If you’re finishing up high school, you might be getting ready to embark on the next chapter in your life – university. Yet, with more than 3,000 higher education institutions across the EU, whittling this number down to create a manageable shortlist can seem like a Herculean task.
Which university should I go to in Europe?
When it comes to trying to work out which university to go to, online research is your best friend. Similarly, a university’s website should be your first port of call for up-to-date information about courses and student life. Universities also hold open days throughout the year, where you can visit the college itself and ask the admissions staff, academics and current students all of your burning questions. If you’re interested in a university that’s located far away, you can also reach out to its alumni network to learn more about former students’ experiences.
What types of university should I go to in Europe?
Across Europe, there are two major kinds of university:
Institutions that are supported by public funds from the government. These include:
Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University (50,000 students)
Switzerland’s University of Lucerne (2,500 students)
Scotland’s University of Edinburgh (36,000 students)
Spain’s University of Barcelona (63,000 students)
Italy’s University of Bologna (77,000 students)
Institutions that are usually run as businesses or non-profit organizations. These offer a restricted number of courses, with examples being:
Italy’s Carlo Cattaneo University (2,000 students)
England’s University of Buckingham (2,500 students)
France’s Catholic University of Paris (7,500 students)
Spain’s European University of Madrid (16,000 students)
What types of university programs should I take in Europe?
Undergraduate degree (Bachelor’s degree) programs range from 3 to 4 years in length, depending on the country and subject:
3 years or longer (by taking fewer classes each semester)
Sometimes, a degree can take even longer. For example, if you’re studying medicine or training to become a doctor, it can take you up to 5 years before you become a qualified physician. In France, it can take you 8 years to become a medical doctor, whereas in Italy, you need to study for 6 years before qualifying.
Another option is a “sandwich” degree. They are called this because they integrate a year in the industry, or a year abroad between the components of the regular degree. Usually, this program is extended by the length of the internship in question – for example, undertaking a 3-year degree and a 1-year internship would result in a 4-year sandwich degree.
How do university admissions work in Europe?
Of course, as universities can’t accept every student that’s applied to them, how do they decide who to pick? In deciding “what university should I go to?,” it’s essential to know how certain college admissions work:
Passion for the subject
France: An essay about the subject you’re interested in to show your passion for it.
England: A personal statement, which is a short one-page essay about your chosen subject.
Which university is at the top of the pile?
Every major newspaper publishes university rankings on an annual basis, but these differ depending on the criteria used and these rankings often fluctuate. For example, the Sorbonne University in Paris is currently ranked 29th in the world by CWUR and 73rd by the Times Higher Education supplement.
However, when deciding “which university should I go to?,” note that there are many that remain consistently at the top of the rankings for certain subjects. These include:
University of Oxford
University of Cambridge
Major university locations and cities in Europe
Naturally, from moving away from home and studying abroad, to opening a banking account that you can manage wherever you decide to go, there’s a lot to consider when going to university. When picking a university to go to, and to help you decide on a location, here are some popular places to consider:
Manchester, the UK
Population: Over 2 million
Many cultural monuments, e.g. the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower
Direct travel links to London via the Eurostar
How much do universities cost in Europe?
The amount you need to fork out for a degree is calculated on a country-by-country basis. In addition to tuition fees, you’ll need to budget for your living expenses, too – this can quickly add up if you’re in a pricey city, such as London. Below, you’ll find a rundown of some figures:
To help you along the way, many colleges offer scholarships to incoming students. These range from the full coverage of tuition costs, to a few hundred Euros a year.
Types of student accomodation
Picking a great course at a good university is key, but don’t neglect more mundane matters, such as accommodation. Know the difference:
‘Halls’ often house first-year students, a type of student accommodation.
The NUS Student Experience Report suggests that only 19% live at home.
What does the future hold for after university?
For most people, attending university is a necessary stepping-stone to starting a professional career. Because of this, colleges offer much more than information offered in lectures – they can also provide advice and guidance on career choices. Additional services often include:
An international focus
After all, there’s much more to studying than sitting in the library for 24 hours a day!
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