Continental Europe has numerous excellent universities. It’s not surprising, then, that many students from Asia, Africa, and South America might wish to go there to further their education.

Many of these universities, however, will require proficiency in their primary language of instruction. That often means mastery of English.

Here are the countries where you can find universities that won’t require you to take the IELTS. However, they will still have some other requirements with which you’ll have to comply.


Belgium is one of the most popular countries in the world for young adults, as it is famously tolerant and liberal concerning social issues.

Plus, you can find plenty of excellent beer and chocolate here. The nightlife is quite lively.

Some universities here do not require international students to take the IELTS. Ghent University is one example.

However, you must prove your proficiency in the language of instruction of the programs you’re entering. This can be Dutch or English.

You don’t need to meet the language requirements when you begin your admission procedure. But you do need to present the appropriate language certificate upon enrolment.


You don’t need to take the IELTS in Denmark as long as you can preset proof of proficiency, at a minimum, the intermediate level in English.

And you don’t even need that if you come from an English-speaking country. This is true if you completed your Bachelor’s degree in English-speaking countries such as the US, the UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

Here are some of the universities in Denmark where the IELTS isn’t required, though they may require you to show proof of native-level proficiency in English.

  • Aarhus University
  • KEA College
  • Metropol University
  • University of Copenhagen
  • Vejle Business College

Danish education is internationally-oriented, and it combines teaching with research.

It’s also likely that your chosen university and program will have partnerships with business institutions and research organizations. This allows you to gain practical skills while you can network for a future job.

The universities also enthusiastically promote a very social educational environment. Classes are held in small groups, while the campus plays host to a lot of social activities.


IELTS isn’t a requirement to study in Finland if you can adequately prove your English proficiency. Either English is your native tongue, or you obtained your earlier education in a university that uses English.

Here are the universities where you won’t need the IELTS, though you may still be tested for your English proficiency.

  • Arcade University
  • HAMK Hame University of Applied Sciences
  • Hanken School of Economics
  • Helsinki School of Business
  • Kajaani University of Applied Sciences
  • LAB University of Applied Sciences
  • LUT University
  • Metropolia University

Finland has already played host to 14,000 international students, and the universities here are generally ranked among the top 3% in the world.

The cost of living is manageable for most international students, with many student discounts for food and transportation throughout the country. Plus, the healthcare system is top-notch.


As France is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, it’s not surprising that many international students want to study here. In just 2021, about 370,000 international students learned here.

The good news is that most leading French universities won’t require IELTS for many disciplines and programs.

Here are some of the universities that won’t require the IELTS for international students.

  • American Business School, Paris
  • EBS Paris
  • EPITA Graduate School of Computer Science
  • ESAIP School of Engineers
  • ESC Rennes School of Business, France
  • ESGCI, Paris
  • ESLSCA Business School
  • IESA International
  • INSEEC Business School
  • ISC Paris
  • NEOMA Business School
  • Paris School of Business
  • SKEMA Business School
  • Toulouse Business School

In France, you can truly immerse yourself in the fascinating French culture. You’ll master the French language, enjoy French cuisine and fashion, and explore the sights during your rest days.

It’s a famously tolerant and liberal country as well, and the wines are just fabulous.


You won’t need to take the IELTS or the TOEFL if your instructional language is already English.

Some courses may require proof of English proficiency, but others won’t even need this. Also, some German universities may require letters from your previous school that attests to your English ability.

If you are studying with upGrad Abroad, some universities (such as IU Germany) won’t require IELTS.

Some German universities offer Study Abroad programs that don’t require IELTS. These include:

  • Braunschweig University of Technology
  • Esslingen University
  • Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences
  • HCI Siegen
  • Ruhr University Bochum
  • University of Bonn
  • University of Koblenz and Landau

Germany is another popular destination for students. It ranks 5th in the world in the number of international students, which is 416,437 for 2022.

Part of this is that the German free tuition system is available for all international students. It doesn’t matter which country you came from.

Most universities here are public; in most cases, you’ll only pay the administration fee per semester. That’s about 100 to 350 euros per semester.

It’s also a liberal country with a diverse population, and the cost of living is surprisingly affordable. That’s good, as the nightlife here can be pretty vibrant.


Here, you can receive a high-quality education from some of the best and oldest universities in the world. These include the University of Bologna (founded in 1088), the University of Padua (1222), and the University of Naples Federico II (1224).

Some Italian universities also won’t even require the IELTS for international students, and these universities include:

  • John Cabot University
  • Polytechnic University of Milan
  • Sapienza University of Rome
  • University of Genoa
  • University of Naples Federico II
  • University of Padua
  • University of Pisa
  • University of Roma
  • University of Trento
  • University of Turin

Here, you can play tourist in one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world during your rest days. You won’t run out of art and architecture to admire while always enjoying the joys of Italian cuisine.


Degrees from Latvia are internationally recognized, and most of the programs here are taught in English. And once you get your degree here, you have a good chance of getting a job in any European country.

In general, a university in Latvia won’t require the IELTS if you’re already a native speaker of English. The same goes if you’ve completed your primary, high school, vocational, or higher education in English.

You also won’t need the IELTS if you’ve taken a year of higher education in an English-speaking country, though you will still need a certification of your English proficiency.

Latvia University is one of these universities that will require you to present an English test score to prove your English proficiency. If you don’t have one, you will still have to take the English courses offered by the university.

Here are some other universities in Latvia that don’t need the IELTS:

  • Daugavpils University
  • Riga Stradins University
  • Riga Technical University
  • University of Latvia
  • University of Liepaja
  • Ventspils University College

Latvia is also a very safe country, and with its low population, you won’t need to worry too much about traffic jams.

It’s a very serene environment for study, and the cost of living won’t cause worry as well.


Most Norwegian people (especially the younger generations) speak fluent English. Even if you don’t take the IELTS, you must know how to speak English as well if you’re studying here.

Without the IELTS, you can still study in Norway if you’ve completed a full year at any university in an English-speaking country.

You also don’t need the IELTS if you’ve completed your earlier education at a university where the primary instructional language is English.

Here are the universities where IELTS isn’t an absolute requirement for international students:

  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • University of Bergen
  • University of Oslo

Norway is a famous country for international students, with about 25,000 studying here.

Public schools do not charge tuition fees, which also applies to international students. You only pay tuition at private universities.

The government also subsidizes student housing.

The country has one of the greatest standards of living in the whole world. There is low unemployment and a low crime rate, with a sound welfare system.


It surprises some people that Poland is one of the most popular countries for international students. More than 1.2 million international students study here across almost 380 universities.

Some of these universities offer programs for international students that don’t require the IELTS. These universities include:

  • Adam Mickiewicz University
  • Jagiellonian University
  • Warsaw University of Technology

Poland is one of the most affordable cities for students. Dormitories start at 60 euros a month for a student, cinema tickets can be as low as 2.50 euros, and a cafeteria lunch is possible at 2 euros.


Many international students find Spain a great country to study in. The educational system is well-organized, and you have many degree programs to choose from.

In addition, the climate is wonderful, the lifestyle is vibrant, and there are plenty of opportunities for academic and career advancement.

So, it’s not surprising that there are more than 2 million international students here.

If you’re studying here, you need to be a native English speaker with proof of proficiency in Spanish.

Or, you have taken a preparatory course in Spanish and a diploma from a Spanish Language school. In addition, you also need an internationally recognized proficiency certificate in English.

If you meet any of these requirements, then you won’t need the IELTS for the following universities:

  • Pablo de Olavide University
  • The University of Salamanca
  • Universidad Antonio de Nebrija
  • University of Valencia

Here you can fully immerse yourself in the Spanish culture, and afterward, you’ll also speak Spanish fluently. Meanwhile, you get to enjoy fantastic Spanish cuisine all the time.

The cost of living is quite affordable, and you have plenty of beautiful cities to explore. The country is also famous for its lively nightlife, and after exams, you can experience your first “tapa crawl.”


There are more than 33,300 international students in Sweden. But then again, the education here is student-centric, and students from EU nations don’t even pay tuition.

Almost everyone here speaks English, so it’s best if you can. However, it’s possible to get your master’s degree here if you’ve completed your Bachelor’s degree in English.

You can try the following universities:

  • Lund University
  • Uppsala University

Regardless of the information, you obtain here, you should still research the language requirements for the university and program you want. But it’s possible to study as an international student in continental Europe without the IELTS.