Despite the soaring cost of college in United States, many nations around the world offer free higher education, even to students from other countries. The absence of tuition doesn't mean students can earn a degree without incurring a little cost, however; all the nations on this list expect students to cover their living expenses and the cost of basic supplies.
Public colleges and universities in the oil-rich Scandinavian nation of Norway charge no tuition fees, even for international students. Tuition-free doesn't mean it's completely free, however. Students need to manage their own living expenses, which can be quite high in Norway. Despite the cost, Norway has proved an attractive destination for international students, with 12,000 flocking to country every year. It may be difficult for undergraduate students with no knowledge of the Norwegian language to find a good school, but the country hosts more than 200 master's degree programs taught in English.
In 2014, the last of Germany's seven states eliminated tuition at all of its public colleges and universities. At institutions like the University of Heidelberg and the University of Munchen, students pay nothing for college credit regardless of their nation of origin, according to Slate. The German system is unusual, however, in that students apply to specific majors rather than to the university. A student hoping for a free degree in literature, for example, would apply directly to the literature department at a particular institution. This style of education is less flexible -- but a lot cheaper -- than the degrees on offer in the United States and Great Britain.
Due to rigorous entrance exams, "Forbes" reports it's tough to get into Brazil's top universities. Those lucky students who make the grade, however, can earn a world-class degree without paying a dime in tuition. The free tuition rule extends to many graduate courses taught in English, especially in subjects crucial to Brazil's future. Sao Paolo's Universidade Estadual Paulista, for example, offers master's degree programs in alternative energy and agricultural sciences. Despite the low costs, relatively few Brazilians take advantage of their higher education system. Only around 15 percent of Brazilians aged 18 to 24 enroll in a college or university each year.
Slovenia doesn't attract as many tourists as neighboring countries like Italy and Austria, but it's still a great destination for students at all levels. Slovenian universities offer more than 900 degree programs taught in English, and they don't charge tuition for any of them. International students need only pay a nominal registration fee to get started. Slovenia is also one of the cheaper places to live in Europe, so students can stretch their euros further than they might in Norway or Germany.
- Study in Norway: Tuition/Scholarships.
- Complete University Guide: Studying in Norway.
- Slate: You Can Now Go to College in Germany for Free, No Matter Where You're From
- Forbes: Brazil's Multi-Billion Dollar Education Industry -- Shaping Futures, Changing Lives, and Minting Billionaires
- Science for Brazil: Free Postgrad courses in English for Foreigners at UNESP University
- Washington Post: 7 Countries Where Americans Can Study at Universities, in English, for Free (or Almost Free)