Photo by Fabio Mangione on Unsplash
By Rebecca Isjwara
Not only are those said universities rich in knowledge and research experience--a lot of them have a historical backstory that add onto the charms of the institutions.
And if you are worried about stressing out in between studies, you should not fret because Europe has a lot of scenic sites, student towns, and historical attractions for you to wander around in.
Europe is our favourite continent for studying (we might be a little bit biased) for so many different reasons. Combined with how intertwined the global economy is, studying in Europe might just be your gateway to so much more opportunities.
This article will explore studying in Europe through various lenses, such as through the financial stakes involved, scholarship opportunities available, as well as seeing Europe as a region for happiness, cultural vibes, and research heaven!
Europe is well-known for being affordable, consistent in their beliefs of providing education for the most amount of people possible.
This belief of theirs extends to not just their citizens or EU (European Union)/EEA (European Economic Area) members, but also to prospective students that reside outside the area, which is most likely you, the reader of this article.
Countries such as France, Germany, and Norway provide free education for all students regardless of your citizenship. Other countries such as Austria, Greece, and Hungary charge a small fee, starting around 1,500 Euros per annum. Read more about the aforementioned countries at Study.EU.
These are the fees that you could keep in mind if you are not factoring in any scholarships or financial aid.
We know of a number of scholarship opportunities available for you to capitalise on and seize that chance to pursue a higher education in Europe!
Erasmus+ is a program started by the European Union to encourage development in Europe in several areas, such as education, training, sports, and the youth population.
This feeds into the Europe 2020 strategy that focuses on economic growth, employment opportunities, and social welfare. The EU has been using this cause to further build relationships with partnering institutions around the globe who share the same vision, be it for their own respective countries or for future collaboration opportunities with the EU.
In terms of education, Erasmus+ scholarships has been set up to invite more international students to study in higher education institutes in Europe. In return, the EU also encourages their students to pursue degrees and/or short study experiences in countries outside the EU/EEA area. There are different scholarship schemes under the Erasmus+ program umbrella, and this article will highlight two that benefit the Indonesian population, which we are eligible for as we are non-EU residents.
The duration of the program ranges between twelve to 24 months. The scholarship itself covers the necessary fees including tuition fees, insurance, and other mandatory costs. The scholarship also takes into account your allowance needs and other living expenses.
Candidates for the programme will be asked to participate in training or research in two or more affiliated countries. The duration of this program lasts for a maximum of three years, and candidates are required to pursue a PhD degree in Europe for at least two-thirds of their overall scholarship period.
In 2017, 225 Indonesian students and lecturers participated in the Erasmus+ scholarship programs. Learn more about the Erasmus+ program here.
The LPDP scholarships are made possible by the Indonesian government, who has set aside a budget every year to allow Indonesians to pursue a masters or doctorate degree overseas. The scholarship scheme will cover all tuition fees as well as living expenses that you will incur while studying abroad. As long as you are a certified Indonesian citizen and pass all their requirements, you are eligible to receive the scholarship.
The European Union is extremely ambitious on the research front: in 2009, they had 1.58 million full-time researchers, and plan to grow that number by 1 million within ten years! Now that 2019 is closing in, Europe has definitely amped up their research opportunities to reach this goal.
ERA was established in 2000 and has thus far established over 250 centres around Europe to help international newcomers find the right and appropriate opportunities to further propel their research projects and interests. They also aim to develop pan-European and global research structures, which serves as an additional pillar to why they want to attract international talent and interest.
The EU tries to lower the barriers for international researchers to enter the area, and one of them is the issuance of Scientific Visa. This visa lets prospective EU researchers enter, stay, and work in EU countries in exchange for scientific research work. The host countries that are open for this option are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
Studying in a new environment can be daunting, and having a familiar environment would probably provide any foreigner with comfort. If you ave worries on becoming homesick or missing Indonesian food, aiming for a country or city that has a large Indonesian population might just be the key to unlocking that study-abroad-without-being-too-lonely option.
It is for this reason that Christine Lora Egaratri applied for a StuNed scholarship to study in the Netherlands. During her degree pursuit at Erasmus University Rotterdam, she admits to having her Indonesian food cravings satisfied because of the various cuisine options (in true Indonesian fashion--with rice in them) that she missed from time to time. Christine shares more of her experience here.
As pursuing a higher education degree is perceived as being a stressful stint, life quality and overall happiness levels are a factor that most consider when choosing a location or environment to pursue the said degree. United Nations agency World Happiness Report looks at six different variables that they attribute to overall well-being, namely income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.
It should come as no surprise that seven out of the ten happiest countries are located in Europe. According to the 2018 rankings from the World Happiness Report, the countries are Finland (#1), Norway (#2), Denmark (#3), Iceland (#4), Switzerland (#5), Netherlands (#6), and Sweden (#9). Studying in one of these countries might be your key to having a smile on your face as you are ploughing through your research or working on your dissertation!
If there is a ranking system for world’s happiest countries, there is sure to be one as well for culture.
The Active Times has ranked the world by how culturally rich they are, and European countries dominate the list. Countries in the top ten are Spain (#2), Italy (#3), France (#4), Germany (#6), and the United Kingdom (#9).
The countries are defined to be culturally rich from the viewpoint of visitors and incorporate evaluations of monuments, architectural structures, folk art, as well as religious faith. The ranking also involved experts that advise the UN’s World Heritage Committee, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property and the International Council on Monuments. View the list in full detail here.
Earlier this year, the EU also decided that 2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage, and they did so because they wanted to highlight the rich cultures, shared history, and diversity that shape Europe as we know today. The EU aims to celebrate culture at the EU level, as well as in national, regional, and local levels. Elements included in “cultural heritage” can be both tangible and intangible, and can also adopt natural or digital forms. The EU wishes to promote intercultural conversations and exchanges by enriching each other with their respective cultural heritages.
The EU launched ten long-term impact projects in collaboration with UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and other partners, which range from activities in schools, research efforts, and fighting against illegal smuggling of cultural goods. You can learn more about their efforts here.
Choose from more than 100,000 available programs that range across bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and/or short-term study opportunities that suit your needs. That is a large number, and the possibilities are endless!
You can start by choosing a country to study in, or browse through a list of universities that serves your field of interest. The European Union has a compilation of country profiles here.
Each country or region would be known for their own respective strengths, too. StuNed scholar Affan Giffari highly recommends the Netherlands for law and technology as he claims that the country's progress in these two respective areas are more mature than its counterparts.
Affan himself obtained a master's degree in these fields from Tilburg University in 2017. According to Affan, the program he took has existed for quite some time so the curriculum is well-established and the subjects are taught by professors who are known to be experts in the field. Read his full story here.
If you are still unsure about committing a whole degree to Europe, you are free to opt for a short-term study option that spans about three to twelve months, depending on which programme you choose to go for. These opportunities are available for you regardless if you are studying a bachelor’s, master’s, or a PhD programme. You can even choose to incorporate studying for a period time in Europe in your traineeship programme. Learn more about short-term study options in Europe here.
Pantheon-Sorbonne graduate Bhirawa J Arifi pursued a postgraduate law degree in France because the country shares the same law system as Indonesia. Having a career path as a lawyer in mind, Bhirawa pursposedly opted for a country that could help boost his professional path and avoided having to recalibrate his knowledge too much upon his return to Indonesia. You can read his story in full here.
In addition to the point Bhirawa mentioned above, it is useful to pursue your field of interest in a region or area that shares the same specialised information (such as sharing the same medical standards or upholding similar political systems) would allow you to build on your undergraduate (or prior) knowledge easily.
Sure, adjusting is always an option, but entering a field you are already familiar with or have some base knowledge in would allow you to absorb the new information a lot faster.
The European Union is home to 24 official languages… and a lot more languages for you to discover whilst you are pursuing your degree there!
Although a lot of countries and universities offer study programmes in English, you are still free to learn a new language by immersing yourself in your surroundings.
If you opt to learn a new language, that might not be a bad idea either. More global businesses are looking for talent who can speak several different languages fluently in order to put the company’s business needs in the forefront of international expansion, and having one (or two! Or more!) additional languages on your resume might just be the boost you need to secure that new job. If anything else, languages could also be the key to understanding more of the local culture and assimilating yourself in your new “home”. Have a look at our tips on how to learn a new language while studying abroad here.
Learning German? Find the complete guide here!
Sedang belajar bahasa Jerman? Dapatkan panduan lengkapnya di sini!
Europe is a big continent -- we know, we know.
It is hard to absorb all the information on studying in a brand new continent, and we feel the same way.
Despite all the great reasons we have outlined above, there is still so much more to consider when choosing a study destination. We encourage you to learn as much as possible about your dream country, your dream institution, or your dream study programme, as you are going to be the one pursuing that said degree or programme from beginning to end.
This year, we will host education fairs across three cities in Indonesia, namely Bandung, Jakarta, and Yogyakarta. We will be visiting the cities on November 8, 10-11, and 13 respectively.
Last year, our exhibition featured more than 130 institutions whose representatives were more than ready to answer any questions visitors might have. Our website (ehef.id) is also constantly updated with the latest information on scholarship opportunities, information on countries we collaborate with, as well as institutions that are welcoming prospective international students.
Feel free to reach out on our social channels!