Six countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free (or almost free)
Fast forward thirteen years and here I am still, no college diploma. I have seen friends of mine go through the grind and pursue what they thought was a sure thing only to be left with massive debt and nothing to show for it. Ironically, I make more than many of them. Hard work, the willingness to learn and a good attitude has been my secret to success.
But what if college was free here in America? Surely, if we weren’t spending $337 million per day on fruitless endeavors as pointed out by another poster on this site, we could easily fund the entire American school system. In fact, all it would take is less than seventy billion dollars a year!
Instead, the increase in costs to operate our colleges and universities has been repeatedly shifted onto those seeking to further their education as tuition fees have surged over 500% since 1985.
Our education has devolved into another parallel system of rich entrepreneurs and a slave class who could barely afford to work underneath them. Public schools fund nearly 75% of undergrads and those remaining 25% will be your future masters.
The conspiracy is why we all aren’t given a fair opportunity to become something more. Those in power would never swim in a pond with all the same size fish. They would eventually starve and succumb to the same cold plate of food the rest of us Americans have a hard time swallowing. There would be greater competition and less domination, overall producing a better product and societal outcome.
Let’s take a look at the surprising and very cheap alternatives there are to pricey American college degrees. Below are seven countries that offer American courses for little or no cost at all. As a note, relocating and trying to keep your sanity in a foreign land does have it’s difficulties. Where there is will, there is a way.
Germany’s higher education landscape primarily consists of internationally well-ranked public universities, some of which receive special funding because the government deems them “excellent institutions.” What’s more, Americans can earn a German undergraduate or graduate degree without speaking a word of German and without having to pay a single dollar of tuition fees: About 900 undergraduate or graduate degrees are offered exclusively in English, with courses ranging from engineering to social sciences. For some German degrees, you don’t even have to formally apply.
This northern European country charges no tuition fees, and it offers a large number of university programs in English. However, the Finnish government amiably reminds interested foreigners that they “are expected to independently cover all everyday living expenses.” In other words: Finland will finance your education, but not your afternoon coffee break.
There are at least 76 English-language undergraduate programs in France, but many are offered by private universities and are expensive. Many more graduate-level courses, however, are designed for English-speaking students, and one out of every three French doctoral degrees is awarded to a foreign student.
“It is no longer needed to be fluent in French to study in France,” according to the government agency Campus France. The website studyportals.eu provides a comprehensive list of the available courses in France and other European countries.
Public university programs charge only a small tuition fee of about 200 dollars for most programs. Other, more elite institutions have adopted a model that requires students to pay fees that are based on the income of their parents. Children of unemployed parents can study for free, while more privileged families have to pay more. This rule is only valid for citizens of the European Union, but even the maximum fees (about $14,000 per year) are often much lower than U.S. tuition fees. Some universities, such as Sciences Po Paris, offer dual degrees with U.S. colleges
This Scandinavian country is among the world’s wealthiest, and its beautiful landscape beckons. It also offers some of the world’s most cost-efficient college degrees. More than 900 listed programs in 35 universities are taught in English. However, only Ph.D programs are tuition-free.
Norwegian universities do not charge tuition fees for international students. The Norwegian higher education system is similar to the one in the United States: Class sizes are small and professors are easily approachable. Many Norwegian universities offer programs taught in English. American students, for example, could choose “Advanced Studies for Solo Instrumentalists or Chamber Music Ensembles” or “Development Geography.”
But don’t expect to save money in Norway, which has one of the world’s highest costs of living for expats. And be careful where you decide to study. “Winters in general are quite different in different parts of the country, with the north having hard, arctic winters, and the southwest mostly having mild, wet average European winters,” the Norwegian Center for International Cooperation in Education notes.
About 150 English programs are available, and foreign nationals only pay an insignificant registration fee when they enroll. Slovenia borders Italy and Croatia, among Europe’s most popular vacation destinations. However, Times Higher Education, a weekly magazine based in London, did not list one Slovenian university in its recent World University Ranking.