International Student’s 2023 Guide to the Most Affordable European Countries to Live in

Host: European countries 

Target: International students 


International Student’s 2023 Guide to the Most Affordable European Countries to Live in

For many years now, Europe is widely recognized globally for excellence in the field of university education. Even economically small European countries offer quality and affordable education, which has led to an increase in the migration of international students from Africa, Asia and the Americas going to Europe.

In addition, numerous universities across Europe are pocket-friendly, affordable, and of high prestige. But still, finding the cheapest country to stay in in Europe during your studies is not an easy task especially in the absence of helpful and factual information. 

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Prices vary in different countries in Europe, and as such, you must ensure you find the cheapest countries to study in Europe. Also, it is necessary to know the actual cost for both the institution and country you wish to study.

In this article, ranks some top European countries by order of cost of living for international students.

list of the Most Affordable European Countries to Live in

  1. Germany

Germany boasts Europe’s largest economy and has one of Europe’s leading universities, with about 300 universities on its own. Most of these universities have scholarships for international students as well, from undergraduate to postgraduate. 

Apart from the wide selection of quality universities, the cost of living in Germany depends on the location as some German cities have higher living costs than others. Living costs in Germany will be your biggest expense. Students should prepare at least around 934 euros (US$920.46) a month to cover rent, groceries, transport, and leisure. 

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However, the benefit is that international and indigenous students are eligible for free education in different regions in Germany. In some areas, the institution requires a tuition fee of about $1000. Bachelor’s program in public institutions does not require tuition fees at all.

2. Poland

Located in Eastern Europe, Poland is easily one of the cheapest countries to live and study in Europe. The cost of living in Poland is only $400-$600 USD a month without rent. 

Polish university education follows global standards, and thus Polish degrees are accepted all over the world. The tuition costs at Polish universities are only about 1000 euros to 4000 euros per year.

3. Hungary

Hungary offers international students an option as it is one of the cheapest countries to study in Europe. An average international student’s monthly expense in Hungary including housing, feeding, and public transit is about €350 to €550.

Hungary also has diverse study opportunities, and affordable costs: the minimum fee in terms of tuition for public universities is $1000. Also, there are provisions for scholarships to deserving international students who intend to study in Hungary.

4. Austria

Located geographically close to Germany, Austria is one of the cheapest countries to study in Europe. The public university is affordable, with many international students from less developing countries graduating with university degrees at a reasonable cost every year.

The amount paid by international students from outside Europe is inexpensive: European Union students pay £18 per semester while non-European students pay £762.72 in public universities.

However, students willing to study in Austria are advised to carefully check what language the degree study is delivered in, as many Austrian universities currently do not offer English lectures.

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5. Romania

With some of the cheapest living costs in Eastern Europe, Romania is a top destination for many international students. 

Romania is an excellent destination for many reasons: the people are friendly, the food is cheap, living conditions are affordable, and the country is a beauty.  The estimated living costs for a single international student in Romania are  USD 499/per month, excluding rent.

6. Cyprus 

Located partly in Asia and the part of in European Union, Cyprus boasts about only 12 universities. However, the number of international students in Cyprus is over 7 000 a year, proving that the small country has a profound education system. International students payment scheme varies and relies on the university and type.

International undergraduate students in Cyprus pay a minimum or low fee of about 3000 Euro yearly with an exemption for pharmacy students. Postgraduate students pay fees from €2000 to 2500 per year. They also have an economically affordable cost of living in Cyprus.

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7. Belgium 

Until recently, not many international students would give Belgium a second look. But since the early 2000s, Belgium is now highly regarded as an excellent place for international students to study. 

The capital city, Brussels, and other recognized towns in Belgium have universities for international students without spending exorbitantly. International students can afford tertiary education in Belgium for a cheap $1500 yearly.

Aside from the vibrant lifestyle, students enjoy numerous benefits when studying in Belgium: the cheap cost of living regarding housing, feeding, transportation, and other expenses. Students can apply to The University of Leuven in Belgium, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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8. Italy

This is yet another country with a cheap lifestyle for international students. The problem with Italy is that few universities offer lectures in English, unlike other top European countries we have mentioned already. 

Apart from the low cost of education, Italy country also provides affordable universities for learning open to international students. Also popular in Italy are provisions for Master’s and Bachelor’s programs in disciplines like History, Humanities, and Fashion.

Italy offers cheap tuition fees, which are about €2000 each academic year in Public institutions. The average expenses for students are between €600 and €1,100, covering accommodation, public transit, and feeding. 

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Deciding the best country or city to live in during your studies is not an easy task as can be seen above. Some cities are cheap to live in, but most expensive universities. 

The converse is also true: most universities in Germany are free or cheap but the cost of living is high. Hence, you have to play a delicate balancing act between tuition fees and the cost of living to find an equilibrium. 

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