Cheapest English Speaking Country to Study

Some people do not know that studying abroad is not just for those with a lot of money but also families with average incomes. However, the issue is that students often do not know which English-speaking countries to consider beyond the UK, Australia, the US, Canada, and New Zealand. Today, I’m going to talk the about cheapest English speaking country to study different from the expensive ones you already know. The countries I have for you are chosen because they either do not charge tuition fees or charge very cheap fees.

I will list more than 20 countries where you can study for much less than what it would cost in the UK, US, Canada, or Australia—all in English. In some cases, it may cost you nothing or almost nothing. Given that the UK has recently stopped allowing dependents to accompany students, this information will really encourage you to reconsider your study destination. However, when it comes to cheap tuition fees and living costs, Germany is the cheapest English speaking country to study.

Cheapest English Speaking Country to Study

I have been thorough with these considerations to make sure that you end up with the best country, not just for the cheapness. It doesn’t mean that the specific country speaks English by default. However, they offer courses in English. There are also some I will mention that naturally speak English. Of course, I understand where you are coming from. You do not want a country where language will become a barrier for you—that’s okay. That said, below, I will talk about the English speaking country you should consider that is really cheap.

1. Germany

At number one, we have Germany—the cheapest English speaking country to study. Germany is not English by default but offers many English-taught programmes, particularly for postgraduate studies. A significant 56% of Germans, especially the younger generation, are proficient in English. Studying in Germany is cheap because its public universities do not charge tuition fees. You only pay an enrollment fee and a semester fee. The semester fee is usually €100 to €350. Private universities may charge €5,000 to €20,000 annually, so avoid those. As for the cost of living, on average, a German student spends €842 per month. Apart from the cheap fee, you can actually study on scholarship in Germany even without IELTS. Both EU/EEA and non-EU students can study for free at public universities.

Germany has over 350 higher education institutions, including universities, vocational schools, public universities, and technical schools, all of which are open for application and offer free tuition. There is no need for standardized tests, and you have the option to relocate to Germany with your family right away. The country accepts higher national diplomas and second class lower degrees. However, one requirement for obtaining a study visa for Germany requires what is known as a blocked account. This is a bank account you open in Germany and deposit an amount from 10,000 to 12,000 Euros. This money remains yours, but the school needs to verify that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Germany. Also, I have talked about Germany student visa interview questions—make sure to read that article.

2. Switzerland

The 21st country on the list is Switzerland. English and Portuguese are the most commonly spoken foreign languages in the country. In Switzerland, tuition fees are cheap, starting at around €600. However, the cost of living in Switzerland is on the higher side due to its high standard of living. Despite this, the government has managed to strike a balance. If you secure employment in Switzerland, you can expect to receive a high salary, which helps offset the living expenses. So, while you might be spending more, you’ll also be earning enough to cover those costs.

Tuition fees are cheap, with figures as low as €500 to €600 in Switzerland. IELTS is not a must-have. For example, the University of Basel is one school where you do not need IELTS to apply. On the other hand, a limitation for students is that they are permitted to work only up to 15 hours a week. This is less than the 20 hours allowed by other universities because there is a focus on ensuring students dedicate enough time to their studies.

3. Austria

While German dominates the academic scene in Austria, there are still over 260 English-taught programs across various study levels, according to Top Universities. With 73% of Austrians speaking English, language won’t be a barrier. Higher education is free for both Austrian citizens and EU students.

Now, at a public university in Austria, students from EU and EEA countries study free of charge. Non-EU/EEA students pay 1,452 EUR per year

This country accepts higher national diplomas and does not require IELTS for admission. It allows students to bring their families and work while studying. I have encountered many Indians and Africans who have recently moved to Austria.

The application process can be somewhat complex. You’ll have to do verification of documents. Applicants must visit the Ministry of Education in their home country to authenticate their documents, including transcripts, passport, birth certificate, and secondary school certificate, to confirm their authenticity. Following this, the Austrian Embassy will also need to legalize these documents, which involves a simple stamp. After obtaining this stamp, you can apply to various universities through the website studyinaustria.at. The response from universities is usually fast, and the entire process takes about 4 to 4 months.

4. Greece

In Greece, another cheapest English speaking country to study, international students are warmly welcome. While Greek remains the primary teaching language at universities, there are specialized undergraduate and postgraduate programs taught in English. Tuition is waived for domestic and EU students at public universities. Non-EU students can expect to pay about US$1,700 annually, which often covers course materials.

5. Luxembourg

You should also consider Luxembourg. Let me offer you this extra information about Luxembourg. The tuition fees in Luxembourg can be as low as €250. Luxembourg is considered one of the top 3 wealthiest countries globally. It has, broadly speaking, two universities, two business schools, and one institution dedicated to Public Administration studies. I will talk about the two universities here. The University of Luxembourg charges tuition fees of €250, and its admissions are usually open from around March or April. The admission requirements are consistent across the board, including the possibility of obtaining IELTS waivers. The cost of tuition is low, but what catches my interest is something else. Not just anyone is drawn to this. There is another institution named LUNEX University, which accepts applications throughout the year. The catch is that LUNEX is for people interested in Technology, Physiotherapy, and Sports. So, if your interests align with Technology, Physiotherapy, and Sports, you should consider Lunex University in Luxembourg. They accept applications year-round, and the tuition fees range from 4,000 to 8,000 EUR. If this is within your budget, go for it.

6. Finland

Finland is a notable destination and easily the cheapest English speaking country to study. With 70% of its population fluent in English, it’s a welcoming environment for international students. While universities here offer limited bachelor’s degree courses in English, you’ll find a broader range at polytechnics and applied science universities.

Finland boasts 400 courses taught in English. If you’re an EU student, you’re in luck – no tuition fees for you. However, non-EU students should expect to pay between $5,900 and $23,550 annually.

Finland ensures free education for EU/EEA students. Since 2017, non-EU students pay between 5,000 and 20,000 EUR annually. Despite the fees, Finland’s high educational standards and the opportunity to study in English make it an attractive option.

7. France

You can consider France. They offer world-class education with many Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in English. EU/EEA students enjoy negligible tuition fees at most public universities. International students pay modest fees, approximately 2,800 EUR for a Bachelors and 3,800 EUR for Masters. The blend of quality education and affordability attracts numerous international students annually – Study.EU.

8. Sweden

In Sweden, you will enjoy free education as an EU/EEA student. However, non-EU students should be prepared for hefty fees ranging from 8,300 to 20,800 EUR annually. Despite the higher fees for non-EU students, Sweden’s high educational standards make it a sought-after destination. See Study.EU.

Sweden offers more than 860 English-taught courses across its universities. It’s a country where a significant portion of the population communicates in English.

While Swedish and EU nationals are exempt from tuition fees, students from non-EU countries are required to pay. The annual tuition fee can range from US$8,600 to US$20,500, depending on the course and its level.

9. Norway

Norway stands out in the Nordic region by offering free tuition to every student, irrespective of their nationality. A significant number of Norwegians speak English, making it a conducive environment for learning. The country offers numerous English-taught programs, especially at the master’s level. The University of Oslo, for instance, provides a vast range of English-taught courses across all academic levels. However, students might need to pay a nominal fee to a student welfare organization, typically below US$70 per semester.

10. Singapore

Another cheapest English speaking country to study is Singapore – a bustling multiethnic city-state, that houses some of the world’s renowned academic institutions. English, being one of its official languages, is the primary medium of instruction. While the standard of living is high, so are the living costs. Institutions like Nanyang Technological University and Singapore National University rank among the top 15 globally. Notably, around 80% of Singaporeans are proficient in English.

Education in Singapore is overseen by the Ministry of Education (MOE). The system emphasizes a bilingual policy, where students learn both English and their mother tongue. English is the primary medium of instruction. The main language of instruction is English, but Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil are also taught. Singapore’s education approach is recognized for its depth rather than breadth, ensuring students thoroughly understand topics before progressing. So, let’s talk about the cost of tuition. University fees in Singapore cost around S$400 to S$800 per month.

11. Malaysia

You can try Malaysia. Malaysia is emerging as a favorite destination for international students, thanks to its recent investments in higher education. English is commonly spoken among Malaysians, and many private colleges and some public institutions use it as a medium of instruction. For those not fluent, many colleges offer English proficiency courses. The cost of undergraduate programs ranges from MYR 54014 to MYR 733773 per year, while postgraduate programs range from MYR 34331 to MYR 47297 per year. Convert that to your currency and you’ll see that Malaysia is indeed cheap.

12. India

India, known for its rich cultural and linguistic tapestry, offers a unique study experience. The country is home to numerous languages, with 26 of them having over a million native speakers. Most Indian colleges, especially at the postgraduate level, use English as the primary medium of instruction.

The cost of living is relatively low, and tuition fees are reasonable, with most courses priced between US$3,300 and US$7,800.

13. Portugal

We also have Portugal. The cost of tuition in Portugal can be as cheap as €900, and the country accepts a second class lower degree as well as a Higher National Diploma. Moreover, it is possible to relocate with your family. However, some people find it difficult to relocate their families due to difficulties in showing sufficient funds to support them. Portugal also issues a digital nomad visa.

14. Russia

Russia stands out as a destination for the cheapest English speaking country to study. The country is keen on attracting international students and offers an impressive array of English-taught courses. Also, 15,000 government scholarships are available in this country. Major cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg boast a significant number of English speakers. However, only about 5% of the entire population speaks English. Hence, acquiring basic Russian language skills will help.

In Russia, as an international student, you pay 1,475 to 10,600 EUR per year for Bachelor’s degrees and 1,770 to 5,540 EUR per year for Master’s degrees. I have talked about a really cheap country for master’s program—make sure to check out that article.

15. Denmark

You are seeing Denmark in this list because this country is home to over 700 internationally acclaimed programmes where English is the primary medium of instruction. A remarkable 86% of the Danish population is proficient in English. Students from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland can get free education at any level in Denmark. However, for students outside the EU/EEA, the typical tuition fee ranges between US$6,750 and up to US$18,000 per year. Speaking of the average cost of living, an international student can budget around 800 to 1,200 EUR a month.

16. Iceland

Iceland is my 16th choice, and it offers many opportunities without tuition fees. The only fees are a $500 service charge and application fees. Students can work up to 20 hours a week while studying. Here, you can also study in English language. So, yes, Iceland is easily the cheapest English speaking country to study. The cost of living in Iceland is ISK 140,600 to ISK 163,635 per month. Convert this to your currency, and you’ll see that It’s really cheap.

If you are a graduate, some school’s websites may require applicants to have a second class upper degree for admission. However, based on personal experience, I encourage you to apply even if your qualifications differ. I know of someone with a second class lower degree who applied and was successfully admitted to a program in Iceland. Do not let this discourage you. If you are drawn to studying in Iceland, pursue it. Depending on your academic performance in your transcripts, the IELTS requirement may be waived. Instead, you might be asked to provide a letter proving your proficiency in English, which is often enough. The financial proof requirement for Iceland is generally between $9,000 to $10,000. After 6 months of residing in Iceland, you can bring your dependents over.

17. Brazil

Number 17 is Brazil. Brazil offers free tuition. Come to Brazil for one year, during which time you will be taught the Portuguese language, and afterwards, pursue your degree in Portuguese. So, you have the opportunity to learn a new language and the chance to earn your degree for free. Yes, you can study in English. Married people can relocate with their families immediately to Brazil. Moreover, if a married couple has a child in Brazil, the child receives a Brazilian passport right away. The Brazilian passport ranks among the top 20 globally. The parents gain immediate permanent residency, as do their own parents. As for cost, the monthly rent for one bedroom apartment is 2300BRL ($430), utilities per month is 270BRL ($50), monthly public transport pass is 275BRL ($50), and meal at a cheap restaurant is 30BRL ($5.50).

18. Malta

The next cheapest English speaking country to study I want to discuss is Malta. It is not free, nor is it almost zero in terms of tuition. However, I am mentioning it because there are many people who express a desire to study in English-speaking countries exclusively. They face challenges with language and insist on an English-speaking environment but find countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK beyond their financial reach. Apart from the UK and the Republic of Ireland, Malta is also an English-speaking country in Europe. The cost of tuition in Malta ranges from €3,000 for Bachelor’s degrees, which typically last three years, to between €3,000 and €7,000 for Master’s degrees. Students are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week, and family members may join them after 6 to 12 months, depending on the speed with which they obtain their Permanent Residency card. There is no IELTS requirement. Tuition fees can be paid in installments, with the option of three or four payments, depending on the school.

19. Belgium

The next country on my list to discuss is Belgium. Belgium is noteworthy for its unique approach to tuition payments. If you consider studying in Belgium, you can pay your tuition after you arrive in the country. This means you do not have to stress about having the funds before departure. Secure your admission, obtain your visa, travel to Belgium, and then you can take care of the first payment of your tuition. In Belgium, some schools offer the option to pay in up to seven installments starting from your arrival. Tuition fees in Belgium are quite affordable, starting as low as €1,000, depending on the program you choose to enroll in. Generally, tuition ranges from €1,000 to €4,000, making Belgium a country worth considering for your studies. However, one thing to keep in mind is the requirement for ILS; it is mandatory. You will need to achieve a score of at least six, with the acceptable range being from 6 to 6.5. Once you have your ILS score along with all other necessary documents, you are ready to apply for your studies in Belgium. Remember, the option to pay in seven installments means you do not have to pay your tuition until after you have arrived in Belgium.

20. Czech Republic

The final country I am going to discuss is the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is also the cheapest English speaking country to study, with tuition fees typically ranging from €900 to about €1,500. There are no specific requirements, and no language prerequisites if you are open to learning in Czech. In such cases, you can study without any cost. However, if you prefer to study in English, then the tuition fees of €900 to €1,500 apply. Another favorable aspect of studying in the Czech Republic is the availability of scholarships. It is possible to receive a scholarship that covers 50% of the tuition fees.

21. Netherlands

In the Netherlands, English is widely spoken, ensuring that communication barriers are minimal for those opting for courses in the language. Here’s why:

A staggering 90% of Dutch people are fluent in English. The country boasts over 2,000 courses taught in English, with a majority being master’s programmes. Regarding affordability, consider these:

Tuition for EU/EEA students. The annual tuition fee (statutory fee) is €2,314. Students from an EEA country, Switzerland, or Surinam who have not yet obtained a similar degree from a government-funded Dutch university or university of applied science are eligible for this fee – Erasmus University. Tuition for non-EU/EEA students. The average tuition fee for bachelor’s programmes is between €6,000 and €15,000. For master’s programmes, it’s between €8,000 and €20,000 per year.

Some Dutch institutions charge non-EEA students or students with no prior Dutch education an application or handling fee ranging from €75 to €100.

22. Italy

The next country on my list is Italy. In Italy, no two people pay the same amount for tuition; everyone has a different rate. You might meet someone who pays 500 for tuition and another who only pays 80. In Italy, you can relocate with your family. Italy welcomes those with second class lower degrees and higher National diplomas, and there is no need for IELTS. Tuition fees vary because they use a system that determines what you pay based on your family’s financial situation.

Part of the application process to study in Italy involves submitting a document showing your family’s income. If your family’s income is below $500 per month, you may be eligible for reduced tuition fees. Fees can be as low as 150 to 200 Euros, depending on the school. Some schools offer transportation, daily meals, or accommodation, but it depends on the school. There are many universities to choose from in Italy, with no IELTS requirement, and the option to bring your family. Now is the time to apply to Italian universities.

Conclusion – Which is the Cheapest English Speaking Country to Study?

Indeed, Germany is the go-to country if you are looking for a very cheap English-speaking country to study abroad. But note that “cheapest” is relative because your lifestyle and habits greatly influence the cost. Also, you are still encouraged to get to know the local languages – which can make communication easier and locals friendlier. Natives love it when foreigners attempt their local language. You don’t have to speak fluently at all.

You do not have to study in the UK, Canada, Australia, the US, etc. if you cannot afford it. Just start small and then move to your dream country.

Read AlsoEasy Scholarships for International Students in Canada

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