Best Countries to Study with an ETIAS or Schengen Visa

| December 3, 2021

The European Union is home to some of the most prodigious universities and schools in the world. Many of these schools have existed for hundreds of years and have been responsible for educating history’s greatest leaders, scientists, and artists.

As a non-EU resident, you can’t simply enroll at will and will need to apply for either an ETIAS or a Schengen Visa. In both cases, there are countries offering educational opportunities.

Best Countries to Study with an ETIAS

ETIAS authorization is limited to stays of no more than 90 days within any 180-day period. It means that your education will be capped at 3 months, after which you’ll need to return home, wait a few more months, and then repeat.

It’s not conducive to long-term education and there are limits with regard to how it can be used. Still, there are options available, including all of the following:

Cookery Courses

Italy, Greece, Spain, France—these countries have some of the best and most popular cuisines in the world. They are centuries old and their best dishes are known all over the world.

If you want to learn how to cook like the pros, visit these countries and apply for a short-term course. These courses exist outside of Europe, but learning French cuisine in California, Quebec, or Manchester isn’t quite the same as learning it in Paris.

Best Countries for ETIAS Cooking Courses

  • France
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • Spain

Language Courses

Total immersion is the best way to learn a language. Textbooks, audio courses, and interactive games are great, but if you want to learn quickly and efficiently, it’s best to surround yourself with native speakers.

Spending three months in Spain is perfect if you’re trying to learn Spanish, and as Europe is home to some of the most popular languages in the world—French, German, Italian—there is no shortage of options.

There are numerous language courses available in Europe that will support your learning. These courses will teach you grammar and vocabulary throughout the day, and for the rest of the time, you can engage with the locals.

For American students, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy are great options and cover some of the most popular second languages in the United States.

Best Countries for ETIAS Languages Courses

  • France
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal

History Courses

You can learn about Greek history all over the world but seeing the Acropolis in a textbook isn’t the same as scaling that hill and experiencing the beautiful buildings for yourself. The same goes for France and Italy, two countries with a wealth of history that you can see and feel.

Best Countries for ETIAS History Courses

  • Greece
  • Italy
  • France
  • Germany
  • Romania

Best Countries to Study with a Schengen Visa

A Schengen Visa could give you the right to study full-time in the Schengen Zone. The exact terms will depend on the conditions of the visa, but if you’re looking to join an EU university and you are a non-EU citizen, you need to apply for a Schengen visa.

Once you have your visa, you can consider studying in all the following destinations:


The Greek education system is one of the best in the world. It produces great doctors, historians, and lawyers, and there are many prestigious universities. More importantly for students on a budget, the cost of living in Athens is much cheaper than in many other European capitals.


Austria is one of the best countries to get an education in the arts. It is famous for its music and art schools and has a number of top universities. Education is also very affordable in Austria when you consider the quality on offer.


Just like Greece, Italy has a rich history, a great culture, and some fantastic food. It also has a superb education system, with an emphasis on economics, art, and business.


Poland has a low cost of living and many great universities. You can live very comfortably for around €500 per month, leaving plenty of cash for your studies.


The Finnish language is a little trickier than some of the options listed above, but the country itself has some great universities and there are also a lot of English speakers here. Finland is best-known for its courses in arts, engineering, and business.


There are several Portuguese universities in the world’s top rankings and it’s also a beautiful and diverse country. Business, arts, engineering, and nursing are good options here.


The German education system is one of the best in the world. They are known for their skills in manufacturing, engineering, and economics, but there are a wealth of options and hundreds of fantastic universities.


Lithuania is one of the cheapest options on this list. The actual education costs might be a little higher than some other EU nations, but the cost of living is very low at around €300 per month. There are many options for international students, including over a dozen top universities.