Best Countries Providing Free Education to Indian Students

By Cyril Zachariah Updated On - Jun 13, 2022 04:18 PM

One cannot think of a better achievement for a student than to study abroad at zero or minimal cost and that too from a good university. If you are eager to know about the countries where you can study for free then you are on the right page. Read on to know details about the countries where there is no tuition fee cost for international students.

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A common question raised by aspirants looking to study outside their home country is “Can I study abroad for free?”. The answer to the question is quite yet complicated. There are several countries abroad, especially different European Union member states that offer free education abroad for Indian students along with other international students. However, choosing a country or university that does not charge a tuition fee from its international student cohort is not the only way to study for free abroad.

Many students who dream of studying abroad step back due to the hefty amounts that they need to pay in the form of tuition fees at top universities abroad. While studying abroad can be expensive, it is not the complete picture. Some countries and universities are known for offering education to international students at minimal costs. There are also a number of scholarships specifically designed to cater to the financial needs of qualifying international students.

In this article, we shall discuss the different ways international students, including Indian students, can study abroad for free.

Countries with Free Education

As stated above, there are several countries abroad that either charge no tuition fees or minimal tuition costs to international students. Check out the table below to find out which countries with free education for international students.

Countries

Description

Germany

Renowned for its high-quality education offered by its public universities, Germany is the top choice among international students looking to study abroad for free.

Sweden

While international students will be required to pay a tuition fee to study bachelor’s or master’s in Sweden, PhD courses are free for all, regardless of their country of origin.

Norway

Norway is one of the more expensive countries to live in, however, studying for free at Norwegian public universities has kept it at the top of the list among prospective students.

Austria

While all non-EU/EEA students are required to pay to study in Austrian universities, students will only be charged a minimal cost, comparatively.

France

France has become one of the top choices among international students due to the variety of scholarships available for non-EU-EEA students.

The Czech Republic

Czech universities offer free education to all students who can attend classes conducted in the Czech language. However, classes conducted in the English language are considerably inexpensive.

Belgium

In addition to the beautiful sceneries, culture and food, Belgium is also renowned for its high-quality education offered at extremely affordable costs, for non-EU/EEA students

Note: The cost of studying abroad will depend heavily on several factors such as the type of course, degree and university chosen by a candidate. Additional factors that affect the cost of studying abroad also include the country of origin of an applicant.

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Can You Study Abroad for Free

One of the most common questions that have been raised by students dreaming of studying abroad, is if they can study abroad for free. The answer to this question is Yes! All international students have the opportunity to pursue higher studies abroad for free. However, there are several parameters and facets to this benefit.

Several countries abroad, especially public universities in EU countries offer free education to international students, including non-EU/EEA students. The addition of receiving high-quality education at no or minimal costs has attracted thousands of international students. Countries like Germany and Norway are home to public universities that are funded by the federal government, which subsequently means, that education is free for international students at public universities, regardless of their country of origin.

Meanwhile, there are several other countries that either offer high-quality education at extremely inexpensive tuition fees or offer numerous scholarships for international students, which bring down the overall costs of studying abroad by a lot.

Here are some ways that Indian students can study abroad for free or at minimal costs.

Scholarships/Bursaries

One of the commonly opted methods to study abroad for free in applying for the different scholarships or bursaries that have been offered either by the federal government or the university itself. Over the past few years, scholarship opportunities have led several students from economically-challenged sections of our society to study at prestigious universities across popular study-abroad destinations. For instance, the French government offers a number of scholarship opportunities for Indian students wishing to study in France, on top of subsidising higher education.

Fellowships and Assistantships

A popular option among graduate research aspirants, Fellowships and Assistantships are offered to graduate researchers of a university to get an increased stipend while continuing their education.

Fellowships, the more revered and sought-after option, is offered to graduate or pursuing students in the form of scholarships or stipends, usually more than their living wages, in order to help them focus their energy entirely on conducting valuable research, without having to spend time on working outside to support their education.

Meanwhile, assistantships allow graduate research scholars to take up roles of assistant professors or research assistants while continuing their own research or education. Moreover, such graduate scholars are then entitled to a stipend and free education.

Popular Scholarships to Study Abroad for Free 

A scholarship is one of the best ways to manage the tuition fee of a foreign university. Though it is competitive, students who have a good academic background and meet the eligibility criteria must definitely apply for the scholarship. There are several full or partially funded scholarships available for international students to study in different parts of the world. Here is a list of the popular scholarships that cover the full tuition fee and other expenses that international students may incur while studying abroad.

Fulbright Foreign Student Programme (USA)

Fulbright Foreign Student Programme is a prestigious scholarship to pursue a Master’s or PhD degree in the US. The scholarship covers full tuition fees, living stipends, health insurance etc. It is offered till the completion of studies at the university.

British Chevening Scholarships (UK)

Chevening Scholarships is a scholarship granted by the government of the UK. It is a prestigious scholarship granted to outstanding students who are enrolled in a one year Master’s degree programme. The scholarship covers tuition fees, living expenses, travel expenses to the UK and other essential expenditures.

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Gates Cambridge Scholarships is a university-specific scholarship granted to students enrolled at the University of Cambridge. The scholarship is available for international students. The scholarship covers tuition fees, airline fares, maintenance allowances and some other allowances.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships (Switzerland)

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships are offered to students who are enrolled in graduate degree programmes. It is only offered to students enrolled in public-funded or recognised institutions in Switzerland. The scholarship covers tuition fees, monthly allowance, health insurance, etc.

Top Free Education Countries for Indian Students

As stated above, a big question almost all aspiring international students ask is if they can study abroad for free. While there are universities that do not charge any tuition costs for any of the courses, students will still be required to pay off administrative charges.

Meanwhile, there are a few universities abroad that provide higher education to international students at nominal prices. Such universities are based in some countries famous for offering higher education to international students for free to attract talents from all around the world. Let us learn about these countries and their educational offerings now:

Study in Germany for Free

Germany is a perfect destination for those who wish to study abroad for free. In 2014, Germany implemented a zero-cost tuition fee system for undergraduate international students in its public universities. However, students need to pay an administration fee of nearly EUR 150-250 per semester. It is only applicable to students who are enrolled in public universities. For private universities, students need to pay complete tuition fees which can come is around EUR 20,000 per year.

International students can study for master's in Germany for free only if they apply directly to the universities after completing a bachelor’s course in the country. However, if you have completed a bachelor’s programme from any other country and then choose to pursue your master’s in Germany, then you will need to pay the tuition fee which can cost around USD 30,000.

International students who are interested in earning their doctorate in Germany can do so free of cost.

Popular Universities to Study in Germany

Check the list of universities in Germany where you can study at a nominal semester fee charge: 

Cost of Living in Germany

You must note that only the cost of study in Germany is free across public universities in the country in Germany. You will need to bear the living costs for international students in Germany. The cost of living may vary depending on the city and type of accommodation. On average, the annual cost of living for an international student in Germany could be around EUR 10,500. Meanwhile, it can cost up to EUR 13,000 per year to live in the most expensive cities in Germany.

Register now to find out the best cities in Germany to live in as an international student. Speak with our experienced study abroad counsellors and learn everything you need to know about studying abroad.

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Study in France for Free

Higher education in France for international students is not free but nominal. As an undergraduate student coming from a non-EEU country, you need to pay around EUR 2,770 for a bachelor’s programme. For EU/EEA/Swiss students the cost of undergraduate studies is quite less and can range between EUR 170 and EUR 180 per year. This is possible due to the high subsidies introduced by the French government which also covers international students.

However, international students still choose to study in France due to the variety of scholarship opportunities available to all international students. Some scholarships in France have been designed to cover the entire cost of studying in the country, thus, making studying in France practically free of charge for international students.

Cost of Living in France

The cost of living in France is quite affordable as well for international students, costing around EUR 9,600 per year. However, the cost of living may vary according to the accommodation facilities used by the student wherein factors like the different locations also affect the overall cost of living and studying in France.

Popular Universities to Study in France

Here is the list of popular universities to study in France for international students:

  • Universite PSL

  • Ecole Polytechnique

  • Sorbonne University

  • Centrale Supelec

  • Ecole Normale Superlrieure De Lyon

  • Ecole des Ponts ParisTech

  • Sciences Po Paris

  • Universite de Paris

  • Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne

  • ENS Paris-Saclay

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This is What You Need to Study in France

Other Countries Where International Students Can Pursue Higher Education for Free

Check the list of other countries where higher education is free for international students:

Norway

Similar to the education system followed in Germany, Norway is another country where public universities do not charge any tuition fees to international students. However, students pursuing higher education in private universities will still be required to pay tuition fees. It should also be noted that Norway is one of the more expensive countries to live in, therefore, requiring international students to present substantial proof of funds in order to receive their residence permit in the country.

The Czech Republic

Another country that offers international students free education at the university level, however, this benefit comes with a catch. International students will be able to access free education in the Czech Republic provided they are able to speak and understand the Czech language. Nevertheless, international students will still be able to access relatively inexpensive high-quality education in the Czech Republic.

These are some of the more popular methods of studying abroad for free. However, if you have a country and university in mind where you wish to study for free or at minimal cost, we suggest connecting with experienced study abroad consultants who have worked with hundreds of students and helped them achieve their goals of studying abroad.

If you aspire to study abroad but are confused as to where to start, then look no further! Register and connect with us and let our study abroad counsellors help you apply to the university of your choice, depending on your interests and qualifications and other parameters that are important to you!

For queries related to studying abroad in your favourite country or college, write to us at abroad@collegedekho.com.

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FAQs

Can I study in Australia for free?

Yes, it is possible to study in Australia for free, however, this may be possible only through scholarships and financial aid. The Australian government and universities have been working with the Indian government to offer Indian students unique scholarship opportunities. Additionally, Indian students can apply for a variety of financial aid and scholarship in Australia for international students, which could help them study for free or at reduced costs.

What can I do to study abroad for free?

There are several different ways you can opt for if you wish to study abroad for free, some of which include scholarships, fellowships and bursaries, etc. It should be noted that if you wish to study abroad for free using scholarships, fellowships or bursaries, you must present an impeccable academic record, unique research theses, and/or meet the eligibility criteria for such scholarships, which are usually extremely stringent.

Can I study abroad if I don’t have any money?

Yes, you will still be able to study abroad even if you do not possess sufficient funds. Through scholarship opportunities, assistantships, exchange programmes and student loans, it is possible for any student to plan their higher studies abroad. However, it is important to maintain a good academic record that can help them apply for full scholarships that cover the entire costs of studying abroad, thus, reducing their financial stress.

Does France offer free education for international students?

No, France does not offer free education for non-EU international students, however, such international students will be able to study for free in France by applying for different financing options such as scholarship awards. Renowned for its high-quality education, France has been working toward attracting Indian students to join French universities through lucrative scholarships that cut down the costs of studying in France.

Is studying in Germany truly free?

 

Yes, international students can study in Germany for free, however, there are certain parameters to accessing this benefit in the country. To enrol in one of the free courses offered in Germany, international students will be required to apply to public universities. Additionally, while public universities in Germany do not charge international students tuition fees, administrative charges such as application for term exams and registration fees are applicable.

Is Norway a cheap country to study as an international student?

 

While Norway is home to numerous public universities which means you can access free high-quality education, living in Norway is still an expensive ordeal. Norway is one of the more expensive countries to live in, thus, requiring international students present substantial proof of financial funds to receive their residence permit. However, being a high-cost country has not deterred thousands of international students who continue to study there.

Which country offers the cheapest education for Indian students?

 

Among the countries that offer the cheapest education to Indian students includes Germany, Norway, France, The Czech Republic and many others that offer opportunities to access free high-quality education. Some countries like Sweden, Belgium and Austria, etc offer higher education at extremely minimal costs compared to other popular study-abroad destinations such as the US, Canada and the UK.

Can I study in Canada for free?

 

Yes, it is possible for you to study in Canada for free, provided you have an impeccable academic record which can be used to apply to a number of scholarships. Connect with highly experienced study abroad counsellors who can help you apply for scholarships that cover the entire costs of studying abroad across top universities in Canada, or even take up part-time jobs to cover daily expenses.

Can Indian students study abroad for free?

 

Yes, Indian students can study abroad for free as many countries either offer free education in their public universities or offer a range of scholarships that help the students cover their tuition costs. However, many countries also offer high-quality education at highly subsidised rates such as France, which also offers Indian students a range of scholarships that completely reduce the tuition costs of studying in France.

Which country offers free education for Indian Students?

 

There are several countries that offer free education for Indian students planning to study abroad. Among these countries include Germany and Norway, where the public universities offer free education to all students irrespective of their country of origin. It should be noted that there are other countries that offer high-quality education at nominal costs, which can further be reduced with the help of scholarships.

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