Money matters: Can you believe these 5 countries offer free or low-cost tuition?
Berlin skyline aerial view with river spree and Oberbaum bridge. Source: Shutterstock/linerpics

Money, money money – it’s definitely far from funny, especially when you’re looking at studying abroad.

While the draw of a respected degree qualification from one of the world’s top universities can be a hugely enticing motive to study abroad, the realities often come with a hefty price tag that can leave international students laboured with debt or place a financial burden on their family.

Well, imagine getting that much-desired international qualification with the least amount of dime.

Too good to be true? But in a number of countries across the world, the prospect of free – or super cheap – education for all is a reality that should at least be considered by those looking to take the plunge into the exciting world of international study.

To give you an idea of what’s out there, we’ve compiled a list of 5 stunning, buzzing and – most importantly – cheap countries to study abroad:

1. Germany

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Ah, the mighty fun-lovin’ Germany! As the economy continues to prosper and the higher education system thrive, this bastion of Europe proves very enticing for students and their parents from across the globe.

Public universities here remain free for all, including international students – bar a minor, nominal fee of approximately US$150-250 to cover administration costs – and yet still promise an internationally renowned, quality education.

More than 40 German universities are featured among the world’s leaders in the QS World University Rankings – beaten only by United States and the United Kingdom – with the highest place taken by Technical University of Munich.

2. Norway

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The country is known for its fjords, mountains and midnight sun, but what many don’t know about Norway is it offers free education for all – at all levels of study and regardless of nationality.

There is a catch though – you may have to brush up on your Norwegian as most undergraduate programmes are taught in the native tongue and international students will be required to prove their proficiency in the language before undertaking a course.

Don’t let this put you off though as English language programmes are far more common at Master’s and PhD level. And the tuition fees? Gratis! (that’s “free” in Norwegian).

3. Czech Republic

Source: Veronika Galkina

Now, the language barrier may also pose a problem in this historical country as only students able to learn in Czech can study for completely free. But any English speakers can take advantage of the fantastic education for peanuts when compared to many of the high-flying US and UK universities. Courses are generally around US$4,000 a year and, while they’re not giving the goods away for free, this is comfortably balanced by the cost of living which is far lower than most of its western European neighbours.

4. Argentina

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Moving outside of Europe, kick up those heels and tango the night – and tuition fees – away in glorious Argentina. While it might be famous for sensual dance moves, enthusiastic football fans and revolutionary icons, it’s Argentina’s cheap education system that keeps us interested.

While Argentinians get to enjoy access to free universities, international students are still only subject to super cheap nominal fees to enrol in public universities. So pick up your Spanish guitar and tango all the way to the bank.

5. Taiwan

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While it’s not completely free, international students in Taiwan can get world-class education at extremely affordable costs. Considered in the top 100 in the world according to QS World Rankings, the National Taiwan University charges undergraduates just US$3,200-3,900 a year for tuition.

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