OFFER
🎁 This Holiday Season:
Give the Gift of Europe with 35% OFF

Why You Should Pursue College in Europe

Jennifer Viemont
Founder & Chief College Advisor
October 29, 2022

Listen to this podcast.

In the spring of 2015, Jenn Viemont happened on a Facebook post about a US student who was attending college for free in Germany. Little did she know that article would start her on a journey to build a database of the thousands of English-taught bachelors and masters programs in continental Europe. In this episode, Jenn Viemont talks about why her kids will opt out of US higher education and go to college in Europe instead. She provides an overview of the benefits around this which include affordable tuition, transparent admissions requirements, employability, and the life changing experiences offered by living abroad.

Full transcription of the podcast.

Jenn Viemont: This is episode one of the Beyond the States podcast. Today I'm excited to share with you an overview of the benefits from getting a degree in Europe, you'll learn that you don't need to know another language to take advantage of affordable tuition, transparent admissions processes and life changing outcomes.

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: 

Okay, so let's jump right in. I'm so glad you're all here today. And I want to start out just by telling you about how I learned about college in Europe and why my kids planned to go to school there, you might find that some of our concerns about the situation in the US and reasons for pursuing these options are things you can relate to in your own life. So a little background, I grew up in Chicago and my husband, Tom and I lived there in the early years of our marriage after we had our son Sam, we moved to North Carolina, a lot of it was to enjoy a really, really affordable cost of living, particularly compared to Chicago. And also because we have family in the area. So we live in Chapel Hill with our son Sam, who is now 16. And starting his junior year, and our daughter Ellie, who is 13 and an eighth grade. So I really love this little pocket we live in in North Carolina, but I was bummed that our kids would miss out on some of the benefits of urban life. I wanted them to be comfortable with things like public transportation, to be independent and exposed to diversity of all kinds due to that we consciously chose to supplement their lives with travel and started taking them on an international trips when Ellie was about five and Sam was about eight. A lot of these included trips to see family that lived internationally, which sort of US East us into the process of traveling internationally with them when they were younger. It's travel is more than an interest to us. It's a tool we use to create values that we think are important in our family. So a few years ago, Sam was in the last year of middle school and college thoughts were looming large as he prepared for high school, I'd seen the rate Snover documentary and I was concerned about the pressure cooker environment that college admissions process was turning high school into and how even the brightest hardest working students weren't getting into the schools I desired, of course, had also seen all the information about the crazy tuition costs that were continuing to rise that we put money away in a 529 plan every month, there's no way that our savings would even scratch the surface of what is now an increasingly common tuition of 40 to $50,000 per year. And that doesn't even include fees and room and board and all of that. Finally, I was hearing a lot more about problems that kids were having once they got on campus, whether it was about their social experience, their educational experience, and of course getting hired after graduation. That said, our desire was for our kids to be able to go to college in the place that was a best fit for their academic interests and personalities. Even if that wasn't a state school, we figured we'd subsidize the difference with loans and scholarships. So I'm a bit of a planner, I'm actually a huge planner. So I had always kept my ear to the ground about the options that that may be a good fit for our kids. I really love the book colleges that change lives. And it talked about the string schools had beyond rankings. However, most of the schools listed in there were well above the $40,000 a year and above range. So it was about that time that our kids were in eighth grade and fifth grade, that I saw an article on Facebook about an American student who was getting his degree in Germany tuition free. At that point, I had no idea that there were full degree programs taught in English and Europe, if you told me that there were, I would have assumed that they were few and far between and incredibly expensive, especially with the travel costs, but between our desire to raise global citizens and my concerns are on higher education. Here my interest was piqued I love a project. And so I thought I'd spend a weekend on the porch with a glass of wine, looking into what options exist in Europe, and whether we should just keep it on our radar down the road for our kids, you guys. I was so overwhelmed. There's so many differences between countries in Europe that weren't clear, I had trouble figuring out admissions qualifications, or how to figure out if a program was strong if they weren't globally ranked. I had trouble finding accurate information. There was a lot of biased information or incomplete information. But I did find little bits of information usually tuition based, that kept me interested in the process that we can have research turned into a few weeks. And by that point, I had determined that there were a number of great options that Sam would likely qualify for. And at this point, I had not seen a tuition of $8,000 a year or so add to that that many of the bachelor's programs were just three years in duration. And I had satisfied my question about whether we should keep this on our radar. It was definitely yes. But I kept thinking about the other families who had similar concerns. As we did, but didn't know that there were these options and solutions out there. At that point I decided to create beyond the States, I spent a year researching visiting schools by myself, which was so fun, but going to Europe to visit the schools talking to American students who are already doing this talking to administrators in Europe so that we could create our database of objective information on all the accredited English taught bachelor's degree options in continental Europe than the summer due to popular demand. We added information about the English taught master's degree programs as well. So we're going to use this podcast to dive deep into the benefits and the different options in Europe. I'll be talking to guests to students who either are studying in Europe or who have, I'll talk to administrators, employers, parents who have sent their kids to Europe. But there are a few things I want you to know today about college in Europe and the solutions it provides. The first thing is about your number of options. When I was deciding whether or not to create beyond the States, I first had to determine if there were enough options to warrant this. I was hoping for somewhere around 500 English taught programs that accredited universities, you guys, there are more than 1700. And for Master's degree programs, you're looking at over 5000. So in all there are 7130 English taught full degree programs. That means that all of your classes, your assignments, your tests, everything will be taught in English. And this is at over 750 universities. And this is just throughout continental Europe. We didn't tackle the UK and Ireland for a couple of reasons. First, there are English speaking countries, so you can navigate that system more easily. And second is that many UK schools have problems that are similar to those that we have here in America, like with high tuition and the admissions processes. In fact, one of the reasons that there are so many English conducted programs throughout continental Europe because students from the UK have known about these options for a long time. cost is a factor that hooked me and we're going to be talking in depth about it next week. But let me tell you this, the average for English taught bachelor's degree programs is around $7,000 a year a master's degree programs are only around $8,000 a year if you're looking at only in state tuition that might not blow your mind. But how about this, there are hundreds of options that are tuition free, even for international students. And there are 1000s of options that are under $4,000. A year add to that the fact that most bachelor's programs are only three or three and a half years as opposed to here where up to 80% of students are taking more than four years to graduate. And many master's degree programs are just one year. So you're saving, you know, a good year on tuition and also earning a salary earlier.

So the admissions process is a really great one too. So Sam's a really smart kid, but he wouldn't do well, with what's required with the US admissions process. He hasn't been interested in organized sports or extracurriculars. And in school, he'll do what's needed. But he's not going to go above and beyond. I remember an assignment he had in an English class his freshman year, and he was asked to state how a certain polling made him feel his answer nothing. And he thought it was a valid answer. Because it was true. He thought my idea that he could have said, though, it didn't make me feel any emotion, I can see how others might feel like after reading it, and that still would have been an honest response. But he really dug in his heels about this. So I can only imagine what a struggle the college essays that require emotional insight or, or catharsis would be the admissions process in Europe is based on accepting applicants who have the qualifications that are defined as those that would lead to success in the program. These are defined qualifications, they're generally objective, and they're very transparent. It's a really exciting component of all these options, and we're going to be talking about it in depth in our third episode. Another benefit pertains to employment. I love my kids, but I don't want them moving home after college, I hope that we're going to be enjoying our empty nest and make one of the rooms into like a wine cellar or workout room. But more than that, I want them to experience their own adult lives. And employment is a big component of that college in Europe leads to a competitive edge in the job market for many reasons. These include specialized knowledge, the experience and contacts you can make through internships, which are often required, and also the soft skills that are acquired by living in a foreign country. Things like navigating unfamiliar circumstances, working in groups with people with entirely different perspectives, it shows that you're adaptable, and these are the skills that employers are looking for and finding that US graduates lack. The last benefit I want to talk about today is how living in another country is life changing. You're not a tourist anymore, and you're really experiencing life as a global citizen. You're in these classrooms with students from all around the world. That's why they have these English taught programs not primarily for Americans or, or any other Anglophone countries that with English so widely spoken around the world. It draws students from around the globe. So having these classes discussions with students from Japan, from Thailand, from Ghana, from Chile from all around the world provides perspective about world issues is really hard to gain in more homogeneous environments. It's also life changing and other ways as well. You know, Europe is really compact. So it's easy to spend time visiting other countries, maybe spending a weekend with your friend from Bulgaria in their hometown. And you also have a greater opportunity to become proficient in another language if you choose. So the more and more American students are pursuing these options, I spend a lot of time thinking about why more don't consider it. I think a lot of people don't know that it's an option. Others don't know about the benefits and others are nervous about doing something that's somewhat unknown. This podcast hopes to provide the information you need to make an informed choice, whether it's higher education here in the US in Europe or somewhere else. I really hope you'll join us next week. As I mentioned, we'll be talking about cost. And we'll be talking to Peter Campbell. He's an American who taught at the University of Michigan as well as the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and he's now a professor and administrator at a university in Prague, and we're going to talk to him about why and how tuition is so reasonably priced for international students. See you then. Thanks again for listening. Today, you'll find the show notes and links about our guests on our website, www dot beyond estates.com. If you have questions or comments, please join the discussion on our beyond the state's Facebook page or get inspired by visiting us on Instagram. If you enjoyed the podcast, I'd love it if you'd subscribe and rate it on iTunes. Thanks in advance.

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

Podcast Icon

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.
Podcast Icon

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.
Podcast Icon

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?
Podcast Icon

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!
Podcast Icon

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?
Podcast Icon

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.

Search free learning material

This form searches blog posts, cities, countries, colleges, areas of study, podcasts, and guides. It does not search the database. To search for programs and colleges, please sign up and login.
Get Into the Best Colleges in Europe
Find your best fit program and get all the help you need to get in.
Go