Study Free & Work in Germany, Iceland & Finland: Things You Don’t Know

Study Free & Work in Germany, Iceland & Finland: Things You Don’t Know's photoBy Ernest Emeka
Wed Nov 01 2023
Study Free & Work in Germany, Iceland & Finland: Things You Don’t Know

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Many international students have their minds set on countries like the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Australia, neglecting some countries that could give them a gigantic leap to an excellent study-work balance. With increased taxation and inflation, studying abroad has become expensive and challenging for students.

Nkechi Abuchi made a smart choice when she opted to study in Finland instead of joining her sister in the United Kingdom for her studies. She got financial stability before her sister, who was struggling with bills and taxation in the UK. You don't have to endure an ordeal because of your study abroad destination. If you cannot afford the United Kingdom or the United States, you can pick some affordable countries to achieve your study abroad dreams.

We have highlighted three affordable countries to study and work abroad with permanent residence opportunities. 

Study Free & Work in Germany, Iceland & Finland: Things You Don’t Know

Read: 10 Cheapest Universities in Europe for International Students

Tuition-Free Study in Iceland for International Students

Spectacular, varied, and vast with topping bucket lists, Iceland will dazzle you with breathtaking destinations. Iceland is an Island filled with glaciers, hot springs, and volcanoes, often called the "land of fire and ice." 

Iceland is one of the countries that offer free tuition to students. After graduation, you enjoy a 2-year permanent residency. You don’t have to leave your family behind when studying for bachelor’s and Master's studies. In addition, the country has no age limit for undergraduate students.

 The Education System in Iceland

  1. Bachelor's degrees – The programmes take 3 to 4 years to complete.
  2. Candidatus degrees –  The programmes can take four to six years to complete in medicine, law, theology, law, business administration, dentistry, and engineering. 
  3. Postgraduate certificates – Awarded after completing one year of postgraduate study.
  4. Masters degrees – Obtained after completing two years of postgraduate study.
  5. Doctorate degrees – Awarded after completing a doctorate program and thesis.

Intakes in Iceland

  • Autumn semester  (September until late December )
  • Spring semester starts ( January and continues till May)

Requirements to study abroad in Iceland

  1. A scanned copy of your diploma (high school or Bachelors)
  2. Transcripts or records of previous academic courses.
  3. Language proficiency scores
  4. Statement of purpose.
  5. A scanned copy of your passport
  6. A scanned copy of your birth certificate.
  7. 2-3 Letters of recommendation
  8. Your CV
  9. Portfolio and/or writing samples

Study in Iceland in English

  1. The University of Iceland, 
  2. Reykjavík University 
  3. University of Akureyri 

Study in Iceland scholarship

1)     Scholarships by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture of Iceland.

2)     Icelandic Research Fund (IRF)

3)     The Icelandic Student Innovation Fund (ISIF)

4)     University of Iceland Scholarships

5)     Reykjavik University Scholarships for International Students

6)     United Nations University, Iceland Scholarships

7)     Erasmus+ and Nordplus Programs

Documents for Iceland Student Visa

  1. Study Visa Application Form
  2. Evidence of Medical Insurance
  3. Proof of Financial Support during the stay and study in Iceland  
  4. One passport-sized photograph
  5. Photocopy of passport
  6. Medical certificate 
  7. Police verification certificate
  8. Proof of admission at the University of Iceland
  9. Proof of application payment of the residence permit.
  10. Proof of fund €1456 /month for single person and €1900/month for couples

The Embassy may request additional documents based on your country of origin. So, complete the process carefully with all the documents

; otherwise, there are chances of rejection.

Iceland Residence Permit Renewal after Graduation

After graduation, the residence permit of a student may be renewed for up to three years from the date of graduation for the graduate to look for employment in his/her field of expertise.

International Students Right to Work in Iceland

1.    A student work permit allows you to work up to 22.5 hours per week.

2.    A student may not start working before a work permit has been granted.

3.    A work permit holder may only work for the employer on which the work permit is based.

Read: 10 Tuition-Free Universities for International Students in the USA

Universities in Iceland

Public Universities

  1. Agricultural  University of Iceland
  2. Holar University College
  3. University of Akureyri

Private Universities

  1. Bifröst University
  2. Iceland Academy of Arts
  3. Reykjavik University

Iceland Tuition Fees

Public universities have no tuition fees but charge a compulsory annual registration or administration fee (US$ 743/ €605).

Study in Germany

Germany tempts you with a roller-coaster of treats and funs, offering half-timbered town, romantic places, and soul-stirring landmarks. Many international students make a U-turn when they see the “Block Account” requirement. However, a little research can make you pitch your study in Germany dream.

Study Free & Work in Germany, Iceland & Finland: Things You Don’t Know

 Documents to Apply For a German Student Visa

1)    Valid International Passport

2)    Passport Photograph

3)    Academic records or transcript.

4)    Curriculum vitae/motivation letter.

5)    Means of subsistence “Finanzieruungsnachweis

6)    Blocked bank account

7)    Student health insurance

8)    Completed registration form

9)    Notice of admission

10) Evidence of adequate knowledge of German (or English)

11) Payment receipt for the semester fee

12) Birth Certificate.

Tuition-free Universities in Germany

  1. University of Cologne
  2. University of Hamburg
  3. University of Stuttgart
  4. University of Mannheim
  5. University of Bremen

Tuition fees at top-ranked universities in Germany

  1. Humboldt University of Berlin – no tuition fees
  2. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich – average tuition fees 258 EUR/year
  3. Technical University of Munich – average tuition fees 258 EUR/year 
  4. Heidelberg University – average tuition fee of 20,000 EUR/year 

Free German Universities with English-Taught Programs

  1. SRH University of Heidelberg
  2. University of Applied Sciences Wurzburg Schweinfurt
  3. Leibniz Universitat Hannover
  4. Technical University of Munchen
  5. University of Bonn
  6. University of Hamburg
  7. TU Darmstadt
  8. FAU Erlangen Nurnberg
  9. University of Munster
  10. Hamburg University of Technology

Note: While we talk about tuition-free universities, you must make some payments to the school. 

Read: 10 Travel Hacks That Make Relocation Easier for International Students

Study in Germany Scholarships Opportunities

1.     DAAD Scholarships – Open to international students with a good score in their previous qualifications. 

2.     KAAD Scholarships – Postgraduate students from developing countries have a higher chance of winning the scholarship. 

3.     TUM Scholarships –The Technical University of Munich offers scholarships to students.

Student-Friendly Germany's Immigration Law Reforms

Germany has modernized its immigration legislation to make it easier for third-country nationals to study and work in Germany. These reforms aim to improve the shortage of skilled workers.

 Chancenkarte (Opportunity Card)

The new ‘opportunity card’ or ‘chancenkarte' will use a points-based system to enable workers to come to Germany more easily. 

The points-based system is based on:

a)    Account qualifications

b)    Professional experience (Three years)

c)    Age (35 years or younger)

d)    German language skills 

e)    Ties to Germany, such as family members in the country.

Yearly quotas will depend on industries that need workers. The opportunity card allows people to come to Germany and look for a job or apprenticeship.

What are the main changes to Germany's immigration policies?

1.    The new system makes it easier for people with professional experience to come and work in Germany.

2.    The country will become more open to job experience and professional qualifications.

3.    It will be easier for those without a job offer to seek work in Germany via the opportunity card. 

Study in Finland

Finland leaves you in merriment with its culinary excellence and winter magic. The home of Santa Claus has a wild beauty and irresistible adventures you will always remember.

Study Free & Work in Germany, Iceland & Finland: Things You Don’t Know

 Do International Students Pay Tuition in Finland?

International students who enroll in programmes taught in Finnish don't pay tuition fees, but those who study English-taught degrees must pay tuition fees. Finland has public universities that are tuition-free for EU/EEA and Switzerland students. 

Tuition-free Universities for Masters in Germany

  1. University of Stuttgart – 70% acceptance rate
  2. University of Hamburg
  3. RWTH Aachen University – 10% acceptance rate
  4. University of Mannheim 
  5. University of Cologne 

Tuition Free for  Ph.D. in Finland

International students studying for their Ph.D. in Finland enjoy the following:

a)    No tuition fees

b)    There is no restriction to postgraduate students' work hours.

c)    Students can apply research skills in a working sector, including industrial links.

Finland Visa Requirements for International Students

a.    Travel Insurance 

b.    The official acceptance letter from your hosting Finnish university, educational institute, or polytechnic.

c.    The visa application form 

d.    Recent photographs

e.    Transcripts and certificates from previously attended education institutions.

f.     A passport must have been issued within the previous ten years

g.    Copies of the completed and signed application form.

h.    Proof of your financial ability

i.      A recent statement of your financial situation 

j.      Proof of obtaining valid health and medical insurance covering your stay in Finland. 

k.    Cover letter detailing your motive for studying in Finland, the number of schools you applied to, and why you have chosen your learning institution. 

Finland Scholarships for International Students 

a.    The University of Helsinki Scholarship for International Students

b.    University of Helsinki International Student Grant

c.    University of Tampere Grants for International Students

d.    University of Oulu Scholarships

e.    Aalto University Scholarships

f.     Scholarships From the Government of Finland

g.    CIMO Scholarships

h.    University of Turku Scholarships



There is no free lunch when it comes to tuition-free universities abroad. You must research the fees a school expects its international students to pay before coming to the country. While some schools are affordable, others may force you to cough out more funds to study. If you have been admitted to any of these countries, Pay4Me can help you make your cross-border payments in minutes.


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