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Social Science

A Guide to Studying Social Science in Europe

Did you know that, as an international student, you can get a degree in Social Science at a top-ranked European university? Best of all, it's taught entirely in English and costs less than 1 year of tuition at a US college.

What are my options?

European Bachelor's programs taught entirely in English.
European Master's programs taught entirely in English.

About this area of study.

In certain circles, it's fashionable to assert that all people should either sink or swim based on their own abilities and efforts. (This doctrine seems especially popular in the United States, and specifically among people who had significant advantages early in life.) Realistically, though, some people do need a hand at times.

The reason for their need may be temporary, such as when someone becomes homeless through sheer bad luck. It can be permanent, such as in the case of people with certain types of disabilities. It may well be structural, like when labor laws are unfair or unfairly applied. Only in a very few cases are someone's misfortunes completely their own fault. Social services workers do their best to help all of these individuals get back on their feet.

It is possible to work in social services with only a bachelor's degree, though they're not always called "social workers". (Specific requirements vary by state.) A master's is required, however, to become a licensed clinical social worker capable of working independently, conduct most kinds of research, and apply for senior positions. The good news is that degrees earned at accredited universities in Europe are commonly accepted without question, and are significantly cheaper.

Coursework focuses on case and program management, community organization, law, psychology, social policy, ethics, and practical counseling and crisis management skills. Many degree programs include a fieldwork component. Even at the undergraduate level, students often have the opportunity to specialize in a certain field. Some examples of these include child welfare, mental health, substance abuse, and aging.

Pursuing a career in social services requires a high degree of emotional intelligence and resilience. Being comfortable with diversity, the ability to understand issues that can consist of several facets, and a natural inclination toward solving problems are must-haves.

Perhaps more importantly, anyone considering social services as a major should understand that the mindset used in social work is very different from that in other industries. A business graduate may be inclined to choose the cheapest option, an engineer may be most interested in any solution that works, a lawyer may consider doing whatever he can get away with, but social workers are generally drawn to doing the right thing.

Careers options in this area of study.

Social workers may work in a one-on-one setting, for instance in trauma counseling or housing support. They can also find positions in institutions, like prisons and schools, where they work with groups of people. Finally, especially with some experience and education, they may play roles in research, policy drafting, and large-scale community upliftment projects. People in any of these roles may be employed by government, the military, non-profit organizations, or private companies (hospitals, for instance).

There are plenty of jobs available in the social services field, though recent master's graduates frequently report being unable to find work in their particular specialty. You may have to adjust your expectations, but job stability is high and the future outlook for a career in social services is bright. 

There are currently over 700,000 social workers of all types in the U.S, with about 65,000 new jobs added each year. This level of growth isn't too surprising, considering the increased attention issues such as mental health and addiction are now receiving. The average social worker earns $50,500 per year.

Admissions information.

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.

How to study in Europe.

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 English-taught degrees.

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. Search our database of English-taught European bachelor's and master's programs and get started on your journey to Europe today.

Travel the world while you get your degree.

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.

Feeling overwhelmed?

You shouldn't be! We're here to help in any way we can... and if it means running extensive searches and using our best judgement to lead the way, we're all for that too.

We get that choosing a program feels like committing to a major early on, but in reality it is more of a general direction. A Best Fit List gives you a unique list of 3 to 5 programs tailored to your needs, helping you take the headache – and heartache – out of choosing a program.

Discover all the English-taught European college programs in one place.

Beyond the States provides easy access to 11,600+ 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.
English-taught bachelor's programs in our database.
English-taught master's programs in our database.
Beautiful European cities to choose from.
Top-tier universities accepting international students.
Typical savings against a private university in the US.
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.

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