How to Study Abroad for Free

The great Benjamin Franklin once said, “an investment in education pays the best interest”. But let’s admit it, investment in education is not at all cheap, especially when your aim is to study abroad from some prestigious institution. It can certainly make a hole in your pocket.

Constant rise in tuition fees all around the world has led many aspiring candidates into dropping the very idea of pursuing education abroad as study abroad can be an expensive affair which many could not afford. Luckily, there are more than a few choices if you want to study abroad for cheap – or even study abroad for free.

The secret to offsetting the cost of studying abroad is to remember that much of what you pay to study abroad is for peace of mind and ease. Study abroad programs charge you extra to help you find housing, help enroll in foreign universities, or even facilitate your visa process. By taking on some or all of these tasks on your own, you can make your study abroad experience a whole lot easier.

So here is a list of the ways in which you can study abroad for free or atleast for cheap:

Choose a Cheap Study Abroad Program

How to study abroad for free: Choose a cheap study program

Well, the most direct obvious way is to choose a cheap study abroad program. There are many institutes which have a modest fee structure, which most people can easily manage to pay.

If you are really short on budget and have no other options left then you can pick an university whose fee you can afford to pay. Here are some of the institutes around the world which have a reasonable fee:

  • Lorenzo de’ Medici, Florence, Italy (starts at $5,500)
  • FuBIS, Berlin, Germany (starts at $2,000)
  • Equine Summer Program, Edinburgh, Scotland (starts at $4,895)
  • Hutong School, Various Cities, China (starts at $881)
  • John Cabot University Summer Program, Rome, Italy (starts at $2,830)

However, I would advice that this should be your last resort and that too only when your aim is to just study abroad because you might get a much better institute in your native country. There are much better options to consider further in this list.

Read: How To Study at Harvard University as an Indian Student

Almost Free Education Programs offered by Countries

The other option you have is to enroll directly into a course in some particular countries which have a very low or sometimes even a free education system. You can consider the following options:

Study abroad for free – Germany

How to study abroad for free: germany

Germany is known for its excellent university system, and all international students can study here for free after paying a yearly administration fee, which is usually less than €350. The country has lots of cool cities that you could study abroad in, all while paying nothing for your education and with low living costs if you pass on studying in the major cities like Munich. In my opinion, Germany is the absolute best option if you want to study abroad for free.

There are no undergraduate tuition fees at most public universities in Germany, and this applies to both German students and international ones, regardless of nationality. A nominal fee is charged, of around EURO 150-250 (approx. USD 170-280), to cover administration costs. This applies to almost all study programmes at public universities.

Some of the German universities where international students can study for free are listed below *:

*Source –

Study abroad for free – France

How to study abroad for free: france

France, one of the most popular places to study abroad, doesn’t charge tuition at its public universities, no matter what nationality you are. Just expect to pay a small admin fee and know some French. It’s important to note that France’s most esteemed universities, called grandes écoles, do charge tuition, so stick with a public university in France if you want to study abroad for free.

To make the French education system more affordable for international students, the French government has decided to increase the number of scholarships available to international students from 7,000 to 21,000 in the academic year 2019-20. The students must keep in mind that more specialized programs such as medicine and engineering can cost more as compared to general degree programs. The majority of programs offering the chance to study in France for free are taught in the native language. However, there are a growing number of opportunities to study in English at the graduate level.

Students who come to study in France as part of student exchange programs between universities are provided with a total exemption from enrollment fees (like the Erasmus+ exchange programme). Students who have been awarded a French government grant (BGF) or have been awarded a grant from their host institution can also study abroad for free.

Top 10 colleges to study in Paris

According to QS world ranking , the top colleges in Paris are:

  • Université Paris Descartes
  • Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2)
  • Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • Université Paris Diderot
  • École des Ponts ParisTech
  • Université Paris-Sud 11
  • Sciences Po Paris
  • Sorbonne University
  • École Polytechnique (ParisTech)
  • Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University (PSL)

Read: How to Create an Online Course and Earn Money

Study abroad for free – Nordic Countries

How to study abroad for free: nordic countires

Nordic countries such as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden all offer opportunities to international students to study abroad for free or at a low cost.


If you’ve got a EU/EEA or Swiss passport, you can study in Sweden for free. Other nationals can expect to pay a few thousands dollars a year, however, PhDs are usually free, and you even get paid! Another perk is that all students have the option to work when studying in Sweden.


In Norway, university study is available free of charge to all students, regardless of study level or nationality. The students only have to pay a semester fee, around NOK 300-600 (approx. USD 35-70). The majority of undergraduate programs are taught only in Norwegian, and international students need to demonstrate proof of proficiency in Norwegian in order to study at this level. In Iceland, there are no tuition fees charged at the country’s four public universities, with only a registration fee of ISK 75,000 (approx. USD 600) a year.


In Denmark, Sweden and most recently Finland, students get free higher education perks if they from within the EU/EEA and Switzerland, meaning students from outside these regions have to pay tuition fees for bachelor’s and master’s programs. In Denmark, university fee ranges from DKK 45,000 to DKK 120,000 (~USD 6,800-18,100) annually, while in Sweden, they fall between SEK 80,000 and SEK 140,000 (approx. USD 8,500-14,900) for most courses. In Finland, the recently introduced tuition fees currently amount to at least EUR 1,500 (approx. USD 1,700) per year.

Study Abroad For Free Virtually

Well, if the abroad physically does not matter to you and you just want a degree certificate from a foreign university, then you may opt for a virtual program from any university. Even though you won’t physically be in a different country, you’ll still get to practice a new language, meet people from around the globe, and learn about different cultures and histories. And for those of you who are thinking about starting an international career after graduation, it’s a great opportunity to make global connections and expand your network.

However, you won’t get that authentic experience which is the USP of studying abroad.

Read: 5 Ways to Get a Paid Internship at Top Companies

Scholarships for Study Abroad

Now, this is perhaps the best available option for studying abroad for free. You can secure an appropriate scholarship for the desired university.

Study abroad scholarships and grants are the easiest way to cut your study abroad costs. Of course, they’re also more competitive than some of the other options we’ve recommended, so they might not work for everyone.

There are a lot of options available for scholarships depending on the college or university you choose.

Types of Foreign Scholarships Available

Foreign scholarships can majorly be categorised into the following:

  • Merit-based: Scholarships awarded under this category are based on the academic background or scores obtained in the qualifying exams. 
  • Need-based: This type of scholarships is primarily awarded to students on the basis of their economic status or family income. 
  • Subject-specific: Certain universities and institutions award grants to students who plan to pursue a specific field of study.
  • Student-specific: Students who can categorise themselves on the basis of various factors such as gender, race, religion, family and medical history are eligible for student-specific scholarships. 
  • Destination-specific: It may vary from country to country. Several public authorities, governments or universities offer funds to students from a particular country. 
  • Sports-based: These scholarships are offered to the best of the best sportspersons. The same requires applicants to continue with training and representing their university at various sports events.

List of Foreign Scholarships Offered to Indian Students

Given below is the list of scholarships offered to Indian students willing to study in countries such as UK, USA, Canada, Australia and so on: 

1. Tata Scholarship- Cornell University, USA

Tata Scholarship is offered by Tata Education and Development Trust to support approximately 20 scholars from India in collaboration with Cornell University. The scholarship is awarded annually and recipients will receive the scholarship for the duration of their undergraduate studies at Cornell University. The university has got a $25 million endowment from the Tata Trust. Ratan Tata is a Cornell trustee. Tata Group is one of India’s oldest, largest, and most respected business establishment. The recipient must be a citizen of India who has attended secondary school in India and they are admitted to Cornell as an undergraduate student and be eligible for need-based financial aid.

2. Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship- UK

Offered by the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission, the scholarship is offered to Indian students with English as the medium of education and a minimum of 60% marks in Social Sciences and Humanities or at least 65% marks in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Agriculture. It shall cover a maximum scholarship amount of Rs 31,60,764 which includes tuition fee, economy class return airfare and living expenses. 

Read: How to Earn Money as a Student in India

3. Chevening Scholarships- UK

This scholarship is offered to extraordinary Indian students to give them the opportunity to pursue a one-year postgraduate program at any UK university in any subject. Only a graduate or a postgraduate who wishes to pursue a master’s degree in the UK can apply for the scheme. He/she may also have at least 2 years of work experience. The fund shall cover tuition, living expenses, travel cost to and from the UK and other allowances. 

4. Felix Scholarships- UK

Introduced to help the meritorious underprivileged students from India, the UK offers the Felix Scholarship to those who want to pursue a postgraduate degree in the country. The applicant must hold a first-class Bachelor’s degree from a recognised Indian university and also be below 30 years of age. Under this scholarship, a maximum of £71,700 shall be awarded. 

5. Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships- USA

Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships are offered by United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) to Indian Master’s degree applicants in the fields of arts and culture, international legal studies, gender studies, public administration, urban and regional planning and so on. It is open for students who have completed 4 years of education and have at least 3 years of work experience. The evaluation will be based on communication skills, leadership skills, service to the community, and more. Expenses covered under the fellowship will comprise tuition fee, books, living expense and economy air ticket. 

6. UBC International Leader of Tomorrow Award- British Columbia University, Canada

The scholarship is granted to international students applying for undergraduate programs at the British Columbia University, Canada. To be eligible for the same, one has to meet the requirements of the program and English language and should also produce all the need-based documents. Tuition, living expenses and other financial support will be offered through this scholarship. 

7. Australia Awards Scholarship

A fully funded scholarship, this scholarship is awarded only to undergraduate and postgraduate applicants from specific Indian universities. The applicant shall also be a recent graduate from the target institution. Expenses covered under this scholarship includes tuition, living expenses, establishment allowance, return air ticket, and more. 

Also Read: IIM Indore – Cutoffs, Campus, Admission Process, Fests, Notable Alumni

8. Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarships- the USA, UK and Europe

It gives an opportunity to young people with exceptional talent in any field to broaden their horizon abroad and improve their skills as to work in society. There are two types of Scholarship – University courses and Specific programs. The Scholarships are opened to all Indian citizens with a good first degree from a recognised university in India. They must be below 30 years of age and have at least two years of work experience. 

9. Melbourne – India PG Scholarship – Australia

The University of Melbourne offers International PG (Postgraduate) Scholarship to international students planning to pursue a full-time postgraduate coursework programme of study at the university. The scholarship is for both graduates and undergraduates in different branches like – science, commerce and arts and the selection is done on the basis of academic merit. It will cover living expenses of up to $30,600 per year, relocation grant of up to $3000 and health insurance. 

Also Read: IIM Bangalore – Cutoffs, Campus, Admission Process, Fests, Notable Alumni

10. Australian Embassy Fully Funded Scholarships

Australian Embassy scholarships are offered to students applying for Undergraduate, Masters, PhD and MBA courses at specific universities in Australia. Any candidate who has scored at least 50% in the qualifying degree/exam can apply for the same. The scheme aims to cover expenses such as tuition fees, free for four years, weekly travel allowance, health insurance and family allowance for married candidates.

If you want to know more about any scholarship to any particular country or college, feel free to ask in the comments below.

Did we miss something, you can add in the Comments below or if you find it useful then share it with your friends and family.

How to Study Abroad for Free?

Prashant Tiwari

Hi Peeps!! I am Prashant, a blogger by passion and an entrepreneurial enthusiast. I have written more than hundreds of articles and on a variety of issues and have fallen in love with helping people by means of meaningful blogging and articles. My aim is to add value to all my reader's life. If you feel that this post has benefitted you in any way then do share it with others to help them. Happy Reading!!

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6 thoughts on “How to Study Abroad for Free?

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