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Countries with free university?

ryan_kidzryan_kidz Registered User Posts: 144 Junior Member
edited March 2009 in International Students
I am currently studying chemical engineering at a university in the US, and I am about to graduate next year.

I am thinking to get my master and possibly PhD in a different country just for life experience.
I heard that the higher education in Sweden and Finland are free even for international students.

How are their reputations?
What other countries that offer free education?
Any recommendation?
Post edited by ryan_kidz on

Replies to: Countries with free university?

  • theGametheGame Registered User Posts: 1,321 Senior Member
    Imo, if you can afford to pay, stay clear of these 'free universities'. Their reputations aren't great - or so I've heard - esp. the Swedish unis, which will impose fees on International students from next academic year (your year). Germany has has free universities, and I respect Berlin U, but you'll have to learn German to survive. If that's a life experience you're after, go for it. Otherwise, stay clear.
  • CR7_ManUtdCR7_ManUtd - Posts: 976 Member
    Danish education is completely free but as the above psoter said ,I dont recommend you .As some English philosopher (or author ) said ''I am not rich enough to buy cheap things'' ;]

    The German colleges are worth it but you really need to learn German.People there are chauvinists and even though they know English,they dont want to speak it.
  • saaammiesaaammie Registered User Posts: 256 Junior Member
    Sweden universities are good, the top engineerings schools are among the best in the world.

    I don't, however, know if they are going to make internationals students pay next year. I thought it wasn't decided yet.
  • _Silence_Silence Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    German Universites aren't all completely free, but the fees are close to nothing.
    A lot of Germans are headed to the Netherlands, apparently because it costs about the same as Germany. Some majors are taught in English, but I have no idea how Dutch Universities rank.

    @CR7_ManUtd I've no idea where in Germany you've been to, but where I live many are desperate to find someone they can practice their English on. Especially in the bigger cities many speak english, however the classes are most likely going to be in German.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,330 Senior Member
    You may want to ask this question at the grad school forum. Click on "Discussion Home" in the upper left of this screen and then scroll down.

    Doing a Ph.D. is a very serious endeavour. You need to think about the research you want to be involved in, and then find the universities that are conducting that research. At the Ph.D. level, it is a great advantage if you are willing to look at your options world-wide. The most important working group for a specific question may be in the least expected location.

    An MS in engineering or MEng is an entirely different proposition. Often it is a one year, no-thesis, no-research degree.
  • FlibbFlibb Registered User Posts: 1,044 Senior Member
    Why not look for fellowships? They are very common in hong kong/ europe universities for grad studies
  • phantompongphantompong Registered User Posts: 286 Junior Member
    Some German universities run International Degree Programs for some fields of study, such that the first year is taught in English while you take intensive German classes, and they ease you in into a fully German curriculum by your final year. I'm not sure if this is for undergrads only, however, and I've heard very little about these programs (learnt about it through my school but haven't heard about them since). If a top university offers an IDP MA/MSc in the field you want to study, that might be an option.

    Okay - I remember looking through this site a while ago, and it's not quite what I described above, but it's one of the most important resources for internationals who might be looking at German universities.

    DAAD - International Programmes in Germany 2008/2009
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,168 Senior Member
    Funny how everyone's bashing Germany and German universities. My 2 cents:

    - Yes, German universities are not completely free. But 500 Euro ($700) qualifies as close to free compared to American universities.

    - You don't need to speak German to get a Master's degree in Germany. Heck, all the colleges I visited back in high school told us that upper-level classes in technical majors are taught in English because we really need to be able to talk about the subject matter in English, and because they have a number of visiting students from other countries who don't speak German.

    - Many graduate programs are taught completely in English. Check with the universities you are interested in.

    - Outside of the academic environment, you will have a harder time getting by without German because only a quarter of the population knows enough English to have a simple conversation with you. On the other hand, tourists in Munich who don't speak German seem to get by just fine, so I would imagine a college student would too.

    Another thing to consider: in most countries foreign students are not allowed to work. Could you support yourself without a regular income? And even more importantly, do you think it is a good idea to pursue a Master's degree in engineering without gaining work experience along the way?
  • talha_adnantalha_adnan Registered User Posts: 715 Member
    ryan_kidz, why not some good grad school in U.S.? Fellowships and scholarships make it cost almost nothing!
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,330 Senior Member
    talha_adnan has a good point about graduate fellowships. Basically, if you want a Ph.D. in a science or engineering field, and you aren't good enough for some university to offer you full support (in some combination of tuition/fee waiver, fellowship, teaching/research assistantship) then you shouldn't bother pursuing that degree.
  • IúilebIúileb Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    France is relatively cheap. Bachelor's degree is about 4000-5000 euros. I'm not sure about PhD programs, but it shouldn't be very different.
  • talha_adnantalha_adnan Registered User Posts: 715 Member
    I wouldn't recommend going to a country with a completely different native language (unless of course you already speak that language) even if they pay you to study. Just imagine what a pain it would be to first, complete learn their language and then, do your post grad in a non-prestigious institute. What a waste?!
  • IúilebIúileb Registered User Posts: 241 Junior Member
    But it could be Sorbonne:) Although I peeked at their website and didn't find a word about chemical engineering...and yeah, you'll have to proove proficiency in French by taking DALF/DELF (whatever the difference). You could check out unis in Hong Kong (there's a thread in this forum), they're really good, again relatively cheap and tuition is in English.
  • theGametheGame Registered User Posts: 1,321 Senior Member

    - Is $700 their annual expenditure or monthly expenditure?

    - Imo, German is a dying language so I think Germans should do more to promote it on a worldwide scale. Just recently the Chinese govt signed agreements with British unis and American LACs to part-fund and facilitate courses in Mandarin etc. Since Germany is the largest exporter of the world and the leading economy of Europe, it should do something similar.

    - Most tourists come for only a few weeks and are centered toward a few prime locations e.g. Berlin. You cannot compare them in any way with students up on for many months/years (whether MSc or phD).
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,330 Senior Member
    "post grad in a non-prestigious institute"

    Depending on the specific research question, the group you need to work with may in fact be at a "non-prestigious institute". When you are at the Ph.D. and post-doc level, the individual prestige and contacts of your advisors are what count, not the relative prestige of the institution(s) where they are working.
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