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I'm Curious About Moving to Europe for College!

Travel Forums Europe I'm Curious About Moving to Europe for College!

1. Posted by mblack0205 (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hi, everyone! I was researching about moving to Europe for college and it brought me to a forum on this site. I decided to make an account on here to ask my own questions. Please help, any advice is welcomed!

Okay, so I live in the US, specifically North Carolina. I'm a Junior in high school, but my high school is different than others. I'm a Junior in high school, yes, but I'm on a college campus taking college courses. This means when I graduate high school in 2016, I'll also be graduating with my Associate's Degree at the same time. College is a very hot topic for me now since I'm so close to the end of school. I've started plans for college here in the US, but I'd never even considered moving to Europe for college until yesterday. I loved the idea, so my main questions are listed below. If anyone could help, I'd appreciate it a lot!

1. I read on many different sites that college in Germany is free. Is there any truth to that? And what's the toss up for free education?
2. What exactly are student visas and how do I get one? Why do I get one for moving to Europe?
3. Say I decided to stay in Europe after college. Do I get a work visa then or do I do something completely different?
4. I heard getting your license in Europe is hard for people from other countries and more expensive. Is this true as well?
5. I'm not positive what I want to do, career-wise, just yet, but so far, I'm thinking Surgeon or Teacher. What can someone tell me about these professions in Europe?
6. What kinds of colleges are there for me to look into?
7. Are there any countries in particular that have a cheaper tuition for foreign students than others?
8. I'm fluent in English, and that's all. I'm working on Spanish and German, but I'm too busy to practice as much as I'd like. What will it be like for me to be in Europe if I only speak English?
9. Just in general, can someone point me in a direction of a website with information if they don't have it? People I can talk to or anything like that?

Once again, thanks for your help!


2. Posted by Andyf (Moderator 742 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hi Miranda

As no-one has leapt in to answer after 8 hours, I thought I'd give you the dubious benefit of my almost zero knowledge on this! :-)

This seems to suggest that most places you'll be charged tuition fees, and presumably that means you'll also have to fund your own living costs on top of that.

I would have thought a lot of degree courses in Europe will be taught in their native languages, so if you aren't fluent in that particular language how do you expect to cope at degree-level study? So maybe that makes Britain your best bet to work in English. This article quotes a typical cost of $30k per year for tuition fees plus living, which fits with the news articles I've seen here about tuition fees and making foreign students pay their share.

Visas - if a university accepts you I'm sure they'd help with the visa and it would be pretty straightforward. Afterward you'd need a work visa, yes, and that would depend on the value of your skills.

I'm not aware that getting a driving licence here is more expensive than elsewhere, I do remember hearing that an American friend who moved here needed to take a UK test as the American one wasn't recognised as being up to the standard.

Good luck. :-)

3. Posted by mapsandmoxie (Full Member 196 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I don't have a lot of information on this, and what I do have is second-hand from friends and the limited research I did while in school on study-abroad programs, so take it with a grain of salt.

1. College in a number of countries is free in Europe, however, this is only for domestic students. Tuition prices vary beyond that depending on country, school and program. I don't know what the cost is.

2. Student visas are typically supported by the school you're attending. They're necessary for opening a bank account and establishing residence there.

3. You would need a work visa, but again, this may be supported by the company you're working with and your skill set. Unless you were to immigrate somewhere, you will need a visa to work or live in a foreign country long term.

4. I don't know about costs, but you can get an international license before you go if you think you need it. That being said, public transport is readily available and cars and petrol are ridiculously expensive, so I don't think this would be a necessity. It also depends on where you go. I was able to drive using my Canadian license in Iceland without issue. It may be different in the UK or Ireland though with driving on the left side of the road.

5. Sorry, not going to be much help here.

6. All kinds! The better question to ask yourself is what kind of program/experience are you looking for.

7. Probably, but I'm not sure what they would be. I have friends that studying in Slovenia, and opted for there as it was cheaper. One thing to keep in mind is even if tuition is the same price from country to country cost of living varies considerably. The UK will be much more expensive than Berlin, and that will be more expensive than Norway or Sweden. Eastern Europe is generally cheaper than western.

8. Many schools offer programs in English now. You'll have to determine the program you're looking for then see what's available where and narrow it down. I would start with identifying the program and narrow it down from their - see where it's offered, etc. There's no point in studying an English program in Spain if it's not offered in the subject you want. (I have English speaking friends studying or that have studied in Iceland, Sweden, Hungary, France, Netherlands, etc)

9. You're currently at a college, so why not talk to the support staff there and see if they have any partner schools abroad or suggestions?

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Nov-2014, at 01:49 by mapsandmoxie ]

4. Posted by mblack0205 (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Thanks so much, everyone! You've both been very helpful! (:

5. Posted by mapsandmoxie (Full Member 196 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Let us know how this works out. :)

6. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 592 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

5. I can tell you a little about this. if you want to be a surgeon, you'll have to do medicine at university. In the UK this is one of the more expensive courses and it's hard to get into because there's a lot of demand for few places. For students in England, getting four grade A subjects at A level won't guarantee you a place in Medicine so you need to be top notch.

For teaching, it depends on what area you want to teach. For primary school (ages 5-11) it would be usual for students to follow a four-year BEd course, after which you can get your first teaching job. For secondary school (ages 11-18) you could do a general four-year BEd but most schools prefer specialists - a three-year bachelor's degree in a high school subject followed by a year of teacher-training to get a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education). Then you can apply for jobs.

Once you get your teaching certificate, working in the UK is the most obvious place but it could also open up opportunities to teach in Australia or New Zealand or other British schools around the world.

Good luck!

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Nov-2014, at 13:20 by Borisborough ]

7. Posted by Hachiko (Full Member 34 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Regarding tuition in Germany, it is actually true that they offer a lot of free programmes (both undergraduate and postgraduate). A good selection of them are international programmes (ie taught in English), and depending on the topic of your studies, the level and quality of teaching can have a really good reputation as well. Plus Germany is generally a good place to be a student if all you speak is English, because a) unlike, say, France, you can actually get by with only English there, and b) German is relatively easy to pick up for native English speakers.
Quite a few European countries offer very cheap or free university education, but you have to keep in mind that few of them are taught in English. Germany is well known for offering a lot of international, English-language programmes.
Sometimes you have to pay an enrolment fee, but even that is usually a few hundred euros, which is nothing compared to what you'd pay in the US.

Be aware, though, that in many European universities you have to choose a a specific subject of studies right from the start. It can be quite difficult to switch and, here in the uk at least, requires you to reapply for a new degree. If you're positive about wanting to study in Europe but not sure what you want to study yet, maybe the best course of action would be to take a gap year after you graduate to try and figure things out? In a lot of European countries - and certainly in the UK - students who took a gap year are pretty well received because it is considered valuable "life experience".

As for visas, don't worry! Once you get an offer from a place of study you will be able to apply for a student visa at the corresponding embassy.

I've just finished my studies in London, so if you have specific questions about studying in the UK just let me know :)

Post 8 was removed by a moderator