Studying in Europe: A Quick Guide for Students
Studying abroad gives students the opportunity of a lifetime. If you’re about to further your studies in Spain, France, Germany, Ireland, or another EU country, your time is going to be filled with new experiences, plenty of surprises, and challenging obstacles that will help shape the person you’re about to become. Sounds exciting, right? It is and we’re about to share some of the things you should know before you leave home for your new life abroad.
Studying in Europe is Expensive
While the cost of taking on your chosen course may be considerably less compared to the U.S., the cost of living in Europe is expensive. You’ll need to factor in all costs from accommodation and transport to food and school materials. If you don’t have access to the funds, there is always the option of student loans from private lenders. Almost everyone qualifies for a student loan and you can check your eligibility online.
The Planning is Up to You
Your chosen school or program may do some of the homework for you when it comes to planning and getting documents in order but the real work is down to you. Keep up to date with all visa entry requirements and make sure you’re not reading outdated info. The entry documents you need include a passport (that will be valid for the duration of your stay), student identification, and a student visa. You’ll also want to bring letters of recommendations and transcripts for the school or program.
Living with a Host Family May Not be the Best Option
Immersing yourself in culture by living with a host family sounds pretty perfect but, sometimes, that situation is less than ideal for students. Not only will you have to deal with the pressures of everything being new at school, but you’ll also have to put up with the commotions of family life around you. This can be very distracting in the beginning and your grades may reflect that. In a dorm, you can really focus on the books and you can still enjoy a healthy social life, as it will be much easier to make friends when living amongst students from all over the world.
Get Around as Much as Possible
Thanks to low-cost airlines, an amazing train network and affordable bus and train tickets, Europe is one of the most accessible continents on the planet. Take advantage of your time and visit all the places you want to see. The good news is you don’t have to set off on a month’s long trip to get a flavor of European life. During times when school isn’t so demanding, why not jump on a train to Paris for the weekend and return just in time for class on Monday morning? Or, during the mid-term, take a trip to Rome for a weeklong escapade of fine wines, amazing authentic Italian food and beautiful architecture. It’s all-possible in Europe so plan wisely and travel slowly to get a real sense of local culture and what makes each country different from its neighbor.