Finland, Norway, and Germany are some of the most popular European destinations for international students. But what draws students to these countries? Their free-tuition policies, high quality education standards and institutions, and the importance universities place on research and practical training.
Together, Finland, Norway, and Germany list over 500 Bachelor’s and 2,100 Master’s degrees on our portals. The quality of their study programmes is confirmed by international rankings, which list universities from Finland, Norway, and Germany among the best in the world.
It's important to distinguish between the best tuition-free universities in Finland, Germany and Norway in order to decide if they are the right choice for your international study adventure. Don't forget to also check out living costs in Germany, Norway, and Finland to understand what budget you need.
Below, we’ll explain who can study for free in these countries and we’ll give examples of universities with no tuition fees. As a bonus, we’ve also included the average acceptance rates (if we could find relevant data).
1. Tuition fees for international students in Finland
Who doesn't pay tuition fees in Finland?
Public universities in Finland are divided into regular universities and universities of applied sciences. They are all tuition-free for students coming from EU/EEA countries and Switzerland.
Non-EU/EEA students enrolling in English-taught degrees are required to pay tuition fees. Still, study programmes taught in Finnish or Swedish are free for all international students.
The minimum tuition fee set by the Finnish government is around 1,500 EUR/year for Bachelor's and Master's programmes, but most study programmes charge tuition above this amount.
Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students who enrol at public Finnish universities range from 5,000 to 15,000 EUR/year, with the University of Helsinki being the most expensive institution. Private universities usually charge higher fees.
Make sure you also take into account the costs of living while studying in Finland. The average expenses range between 700 – 1,300 EUR/month and they also depend on your spending habits. Of course, costs can be higher in Helsinki.
Tuition-free universities in Finland for EU/EEA students
- University of Vaasa – 10% acceptance rate
- University of Helsinki – 17% acceptance rate
- Tampere University – 9% acceptance rate
- University of Turku – 10-20% acceptance rate
- University of Jyvaskyla – 10% acceptance rate
- Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT University)
International student experiences in Finland
See what these students have to say about studying in Finland:
Check details on how to apply to a university in Finland.
2. Tuition fees for international students in Germany
Who doesn't pay tuition fees in Germany?
For both undergraduate and graduate degree programmes, you can study abroad for free in public German universities. This is generally true for international students worldwide, inside or outside the EU/EEA zone.
The only fees required are called “administrative fees”, which cost between 100 - 350 EUR/semester, and they cover student services, bus tickets to the university, student cafeterias, and more.
The Federal State of Baden-Württemberg is an exception. At the end of 2017, it decided to introduce tuition fees for non-EU/EEA citizens. You will also pay tuition at any German public university if you follow a Master’s or PhD in a subject that’s not related to your previous studies.
Private universities in Germany charge higher tuition fees which range between 1,000 and 40,000 EUR/year.
Living costs in Germany are around 750 – 1,100 EUR/month but can be higher in larger cities like Frankfurt or München.
Universities that offer tuition-free Masters in Germany
- RWTH Aachen University – 10% acceptance rate
- University of Mannheim
- University of Cologne
- University of Stuttgart – 70% acceptance rate
- University of Hamburg
International student experiences in Germany
See what these students have to say about studying in Germany
Check details on how to apply to a university in Germany.
3. Tuition fees for international students in Norway
Who doesn't pay tuition fees in Norway?
Like Germany, Norway is one of the few countries with free education for all international students, whether they come from EU/EEA countries or not.
Students only have to pay a semester fee of 30 - 60 EUR for the student union. The student union fee covers health and counselling services, sports and cultural activities, all held on campus.
At private universities, both national and international students will have to pay tuition fees. Compared to other European countries, private universities in Norway are cheaper, with tuition fees ranging between 7,000 – 19,000 EUR/year.
You will need between 700 – 1,400 EUR for monthly living expenses in Norway. In Oslo, you will need around 2,000 EUR/month.
Tuition-free universities in Norway
- University of Bergen – 29% acceptance rate
- NHH Norwegian School of Economics – 10% acceptance rate
- Nord University – 25% acceptance rate
- UIT The Arctic University of Norway
- Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
International student experiences in Norway
See what these students have to say about studying in Norway:
More information about how to apply to a university in Norway.
You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies abroad.