You can access quality education in other foreign countries apart from USA and UK without taking huge loans
When it comes to studying abroad, the usual choices for an Indian student are going to the UK or the US. And a general notion is that to get a quality education from a reputed university, the student or the parent has to inevitably take on a huge educational loan, which often takes a lifetime to pay off.
Well, it needn’t be the case. While there are some obvious advantages to studying in the USA or the UK, you can access quality education abroad without burning a huge hole in your pocket. Not all would know that public universities in several European countries offer free education to international students, in English, with no compromise on the quality.
Although the cost of living in these countries might also be high, most often, the state offers grants and scholarships, besides allowing students to take up part-time and vacation jobs. Here are some of the most affordable countries for international students.
Germany is undoubtedly the hotspot for any ambitious Indian student today, offering a cosmopolitan atmosphere, world-class and yet free education, and plenty of work opportunities. While living expenses in capital cities are usually high, Berlin is quite affordable as well as home to some of the major public universities of the country. But the most popular student hub is Munich, best known for its science and research opportunities. On the other hand, if you are into mechanical and automobile engineering, Stuttgart, headquarters to major automobile manufacturers, is the city for you, with its many car museums.
While public universities in Germany offer education free of cost, there are organisations like the DAAD, or the German Academic Exchange Service, which offers monthly stipends to select international students to cover living expenses.
Scandinavian countries are one of the safest in the world and thus ideal for international students. The quality of life in Denmark is such that the universities there are often rated the highest for student satisfaction. Copenhagen, the capital, cities like Aalborg, Aarhus, and Odense offer not just tuition-free education but great nightlife as well. The University of Southern Denmark in Odense houses nearly 30,000 students on its five campuses.
Universities in Denmark also offer a certain number of government scholarships for international students in the form of tuition waivers or as stipends and are well-known for their updated and innovative methods of teaching. Above all, a majority of the population can speak English.
One of the most picturesque countries of Europe, Norway welcomes 25,000 international students annually. The city of Oslo has everything an international student needs, from free courses to the best university in Norway, to work opportunities. The next best option would be Bergen, a beautiful city known as much for its business schools as for its mountains and music. The most sought-after fields here are business, engineering, medicine, and nursing.
However, the living expenses can be quite high in Norway for an Indian student (Rs 1 lakh per month) but they can save on expenses significantly if they live in smaller towns away from Oslo. The country is also liberal when it comes to allowing students to work and earn on student visas.
If it’s a taste of classic Europe that you are looking for, while studying for a degree in design, visual arts, architecture, etc. then Italy is just the place for you. The climate, the culture, and the food are all bound to change your perspectives and life forever. The most preferred city in Italy is undoubtedly Milan, with the country’s most prestigious universities situated there, plus the internship opportunities it offers. A lesser-known option is Bologna which is home to the University of Bologna, one of the oldest universities of the world, plus a music hotspot.
Although the tuition is not free in Italy, the rates are still affordable, ranging from 850 – 1000 euros per year. The cost of living is not so high either – between 700-1000 euros a month, especially if you are living in cities like Pisa, Padua or Turin. There are plenty of government scholarships available to foreign students, like the EDISU Piemonte Scholarships.
Cities in Spain are home to the most vibrant cultures with business, architecture, law, social sciences, and hospitality are some of the most sought-after courses here. Tuition fees in Spain differ for Indian students and students from EU countries. Valencia is one of the most popular student destinations, with its budget-friendly university options. Barcelona is also home to legacy institutions as well as modern universities. The fees for a Bachelor’s degree will cost anywhere between 680-1280 euros per year in a public university. There are various scholarships available offered by the Spanish government, the Spanish Studies Abroad Organisation, and the European Commission.
The opportunities are endless today for an ambitious student. Instead of following the crowd to the usual study-abroad destinations that have become prohibitively expensive, weigh the value and recognition of the degree against your interests and aptitude and whether they are eventually worth the investment.
The author is the Co-founder, and CEO, Edumpus
DISCLAIMER: Views expressed are the author’s own, and Outlook Money does not necessarily subscribe to them. Outlook Money shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.