1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Traveling for Free Tuition

  1. Jul 9, 2013 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I currently live in the USA and have yet to graduate from high school. Looking at the option for higher education here seems costly and I will almost certainly have student loans to pay off afterwards. Is traveling to places such as Sweden, France, etc. a valid option for higher education because of the free tuition as well as many other benefits? I find it hard to believe that higher education is free in other countries. What are your thoughts on this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2013 #2
    Its not free in other countries, its paid for by taxes. Generally, if you dont live there and dont pay taxes there you dont get the education paid for by the state.

    Its similar here in the US. Our education is very heavily subsidized as well and many schools will charge you more if you come from out of state. The thinking is that if you are in state you and your family have been paying the taxes to subsidize the school and thus you get the lowered tuition. If you are out of state you have not been paying taxes to subsidize the school and you pay out of state tuition.
  4. Jul 9, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor

    Join the national guard via SMP program and obtain a guaranteed guard scholarship which will cover room and board or tuition. :)

    But from what little I know, if you are not a citizen of that country, then the whole free thing doesn't apply.
  5. Jul 9, 2013 #4
    OP: Do your research. You will find most if not all countries DO NOT have free tuition especially for non EU-citizens. EU citizens pay anywhere from 300-1200€/year tuition for public universities in Germany, Spain, France, Scandinavia and a few others, but there are a few funding options for citizens who meet some academic and financial criteria in most cases. In the UK it starts at 9000 pounds/year).

    As a non-EU citizen you can expect to pay several times that in tuition fees. Although it still might be substantially cheaper than $10k/year as in many American universities, you have to factor in living costs which might end up being even more expensive than just going to college within your state.
  6. Jul 9, 2013 #5


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

  7. Jul 9, 2013 #6


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I know that it is, for the most part, payed by taxes. The question I had was, is it worth it to become a citizen of that country so that the taxes you pay cover your tuition, leaving out the fact that some countries require you to wait for a certain amount of time for you to be considered eligible for that sort of funding.
  8. Jul 9, 2013 #7
    Unless you have some very unusual circumstance that enables you to get an EU country's citizenship in under a year (repatriation agreement, relatives, etc.), you cannot become a citizen of a country in the EU overnight.

    Typically first you become a temp resident alien (which grants you work permission), later upgrade to permanent resident and THEN after 5 years after living and working + paying taxes in the country, you can request citizenship. The first step can take anywhere from months to years, and in some cases isn't possible unless you have an employer willing to sponsor you.

    Getting a student visa as an American is relatively simple, but then you have to pay foreigner fees (you pay full education costs with no subsidy (so multiply the prices I stated by 3 or 4, at the least), and of course don't get any grants/scholarships intended for citizens).
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  9. Jul 9, 2013 #8


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Oregon is changing it's tuition policy in 2015 I believe. It might be worth looking into.

    It rains a lot there, but both UofO and Oregon State are good colleges with a lot of research going on.


    It may be easier to do that then to live in another country. Additionally, Eugene (where UofO is located) has excellent public transit as well as well laid out bike-paths and road markings which makes it easy to get around low-cost.

    The downside being that most of the jobs available are college-student jobs ie: food industry, simple office jobs. You can find a job, and the cost of living isn't too bad.

    Just a thought.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook