They do exist, but there aren’t as many for international students, and the ones that do exist are often for students from third world countries. It’s usually school-specific as to whether or not they offer them, and there are sometimes tuition waivers based on merit. But there are other opportunities as well. For instance, in Italy, at public universities, the tuition is based on family income. So in our database, we have Italian tuition at public universities listed as the highest bracket that they have, so that you can budget accordingly. Because you actually don’t find out until you get there and have been accepted, we think it’s best to budget high, just in case.
In France, they have CAF, and this is something that even international students can apply for. It’s a type of housing stipend, and around 100 euros a month.
In the Netherlands, most schools offer Holland scholarships (5,000 euros) but they are just for the first year.
And then there’s Finland, which is really interesting. Finland used to offer free tuition to everyone (including international students), but they recently shifted gears and started charging tuition. At the same time a rule passed that required universities to offer scholarships to tuition-paying students. And they are substantial. For instance, some Finnish schools offer first year students an 80% tuition waiver. And if a student passes their first year of full-time study, then a 60% tuition waiver is offered for each of their remaining years of study. They go further, and if you graduate on time, you receive a refund for the final year of tuition.