You aren’t sure what to do after graduation. You've considered graduate school in the past but have shied away because of student debt. You've always wanted to travel the world. If this sounds like you, keep reading.
That is how I felt last year, but over the past few months I’ve been researching graduate schools in Europe. Here’s the tops four perks that helped me make this decision.
1. Free or reduced tuition
The cost of tuition in the United States is one of the highest in the world. While most countries do not offer free tuition to international students, almost all of them are significantly cheaper. Some countries, such as Germany and Norway, offer 100% free tuition to all international students. Keep in mind that while tuition may be free or reduced, cost of living may be higher and student visas can limit the number of hours you can work while abroad. But if this works out in your favor, this can be an amazing financial opportunity.
2. Travel experience
I’ve been to Europe twice now, once for about 2 weeks and again for a full month. While I loved both of those trips, I have always wanted a more extended stay where I can start to feel like a resident rather than a tourist. Being a student in a European university would be an amazing way to achieve this, and I’m hoping to find time over academic breaks to explore the rest of the continent in my free time.
3. Language optional
I was intimidated during my initial research because my priority was free tuition, but I was worried that no English-speaking countries offered this. Fortunately, English speaking programs are extremely common even in non-English speaking countries. For example, I’m currently leaning heavily towards a program taught in English at the Technical University of Munich in Germany. I look forward to picking up the language, which I’ll need in my day-to-day life in Germany. I even might practice my French if I ever take a trip to France, but not having a language requirement to get in has been a huge relief.
4. New ways of learning
Different countries have different educational structures that may work better than what you’re used to in the U.S. For example, Germany does year-round school meaning that instead of long summer and winter breaks, you continue throughout the entire year with more frequent smaller breaks worked in. This sounds extremely appealing to me because I often feel like I get burnt out during the semester, but then bored over the breaks.
If this has inspired you to do your own research, I highly recommend the website https://www.mastersportal.com/. Browsing every individual university website on the entire continent would be an absolute nightmare. Luckily Masters Portal allows you to search programs by keyword and add all kinds of filters to find the perfect program for you. This is not exclusive to international students either, even if you decide to go to grad school in the U.S. this can still be an amazing resource to find the perfect program for you!