The cheapest countries to study in Europe in 2023

We take a look at the average cost to study in countries across Europe, including tuition fees and living costs. The analysis looks at 28 countries so you can discover the most affordable place to study with your student bank account.

Costs to study in Europe, when including tuition fees, rent and living costs, range from around £9,000 to just over £25,000 for UK nationals. The big difference in costs is because countries charge varying amounts in tuition fees, but also because the cost of living varies massively.

Country Yearly living costs Average yearly tuition fees
Bulgaria £7,230 £1,790
Romania £7,006 £3,019
Portugal £9,720 £690
Lithuania £9,756 £1,122
Slovakia £9,271 £1,725
Hungary £8,357 £2,674
Poland £9,322 £1,725
Croatia £9,020 £2,070
Spain £10,045 £1,111
Greece £9,864 £1,294
Slovenia £10,638 £1,314
Latvia £9,653 £2,847
Czech Republic £10,818 £1,781
Italy £11,433 £1,294
Malta £12,017 £1,863
Germany £13,512 £431
Estonia £10,487 £3,951
Austria £14,071 £1,254
France £13,311 £2,390
Belgium £12,684 £3,602
Cyprus £13,303 £3,019
Luxembourg £17,594 £2,238
Sweden £11,486 £9,474
Finland £12,673 £9,490
United Kingdom £13,897 £9,250
The Netherlands £14,495 £9,748
Ireland £16,581 £7,764
Denmark £15,588 £9,490

1. Bulgaria

Bulgaria is an excellent choice for students seeking affordability without compromising on quality education. While it does not have the cheapest tuition fees on this list, coming in around mid-table with an average of £1,790 a year, the low cost of living at around £7,230 a year, including rent, means it’s a very affordable place for students!

The country boasts a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes including its famous Black Sea beaches, and even opportunities to go skiing. With diverse course offerings and a tradition of excellence in research, Bulgaria is an attractive (and cheap) destination for international students.

2. Romania

Romania combines historic charm with modern educational opportunities and a very affordable living situation for students. It has the cheapest yearly living costs of all the countries on our list, but the tuition fees are slightly higher at just over £3,000 a year on average.

Students can explore the captivating landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains and the Black Sea coast while benefiting from affordable education and living expenses.

3. Portugal

Portugal is known for its warm climate, friendly locals, and a thriving student community. With incredibly low tuition fees for UK students at just £690 a year on average, it’s a very tempting destination for students looking to study abroad in the sun.

Portugal also has reasonable living costs on average, and a student can expect to shell out around £9,720 a year. The country’s vibrant culture and diverse cities also add to its appeal, making it the ideal destination for those seeking a high-quality European education without breaking the bank.

4. Lithuania

Lithuania is an emerging destination for tourists and UK students alike. It offers very affordable tuition fees, with an average fee of just £1,122 a year, and a wide array of English-taught courses. The cost of living is also on the lower end of the list, with an average yearly spend for students at

With plenty of sights to enjoy, such as Vilnius Old Town and Trakai Island Castle, Lithuania provides an enriching cultural experience alongside a cost-effective education.

5. Slovakia

Slovakia is a hidden gem in Central Europe with affordable tuition fees for UK students, at £1,725 a year, and budget-friendly living costs, with a student expecting to spend a total of £9,271 including rent.

The country’s universities offer various courses in English, making it accessible to UK students. Slovakia’s stunning natural beauty, including the Tatra Mountains, and historic architecture in Bratislava’s old town, also provides plenty of opportunities to explore and adventure.

6. Hungary

Hungary has a long-standing tradition of academic excellence, and its universities are increasingly popular among international students.

Tuition fees are reasonable, with an average cost of around £2,674, and the cost of living is extremely budget-friendly, with a yearly spend of around £8,357. Students can immerse themselves in Hungarian culture in beautiful cities like Budapest and Debrecen while pursuing their degrees.

7. Poland

Poland’s universities are gaining recognition for their academic rigour and affordability. Tuition fees are competitive, with an average cost of £1,725 for UK students, the same as in Slovakia.

The cost of living in Poland is lower than in many Western European countries, and the average student can expect to spend £9,322 in total throughout the year, including rent. Poland’s rich history, lively cities, and welcoming atmosphere make it a top choice for international study.

8. Croatia

Croatia offers a unique blend of Mediterranean beauty and educational opportunities. Students can enjoy the stunning Adriatic coastline, historic architecture, warm sunshine and a relaxed lifestyle while pursuing their studies.

Tuition fees are around the middle of the table of the European countries in our research, with a cost of just over £2,000 on average. However, living costs are lower than in most other countries on the list and you will only spend just over £9,000 on everything including rent.

9. Spain

Although Spain is not the cheapest option on this list, it still provides excellent value for students, with very reasonable tuition fees of just £1,111 a year on average. Daily living costs are a little higher than in other countries but still great for student budgets, with an expected spend of around £10,045 a year.

With over 70 universities to choose from, as well as beautiful beaches, a Mediterranean climate and great nightlife, Spain offers a vibrant and enriching experience for UK students, without being too far away from home!

10. Greece

Greece is an enticing destination for students interested in history, art, and culture. Average tuition fees of £1,294 are relatively low, and the yearly cost of living comes in at under £10,000 a year on average.

Studying in Greece allows students to explore ancient ruins, beautiful islands and great food, and enjoy the sunshine and welcoming Mediterranean atmosphere!

These countries offer a range of academic programs, cultural experiences, and natural beauty, all at a fraction of the cost compared to many other European destinations, making them appealing choices for international students on a budget.

Which country has the cheapest tuition fees in Europe?

Tuition fees are a big consideration when studying abroad, even if you take out a student loan or receive some funding. Yearly tuition fees at English universities are set at £9,250 for UK students, but fees in other European countries from nothing at all to almost £10,000 a year in The Netherlands.

The 5 cheapest countries for tuition fees

    1. Germany, £431 a year
    2. Portugal, £690 a year
    3. Spain, £1,111 a year
    4. Lithuania, £1,122 a year
    5. Austria, £1,254 a year

The 5 most expensive countries for tuition fees

1. Netherlands, £9,748 a year
2. Denmark, £9,490 a year
3. Finland, £9,490 a year
4. Sweden, £9,474 a year
5. United Kingdom, £9,250 a year

If you are EU student, however, many universities offer free tuition which would massively reduce the costs involved in studying in that country. The following countries offer free tuition for EU nationals: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden.

The cheapest European countries for student living costs

If you can get a loan for your tuition fees, one of the most important considerations when studying aboard is the cost of living. Expenses such as rent, groceries, eating and drinking out and transport can vary significantly between European countries.

Romania is the cheapest country when it comes to overall living costs, at £7,006 a year, followed by Bulgaria (£7,230) and Hungary (£8,357).

Luxembourg is the most expensive country to study in when it comes to living costs, and if you decided to study here, you might be shelling out over 2 and a half times more in living costs that if you decided to study in Romania.

The 5 cheapest countries for living costs

    1. Romania, £7,006 a year
    2. Bulgaria, £7,230 a year
    3. Hungary, £8,357 a year
    4. Croatia, £9,020 a year
    5. Slovakia, £9,271 a year

The 5 most expensive countries for living costs

6. Luxembourg, £17,594 a year
7. Ireland, £16,581 a year
8. Denmark, £15,588 a year
9. Netherlands, £14,495 a year
10. Austria, £14,071 a year

The cheapest countries in Europe for UK students: Full list

Country Yearly living costs Average yearly tuition fees Total yearly living costs and fees
Bulgaria £7,230 £1,790 £9,020
Romania £7,006 £3,019 £10,025
Portugal £9,720 £690 £10,410
Lithuania £9,756 £1,122 £10,877
Slovakia £9,271 £1,725 £10,996
Hungary £8,357 £2,674 £11,032
Poland £9,322 £1,725 £11,047
Croatia £9,020 £2,070 £11,090
Spain £10,045 £1,111 £11,155
Greece £9,864 £1,294 £11,158
Slovenia £10,638 £1,314 £11,952
Latvia £9,653 £2,847 £12,500
Czech Republic £10,818 £1,781 £12,599
Italy £11,433 £1,294 £12,727
Malta £12,017 £1,863 £13,881
Germany £13,512 £431 £13,944
Estonia £10,487 £3,951 £14,439
Austria £14,071 £1,254 £15,324
France £13,311 £2,390 £15,701
Belgium £12,684 £3,602 £16,286
Cyprus £13,303 £3,019 £16,323
Luxembourg £17,594 £2,238 £19,832
Sweden £11,486 £9,474 £20,960
Finland £12,673 £9,490 £22,163
United Kingdom £13,897 £9,250 £23,147
The Netherlands £14,495 £9,748 £24,244
Ireland £16,581 £7,764 £24,345
Denmark £15,588 £9,490 £25,078

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