postgraduate level.

Average living costs: €14,400 (~US$15,600) per year

Although private universities in Italy charge up to €16,000 (~US$17,300) a year, public universities in Italy are markedly cheaper. International students are eligible for the same scholarships and grants as local students, assessed by academic merit or financial need. This applies to scholarships, student loans, housing assistance, meal tickets and fee waivers.

Norway Oslo, Norway

Average tuition fees: Free for all at public universities (with a few exceptions in the case of specialized programs).

Average living costs: NOK 120,000 per year (~US$13,600)

Tuition at public universities in Norway is free for all students, with fees charged only for a few specialized programs, typically at postgraduate level. You may be required to pay a small semester fee, typically around NOK 300-600 (US$34-68).

Russia Moscow, Russia

Average annual tuition fees: RUB 311,000-614,000 (US$3,900-7,700) at all study levels

Average living costs: RUB 630,670-727,200 (US$7,920-9,120) per year

The largest country in the world, Russia is full of interesting cultural, historic and natural settings to explore. Living costs are surprisingly low (with the notable exception of capital city Moscow, where they are notoriously high), and tuition fees are not terribly expensive. You might also be able to find a scholarship to study in Russia, with funding offered by the Russian government to support talented international students.

Spain Madrid, Spain

Average annual tuition fees: €680-1,280 at undergraduate level in public universities; €1,320-1,500 (~US$1430-1,620) at postgraduate level.Non-EU students will pay slightly more.

Average living costs: €10,600-13,200 (~US$11,800-14,400) per year

Spain offers a wide range of great locations for students, and attracts many with its winning combination of good universities, attractive lifestyle, and the fact that Spanish is one of the world's most spoken languages. It’s also not too bad in terms of costs, with the capital, Madrid, achieving a high score in the ‘affordability’ category of the QS Best Student Cities. Valencia is an even cheaper option, ranking among the top 10 cities for affordability.

Sweden Stockholm, Sweden

Average tuition fees: Free for home/EU students at all levels; SEK 90,000-150,000 (~US$10,500-17,500) per year for others.

Average living costs: SEK 95,970 (~US$11,200) per year

As in Denmark, tuition in Sweden is free for students from within the European Union. PhD programs in both countries are also fully funded, offering exceptional candidates the chance to gain their degree without paying fees, and while earning a salary.

Switzerland Zurich, Switzerland

Average tuition fees: CHF 1,266-2,200 (~US$1,250-2,200) per year at all study levels. International students may have to pay an additional charge of CHF 500 (~US$490) at undergraduate level and CHF 100 (~US$98) at postgraduate level.

Average living costs: CHF 18,000-28,000 (~US$17,750-27,600) per year

With ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in the top 10 of the QS World University Rankings®, and EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) close behind, Switzerland is home to some of Europe’s leading universities. While tuition fees are reasonable, the cost of living is relatively high.

The Netherlands Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Average annual tuition fees: €1,984 (~US$2,150) for EU students at all study levels, for most courses. Non-EU students pay an average of €6,000-12,000 (~US$6,500-13,000) at bachelor’s level and €8,000-20,000 (~US8,670-21,660) at postgraduate level.  

Average living costs: €9,600-13,200 (~US$10,400-14,300) per year

The Netherlands is well-established as a popular study destination for students from around the world. It’s known for its tolerant and liberal ethos, and boasts a wealth of great student cities – none of which are more than a bicycle ride (the nation’s preferred mode of transport) away from some picturesque countryside. Fees are relatively low for EU students, with an average cost of living is similar to many Western European countries.

United Kingdom London

Average annual tuition fees: £9,000 (~US$12,700) for domestic/EU students at undergraduate level; ~US$17,000 for international students outside the EU. International students should expect to pay ~US$14,150-18,400 for most master’s degrees.

Average living costs: £12,000 (~US$17,060) per year

While the UK capital is home to an impressive selection of universities, bear in mind that living expenses in London are much higher than those in the rest of the UK, so you’ll need to budget more to study there. For more affordable options, you may wish to consider universities in Scotland – where EU students (excluding those from England, Wales and Northern Ireland) can study for free at undergraduate level. Tuition fees are also lower in Northern Ireland, with a cap of £3,790 (~US$5,400) per year at undergraduate level for EU students.

Get a more detailed breakdown of the costs of studying abroad in the UK here.

Study in Europe for free (if you speak the local language)!

If you want to study in Europe for free, you may wish to put some effort in and learn a new language; in many countries, you can access free or very cheap university courses if you’re able to study in the local language.


In Germany, English-taught programs are uncommon at undergraduate level (more common at postgraduate level). So if you want to take advantage of the country’s free undergraduate education, you’ll need to either learn German or be quite open-minded about what you study.

Poland Warsaw

In some countries, you can study for free only if your course is taught in the local language. In this case, you may also need to sit the same entrance exams as local students, as is the case in Poland. If international students are not able to study in Polish, they pay tuition fees of around PLN 9,000 (US$2,170) per year.

Czech Republic

Another example of a country in which you can study for free in the local language is the Czech Republic. However, students who wish to study in English can still do so fairly cheaply, at around CZK 108,334 (~US$4,300) per year. Living costs are also much more affordable than in many Western European countries, at around CRK 105,600-226,200 (~US$4,200-9,000) per year. 

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Written by Sabrina Collier
Sabrina is a content writer for, providing guidance on a wide range of topics. A graduate of Aberystwyth University, Sabrina is originally from the West Midlands but now lives in London. 

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I would like to say some words about hidden college fees.
All fees are probably halved for in-state students and 6x the cost for out-of-state students. In-state tuition has been flat for years while out of state ratchets up $3000/$3000/$2000/$2000 so kids already paying more can further underwrite those in-state attendees.
Out of state: $32,738.16
In state: $10,488.48
My personal favorite is the bill that openly states the taxpayers of Wisconsin equally subsidize each student. Hmmmmm.....I don't think so no matter what in-state tax goes to UW. Absolutely no way each WI resident pays $22,300 in extra taxes to UW.
In addition read what NYtimes wrote about it

Hello my Name Barhami i will be graduated next year from Ukrainien pharmacy faculty i would like to know if there is some advantage for me to study in Europe for laboratory

i salute everyone

IRELAND: public transport is really bad outside city centre. Room accomodation is about 500-700 eu per month (and very hard to find). Cost of life is wrong, actually it is equal to 2x Spain, 4x Poland or 3x Portugal. No publich health care (unique in EU), better you'd pay an health insurance. Expensive country

Hi Diego, thanks for this information! I've double checked the information on living costs for Ireland and updated it to €7,000 and €12,000 per year as stated on - though I appreciate that this is possibly a low estimate!

Hi Sabrina,
I'm from Azerbaijan. My English is very good. I want to educate in European universities with cheap fees. Can you help me?

Hi Murad, you can find some of the most affordable tuition fees in Europe in countries such as Germany or the Nordic countries (as outlined above) and we've listed a range of scholarships to study in Europe here. :)

Hello sabrina
I m a student from morocco (north africa) and i m gonna be an undergraduate next year and i m looking to get a engineering management degree from a good public university but so far all the ones i checked don t have this course so i was wondering if you are aware of any good university that have this course

Hi Reda, here's a link to our QS Course Finder, where you can search for undergraduate engineering management degree programs in Europe. :) 

Hello sabrina,
I want to study europe in bachelor of accounting and finance or in marketing and management but i am not finacial strong and i also do ielts and pte in ielts there is 5.5 band in writing 5. where i study. please reply

Hi Gaganpreet, you might like to look for a scholarship to help with the costs of studying abroad in Europe - we have a list of external scholarships to study in Europe and Business and Entrepreneurship Scholarships Around the World (which includes options to study accounting and finance). We also now offer our own QS undergraduate scholarship, which awards up to US$10,000 for one winner to study a bachelor's degree at any QS ranked university. Hope this helps! 

Hello Sabrina!
I want to study abroad but i don't know which country is good for me... I need universities with low cost. Also living costs must be at min level
Help me please

Hi Yhlas, our article 'where can you study abroad for free?' suggests a number of affordable study destinations, and we also wrote about the least expensive cities for students to live in here. Hope this helps! 

hello sabrina this is subhash am intrested to do medicine in europe countries so help me the best country to do with less fee

Hi Subhash, please take a look at our list of medical scholarships around the world, which includes options to study in Europe. To help you to choose a university, you might like to view our rankings by subject for medicine, with the results narrowed down to show only European universities. Hope this helps! 

Hello sabrina, I have some questions please

Hi Abekanbi, what would you like to ask? :)

Hello There
I present my highest compliments and take this liberty to inform you that,
i am Hakieemsamsz sending this mail from Sri lanka

based on the research there are 7000 students in Sri Lanka every year moving abroad for their higher studies
around 10- 15,000 unmet potential students can not find their colleges and universities due to certain barriers

i am as a Sri Lanka entrepreneur going to launch a startup to assist students to find their way to get higher education overseas this will remove
middleman, fees and charges
hidden payments and commission thus I believe the number of students will be more
my prime goal is to put students directly and educate them how to get reasonably inexpensive education

i am in search for bodies like yours to cooperate where students can find useful information about the colleges and universities that they are willing to study

kindly let me know how can we collaborate together to make overseas education affordable to everyone

please add me on Skype to have a detail discussion about my venture

looking forward to hear from you soon
kind regards

Great article Sabrina! You must have put in a lot of research work. xoxo Victoria

Thanks Victoria, glad you liked it. :)

Dear Sabrina,
Your text is great.
You have only one mistake. When you were writing about Finland you wrote that Switzerland is Nordic country instead of Sweden.
Milena, Serbia

Oops! I've fixed the mistake now. Thanks Milena. :)

Hello dear Sabrina,
I am Nerci from iran and i am interested in medicine very much and in my country apply for medicine is very hard.
I want to go to czech republic and i want to learn local language,
I heard that i should first pass premedical,
I want to know How much should i pay and Is there any scholarship for me to cover living costs
My diploma mark is 19.19 from 20.
if you can help me
Thank you very very much for all things in your website,

Hi Nerci, we have some scholarships to study in the Czech Republic listed in our scholarships to study in Europe article. We also have an article on what it's like to study medicine in the Czech Republic here. :)

hello i need help please...!

Hi Abdullah, what do you need help with? :)