Studying Abroad: European Higher Education

The benefits of studying abroad are wide and proven. Many recent graduates every year get the chance to go studying in an European country to complete their Higher Education. It is indeed a beneficial experience both on a human level, as a way of self-development, and on the academic side, given that an international studying experience boosts and enrich the CV.

It is a real challenge: you experience a different type of education, while trying to adapt to a new culture. This choice could also mean leaving your home and conform zone for the first time and facing the difficulties of expressing yourself in a foreign language.

However once finished, you will return home with a new perspective, new language skills, a great education, and a willingness to learn. Needless to say, all of these are very attractive to future employers. Not to be forgotten, you will make new friends and you will look forward to seeing them again.

But how much it costs to go studying abroad, in an European country, to complete your Higher Education?

A recent European Commission report answers this question and analyses the support systems each European country give to students willing to study in a different country. Indeed while various factors influence students’ ability to access Higher Education, previous research has found that the availability of financial resources to fund studies is one important factor.

The report focuses on fees and support systems that the national policies guarantee to students. The reference year is 2020/21 academic year.

You might be interested to know that there are European countries where first-cycle students do not pay any fee or pay less than 100 euros fee. This is the case of Denmark and Sweden. Other countries like Greece, and Ireland don’t apply an annual fee to first-cycle full-time students. There just students in the second cycle generally pay fees.

While the higher fees are recorded in the United Kingdom and in Norway (above 3,000 euros annual fee), other countries such as Italy and Spain request an annual fee between 1,000 and 3,000 euros. In East-European countries full-time students progressing normally through their studies pay only administrative charges.

Other aspects that the Report analyses are the following:

  • Insufficient ECTS credits or extended duration of studies may imply higher fees;
  • Part-time students are more likely to pay fees than full-timers;
  • Fees for international students are commonly higher than fees for nationals.

There are ways of financial support that differ from a country to another. The need-based grants are the most common form of direct financial support in Europe. Although access to these grants mainly depends on the socio-economic background of students.

The Report goes specifically into each of its finding and analyses, in the second part, each European national system, country by country. It is indeed a useful tool for anyone in need of advices on which country to go studying to, as it summarises the Fees and Support given in the country of choice.

Read also

Roaming in the EU: More Giga Abroad

EU Citizens Living and Working in Another EU State Doubled in Past 10 Years


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