Despite charging sky-soaring tuition fees, Indians prefer to study abroad. The number of Indians enrolled in foreign universities has gone up from 4.44 lakh in 2021 to 7.5 lakh in 2022, as per the Centre. However, some countries either provide free or discounted education to international students.
While European countries do not demand tuition fees from international students, they might charge a relatively smaller amount under the administrative fee (which can be around €250/semester) category. Here is the list of countries that provide affordable education to the Indian students
Among European nations, Germany remains the most popular nation as according to the data released by the Government of India, a total of 34,864 Indian students were present in Germany in 2022. Interestingly, Germany abolished the concept of tuition fees in 2014, so higher education degrees remain free of cost for domestic and international students.
The cost of living for Indian students in Germany is approximately €934 (Rs 80,000 approx). Also, international students in Germany can work full-time for 120 days or part-time for 240 half days during their studies. After graduation, they can apply to stay in the country for 18 months to look for a job in the same field as their higher degree.
According to government data, 18,039 Indian students were present in Russia last year. For decades, the country has been a popular choice for Indian medical students. However, while Russia does not completely give free education, it does provide a discounted price, such as €2,000 – €5,000.
Some of the top universities in Russia include Moscow State University, Tomsk State University, and Saint Petersburg State University, among others.
The living expenses are around €750/month (Rs 66,000 approx). Indian students can work up to 20 hours per week during their studies, and can stay in the country for 180 days to look for employment after completion of their degree.
With 10,003 students choosing France as a study abroad destination, the country offers a bachelor’s degree for €2,770 (2.5 lakh approx) approximately and a masters degree for almost €3,770 (2.5 lakh approx).
As the country provides several extracurricular activities and a thriving student-culture life, an international student can spend nearly €600 – €800 per month on the cost of living (the amount varies according to an individual’s lifestyle). However, to earn that kind of money, an international student can work up to 964 hours per year during their studies and can stay in the country for up to one year after graduation to seek employment.
The nation known for its scenic beauty and food attracted nearly 5,897 Indian students last year. The tuition fee for non-EU residents can range from €500 to €5,000. The cost of living is also affordable (€700 per month – Rs 60,000), and students can work for 20 hours per week during their studies to earn their rent and other expenses. One should remember that the cost of living can increase up to €1000 (Rs 88,000 approx), depending on the location and lifestyle.
However, the opportunity to stay and search for work in Italy is only available to those who have completed a PhD or level 2 masters programme in Italy.
After Russia and Ukraine, Poland is also one of the most popular European nations among Indian medical aspirants. The Indian government reported nearly 5,000 students in the Polish-speaking country in 2022.
While the country does not provide free education, it does offer courses at an affordable price range of €2,000 – €6,000 (Rs 1.76- 5.30 lakh). In addition to this, international students can work 20 hours per week during their studies and 40 hours per week during holidays. They can also stay in the country for up to 9 months after graduation to look for employment. The average cost of living is €400 – €600/month.
Known for its history and architecture, the country provides tuition-free education for Czech-taught degrees. For other English/another foreign language taught degrees, the tuition fee ranges from €0-18,500 per academic year.
The monthly cost of living can go up to €650/month (Rs 57,000 approx), but this largely depends on the students’ lifestyle and budgeting habits. To be eligible to work during their studies, students must be enrolled in a degree programme accredited by the Ministry of Education. Students can work for up to 30 days within a calendar year and apply for a 9-month post-study residence permit to look for a job.
The Czech Republic also has a huge Indian diaspora as there are nearly 1500 students in the country, according to the data collected by the Indian government for the year 2022.
With nearly 519 Indian students, Finland is a unique but affordable study destination that provides free education for Finnish or Swedish-taught degrees. However, the tuition fee for the non-EU and English-taught degrees ranges between €4,000 (Rs 3.5 lakh approx) and €18,000 (Rs 15 lakh approx).
To meet their cost of living of €700 – €1,300, international students can work up to 30 hours per week during their studies. After graduation, students are offered a post-study work visa of two years.
The European country which had 16 Indian students in 2022 is known for its scenic beauty and free or minimal cost of education. Iceland is also an interesting choice for international students as the population is majorly fluent in Icelandic and English, and the majority of all higher education courses are taught in English in the universities.
International students in Iceland can work for up to 15 hours per week during the academic year. After graduation, international students can apply for a six-month work visa to search for employment.
Courtesy : The Indian Express