Posted Sept. 28, 2015
For many students, the successful completion of an undergraduate degree marks the end of their association with the world of higher education, but there are, of course, some who opt to stay on to gain postgraduate qualifications. Nowadays we are seeing an increasing number of UK graduates head abroad to continue their journey through academia, enrolling in institutions across the continent and the wider world as they seek to add extra strings to their bows. Universities in other countries offer would-be postgraduates a number of alluring incentives ranging from pleasant surroundings to more financially amicable fee structuring, so it’s little wonder that many UK postgrads decide to up sticks and head out to see the world whilst they learn.
Without further ado, then, here is our list of the top five European countries for those considering going abroad for postgraduate study.
1. Germany First on the list is a country marketed to the global audience as the “Land of Ideas”, an ethos that has certainly played a part in its rapidly rising popularity as a destination for international postgraduates. The typical stereotype associated with Germany is one of efficiency and high standards, and their further education system plays up to the role well. With a number of institutions staffed by world-leaders in a variety of exciting and challenging fields (especially engineering and the applied sciences) and a fee structure that won’t empty your pockets, it isn’t hard to see why the nation’s community of international students is growing at such a rate.
2. Italy Where to begin with the second entry? Should you choose to head out to Italy , you’ll be diving headlong into a world of majestic culture that the UK simply cannot match. The food obviously goes without saying – the nation’s long-established culinary traditions should be enough to have any self-respecting gourmand gently salivating at the thought of living amongst it all – and the gorgeous scenery surrounding its wealth of elegantly-designed cities ensures you’ll never be stuck for a terrific view. Further to this, Italy also has a proud academic heritage – the Western world’s oldest university was founded in Bologna in 1088 – which ensures that your education will be in good hands.
3. Spain Keeping the Mediterranean flavour alive, we move on to number three. Although Spain is perhaps not as immediately visible as other European nations in terms of out-and-out higher education rankings, Spanish academic research is at the cutting edge of a number of fields (organ transplantation and renewable energy spring to mind). The real benefit to studying here, however, has to be the linguistic aspect – by going for your postgraduate degree in Spain you’ll be immersing yourself in a language that is gaining more and more international relevance with every passing day, and the opportunity to hone your skills should not be lightly dismissed.
4. Norway The fourth entry shifts the focus onto Scandinavia, with a country that holds one of the world stage’s most egalitarian attitudes to higher education. In Norway , tuition fees are but a distant memory, and the vast majority of their course instruction is delivered in English. This incredibly high level of accessibility has seen the tiny nation’s foreign student population grow to over 18,000 – very impressive relative to its overall size. Outside of the classroom, Norway boasts some of Europe’s – and indeed the world’s – most visually stunning scenery. Alongside the breathtaking mountains and tranquil fjords, the country is famed for the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) – if that doesn’t get people jealous, we don’t know what will.
5. Switzerland If a high standard of living is something you place a lot of value on, there are definitely worse places to consider than Switzerland . Considered by many to be one of the most relaxing places to live, the nation has a rich and esteemed history of research in a variety of disciplines and a stable of generously funded universities that are also famed for their international exchange programs. If you want to further your education in pleasant surroundings rich in cultural diversity, then Switzerland could well be the answer you’ve been searching for.
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