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The Cheapest Countries to Study in Europe for a Bachelor's (2024)

Bachelor's programs can be expensive, so we've gathered a list of the cheapest countries to study in Europe for Bachelor's students.

Apr 26, 2024
  • Education
  • Student Tips
  • Study Abroad
The cheapest countries to study in Europe for Bachelor's students

Ready to take the next step with a Bachelor's program in Europe? Europe is renowned for its high-quality higher education institutions, academic rigor, diverse culture, and cutting edge technology.

That said, pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Europe can be a significant financial commitment, particularly for international students from non-EU countries. Cost of study has remained a high ranking factor when it comes to university choice.

To help you find studies you can afford, we've compiled a comprehensive guide to the cheapest countries to study in Europe for Bachelor's students.

This list of the cheapest countries to study in Europe is based on 4 main factors:

  • Average tuition fees for Bachelor's studies
  • Costs of living in the country
  • Availability of funding options
  • Overall quality of student experience

Short on time?

The cheapest countries to study in Europe for Bachelor's students:

  • Overall: Slovenia, Germany, and Greece
  • As an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen: Greece, Germany, Slovakia
  • As a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen: Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia
  • If you speak the country's native language: Poland, Estonia, Czech Republic

Note: Keep in mind that the information we discuss below are just averages. The cost of your study abroad program in Europe may vary depending on your personal circumstances and lifestyle. There's also an element of chance involved, such as finding affordable housing or landing a good student job. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you research the country, city, and university you're interested in before making a final decision.

Want to make your studies even more affordable?

Browse 40+ scholarships in our free Bachelor's Scholarship Directory!

The cheapest countries to study in Europe for Bachelor's students

The cheapest countries to study in Europe - Slovenia

Slovenia

Highlights

  • Free tuition for EU and certain non-EU citizens
  • Low cost of living
  • Warm culture and gorgeous nature

Slovenia is a country known for its beautiful nature, tasty food and warm locals. It also boasts a long history of educational prowess, with the oldest texts in Slovene language dating back to 972 AD. International students looking to study in Slovenia can expect to get excellent education at a price much lower than most of Europe.

There are no tuition fees for Slovenian nationals, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens, country residents, and a handful of non-EU countries, including Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and a few others. For tuition-paying students, you can still find programs for a few thousand euros per year, which is on the low end of tuition costs in Europe. This makes it one of the cheapest countries to study in Europe in terms of tuition.

To cover those expenses, there are many scholarship opportunities in Slovenia that target international students, such as:

Another great thing about Slovenia is the low cost of living. It is 30-50% cheaper than living in France, and 20-50% cheaper than Germany. While the numbers may vary depending on your lifestyle, your euros will go further in Slovenia than in Western European countries.

International students in Slovenia can even find part-time or temporary student jobs through Student Services, individual universities' career centers or by going to employers directly themselves. On average, you can expect to earn between €350 and €500 per month working in Slovenia.

Tuition fees for EU/EEA/Swiss citizensFree
Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizensFree for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia. Other non-EU citizens pay €2,000 - 11,000/year
Cost of living (per month)€400 - 700
The cheapest countries to study in Europe - Germany

Germany

Highlights

  • No tuition fees regardless of citizenship
  • Many stipends and student jobs available
  • Lots of graduate career opportunities

From its rich culture and history to its world-renowned universities standing at the forefront of modern research, there are many reasons why Germany is in our picks for one of the cheapest countries to study in Europe for Bachelor's students.

First of all, public universities are tuition-free regardless citizenship. The only cost is a small student union semester fee which covers things like university services and transportation.

There are lots of programs in English, even at a Bachelor's level. However, we encourage you to learn German because of its overall utility and because it's easier to find free programs that are conducted in German. Most universities also organize German courses for those that would like to invest time and energy into learning the language.

Another major factor that puts Germany above its competition are the scholarships, grants, and employment opportunities offered for international students. You can find dozens of scholarships for Bachelor's students in Germany in our Scholarship Directory.

While living costs in Germany are generally higher than in Eastern and Southern European countries, students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland can work up to 20 hours per week while studying, while students from outside of this region are allowed to work up to 120 working days per year.

Tuition fees for EU/EEA/Swiss citizensFree
Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizensFree
Cost of living (per month)€900 - €1,200
The cheapest countries to study in Europe - Slovakia

Slovakia

Highlights

  • Free tuition for EU/EEA students and programs in Slovak
  • Affordable living costs
  • Lots of graduate career opportunities

From its warm culture and tasty yet affordable food to rich history and culture, Slovakia is a fantastic choice as a study abroad destination for many reasons.

To start, Slovakia is very welcoming to international students with its affordable tuition. You can study in Slovakia for free if you're an EU/EEA citizen, or if you enroll in a Bachelor's program conducted in the Slovak language. If you'd like to study in English as a non-EU citizen, then you can still do so at a lower cost of €500-5,500 per year.

Besides its well-known Zois Scholarships, Slovakia also offers numerous scholarships based on its agreements with other countries and study abroad organizations:

You'll be making additional savings on the cost of living, as you'll only need €400-1,000 per month to live in Slovakia. The exact amount will vary between cities and your personal lifestyle.

To top it all off, Slovakia is located in central Europe, making it a fantastic base from which you can explore most of the continent cheaply and easily. Bratislava, the country's capital, is less than an hour away from Vienna. Most of Europe can be explored in only a few hours via the picturesque train routes.

Tuition fees for EU/EEA/Swiss citizensFree
Non-EU studying in SlovakFree
Non-EU studying in English (per year)€500-5,500
Cost of living (per month)€400 - €1,000
The cheapest countries to study in Europe - Greece

Greece

  • Free or low tuition fees
  • Gorgeous nature and lovely weather all year
  • Affordable cost of living in non-tourist areas

With its radiant coastlines, inviting climate, and delightful Mediterranean cuisine, coupled with a rich history and a strong tradition of excellence in education, Greece naturally draws numerous international students each year.

A big reason for Greece's popularity with international students are the affordable tuition fees. EU/EEA and Swiss students can study for free, while non-EU students only pay €1,500-2,500 per year (including textbook costs).

Another excellent reason to study in Greece is the low cost of living outside of the touristy destinations, with average monthly expenses being €450-750 per month.

To sweeten the deal, international students on a student visa can work up to 20 hours per week during the semester, or up to 40 hours (full-time) during summer holiday season.

Greece also offers plenty of scholarship opportunities: some are government-funded, while others are offered to students from specific universities. For example, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens offers up to €10,000 to undergraduate students.

Tuition fees for EU/EEA/Swiss citizensFree
Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens€1,500-2,500
Cost of living (per month)€450-750
The cheapest countries to study in Europe - Portugal

Portugal

  • Affordable tuition fees
  • Low living cost for a Western European country
  • Warm weather and welcoming locals

Portugal is fantastic destination for budget-conscious international students, as it offers an authentic Southwestern European experience at a fraction of a price of its neighboring countries.

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens in Portugal can expect to pay between €550 and €3,000 for tuition fees, and while non-EU tuition fees are €3,000-7,000. Studying in Portugal is affordable with living costs are only €500-900 per month on average.

To offset some of these costs, non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens studying in Portugal on a student visa are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during studies and full 40 hours during the summer. There are no work restrictions for EU students, but you'll be expected to prioritize your studies.

What's more, Portugal offers lots of public and private scholarships to its international students. Some are state-funded, others are merit-based, and some are for students in fields like Portuguese language and culture.

For these reasons, Portugal is one of the cheapest countries to study in Europe for Bachelor's students. You can expect excellent education and a wonderful study abroad experience at a much lower cost than other Western countries.

Tuition fees for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens€550-1,050
Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens€3,500-7,000
Cost of living (per month)€500-900
The cheapest countries to study in Europe - Poland

Poland

  • Free for Polish-speaking programs
  • Low cost of living
  • Excellent international network

Poland is a prime location for international students seeking to delve deeply into a vibrant and enriching culture at a more affordable cost.

Tuition fees in Poland don'tdepend on your nationality, they depend on the instruction language. If you study your program in Polish, you don’t have to pay tuition fees, regardless of your citizenship. For English-taught programs, you can expect to pay €2,000 - 5,000 per year.

There are many scholarship and loan opportunities available to help international and exchange students pay for their studies. 

Prices in Poland are some of the lowest in Europe, especially compared to the rest of Central and Western Europe. You’ll need €300-700 per month on average, and this makes it one of the cheapest countries to study abroad in Europe for Bachelor's students.

International students on a student visa in Poland can work up to 20 hours per week while attending classes or full-time during the three months of summer vacation.

Programs in Polish (all nationalities)Free
Programs in English (all nationalities)€2,000-3,000
Cost of living (per month)€400-700

Want to make your studies even more affordable?

Browse over 50 scholarships for Bachelor's students in our Scholarship Directory.