Higher Education in Europe
Why Study in Europe?
Europe is rich in innovation. Some the world class companies in technology/design are from Europe. European Universities offer variety of programs (recognized all over the world). The European Union submits over 44% of the total number of patent applications worldwide. Some countries offer free education! Cheap and tuition free higher education is offered in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
- Aalborg University, Denmark require (for MS in CS) IELTS with a score of at least 7 or TOEFL score of 100
- Finnish universities have no tuition fees (except Student Union Fees which is like 80 euro/yr) for regular degree students – education is subsidized by the State through the Ministry of Education. This also applies to the international degree students and to exchange and visiting students as well.
- Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark have very low tuition fees (or almost zero) but not all courses are in English. From 2017 Non EU/EEA students will have to pay tuition fees for studying in Finland (for English courses)
- ‘EPFL – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’ Lausanne require TOEFL + GRE (not required)
- Delft University of Technology: Computer Engineering: A Grade Point Average (GPA) for the BSc programme of at least 75% of the scale maximum. A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of at least 450 verbal/550 analytical/650 quantitative. Proof of proficiency in the English language: a TOEFL score of 90 on iBT (TOEFL) or an IELTS (academic version) overall Band score of at least 6.0.
- Moscow State University offers excellent programs in Physics and Material Sciences.
- Typical Swedish University requirements.. – Master programme : TOEFL at level 550 (213 computer based) or above, IELTS 6.0 or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency. In addition to these general requirements, the applicant must meet the special requirements that apply to each of the programmes.
European countries offering free education
If you want to study in Europe, your parent’s income may not be the decider in the quality of education you receive. There are tuition free universities in European countries such as Norway, Sweden and Germany.
International students flock to Norway to study as they get a high quality education at little to no cost. The Norwegian government finances education with taxpayers’ money so foreign students along with native students can enjoy a free ride at state universities. But the catch with studying in Norway is that living expenses can be high with NOK 8,900 (approx. 1,200 GBP) needed just for subsistence per month. This will cover room and board, clothing, healthcare, transport and miscellaneous expenses.
In Norway, there are eight universities, twenty state university colleges and sixteen private colleges. The University of Oslo, University of Bergen, University of Stavanger, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), University of Agder (UiA) and the University of Nordland are some of the tuition free universities that this Scandinavian country boasts of.
The Norwegian Universities and College Admission Service (NUCAS) is the coordinator of undergraduate admission.
University of Oslo
The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), or otherwise known as the Shanghai Ranking, has ranked it the 67th best university in the world. The University of Oslo has several noteworthy academics and alumni, spanning many disciplines. The university has produced five Nobel Prize winners and is institutionally connected to some of the world’s most prestigious prizes. Between 1947 and 1989, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded at this university. Furthermore, it is the only university to host a Nobel Prize ceremony.
Up until 2010, Sweden had been one of the few European nations countries that had no tuition fees. It did not matter what your nationality was as Swedish taxpayers would foot the bill. But all good things come to an end and in 2010, the Swedish parliament passed a law to charge tuition and application fees for non-EU/EEA students. At the same time, scholarship programs were offered.
Even though there are no tuition free universities in Sweden anymore, a large number of these institutions offer full scholarships (tuition waivers, etc) for international students.
Top Tuition Free Swedish Universities
- Lund University
- Halmstad University
- Uppsala University
- Stockholm University
- Stockholm School of Economics
- Jonkoping University
- Uppsala University
This research university in Uppsala, Sweden, is actually the country’s oldest having been founded in 1477. It ranks among the best universities in Northern Europe and it is quite prominent in international rankings too.
The university became considerably recognized during the rise of the Swedish Empire at the end of the 16th century.
German universities have only recently started charging tuition fees for undergraduate study programs. Right now, just 4 out of 16 Federal states – Baden-Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Hamburg, and Lower Saxony- charge tuition fees that are as little as 500 Euros per semester. All other federal states just request a small semester contribution of around 50 Euros with no tuition fees charged.
Tuition fees for Graduate Programs
Tuition fees are generally charged for Master’s programs. Here the fees range from 650 Euros to 3,000 Euros per Semester. The estimated cost of studying and living in Germany is much less than
Most colleges in Denmark offer free education (for Citizens, EEU, people with certain visa types etc). Major Universities (which are one of the best in Europe) are University of Copenhagen and University of Kiel. All Danish citizens are also offered tuition aid/scholarships.
Currently there is no tuition fees for studying in Finland. From 2017 non EU/EEA students will have to pay tuition fees (for courses offered in English). Each University will have it’s own fee structure. University of Helsinki and University of Turku are top ranked universities of Finland. Students need to cover their living expenses.
Norway and other Nordic countries. On average, German students spend roughly 800 Euros for accommodation, transport, food, and other necessities. Germany’s research driven programs are a top draw and they have been the inspiration for today’s American graduate schools.
Importance of Local Language for Admissions in Europe
Unlike the US where English is spoken by the majority of people, Europe is home to people from a number of different cultures, each with their own unique language. So to succeed and make the most of your education, it will be necessary to learn the local language. While the classes themselves will be taught in English, if you known the local language you will be able to interact better with your professors and local; thereby opening up new avenues and opportunities in your line of study i.e. give yourself a huge competitive edge when compared to your classmates. Additionally most universities in Europe (where English is not the primary language used), require knowledge for admissions, make it a necessary requirement, will reject your application for admission if you do not know the local language.
Language – The Starting Point to Education
To truly understand a culture, its people, good knowledge of the local language is a must. By learning the local language you will immerse yourself into the local culture, get to know the local people much better. Additionally knowledge of the language spoken by your faculty will allow you to better connect with them, thereby increasing the amount you learn from them, simultaneously improving your relationship with them (better future recommendations from faculty). The advantages of knowing foreign languages are limitless.
Advantages of Knowing the Local Language
- Admissions: If you and another candidate have the same profile as far as academics and extracurricular activities are concerned, if the other candidate has knowledge of the local language and you don’t, preference will usually be given to the other candidate.
- Research Institutes: Local language proficiency is an asset in research oriented institutes, since in most such institutes only the local language will be used by its members.
- Work opportunities and a successful career in any local company will require knowledge of the local language. At times, a candidate is selected for work, only because of his or her proficiency in the local language.
Which Language to Learn?
While there are many official European languages, you will only have to learn the one used in the local area. Since Germany, France, and the Netherlands are the usual places of study, you will have to learn either French, German, or Danish.
How to Master the Local Language With Ease?
- Accredited Courses: Start by searching for an institute which provides an accredited language course for the required language i.e. a course which will at the end, provide you with a certificate to prove to the universities that you know your subject. The major advantage of such a course is that you will have proficient teachers, will be able to interact with other students, who like you are trying to learn the local language.
- Books: Other than courses, purchase good books which are written in the local language, this will increase your familiarization with the local language, increase your exposure to it.
- Online: Search different forums for pen pals from the country of interest, whom you can talk with regularly. By regularly using the language, you will increase your understanding of the language.
- TV Shows and Movies: One of the best methods is to download movies and TV shows from the local area. Just by watching those movies, you will increase your proficiency of the local language.
- Audio CD’s: Many learn on the go language CD’s are available in the market. Purchase one and use it while you travel to aid in the learning process. Picking up language skills comes through constant practice and familiarization. So work hard and keep trying.
Higher studies in Europe through Erasmus Mundus
Erasmus Mundus is a comprehensive exchange and mobility program introduced for higher studies in European universities. This program promotes co-operation in higher studies with developing countries in order to enhance a better development of human resources and increase the exchange of ideas between cultures and people. The scholarships that are provided to the students from non-European Union countries in Erasmus Mundus are funded by the European Union. There are over 200 European universities participating in the Erasmus Mundus exchange program for higher studies.
Some of the top universities offering the scholarships under the Erasmus Mundus exchange program are listed below.
Central European university, Hungary
The CEU provides a two year full time Erasmus Mundus master’s program in association with leading European institutions.
there are two courses offered under the Erasmus Mundus programs
- M.S. in environmental sciences and policies and management.
- MA in public policies.
- Maters in women’s and gender studies.
- Application procedure-
- A bachelor’s degree from any recognised university is required
- An English proficiency certificate (TOEFL, IELTS) with a good score is mandatory, as the countries in Europe prefer those candidates who have taken this examination
- A duly filled application is to be submitted online with all the documents and a letter of recommendation.
Course fees The charges for the master’s degree program are 11000 EUR per year. The studies for an Erasmus Mundus program are funded by the European Union. The grant also covers the expenses like the tuition fees, the living expenses and the travel expenses.
University of Oviedo, Spain
Provides you a better study environment and a highly knowledgeable staff which makes it an ideal choice for students.
The courses offered by the University of Oviedo include a two year full time master’s degree in Marine biodiversity and conservation under the Erasmus Mundus program.
- A bachelor’s or maters degree is required in biology, ecological studies, oceanography, marine sciences or equivalent with minimum 180 ECTS.
- Relevant certification for English proficiency with average scores.
Course fees A tuition fee of � 7000 is charged to students from non-European countries.
University of Glasgow
Provides you the opportunity to study in the most prominent geopolitical regions of Europe including Russia and eastern European countries.
There are variety of masters programs available under Erasmus Mundus in various disciplines such as human rights and economic developments.
- A bachelor’s degree from any recognised university is required in the relevant field.
- Certification of English Proficiency (IELTS, TOEFL or equivalent.
- Online application is accepted for participation in master’s degree programs funded by Erasmus Mundus.
- Relevant documents translated in English are to be uploaded with proper attestation.
Course fees the tuition fees of masters degree program is 20000 euro for two years out of which 8000 euro are funded by the European Union under the Erasmus Mundus program.
University of Gottingen, Denmark
Offers a variety if study programs under the Erasmus Mundus scheme.
Listed below are the areas wherein study programs are available under EMA
- Agricultural sciences.
- Architecture and urban planning.
- Art and design.
- Education and teaching.
- Technology, Engineering and many more.
Admission procedure The requirements for the admissions and application are listed below:
- Applications are directly made to through the relevant faculties chosen for the studies.
- Application should be given with copies of the required documents duly attested.
- The final decision for the acceptance of your application for admission is solely taken by the respective faculty, you have applied for.
Course fees a participation fee of 3000 euro per year is chargeable which is covered by the European Union under the Erasmus Mundus program for international students.
Lund university, Sweden
With a state of the art infrastructure and well qualified faculty, you get an excellent opportunity to study under the Erasmus Mundus program
various masters programs are offered in different disciplines such as:
- Environmental science
- Sports, exercise and physiology
- Economic development and growth
- Fire safety engineering
- Food innovation and production technologies
- An account at the university admissions Sweden website is needed
- All certified official documents such as certificate or diploma of lower studies, acceptable proof of English proficiency, passport or any other additional document required by the faculty chosen for the studies, are to be sent at the university office address through Mail.
- The decision for the acceptance is taken by the university board.
Course fees There is no tuition fee applicable for the students under the Erasmus Mundus exchange study program.
By the Erasmus Mundus program, the bright students get a great opportunity to pursue higher education in European countries at a very minimal cost. This program also allows the dialogue between various cultures and people from different countries which further helps in increasing global cooperation and harmony.
HOW TO GET ADMISSION TO THE BEST UNIVERSITIES IN EUROPE
Europe, has a number of world class universities which offer you a great education at an affordable rate. While the best universities are hard to get into, you will have to compete with a large number of talented students to get admission, if you put in a lot of effort and hard work to improve your profile as a whole, your chances of admission will be high.
- Apart from its exceptionally high quality of education, Europe also offers:
- A low cost of education since the respective governments pay for graduate students.
- A large number of grants and scholarships.
- Modern up to date laboratories filled with cutting edge equipment.
- Excellent faculty who are world leaders in their respective fields.
The Ideal Profile of a Graduate Student
1. STRONG FIRST DEGREE:
A minimum of a first class degree with high U.G scores is an important criterion as it denotes a high achieving student whose fundamentals are through.
2. STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES:
- Various test scores are accepted in the countries located in and around Europe, varying from one University’s specification to another.
- Some Universities require an excellent GRE score of >320 whereas several others do not even require the GRE scores.
- High GMAT scores will be required for MBA related courses in few European Universities, but this again is a University specific requirement.
- A minimum TOEFL scores of 100 (Internet-based) and minimum 250 (Computer-based) is a fundamental prerequisite to even consider your application. Another option is the IELTS, a score of above 8 will be required for the best universities.
3. RESEARCH EXPERIENCE: Real life research experience, while not required, will separate you from the group. If you have even a single publication in a research journal, chance of your admission will increase drastically. Even if you cannot do individual research in your area of interest, try to do a minimum of two summer internships in reputed research laboratories or reputed industry laboratories, this will also augment your profile, increase your chances of admission into the college of your dreams.
4. RESUME, STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION:
- Together these three documents will allow the university to judge if you are a strong candidate who meets their minimum requirements.
- A well written resume should highlight your positives and accomplishments in a short and cogent manner, one which will allow the admissions committee to understand your positives.
- The Statement of Purpose, is your chance to directly talk with the people in the admissions committee. A good SOP should state your desires, explain the reason behind your interest for a specific course, and detail you future plans. Even if you academic scores are average, an excellent SOP can improve your chances of admission.
- Letters of Recommendation, make sure to get them from professors who know you directly, think positively of you. A strong recommendation from professors who are highly accomplished in their fields, will show the university that you are a hard working, and dedicated candidate who has the necessary requirements to succeed in their university.
5. EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES:
- Strong academics alone cannot set guarantee you a place in the best universities, extracurricular activities also play a major role.
- Universities require extracurricular activities since, universities in general look for candidates who are well developed in all facets of life.
- Community service and volunteer activities advertise the humane side in an individual, are traits that the Universities look for in an ideal candidate. Even if you are strong in all of the above, a 100% guarantee of admission into the university of your dreams cannot be provided, but, the above will increase your chances enormously.
Europass – All You Need to Know
Often, it is a problem for those working in a country one country to make their skills and qualifications understood in another European country. Thanks to different education systems and a different way of gauging skills in different countries, there is an inherent need for people to have their skills and qualifications understood in Europe’s different States.
Europass aims to do exactly that, helping people document their skills and qualifications in a manner that can be understood by Europeans and can be used for getting jobs, education, training or other experience.
How does it help?
Simply put, Europass helps people to communicate their qualification and competencies in an easier and effective manner. Europass comes into use especially when one wants to bag a job or wants to pursue higher education in a country in Europe. For instance, a persistent problem faced by Universities there has been to make sense of the grading system of the various students belonging to different countries. Europass helps pass that hurdle.
What else does Europass do?
Apart from making it easier for people to move about European States, Europass also helps guidance practitioners to advise people properly when it comes to taking the right opportunities.
The accessible electronic format makes it easier for employers to know the qualifications of the person and lets people get more opportunities throughout the European continent. Effectively, Europass promotes a strong link between education, training, industry and business as you can go to a different country offering better opportunities for education and work.
How do you fill up the Europass?
Namely, the Europass has five areas or documents which you need to fill up thoroughly. These documents help one to understand your core competencies in a comprehensible manner. The documents required are the Curriculum Vitae, more popularly known as the CV, the Language passport, the mobility certificate, a certificate supplement as well as a diploma supplement.
Among the five, some documents like the CV can be filled up independently while some other necessary documents like the language passport need to be filled up by the relevant authorities. For instance, the diploma supplement is issued to graduates of higher education institutions. On the other hand, the Europass certificate supplement is for those people who have a training and/or vocational education award. Additional information like skills required for the award are also available for easy understanding. The Curriculum Vitae can be filled up online on the Europass site according to the directions there. You can download CV templates and update your current CV as well. Of course, creating your own CV does not require the stamp of another authority.
Apart from these, references, transcripts and other relevant copies can also be added.
Can you apply for a Europass?
Europass documents don’t have any charge as such and so if you meet the qualification requirements, you can make your own Europass! Right now the Europass document is available in the 28 member States of the European Union as well as the EFTA/EEA countries and other candidate countries.
Responsibilities of providers who provide the Europass Certificate supplements
Getting all the Europass documents ready can take some time. Here are some things that you need to ensure that your provider complies with when you are applying for an Europass.
- You need to tell your provider to download Europass Certificate supplements that are necessary along with transcripts and certificates.
- More, providers should ensure that the appropriate Certificate Specification and links are given for learners information.
- Learners should be able to get access to the Certificate Supplement easily and certificate supplements should be attached to level 5 and level 6 major.
All about the European Skills Passport
This is what stores all information about you in a common format and can be used across Europe. You can create the European Skills Passport online on the Europass site.
UBIS Geneva and Polonia University, Poland
European University of Tourism, Italy