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College in Europe as an American Student

Jennifer Viemont
Founder & Chief College Advisor
October 29, 2022

Listen to this podcast.

Welcome back to another episode of the Beyond the States podcast! In today’s interview with Jenn, Anya talks about a unique study program in Europe in which a student studies in a different city/country each year.

Far away from her birthplace in Colorado, now a student in ESCP University, our guest will talk about how she found the right college in the EU, why she’d decided for that kind of program, and what track she’ll pursue in time to come. Anya reveals how it’s like to learn foreign languages and cultures (3 times in a row) during challenging times of COVID issues, and much more!

Besides, Jenn is having a word about who has made her life considerably easier during her stay in Portugal. Have you ever heard about Bruno “The Fixer”?

Full transcription of the podcast.

Intro: You're listening to the Beyond the States podcast with Jenn Viemont. Did you know that you can go to Europe and get your entire degree taught in English for less than one year of tuition at many American schools? Jenn will take you on a deep dive into the many benefits and options around English-taught higher education in Europe, helping to make the possibility less foreign.

Jenn Viemont: Welcome back to another episode of the Beyond the States podcast, I'm really excited for you to hear today's interview is with a student, she attends a program in Europe. And the structure of this program requires students to study in a different country each year, so they graduate having spent a year in three different countries. So this is actually really hard for me to imagine, given that I made an international move just a short year and a half ago, I guess, a year and a half January of 2020. And I feel like every time we're done dealing with bureaucratic nonsense, something else pops up. So before we start talking to Anya, I want to tell you about what or I guess I should say, who has made our life tremendously easier here in Portugal, his name is Bruno. So I met Bruno through my brother who also lives in Lisbon. We call him our fixer, though, he's not doing anything illegal, but there's just really no translation for what he does in Portuguese. According to my Portuguese teacher, my brother lived in Turkey for a number of years. And now he's living in Lisbon. So navigating some of the chaos is easier for him. You know, he's lived in sort of this, I don't know, less organized structure in Turkey. And then when they came here, they didn't need quite as much help. As we did. They were used to being expats already they moved there. When he was straight out of college, his girlfriend now wife joined him there, they had their first they had both of their kids in Turkey. So by the time they came to Lisbon, you know, it was kind of smooth sailing for them, though, they did still need some help, which is how he found Bruno. For us, though, this was brand new, it was our first time living abroad. So you know, there were things like when we got here, and we moved into our apartment, my husband was inadvertently put on the COVID list for the internet provider. So nobody would come out and give us internet. And he didn't have COVID, he shouldn't have been on the COVID list. It was an error. But I guess they all use some scheduling system, or they share this list. And so we couldn't get anybody out. So Tom and I are both working from home. Both of our kids were with us who were doing online school, and we had no internet. So it was a big issue. And somehow Bruno solved all of that. There was another time when I had a package stuck in customs and just couldn't get it out. And they were saying I was going to have to pay more than the value of the package. Even Bruna went up there had a cigarette and a cup of coffee with somebody. Next thing I know, I have my package. When we needed to buy a car, you know, you don't quite know what's appropriate in terms of bargaining and things like that in a different country, not to mention the language barrier, Bruna went with Tom, they got a great deal. Even just things like figuring out the best cellphone plan, or you know, filing our taxes, or Tom lost his residence card. I don't know how he did that. But he loves his residence card. BRUNO help with that. It's notoriously hard to get your security deposits back, especially for expats. When you move out, Bruno's there through the final walkthrough, we got almost the entire thing back which is unheard of. And then this last few weeks has been just horrible with the bureaucracy, so Ellie got her COVID vaccinations in the US this summer. And I had my first one in Portugal and my second one in the US. And so you know, in the EU, there's this you COVID certificate or whatever, basically showing that you've been vaccinated, and it makes travel very easy. And actually here in Portugal, right now, because the numbers are so bad, either a test or this digital certificate is needed. If you want to, like eat inside a restaurant, which actually you don't really need to do this time of year because it's beautiful. Anyway, though, we're both vaccinated, we should be able to get our COVID certificate, well, you can't do anything online. You have to go to your health center this in your neighborhood, you know, that you're assigned to. And so there are many of these health centers that are no problem. People take their CDC card, they enter the lot number there you go, you're fine. So there is a receptionist at ours who is known to me just really, really difficult. And she was turning everybody away. Anyway, long story short, Bruna went with us. And after two hours on Monday, I had mine after two hours on Friday, Ellie had hers. There's no way we could have done that even knowing Portuguese. There are a lot of I have people in this expat Facebook group I'm on who have just had tremendous problem with it. So I don't, I really don't think we would have gotten it without Bruno. So students often have resources through their school to help with things like, you know, the residence permit, or opening a bank account, and other tasks that are sort of international student exclusive. So they sort of have their own built in Bruno. And this is one reason why I suggest that students and families look at the international student percentage, specifically for degree seeking students not study abroad abroad. Sometimes a school will say, Oh, we have, you know, 40% international students, but 30% of those are just semester abroad students. So you want to find out what that number means. And the reason for that is it the needs of a degree seeking student who lives there year round, for multiple years are different than the needs of students who are just there for a semester. Anyhow, the higher the percentage of international students that are degree seeking, the more likely it is that there will be resources in place for those types of international student exclusive needs. So if you're in love with the school that doesn't have these resources, particularly actually, if it's in one of the more difficult countries when it comes to bureaucracy. These are places like France, Spain, the Czech Republic, they're not limited to those, it can be good to find someone like Bruno to help. So there are expat agencies throughout Europe that can help. But often the more informal services like Bruno are even more hands on. So ways to find those. A Facebook group for expats in that city is a great place to start. People are really, really eager to help. But you do have to be aware of Facebook snottiness. So my sister in law is in one of the same groups that I'm in for Portuguese expats. And she was trying to figure something out one of the Facebook groups and it was other people had the same problem. And they were trying to troubleshoot. So, you know, it's a back and forth exchange in this thread. And my sister in law gave an update. She said, Oh, she was finally able to figure it out and got the problem fixed to someone else said, Oh, how do you do that? And she said, Well, there's this person who helps us. He's very reasonable. And he helps me. The person says, I'm focused on learning by doing so I fix things myself. And I just felt like give me a break. I don't know why people need to be self righteous, and is always worse on Facebook. That said, like I mentioned, I found resources for a ton of different services through these groups. So if you can look past the occasional self righteousness and snottiness, you'll be fine. But there are just so many things in life that we could figure out ourselves if we had the time and or inclination. But you know, some people hire someone to do their taxes or change the oil in their car or you know, help find a college in Europe. And the thing I always think is having an expert handle these things, it reduces the learning curve. It helps me avoid making costly mistakes, it ensures that it will get done and it also saves hours and hours and hours of time not to mention stress and headaches. So anyway, I hope that if you need to whether you're moving abroad or whether your student is moving abroad, your teen is is moving abroad. I do hope that if you come against some of these obstacles you will be able to find your Bruno to we'll take a quick break and come back to hear from Anya.

Testimonial: Hey, guys. I'm Izzy from Wisconsin. I'm entering my third year of study at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. If you've been listening to the last few episodes of the podcast, you might think that Beyond the States is mostly for Dutch schools. There are a lot of members here particularly because other than Ireland, of course, the Netherlands has the greatest number of English-taught bachelor's degree programs. There are actually Beyond the States members in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Italy, and France, and Spain, and Belgium, and even Cyprus. Each country is different when it comes to their admission requirements, educational approaches, the types of universities and types of programs they offer and more.   This is just one reason why Beyond the States is so helpful. They have information about all of these different countries and make it easy to understand and navigate them. I'm actually a dual citizen, and my parents grew up and started their higher education in Poland. They later moved to the US to finish their higher levels of education. Even though they have an understanding of these higher educations in the US, they didn't want me to be limited to just those options, especially since I'm eligible for EU tuition in all of Europe. Except for Ireland, of course. Our Beyond the States membership helped me learn about so many options all around Europe that would be a good fit for me.   I would really encourage you to not limit your options to just one country. For example, when I was looking, I looked not only at the Netherlands but also Portugal, Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic. Beyond the States makes that easy to do, especially with their membership. Check the show notes or service page at beyondthestates.com for information on how to join. 

Jenn Viemont: So today I'm talking to Anya, who's from Boulder, Colorado. She is a student at ESCP, which I can't tell you where it is, because it's in several different places, which we're going to talk about in just a few minutes. But Anya, thanks for being here today.

Anya: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure.

Jenn Viemont: So before we start talking about ESCP, which is so cool for so many reasons, I was wondering if you could just talk a little bit about how you learned about college in Europe, why you decided this was something you wanted to look into and pursue just sort of your starting point. Yeah, so

Anya: This is a quite a long story. So I'll start off with my dad is actually from Austria. So I do have European roots already. However, I did not grow up speaking German, I, you know, I was in America, and I had a fully full United States household going on, but I do have the European passport. So I have this great opportunity to be able to live anywhere in the European Union. without a visa, I can work I can live. And so when I was 15, I wanted to take advantage of this. And I did study abroad for six months, during my sophomore year of high school, I did this in France. So I'd been learning French in high school. And I thought, you know, why not just go there practice, my friends, you know, get a little bit better. And I absolutely fell in love with being in Europe, anybody who's been to Europe knows what I'm talking about. It's just a very different culture. And I wanted to pursue that further than high school. And so I started to look into European colleges, when I got back to the states, so junior year came around, and that's when you start looking, you know, four year colleges. And I didn't really want to do University in another language, or at least not fully. So I didn't want you know, three or four years, completely in French, or, you know, German or Italian. And so my mom and I, we were frantically looking up online, you know, universities in Europe, that teaching English, and we found beyond the states. And then we, you know, we were like, Oh, this is awesome, I can just fill out a form. And boom, I will have my results and some colleges that are tailored to me and exactly what I want to do. So for me, that would be international business. And then you suggested ESCP, with three different years in three different countries. And you only need to know a few languages, or even none depending what track you're going for, which was perfect, because I only knew French so I could use that while also learning other languages, but still being an English. And yeah, that's it. I applied to ECP, as well as Rotterdam University Applied Sciences, I got into both, but I eventually just decided with

Jenn Viemont: ECP. That's awesome. So let's go to what you just what you started to talk about, because it's so incredible to me. So at ESCP, they have, gosh, I don't know more than eight campuses around Europe and the world, right? I think they're

Anya: Around seven, seven, now seven or eight. I'm not too sure. Because I do have some campuses for Master's and some for bachelors.

Jenn Viemont: So this is a French business school. And I want to note that it does have AACSB and Equis accreditation, you can check our blogs for why I actually think that's important, much more than global rankings, it really speaks to the educational experience, it really speaks to educational outcomes. And it's just a really good thing to see that it's already been vetted for. So with esap students in the bachelors program, there's like different configurations. And they choose one school to go to for the first or one city to go to for the first year. One for the second and one for the third. I'm wondering if you can tell us a little bit about your choices and how that's been for you.

Anya: Yeah, of course. So our first year we have the choice between Paris and London. So if you go to either one, they're both in English just because its first year, I decided to go to London because I knew that during my second year, I would want to go to Paris. So second year, we have Paris, Madrid and Turin, in Italy. So if you go to Paris, your second year, you do have to speak French. They go by different levels here. So the level that you would need is a b two. So if you're going by AP, that would be a three or four on your AP enough to where you would get that bilingual stamp from AP, then if you were to go to Madrid, you'd have to have a b two in Spanish. So again, in US terms, that would be a three or four on the AP Spanish exam. So again, enough to get a bilingual stamp. And then if you don't speak Spanish or French, then you can go to Italy. And it's again all in English just like the first year. Now my third year I've chosen to go to Berlin. So I chose Paris the second year and I'm now going to Berlin my third year. So third year is between Berlin and Paris. If you go to Berlin, you don't need to speak German. It's again completely in English. If you were to go to Paris, you wouldn't need to be almost mother tongue in French so that would be raised either in a French household with one or two French parents or you are a French citizen. Are you, you know, speak French very fluently because you would be doing a work study. So half the year would be studying at ESCP. And then half the year we'd be doing sort of an internship or kind of a work student position in a French company in French. And that's why you would need that language requirement. So one thing I do want to note is you can only go to Paris, one of your years, even though it's offered for all three, if you even want to go to Paris, you could do a track completely without Paris, which would be London to Berlin, or London, Madrid, Berlin. And so that's what I would like to note about language requirements. But for me, I chose London, Paris, Berlin, and I had a ton of fun, and I'm very excited to go to Berlin this year, I think I'm most excited.

Jenn Viemont: And especially with COVID, starting to get to our past instead of our are currently is going to be Yeah, an awesome way to explore. I have so many questions, I don't even know where to start. So. So if somebody wanted to do the whole thing in English, they would do Paris or London, and then they would do Touren, and then Berlin.

Anya: Berlin. Exactly, yeah, they wouldn't need to know any languages except English, they would be learning languages, for sure. So you would be learning your b two and B, three languages. So that's the year so bachelor two, Bachelor three. So if you go to London, your first year, and then you do Turin, in Berlin, you would actually start learning Italian and German during your first year, then during your second year, you would continue with that Italian while you're there, and then again, continue with the German. And then third year, you would only be doing German. But again, everything is in English, these are just language classes, just like you have in high school, which is what I think is really cool.

Jenn Viemont: I saw that that's not optional. This student, their goal is to have students proficient into additional languages, by the time that they finish, which is so valuable, learning Portuguese, myself right now as an adult is so hard. So having that full, you're there. And right now, I'm in the States, too. So I'm taking my Portuguese lessons online, and there's no Portuguese around me, and I'm not retaining anything from lesson to lesson because I'm not hearing it. So to have that learning, while you're there is just so valuable.

Anya: Especially with other students, too. I just want to, you know, with your friends, if they're from Italy, and you're taking Italian, and you need help, it's just so easy to text them and say, Hey, can you help me with my homework, it's, it's really great to be with such an international community.

Jenn Viemont: My son finds that too. He took French through high school and isn't able to continue it now. And same with Arabic. And because he has such an international peer group in Rotterdam, he's able to go hang out with his French friends, and they'll speak French, and they'll, you know, be patient with him. But Tim, also, which is nice. So when you were in the second year in Paris, I know you said you need me to, were all of your classes in French? And most of them in French?

Anya: Actually, most of them were in English, we just had C, I think the one that we had was law, actually. And so it was international law as well as taxation law. So those were in French, they did offer some English supports. So they had the French PowerPoint, and then the English PowerPoint, however, the teacher is teaching in French, so to not be confused, you use the French PowerPoint and take French notes. However, I think that changes on a year to year basis. I'm not too sure how it was last year. And if there are more classes, and it also ranges from campus to campus. So on the Madrid campus, they had, I think, a different class, they had an intercultural skills class in Spanish, or maybe there. I don't think it was a coding class in Spanish, but it changes. Yeah, it changes per campus. And I think it changes per year. But usually the majority of the classes are in English, except for maybe a few, you know, one or two or three, I guess it just depends on the year, maybe with COVID, there was something special too. So they adapt really well to the situation. But yeah, it'll change for sure.

Jenn Viemont: So let's see, you just said a word that I want to happen to you, which is adapt, because I can't imagine again, you know, we've just finished a year and a half in Portugal during COVID, our first year living abroad and the first few months and I don't know how much of it was due to COVID. And how much of it was just due to being you know, living in a new country were really hard, you know, figuring out all the bureaucratic systems and making our way through that was really hard so much that we said, Well, I'm never moving anywhere. Again. This is so hard. So it's amazing that you've had this experience three times now starting in a new country, and even with EU citizenship, there's still some bureaucratic hoops you have to jump through. If nothing else, like figuring out cell phone coverage or you know, apartments to rent and things like that. So how has that been for you? How is it been adjusting to that? And also how is that with student life for you? Like do the same students come to you know, some people from the previous year? That sort of living piece of it?

Anya: Yeah. So I guess I can start with COVID kind of hit us in during our first year. So when I was in London, so about mid March, everybody decided to go home because we just saw that things probably weren't going to get better. And we didn't really want to get stuck in London. Not to say that London was bad. But I, you know, that week, we saw something, you know, an announcement from the US saying borders are closing, obviously not to US citizens, however, you hear that, and you get a little panic. So everybody decided to go home. So everybody went to France, to Germany to Italy. And then I decided to return to the US. So I was home for a few months. And I'll start with ESCP went online completely within a week. And so they adapted very well, this was actually amazing to see is they just immediately were able to start with lectures online. And they were accommodating to those who were eight hours behind, or those in Asia who were eight hours ahead. And then the exams were completely online. And of course, we still had group projects, but they set it up so that we could do zoom calls with our groups and have designated time. And yeah, they were very accommodating to this. Now getting into Paris, me and two friends had already booked our accommodation actually before, or maybe, right, as COVID had started, we booked an Airbnb. And so it was cheaper than other options because we turned a two bedroom Airbnb into a three bedroom. So we turned the living room into a bedroom, which is not uncommon for Europe at all. I've seen so many places do this, we heard about other students doing this. And that's why we were fine with it. And we had it right in your school because we had assumed that we would be going back to school. So a one minute walk was great in our minds. So we had that booked, and everything was great. We were all able to head to Paris in August, because everything had opened up sort of during the summer, and was still open. And when we got there, yeah, everything started in person. However, again, they weren't super accommodating and doing it sort of half and half, or at least having the lectures recorded. So that those who weren't present because of visa struggles, or maybe because, you know, they couldn't leave their families at that time and everything like that. So they did do a hybrid mode for us, which was quite nice. While we were doing this hybrid, I think first semester was a little bit more tough because we kind of went in and out of lockdowns, as well as doing this hybrid. And then second semester got a little better, because everything was just completely online again. And we stayed that way until about a month or two before school ended when we went back to doing that in person, half in person, half hour in person, sort of Yeah, again, hybrid, that's the best way I can say it. And that's what we call it. So I'll just keep saying it was a hybrid. And yes, second year was a little bit more difficult for me, however, we got past it, and you just have to learn to do everything online, this third year there again, predicting it's going to be a hybrid. And they're going to try and accommodate as many people on campus as they can, especially as vaccines are rolling out, and that maybe we can start having people, you know, come back again, hopefully visas will, there won't be as many problems and people won't have to stay home. But yeah, I, I sort of rambled on a little bit about that. They overall did a very good job with going into online mode, and then online offline mode. And being really accommodating with those who couldn't be there in person or those who were in person we just had to, you know, remember to remind the professor to turn on the recording for our friends and everything. So have you felt,

Jenn Viemont: I guess it's hard to know, again, with COVID? And with moving each year, you know, kind of which is which? But have you been able to feel like sort of a community with with classmates and kind of a part of ESCP?

Anya: Yeah, I think the first year was very crucial to have in person, because we were able to meet so many people and create those friendships. And I believe for myself, I became friends with those who I would have a common track with or would see later on, you know, maybe it was something unconscious, right? But when you introduce yourself the first year you said Hi, my name is blank. I'm from blank. And my track is. So you knew everybody's tracks. So you knew Oh, I'll be with them next year. Oh, I won't be with them next year, but I'll see them again in Berlin. And I guess maybe you have that unconscious. I don't want to say bias but you connect with them more because you know that you'll be with them for a longer period. And so most of my friends I've actually been with you know, London, Paris, Berlin, we all had a very similar track. And I've created a very good group of friends and it was you know, some of the girls that I lived with last year like I said in Paris I shared with two apartments. And even so people that we don't see often we still communicate with either through our big Whatsapp group, we have a big ESCP 2022 Whatsapp group going on, or just interacting in person. You know, maybe we see them sometimes and even During class, you would say hi or get lunch, even if they're not your closest friends, you still have a good community to fall back on. Because you're not alone. Everybody's going through this. And you're traveling with them. So you, you kind of keep up that relationship, because you know that you'll see them again super soon, even after the summer, and everything like that. So one of the things

Jenn Viemont: I was thinking about is I was I was looking on the ESCP site before we talked. And I think I used to think even maybe a month ago, I would have said, well, this takes a really unique student, not just for, you know, because it's like, hardcore business program. But because of the living in three different places, I would, I would say that this needs a really kind of super independent student to go through. And as I was reading it, they talked about, they use some verbiage that I love, they said, you know, this structure is going to allow you to become independent. And I just see this so great. And it's like about resilience. And it's about like, yeah, you know, what things are going to be hard. And that's how you sort of grow as a person. And that's how you grow in your independence and your competence. And your resilience is not just by having sort of this easy path, with no mistakes and no consequences. So be it, you know, living in three different places, or dealing with COVID, during, you know, the years of college or whatever else. I think it's amazing how students are dealing with this. And I'm wondering if there are any idle, no mistakes that you made that really did help you grow unnecessarily mistakes, but just struggles that you're like, oh, this really sucks as you're going through it. But then afterwards, you're like, oh, it's because you know, the train system and whatever country was so hard that now I know not to get on the wrong platform. Are you what I mean?

Anya: Yes. Well, I, yes, I can speak at least for my first year, I didn't really know how to study. And that sounds very weird. And I always think it's weird when I say it. No, during high school. Like during high school, I didn't really have to study whether that was because I knew the classes really well or because we had Study guides or just you know, great system in class where we had time to review material and everything like that. But during my first year, it kind of hit me coming exam time, I was like, Oh, I don't know how to study for these upcoming exams. And that kind of threw me in a tizzy for a little while. But I kind of worked on that and realized how I need to study whether it's making big note sheets, like big review sheets, and then just rereading those daily, or, you know, every day doing a new chapter into this big notes sheet or something like that. And so, I learned definitely during the first year that I needed to work on myself and how I learned and how I retain. And then especially come Corona time when everything is online, I again, kind of needed to reevaluate, you know, I'm not in person anymore, I may not be paying as much attention to these classes, how can I still retain this information and still work in a way that's going to help me you know, pass these exams and actually learn what we're learning. And so those are two big steps that I kind of had to overcome, just working on myself. And then as for living, and just outside of school, I learned that you don't need to be looking for housing as early as you'd think you'd think you have to start looking for housing a year out, but really, they don't post houses or apartments for rent until a few months out. But when they do post you need to be on your A game to get these because they go very fast. And so even now I'm living in Berlin for an internship and I'm trying to find a new place and I did finally find one but it took a lot of work and a lot of looking online and setting up you know these these drip emails where they constantly email you about new houses on the market and every or new apartments online and everything like that. And so I've learned I don't need to start looking six months out however the two months before I want to move I really need to be looking at these houses full time job, right Yeah, exactly. Like you have to be on your A game and know exactly what you're looking for and have a great letter drafted to these landlords saying Hi, my name is this I do this. I'm super neat. I don't smoke you know, have a great cover letter to send out and you know, two minutes after it's posted you send it to them and you get that

Jenn Viemont: really is true like selling yourself. My I just went through with that was Sam my son because he was living in the student residences this year and is getting an apartment next year and thought he could just kind of send an email like who's it available? No, no, no, that's not what yeah.

Anya: Yeah, exactly. And I did live in a student residence my first year in London, but then of course, Paris we did Airbnb and then this year, I'm finding my own my own place. Big smile apartment studio. So I've gone through all three. I can't believe for a minute from campus.

Jenn Viemont: I've been to the Paris campus. And that is a fantastic area.

Anya: Yeah, yeah, we were very lucky that I found it.

Jenn Viemont: So let's talk a little bit more. The other thing I found about ESCP, and what they sort of the academic life, one of the things I thought was really interesting on the website is the each year the option, and sometimes mandatory internships, and then as well as the collective projects and social impact projects. So again, I know the last couple of years have been a little bit messy with COVID. But if you could tell us about which of those you've participated in what you know about those, that would be great.

Anya: Yeah. So our first year, the collective project was really fun. And it was sort of a free for all project. So basically, you could have done a business plan, you could do a service that helps you find housing, a, you know, an informational podcast is what we did kind of we did a fun, a fun podcast. So basically, we were able to choose our groups, and you could choose your topic, you just had to hit a few requirements, you had to set goals, you needed to do this thing called a Gantt chart, which is where you sort of plan out all of your actions, I guess, with your podcast, or you know, with your business plan, like what do you need to hit and when so by January, you do this, February do this, and you have that all on a Gantt chart, and you submit that to the professor. And so we decided to do a student life podcast, with a group of I think we were six, and five or six, I believe. And it was, I think one of the most fun projects I've ever done, because we could just every week, get on and talk about the most random things. And I did a song of the week every week. And one week, we talked about going to Mars. And another week, we talked about the simulation theory. And it was very fun. And it didn't feel like a project, even though we did have to submit something every month. And we had to explain, you know, what did we do this month? What goals did we hit? What do we need to work on that sort of thing. But it was again, just a really fun project. Now second year, we did another collective project. And usually it would be a like a, like a consulting project with a French startup or a French company. However, due to COVID, we couldn't actually do that. So we had to completely change our plans. And they ESCP partnered up with change now, which is an environmental Summit. So sustainability Summit, and they work in various categories. So they combine these actors. So these organizations, or these companies, or you know, just these big groups, you could say that work towards environmental sustainability in different industries. So in the audiovisual industry, fashion, industry, finance, industry, and everything like that. And so what that meant for us as a collective project is we would get into groups, and we would choose what industry we want it to focus on. And then we would do research on that. And we would actually find actors to bring to the change now Summit. So it was basically a research project and sort of consulting, in a way because we were getting these actors and bringing them to the summit, and writing a big paper on Okay, who are these actors? How are they fighting? You know, climate change? And how are they promoting environmental sustainability in these fields? And then how can, how can they be helped? You know, what do they need to be helped? Do they need money? Do they need exposure? If we bring them to the summit? Can we combine them with other actors to help them and so that was our collective project. So definitely focusing more on business sustainability, which was very different than what we've talked about before. We haven't yet had a class on sustainability. But we can do that in our third year. And there's actually a group at ESCP that's working to promote sustainability more into our curriculum, which is great. And I'm hopefully, hopefully, in a few years can report back that we've successfully integrated, you know, sustainability into our finance classes and into our psychology classes and stuff like that. But they're working on that at the moment. And so those were our two collective projects. Our third year, I don't believe we have a collective project because we do have a thesis to a bachelor's thesis during our third year and so that will take up a big chunk of our time. And then internships. Yes, so this is a fun one. We do have to do, I think 20 or 24 weeks of intern or work experience. And so first year for summer, I guess you could say it's not mandatory, second, and third summers it is and so that's when you're supposed to get your weeks. And if you do one year for your first summer, you can use some of those weeks to count for the second third, however, you still have to do them. It can just be a little bit less. You know, instead of doing three months, you can only do one month and then have two months to yourself or something like that. And so, yeah, you, you get to choose what internships you do, it's totally up to you, you find them either through LinkedIn or through job app, like job sites, or ESCP, sometimes sends out emails that have, you know, available internship spots with partners, though many of these might require you to be, you know, a junior senior or a master just depends on what that specific position is looking for. And so, I have been able to find them either through LinkedIn or just through family connections, my first and second year. And then of course, during your third year, you do that final one, which might turn into a job after you graduate, which would be great. Very cool.

Jenn Viemont: So speaking of graduation, I was looking at the website, and where it says that it was crazy. So for the bachelors program, it said, 33% of graduates go straight to their masters and 67% go to the workforce, and of that 67% who go to the workforce 98% have a job upon graduation, which is crazy. So where are you in that percentage? Are you the 67%? Workforce masters? Are you thinking us? Are you thinking Europe? And I know, you know, if you don't know, that's cool, but do you have any ideas of what you're thinking you might do?

Anya: Yeah, so I'm thinking, hopefully, my third internship will turn into a job. So basically how I'll just preface this a little bit, you stopped classes in April, May, and that's when your thesis is due. And then of course, you have to get this last internship in. So it will probably be, you know, maybe one to three to six months, depending how many weeks you need. And so once you've hit your internship requirements, then you've actually got your diploma. And that's when you can officially receive it. So most people receive it in October. Now, this also means if you want to go into a master's, you have to plan that out a little bit early, make sure you get all of your intern weeks early, so then you can actually get your diploma and do an early graduation in the summer. So you get around June, July, and that would allow you to head straight into your masters. I myself am not planning to go right into a master's a because I don't know exactly what I want to do. And be I just want to get a little bit of more work experience before I decide to go back to school. So I want to specialize in something but I wouldn't want to jump ahead and specialize before I know what I want to specialize in. And that's why I would hopefully get an internship that would maybe turn into a full time job. And then I can kind of see, okay, what am I working in? Do I like this? Is this what I want to do? Do I want to go back to school for this? And sort of figure that out? Before I go back to do a masters? I probably would stay in Europe, I don't think I'd go back to the US. But of course, it just depends. You know, if I find a great program, it depends what I end up wanting to do. And currently thinking something in business strategy, or brand management, but then I could also totally see myself doing real estate or real estate investment or something like that. But I'm not totally sure yet, we'll see.

Jenn Viemont: And it's great that you don't have to be sure yet, you know, your business degree. So many times people are concerned like, oh, you know, you have to know your major ahead of time. It's so specialized. But you know, business degree is quite broad. And in fact, at ESCP, you do have classes in humanities and International Relations and things like that, as well. So I think it's just, I think, I get so excited when I talk to students like you who have had these incredible experiences, I mean, three countries in three years, which is awesome, but also who have this educational opportunity. They've really just embraced and gotten so much out of it. And I'm so excited for you. And I can't wait to see where where things are in your life a year from now, five years from now. And we're just taking, you know, thank you.

Anya: Yeah, I'm also very excited. And of course, I think beyond the state's always for finding ESCP for me, and I'm just very grateful for to you guys as well for being able to provide these opportunities to kids and someone like me.

Jenn Viemont: We love doing it. So anyway, thank you so much for being here with us today. And I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.

Anya: Yeah, thank you so much for having me.

Jenn Viemont: So before we end, I have a couple of things I want to share with you. The first is about our monthly special which of course changes each month as the name implies. And the September special is really big. So we have a number of self paced courses that I've developed over the years. There's one about, you know, how to choose a major as it pertains to the options in Europe. There's another one about walking you through the process of choosing a program in a school in Europe. There's one about missions. There's one about the options in the Netherlands because other than Ireland, they have more English programs than any other country in Europe. And then there's one about the business options in Europe. So if you purchase these without a membership there are 50 to 75 each depending on the course. But this month, you get all five for free with your purchase of a membership. So just remember, there's no long term commitment in our memberships, you can cancel after your first month if you want, you can, you know, sign up, dive in, take all the courses in the first month, check out the other resources and then cancel whenever you want. So you'll find a link to this special and also more information about this episode in our show notes. You'll also find a ton of information on our site beyond the states.com There are blogs, some by me, others by our student ambassadors, which are both video and written blogs. And you'll also find more about our various services and our incredible community of members. We'd love for you to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. If you have suggestions for future episodes, just shoot us a message there. And finally, if you enjoy the podcast, we'd really appreciate it if you would leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher. Thanks again for listening.

Jennifer Viemont
Founder & Chief College Advisor

5 Reasons Why You Should Study in Europe

If packing up your whole life and moving sounds more exciting than terrifying, then you'll love what colleges in Europe have to offer you. These are 5 reasons why going to college in Europe will be the best decision you'll ever make:

1. Tuition is much more affordable than the US.

In continental Europe, the average cost of all the English-taught bachelor’s programs is just $7,390 per year. Since 1985, US college costs have surged by about 1000 percent, and tuition and fees continue to rise. Even when you factor in the cost of travel, going to college in Europe if often cheaper than one year of tuition at a state college in the US.

2. There are thousands of English-taught degrees.

Choice is another key issue. When cost is a chief consideration, you may be limited to only in-state schools, where tuition is lower. What if your in-state schools aren’t a good option for your chosen field of study? In Europe there are thousands of programs to choose from across 212 areas of study, and they are all taught 100% in English, so there's no need to worry about learning a new language.

3. International exposure is essential and highly valued.

Students who studied abroad stand out from the crowd when seeking jobs after college. The very act of leaving their comfort zone to make a fresh start in a new place builds skills and confidence that will be carried throughout a student’s life. Silicon Valley billionaire investor, Chris Sacca, describes international study experience as a critical differentiating characteristic among candidates. According to former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, “The Jack Welch of the future cannot be like me. I spent my entire career in the United States. The next head of [General Electric] will be somebody who spent time in Bombay, in Hong Kong, in Buenos Aires.”

4. You'll avoid the US admissions rat race.

The college admissions process in the US has become a race to the bottom as students compete with their peers for a single spot in a liberal arts college, convinced by parents and guidance counselors that their survival rests on playing a musical instrument or varsity sport.Many smart kids don’t do well on standardized tests. This doesn’t limit them as much when looking outside of the US, as many colleges in Europe do not require standardized tests. Many countries see entry into universities as a right, rather than a privilege, so admission standards are not as stringent.

5. Spend your weekends & breaks exploring the world.

Travel opportunities abound when attending college in Europe. For example, Lille, a city in northern France with multiple universities, is close to major cities such as Brussels, London, and Paris via high-speed rail. Air travel, especially with the rise of affordable airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet, and Transavia, can be comparable in price to rail travel, so many more destinations open up for short-term travel.

How to Get Into the World's Top Universities

When you also factor in the many problems with US higher education, it is imprudent not to consider other possibilities. It is true there are many excellent schools in the United States—I don’t think anyone would argue that. There are some that have managed to look at applicants as people, and not just a checklist of achievements. Some even have reasonable tuition rates, and/or professors that actively teach and have highly engaged students. Despite this, I have yet to find a school in the United States that addresses all of these issues: allows students to opt out of the rat race the admissions process has become, have reasonable tuition, AND have positive results around the educational experience and post-graduation outcomes. Not every school in Europe provides all this either, but the schools listed in our database do.

How to Find Degrees in Europe That Are Taught in English

Finding these programs is burdensome, difficult, and confusing, especially with institutional websites in foreign languages... We know that making the decision to study abroad can be difficult, so we want to make it easy for you. We scoured the continent for vetted programs and made them available to thousands of families looking to leave the US and find a better life in Europe. We found over 11,200 degrees, 870 universities, 550 cities, and 32 European countries to choose from. Europe offers an impressive range of educational opportunities!

We have gathered all of the information you need to know about studying in Europe – from the different types of schools available to how to get housing and everything in between. Our database helps you find these programs quickly and easily, helping you contextualize the many benefits and options around higher education in Europe.

You will be able to find programs and courses that suit your interests and needs, taught in English by experienced professors in state-of-the-art facilities. Purchase a membership and search our database of English-taught European bachelor's and master's programs to get started on your journey to Europe today.

Get a Free Insider's Guide

We created free guides that give you the skinny on 5 bachelor’s or 10 master's degree programs in Europe that are taught in English, uber affordable, easy to get into, are great for opportunities, and give you life-changing experiences.

Guide

To explore more countries, cities, and all of the universities, get access to the full database and search through over 11,200 programs taught entirely in English. You're bound to find your ideal program.

Beyond the States matches you with your ideal English-taught college in Europe.

Beyond the States provides access to 11,400+ European bachelor's and master's programs across 870 universities, 550 cities, and 212 areas of study, plus all the resources you need to get there. No sponsorships. No bias.
3400+
English-taught bachelor's programs in our database.
8000+
English-taught master's programs in our database.
550
Beautiful European cities to choose from.
870
Top-tier universities accepting international students.
€293,558
Typical savings against a private university in the US.
€55,098
Typical savings against in-state tuition in the US.
All inclusive of tuition, living, food, books, health insurance, travel expenses, as well as hidden fees. Compiled with data from students and the official websites from KU Leuven, UNC, and Duke.

Listen to the College Insights™ Podcast

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What Transparent Admissions Requirements Really Mean

Featuring Jennifer Viemont
It’s that time of year again… College admissions are on the minds of many students who have attempted to get into their choice schools across the US; it can be a deeply confusing and stressful time for many.
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Master's Degrees in Europe for International Students

Featuring Jennifer Viemont
Her conversation partner this week is Sean Dempsey, a past BTS member and recent graduate of the highly-ranked KU Leuven, in Belgium.
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Will a European Degree Work for Me in the US?

Featuring Jennifer Viemont
Is a degree from Europe valuable enough in the US? Does it allow students to get into grad school and get a good job? Who gives accreditation to universities in the States?
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How to Get a Master's Degree in Europe

Featuring Jennifer Viemont
In today’s episode, Jenn has an interesting discussion with Tiffany, a parent of one of our members, Ethan. She became so interested in the Beyond the States process herself so that she’s amid planning admission for herself and her husband – for a Master degree program in the EU!
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Avoid the Pitfalls of College Rankings

Featuring Jennifer Viemont
How useful are college rankings actually? What do they measure? Can you find great colleges in Europe without relying on rankings?
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The Myth of American Exceptionalism

Featuring Jennifer Viemont
We're going to be talking about the differences in the educational experience, meaning the academic side of things that students have in Europe versus in the US. So I'm always taken aback when people assume that universities in the US are the best globally.

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