Studying in Europe can be very cost-effective. European countries invest in their higher education systems to help make education affordable for students, whilst maintaining high quality standards.

Each country in Europe has its own fee policy but in general, tuition fees here are lower than in other leading study destinations. In fact, in some European countries, study programmes are free of charge! In the Country profiles section, you can see the typical tuition fees for each country.

Living costs (e.g. accommodation, food and drink, transport etc.) vary across Europe (see more).

Working alongside your studies

Many students work part-time whilst they study or during their university holidays to help support themselves financially.

Do you need a visa to work during your study in Europe?

Most countries allow students on a visa to work part-time, but some countries place restrictions on the amount of hours visa-holders can work. Check the immigration website for each country to find out more – see the Country Profiles section for links to national immigration websites. Alternatively, visit the European Union Immigration Portal.

Scholarships, grants and financial support

There are 100,000s of scholarships and financial support schemes available across Europe for international students who wish to study here. Some schemes cover part of the tuition fees, some cover all of the tuition fees plus support living costs too. Competition can be strong, but it is well worth exploring your options.

Here are some of the main places to find out more about European higher education scholarships and funding opportunities.

  • Looking for a scholarship in a particular country? Each country in Europe offers its own scholarship schemes. Visit the Country profiles section of this website, to find out more.
  • Planning to do a Master? The European Union offers scholarships for Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees.
  • Borrow money for a Master’s degree programme: With an Erasmus+ Master loan, students can borrow up to Euro 12,000 for a one year Master’s degree programme or Euro 18,000 for a two year Master’s degree programme to study in one of the 33 European Erasmus+ programme countries. To be eligible, you must be a national of one of the 33 European Erasmus+ programme countries (see list at the top of this page). You must follow the Master’s programme in a different country from your country of residence, and in a different country from where you took your Bachelor’s degree. 
  • Funding for 3-12 month exchange and study abroad opportunities: Through Erasmus+, international students can study in one of 33 European Erasmus+ programme countries (see list at the top of this page) for between 3 – 12 months as part of their study programme. As part of the scheme, students do not have to pay tuition fees for their time abroad. Some students may also be eligible for a grant contributing to living costs and travel expenses. There are also opportunities for students from Europe to study at partner higher education institutions in other parts of the world. To be eligible, you need to be studying at a higher education institution that is part of the Erasmus+ scheme. Ask your university or find out more.
  • Scholarship Portal is a database with over 1000 scholarships available in Europe and beyond. Select your desired level of study, the country you’re from and the country where you want to study to see scholarships that match your profile.
  • Funding for research posts, fellowships and doctoral studies: The EURAXESS website has information about funding schemes across Europe – plus check out the EURAXESS country websites for more detailed information about each country.
  • Funding for research and innovation projects: The European Union’s Horizon 2020 funding programme gives you financial support to help you develop research projects.

As well as the schemes listed above, many universities, research institutes and higher education institutions offer their own scholarships and financial support. Look at their websites to see what is on offer.

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European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe.

The EHEO general plan stresses that:

  • Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected.
  • The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders.

Thus, EHEO plans:

  • improve academic and scientific interaction of universities;
  • protect the interests of universities;
  • interact more closely with public authorities of European countries;
  • popularize European higher education in the world;
  • develop academic mobility;
  • seek funding for European universities.