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Where Can You Study English Abroad?

If you want to study in English, you’ll probably first think of the usual places where English is spoken, like the UK, the US, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Many of these popular places to study where English is spoken are, however, on the pricey side, especially for international students. If you’re worried about money or just want to study somewhere different, keep reading for a list of other places where you can study English abroad and maybe save money at the same time.

Europe

Europe is quickly becoming one of the best places to find English-language study programs, even in places where English is not the main language. If you are a citizen of the EU, you can get a free university education in about half of all European countries, like Denmark, Austria, Norway, and Greece. All of your classes will be taught in English. Fees tend to be higher for students from outside the EU, but they are still lower than in other popular places to study. English-taught courses were hard to find as recently as 2009, especially at the bachelor’s level. Since then, the number of English-taught bachelor’s degrees has grown by 50 times.

You can now easily search through more than 900 English-taught courses using our helpful matching tool, which finds your perfect course in just a few steps.

Germany

About 56% of the people in Germany speak English, especially the younger people, and there are many opportunities to study in English, especially at the postgraduate level. If you want to study at the college level, it’s harder to find classes taught in English.

Public universities in Germany do not charge tuition fees for undergraduate degrees. However, universities in the state of Baden-Württemberg now charge non-EU students €3,000 (about $3,360) per year. If you got your bachelor’s degree in Germany, you can also get a master’s degree for free. PhD courses are also often free or very cheap. Tuition fees are charged at private universities in Germany, but they are often still less than the average for universities around the world.

Netherlands

If you want to study in English in the Netherlands, you won’t have a hard time talking to people there because 90% of Dutch people speak English. There are also a lot of courses taught in English. There are more than 2,000 of them, and most of them are master’s degrees. The government agency Study in Holland has a tool called Study Finder that will help you find the right English-taught course for you, no matter what level of study you are at.

Even though tuition is not free in the Netherlands, fees are much lower than the average for English-speaking countries. If you are from the EEA, Switzerland, or Suriname, you will pay €2,087 per year for most courses in 2019/20. If you are not from these places, you will have to pay at least €6,000 (about US$6,700) per year, depending on your subject and study level.

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Austria

Most teaching in Austria is done in German, which is the country’s official language. However, there are about 260 programs available in English at different levels of study. You can use the search tool on the Studienwahl website to find a course taught partially or fully in English. This is another country where a lot of people speak English (73 percent). Austrian citizens and students from the EU can go to college for free. Students from countries outside of the EU will pay about €726.72 (US$815) per semester.

Greece

About half of the people who live in Greece can speak English. Even though most of what is taught in universities is in Greek, there are also specialized study programs in English for both undergraduate and graduate students. Again, domestic and EU students in their first year of college at a public university don’t have to pay tuition fees. However, students from outside the EU will have to pay around €1,500 (about $1,700) per year, which often includes the cost of course books.

Scotland

If you’re from the EU and want to study in the UK but don’t like the high tuition fees, you might want to think about Scotland. Students from Scotland and anywhere else in the EU don’t have to pay tuition fees (excluding students from the rest of the UK). Even though Brexit could change this, EU students who start a degree in Scotland in 2019/20 will be able to study for free for the whole course. Most people in Scotland speak English, but Scottish Gaelic and the Scots language are also recognized as official languages.

Russia

Russia is another country that tries to attract more international students by offering a wider range of English-taught programs and 15,000 government scholarships. But only about 5% of the people here speak English. This varies by region, with cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg having a higher percentage of English speakers, so it’s a good idea to learn some basic Russian to help you get by.

Denmark

Even though most classes at universities in Denmark are taught in Danish, there are more than 700 internationally recognized programs taught in English, and 86 percent of the country’s people can speak English. On the study in Denmark website, you can find English-language study programs. All EU/EEA/Swiss students can go to any level of school in Denmark for free. If you are from outside the EU/EEA, you will have to pay fees, which cost between €6,000 and €16,000 ($6,750 and $18,000) per year on average.

Sweden

In Sweden, another country with a lot of English speakers, more than 860 university programs are taught in English. Swedish citizens and people from other EU countries can go to college for free. But students from outside the EU have to pay. These are set by each university. Depending on your subject and degree level, you can expect to pay between SEK80,000 and SEK190,000 (about $8,600 and $20,500) per year.

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Finland

Finland is another place to think about if you want to study English abroad. There are more than 400 courses taught in English at Finnish schools, and EU students don’t have to pay tuition. Students from outside the EU pay tuition fees of about €5,000 to €20,000 ($5,900 to $23,550) per year.

Again, a lot of the people who live in this country (70% of them) speak English. English language classes are more common at universities of applied sciences and polytechnics than at general universities, where only a small number of bachelor’s level classes are taught in English. On the Studyinfo.fi site, you can find a list of English classes.

Norway

Norway is the only Nordic country that still gives free tuition to all students, no matter where they are from. It also has a wide range of English-taught programs, mostly at the master’s level, and most of its people speak English. There are many English-taught programs at all levels of study at the University of Oslo, which is ranked 135th in the world by the QS World University Rankings® 2019. It is the best university in Norway. You will still have to pay a student welfare organization fee each semester. This fee is usually no more than NOK600 (about US$70).

Asia

Singapore

Singapore is a lively and diverse city-state with some of the best universities in the world. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore National University are both in the top 15 of the QS World University Rankings. If you want to study in English in Singapore, the good news is that English is one of the country’s official languages, and about 80% of the population speaks it well. It’s also the official language of instruction at universities. But costs are pretty high in Singapore. For example, undergraduate tuition fees at NUS started at S$17,550 (about US$13,000) in 2018, and the high cost of living matches the high standard of living.

Malaysia

Malaysia is quickly becoming a popular place for international students to study. The country has recently put a lot of money into the higher education sector, for example by letting universities from other countries run international branch campuses. The University of Nottingham in the UK and Monash University in Australia both have branch campuses that they run. But the country’s own universities more than hold their own. Universiti Malaya is tied for 87th place in the QS World University Rankings, making it the highest-ranked university in the country.

English is taught in private colleges and some public universities, and it is also a common language in Malaysia. Most colleges also offer English classes for people who don’t know as much about the language. International students in Malaysia can live on as little as US$3,440 per year.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the world’s most important international financial centers. It is a mix of eastern and western cultures, and English is used a lot in everyday life and in higher education, where almost all classes are taught in English. Average tuition costs are estimated to be between HK$90,000 and HK$265,000 (about US$11,465 and US$33,760) per year, so you may want to apply for a scholarship, either from the university you want to attend or from the Hong Kong government.

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India

There is a lot of cultural and linguistic diversity in India. People here speak hundreds of different dialects, and the 2001 census found that more than a million people spoke at least 26 different mother tongues. But in Indian universities, most classes are taught in English, especially at the postgraduate level, and people who don’t speak English as their first language can often take language classes to improve their skills. India is a very cheap place to live, and tuition fees are also not too high. Most courses cost between US$3,300 and US$7,800.

Taiwan

Taiwan, where English is spoken and understood by most people, is another place where more and more international students choose to study in English. To get more international students, universities in Taiwan are offering more degree programs that are taught in English, either in part or in full. You can search for English-taught programs on the Study in Taiwan website. The tuition fees at Taiwan’s best university, National Taiwan University, which is ranked 72nd in the world, start at US$3,300 per year.

The Middle East and Africa

Egypt

Even though Arabic is the official language of Egypt, English is used a lot in tourist areas and cities. Most street signs are written in both Arabic and English. But less people in rural areas speak English. Both the British University in Egypt (near Cairo) and the American University in Cairo teach in English, which is not surprising given their names. The cost of tuition depends on the number of credit hours. At the second university, non-Egyptian students have to pay at least US$14,556 per year.

Israel

Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of Israel, but English is also used a lot. About 85 percent of the population can speak English well. Courses at universities in Israel are often taught in Hebrew, but courses taught in English are becoming more common at many of the top universities in Israel. Costs range from $9,000 to $15,000 per year.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s official language is Arabic, but many people also speak English. Some of its universities are among the best in the QS Arab University Rankings. Some universities, like King Saud University, don’t charge tuition, and there are a lot of English-taught courses, especially for master’s degrees and courses in engineering, science, and medicine.

Note that if you want to study in English in any of these countries and you are not a native English speaker, you will probably need to take a test like the IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE to show how well you know the language. You should also learn the basics of the local language to help you feel more at home.

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