Cheapest Universities in Europe. Whether it’s getting a drink with new friends in the cute pub down the street, spending your day walking around the stunning local cathedral or grabbing some delicious street food on your way to class, studying abroad could be the most incredible travel experience of your life.
Studying abroad means tons of opportunities to meet new people (and future friends!), while experiencing incredible new cultures and attending an amazing university, all at the same time! Tons of young student travelers are dreaming of studying abroad in Europe, and we get it. It’s pretty awesome.
So why don’t more students go?
Unfortunately, the cost of studying abroad deters a lot of would-be travelers. Between flights, living expenses, and tuition costs, studying abroad can seem like an expense you can’t afford. That’s where we come in. We’ve put together a list of our favorite cheap universities in Europe to help you study abroad for (nearly) free!
Can I really study abroad in Europe for free?
We’re not going to sweet talk you. Studying abroad for free just isn’t possible. That said, there are an endless amount of ways to keep your costs down and make studying abroad not only possible but even affordable! Between budgeting, cheap student hacks, awesome scholarships, and other money-saving tips, studying abroad is within your reach.
Coming from the U.S.A., tuition costs can seem like the most expensive part of studying abroad. This simply isn’t the case though! Many (if not most!) universities in Europe are free of tuition for all EU students. If you’re not an EU citizen, there are small processing fees, but for the most part, still no tuition! Go ahead and pinch yourself. We’re not kidding. 😉
That doesn’t mean that there are no strings attached. Most universities are taught in the country’s native language, meaning you might have to pick up some new language skills before jetting off to your free education. But, learning a new language sounds a lot more doable than taking on thousands of dollars of student loan debt. (#realtalk).
13 cheapest universities in Europe
1. Scuola Normale Superiore
We’re kicking off our list with one of the sweetest deals around for studying abroad in Europe. Scuola Normale Superiore is a top-rated college in Italy, and one of the best in all of Europe. The school has three main programs for undergraduate students: humanities, sciences, and political science.. The humanities program offers specializations in topics such as paleography history of art, archaeology modern literature, and linguistics philosophy. The school also has biology, chemistry, and physic focuses in the school of science.
The best part about all of this? Scuola Normale is one of the tuition-free universities in Europe for international students. That’s right. Free. As if that weren’t amazing enough, the school also covers living costs such as housing and food. You’ll barely pay a dime if you go here to study abroad.
- Location: Pisa, Italy
- Tuition Cost: Free!
- Popular Subjects: Humanities, Sciences, and Political Science
- Recommended Program: Study Italian in Pisa, Italy by The National Registration Center for Study Abroad
Sant’Anna easily earns its spot on our list of cheapest universities in Europe. This school has two main programs: experimental & applied sciences and social sciences. While some courses are taught in English, you’ll need to know a decent amount of Italian to study here.
The extra effort to learn the language is worth it! This school is tuition-free, and they’ll cover your living expenses as well. You’ll love living and attending school in Pisa, all for free! This university is a perfect option to help you study abroad in Europe for free.
- Location: Pisa, Italy
- Tuition Cost: Free
- Popular Subjects: Experimental & Applied Sciences and Social Sciences
- Recommended Program: SAI Programs: Education Abroad Inspiring Creativity!
3. Free University of Berlin
The tuition at the Free University of Berlin is, you guessed it, free! You’ll be responsible for living costs such as rent and food. In Berlin, living costs come out to about 700 euros a month, just less than $800 per month! That’s a pretty sweet deal for such a great university. This university is also one of the cheap universities in Europe that teach in English. They offer a Bachelor of Arts program filled with courses taught in English. This school in Berlin is waiting for you to have tons of awesome study abroad adventures!
- Location: Berlin
- Tuition Cost: Free
- Popular Subjects: North American Studies
- Recommended Program: API at Freie University of Berlin
4. University of Göttingen
Germany is the king of free schooling, and the University of Göttingen is yet another of the tuition-free universities in Europe for international students! This university has programs in humanities, natural sciences, law, and social sciences some of which are in English! It’s also home to one of the largest libraries in all of Germany.
The only cost for this university is a small administrative fee of around 300 Euros per semester. That’s just $335 dollars for an entire semester of school! The only other cost is the cost of living. In Göttingen, the cost of living is similar to Berlin at around 700 euros, or less than $800 a month.
- Location: Göttingen, Germany
- Tuition Cost: ~€300 (~$335)
- Popular Subjects: Humanities, natural sciences, law, and social sciences
- Learn more: View the University of Göttingen’s website
5. RWTH Aachen University
RWTH Aachen University specializes in architecture, georesources, and materials engineering. All bachelor’s study courses are taught in German, so you’ll need a certain amount of fluency to attend school here.
Learning German is worth it, though! This university charges no tuition except for a small student body and processing fee of ~260 euros, or ~$290 per semester. The expected cost of living is about ~800 Euros per month, or just under ~$900. While this doesn’t quite help you study abroad in Europe for free, it’s pretty darn close!
- Location: Aachen, Germany
- Tuition Cost: ~260 euros (~$290)
- Popular Subjects: Architecture, resources, and materials engineering
- Learn More: View the RWTH Aachen University website
6. The University of Vienna
Vienna, Austria is another great place for cheap universities in Europe. The University of Vienna is tuition-free, with only a small processing fee of ~730 Euros, or ~$815 per semester. There are nearly 200 different programs from which to choose and many are even taught in English. Because it was founded in 1365, this University has tons of history and is one of the oldest universities around. The town of Vienna is famous for its culture and nightlife and will be the perfect place for you to study abroad.
- Location: Vienna, Austria
- Tuition Cost: ~730 Euros, or ~$815 per semester
- Popular Subjects: Theology, Computer Science, Cultural Studies, Philosophy
- Recommended Program: Budget Low Cost – German Studies – the University of Vienna by Center For Study Abroad (CSA)
As a publicly-funded Norwegian university, Nord University doesn’t charge tuition fees.
The only catch is that, as a non-EU citizen, you are required to prove that you have the funds to support yourself for a year in Norway in order to get a visa to study there. Currently, the cost of living in Norway for a year is around ~$13,000.
While this is a little more than some of the other costs of living from our list, the Nord University experience is worth it. Nord University is among the cheap universities in Europe that teach in English. The programs taught in English include Circumpolar Studies, 3D art, Animation, Games and Entertainment Technology, Biology, and English.
- Location: Bodø, Norway
- Tuition Cost: ~725 Euros, or ~$800 per semester
- Popular Subjects: Circumpolar Studies, 3D art, Animation, Games and Entertainment Technology, Biology, and English
- Learn more: Visit Nord University’s website
8. Nantes University
If France is calling your name, then Nantes University has the study abroad adventure for you. Nantes University charges only a small processing fee of 184 euros or ~$200 per semester! The cost of living here is fairly low, at just 600 euros, or ~$670 per month.
Nantes University offers a variety of programs taught in English: biology and earth science; foreign languages, literature, and civilizations; and European and international studies.
- Location: Nantes, France
- Tuition Cost: ~184 Euros, or ~$200 per semester
- Popular Subjects: Health and medical technology, engineering, legal and political science, and other interdisciplinary programs
- Recommended Program: IES Abroad Nantes – French Language Immersion & Area Studies
9. University of Paris-Sud
Tuition-free universities in Europe for international students are the best! The University of Paris-Sud is one of the cheapest universities in Europe; they charge only a small processing fee of around ~€170 (~$190) per semester. Their English-taught programs include sciences and languages, physics, and economics and management.
And the location, Paris, is amazing! Eiffel Tower and many other French adventures await you! The only catch is, because it’s such a big city, the cost of living in Paris tends to be a little higher. Still, with a university this cheap, your dreams of studying abroad in Paris are achievable here!
- Location: Paris, France
- Tuition Cost: ~170 euros, or ~$190 per semester
- Popular Subjects: Sciences and languages, physics, and economics and management.
- Learn more: Visit the University of Paris-Sud’s website
10. University of Athens
This university is the oldest one in all of Greece! Their undergraduate programs range from dentistry to music studies, in addition to nursing, social theology, and theatre studies. You’ll love attending school amidst Greek columns and architecture.
And the city of Athens has Greek ruins sprinkled throughout the entire city; you’ll have tons to explore and see during your time studying abroad there. The median cost of living in Athens is ~$800 per month but can be as little as ~$500.
- Location: Athens, Greece
- Tuition Cost: ~$400 per semester
- Popular subjects to study: Dentistry, music studies, nursing, social theology, and theatre studies
- Learn more: Visit the University of Athens’ website
No public university in Greece charges tuition fees for EU students, and the University of Crete doesn’t charge tuition fees for international students either. The main programs here are philosophy, education, social sciences, medicine, and science and engineering. You could be studying philosophy in Greece, the birthplace of philosophy! All classes at this university are taught in Greek, but there is a sizeable international community of English speakers as well.
- Location: Crete, Greece
- Tuition Cost: Free
- Popular subjects to study: Philosophy, education, social sciences, medicine, and science and engineering
- Learn more: Visit the University of Crete’s website
12. University of Basel
Founded in 1460, the University of Basel is the oldest university in Switzerland. This also makes it one of the oldest surviving universities in the world. Plus, its library is the largest in the country. Not to mention, it’s one of the cheapest universities in Europe.
The university is home to a number of diverse programs, including theology, law, medicine, humanities, and social sciences, science, psychology, and business and economics. Most programs are taught in a mix of German and English. Learning German is worth it, though, for the ~$800 price per semester!
- Where: Basel, Switzerland
- Tuition Cost: CHF 850, or ~$835 per semester
- Learn more: Visit the University of Basel’s website
13. University of Würzburg
For the last German university on our list, proficiency in German is necessary. That said, there are a handful of courses taught in English for international students. Their major programs include cultural and music studies, as well as politics, astronomy, and molecular and computational biology. The University of Würzburg charges a small processing fee of ~130 euros, or ~$145 per semester, making it uber affordable and appealing for study abroad students everywhere.
- Location: Würzburg, Germany.
- Tuition Cost: ~130 euros, or ~$145 per semester
- Popular Subjects: Cultural studies, musical studies, politics, astronomy, and molecular and computational biology
- Recommended Program: M.Sc. Molecular and Computational Biology by University of Würzburg