12 Reasons to Go To Europe for Graduate School
Have you ever thought of changing career directions or would you like to level up on your current career path? If so, you’ve probably considered getting a graduate degree. For those with a bachelor’s degree, the traditional route is to move back into your parents’ musty basement, subsisting only on cheap ramen noodles and put yourself into a bottomless pit of debt that will insure you’re never able to retire, buy a house, or gain even a smidgen of financial security, but there is an alternative!
There is an alternative to getting a graduate degree the traditional way, while at the same time, trading the instant noodles for fresh made pasta served al fresco in Florence, Italy. That alternative is getting your masters degree in Europe in one of the thousands of fully accredited, English-taught masters degree programs there.
1. Spend Less on Tuition: 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.
2. Avoid More Debt If you’re like the average college student, you’re already carrying significant debt from getting a bachelor’s degree in the US. In Europe, there are 147 schools accept FAFSA, so you’ll be able to apply for US student aid and easily defer your existing loans while enrolled.
3. Travel! Let’s be clear: Yes, saving money is great, but the real reason you’re reading this blog is because you think travel is fun. If you don’t like travel, then getting masters in Europe isn’t for you, plain and simple, but if, like me, you long to explore the nooks and crannies of faraway places, if you already own a copy of Atlas Obscura, then it’s a great fit. The simple fact of proximity means you’ll be able to hop on a weekend train to some warm getaway or to head to the mountains for epic skiing or you could just take selfies in front of all the Game of Thrones locations.
4. Learn another language the best way – through immersion. There are a number of classes and apps to learn different languages. I’ve tried Rosetta Stone, Drops, Duolingo, just to name a few. The best way is to immerse yourself in the culture and learn as you go.
5. Gain Differentiating Experience: For those climbing the corporate ladder, this is one huge! According to data published in Harvard Business Review, living abroad as a foreigner makes you a more resourceful problem solver and a more promotable employee. Use that as the answer to why you went to Europe for grad school and you’ll move to the top of the candidate list!
6. The School Experience is Better: In the US, so much of the learning process involves filling out bubbles on scantron forms as a part of multiple choice tests. In Europe, the learning is about completing projects as part of a team which is a critical skill, whether you’re leading a development team on a scrum to build a new app or part of a cross functional team rolling our a new corporate initiative.
7. You’ll Gain Access to Internships: According …, 50% of students who do internships are hired full time by their employers. There’s simply no better way to get a job. Employer and employee get to see each other up close, warts and all. The employee is paid and typically receives course credit. Some internships are even in different countries to scratch your travel itch.
8. Catch Your Breath/Regain Perspective: I don’t mean to be political, but the news cycle has been relentlessly wearing on many of us over the past few years. It seems like you can’t even catch your breath, before another scandal or tragedy hits, but it’s not like this everywhere in the world.
9. See How the Rest of the World Lives: In the US, I think we are exposed to a consistent, US-centric, world view. The rest of the world simply isn’t fixated on what’s happening with US celebrities or sports teams.
10. Make Friends for Life with People Just Like You: If you’ve read this far, then you’re at least thinking this option might be for you. Well, guess what? You’re not alone! When you go to grad school abroad, you’ll be in class with students from many other countries who also made this huge leap to study abroad, just like you did! These people are seeking new challenges and adventure and are daring to roll the dice on this thing called life, just like you are!
11. Thousands of Programs to Choose From: Choice is another key issue. If cost is a consideration for you, you may be limited to in-state schools. What if your in-state schools aren’t a good option? According to our research, there are over 5,329 different master’s programs at 475 schools are taught in 100% in English.
12. We’ve Done the Hard Work for You! Do you have time to research the 5,300+ master’s programs in Europe? Of course, you don’t! Well, we’ve done that. We’ve also researched the different policies and procedures which vary from country to country. Jenn even visits schools in Europe multiple times per year to provide firsthand knowledge.
Bonus: Fear Not! If you’re like me, people around you will offer fearful objections to this course of action. These well meaning people will tell you about the things they’re afraid of to infect you with their fear of losing their healthcare or that your degree won’t be seen as good in the US. The truth is that those people rarely know what they’re talking about and they’ve almost never taken a significant risk. I’ll level with you: any major life change can be scary, but in my experience, not taking risks has more lasting negative consequences than trying. Even if you make the leap and don’t end up getting a masters in Europe, the fact that made the effort will be lasting.
What to learn more about getting a graduate degree in Europe? Start here