How to Get a Master's Degree in Europe

Jennifer Viemont
Founder & Chief College Advisor
October 29, 2022

Listen to this podcast.

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!

Furthermore, Tiffany talks about how she became so open to new possibilities in her life, background stories about traveling & different experiences, and gives an answer to the most important question for all seniors about high education (and chasing dreams) : Is it too late, can I do this? Tune in and find the answer!

“There’s not just one right path for everyone.” Jenn

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: Hi, I'm Jenn Viemont, I'm so glad you're here today. We're gonna be talking to Tiffany a little bit later on in the episode. And it's a really cool discussion, she was actually a parent of one of our members, and then became so interested in the process herself, that she is in the midst of planning for admission for herself and her husband and master's degree programs down the road in Europe. So the thing I really enjoyed about talking to her is just how open she is to possibilities in her life and just open to different experiences. And, and so I wanted to talk about location as it pertains to study in Europe, because it relates to this whole topic of openness. Because it's something I think is really important when it comes to thinking about a specific location to study in in Europe, because I often meet students who say they want to study in a very specific country. More often than not, these are places they've traveled on for vacation and just fell in love with when they traveled there. Sometimes it's because they took the language in high school. And that's what interests them about a particular high school, or maybe they have family who lives in or are from a certain country in Europe. So I want to talk about why this is not the best starting point when you're thinking about schools in Europe, and how you can still get your preferences around location met without having this specific country in mind. So let's go to a student who went on vacation in Paris and just fell in love with it. And they come to me saying that they want to study art history in France, preferably Paris, but they're open to the country. So this student’s going to be out of luck. There are 70, English taught Bachelor's in France, 39 of these options are related to business. Of the 31 remaining non business programs. 20 of them are at expensive American schools costing over $30,000 a year. So that leaves you with 11 options that are affordable, and not business. Now, some of these 11 are really strong options. There's a computer science program, I suggest a lot. There's also Sciences Po which has these incredible areas studies kind of International Relations type options. And also the business schools in France are very reputable. And like I said, there are tons of options in that field. But our student who wants to study art history at affordable price in France is out of luck. Or I might meet a student who's especially interested in Germany. So let's say that they're interested in studying business. And not only have they been to Germany, and they loved it, but they've also been taking German throughout high school and they're excited to be able to use the language of Germany is certainly affordable public universities, their cost from zero to 3000 euros per year, even for international students. Further, there are a large number of business programs. However, there are also really rigid entrance requirements for Germany. And they also seem to change it every couple of years. So planning for the admissions requirements can be difficult too when they're changing them. So often, first, they required certain SAT or ACT scores, then they did away with that, but they required two years of college credits. And now they're taking AP scores not SAT, not ACT, but AP scores. This is all since beyond the states has started. So in the past five to six years, this is the third round of new requirements. If you want to study science and math, there are certain requirements you need for our students, though, who wants to study business that would fall under the category of humanities, social science, law and economics. So he would need scores of three or higher in English in a foreign language, which would be French, Spanish, Latin or German. He would also need one in math or national science, which would have to be calculus, biochemistry, or both physics see tests. And he would need an additional score in European history in American history, computer science or macro and micro economics. So if our student doesn't have this, then Germany is going to be off the table. So the first thing I would do with both of these students is I would ask them what it is specifically about these countries that make them want to live there. So it might be language. So you could look at please Just like Austria and parts of Belgium for German, and Switzerland, of course, the options are unlimited in Switzerland, for Bachelors, for France, also, you know, there, you could look at Belgium and Switzerland, countries also share so many borders, that you can often find a school that makes it easy to get to the other country. It's, you know, only two hours from Prague to, I think it's Dresden is what it was so close to there. There are cities in the Netherlands that are literally, you know, walking distance to the German border as well. So there are a lot of options to look at around a location that's close to the country you want to be in. And then a lot of times what it is that a student tells me, you know, about the specific country they want to live in other than language are things that can be found in other parts of Europe, walkability, public transportation, the incredible architecture, ease of travel, these are all things I've heard from students who are saying, I want to live in whatever country because of this, those are all things that they might be rare in the students, community, or city or even state back in the US are really, really common here in Europe, and easy to find elsewhere as well. So the other problem with being so specific about a country from the start, is that you're limiting yourself to what you know. So if I weren't traveling to visit schools for beyond the States, I can't imagine that I ever would have had a reason to visit many of the cities and countries that I've been to, I wouldn't know that that is Estonia has just about everything you'd find in Scandinavian countries minus the Nordic price tag, I wouldn't know that that Riga in Latvia is one of the most beautiful cities I've been to with incredible food, and that I would move to in a heartbeat, even with the cold weather. And I never would have ventured past Prague in the Czech Republic or, or Budapest in Hungary. So I wouldn't know about these incredible students cities like Bruno in the Czech Republic, or Paich. In Budapest. And that's not to say that every place is great. There are plenty of places I've been to, that I personally wouldn't want to live in even for just a couple of years as a student. But my reasons for not wanting to live there are reasons that others might actually want to live there. It's just so personalized, your criteria about where you want to live is a very personalized decision. So I guess in summary, I'm suggesting that you first start your search by looking at your area of study, your budget, and your admissions requirements. And don't look at location at all at that point. Only after you have that list is based on your area of study budget and admissions do I think you should narrow based on location, and then it should be based not on an actual location, but on qualities of a location. The last thing I just want to mention is that there are a lot of places that are great to vacation, that might not be the greatest place to live. So when you're coming up with your list of qualities, be sure to think about it in sort of the frame of reference of what are things I like about living somewhere, as opposed to fluttering things I like about vacationing or traveling somewhere. Remember that once you're in Europe, travel is going to be so easy that you can easily get to these places that you'd love to travel without necessarily living there. So we're gonna take a quick break, and then get back with Tiffany, who's going to tell us about her open minded approach to life and where that's taken her.

Testimonial  

Hello, my name is Hannah. I'm from Indiana, and I'm entering my third year of study at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. I'll never forget the day that I got my best fit list from Jen. It was so exciting to read about all these really cool schools with amazing programs that were related to my academic interests within my budget, and that I would more likely than not be accepted to since I was a member of the on the states they had a lot of other services that we could also use one service that I think is so cool is the On your mark masterclass. I didn't know anyone else in my school or even my city here in America who is applying to college in Europe. So the fact that students in this class get to know others around the country who are doing the same thing is great. It's a six week course with video lessons. Each week they'll walk students through specific steps and exercises to choose their area of study and then narrow down the 3000 options to create a best fit list for themselves. Jen helps answer their questions along the way in their Sunday afternoon calls and also goes over the assignments to make sure that there aren't any programs they missed or let them know about schools. on their list. She has concerns about not only do they get to know each other in the calls, but students are also in an Instagram group to answer each other's questions and also get questions answered by student ambassadors like me. The class is held three times a year and always fills up to sign up soon. If you're interested, check the show notes for details and a link or visit the Services page at beyond the state's dot com. I'll see you guys in the Instagram group.

Jenn Viemont: So today I am super excited to be talking to Tiffany. I met Tiffany a few years ago when she started exploring the options in Europe for her son, and have since had communication with her as she has been exploring the options for herself and her husband. So as I was telling Tiffany's, it's exciting to me, because I have no idea what the answers to her questions are going to be. But I was just really interested to hear this story, particularly because we often get emails from people saying, you know, is it too late? Can I do this? And I think Tiffany will have a lot of those answers for us. So Tiffany, thanks so much for being here today.

Tiffany: Thanks for having me.

Jenn Viemont: So I'm interested in the sort of evolution of this idea whether you had already always planned to go back to school, or whether it was in exploring the options for yourself, Ethan, that brought you to this, how did this all kind of get started? 

Tiffany: Yeah, that’s a great question. And kind of going back 30 years, and I'll make story brief, but I never finished my bachelor's degree, my undergrad education, I have the opportunity right out of high school, my parents offered to pay for that. And they ended up going away to school to a very specialized design school. And it was very expensive. And it was a little overwhelming and very specialized. And I had kind of a crisis of I don't know if this is what I want to do. And meanwhile, my parents were under extreme financial pressure, they had taken a second mortgage on their home to pay for my sister's undergrad school. And she had since graduated. And it just didn't feel right. So I moved back home, I started working, going to community college and loved working. I found out I was very good at it and enjoys, you know, a fruitful career and then just took classes over the years. So it had always been a personal goal of mine to get my bachelor's degree. But I didn't feel like I needed it. Because I was having a great career. And I do have a great career. So it was really just something I wanted to do. So then, as we start talking and exploring schools for Ethan, as you mentioned, I thought maybe there's an opportunity when we're empty nesters for me to go get my bachelor's degree in Europe, it's a lot less expensive. So my husband and I started talking. And meanwhile, I thought, Well, I actually have the opportunity to finish my bachelor's degree here, partly paid for through my employer. And then perhaps my husband and I both could go abroad and get master's degrees instead. So that's exactly what I did. So this past May, I graduated Finally, with my bachelor's degree, 30 years to the month after I graduated. Thank you. And so now our plans, my husband and I are kind of at the same point. And we are planning for in two years, so 2023 to go abroad for grad school, and that will accomplish a few things for us. One, it will be pivoting us into the next phase of our lives and careers. And we are hoping it will move us to a new career field. My husband is in law right now. And I do change management in a healthcare system. But we're both very interested in studying international relations and diplomacy and something that we may possibly use for the rest of our lives to live nomadically or scoot around the world. So that's the hope. So that's one, is just to pivot us into the new phase of our lives and careers. The second reason is, it's a very affordable way for us to take a career pause, and live in Europe legally and travel on the weekends. And we both love schooling and learning. So when

Jenn Viemont: That's so awesome. So you talked about your timeline do you have and so I know Ethan is heading to college this fall. Do you have younger children as well? Or what were sort of the logistics around this?

Tiffany: Yeah, that's a great question. As Ethan is heading to Prague for college in August of this year. He has a younger brother who is just a year behind him. Both of our kids are taking gap years so even as finishing his gap year because he graduated high school in 2020. His younger brother Aidan graduated high school this year in 2021. So we got both sides of the COVID schooling and high school. But Aiden is also taking a gap year and Aiden is very likely to go into the skilled trades, he has also looked at some schools in Europe. But if he keeps studying welding as he studied through much of high school, he's probably going to stay in the States, but also wants to position himself to be nomadic. You know, take contracts around the world, things like that, you can tell our family has an extreme case of wanderlust. Our timing is such that, you know, two years will allow us to get both of our kids settled into school, Aidan pet took a deferral and he has plans tentatively to go to Utah for college in 2022. But also those two years will allow us to save money, because we will be living on savings, and to ensure that our parents are in a safe and healthy place, because we're a sandwich generation where we have parents to think about as well, and their health and well being. 

Jenn Viemont: So it really sounds like you've covered all the bases in your plan, it's really incredible. Would you say that you are coming other than those logistics and being aware of every logistics, so you can plan for it? Are there other obstacles you have found because you're not you know, traditional age, whatever that is?

Tiffany: Not yet. In researching, though, the grad schools. So my husband has a law degree. And so he already has an advanced degree. And so when looking at a master's degree in International Relations, he will probably have no problem with his background. And his undergrad is in science. But with a law degree, it provides a pretty good platform. My bachelor's degree is in multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary studies. So I think I'm anticipating one of the obstacles being many schools require to have an undergraduate degree that would be foundational to the International Relations program. But so far in my research, and we are very open, we're adventurous, we're very open to going wherever we'll accept this. But I anticipate with my bachelor's that may be a bit of an obstacle, if I don't have a political science or international relations bachelor's degree.

Jenn Viemont: Sometimes it can be more broad to where they just may ask for social science background, which it sounds like you have. So there'll be opportunities for you. But it might be a little bit more weeding through to find notes. So yeah, absolutely. So you're planning, you're both planning on studying international relations? Are there schools that you're looking at, or cities that you're looking at, or countries that you're looking at? 

Tiffany: Well, we're looking for that unicorn of a place that is very inexpensive cost of living and inexpensive tuition. You also don't want to be too in our son's business as he's going to school in Prague, even though we understand Prague is just an amazing place. So far, you know, I've looked at some schools in Brno, Czech Republic, and there's Mandela University and the University. And we haven't visited. We are going to visit next month. But what so far is appealing to us about that city. And those schools is that it is very much a college town and we live in a college town right now we live in Boise, Idaho, we are adjacent to the university, I love the energy of college towns, I love everything about it, really. And so it's very appealing because it is a college town, there are two schools so my husband and I, if less with acceptance, we may end up the same school or different schools. And the cost of living is so inexpensive, so we could have this adventure, quite affordably. 

Jenn Viemont: Yeah, it's a great city too and it's one of those places where I often say, you know, because they don't use the euro. I've had to do mental math for the conversions. And I always think that I must be doing it wrong, because everything's so affordable that I must be wrong, but it's correct. That's a really interesting option. And you know, the other great thing about the Czech Republic is, unlike other countries, the Czech Republic provides access to their labor force for life. provide a way to stay there. Absolutely.

Tiffany: So those are the type of things we're looking at. Like I said, we're pretty open and I have the membership for the master's programs and just love doing the research and looking and just narrowing it down to a few places. You know, I guess the only thing that makes me a little nervous is just our age old We're very much in learning mode and I will be for the rest of my life. It's just, you know, the rigor, and will, will we fit in and get what we need out of it and be able to contribute, you know, to the, to the learning of others. So, there's just things top of mind. 

Jenn Viemont: Yeah, certainly. I think, you know, how you will connect will be a special consideration, certainly how you contribute, it's certainly a contribute, that doesn't concern me at all. And I'm sure there will be ways to connect, it's just less traditional ways, you know, you're not going to maybe be doing the pub crawl. But we're also talking about graduate school, we're not talking about younger kids, and a lot of people do go to graduate school, later in life. So it's very, very exciting. So then you could move to Prague afterwards, because hopefully, you're on there and can't claim this right city any longer. I have a couple of questions. Number one, I'm wondering what your friends and family say about this. And number two, I'm interested in knowing how you raise kids who are so open to these different possibilities?

Tiffany: Yeah, that's a great question. So I grew up in a fairly traditional household, my mother and father, we did a lot of domestic travel, mostly camping and backpacking. But from a very early age, I just have been very independent and have done my own thing. And when I met my now husband, you know, he grew up in a fairly non-traditional household with a lot of broken marriages. And what we had in common was this independence, and this, this sense of paving our own way in life, and then together, figuring out what that looks like for our marriage and for our family. So as one example, both of our kids were born in Sacramento, California, which is where my husband, I both grew up. And as they were toddlers, we were thinking I just don't see raising our kids here. So we move, picked up and moved to Washington State. And my husband didn't have a job. I was lucky enough that my employer said, “Would you like to work remotely?'' So I said, Great. So that got us some stability to get us started. And we had a great life there for eight years. And it was a great town that was a little out of Seattle, about 25 miles out of Seattle, perfect little place to raise our kids until it didn't become a perfect scene. They're getting to be adolescent age and high schoolers. And we said, I just don't see having this cookie cutter life. And we've already made this one bold move. What's next for us? So we contemplated a few things, we contemplated a one year career pause to do some round the world travel, and then we would just rent out the house and we move back. But we said well, I don't see us moving back here. I think we've you know, lived our a great life here. But it's time to move on. And we had a dog that we just who was the light of our lives. So we decided we would take and buy an RV and RV around the country. And it took us about two years to plan this. And we sold our house, we sold everything we owned. And that RV, we decided we would spend middle school junior high with our boys because we thought it's such an awful time. Middle school age, and we decided that we would rather have our kids hanging out with us and adventuring and having this amazing family time, instead of what their peer group because we also know that a lot of kids can get off track, we would hope every family hopes that that won't happen. And everyone does the best they can. So this was how we went about it. It was very controversial amongst our friends and family that your question, because they had been traditional public school up to that point. I have a lot of educators in my family, including my late father who was an educator, and cousins and aunts and uncles. And so they're concerned about things like, Oh, you're going to be homeschooling? And what about socialization and these concerns Plus, my husband and I took a career pause. We resigned from our careers and I had had a six year great career with Progressive Insurance that I loved. And I'm just walking away from that. And we had just saved for two years and decided to just do that. We had about enough money to go for a year. But while we were out on the road, so this is 2014 and 2016 is when we did this while we were out on the road. We said gosh, we love this. Let's try to Keep going. So during that first year, we took some part time jobs that would let us sit in one place for a few months, we could refill the coffers a bit. So RVing around the US for two years. And then on part of our vision of doing that trip, along with just the family time and solidifying those relationships, was deciding where we wanted to settle and where we wanted to land. We knew we were not going to go back to Western Washington, we had sold our house and everything. And early on in our travels, we came through Boise, Idaho, which was on our shortlist, we had some friends here. Plus, it's still out west where most of our family is decided to invest in a little house here, rented it out, while we finished traveling, and didn't find anywhere else in the country where one we could handle the weather that we really wanted to be and we kept being pulled back to Boise. So we settled here in June of 2016. So it's been about five years now. And my husband and I settled into careers again, and we've kind of gotten back to it or voice went back to public school graduated from public school. So leading up to Ethan going to college in Europe. And then my husband and I talking about it, our friends and family are no longer surprised. I think they worry about it. You know, and I get a lot of traditionally, from people who don't know us especially I get a lot of comments about, Well, why would he go to college in Czech Republic, you know, when the US schools are so good and so superior. And we decided long ago that the college arms race, I think that you call it and we do it adopted that is not for us, the costs are obscene, honestly. And as much as I mentioned, loving living in a college town, we do live adjacent to a major state college and we see everything, we are surrounded by college rentals. And it's just not the lifestyle, I'm willing to fund for my kids and actually living here and them seeing it. Kids don't really want that either. They want something different out of life. So that was a lot.

Jenn Viemont: But it's really interesting. And then there are a few things that were really interesting that you touched on. And I think one is because I do get this question a lot from families like how, okay, I have a younger kid, how can I make them open to this down the road, when it's not what all their friends are doing? And I think number one is just taking different paths, you know, it's like, maybe it's something as minor as you know, we're going to go to this restaurant when the popular restaurant in town is this other one, you know, it doesn't have to be, you know, moving to Portugal like I did, or taking an RV trip like you did it can be these little things that show them that there are we don't all have to follow the same path. Yeah, I think exposing if you can't take a major different path yourself. I think exposing kids to different people who take different paths is a great one to Ellie, and I you know, she did virtual school, her 10th grade year since we were in the process of a move. And at that point, we thought we were moving to Malaysia. And we were there on a scouting trip. And we went to this convention of world schoolers.

Tiffany: Have you heard of word real school? Yes, we were members for quite a few years. Fascinating. Yes.

Jenn Viemont: And that's not the route we were really taking. I mean, this was just a temporary time before we went back to traditional school for her. But again, being exposed to people who are doing different things, you know, it's okay to do different things. There's not one path for everyone.

Tiffany: I think it's awesome that you gave your kids that that experience that was very important to us to resist the pressures to be an - do American like, like there is so much pressure to be and to be able to feel like we could do things differently and travel even before our V trip. Travel was always really important to us. So we've always tried to live below our means. So we have the money to travel. That's just an important value to our family. And it's being able to show our kids that there is life that's much bigger than them, you know, and where they fit in that and where they could see themselves putting in that. And just doing small things like when we would travel having our kids pick some of the things we would do or having them navigate whether it's a map or a subway map in London, and sometimes even when they were we may or may not have when they were 10 and 11 years old in London had them meet us at subways. You know, I think they're old enough now I can't get in trouble. Yeah, yeah, those type of things were amazing. seeing opportunities for them to navigate the world and just know that there is a much bigger world out there, here and we have a great life. And I'm very proud American. But I'm also looking forward to seeing the world and our kids feeling like they have a lot of different options. And with Beyond the State's affordable options to get the education that they want, or need. Like I said, Ethan is pursuing this, and our younger son might not just because it's the skilled trades, and those are very emotional type of thing, but for education wise, but he can certainly travel the world and just knowing that they have options, and they also can resist the pressures to do what everyone else is doing.

Jenn Viemont: It’s interesting, because you talked about those experiences you gave them, which not only introduced them to this world that they're a part of, but it sounds like you also gave them these tools and these experiences that give them the confidence to realize that they'll be okay. In the greater world outside of Boise or outside of the RV or whatever, it's outside of that they're going to be okay.

Tiffany: Yeah, we did want to give them that confidence and independence to say, I can navigate this. And they're right now at 18 and 19 years old, on 7500 mile road trip around the US, just the two of them. And they're going to be in New York City for the next three days. So jealous, but I did that they feel comfort and confidence to just navigate these type of things, because I feel like it. It is great. Just life skill of navigating life, they're needing to figure out just little things like road tolls, and how am I gonna get my laundry done. And hey, I'm only 18 and 19 years old, and in the US, a lot of 18 and 19 year olds can't book lodging, you know, some facets of America, I don't think they're adults at that age. So they - to arrange all of that, like they're funding it themselves. They've been working really hard the last few years and jobs and saving money and know the value of saving, because it can it can buy travel experiences and independence,

Jenn Viemont: You know, and I'm thinking about the other things you modeled for them that have gotten them to this point, you know, just through your experiences that you shared. So you also modeled that the path that you're on right now can be a very good path, but might lead to a different path for a different stage of life. And you can shift gears, and you can have this other experience and you can put something on, on pause and come back to it or maybe not, you know, you don't have to stay on this same path for your entire life. And that's a huge, huge lesson.

Tiffany: Yes. And that's been important to us. And I would say what has been kind of the basis for that is fiscal responsibility like personal, financial, live below your means. And our mantra. And I told people that if my kids remember one thing about one guiding principle, if you will, it's below your means. So you always have the opportunity to change whether that change is put upon you that you need to change. And this became pretty clear to and I was glad our kids got to see this when we were on our V travels, one of the temporary jobs my husband and I took was probably the most humbling five months of my life, but it was working at an Amazon fulfillment center. And they over a peak season. And there were we knew it was temporary. We're just seasonal help. And there was actually a program for beer. So it was mostly retired persons, and then few young, younger people like us. But the Amazon warehouse, paid really well for local people who worked there full time. It is hard, hard physical work. And what we saw was a lot of young people started working there who now bought new cars because they had the paychecks and they're kind of living up if not above, what they're what they're making. Many were miserable, that they were so locked into the lifestyle that they didn't see a path out. And we'd like I said, we just did that for a few months. And it was very humbling work. I never thought at the age of 43. I think I was at that time that I'd worked in a warehouse and I'm so thankful I had that experience. But seeing a lot of the young people just living beyond their means because they had this great job. Ah, they didn't have a path to get out of it. And that that was it was illustrated for us and for our boys to say, just always, no matter what you do live below your means. So you have the flexibility whether you are changed, like if you're laid off from a job, or if you want to change, work hard for what you want, like we saved and scrimped for two years before our RV trip, it was not a flippant decision. And my husband, his name is Ben, his nickname is safety, Ben. He does risk analysis as a career. So these are not easy things for him, right? I bet there were spreadsheets involved in Yes, and planning and much more of a let's set a goal. And we will figure it out as we go. And he's very much, let's set a goal and figure out all the details so I can feel comfortable going. So we've had to, you know, find that middle ground. But anyway, with our kids just live below your means. And you can work hard for what you want and have a goal and put the right things in place. They're not. And we've always said, You're not entitled to anything, you are responsible for the outcomes. And then they're not stuck. You're not stuck with anything.

Jenn Viemont: You're creating, you're living your life and you're choosing your path, you're not stuck on a path that you don't want to be on.

Tiffany: Yeah. And we heard that a lot when we were getting ready to RV from friends saying, I'd love to do what you're doing, but we never could. And I said well, why? Houses, car house payments, car payments, those kinds of things. And then some I think it was just a fear of, and it's legitimate. I mean, I can't say that we weren't scared. I mean, this was a bold move for a family with stepping away from our careers we had to adolescence.

Jenn Viemont: But yeah, just don't, don't let yourself get stuck, have the flexibility to move and adjust. Yeah, yeah, it's absolutely. And that's what's bringing you to this next stage of your life, which is so exciting. I mean, so exciting. But I really think this is going to be an inspiration to a lot of people who do think, Oh, I, I can't do it, I'm too old, or I have too many other things I need to deal with, you know what, we all have houses that can go on the market, and we all have, and right now in particular is a great time to put your house on the market. You know, we have ours we can sell, these are all problems that can be solved. And that has been solved. And there are so many resources out there to help us solve these problems. 

Tiffany: So lately, and I think one of the things that once you've done something, maybe your family has experienced this as well. But once you've done something big, like whether it's your move to Portugal or the RV, it's it feels so much easier to do something again, you know, the first time is the hardest, and it's a lot of emotional strength, you have to kind of build, she got to understand what you're doing and financial and logistical but done it and you thought, Oh, that was amazing. So much more willing to do it again. And like for us, it's so much easier to think about doing again, something like that.

Jenn Viemont: I totally agree. There's a possibility. And you know, this is going to air much later. So we might have done it by then there's a possibility that that Tom's job might bring us back to the US in the fall. And I don't know how I feel about that. I, you know, it's neither good nor bad. Uh, you know, it just is because, you know, number one, we've done international move before. So moving back, much easier moving back to a system in which you're a citizen have and comfortable, but we also know, okay, we've done it, we can you know, later if we want to, we can move back to Portugal, we can move to another country, you know, you can, it definitely feels the world feels open, and things. And that's such a great feeling to feel excited by the world and also know that it's open to you.

Tiffany: Yes, I totally agree. Totally agree. 

Jenn Viemont: Well, I am so excited to see the next few years of your life with Ethan in school and with yours and Ben's path and where that takes you. And I hope that you will keep us posted.

Tiffany: Thank you. Well, no, I will. So in the States for just helping open up this world to us. I mean, it really, it felt much more less of a concept and more reality after seeing all the research and work you've done and the lists and to think wow, this is actually possible. Yeah, that's what we seek. We've already kind of done things that put us out of our comfort zone, it felt like the realm of possibility. So thank you for that. Absolutely. 

Jenn Viemont: Thanks so much, Tiffany. Thanks so much for listening today, before we end up like to tell you about our October special, which is called the crunch time pack. So I only offer this twice a year. And it's for students who are going to be applying for the fall of 22 and are feeling behind on the research and it's a personalized and comprehensive package that's really hands on with me to make sure that you know all the ducks are in a row. So the first thing that comes with is the best fit list. This is a service we offer where I personally handpick three to five programs that fit the students qualifications, budget, interests, preferences, all of that, that they provide to me through a form that's emailed to you after ordering. It also includes a line jumper paths; the turnaround time for best fit list is often about three weeks or so because we get so many of them. And with the line jumper paths, you'll get your best fit list just 10 days after submitting. It also comes after you get your best fit list back we'll have a one hour consultation. And we do this to formulate your admissions plan, and also answer any questions you might have. After that, I create a custom admissions calendar for you with all the deadlines you know when you need to ask whichever teacher for a recommendation when you need to write your motivation letter by all of those are going to be on a calendar specifically for you based on the schools you're applying to. And then it comes with email check-ins that I'll send you around those dates saying hey, you got that reference letter yet or you know, just to follow up. And for some accountability, which I know helps a lot of people including myself, also comes with a motivation letter review, where I will go through the letter you write for admissions and give you suggestions about organization structure, content, etc. And it also comes with the Facebook group membership, which is only usually available to our month to month members, which of course if you're about to apply, you might not need a full membership, but you do get access to our incredible community of families. So a lot of these services you can't purchase separately, I don't offer the calendar. For instance, I don't offer email check-ins, for instance, without this package, but you were to add up the cost of the other services that we do offer. The cost of this package is $525 less than if you paid for the available services separately. Because it's such a personalized service. I only accept five students at a time. So you're going to want to make sure to sign up really soon. If you're interested. You can find a link to this special and also more information about this episode in our show notes. And you'll find a ton of other information on our site, which is beyond the states.com you'll find blogs, some by me. Others were written by our student ambassadors, they have both written and video blogs. You'll find links to our old podcast episodes that we did back in 2017, which is a great starting point. And you'll also learn more about our various services and our incredible community. 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 enjoyed the podcast we'd really appreciate it if you'd 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 access to all the English-taught degrees in Europe, all in one place.

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.
3200+
English-taught bachelor's programs in our database.
8200+
English-taught master's programs in our database.
550
Beautiful European cities to choose from.
870
Top-tier universities accepting international students.
332,948
Typical savings against a private university in the US.
60,123
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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