Affordable European Countries to Study as an Expat
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Affordable European Countries to Study as an Expat
Nowadays, most people are targeting towards completing their graduation abroad.
This potentially opens a lot of opportunities for people who wish to get a job in countries that pay a lot.
Over the past few years, many people have made it clear that a conventional degree has nothing to do with a job.
Nonetheless, it takes some years if not a decade to transition into that culture.
Until then, high-paying jobs are only available to people who have educational qualifications abroad.
To soothe the struggle of finding an educational degree that comes in handy, I’ve taken this step.
Today, I am going to provide some of the best European countries that offer affordable education.
Kindly note that the countries mentioned in this list are based on my personal opinion.
It doesn’t mean that I am randomly choosing these countries.
After some rigorous research, I was able to find that these countries charge the least fees for education.
In the future, there might be a possibility for the education system to become entirely digital.
Until then, these are some countries that’ll probably aid you in getting the best education at low costs.
In this article, I wanted to make sure that students can reduce their costs while pursuing education.
This doesn’t just apply to educational costs as living costs may add up to a lot and defeat the whole purpose.
That’s why, I’ve only focused on the countries that offer education at low costs while having lower living costs as well.
That being said, let us dive into the topic for today, i.e., “Affordable European Countries to Study as an Expat”.
Note: All the values presented within this article are approximate and shouldn’t be considered actual values.
These values have been provided as a reference for those wishing to get a general insight.
Most of the living costs (monthly) are provided for students instead or a normal person living in those countries.
The costs for students might be reduced because of reasons like staying in a shared room, public transport, etc.
After graduation, most of these countries require a work permit to work there.
The tuition fees vary based on the specific course, level of study, and educational institution.
More or less, the maximum fees do not exceed €4,000 per year regardless of the education being pursued.
The minimum fees start at €220 per year, which is quite low compared to many European countries.
The cost of living in Albania can be around €500 to €600 including the rent.
Students can work 20 hours per week while studying if they want.
Following graduation, non-citizens must get a work permit if they wish to work for more than three months.
The minimum education fees start at €1,000 per year and the maximum can go up to €6,000 per year.
The cost of living in Belarus is almost similar to that of Albania, i.e., €500 to €600 including the rent.
Students can work for up to 30 hours per week while studying if they want.
The general rule states that all foreign citizens should get a work permit to legally work in Belarus (after graduation).
In Belgium, the tuition fee is around €835 per year for individuals from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation or the EU.
For individuals from other countries, the tuition fee may start from €2,505 per year.
The cost of living in Belgium is around €950 to €1,300, which is somewhat reasonable.
Students can work 20 hours per week while studying if they want.
After graduation, they can only get a job if they have a valid work permit.
The work permit can be a single permit, work permit, or professional card.
After completion of education, individuals can apply for a 12-month residence permit known as “Search Year”. This permit allows individuals to stay in the country while searching for a job.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
The cost of education in Bosnia & Herzegovina can start from around €900 per year.
At the same time, the cost of living is also quite low, which is around €500 (give or take a few euros).
Students can opt for part-time work in Bosnia & Herzegovina, and after graduation, they should get a work permit.
Those from the EU countries can get an education in Bulgaria with a tuition fee starting from €300 per year.
However, individuals from non-EU countries might have to pay around €1,750 per year as tuition fees.
The cost of living in Bulgaria is around €550 to €650, which makes it affordable.
Students can work part-time in Bulgaria for up to 20 hours while pursuing their studies.
After graduation, it is necessary to apply for a work visa in order to work in Bulgaria. Following that, the work permit should be switched to another type of residence permit.
In Croatia, the tuition fee for education starts from €1,000 per year. The cost of living is also affordable, which is expected to be around €700 to €850.
Students are allowed to work during their studies, but the mode of work should be part-time.
As Croatia is a part of the EU region, other EU citizens can freely live and work without any visa.
Non-EU nationals should get a work permit through their local Republic of Croatia diplomatic mission.
In most cases, the work permits or residence permits are only valid for up to 12 months.
In the Czech Republic, education is free for individuals if education is pursued in the Czech language.
On the other hand, English or other language degrees might cost around €6,000 per year.
The average cost of living in the Czech Republic is estimated to be between €800 to €1,100.
Students can work only up to a maximum of 30 days within a specific calendar year.
To work in the Czech Republic after graduation, the student should be enrolled in a degree program accredited by the Ministry of Education.
An employee card obtained through such means will serve as a long-term residence permit.
This is only applicable when the foreign national is living in the country for employment purposes.
One of the best aspects of Estonia is that education is free at the Ph.D. level in Estonia.
For a bachelor’s/master’s degree, the cost of education might start from €1,000 per year.
The general cost of living in Estonia is also low, which lies in the range of €800 to €1,000.
Students can work part-time jobs without any limit on the number of working hours.
Non-EU nationals are allowed to stay in Estonia for a period of nine months to look for a job.
Following that, they’ll need to apply for a temporary residence permit to work in the country.
The degrees that are taught in Swedish or Finnish are free of cost in Finland.
Individuals from the Non-EU/EEA countries looking for an English-taught degree might need at least €4,000 per year.
The tuition might go up to as high as €15,000 per year depending on the specific university chosen.
The cost of living in Finland is estimated to be around €1,000 to €1,300.
Students can work while studying without exceeding a limit of 30 hours per week.
There is an option for a two-year post-study permit for five years upon completing your graduation.
This permit can also be availed in parts if the individual wants to do so. With this permit, an individual can search for work, work, or start a business in Finland.
Greece offers free education for all individuals from the EU/EEA countries. However, there might be some limitations on certain master’s programs.
On the contrary, individuals from non-EU countries might have to spend around €1,500 per year on their education.
The living costs in Greece are said to be around €750 to €900.
During their education, students are allowed to work for 20 hours per week. While having a vacation in between their studies, they can work up to 40 hours per week.
After education, non-EU/EEA individuals are required to get a work permit to legally work in the country.
The EU nationals may expect to pay around €1,200 per year as tuition fees in Hungary.
Non-EU nationals may expect to pay around €5,000 to €7,000 per year as tuition fees.
As per the cost of living, the average costs are around €600 to €750 per month.
Students are allowed to work up to 24 hours per week while pursuing their education.
Non-EU citizens are required to obtain a work permit in order to work in Hungary after graduation.
This is known as a “study-to-work” permit, and it is better to apply for it before the expiration of a student permit.
Individuals belonging to the EU countries may be expected to pay around €900 per year as tuition fees.
Non-EU nationals may be required to pay a higher amount that starts from around €4,000.
Students might require around €900 to €1,100 per month as their living expenses.
While pursuing their education in Italy, an individual is allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week.
After the expiration of the study permit, individuals should convert it into an employment/self-employment permit to work in Italy.
Individuals from the EU countries are expected to pay around €1,200 per year as tuition fees.
Non-EU nationals are expected to pay a higher amount that starts from around €2,500.
The monthly living costs for students in Latvia can be around €700 to €800.
The students can work up to 20 hrs/week during a semester and 40 hrs/week during a semester break.
Students usually get an additional four months after education to look for a job. After that, they need to get a residence permit in order to work in Latvia.
However, individuals from the EU/EEA region are exempt from getting a residence permit to work in Latvia.
The tuition fees in Lithuania start from €1,300 and €4,000 for bachelor’s and master’s programs respectively.
These estimated costs can go up to as high as €5,000 to €9,000 for some institutions.
For students, the estimated cost of living in Lithuania is around €750 to €900.
Students can work up to 40 hours per week while pursuing their education in Lithuania.
Following graduation, EU students can work for 3 months in full-time employment positions.
Non-EU candidates should get a temporary residence permit after graduation, which is valid for 12 months.
With this permit, they can work, search for a job, or work as a self-employed person.
Malta offers free education for Maltese, EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals. For candidates from other countries, the tuition fees will start from €1,080.
The cost of living for students in Malta is estimated to be lying in the range of €1,000 to €1,300.
Students can work in a part-time position for a maximum of 20 hours per week.
With a study visa, an individual can work for a period of 90 days after graduation. Following that, a valid extended study visa and employment license are to be obtained.
In Moldova, the educational costs start from €1,000 to €5,000 based on several factors.
This can go up to €7,800 to €9,200 in certain institutions, based on the type of degree. This is because some degrees can be completed earlier than usual in Moldova.
However, the cost of living for students in Moldova can be as cheap as €500 to €600.
While studying, candidates can work in part-time jobs up to a maximum of 20 hours.
As Moldova is not a member of the EU, all individuals are required to get a work permit after graduation.
The tuition fees in Montenegro can be around €1,500 to €3,000 per year.
The cost of living for students in this country can be around €600 to €750.
Students can work in part-time positions while they are pursuing their education.
Individuals should get a work permit after their graduation in order to make their residence permit valid.
In North Macedonia, the tuition fees for students start from €2,350, which is the same for locals as well as foreigners.
As for the cost of living, it has been estimated that students can get on with their endeavors with an amount of €600 per month.
Part-time employment opportunities are open to students with a maximum limit of 20 hrs/week.
Students should get a work permit even if they want to combine their studies with work. A work permit after graduation is required along with a valid residence permit.
In Poland, Polish-taught degrees are free for Polish, EU/EEA, and Swiss nationals.
For non-EU/EEA nationals, the tuition fees start from €2,000 per year, which is the same for English-taught degrees.
Student living costs in Poland are estimated to be around €700 to €900 per month.
Part-time work is allowed with a limit of 20 hrs/week during college and 40 hrs/week during holidays.
Poland doesn’t require a work permit after graduation if the studies were completed in the country.
The intimation should be provided to the respective authorities within 15 days of getting a job. In the event of failing to do so, candidates may be denied from getting a residence permit in Poland.
The tuition fees for EU/EEA nationals in Portugal start from €550 per year.
Whereas for students from other countries, the tuition fee is said to be 1.3 times the national wage rate. This brings us down to an amount of around €950 to €1,250 per year.
The monthly costs in Portugal can be somewhat higher than most countries mentioned in this list at an average of €1,000.
Students can work in a part-time position without exceeding a limit of 20 hrs/week.
Individuals from the EU/EEA and Switzerland can work for three months after completing graduation.
Following those three months, it is necessary to get a Residency Certificate to continue employment.
People from other countries should get a specific work visa when want to work in Portugal after education.
For EU candidates, the tuition fees start from €1,000 per year, and for non-EU nationals, the fees start from €2,000 per year.
The cost of living in Romania for students is on par with some of the cheapest countries in Europe. It is estimated that the monthly costs for students can be around €550 to €650.
While studying in Romania, students can work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week.
A work permit, as well as a residence permit, are required from a foreign national who wants to stay in the country based on a long-term visa.
In San Marino, the educational costs can start from €2,000 to €3,000 per year.
A student might need around €750 to €1,050 per month in order to live comfortably in San Marino.
As San Marino is not a member of the EU, all candidates should get a work permit after graduation to work in the country.
The tuition fees in Serbia can be starting from €1,000 per year and can go up to €5,000 per year.
The usual monthly living costs in Serbia can range between €550 to €650 for students.
Students can work part-time without exceeding a limit of 20 hrs/week while pursuing their education in Serbia.
Those who wish to stay back and work in the country must first get a temporary or permanent residence permit.
Following that, it is essential to get a work permit known as a “work visa” in Serbia.
In Slovakia, education is free if you are an EU citizen, and for all others, it starts from €2,000 per year.
The monthly living costs for students in Slovakia are expected to be around €700 to €900.
Part-time work is allowed up to a maximum of 20 hrs/week while pursuing education.
To work after graduation, non-EU nationals are required to obtain a work permit as well as a temporary residence permit.
Individuals can avail of free education in Slovenia if they are from any of the following countries.
— Bosnia & Herzegovina
Candidates from all other countries can expect the tuition fees to start from €2,000 per year.
The average monthly living costs for students in Slovenia can be around €800 to €1,000.
Students can work during their education, which can be temporary work or part-time work. This is categorized under “Student Work”.
EU and EEA nationals can live and work freely after completing their graduation in Slovenia.
However, individuals from other countries are required to get a work and residence permit known as a Single Permit.
For EU nationals, the tuition fees in Spain may start from €1,200 per year.
Students from other countries might be required to pay a tuition fee starting from €6,000 per year.
The estimated average price of credit for bachelor’s programs in the public universities of Spain is €30 per credit.
The cost of living for students in Spain can be in the higher range, which is around €800 to €1,100.
Students can work part-time during their semester without exceeding a limit of 20 hrs/week. However, they can get into a full-time position during their semester breaks.
After graduation, individuals can get a post-study work visa in order to search for a job opportunity. It’s valid for 12 months.
During this 12-month period, an individual will not be allowed to work in the country.
Sweden offers free education for candidates from EU/EEA, Switzerland, and other Nordic countries.
On the downside, the tuition fees for other countries’ nationals may start from as high as €7,500.
The cost of living in Sweden for students is also higher than most countries in this list. It is estimated to be around €900 to €1,200.
Students need to spend at least 40 hours per week on their academic activities. Other than that, they are free to work as many hours as they want while pursuing their education.
After completing studies, it is mandatory to get a work permit in Spain to stay back and work.
There are some other countries in Europe that offer free education or low-cost education.
I didn’t explain about them as they are considered to have higher costs of living compared to these countries.
Even if they had reasonable costs of living, such low-cost education is restricted to certain nationalities or degrees.
Those countries are as follows:
— The Netherlands
Studying abroad can present itself with numerous challenges, especially considering the living costs.
The education you pursue should help build a strong and effective career.
Instead, it should not lead to debt or a bad financial situation, which would present hurdles in a person’s life.
Nowadays, most online education programs are having the same value as that of a traditional college degree.
I am not encouraging people to study online and evade traditional education.
Rather than that, I’m telling that online education can be a good option if you don’t want to spend thousands of euros.
For example, getting a low-cost degree in your country and enrolling in a high-value online certification can reduce expenses.
Most online certifications are deemed just as valuable as an education degree that you get from a college.
That being said, I hope that the information in this article was helpful to you in knowing about the affordable European countries to study as an expat.
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