Cheapest English Speaking Country to Study

Choosing the right country for higher education is a significant decision, especially when considering affordability. For some students, several English-speaking countries emerge as top choices for their blend of quality education and cost-effectiveness. Among the popular destinations are the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. However, when it comes to affordable fees and living costs, Germany stands out as the cheapest English speaking country to study.

Not only does it offer numerous scholarship opportunities, but the living costs in its major cities are also relatively lower compared to other countries. Additionally, countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand offer post-study work visas, easing the transition for students into the workforce.

Considering various factors such as quality of education, job opportunities, and quality of life, Germany, the Netherlands, and Canada are among the best choices for Indian students in the STEM field.

Cheapest English Speaking Country to Study

So, to determine the cheapest English speaking country to study in, we factored in the following:

  1. Affordable fees. Germany, France, and Switzerland top the list when it comes to affordable tuition fees. Following them are Canada, Ireland, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, Netherlands, Singapore, Denmark, Australia, the UK, and the USA.
  2. Affordable living costs. In terms of living costs, Germany, Canada, Finland, Sweden, and New Zealand are among the most affordable. This is followed by the Netherlands, Australia, the UK, France, Ireland, Singapore, the USA, Denmark, and Switzerland.
  3. Quality of life. Considering factors like infrastructure, crime rate, healthcare system, and public transportation, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, and Sweden rank high in terms of quality of life.

We have been thorough with these considerations to make sure that you end up with the best choice regarding the cheapest English speaking country to study.

1. Germany

Germany offers numerous English-taught programmes, particularly for postgraduate studies. However, finding such courses for undergraduate studies can be a challenge.

A significant 56% of Germans, especially the younger generation, are proficient in English. Studying in Germany is economical as public universities do not levy tuition fees for undergraduate courses. The exception is in Baden-Wurttemberg, where non-EU students are required to pay around $3,360 annually.

Graduating from an undergraduate course in Germany makes you eligible for free master’s programmes. Additionally, PhD courses are often either free or very reasonably priced. While private universities in Germany do charge fees, they are often below the global average. This makes Germany an affordable option for Indian students seeking English-taught courses.

Germany stands out as a top destination for international students due to its tuition-free policy. Both EU/EEA and non-EU students can study for free at public universities. While education is free, students might incur a minimal administrative semester fee, which often includes benefits like a public transport ticket. The quality of education, combined with the affordability factor, makes Germany a prime choice for many.

2. The 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 for the academic year 2023-2024. 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.
  • Application Fees: Some Dutch institutions charge non-EEA students or students with no prior Dutch education an application or handling fee ranging from €75 to €100.

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. However, students from outside the EU should allocate around $815 for each semester.

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. Ireland

  • Tuition for EU/EEA students: The specific tuition fee was not mentioned in the provided source. However, international undergraduate tuition fees start at €9,750 per year (approximately US$11,050).
  • Living Costs: Approximately €11,829 (around US$13,400) per year.
  • Note: Ireland offers a high-quality education system and is home to several globally recognized universities.

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 are charged 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 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 education system is known for its high standards, with Singaporean students consistently ranking among the top in global assessments. The MOE not only manages state schools but also plays an advisory role for private institutions. About 20% of the national budget is allocated to education.

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.

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. An added advantage is the affordable cost of living for international students.

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. Scotland

For EU citizens keen on pursuing education in the UK without the burden of high tuition fees, Scotland emerges as a top choice. Students from Scotland and the European Union, except those from other parts of the UK, enjoy the benefit of zero tuition fees.

When you embark on a degree in Scotland, you can expect to study without any tuition cost for the entire duration of your course. While Scottish Gaelic and Scots hold recognition as regional languages, the predominant language spoken in Scotland is English.

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. Additionally, 15,000 government scholarships are available to support students.

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 can be beneficial during your stay.

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 enjoy free education at any level in Denmark. However, for students outside the EU/EEA, the typical tuition fee ranges between US$6,750 and US$18,000 annually.

Denmark offers free tuition for EU/EEA students, ensuring high-quality education without the financial burden. Non-EU students, however, face fees ranging from 6,000 to 16,000 EUR annually. The country’s reputation for excellent education standards makes it a popular choice.

16. New Zealand

New Zealand’s education system is a three-tier model, comprising primary and intermediate schools, followed by secondary schools (high schools), and then tertiary education at universities and polytechnics.

The academic year varies but generally runs from early February to mid-December for primary schools, and late January to early December for secondary schools and polytechnics. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2018 ranked New Zealand 12th in science and reading and 27th in maths. However, there’s been a decline in scores across all three categories.

Despite this, the UN’s Human Development Index consistently ranks New Zealand’s education among the world’s best. The education system is also notable for its efforts to integrate Māori language education, with options for both learning the Māori language as a subject and full immersion in Māori-medium schools.

17. Canada

Canada is often mentioned as an affordable destination for international students looking to study in English. The country offers a balance between tuition fees and living costs. While the cost of living might not vary significantly from one place to another, tuition fees can be more flexible. Canada is known for its quality education and diverse cultural experience.

18. Malta

If Malta is not already top of your list, then you could be making a mistake not giving this country a second thought. Malta is indeed the cheapest English speaking country to study and might offer you affordable education options. So, it is worth it to explore for those looking for an English-speaking environment in Europe.

19. Philippines

If the decision is solely based on cost, a country like the Philippines should be considered. This country has English as a medium of instruction in many of its institutions. However, you should also research the quality of education and the specific universities before making a decision.

20. United Kingdom

The UK might have tuition fees that are less than in the US, especially for certain graduate programs. While the UK is not the cheapest option, it offers world-renowned institutions and a rich cultural experience.

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 habit greatly influences the cost. Also, you are still encouraged to get to know the local languages – which can make communication easier. Moreover, natives love it when foreigners attempt their local language. You don’t have to speak fluently at all.

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