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Studying in Europe: full information for foreign students

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Studying in Europe: full information for foreign students

Education abroad - particularly in Europe - every year only gaining popularity among foreign students. Quality education and a prestigious diploma are becoming increasingly necessary in the conditions of a strong international competition: high status and prestige of the university, actual educational courses, practically internships - all this helps to successfully find a job and build a career in any country in the world. Education in European and the best world universities is the strong foundation that will help your dream come true.

The main advantages of higher education in Europe

Of course, the benefits of European higher education are many - SMAPSE experts tried to highlight the most important and significant:

  • Freedom of movement and life in the European community

In Europe, everything is much simpler and faster: you can visit other countries and cities literally every weekend, simply renting a car or driving a couple of hours on a high-speed train. Student visa, as a rule, does not restrict such trips at all. It is fast, inexpensive, convenient and very exciting: you are waiting for new cultures, history and traditions!

In addition, studying in Europe, the student, as a rule, lives in the most beautiful cities - and historical centers with magnificent ancient architecture, and modern dynamic, busy megacities. All this expands the way of thinking and horizons, aesthetic perception and sense of taste, allows you to learn to think more globally.

  • International, multicultural environment

And this rule applies to both students and the teaching staff with the administrative staff of schools and universities. It is in Europe that the most colorful and multinational composition in educational institutions: on average, the number of foreign students from different countries in major universities and higher schools in Europe can reach 70-85%. For example - in the legendary Oxford, foreign students get only 25%, and in American Stanford University and Harvard University - up to 30%. Teachers come to work in Europe, too, from all over the world. For example, in the business school INSEAD the pedagogical staff consists of representatives of 33 countries - and this situation is observed almost everywhere.

  • A wide choice of programs and educational courses

In Europe, students are practically not limited in choosing a country and a city, an educational institution, a faculty, a specialty and a priority area - there are options for everyone! Diversity of educational methods, approaches, curricula, specializations - this is what attracts students from all over the world to European universities: here you can get knowledge to start a career in any field, discover your own unique abilities, meet your personal requirements and preferences.

In European schools, students will be able to find the most unusual and relevant programs. What about the MBA in the specialty "Management of accredited wine and spirits"? This option is offered by the Bordeaux business school in France, the capital of gastronomy and oenology. At the business school HEC (Paris, France) there are excellent programs dedicated to intercultural interaction, the exchange of international experience. In Italy - the leader of world fashion, design and style - there are several hundred beautiful, prestigious Schools of Design for future fashion designers and artists. The University of Liverpool offers a "Professional Course for Beatles" - the master's program "The Beatles, popular music and society": the course includes such areas as "Liverpool in the works of Beatles" and "Musicology and the Beatles".

Speaking about the diversity of European educational programs, we mean not only universities, but for example, the boarding schools in Switzerland. Here are taught several programs of middle and senior classes. Students can choose the English courses IGSCE and A-level , the Swiss national Swiss Federal Maturite, the single International Baccalaureate (IB), the American Standard High School Diploma and AP, the Italian Maturite program, the German Abitur , the traditional French Baccalaureate BAC (Baccalaureat) ... Nowhere in The world no longer has such a variety!

  • Active study of modern foreign languages

English language has long been an international standard, but in conditions of high competition in the world community, it alone is not enough. Today 48% of employers prefer those specialists who know more than 1 foreign language.

Graduates of prestigious European universities and schools know an average of 2-3 foreign languages at a high, free level of ownership. Almost every educational institution offers educational courses in both English and its own national language.

  • Active development of practical skills

Education in European universities is fundamental: it is a huge baggage of theoretical knowledge, and well-established, well-developed practical skills. Practically all educational institutions organize internships and practices for their students - that's why graduates are so appreciated by employers around the world, and their diplomas open the doors of the best international companies.

Studying in Europe, foreign students expand their horizons and knowledge, worldview, improve their personal qualities. The desire for study, self-development and self-improvement remains with them for life, which has a positive impact on career development.

  • High prestige of institutions and the value of diplomas

It is European, American and British universities that take the top positions in the world rankings, employers choose the graduates of these institutions in the first place. Even there is a special indicator of success, based on the speed of job search after graduation - for young professionals from European universities this period almost never exceeds several months, up to six months.

  • Time-saving due to balanced programs

Basically, baccalaureate in Europe takes 3-4 years, and magistracy - 1 year (10-15 months). But there are also a variety of combined programs, "sandwich" courses, etc. For example, education in the prestigious Swiss college Cesar Ritz (tourism, hospitality and cooking) is constantly closely connected with practice: therefore, graduates almost immediately receive job offers, and reduce not only the term of study, but also the term of job search.

For comparison: in the US, Australia and Canada, a bachelor's degree can be obtained in 4 years, and a master's degree will take up to 2 years.

  • Possibility to save money

Yes, it sounds a little strange: everyone knows that higher education in Europe is an expensive pleasure. However, it is much more accessible than studying at universities in the US or the UK. For foreign students traditionally there is a huge number of discounts or scholarships, a large number of free or grant programs are saved (especially in state universities), students enjoy a large number of benefits in the country of residence and study, etc. Perhaps, cheaper than in Europe, higher education can be obtained only in China (if we talk about developed countries, of course).

  • Extensive employment opportunities

After graduation, a European student has three months to find a job in his specialty. But most of them begin career ascension during their studies: work during their studies in Europe is allowed (with certain limits and restrictions), and future employers will only be pleased with the young specialist with experience and practical skills. So, let's mention the French business school HEC again: the MBA graduates in 80% of the case start work almost immediately, already in the first month!

An important factor is the high salary of European specialists - these are some examples (salary for the year):

  • Tourism and hotel service sector, hospitality (Switzerland) = 45,000 $
  • Ireland (average salary of a qualified specialist) = 50,000 $
  • Medical specialties ( Germany ) = 45,000 €
  • Engineering Sciences (Germany) = 44,000 €
  • Banking and finance (total for Europe) = 40,000 €.

Most European countries also offer comfortable, profitable conditions for obtaining a residence permit. Having studied at a European university, you have a very real opportunity to find a highly paid job in the specialty and stay there to live.

Secondary education in Europe

Yet the most reliable way to enroll in European universities and higher schools is to get secondary education in secondary schools in Europe. This will provide an opportunity to learn foreign languages, tighten academic knowledge and adapt in advance to academic conditions, educational standards of developed countries.

Let's note some features inherent in the European schools:

  • Here children learn from the middle or the end of August 
  • The vacation is short: summer (the longest) last only 1,5-2 months.

Several of the most common secondary education schemes in Europe - Dutch, French and German-should be mentioned separately.

  • Secondary education in Holland

Secondary education for all citizens is compulsory and free of charge (only certain fees are paid, for example, 100-200 € per year for food), and the educational sphere is not monopolized by the state.

There is no such thing as a kindergarten in the Netherlands: in local schools, children learn from 3-4 to 12 years, and then move on to the next stage, where they study until they enter the university:

1.State school

2.Grammar school

3. Athenium.

Most (up to 75%) of Dutch schools are private, many have a religious or cultural and economic orientation. The intensity of education is quite high, the loads and the amount of information are significant: serious demands are placed on students at all stages of education.

  • Secondary education in Germany

Also mandatory for all citizens of the country: at least for 4 years from the age of six children. After the termination of the program of elementary grades it is possible to enter secondary school (more in-depth study of certain subjects), gymnasium (academic education, preparation for entering the university).

  • Secondary education in France

Schools are traditionally divided into public and private:

  • Elementary classes (1-5 years of study)
  • High school or college
  • High school or lyceum.

Public schools are almost always free, but private institutions offer a more organized and modern infrastructure, a wider choice of educational courses and electives, more innovative equipment. But almost everywhere there are special programs for foreign students: individual and group classes, testing of knowledge, language programs, etc.

What is the cost of studying in Europe?

Prices here can vary greatly. For your convenience, these are examples, conditionally dividing them into Standart (cost-effective), Premium (affordable) and Luxe (expensive). All prices are per academic year.

1. Standart (in these cases, training is often conducted in the state language, but there are also English-language programs):

  • Austria = from 800 € in public universities + 10,000 € for accommodation and meals. A big plus: foreign students are accepted after the end of 11 grade (there is no need to "extend" secondary school education), and even often without knowledge of the German language. Special attention should be paid to music academies, universities and conservatories.
  • Germany = free of charge at public universities + 10,000 € / year for student fees, medical insurance, accommodation and meals. Loyal program for graduates: they are given enough time to find work after graduation, convenient conditions for obtaining a residence permit. The strongest areas are medicine, technical sciences, and philology.
  • Greece = from 1,000 € in public universities, accommodation and meals are very inexpensive. Educational programs are almost always free, if you prove the knowledge of the Greek language.
  • Iceland = free in public universities + 200 € / year for student fees + accommodation and meals.
  • Luxembourg = free in public universities, individual programs - 1,200 € - 2,000 € + registration fee (200 € / year) + accommodation and meals. True, there are very few universities here - the country is very small.
  • Norway = free for foreign students at state universities + 100 € / year (Student Union) + accommodation and meals (alas, it is not cheap here - from 15,000 € / year). There are numerous benefits, student travel, etc. By the way, the Norwegian university of Tromso is officially recognized as the most northern in the world - it is almost completely located beyond the line of the Arctic Circle.
  • Poland = in public institutions of higher education from 8,000 € (including accommodation and meals).
  • Portugal = 1,500 € (both bachelor's and master's), cheap accommodation and meals.
  • Finland = in public universities free of charge, if the course is taught in Finnish or Swedish. English-speaking programs can cost up to 8,000 € + about 8,000 € / year for accommodation and meals.
  • France = in public universities, bachelor's degree starts from 500 €, the master's program will cost 900 €. The exception is engineering specialties: they are very demanded and prestigious, because the competition and the cost of education will be quite high. Prices for accommodation and food are very dependent on the region: in Paris, of course, the costs will be higher than in other provinces of the country.

2. Premium:

  • Hungary = from 2,000 € (English or Hungarian), inexpensive food and accommodation
  • Spain = from 4,000 € and low running costs (although there is a tendency to limit opportunities for foreign students - reducing places, increasing costs, limiting benefits, etc.).
  • Italy = from 500 € in a public institution of higher learning (but usually in Italian). All students pay the entrance tax: it is calculated depending on the specific institution, as well as on your income (you will need to provide an official certificate). By the way, it is in Italy that the university is located, which is officially the oldest in the world - the University of Bologna was founded in 1088 and before all started issuing diplomas.
  • Cyprus = from 14,000 € (English-language courses), great discounts for those who choose programs in Greek. Very affordable prices for accommodation and meals.
  • Czech Republic = public universities teach programs in Czech for free for foreign students, English courses from 2,000 € (including private universities). The cost of living in the Czech Republic is one of the lowest in Europe, besides, students can work during the semester and vacation. The diploma of the Czech University - a significant advantage in the design of permanent residence and a residence permit (but you will need to confirm the knowledge of the Czech language).
  • Switzerland = public universities set prices at 1,500 € - 6,000 € (strongly depends on the canton - the region of instruction), and the language of instruction can be chosen and English, and French, German or Italian. Very expensive food and accommodation - up to 15,000 € / year. The most competitive specialties are medicine, pharmacology and physiology: it is almost impossible for a foreign student to do so. For foreign undergraduates, the requirements are quite high: usually students complete 1-2 courses at a local university and only then apply for a transfer to Switzerland. Careful attention is paid to personal characteristics and recommendations.

3) Luxe:

  • England and the UK = the most expensive education, including public universities: from 9,000 £ at the undergraduate, from 11,000 £ at the magistracy. Accommodation and meals are also not cheap = 9,000 £ - 18,000 £ / year. Often foreign students enter UK universities not directly: they take a one-year Foundation course, study at a local university for 1-2 years and then apply for a transfer, complete a course for high school students (A-level) in the British school. There are practically no free programs in the country, but this is compensated by a truly huge number of grants and scholarships.
  • Denmark = about 12,000 € + accommodation and meals (10,000 € - 15,000 € per year).
  • Ireland = from 10,000 €, but accommodation and meals are lower than in the UK.
  • Netherlands = from 9,000 € in public universities, but accommodation, meals and running costs are significantly lower than in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. A lot of scholarships and grants for foreign students.
  • Sweden = 9,000 € - 15,000 € + expensive accommodation and meals (an average of 8,000 € - 15,000 € per year).

How to minimize the costs of higher education in Europe?

As you have noticed, even countries from the category of economical (Standart) are expensive. Is it possible to save and minimize the costs of higher education in Europe?

  • Remember that in some countries higher education in state universities for foreign students can be free: Austria, Germany, Norway, Italy, France. But the student pays for his accommodation and meals independently (although there are numerous benefits), and instruction is mainly conducted in the local, state language, and not in English.
  • You can receive a scholarship: sports, music, creative, social, academic. You can earn extra money at the university while studying (for example, in a library or a local restaurant).
  • If you are very limited in funds - do not go directly to universities, but to colleges: for example, in the UK or Ireland. Here you can get not only a diploma or a certificate of higher education, but in some cases a bachelor's and even a master's degree! All educational courses are formed taking into account modern requirements and high standards - graduates can easily find a job or be enrolled in higher education institution of higher order. Also, many colleges work with universities as partners: college graduates have advantages in enrolling in university programs, they save time for education. And the cost of studying in institutions and colleges is, on average, one and a half times lower than in European universities
  • Many Scandinavian countries (with the exception of Finland ) offer discounts on tuition, high scholarships and free language courses for those who dared to study in the state language of the country: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, etc.
  • Going to study in Switzerland (especially to the programs of tourism, hotel and restaurant business, hospitality industry) - remember that your plan will necessarily include 1-2 internships for 4-6 months each (the same system is often used in universities in France and Netherlands). Internship is obligatory paid: in Switzerland for a month the student earns 2,500 $, in the Netherlands and France - 500 $ - 1,500 $. Paying for an internship helps save 25-30% of the cost of education, not to mention the rich practical experience that employers appreciate so much.
  • Practically every European country allows foreign students to work during their studies: during semesters - 10-20 hours a week, on holidays - up to 40 hours a week (for example, in Germany you can work only during the holidays). The average salary of a student is 10 $ per hour. Please note that full-time work and successful education are impossible: the workload and volume of information are too great.

Scholarships and grants

Perhaps, the most popular and possible way to save on education is to get a scholarship or an educational grant. They are accepted practically in all European countries, except for Iceland: here there are no financial support programs not only for foreign students, but also for citizens of the country.

The scholarship can cover the high cost of education or only a part of it - it depends on the chosen country, university, program and individual conditions. Let note a few of the largest and most popular scholarships foreign students can receive:

  • Erasmus Mundus

Grants for student exchanges around the world cover almost entirely the cost of tuition, relocation and living. It is open for bachelors, masters and even teachers.

  • Chevening Scholarships

Distributed in the UK and usually extends to the year of study in the Master's program (but it is possible to participate in other programs): the scholars are paid a monthly amount that covers the costs of studying and living. There are a lot of educational directions for Chevening Scholarships, but you will most likely be asked to confirm a high level of English (IELTS or TOEFL).

  • DAAD Scholarships

German scholarship for students on academic exchange, works practically in all directions and stages of higher education. More often than not, DAAD Scholarships receive bachelors enrolling in a Master's program: having confirmed the high level of the German language, they can fully cover the costs of studying and living.

  • Rhodes Scholarship Scholarship

Scholarship of Oxford University: granted for 2 years to postgraduate students or magistracy. Fully covers the cost of education and partially compensates for the cost of living in the UK.

What are the requirements for university entrants in Europe?

As a rule, European universities require from foreign students, by and large, only a completed secondary education program. But prestigious, ranking universities with a high competition usually arrange additional subject tests and examinations. General requirements for applicants usually fit into the following list:

  • Achievement of 18 years of age
  • Certificate of secondary education (the higher the average score and the assessment in general - the better)
  • Certificate of sufficient level of the language (English or state, where the education is planned). In some cases, you can replace the certificate of completion of preparatory courses at the university
  • References from teachers, class teacher, director, tutor
  • Motivation letter
  • Academic (extended) essay on a given topic.

Please note that all documents must be translated into English (or in the official language of the selected country) and notarized.

Usually European universities and higher schools organize enrollment, acceptance of documents and applications remotely at least a year before the expected start of education. The deadlines (quite strict) are also established for scholarship programs, grants, discounts, language tests and additional entrance examinations.

Educational courses

Have you decided to get a higher education in Europe? Right choice! It remains to be prepared so as to pass a difficult and long procedure of enrollment with the minimum expenditure of forces, time and resources.

SMAPSE experts always recommend foreign students to take preliminary preparatory courses aimed at developing subject, academic and linguistic knowledge. The reasons for enrolling in the preliminary course are several:

  • Requires a high level of language

And if you are applying for a budget place - then not only English, but also the official language of the country you are going to. To confirm the level of English, TOEFL and IELTS certificates are usually used, for German - DELE , for French - DELF. Preparatory language courses will help you develop skills and abilities as soon as possible: improve written and spoken language, expand vocabulary and correct pronunciation.

  • The student is under 18 years of age

The vast majority of European universities accept students from 18 years and older, without exception. If you are 16-17 years old, do not lose a year: go through the preparatory course, and, perhaps, it will even be able to give you benefits and some bonuses for long-expected enrollment.

  • The discrepancy between school systems

In some countries, students study in the general education system for 11 years, whereas in Europe, 12-13 classes are accepted. The missing "school" years as well as time can be dialed, having passed the preparatory course.

  • The student is not ready for life and study in another country

Preparatory programs are a global adaptation to a new language, cultural, educational and academic reality. Having passed effective, qualified education, a foreign student will be able to get used to new conditions, rules, requirements, academic standards, learn how to correctly allocate his time, communicate freely and even think in a foreign language. The student will be ready for the strict and high requirements of the university, a huge amount of independent work, and it will also be easy to navigate in a foreign city and not be bewildered about local traditions, customs and even legislative subtleties.

A good option for primary language education will be summer or seasonal camps for children and adolescents. This is an excellent opportunity to improve the language skills, get acquainted with the culture and traditions of the chosen country - all education takes place in an unobtrusive, dynamic and interactive atmosphere. For students of summer language camps and schools, a huge number of fun activities, excursions, sports and creative circles and sections are organized.

If you are preparing, for example, to study in a master's program or an MBA program - business courses will be useful to you. In the process of education, you not only significantly improve your language skills, but also acquire useful skills necessary for a career in business and finance:

  • Negotiating, interviewing
  • Drawing up and holding presentations, reports
  • Telephone ethics
  • Specific vocabulary, professional terms
  • Business Correspondence and Official Correspondence
  • Business etiquette, etc.

How to apply for a student visa?

Of course, visa requirements may vary depending on the chosen country, its legislation and attitudes towards immigrants. But in general, the requirements of consulates and embassies to the student visa are the following:

  • Official invitation from the educational institution + certificate of enrollment
  • Documents for renting or reserving a place in a common residence (when renting an apartment - a lease agreement + a copy of the owner's passport)
  • Booking an airplane ticket (a return ticket is not required if the educational period is more than 3 months)
  • Mandatory medical insurance (for the Schengen countries, the minimum amount of coverage is 30,000 €)
  • Passport + copies of main pages
  • 2-4 photos of the passport sample (3,5х4,5 cm, light background, the person occupies not less than 70-80% of the image)
  • Filled out questionnaire of the educational institution
  • Guarantee of financial solvency: an extract from a bank account, documents on receiving a grant or scholarship, receipts for payment of the first installment and information about the sponsor, etc.
  • Certificate from the place of work with indication of the position, average earnings / student card and certificate from the last place of study
  • Copy of the certificate of secondary education / diploma of higher education (usually a bachelor or specialist)
  • Internal civil passport + copy of the main pages.

In some cases, the consulate may ask for a portfolio (for example, when applying for creative specialties, architecture), recommendatory or motivational letters, certificates from passed courses or advanced educational programs, characteristics from employers or teachers, etc. You may need a certificate of criminal record, a medical record and a list of mandatory vaccinations.

If a student goes to study through an exchange program, you will need to provide a copy of the agreement between the partner universities. Almost always future students undergo a personal interview with a representative of the consulate or embassy. According to modern requirements for the Schengen and British visas fingerprints are automatically handed over, a digital photo is taken.

Remember that all documents must be translated into the language of the country (state) or English, and also notarized.

The probability of getting a refusal is higher if you filed the documents in a commercial (private) institution of higher learning - with state such a situation almost never happens. To minimize risks, as soon as possible receive from your university a document on enrollment and an official invitation.

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Your comment/review/question:
Hello, I'm interested in information about enrolling in universities in Finland, I want to enter the faculty of international business or economics, I want to know about universities. If I'm not mistaken, in Finland, instruction in Finnish and Swedish is free, is it possible to go for an annual study language to a Finnish university and afterwards to receive education free of charge, if so, what (s) and how much it will cost (this year), if not, the outcome with the training in English is as interesting, and how much it will cost for three years, which lyuses and minuses of these ways? At what level do you need to pass TOEFL what to do if the result varies, how does this affect the level of the university's preparation? And on what basis does the competition take place, based on what? Probably the most important question is not too late whether to file documents, if I want to start going there in September 2018? Thank you in advance!
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