Firstly I apologize for how long and involved this is...
I'm a student in the U.S. right now and am a citizen of the U.S.
However, I would LOVE to live and study in Europe. I'm taking German and am coming over to Europe this summer to study German for about a month and I'll probably stay a bit longer to look around.
Anyway, the question I have deals with living and studying in Europe for more than just a summer. The schools I've looked at are horribly expensive since the dollar isn't doing very well these days. I would only assume living there is also incredibly expensive. I've heard rumor that it's difficult to obtain a job after finishing school at times too. So of course one wouldn't exactly want to put themselves in debt and not know for sure that they'd be able to get out of debt once they finish school. Granted I've also heard London is incredibly expensive and that's where the schools are that I've looked at so far since I'm obviously fluent in English first and foremost. I'm thinking about studying medicine or pursuing a medical research career but when you're young it's all pretty up in the air. I just want to know if there are some great schools and cities I might want to look into that wouldn't cost me an arm and leg. To know it's possible and that I might be able to get a job afterward would mean the world to me.
Yeah I think I can help.
Also American living in Europe, I moved over here four years ago to study, same as you are tryin now.
First, The Masters Degree I got here in Edinburgh is less expensive than in Boston where I was looking. The fees are much higher in the US. But depends on University to University. I chose Edinburgh cuz I needed a English speaking city since I only speak English and needed to get a job right away since I have debt back in the States, and didnt wanna deal with the language barrier. So Edinburgh was the best choice, altho its on the pound and VERY expensive here, its still cheaper than London cuz you can walk everywhere, no Tube or Buses needed.
It was also a hidden blesing too since I found out after, the Scottish Government gives two year work visas to Non Eu Students who complete a degree! So it was a great choice. Now my company is going to give me a work permit to stay longer.
Hope that helps
coldwarspy is correct in the fact that graduate school is almost always cheaper in the UK than in the US. but, if you're looking for your bachelors abroad, it can be very different. for both masters and bachelors programs, Scandinavia can be a great option if money is a concern. Sweden (and i believe Norway) offer free tuition, even to non-europeans. i know that Denmark is different in that they are starting to charge fees to residents of outside the EU. however, you would still have to finance your living expenses, which can be fairly large in ultra-expensive Scandinavia.
also, it's important to note, since you mentioned it, that speaking only English might not limit you to JUST the UK. many programs in Scandinavia are offered in English, especially at the graduate level. this is also true for schools throughout europe. depending on your field, some of the schools in Europe far surpass American ones (i know that in the fields of technology engineering, Sweden and Denmark have some great schools at a fraction of the price of American ones.)
while i was living in Scotland i knew several Americans who were studying there full-time, and yes, the two year post-school visa from Scotland is a HUGE perk! Edinburgh and Glasgow have some very, very fine schools you should look at.
it is definitely in your best interest to get over and study in europe, secure yourself some kind of position that will help in aiding the visa process and get you in where you want to be. immigration laws are only going to get harsher so you're very wise to get over there while you're young.
best of luck