Doing a degree in Europe?

(23 Posts)
MoorPeople Mon 26-Sep-16 18:53:29

DD is looking into this - though she is in Year 11, so who knows if it will be possible/similarly priced by the time she gets there.

Has anyone done this, or know anyone who has? Which Universities have the best train/plane connections in reality? What downsides are there ( I can think of a few, but would like DD to hear from others, not just me!)? Are degrees considered as valued back in the UK? How easy is it to do a degree abroad - I know they are taught in English, but what about everything else - DD speaks no other languages aside from basic German. Do kids tend to stay abroad afterwards????

Would really appreciate any advice smile

ImperialBlether Mon 26-Sep-16 19:03:03

She would be taught in English? Which country is that in?

If Brexit goes ahead, she'll have to pay as an international student, I would think. International students here pay £18,000 or so for their fees, compared to £9,000 per year for home students. I'm not sure what happens with the student loans if you're studying abroad.

MoorPeople Mon 26-Sep-16 19:10:21

Well, she's looking at Belgium and the Netherlands, possibly Sweden. Currently fees are about £1500 for UK students. It is hard to get anything other than the glowing testimonials from the websites though, so am looking for real life experiences smile

ImperialBlether Mon 26-Sep-16 19:18:28

Oh okay, I can see why they would be in English. I would think it would be an amazing experience. I know the MA courses are really cheap, too. I just don't know what's the situation with student fees, but I'm sure it's all online.

Lucky girl - where does she fancy studying?

ImperialBlether Mon 26-Sep-16 19:19:51

Blimey - just looked up Sweden - no tuition fees if you're in the EU!

ImperialBlether Mon 26-Sep-16 19:20:41

Let's hope she gets in before Brexit!

user1474361571 Mon 26-Sep-16 19:35:37

I know they are taught in English.

Many of the respected degrees in Belgium and Holland are not taught in English. Beware of websites pointing you to universities such as the "Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences" which don't actually have university status in Holland. (They are "Hogescholen" instead, roughly analogous to Further Education colleges in the UK.)

Are degrees considered as valued back in the UK?

See above. Make sure that you choose a university which is a real (research intensive) university. Even then most UK employers won't have heard of it and won't easily be able to rank your degree relative to UK degrees.

Degrees are cheaper in Europe but to some extent you do get what you get pay for.

MoorPeople Mon 26-Sep-16 19:49:14

Thanks user, that's very helpful. I assume Maastricht University is renown enough? Does anyone know of others that are well regarded, proper universities? Or know anyone who has actually done this?

titchy Mon 26-Sep-16 19:50:47

To add to user's post - we'll probably have left the EU by the time she goes so check what international fees are.

Often the actual experience itself is very poor - lecture theatre with hundreds of students, no tutorials, poor pastoral care (there isn't a culture of moving away to go to university so often students still live at home.

Socially does she imagine they'll all speak English all the time? They won't - they'll speak Dutch, Swedish etc. So inevitably she'd be hanging round the English students which might defeat the object.

There is no entitlement to maintenance loan so you'd have to stump up her living costs.

And definitely what user said - you could well find she ends up in the Dutch equivalent of Little Dribbling college of FE.

ShyFox Mon 26-Sep-16 19:56:32

I know someone who is in her second year studying dentistry in Bulgaria. Flights home are very frequent and cheap so comes down at Xmas and Easter. Shes saving loads on tuition fees here as her fees plus rent and living expenses work out cheaper in total

MoorPeople Mon 26-Sep-16 20:00:13

Thanks titchy, helpful too - even if a little depressing! How did you come to know this?

Fees for outside the EU look like about £5k, which would make a big difference in considerations. DD is looking at Europe mainly to avoid the debt in the UK, not because she especially loves the idea of living abroad. She reckons it would be worth it, if the degree is a good one.

The social thing is a big issue. Hence looking at say, Maastricht, which has a huge international student population, where you'd hope there would be a lot of mixing whatever the nationality.

The pastoral side does not sound good - another things to consider!

Thanks again

MoorPeople Mon 26-Sep-16 20:03:15

shyfox I've heard about Eastern Europe for dentistry! Great that living costs are so much better. I've also heard, but have no idea of it is true, that dentistry degrees from there are well regarded too. Win win. Except DD won't be going anywhere near dentistry smile.

user1474361571 Mon 26-Sep-16 20:23:10

Maastricht fees for non-EU are around 7k-9k Euros per year; fees in Holland are being increased every year since (just as in the UK) the burden is being shifted away from public spending and onto the students.

Maastricht is a known university but it is one of the newer and weaker research universities in Holland. Some of its departments are better than others.

If the main issue is to avoid fees, then you also have to balance this against future earning prospects. A Dutch degree won't give the same entrance into some graduate professions in the UK as a (more recognised) UK degree.

Andromache77 Mon 26-Sep-16 20:31:46

Maastricht University is excellent, especially for Economics and Law, and I imagine that it's OK for sciences as well. I know that they have postgraduate courses with English tuition and I imagine that they offer undergraduate ones as well. Besides, the town is very nice and well located for travelling as it sits very close to Liège in Belgium, which is a major regional train hub. It also has a regional airport, Maastricht-Aachen, although I don't know if it offers direct flights to the UK, check some airlines.

user1474361571 Mon 26-Sep-16 20:41:45

Maastricht is much weaker for sciences. I think medicine is meant to be good, though.

You don't need to fly directly into Maastricht as it is easily reachable by train from any of the major nearby airports (Brussels, Bonn etc).

Wallywobbles Mon 26-Sep-16 20:52:22

You need to be looking at universities that use the (ECTS) European credit transfer systems so each academic year is worth 60 credits. These are transferable. So when you have 180 credits you are eligible to do a masters at any of the European/British universities using the European credits system.

Good choices in Germany (cheap), Dublin Business School (not cheap) that my French students do. French Ecole de Commerce et Gestion use the system too but degrees are not taught in English in them.

user1474361571 Tue 27-Sep-16 08:40:24

Pretty much any reputable European university will be using ECTS.

However, credits are not entirely transferable in the sense that you can't always do one year at one university and then move to another university. Moreover, having 180 credits is necessary but not sufficient for entrance to masters - masters can and do insist on other requirements about specific courses taken too.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 27-Sep-16 08:45:54

My ex DSD studied at Maastricht. She is Dutch but lived in the U.K. all her life from aged 5. All of her friends were from all around the world and they all (including the Dutch students) spoke English outside of uni.

It is very feasible to live in Maastricht and only speak English though a smattering of Dutch is also useful of course

wizzywig Tue 27-Sep-16 08:49:35

I know of british med students that have gone to czech/ bulgaria/ hungary to get their medical degrees and then come back here. But from what they have said, its because they could get in with lower grades there. But theyve all gotten jobs back in the nhs

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Tue 27-Sep-16 08:54:39

Many university courses in Europe are taught in English- (the CLIL system) because of the extra kudos for the CV it gives the student- imagine British kids doing their biology degree in Britain but in French, for example.

Spain is very popular for dentistry, and I know of quite a few students taking medicine in Albania. BUT- as others have said, most of them are doing it because they wouldn't have got in to the course in their own country.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 27-Sep-16 09:01:11

FYI exDSD did a degree in international law

olympicfan Tue 27-Sep-16 21:30:21

Did your exDSD stay in The Netherlands or return to the UK to work?

How was her Dutch degree viewed by employers?

BitOutOfPractice Tue 27-Sep-16 23:30:46

She's stayed in Holland. Not currently working full time since graduating as she had a baby in her second year

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