Top 5 Reasons to Study an European Master's Degree in 2019 (over a U.S. Master's)

by Robert S. Balan

Have you recently finished your undergraduate studies in the United States and are unsure where you would like to go for a Master’s degree? We know that choosing an education and a career path is not exactly straightforward for most people. There are some who know very clearly what they would like to do.

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But what about those who still wonder and take into consideration all the options? What about those who have an innate desire for adventure and who do not settle for convenience? For them, a Master’s programme in one of Europe’s top universities might just be the perfect match. Here are the main reasons why we think that would be a great choice:

1. You'll study a Master’s degree for free

If we take costs into consideration, you will love the fact that there are many countries where postgraduate studies are free or demand very low fees. Norway, the Czech Republic and Germany require very low or no tuition fees. Although there are some administrative costs, they vary between 50 – 250 EUR per semester.

If you want to live in the country where they speak the language of love and try all those various types of cheese, then France is the answer. The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum will be waiting for you. The typical tuition fee is around 250 EUR per year.

If you are willing to pay a tuition fee for a European Master’s programme, Belgium is a great option. Tuition fees start at 800 EUR per year in this multicultural country. However, if you compare it to the fees in other American universities, even this seems like a relative bargain, right? After all, who knows, maybe the land of chocolate and waffles is the place you were always meant to be. You can check out the links in order to discover more about specific programmes and universities, visas, or how to apply.

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2. Just like wine, European universities get better with age

Some European universities are centuries old, combining unique architecture with modern Master’s programmes, in order to offer their students a great experience. These institutions are so special and inspiring that they’ve even been featured in movies, like the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.

And the oldest one in the world, the University of Bologna, which was founded in 1088, has been here for so many centuries, it is no wonder that there are rumours claiming some parts of it are haunted.

Here are other European universities you should think about, when deciding to study abroad:

3. Study in the land of a thousand and one languages

If you have a passion for languages, studying in Europe will be an amazing experience. There are a lot of foreign languages to pick from, so learning a new one is bound to happen. Do you fancy Spanish? Has the French language always seemed interesting, but you never started studying it? What about something more specific, like Czech or Polish? A Master’s programme can help you fulfil your passion.

However, all these things could be optional for you, because English is the most spoken foreign language in 19 countries in Europe. Most young people master it or at least know it well enough in order to be comfortable using it.

Do not let appearances fool you, though! Even the older generation has showed increasing interest in discovering English and being able to use it at least at a conversational level.

The Netherlands, the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland), Germany and Poland are just a few examples from the list of proficient English-speaking countries in Europe. Difficulties might be encountered if you choose countries like Russia, Ukraine or Turkey, where it might not be easy to communicate in English, unless you are in one of the big cities. 

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4. Incredibly cheap services to travel and discover new cultures

Although we are sure you have heard this already, Europe is amazingly beautiful, with many countries and rich cultures to explore. It is a great place for people who want to travel a lot while studying. Depending on the destination, you will discover that prices for food or accommodation are not that high and most people are really friendly.

There are also great services you can use for your trips across the continent. Blablacar is perhaps the most popular carpooling platform in Europe. It is incredibly useful whenever you want to travel from one city to another, but you can also find rides from one country to another, with costs that are much lower when compared to bus or plane tickets.

Also, couchsurfing is a very popular method used especially by younger people when they only need to spend one or two nights while passing through a town or simply visiting it for a short time. You will normally get a place to sleep for free and might even be invited for dinner if you are lucky. It’s a great way to know the people and save a lot of money. If a hotel doesn’t fit your needs, this is your best alternative.

5. Learn to grow through unexpected opportunities

The quality of the education you will receive in Europe is unquestionable. Nevertheless, perhaps the most important aspect you should consider is that there are so many ways you will grow and develop as a person from having an experience on a different continent.

Factors such as the need to adapt to various situations, the beginning of new friendships, the discovery of old historical and culturally rich places will have an incredibly positive impact on your growth. They will open doors and possibilities that you would not imagine before starting this journey and perhaps that is the best thing about studying in Europe.

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All in all, studying for a Master’s at a university in Europe will definitely be a truly enriching life experience for anyone who finds the courage to challenge themselves and literally embark on a life-changing adventure. It will definitely be a worthwhile time and, who knows, maybe the European charm will be so strong that you will eventually decide to stay.

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