Study in Europe – The Europe 2020 strategy is European Union’s agenda for growth and jobs in the current decade. This 10-year plan was initiated in 2010 and was a way to dampen the adverse effects of the economic crisis that was at its peak in 2008. Academic experts around the world are impressed because education, R & D and innovation has been given key importance in the strategy. Such a clean focus has led to a rise in the demand for highly skilled labors in the EU which has become an attractive factor for overseas students. Now that the Europe 2020 strategy is culminating into an overall progress of the education sector in the EU, Europe has become a preferred region for pursuing higher studies.
According to a data by Eurostat, 1.7 million students from foreign lands are studying in Europe. The highest share of these students were pursuing either a bachelor’s degree (45.6%) or a master’s degree (41.9%), while 9.3% were studying for doctoral degrees and 3.1 % followed short-cycle courses.
Based on the QS World University Rankings 2020, UK’s higher education system leads in Europe. Universities in the UK rank amongst the top 10 universities in the world, while 2 Swiss universities (ETH Zurich and EPFL) rank amongst the top 20. Apart from the UK, other European nations that have a large number of entries in the QS ranking table are Germany and France. Due to such a great number of university options in Europe, it is not easy to choose the one that’s best for you.
Hence, in this article we explore in detail why you should study in Europe, top universities and courses, study visa, post study work permit, jobs, and life in Europe.
Study in Europe – Why Study in Europe?
Top 6 reasons to choose Europe as study abroad destination:
- A boost to your career
- World class education and research
- Variety of education options
- Low tuition fees
- Easy travelling across Europe
- Options to study courses in English Language
Europe currently attracts 45% of all international students worldwide and European universities make sure that they stay competitive to fetch the best talents globally. One can research the EU commission’s ‘Study in Europe’ initiative (that provides a platform to disperse information regarding the higher education systems of European countries) to learn more .
Have you finished with your Class 12 studies? Looking for study abroad options? Read Study in Germany after Class 12 here.
Study in Europe – Popular European Universities
There are many universities in Europe to choose from for higher studies. We will be covering only the top countries where international students wish to study and aspire for a dream career. The European Union (EU) is composed of 27 member states. The UK exited out of the EU after Brexit happened in early 2020.
You can study for free (no tuition fees or low) in some of the European countries. Read the blog – Study abroad for free.
Top EU Countries for International Students
- Nordic Countries – Denmark, Norway and Sweden
In Austria, there are 8 universities which are listed in the top of QS World University Rankings. The country is landlocked while sharing borders with 8 neighboring European countries. Austria is perfectly located for travel adventures around Europe.
Why study in Austria?
Top ranked Austrian universities, as per QS rankings:
Facts about University of Vienna – Top ranked university of Austria
University of Vienna is the oldest university in the German-speaking world and one of the largest in Central Europe. Currently, about 91,000 students are enrolled at the University of Vienna. 188 courses can be taken, of which 56 are Bachelor Programmes, 117 Master Programmes, 4 Diploma Programmes and 11 PhD Programmes. With staff of 9,400 employees, 6,700 of whom are academic, the University of Vienna is the largest teaching and research institution in Austria.
Why study in Germany?
Top ranked German universities, as per QS rankings:
Why study in France?
Top ranked French universities, as per QS rankings:
Do you know you can pursue courses in English Language in France? Read here Study in France in English
Why study in Switzerland?
Top ranked Swiss universities, as per QS rankings:
Why study in Belgium?
Top ranked Swiss universities, as per QS rankings:
Studying in Scandinavian countries is a rich experience for international students. Scandinavia covers 4% of the European population, and is the combination of 5 countries that occupy the 7th largest area in the world. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland offer international students a rich history and vibrant culture.
Denmark is known for having the happiest people in the world and the capital city, Copenhagen is a hub for international students. These students pursue courses like International Business, Sustainability and Political Sciences. Arts and visual course programmes are also popular amongst the students. Students get to engage with activists, researchers, and like-minded entrepreneurs through study tours and case work during their course period.
Norway, a place with an enriching culture and picturesque landscape, has a lot to offer for study abroad aspirants. There are a lot of course program options available in cities like Kristiansand, Oslo, Trondheim and Bergen. Students find courses in Culture, History, Geography, Geology quite attractive to pursue in Norway.
Thriving Swedish cities offer a lot to international students in terms of academic courses and post-study job opportunities. Students opt for courses in Arts, History, Architecture, Social Work, Political Science, Economics, and Education. With quite many world-class universities, and around 800 study programmes in English on offer, Sweden attracts countless international students every year.
Study in Europe – Courses to pursue in Europe
You can pursue a variety of courses in Europe in English. To begin with, you need to do a bit of research on the courses, intakes, fees, accomodation, city and language of course conduct.
SUBJECTS THAT STUDENTS CAN PURSUE DURING THEIR UG AND PG LEVEL EDUCATION IN EUROPE
POPULAR COURSES IN GERMANY
Germany is popular for Engineering courses. International students aspiring for postgraduate engineering programmes find that the courses have intensive research work, and that they get invaluable study abroad experience, high-quality education, career and migration possibilities, and low-cost studies in Germany.
POPULAR COURSES IN AUSTRIA
In Austria, the following course are quite popular:
- Business Management
- International Business
- Mechanical Engineering
POPULAR COURSES IN BELGIUM
In Belgium, the most popular courses that international students pursue are:
- Financial Management
- Masters in Management in Science
- International political Economy
POPULAR COURSES IN FRANCE
Some of the top UG and PG popular courses in French universities are:
- Software Engineering
- Data and Business Analytics
- Fashion and Luxury Retail Management
- International Business
- International Marketing
- Banking and Finance
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Financial Markets and Investments
POPULAR COURSES IN SWITZERLAND
Switzerland mostly attracts students in the following streams:
- Business and Finance
- Hotel Management
- Communication and PR
- Management studies
- International Hospitality Management
- Sports Management
Study in Europe – Student Visa & Work Permit
International students can apply for different types of visa to study in Europe:
- Schengen Visa
- Residence Permit/Long stay visa
In the following section, we will cover information on student and post-study work visas on some of the popular study abroad destinations in the EU like Germany, France and Belgium.
Want to looks for job opportunities in Germany? Read the blog Post study work permit Germany
STUDY VISA AND WORK PERMIT IN GERMANY
Studies up to 3 months in Germany or in other European countries do not require a student visa, and a SCHENGEN VISA will do.
If you are planning for a course with a duration of more than 3 months, you need a STUDENT PERMIT OR RESIDENCE PERMIT.
There are 3 types of visa for international students who wish to study in Germany:
- German Student Visa – German student visa process takes up to 25 days on average. It can even take up to 3 months for many applications to be processed. For full details, check out German student visa article.
- Applicant Visa – Applicant visas are required if you would like to apply for university admission in person.
- Language Visa – You need a Language visa to study a German language course at a German institution.
International students can apply for post-study work permit after completing postgraduate studies from a German university. The visa can be extended for up to 18 months and if you have got a job during the permit, then you can apply for EU Blue Card for long term residence plans in Europe.
Do you know that you can work while you study in Germany? Read the blog Why study in Germany
STUDY VISA AND WORK PERMIT IN FRANCE
France attracts 3,00,000 international students across the globe every year. If you are a non EU student, you need to apply for a visa to study in France, just like for any other European country.
The visa types students can apply for to study in France are:
- Visa for Entrance Exam
- Temporary Long Term Visa – This visa allows you to stay in France for 2-12 months for higher studies, travel freely across Europe and get social security benefits from the French Government.
- Long Term Visa (VLS-TS) – VLS-TS allows students to look for jobs after graduate studies in France. With this visa, you can work for up to 20 hours per week and travel across Europe.
You can also apply for a Schengen visa (which is common for all European countries) if your course duration is less than 3 months.
Do you want to looks for jobs after your graduate? Read the blog Post study work permit France
STUDY VISA AND WORK PERMIT IN BELGIUM
As an international student, you will need to contact your nearest Belgian embassy or consulate in your country for visa application. The embassy will help you determine if you need a student visa, and will guide you through the visa application. The information regarding Belgian visa applications can be found on the website of the ‘Foreigners Department of the Federal Public Service (FPS) for Home Affairs’, available to read in French, Dutch and English. As an international student, you’ll need to apply for a national long-stay visa (D visa), which allows you to stay longer than 90 days in Belgium.
To know about Residence Permit in Europe in Details, read the article – Residency in Europe
Study in Europe – FAQs
Q. Which is the best country to study abroad?
A. European countries such as Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Ireland, Italy and others are quite popular among international students. They are at fierce competition with US, UK and Canada. The study abroad destination suitable for you depends on where you want to study and which course you want to study. These days, it's quite competitive to get into top universities in European universities, so you have to be academically strong and have good language exam scores and work experience (depending on the eligibility conditions mentioned for the course you are applying).
Q. How much does it cost to study in Europe?
A. Austrian average tuition fees are approx. EUR 700 per semester for international students at all levels and the average living costs are EUR 11,400 per year. In Belgium, average tuition fees are around EUR 4,175 per year for non-EU students. The average living costs in Belgium are EUR 10,200-11,400 per year. The average tuition fees for studies in Denmark is EUR 6,000-16,000 per year for international students and the average living costs are EUR 14,400 per year. In Germany, an international student has to pay no fees (except administrative annual fees) at undergraduate and PhD level at public universities. You have to pay around EUR 20,000 per year for most non-consecutive master’s programs elsewhere in Germany. Average living costs in Germany are around EUR 10,200 per year.
Q. Can I study in Europe for free?
A. Some of the European Countries like Germany, Norway and Finland have no tuition fees for EU or Non EU students at all study levels, but countries like UK, Ireland, France, Netherlands & Nordic nations have tuition fees that vary at UG, PG or PhD level). You can check whether the course and country you are interested in applying for, asks for tuition fees or not. All in all, compared to US, UK or Canada, you do get an opportunity to study without paying hefty tuition fees at UG or PG level in some of the countries in Europe.