There are ten countries that offer free college tuition for international students and thirteen countries that offer free college tuition to residents. Sounds pretty tempting, right? Of course it does, especially considering a private U.S. college could cost upwards of $46,000 for four years.
But before you start packing your bags, remember that just because it’s free tuition, doesn’t mean it’s not going to cost anything. There is still the cost of food, housing, transportation and living expenses. And while Iceland may offer free tuition, it is one of the most expensive countries to live in. Also consider if you’ll be wanting to travel home for the holidays or any other time throughout the year. International flights back and forth for four years could really add up, too. Keep in mind you can't use a 529 to pay for travel expenses.
Besides financial concerns, moving to another country for college comes with a handful of other things to consider. You’ll need to apply for a student visa, in some cases get specific vaccines, learn a new language and get accustomed to a different way of life and sometimes a completely different educational system.
But if that free tuition is worth it or you just want an adventure, consider these countries:
Countries Offering Free Tuition for International Students (including U.S.)
Brazil (classes in Portugese)
Czech Republic (classes in Czech)
Finland (classes in English)
Germany (classes in English)
Greece (classes taught in Greek)
Iceland (classes in English)
Kenya (classes in English)
Luxembourg (classes in English)
Norway (classes in English)
Panama (classes in English)
Countries Offering Free Tuition for Residents
France (free for all European Union Citizens)
Slovenia (free for all European Union Citizens)
Sweden (free for all European Union Citizens)
If you’re not willing to relocate to another country but still want free tuition, do this:
Look into the cities that offer free tuition programs.
Consider one of the 18 U.S. colleges that offer free tuition.
Apply for the FAFSA to see if you qualify for grants (i.e. free money).
Apply for scholarships before college and throughout your college journey.
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