17 best Places to Study in Europe – There are a host of attractive and affordable places in Europe for university students, around the world who wish to study in another country. Here are our top picks of the best places to study abroad in Europe, so you can narrow down your choices to the ideal fit for your needs, budget, and expectations.
17 best Places to Study in Europe
Germany is one of the best places to study abroad in Europe, especially if you are hoping to save money, because there aren’t any tuition fees when you are working towards your undergraduate degree at a public university. This applies to students who are from other parts of Europe, as well, those from outside of the European Union. All that you will be required to pay is an administration fee, which will be billed every semester. The country is home to some of the top schools in Europe, such as the Technical University of Munich, Humboldt University, and the University of Aachen, where top subjects include chemistry, physics, history, philosophy, and mechanical engineering. Plus, because English is usually taught to German students as a second language, you can get around surprisingly well even if you do not know a lot of German.
2. United Kingdom:
the United Kingdom is home to the oldest university in the English speaking world, the UK is an iconic place to study abroad. Its teaching quality has been ranked first in the world, and it boasts one of the highest student satisfaction rates among English speaking countries. Students flock to the UK for the incredible cultural experience, best universities, and the possibilities after graduation. If you want to spend your weekends road tripping through the Scottish Highlands, enjoying live music in a pub with friends, or immersing in your favorite literature at some of the best libraries in the world, the UK welcomes you
France is home to over 10 universities situated in Europe. Although the majority of the programs are taught in French, there are over 1,000 courses taught in English. France is also a country where you can expect low tuition costs and a high quality education. You will find some of the most affordable schools on the planet when you go to France, which means you get to spend more of your money on exploring and having fun while studying abroad. And with so many beautiful places to temporarily call home while you are in school, such as Paris, Toulouse, Lyon, and Montpellier, there is always something to see. Top universities include École Normale Supérieure, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Sciences Po, and Paris-Sud University.
Like other countries in Europe, one of the many advantages that comes with studying abroad in one of Spain’s many prestigious universities is the low cost of tuition there. Compared to the United States and the United Kingdom, tuition in Spain is much more affordable, and you are likely going to pay a fraction of what you would have to pay for a similar program at home. Stick with smaller countryside towns to save even more money, as the bigger and more popular cities are more expensive. But if you are ready to spend more to have it all, check out schools in the capital city of Madrid. Just be prepared to brush up on your Spanish speaking skills, as many of the programs in the country are taught in Spanish. Top schools include the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, University de Barcelona, and University Pompeu Fabra.
For the 2015 academic year, Italy was the second most popular place to study abroad for students from the U.S., with more than 33,500 individuals choosing to attend school there in 2014-2015. The country is home to some of the most prestigious and oldest universities. Not all schools will have entire programs in English, but they may offer courses in English. Popular destinations include Milan, Rome, Florence, and Venice, but there are also countryside towns that students enjoy as well. Throughout the country, you will find 89 universities, along with many academies and polytechnics, so there are loads of programs to choose from, including those in engineering, art and design, and architecture. Just be prepared to spend a bit more than you would in Central European countries, but rest assured that the costs in Italy will likely be far less than those in places like the U.S. and U.K.
Believe it or not, you might able to get a PhD level education for free if you are a student from abroad, such as from the United States, and you go to school in Sweden. On top of that, many of the university programs that are taught in the country are taught in English, and there are also many opportunities to receive scholarships. Plus, you will be able to choose from some of the top universities in the world, such as Uppsala University, Lund University, and KTH Royal Institute of Technology. And in addition to scholarship options, PhD positions are typically paid, so you can go to school for free while earning a salary.
The Netherlands is yet another popular destination for students who wish to study abroad in Europe. It is also a great option for students from the U.K. as it is not only affordable, but also close to London. You can choose from over 2,100 international study programs while enjoying plenty of art and culture in cities like Amsterdam. Top schools include Delft University of Technology, the University of Amsterdam, and Wageningen University and Research Center.
Poland offers competitive tuition rates and a low cost of living, especially when compared to the expenses that you would have to cover when living in other European countries. Many courses are taught in English, but it would be a good idea to brush up on your Polish so that you can take even more courses and get around more easily around town. There are more than 500 institutions for higher education throughout the country, and many of them are specialised rather than following a traditional model like other European universities. Top schools in Poland can be found in Krakow, Warsaw, Poznan, and Gdansk, and top programs of study include science, technology, and engineering.
Public universities in Finland offer a tuition-free education to students from the EU/EEA. While, non-EU/EEA students who are required to pay tuition. However, if you are enrolled in a Swedish or Finnish taught degree program, tuition will be free even for non-EU/EEA students. Helsinki, which is found on the southern coast of the country, is the biggest urban area in Finland, and it is also the home of the University of Helsinki, which is one of the best schools in the nation. Another school, Aalto University, is also a top university and it is found in Helsinki too. The most affordable cities for students include Tampere, Pori, and Laaperanta.
Slovenia is a beautiful country located between Croatia and Italy, and it features plenty of amazing outdoor areas to explore, from beaches to mountains. But in addition to being a popular destination for tourists, this country is also a great choice for those seeking a highly rated university. In fact, the country has one of the top education systems in the EU, and one of the biggest schools in the world is the University of Ljubljana, which is also considered the country’s main university. Another popular school is the University of Maribor, but there are other universities where you can expect low tuition plus, there are also opportunities available for those who wish to get a doctorate level education for free, there are roughly 150 programs in English, and the country on a whole offers a low cost of living.
Tuition is free when you attend a public university in Norway, though there are few exceptions when it comes to specialised programmes in the country, and there are also private universities to choose from as well. Even though the cost of living in Norway is considered more expensive than other areas of Europe, Norway’s friendly locals, lovely landscapes, and low crime rate have helped make it one of the most attractive countries in Europe to study abroad. Roughly 250 bachelor’s level programmes, along with another 250 master’s level programmes, are taught in English, making it convenient for students from the U.K., U.S., and Australia. Top universities in Norway include the University of Bergen, the University of Oslo, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Portugal is the country home to some of the best beaches in the world, you can enjoy them year-round thanks to over 300 days of sunshine per year. From the calm, artsy suburbs of Lisbon to the vineyards of Porto, Portugal is small but wonderful. Take in the sites of Lisbon, Faro and the southern coast where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean. Portugal is known for its football, surfing, and golf courses. Embrace the Portuguese lifestyle by sampling new foods like port wine and regional specialties, witnessing its architectural triumphs, and experiencing a nightlife like no other. No wonder Portugal ranks second in the world for students seeking adventure! Take the plunge and see what Portugal has to offer you during your studies abroad.
Denmark universities are designed to promote creativity, innovation, analytical and critical thinking. This northern seaside paradise is also known for its environmentalism. Bikes are a primary form of transportation in the relatively-flat cities, and more than 50% of Copenhageners cycle to and from work every day. All of that biking is great for your physical health, but what about your mental health? The Danes have a word for it: Hygge! It’s a term that means creating cozy social gatherings and intimate get-togethers with family and friends. Especially for students studying abroad, it can make a huge difference to feel a sense of family and togetherness even when you’re far from home.
Switzerland takes the overall third position in our ranking. Switzerland is known for its stunning mountains, delicious cheeses, decadent chocolates, and clean, picturesque towns. While it can be expensive to live in Switzerland, tuition at most public universities is the same for all international students, regardless of nationality. This contrasts from most European countries, where EU/EEA citizens pay less than non-EU/EEA students. Depending on the region you choose to study in, you have the opportunity to learn not one but four new languages! Switzerland’s four national languages are German, French, Italian, and Romansh. If you want to experience the beauty of the Swiss Alps, explore beautiful towns, and sample world-renowned cuisine, Switzerland is a great option.
The next of the best places to study abroad in Europe, Belgium’s unique higher education system earns it 15th place in the System Strength Rankings, with two main language communities – Flemish and French. However, it’s a great option if you want to study in English, with many English-taught programs and residents proficient in the language. Belgium offers a multicultural study abroad experience with thriving student cities, beautiful countryside, historic architecture and delectable food.
Austria is also a great choice for students interested in visiting neighboring countries such as Germany or Switzerland. Austria has a broad range of educational opportunities, including Fachhochschulen (Universities of Applied Sciences) and a range of universities of the arts.
17. Czech Republic:
Staying in Eastern Europe, the Czech Republic is another emerging study destination, and is placed 38th in the System Strength Rankings. The Czech Republic has a longstanding tradition for high quality education, particularly in the sciences, engineering and medicine; its highest ranked university, Charles University, was founded in 1348. Czech universities are increasing both their international cooperation with other universities and the number of English-language taught programs on offer. The country itself offers plenty of varied culture to immerse yourself in, and capital Prague, is considered one of the most beautiful and charming cities in Europe. The Czech Republic is also one of the most affordable European study destinations, with low tuition fees and affordable costs of living.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about best Places to Study in Europe
What is Study in Europe and where is it located?
Studying in Europe is not a higher education institution. Study in Europe is a European Union project, which aims to help international students to find out about higher education study, research and scholarship opportunities in Europe. Please visit the Study in Europe portal if you wish to learn more about the project.
What services do you offer?
Studying in Europe informs students worldwide about studying in one of the 34 Erasmus+ progamme countries. We do this via Facebook, Instagram, the Study in Europe portal and during student fairs around the world.
How long will my degree course take if I study in Europe?
The average length for degree programmes in Europe is:
Bachelor’s degree programme: 3 years
Master’s degree programme: 2 years
Doctorate/PhD: 3 years
No matter where you choose to study abroad, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a transformative educational experience. Start your overseas adventure today, and to learn more about how to save money while studying abroad, check out our Studying Abroad Guide.