For centuries Western Europe has been considered one of the very best regions for higher education in the world. Students have traveled from all over the globe overtime to immerse themselves in the rich continental tradition that has produced some of the greatest minds in history. Earning your degree abroad in Western Europe is the opportunity to explore a nucleus of modern civilization while choosing from a diversity of countries and subjects through which to channel your ambitions.
While Western Europe is not strictly defined as a region, it is generally thought of as encompassing the countries which remained independent of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. This boundary roughly translates to the countries west of Germany to the north and Italy to the south, and is often stretched to include the Scandinavian countries as well.
Some of the most popular destinations for degrees abroad in Western Europe include the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy. There are also many international degree programs available in some of the smaller, globally oriented Western European countries, such as Switzerland and the Netherlands. In total there are over 20 countries that are commonly acknowledged as belonging to Western Europe, and the majority of these countries are top destinations for earning degrees abroad.
Within these countries, there are some cities that are especially popular destinations for degrees abroad in Western Europe, including London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Geneva, and Florence. Obviously this is a very limited selection, considering the large diversity of cities in this region, so be sure to explore a wide range of options when deciding where to pursue your degree abroad in Western Europe.
Regardless of where you choose to earn your degree abroad, it is always important to consider the potential language barrier you may be presented with. Since most countries use their own national language as the language of instruction, it is best to assume that you will have to become adept in a second language in order to earn your degree at a local university. Many European languages, such as English, Spanish, French, and German, are widely used on an international scale, so becoming fluent in a second language can be a major perk of earning your degree abroad in Western Europe.
Academics & Degrees
Degree programs in Western Europe are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, for all different types of subjects, provided you meet the requirements for enrollment. Western European universities can be very competitive when it comes to admittance, as the region is known for having some of the best academic institutions in the world, so be prepared to put your best foot forward when applying for degree programs in Western Europe.
Degree abroad program providers can ease you through the sometimes tiresome process, by helping you throughout the duration of your study abroad experience, beginning with placements and continuing with on-the-ground support. Many degree abroad program providers have arrangements with major universities, or even have their own specialized degree programs abroad that you can earn independent of any local academic institution. Be sure to explore a large diversity of degree programs before deciding which you would like to apply for.
Some popular subject areas for degrees abroad in Western Europe include political science, language studies, history, economics, and communications. However, you are in no way limited to the latter fields of study. When choosing a degree to pursue from the seemingly infinite options out there, try to find a balance between personal interest and practical application. In other words, choose something that both fascinates you and will help you along on your chosen career path!
Scholarships & Costs
Western Europe is one of the most expensive regions in the world, and the price of tuition for international students is certainly no exception to this phenomenon. While countries vary in their general living costs and affordability of education, earning your degree abroad in Western Europe will undoubtedly come with a significant price tag. Check out GoAbroad’s Scholarship Directory to learn about all the different opportunities to help lessen this financial burden!
Accommodation & Visas
Student dormitories are the main accommodation offered to students earning a degree in Western Europe, at least at the outset. Living in dorms is a great way to make friends with peers from all over the world while fully embracing campus life. If a year or two into your program you want to move off campus, then finding roommates and renting an apartment or flat can be a fun experience too.
While different countries in Western Europe differ slightly in their visa policies, you will usually have to apply for a student visa prior to beginning your degree program. Generally, your degree abroad program provider and/or host university will help you throughout the visa process. In the meantime, you can consult GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory to find out more information about the visa policy of your destination for your nationality.
Benefits & Challenges
Push Your Boundaries. Studying abroad in itself is a challenge, as you leave behind the comfort and familiarity of home to experience what life is like outside the bubble. Committing to earn your full degree abroad takes your international experience to a whole new level.
Learn a Language. Earning your degree abroad in a country where English is not the main language of communication will force you to pick up the local tongue fast. The benefits of knowing a second language, be it French, Spanish, or whatever you choose to pursue, are immense to say the least.
Explore History. Western Europe is the subject of many historical studies around the world, as the activities of this region have been incredibly influential on the global stage; seeing the sites and studying the past will enlighten you to the roots of many modern cultures.