“The workload at European universities isn’t necessarily, or inherently, more challenging, but programs may be structured differently than what we’re used to in the states. Overall, expectations of student independence are much higher in Europe, where there is far less hand-holding than what we’re accustomed to in the US.
Students are expected to do a lot of studying on their own. Unlike many classes in the United States, this is ungraded work that is not monitored by the professors. The work in between classes is done to prepare for the next class discussion, as well as to prevent the need to cram for tests. The professors let students know what they need to read and do each week, but it is up to the student to actually get it done. “