According to Forbes Magazine, student loan debt in the United States has jumped to $1.56 trillion spread across 45 million borrowers. With the pandemic raging and over 17.5 million Americans unemployed, and the cost of college averaging between around $20,000 for a public college and over $45,000 for private, going to college will bemore of a privilege than a rite of passage for many.
That’s why, if you’re considering undergraduate and graduate options, you should think about taking your talents overseas to study. With little to no costs for attending, universities in these countries are becoming increasingly attractive to Americans.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of international higher-education options; for that, we recommend heading to MastersPortal.com and search countries you are interested in as well as your specific program preference.
According to The Washington Post, one of the reasons German universities are nearly free is because “taxpayers foot the bill to help attract more skilled workers to the country.”
In recent years, German companies have been unable to fill thousands of jobs because of a lack of qualified applicants. Although Germany has one of the world’s most generous welfare systems, its resources are increasingly strained as more workers retire.
With over 300 public universities and 1,000 majors of study, there are a ton of options. Be aware that some programs are not conducted in English and will require you to know or be willing to learn German. Universities cost between $300 and $700 per semester.
Here’s a look at a German university:
Goethe University Frankfurt
The cost of living in Frankfurt is the third-highest city in all of Germany, so the cost of living will be higher for accommodations and things such as food—but still lower than most cities in the United States. The cost of attendance for international students in close to $420 per semester.
You can check out all of the fees associated with attending this university as well as the projected cost of living here.
The American University of Cairo offers a fellowship that grants international students the ability to get a free Master’s Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). (I actually applied for this program because who wouldn’t want a free Master’s?)
Here are the criteria:
- Open to all nationalities
- For new graduate degree-seeking students; satisfy AUC graduate admissions requirements
- Full admission to the TESOL program, satisfying the English Language requirements for the TESOL fellowship
- Bachelor’s degree with a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent
- For continuing students; to retain the fellowship, the recipient must maintain a GPA of 3.2
- Native or near-native proficiency in English
- Special consideration in selection is given to those with TESOL experience in the Middle East; knowledge of Arabic or other languages; BA or coursework in linguistics, English, or a related field
- Have a financial need
You can see the full details of the program at AUC’s website. As a side note, the American University of Cairo is a gorgeous campus that’s located in a beautiful suburb in Cairo.
For the 2019/2020 school year, the costs of tuition for international students looking to attend a Finnish University depend on the program and the university. Yearly costs of attendance will range from $4,500 to $20,000.
For Finland, you can search each program for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from this site.
Programs displayed include:
- Environmental Science
- Art & Design (Music, Theater)
- Social Science & Law
France’s higher education options aren’t free, but the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs offers opportunities for international students to receive grants and multiple scholarships—depending on the student’s academic potential and financial need.
French universities cost between $200 and $17,000/year, depending on the university, the city, and the program.
Here are a few examples:
The Czech Republic
If you happen to speak Czech, your tuition as an international student is completely free. If you do not speak Czech, you’re pretty much paying just to have your course in English. The cost of attendance for most universities in The Czech Republic will cost about $10,000 per year.
The best programs to study in the Czech Republic happen to be the most expensive programs in The United States. Engineering, medicine, and the sciences are the top programs international students looking to study when attending universities in The Czech Republic.
The total for these programs at universities in the United States are:
University of Maryland– Engineering ($19,008 for out-of-state students).
New York University– Arts & Sciences ($27,440 for 12-18 credits)
Johns Hopkins University– Engineering & Sciences ($55,350)
For doctoral programs, Sweden is often the first choice for international students. Swedish doctoral programs normally charge no tuition fees to their students (regardless of nationality). You will need to cover your accommodation and living costs while in Sweden, but can ask the university for living assistance as well.
If you’re interested in attaining a Ph.D., Sweden is the best place to leave with a doctoral degree and not a mountain of debt.