10 min

Non-English speaking countries where you can study and live without command of local language

Do you want to grow as a professional in your field, study or do an internship abroad, but the country you are interested in is not an English-speaking one?

When we think about relocation, we are often afraid that we would feel like strangers, lacking ability to speak the local language. 

Even though English may not be an official language in a particular country, it doesn’t mean that the majority of the people who live there are completely unfamiliar with the language. Let's explore the hand-picked list of countries where you can comfortably live and study with command of English language only.

1. Netherlands

If you have ever dreamed of studying in high ranked universities, spending your free time strolling or cycling along the romantic canals, you will be glad to know that over 90% of Dutch people speak English. More than 15 million of them, in fact. English is included in the Dutch school curriculum, so all kids practice it from an early age. Most institutions and government agencies use both Dutch and English in corporate and mass communications.

Although Dutch universities are not tuition-free, the fees there are much less than the average for English-speaking countries — starting at EUR6,000 per year, depending on your subject and study level. You can also apply for different sources of funding to cover your expenses (fully or partially). 

Living expenses: EUR 850 per month, for 1 person

Accommodation cost: EUR 850-1100 per month, for 1 person

2. Sweden

Swedish excellent higher education system also comprises some world top-ranking universities. Many of them provide programs in English. This is the case not only with education: it is not uncommon for locals to speak English in everyday life, as it is a major part of communication at many workplaces. 

The cost of university programs is USD7,300-17,500 per year, depending on the subject and degree level.

Living expenses: EUR 800 per month, for 1 person

Accommodation cost: EUR 600-900 per month, for 1 person

3. Denmark 

Denmark is considered the world’s happiest country and ranks number one in terms of eco-friendly lifestyle. Most programs for foreign students are located in Copenhagen, the capital city, that is considered one of the most-livable and bicycle-friendly cities in the world. 

Denmark is popular among students who want to study architecture, design, business, engineering, and environmental studies. The tuition fee in Danish universities ranges from €6,000 to €16,000 per year.

Living expenses: EUR 700 per month, for 1 person

Accommodation cost: EUR 500-700 per month, for 1 person

4. Norway

There’s a hidden root that ties English with Scandinavia: English and all of the Scandinavian languages are Germanic languages. This means that all of these languages belong to the same family tree. It is not a surprise then, that Norwegian words and sentence structures closely resemble English, giving Norwegian learners a clear advantage in the English classroom. That’s why you can easily use English in everyday communication.

Norway offers a good range of English-taught programs, mainly at master’s level. International students don’t pay for education in public universities, but there is still a small student welfare organization fee each semester, which usually does not exceed EUR60. 

Living expenses: EUR 900 per month, for 1 person

Accommodation cost: EUR 630-900 per month, for 1 person

5. Germany 

Around 56 percent of Germany’s population speaks English (particularly amongst the younger generation), and there are many programs available to study in English, mostly at postgraduate level. If you want to study at undergraduate level, English-taught courses are harder to find.

There are no tuition fees for undergraduate degrees at public universities in Germany. Master’s degrees are also free for those who have obtained an undergraduate  degree in Germany, while PhD courses are also often either free or very low-cost. Private universities in Germany will charge tuition fees, but still usually at a lower level than the international average.

Living expenses: EUR 770 per month, for 1 person

Accommodation cost: EUR 550-800 per month, for 1 person