Why Study in EU?

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Why Study in EU

Europe is one of the leading study abroad destinations in the world. With its top-notch quality of education, immense career opportunities, enriched history and enthralling way of life, Europe attracts more than a million students from across the globe every year. On 15th June, Leverage Live conducted a session on ‘Why Study in EUto provide a comprehensive overview of the European Union as a destination to pursue your higher education. 

About the Speaker – Dr Maina Chawla Singh

Dr Maina Chawla Singh keynoted the Leverage Live session on ‘Why Study in EU’ alongside Ms Smriti Gupta from Leverage Edu. 

Dr Maina Chawla Singh is an academic researcher and consultant in higher education with several years of teaching experience at universities in the U.S., India and Israel. Her scholarly work lies at the intersections of Sociology, Gender, Migration Studies and World Politics. In addition, she has conducted fieldwork among numerous diaspora communities. 

Since 2009, Dr Maina Chawla Singh has taught many multidisciplinary courses at the School of International Service, American University, Washington D.C. She has also lectured at Cambridge, Oxford, Yale, Cornell, and Washington D.C Library of Congress.

Over the years, she has resided in Russia, Ethiopia, Japan, France, and the U.S. and speaks multiple languages. Currently, Dr Maina Chawla Singh lives in New Delhi and is a consultant in higher education. She promotes collaborative projects between Indian and U.S. – based universities and offers expertise in tech-based innovations in pedagogy and curriculum design.

Why Study in EU? 

Before diving into the EU as a study destination, Dr Singh emphasised that students must develop a global perspective before exploring study abroad destinations. You must aim to become global citizens and open doors to global opportunities that will help them thrive. 

EU has the oldest, most prestigious universities. It is an interconnected destination that offers tremendous flexibility and mobility. One of the essential qualities that make the EU an attractive place for international students is its immense diversity and vast potential. The Law and order of the nations make it a safe environment for international students. EU also offers global work exposure and diverse work experience opportunities, which can be presented as proof of performance to future employers. 

Flexibility and Mobility 

The European Union is an amalgamation of 27 nations, post the recent exit of Britain from the Union. The member states are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands (Holland), Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. These nations have a plethora of shared agreements between them. Two key landmark agreements that make the EU an interconnected and flexible destination are the Bologna Process and Schengen Visa.

The Bologna Process

The European governments discuss higher education policy reforms and overcome obstacles to create a European Higher Education Area. The Bologna Process brings more coherence to higher education systems across Europe and facilitates student and staff mobility, making higher education more inclusive and accessible. One notable benefit is that under the Bologna Process, students can transfer credits from one university to another in another EU country. 

Schengen Visa

The Schengen visa is the most popular visa for Europe. It enables people to enter, freely travel within, and leave the Schengen zone from any EU member countries. Moreover, there are no border controls within the Schengen Zone (26 European countries). In 2019, Over 15 million people used the Schengen visa to travel around Europe.

Easy Travel 

Travelling in the European Union is like a cakewalk. One can travel between capital cities within a couple of hours by train sometimes. For an Indian student aspiring to pursue higher education abroad, the EU is closer to home. Moreover, it is only halfway around the world compared to the US and Canada, which translates to shorter flights!

Immense Diversity 

The European Union is the epitome of diversity. From climate, history and culture to student life and educational courses, the EU offers various aspects. Students can experience the cold climate of Norway with ice-capped mountains, the captivating countryside of places like Austria and the coastal scenery of countries like Spain. In addition, students can enjoy life in beautiful cities like Ireland. Each country in the EU is unique and offers everything that a student dreams of! 

The European Union is home to more than 2000 universities offering 8000 English-taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

Potential 

Most European states have a GDP per capita higher than the world’s average and highly developed. The EU as a whole is the second wealthiest and second-largest economy in the world. Hence, the EU offers ample career opportunities and a high level of employability to its students. For example, the Pharma Industry in Switzerland is well-established and a great place to seek employment in the pharma field. 

Low Cost of Education 

Most universities in the EU have an extremely low cost of education. Several reputed public universities provide affordable education to students. Although there are specific courses with high education fees in some universities, this is primarily because these courses are characterised by higher employability. 

Excellent Student Support Model 

The European Union offers state-of-the-art infrastructure in various locations and at the universities. International students gain access to top-notch healthcare facilities and highly connected public transportation. The EU governments also emphasise student social services like counselling and assistance offered in universities keeping in mind the ‘zone of tolerance’. They promote inclusivity and offer numerous scholarships and sources of financial aid to international students. 

Top Countries to Study in Europe

Some of the most popular countries to study in Europe are: 

Germany 

Type of Education Public
Key highlights High research quality
Excellent faculty
Growing Indian community
A developed country
STEM courses have expansive potential
Popular Courses  Computer Science
Computer Analytics
Data Science
Requirements Online applications to be filled
Standardized test scores like GRE and GMAT
Academic transcripts (10th, 12th, Bachelors)
Essays 
Knowledge of Germany is appreciated as Germany wants people to stay behind and get integrated into their country.
Long term prospects  Skilled Immigration ActEU card
Residence permit of 18 months post-study to look for employment

Ireland 

Type of Education Public and Private 
Key highlights Hub of international companies
High research quality
Cheaper than US and UK
Students allowed to work part-time and earn
Post-study Work Visa options
Popular Courses  Biotech
Computer Science
Business Analytics
IT System
Management
Requirements Online applications to be filled
GRE /GMAT are not given too much weightage unless applying for professional degrees like MBA
Past academic performance is given high weightage  
Essays
Long term prospects  Permanent Resident visa after five years 
Two years of Post-Study Work Visa

Norway 

Type of Education Public 
Key highlights Welcoming country
Mostly free education
Medium of instruction is mostly English
Less populated country 
Popular Courses  Business Analytics
Strategy
Branding
Natural Resources
Environment
Requirements Online applications to be filled
An undergraduate/Bachelor’s degree or equivalent of at least 3 years of study for Masters
GRE/GMAT scores
An English proficiency test 
Essays
Long term prospects  Abundant hydropower, world-leading industries
Technology, innovation 
Oil & gas industry, fisheries and traditional industrial sectors
World-class marine, maritime and subsea industries
Post Study Work Visa until one year after graduating to look for work

Estonia 

Type of Education Public and Private 
Key highlights Top three countries for startup founders
Ranks 2nd place for internet freedom in the world
Ranked 1st in the world for air quality 
Employability in various sectors, including tech, data, pharma and health
Popular Courses  Computer Science Engineering
Social Science 
Design 
Business 
Requirements Online applications to be filled
GRE /GMATIELTS/TOEFL
Past academic transcripts  
Essays depending on university and course
Long term prospects  International students can stay in Estonia for additional nine months after their graduation to look for a job
Strong startup and entrepreneurial opportunities 

France 

Type of Education Public and Private 
Key highlights International MBA offer programs for international students
Learning French on the side can be an asset 
French culture is famous
Service professionals from France are valued all over the world
Popular Courses  Hospitality Management 
Tourism Management 
Travel
Requirements Online applications to be filled
GRE /GMAT IELTS/TOEFL
Past academic transcripts  
Essays
Long term prospects  Bachelor degree holders can stay on only if they have a work permit
On completing the master’s course, a student can apply for and get a temporary residence permit – APS, for 24 months

The Luxury, Fashion and Wine industries are thriving in France and offer great employment opportunities. Some popular schools for courses in these fields are the Luxury Hotel School, ESSEC, Institute Hall, AIM and ESCP. 

FAQs

Dr Maina Chawla Singh answered the following frequently asked questions by study abroad aspirants: 

Are excellent grades important for admissions in the EU? 

This differs from university to university depending on the course, culture and geographical factors. For instance, Ireland focuses on the holistic growth of the applicants and does not give high weightage to academic scores for undergraduate programs. On the other hand, Germany provides high weightage for grades for STEM courses.

Is language a barrier when it comes to studying abroad? 

For international students, English-speaking countries are easier to live in, and language does make a difference. However, exploring a country with a different language offers more to learn. It provides enrichment and helps one develop as a global citizen. It also includes exposure to cultural and linguistic diversity. Future employers may look positively upon graduates living in countries with diverse languages as it shows curiosity.

Is there a difference in the academic years in the UK and USA?

Spring intake does not take place in the UK. The USA has Fall and Spring intakes. Additionally, the UK has later/lee-way deadlines for international students compared to the USA. 

We hope this blog and the Leverage Live session have helped answer the question ‘Why Study in EU?’ and provided everything you know to study in the EU. Are you planning to study abroad in countries that are a part of the European Union? Then reach out to our Leverage Edu experts and get your application sorted!

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