Studying abroad has become more accessible. In 2014, 4 million students chose to study abroad, 2 million more than back in 2000.
Yet, going on a study abroad program remains a risk: most international students will use of a loan or family money to pay the university fees and living costs- without a guarantee that he/she will be able to pay it off back.
Here is a list of what the top 5 European countries have to offer for international students in terms of visa, tuitions fees, work while studying and courses compared.
It is ordered from the cheapest to study at (fees + costs of living) to more expensive.
Germany is actively looking to recruit International Students in the next years. Germany has lots to offer:
– Germany has abolished tuition fees at public institutions: This means that will only have to pay for admin fees around €100 to €250 a semester and living costs (this does not apply to private universities and for most Masters students expect if you have studied a bachelor in Germany before)
– A simple student visa process; and a no-visa policy for courses of less than 3 months for international students coming from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA.
– A two years maximum visa for international students taking on a German Language course in Germany.
– The right to work part-time while studying; and stay after graduation for 18 months on a post-study work visa, that allows work too.
– A welcoming job market for international students: the government created a website to help foreigners find jobs and has created specific initiatives to recruit foreign workers from Asia. For the record, a recent statistics quoted that 68% of International students found a job after graduation in Germany.
France and its world known capital Paris is an attractive destination for International students speaking French or interested in learning French. However, you should know that French universities are quite picky about who they accept and expectations are high. Nevertheless you should consider studying in France because
– Education matters in France, so you are sure to get a quality and world class education while studying there.
– France excels in the following courses: Nuclear, Space and Aviation, Engineering, Teaching, Linguistics, Art, History, and Medicine.
– Annual tuitions fees are set by the French Government for Higher Education Universities: from €200 to €700 maximum depending on the course. Fees for private institutions—particularly schools of business and management—is generally higher, fluctuating between €3,000 to €10,000 a year.
– Finding a job in France is not easy because of high rates of unemployment and strict rules over employment contracts. This said, you can work while you study or look for work for a year after graduation if related to you course.
Masters’ and engineering students can apply for a further one year, non-renewable temporary residence permit, which allows to work in any job up to 60 percent of a normal working week.
If the work offers a salary of at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, students can change status from student to employee and work full-time.
Italy’s your destination of choice if you are interested in History, Arts and living a unique millenary culture. Italy’s research and higher education system has good reputation for excellent standards.
– A knowledge of Italian is highly recommended to enjoy your stay but not compulsory to get the visa.
– Italy offers incredible diversity of courses in Fine Arts, Fashion and History – especially related to the period of the Renaissance.
– The average fees at University is in between 850 euro and 1,000 euro per year.
– There are many scholarships available to International Students and an extra efforts is made by the government to help students from poorer countries.
– Working while studying is allowed up to 1,024 hours a year, and international students with a masters degree or abovs can stay for up to 12 months after graduation to look for a job.
Spain became a hub for international students thanks to the successful Erasmus Program implementation there – European Union program to encourage EU students study abroad. Spain remains an attractive destination, especially for Latin American students who benefits from the common language and easier visa rules.
– Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world, and second most spoken in the Western world. Improving your spanish early might open to you many more doors tomorrow.
– Tuition starts at €5,500 per semester and can go up to €12,000 per semester.
– You can work part-time while studying or even full-time for less than three months if it does not conflict with your studies.
– Spain Higher Education holds great reputation for its Law courses and humanities. Studying those topics can open to you other European countries where these diplomas are recognised.
UK remains the first destination for International Students in 2014. With an excellent Higher Education reputation and offer, UK Universities have it easy to sell themselves. However the recent changes in fees and visa rules might change UK’s leadership in the sector.
– UK has a clear advantage of being the country’s where English is from and spoken everyday. The Language commonly spoken in Business and the second most spoken language after Chinese.
– University tuitions fees are the highest of all European Countries. On average, International Students University fees starts at £10,500 and can go as high as £20,000 if you are aiming at specific courses in finance and management. There are plenty of scholarships available to check.
– Student Visa for the UK are hard to get. It requires to prove a good knowledge and practice of the English Language and that you can financially support yourself, along providing the right documents. Always ask an expert for visa guidance and advice if you have doubts.
– Working while studying is restricted to 20 hours a week . UK’s job market is quite flexible and vibrant so it is not too hard for International students to find a part-time job.
– However, work after graduation is difficult to find because of strict rules over post-study work visas. International Students to work after graduation will either need to find a job that can be sponsored by an employer; or an internship that pays the minimum wage; or start your own company.
Studying abroad can prove to be a fruitful investment if well thought through.
International students may want to think of the topic of study and the language in which they wish to study the course before looking for universities and tuitions fees.
Studying abroad is expensive make sure you make the most of the many scholarship available for international students in Europe.