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LKidKyle1985's avatar

What country offers the best education system (university lvl) to foreigners?

Asked by LKidKyle1985 (6586points) May 19th, 2009

For example I know Sweden will even pay you to go to school under the right circumstances, and France offers free education as well, or discounted to like 900 Euros a year. Something like that. Are there any other countries that offer really great education for nothing to foreign students (I am American)

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9 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

Since the US universities are nearly filled with foreign students, I would guess they are the best. Free?, I suspect you have been misinformed.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

I don’t think so, it is true that university is free or extremely cheap in both of the countries i mentioned before, and this is extended to foreigners as well. And certainly you do not believe that every American university trumps any French or Swedish university. There are great schools in varying programs in both countries. I know, free sounds too good to be true, but believe it or not paying thousands of dollars and being buried under debt in america to get a mediocre education at a public university is not the only path to higher education in this world.

YARNLADY's avatar

Apparently I stand corrected. This wikipedia article discusses universities around the world.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Nice, great link! that’s about what I was lookin for but couldn’t pin it down. And I know, I didn’t believe the whole “free” or “cheap” thing either until just the other day when I was having a conversation with a person from sweden, and then I confirmed it with a friend who is french. I am going to make sure i punch my guidance counselor from high school right in the mouth for not telling me about these opportunities abroad.

artificialard's avatar

I have a friend that’s going to Sweden this fall for studies – I had the same reaction to her free Masters-level education! One thing to keep in mind though is that when my friend was doing research she found that the costs of living coupled with currency differences didn’t make it nearly as free as one would think…

LKidKyle1985's avatar

yes, good point. But my counter argument to that is there is a cost of living price no matter where you go, and once you learn the language you can get a job earning money in their currency. So initial cost might be a little rough, but compare that to what you might pay in tuition for a bachelors and master/other higher degree. not to mention once you have achieved this education you are now fluent in a 2nd language, and eligible for citizenship in the country (that has free or amazing health care).

mattbrowne's avatar

In some German states you now pay €500 a semester. As I’ve studied in both Germany and the United States I found out that Germany is a bit more on the theoretical and analytical side while the US is more on the hands-on solution side. A great combination I think. Another plus of Germany is that professors include research from many countries of the world, while many US professors focus on what other US professors come up with. It’s more nation-centric.

artificialard's avatar

@LKidKyle Those are good points which I agree with but aren’t necessarily applicable to all people. The cost of living in Sweden compared to Canada where we’re from is higher because of the currency, higher sales taxes (~25%), and things that just seem to cost more, maybe due to the necessity of importing most goods (on the last trip even the cheapest beer was $4–5USD). We’re lucky enough in Canada that health care isn’t a concern and hold dual-citizenship to the UK/EU.

Housing rates are not absurdly high but consistent with other expensive cities such as Paris or New York. Also most Swedish schools actually have English programs, which is what she’s going for.

I think that compared to other higher-learning destinations like moving to the US or the UK where the cost of living can be high as well as tuition this compares favorably, but otherwise it’s still a significant expense.

Of course having said that the experience of studying in the land of IKEA I would never turn down if I had the chance.

YARNLADY's avatar

Here’s what my son who lives in Sweden has to say:
CSN is the government student loan system here. They cover students through school and then you go on a payments. There is a ‘stipend’ of 2000SEK (about $260) a month that would pay for about as much here as it would in the States, which isn’t much. As D says, if you live at home and all your bills are prepaid like Student fees and books then YES, they pay for lunch. Otherwise, you get a CSN loan. There is no tuition.

D’s mother paid her CSN off when she turned 50 years, needless to say people expect a lifetime to pay off their CSN. The rules for non-EU students (ie: from USA) is slightly different but I can get that for a follow-up letter if you like.

Also, you might like http://www.thelocal.se/ – It is the basic Swedish headlines and general news in English. I read it regularly.

Moving here a USA student is looking at their own books and school supplies as well as the student fee, there is some debate as to that fee no longer being mandatory as of 2010. The fee is really small though.

Other then that, just personal expenses; food (We pay about 2800SEK ($360) monthly, but that’s 2 of us and 2 cats) , housing (1 br in a decent area for around 4500SEK ($585) monthly), travel card (if in Uppsala the cost for travel is based on several things up to 2000SEK, if in a major city travel card is about 700SEK ($90) monthly.) Student housing is cheaper of course, and there are student shares but getting a place to live is not as easy as the States.

This is a Uni in South Sweden, this will give you some details in English for that school. One must have a permanent residence permit and have lived in Sweden for 2 consecutive years. If coming from the USA as a student they will receive a student visa if that is the primary reason for living in Sweden.

So, coming from the USA gets no CSN. So pretty much like any Uni/college in the States but cheaper.

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