Affordable College in Estonia

Episode 6: Affordable College in Estonia

Show Notes

Description

In this episode, Jenn interviews Crystal LaGrone about her experience attending the Master’s program in e-Governance Technologies at Tallinn University of Technology in Tallinn, Estonia. Crystal’s tuition and living expenses were quite reasonable, especially since this program was exactly what she wanted to study.

Affordable college in Estonia

Resources

Best fit list

Estonia wiki page

Is Estonia the Next Silicon Valley? 

Firsthand: Estonia

Tallinn University of Tech sample page

House Hunters International episode on Estonia

What is Cyber hygiene?

E-government

Documentary: The Singing Revolution

NATO cyber security center in Tallinn

Freedom Square

Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Europe Right for You?

Did you pass up study abroad opportunities during undergrad or did you study abroad and are eager to go overseas again? If this is you, I have great news: getting a graduate degree in Europe is a great way to improve your career prospects while seeing the world.

More and more, US graduates are supplementing their college education with a master’s degree. Why? “Many entry level jobs today now require a master’s and virtually all senior management and senior professional positions require a master’s,” says Brian D. Kelley, chief information officer at Portage County Information Technology Services. Also, having a master’s degree will allow you to increase your annual income to a greater degree than just a bachelor’s. Plus, if a master’s degree isn’t a requirement for your current position, it will likely be for the next position you want. Having a master’s degree will qualify you to apply for positions in management that your bachelor’s degree and experience alone won’t.

So is this is starting to sound like a good idea? A lot of students would love to get a master’s but are concerned about taking on lots of additional debt and that’s a real concern. The average tuition for US graduate schools starts at $30,000 per year (public universities) and goes up from there. Great news! Education costs are much lower in Europe than the US. There are over 5,000 masters programs with an average tuition of under $8,800/yr. More than 700 are tuition free – even for international students.

Did we mention that you really don’t need a second language to attend grad school in Europe? The over 5,000 masters programs we mentioned above are all taught 100% in English. English as a second language is quite high in Europe, so while you learn to speak like a local, you’ll be able to get by in most places.  Here’s a site that shows English proficiency by country.

Another consideration is the cost of living. There’s a perception that living in Europe is much more expensive than the US, but the reality is different. According to the Independent, here are the 10 most affordable countries to be a student. You can see for yourself. Sites like Expatistan allow you to compare the cost of living in your current city with other cities around the world. For instance, it’s 43% cheaper to live in Tallinn, Estonia than Denver, Colorado.

Here’s another big advantage of going to Europe for grad school: the one-year master’s degree. In many instances, you can get a master’s degree in just a year which can be half the time it would take elsewhere. In the Beyond the States database, there are 952 master’s programs that are one year in duration. A truly frugal person would do well to focus the 176 one year programs that offer tuition between 0 and $5,000, then begin looking at places with a low cost of living for students.

Getting a degree overseas will build skills that are desired by employers and help you to stand out in the job market. Today, employers are looking to hire people with the soft skills who can excel in cross-functional teams with people from different backgrounds. The emphasis on group work at schools in Europe provides experience in working with different perspectives.  The graduates are often flexible, adaptable, and experienced navigating unfamiliar circumstances  – all of which lead to success in the workplace.

Ready to explore your master’s degree options in Europe? When we began researching college in Europe two years ago, we quickly realized there was no single source of objective information, so we decided to create one with Beyond the States. We say objective because we don’t accept advertising money from schools. We also don’t get any monetary compensation from a school if a student we work with goes there versus another school.

We’ve compiled an online database with 5,278 accredited, English-taught master’s programs for you to search. Our searchable database has information like program descriptions, qualifications, country-by-country visa requirements and more. We also have a section called “Jenn Says” with Jenn’s firsthand observations from school visits and expert’s insight. To learn more, visit our master’s membership page.

2016 Year in Review

As the year comes to a close, it’s natural to look back at where we’ve come from. 2016 was Beyond the States’ first full year and it was an amazing one. We launched our database in March.  Jennifer visited schools in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. She visited schools and presented to groups in Illinois, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. We sent out 39 newsletters and posted 32 entries on our blog. Right now, Over 1,300 people receive our weekly newsletter and we have over 1,100 Likes on Facebook. As a way to look back, here are the seven blog posts of 2016 that you may have missed.

Why I started Beyond the States

Here’s the Beyond the States’ origin story.

Why I Started Beyond the States

Is College in Europe Safe?

We believe going to college in Europe is as safe as going to college in the US. We examine that topic in this blog post.

Is College in Europe Safe?

Why We Don’t List Schools in the UK

When most Americans think of college in Europe, they automatically think of England, Scotland or Ireland. We don’t list these schools in our database. Here’s where we explain why…

Why We Don’t List UK Schools

How to Pay for College in Europe

We talk about 529 College Savings plans, scholarships and other ways to make college in Europe as affordable as possible.

How to Pay for College in Europe?

College in Europe Cost Comparison

We examine the actual costs of going to college in Europe versus a public and a private university in this case study of Jared.

College in Europe Cost Comparison

College in Europe: Good or Bad for Job Prospects?

Will having a degree from a European college be an advantage or a hindrance? Click below to find out what Jenn found out on this topic.

College in Europe: Good or Bad for Job Prospects?

What’s Your Threshold?

Did you ever wonder what makes one person excited about college in Europe when most peers are going the conventional route? The answer may just lie in the individual’s threshold for collective behavior that we learned about from Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent podcast, Revisionist History.

What’s Your Threshold?

 

 

Experience Day at a College in Europe

Show Notes

Title: Experience Day at a College in Europe

Description:

How does a student decide on which program is best for him? What is that selection process like? This episode’s guest is Sam Viemont, son of Jennifer and Tom Viemont. The episode covers Jenn & Sam’s recent trip to the Netherlands to visit Leiden University for the school’s Experience Day.

Guest: Sam Viemont

Download this episode (right click and save)

Notes:

Leiden University International Studies Program

SciencesPo Middle East Study Program

Binding Study Advice

Admissions Process Podcast

Leiden University Student Housing

B2 Language Proficiency

Practicing International Studies

Six Dutch Cities Vie to Become Europe’s Culture Capitol

 

Podcast: From Ohio State to Deggendorf

Show Notes

Title From Ohio State to Deggendorf

Description

college in europeIn this episode, Jenn talks with Chelsea Workman. Chelsea started studying Philosophy at Ohio State. Although she chose an ‘affordable’ public school, the tuition, at over $10k per year, soon put financial stress on my father and meant she needed to work in addition to studying. She began racking up debt. Eventually, she dropped out, believing it futile to pay over $40,000 for a bachelor’s degree in a subject she could easily learn for free, say by reading in a local coffee shop. She decided instead to work full-time and save some money. Her sister was working at a school in a small town in Germany and suggested Chelsea give it a try. Chelsea has now finished her bachelor’s degree in Germany and has traveled extensively – all while on a budget.

Guest: Chelsea Workman

Notes

CNN Money Article

Chelsea’s Blog on Beyond the States

Ohio State University

Study Abroad and the Secret of Direct Enrollment

Deggendorf International University

Erasmus +

European Study Abroad: How to Study in More than One Country without Going Broke

College Cost Comparison

College Cost Comparison 2

Podcast: Myth of American Exceptionalism

college in europeEpisode 8 Podcast Notes

Title: Myth of American Exceptionalism

Description

In the US, the conventional wisdom tells us that the US academic experience is superior, but is that really the reality or is that the story we are told. In this episode, Jenn talks with Samantha Savage. Samantha received her undergraduate degree in International Studies from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her master’s degree from Malmo University in Global Political Studies. Samantha talks about her experience getting her master’s in Sweden compared to her undergraduate education at Carolina.

Guest: Samantha Savage

Notes

Notes on a Foreign Land by Suzy Hansen

Malmo University

Most Likely to Succeed

Academically Adrift

Do you have better critical thinking skills than a 6th grader?

Career Mentoring Program

City of Malmo, Sweden in High Def Video

Malmo to Montreal: The 20 Most Bicycle Friendly Cities in the World

Joi Ito Study

Podcast: Is it Safe to Study Abroad?

Show Notes

Title: Is it Safe to Study Abroad?

Description

At some point in the conversation about college in Europe, the question of safety comes up. People usually ask whether it’s dangerous for students to live in Europe. In this episode, Jenn explores the ideas of fear and risk and whether the reward can outweigh the risk. She talks with Ansel Mullins, who has lived with his family in Europe for 14 years.

Guest Ansel Mullins, Chief of Development, Culinary Backstreets

Guest Bio

Ansel is a native Chicagoan and lived in Istanbul, Turkey from 2001 to 2016 and now lives in Lisbon, Portugal. He is a co-founder of Culinary Backstreets, a company devoted to telling the story of the food of urban environments. He also started the blog, Istanbul Eats. To support his writing habit, he has restored old homes, tended bar, sold mobile phones and taught physical education in a kindergarten. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, Saveur Magazine, Monocle, The Guardian and other publications.

Notes

Great food in Asheville, NC

Runaway Trucks

Jaws banana boat scene

2016 50 Mass Murders or Attempted Mass Murders at School in US

23% of Women Experience Sexual Assault in College in US

Pilav Carts in Istanbul

Culinary Backstreets: Barcelona

Eatinerary

Nursing Study Abroad: Get Your BSN without Going Broke

nursing study abroadWhen the instructor asked the class on the first day of nursing school “Why do you want to become a nurse?” Hannah’s answer was different from her classmates. The other students talked about caring for the sick, helping to deliver babies, and saving lives. While those aspects also mattered to Hannah, she said she needed a career where she could find a job easily, one that would pay well upon graduation and would support her wherever she went. Hannah’s answers were different from her classmates because she had seen her own family struggle since her father’s computer programming job was sent offshore.

For a person with the right temperament, nursing is an excellent career choice.

  1. You’ll always be able to find a job. There has been an ongoing nursing shortage for decades. It is expected to worsen, due to the increasing incidence of chronic diseases, aging of the “baby boomer” generation and the constrained output of nursing schools. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 1,052,000 additional nurses are needed by 2022 to meet the demand, a 19% increase over today.
  2. Nursing is a high paying field. According to the same BLS study, nurses have the second highest median income at $65,470 (2012). Did you know nurses make more than accountants?
  3. Excellent long-term prospects: The current nursing workforce is nearing retirement age. The average age of a nurse increased from to 44.7 in 2010 from 40.2 in 2000. As these older nurses retire over the next 1-2 decades, opportunities for advancement will continue to open up. Wages will remain high, since the demand will exceed the supply. Additionally, nurses will find opportunities in other areas of the hospital like IT and management, as well as with vendors.

How does one become a Registered Nurse (RN)?

  1. Education: obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN) Note: While you can become a registered nursehc-tabletpc with an Associate’s degree, a BSN is the preferred credential. It will improve earning power over your career.
  2. Exam: Pass the standardized test for nursing, the NCLEX-RN
  3. License: Complete the licensing requirements for your state. Each state (and DC) has a state board of nursing. License requirements vary, so you’ll have to research this.

How much does Nursing school cost in the US?

There are a number of options for nursing school depending on your goals and current education level. Let’s look at schools in Pennsylvania. University of Pennsylvania is one of the top nursing schools in the country (Others top schools are Duke, Johns Hopkins, and UCSF.). Each program below is 4 years in duration.

Tuition at University of Pennsylvania (UPenn): $51,464

Tuition at University of Pittsburgh: $23,270-$37,642 (in-state/out of state)

Tuition at Temple University: $19,130-$31,610 (in-state/out of state)

Nursing school in the US seems to be pretty expensive. Are there any other nursing study abroad options?

Yes! The good news is you don’t have to fork over $80,000-$200,000 in tuition over 4 years to get a BSN degree if you get your degree overseas. In addition to 1,500 other programs, the Beyond the States database contains 14 English-taught, BSN programs ranging in cost from $2,500 per year to $12,000 per year. One program even takes just 3 years, but most are 3.5 to 4 years in duration. The total program tuition costs (tuition x duration) range from $10,800 to $43,632. Assuming cost of living is comparable (in some Eastern European countries it’s a lot lower) and a $2,000 annual travel budget, getting a nursing degree can be 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of getting a BSN in the US and you’ll get to see the world!

Courses take place in specially equipped labs where students practice nursing procedures in simulated conditions. The skills are then transferred to real-life situations during work placements in various healthcare institutions. In Finland in order to complete the work placements, you’ll learn Finnish during your course of study.

Special Note about Finland:

Half of these nursing programs are in Finland. In 2016, the Finns began phasing in tuition fees to international students for the first time. As part of the transition, schools are offering extremely generous benefits. One school is offering a 50% tuition discount for year one. While at another, if you graduate in three years, the third year is free.

Are these non-US degrees readily accepted?

Yes! Due to the ongoing nursing shortage, nurses have been hired from outside the US for years, so non-US degrees are a lot more common in nursing than in other fields. The three major qualifications employers use to screen candidates with international degrees are:

  1. Accreditation: Does the BSN come from an accredited institution? Beyond the States only lists schools that are accredited.
  2. English proficiency
  3. Ability to Get a Work Visa: a non-issue for US citizens

Fast forward to today, Hannah manages an operating room at a hospital in Philadelphia. Given the ongoing demand for nurses, the positive outlook, and the ability to help others, nursing is one best career paths for today’s students to explore and getting a BSN via nursing study abroad is a great place to start! Join now to see how Beyond the States can help!

Want to learn about more? Sign up for the Beyond the States newsletter for the latest information about English-taught college in Europe.

Podcast: Create Your Own Rankings

How useful are college rankings actually? What do they measure? Do the factors that rankings measure map to the undergrad experience? Are there excellent schools that aren’t ranked? How can one determine whether a school would be a good fit if it is not ranked? Jenn talks with Miwa Kitmura, Head of External Relations from Vesalius College in Brussels to answer these questions and more in this episode of the Beyond the States podcast. They also talk about the areas students should investigate to determine school quality.

 

Guest: Miwa Kitmura, Head of External Relations, Vesalius College, Brussels

Resources

US News College Rankings

How U.S. News college rankings promote economic inequality on campus

The US News rankings are terrible for students. Why don’t colleges stop them?

Inside Higher Ed: Ranking Diversity

Where You Go is Not Who You’ll Be

Crazy U

Forget College Rankings: Look For ‘Nessie’ Instead

2015 ETS study comparing US millennials with other students around the world

Fail U

Association of American Colleges & Universities Study

How  US News Ranks College and Universities

Jenn’s blog on her visit to Vesalius College

Vesalius combines practical focus with theory

Employability: 80% of Vesalius students go on to graduate school. After that, 95% find a job or start their own venture.

Vesalius Internship Program

At Vesalius, students are assigned a faculty advisor who is a professor.

Factors to look at beyond rankings:

  • What is the faculty background?
  • Do their research areas interest you?
  • What businesses do they partner with?
  • How many English-taught programs does the school have?