Top 5 reasons to do your postgraduate study in Europe:
Europe has world-class universities in popular cities like London, Paris, and Berlin, Germany, but also in less obvious ones like Istanbul, Budapest or Delft that combine a rich history, cultural heritage and architecture alongside modern and innovative centres of finance, design, manufacturing and other industries. I can talk specifically about Istanbul, where international students always rave about experiencing a vibrant culture. Istanbul was chosen as the world's top destination in the 2014 Travellers' Choice Destinations Awards, ahead of Paris, Rome and London.
European universities are rapidly expanding the number and quality of postgraduate courses, especially PhDs that are offered entirely in English. This means the barrier of the past of having to spend a year or more learning an additional language to obtain a degree from a prestigious European university is now less pronounced and learning Spanish, German, French, Dutch, Turkish or other European languages is more about a desire to fully integrate in your local community as an international student. Even countries you might think are not accessible in terms of English are making rapid progress in this regard.
The opportunity to obtain a world-class degree at significantly lower costs in terms of tuition and living expenses (with the exception of the UK) in a safe, welcoming and culturally diverse environment is also a big pull. Besides graduate scholarships offered by government agencies and universities, there are also a huge number of short-term programs that international students can try for low or no cost before they commit to a full-time program.
Future career opportunities and salaries are naturally an important consideration when choosing a graduate program, especially for PhD degrees. My view is that employability and likely success is completely based on the individual. That said, there are countries in Europe where there is still a huge demand for students seeking to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees. In these countries the conditions to work as a foreign citizen are becoming more open. This is why what should matter most when considering future job opportunities shouldn’t be whether you’re in the US or Europe, the UK or continental Europe, small versus big city, etc., but the quality of the research group and the reputation of the professor(s) in a specific university.
Weekend trips to German Christmas markets, skiing breaks in the Alps, Easter holidays in colorful Seville, summer holidays swimming in the warm and beautiful Aegean coast. The opportunity to visit unique cities and towns all across Europe is possible as a student in Europe for an affordable cost if planned in advance and if utilizing the many student discounts in each country.