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4 Cheapest European Countries for International Students

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From the Northern Lights in Reykjavik to the fashion mecca of Paris and the punk creativity of Berlin, living in Europe is glorious. But it’s also just as expensive. With the strengthening of the Euro, many international students have to spend more to live and learn here.

Of more than 500 international applicants to UK universities, 88% of international applicants continue to view the UK as a positive or very positive place to study, according to research by UCAS (which oversees the admissions process in UK universities). British universities). What puts off 69% of the candidates surveyed is the high tuition fees and the cost of living which are a major concern.

Fortunately, there are alternatives. Some European countries offer low tuition fees and a low cost of living. Below are the four cheapest European countries that will allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds – a world-class education at a frugal cost:

A bartender waits for customers in the Kleine Nachterevue cabaret in the Berlin-Schoeneberg district. Source: Merit Schambach/AFP

Germany

German universities have produced big names like James Bond author Ian Fleming and diesel inventor Rudolf Diesel. Today the main the pull factor to Germany is low to zero tuition fees and affordable living costs compared to other European cities such as London or Paris.

This is because most German universities are state-owned, which makes tuition affordable for both domestic and international students.

Although tuition is free, keep in mind that there are other small fees by the university that students must bear, such as application, registration, and processing fees. These fees usually cost approximately 250 euro ($246.38 at time of writing).

That’s not all. International students looking for additional financial aid can still apply for a wide range of scholarship options too.

The cost of living in Germany will be your biggest expense. Students must prepare at least around 934 euros (US$920.46) per month to cover rent, groceries, transportation and recreation.

Haven’t decided which German university to attend? This listing can serve as a guide.

Spain

Home to arguably the best soccer teams in the world and Gaudí’s frosty fairytale homes in Park Güell, Spain charms international students from all over the world. Considered one of the cheapest European countries to study, Spain offers tuition fees as low as 150 euros per year for the bachelor’s degree and up to 3,500 euros (147.83 USD to 3,449.25 USD) for the master’s degree in public universities.

Tuition fees vary depending on the program and university you have chosen, with private universities charging higher fees. It is wise to check with the university for tuition fees.

Similar to Germany, the cost of living in Spain are relatively more reasonable. Generally, you would need between 900 euros to 1100 euros ($886.95 to $1,084.05) to cover your daily expenses. This varies depending on your lifestyle as well as the city you live in.

To save on the cost of living, avoid cities like Madrid and Barcelona. Students can take advantage of a cheaper cost of living in cities like Valencia, Seville or Cadiz – 700 to 900 euros (US$689.85 to US$886.95) per month on average.

Check out these cheapest universities which are perfect for international students.

People take part in the LGBTIQA+ pride parade in Budapest on July 23, 2022. Credit: Ferenc Isza/AFP

Hungary

Next on the list is Hungary. Hungarian universities do not offer free tuition, but they do offer low and diverse tuition scholarship programs to international students. Compared to Germany and France, Hungary is still ranked among the cheapest European countries to study.

Students only need about 400 to 700 euros (394.20 USD to 689.85 USD) for student accommodation and other basic public services. On average, tuition fees vary between 2000 to 4000 euros per year, but these figures may differ depending on the establishment.

Another way for students to pinch their pennies is to prepare their own meals. Groceries cost as little as 40,000 Hungarian Forint ($95.08) per month, while eating out can cost you 70,000 HUF ($166.39) per month.

Some institutions may also charge application fee. Programs taught in English can be more expensive. Look for here for these programs. Here is some affordable hungarian universities to consider.

Belgium

Another favorite destination for international students. Not to be underestimated for its size, Belgian universities offer students great opportunities for students looking for a good education exploring the graffiti, avant-garde installations of Brussels and the picturesque waterways of Bruges (while munching on crispy croquettes).

Although Belgium is considered one of the most expensive European countries to live in, its rates are still relatively low throughout Europe with the the national average monthly rent being €650 (US$640.58).

here is a cost of living breakdown in every Belgian city. Still looking for cheap universities in Belgium? here are the 30 most affordable plains to consult.