Studying in Tuition Free Nordic Countries

Europe is known for its high-class lifestyle and elite education. It is not a surprise that the five Nordic countries are prime destinations for higher education among international students. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden are together known as the Nordics. All five of these nations aim to offer the finest education at the lowest cost. 

While higher learning was free for all students up until a few years ago in most Nordic countries, the concept of tuition fees has been introduced gradually.  Now, only Norway and Iceland have a no-tuition fee system for all students. As a result, the demand for international scholarships for this part of the world is growing massively. Eager to attract students from around the globe, scholarships for international students are being offered by each of the five Nordic countries. This article is a summary of international scholarships available for studies in the Nordic region. 


Universities in Denmark have a free tuition policy for foreign exchange students, Danish students, and EU/EEA citizens. International students from outside of the EU/EEA are liable to pay tuition or else students need to show proof of funding before receiving a spot on a Danish university program or a residence permit. Listed below are a few of the most popular scholarship opportunities for studying in Denmark.

Government scholarships

  • Government Scholarships for Foreign Nationals – These scholarships are available to international exchange students interested in studying Danish culture and language. Students on exchange programs from institutions in China, Egypt, Brazil, Japan, South Korea and Russia can avail them.
  • Denmark Government Scholarships for Non-EU Students – This scholarship offers excellent non-EU students the opportunity to study in Denmark aided by the government.
  • Fulbright Commission Scholarships to Study in Denmark – These scholarships are meant for US citizens wishing to take on studying in Denmark for one year.

University-specific scholarships

  • Roskilde University Tuition Fee Waivers and Scholarships – Roskilde University offers a variety of scholarships for graduate students from outside the EU/EEA to study in Denmark.
  • The University of Copenhagen – They offer many scholarships for graduate students from outside the EU/EEA to study at the University of Copenhagen.



Tuition fees in Iceland differ depending on whether the university you wish to study at is a state or private university. The state universities charge a small registration fee for all students while private universities charge a tuition fee, which is higher for non-European students.

For example, a graduate tuition fee for European students at Reykjavik University approximately starts at $3,066 per term, whereas for non-EU students, fees start at approximately $6,023 per term.

Government scholarships    

Icelandic Government Scholarships – Scholarships for international students pursuing higher education in the Icelandic language at the University of Iceland are available.

University-specific scholarships

  • University of Iceland Scholarships for Existing Students – Scholarships and research grants for existing students who work, research or study in Iceland at the University of Iceland are available.
  • Reykjavik University Scholarships – Merit-based scholarships are awarded to full-time students at the university along with options to study in the Iceland School of Energy at the graduate level.


Studies in Finland were previously free for all students regardless of nationality. However, tuition fees have been introduced for non-EU/EEA students studying English-taught courses that amount to approximately $ 1,642.  However, most students will pay between the approximate range of $ 5000 – $ 21,905- depending on their course. Non-EU/EEA students are allowed to study for free if they are a PhD student, or their course is in Finnish or Swedish.

Government scholarships

  • Finnish Government Scholarship– Graduate students pursuing doctoral-level study in Finland can opt for government-aided scholarships. These scholarships are open to students and researchers from other selected countries.

University-specific scholarships

  • The University of Helsinki – The University of Helsinki offers scholarships for non-EU/EEA students studying Master’s degrees at the university.
  • The University of Oulu Tuition Fee Waivers for International Students – Scholarships for international Master’s degree students considering studies in Finland at the University of Oulu
  • The University of Turku – While studying for a Master’s degree at the University of Turku, up to thirty percent of students can receive a scholarship.


All state universities in Norway offer free tuition to both domestic and international students. However, students who choose to study in Norway might need to gain some funding to cover the high living costs. 

Government scholarships

  • EEA and Norway Grants – International scholarships for students from selected countries within the EEA including Poland, Portugal, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Spain.
  • High North Scholarship – Funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this program offers scholarships to students from the US, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Russia to study at selected institutions in Northern Norway.


Tuition fees in Sweden are applicable only for students from outside the EU and EEA. International students can expect to pay between the range of $ 8,800- $ 25,000 per year for Bachelor’s and Master’s programs and considerably more for medical and fine art subjects. Conversely, Ph.D. programs in Sweden are free of charge. To cover any costs for study in Sweden, you may be interested in the following.

Government scholarships

Swedish Institute Scholarships – The Swedish Institute is a government agency that offers opportunities for scholarships to international students and researchers looking to study in Sweden. 

University-specific scholarships

KTH Royal Institute of Technology – KTH offers tuition-fee waivers along with academic scholarships for Master’s students. Their official website also lists external scholarship programs.

Linköping University International Scholarships – Tuition fee waivers and merit-based scholarships are available for international students studying at Linköping University at the Master’s level.

Lund University Global Scholarship – In 2015, Lund University gave out over $2 million in merit-based scholarships to international students from outside the EU/EEA to both Bachelor’s and Master’s students.

Stockholm University Scholarships – International scholarships, covering tuition fees only are offered by Stockholm University to non-EU/EEA students.