Deciding your future: where to study?

October is the month when the university admissions start in many countries. It’s time to start thinking “where to go next”, but not only for students in S7.

We hear a lot about Politecnico di Milano, about Bocconi business school and about possibilities to study in the United Kingdom. But what about other options?

In this article we look at the possibilities about which we do not speak much around. Here you will find some less discussed options to consider too. And if, after reading the article, you see that something interesting is missing, email us through the ‘contact us’ button and we will update this article with your suggestion.

Scandinavian region

Photo from Study in Denmark official site

Over the last decades Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway) were attracting a lot of interested students for their tuition free and high quality Bachelor’s degree studies in English. You will find several Universities in top 100 global university ranking, even more so in the top 150 or top 200 global university lists. Because of this popularity recently they have decreased the number of Bachelor’s programmes in English (Norway cancelled completely), but they continue offering a wide range of Master’s programmes in English.

Still, there are quite several programmes in English on Bachelor’s level remaining. And if you like collaborative approach, group project learning style, direct relationships with professors, practical hands on internship experiences in companies, then you should explore universities there.

The Nordic countriesare also ranked as the most innovative countries in Europe for several consecutive years in the European Innovation and Research scoreboard. Helsinki-Uusimaa region (Finland) is the most innovative region in Europe, followed by Stockholm (Sweden) and Hovedstaden (Denmark).

And if you are interested in science, then you may hope for an experience in one of the science and innovation parks in Scandinavia. They all have strong partnerships with universities and special initiatives to attract the best talent by “headhunting” the best students. It’s like Silicon Valley of Europe…

Demystify that “it is cold there”. While it is in general true, the winter in Austria could be colder than in Denmark or South of Sweden. The tip would be “dress like a local”: buy good quality shoes, coats and pullovers once you arrive (local companies produce for local climate conditions and it is of a different quality). And enjoy the beauty of all four seasons!

Our Scandinavian section teachers gave a presentation in February 2020 and they remain available if you have any questions.

Here below we will shortly describe how to apply for Bachelor’s programmes in English in Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark. Picture from pixabay.com

Copenhagen Business School (CBS) is ranked as one of the top Business schools in Europe and in the world, and has a very strong reputation among the entrepreneurs. You may apply for English taught Bachelor degrees between the 1st February and the 15th March.

European School Baccalaureate is accepted and you may choose from a mixture of very interesting interdisciplinary programmes, like business and politics; business administration and digital technologies; economics and math; business with Asian languages and cultures; and many others. All programmes have strong entrepreneurial aspect and university organizes job fairs with its partner companies, helping students to find the job. CBS teaches Core-Econ, a revised economics curriculum to meet the new global challenges (the team of global scholars and international prize winners have revamped the basic economics course into the new curriculum following the financial crisis of 2007; it is now used by many universities world wide).

The CBS is very international and knows how to welcome new arrivals. It can help to search for the roommates, allocates mentors during the study time and helps you to enjoy the city of Copenhagen, often ranked among the best global cities to live in.

Later, you may consider their Double Masters Degrees (when you spend one year at CBS, one year at their global partner institution, and you gain right away two Masters degrees from both institutions).

The Danish teaching model is focusing a lot on participation, debates in classes and group projects that encourage team work. Practical experiences in companies are widely available. Think – play – participate: is their motto. There are no tuition fees for EU nationals (studying is for free).

Study in Denmark is the official website which provides information about study opportunities in different universities and life style in Denmark. There you may choose “study in English” and on that page select “Bachelors”, and you will see the list of 71 Bachelors programmes in English in different Danish universities, not only CBS. You can choose up to 5 programs for your online application. Apply through the national electronic admission system (one account for all choices) www.optagelse.dk and submit all relevant documentation. Your grades will be converted into Danish system and you will be offered 1 program based on your grades and your predicted capability to succeed. You will be notified about the offer by the end of July, and then you can accept or refuse it. It is quite common to Danish students to refuse if it is not their most preferred choice. They take a gap year, volunteer, do internships and then re-apply again. For a year spent fruitfully, they receive extra points, which also gives them advantage in the next application round. For this reason you may find yourself studying with students older than you. To increase your chances of being accepted to your favorite programme, submit proofs that you are better than other candidates (like volunteering or work/internship experience proof, or winning a competition in a relevant area, etc).

Study in Denmark” YouTube channel offers plenty of short videos and interviews with international students who study there.

Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden. Picture from pixabay.com

Sweden is another country offering several Bachelor programmes in English. The European School Baccalaureate is fully accepted. You will see available programmes on the central enrolment platform (www.universityadmissions.se) during the period of application. There are two admissions rounds: the “international” first round is between mid of October and the 15th January, and some English taught programmes (but not all) are open for applications from the 15th March till the 16th April (the second admissions round for EU/EEA students and Swedish nationals). But in majority of cases the EB diploma holders should apply during the second admissions round.After passing your final exams, your EB diploma will be automatically sent to Swedish admissions authorities in July and then by mid-July you are informed if accepted or not. There is no need to write motivation letters, what matters are your grades at school. Your school grades will be converted into points. The higher your grades are, the higher points you receive. European Baccalaureate students may receive extra points for additional foreign language or advanced math subject.

You create only one account and you may select up to 8 programmes in various universities right away, which you rank according your preference (nr. 1 choice, nr. 2 choice, nr. 3 choice, and so on). The Swedish application system is flexible: even if you have submitted your application by clicking “Submit” button, but the application period is still open, you may still come back to your account and modify your application. You may add new programmes if you discover something later, you may change your ranking, you may cancel or add, etc. But your account will be frozen when the application period is over. You are first of all evaluated for your first choice, if no, then you pass for evaluation for your second choice, and so on. But with 8 choices we hope that something positive will come up! Education is free to European nationals. There is no application fee either, just upload your EU passport copy. In July there is a late application round, through which remaining open places are published and you may try to apply on last minute in one of them too. But there will not be many choices left.

For those applying during the second round of admissions between 15th March and 15th April (national admissions round for Swedish students and EB diploma holders) there is another website for application https://www.antagning.se/se/start . Run over Google web page translator if needed.

Study in Sweden is the official guide to various study options and lifestyle in Sweden.

Finland

Helsinki, Finland. Picture from pixabay.com

Would you like to experience a new way of learning? Then try Aalto approach! Aalto University in Helsinki is a unique place where science and art meet technology and business. The whole university is designed to be a modern space where bold thinkers identify and solve grand challenges, and where professors are more like mentors and friends. It is a vibrant international community (with students of more than 100 nationalities), with collaborative spaces and citizen involvement, lots of new ideas that result in start-up companies (see the video). Check out Aalto university’s modern campus and creative makers space photos on Instagram.

Ranked among the top global universities, Aalto University offers several Bachelor programmes in English, and even more on Masters Level. There are no tuition fees to European nationals. There are two study campuses of Aalto university (Otaniemi and Mikkeli), each of them offering new Bachelor’s degrees in English with different possible specializations/majors in highly demanded areas. Check out their innovative Science and Technology degrees (with chemical engineering, computation engineering, data science, digital systems and design, quantum technology majors), Economics, International Business or a more creative Design degree options. Direct applications are open in January.

Are you more into science? Helsinki University offers Bachelor’s programme in Science in English. This unique programme combines the core scientific disciplines of math, physics, chemistry and computer science. After successful BSc, students may choose from 9 Masters degree options, and have a possibility to remain for a PhD. European Baccalaureate students have to apply during the 2nd admissions round in March.

Have you ever thought how to build up a new future city? Tampere university has a very selective interdisciplinary Sustainable Urban Development Programme, where students participate in a real life laboratory and a future Hiedanranta city district creation, testing new ideas with industries, and bringing innovative projects related to smart and sustainable housing, energy, transportation and business to life.

Study in Finland is the official guide to studies in English in various universities and lifestyle in Finland. Studies are for free to EU/EEA nationals. Applications are done through a single central account online at Studyinfo.fi where you will find over 140 Bachelor degrees in English, not only in science but also in other fields. You can apply through (1) separate application, when you apply directly to the university to a specific program; in that case you must check individual deadlines on each university’s website; or (2) during the joint application round through the central enrolment at www.studyinfo.fi . The joint application round for EB diploma students takes place in spring, usually in March,when with a single accountyou can choose up to six programmes in the same or different universities; you do not have to rank according your preference and you can receive several offers, but then you must choose only one programme for your final enrolment. Check the application deadline for each university (January or March). You will be notified about the acceptance result in early June. You have to confirm acceptance by mid July, and by the end of July the waiting list places are distributed if remaining. Studies start in late August.

France

Paris, France. Picture from pixabay.com

Have you heard about Campus Condorcet, la cité des sciences humaines et sociales in Paris? The site will be home to 11 educational institutions, becoming probably the biggest humanities and social science campus in Europe, continuously developing till 2025. Here is the video.

Apart from this, France is also well know for science and innovation, so check the “science track”options if relevant to you. Quite several of them are highly ranked in global university list.

Tuition fees are extremely low in France, mainly covered by the government and families pay only a symbolic contribution for public universities (here is a general overview of tuition fees for EU and international students). When applying, for updates check directly the website of the university through which you apply.

Nice, France. Picture from pixabay.com

There are several ways to apply: one way when you choose public universities, and another way if you want to go to private universities. Many programmes require French language knowledge of at least B1 or B2 level, though the teaching often combines English and French lectures together. European Baccalaureate is fully accepted. You can find more information about studying in France on https://www.campusfrance.org/en .

For the application to the first year of public university, you must create an account and follow the steps of parcoursup. From the 20th December till the 22nd January you may discover various available programmes on parcoursup. From the 22nd January till the 12th March you must create an online account and select up to 10 choices. From 13th March till the 2nd April you must confirm choices and submit required documents. From the 19th of May you may consult your online profile and check the offers received or where you are on the waiting list. This process lasts till 17th July. Check the key dates and advises for each stage https://www.parcoursup.fr/index.php?desc=calendrier .

The double degrees are often offered by two partner universities and follow different application dates. So if you are interested in a double / interdisciplinary degree, check each university separately for available combinations.

For the private schools, check their websites as each one may have own procedure.

Science Po teaches Core-Econ, a revised economics curriculum to meet the new global challenges (the team of global scholars and international prize winners have revamped the basic economics course into the new curriculum following the financial crisis of 2007; it is now used by many universities world wide).

Also, according Financial Times rankings of Master’s in Finance (article in English on 2020 financial training; and article in Italian with a ranking table), the top 5 are in France:

  • HEC Paris
  • ESCP Business school
  • Skema Business school
  • Essec Business school
  • Edhec Business school

Check out offered programmes in English directly on their websites.

Germany

Frankfurt Am Main, Germany. Picture from pixabay.com

Just like in Scandinavian countries, there are more Master than Bachelor programmes in English, but with a good search you may find some interesting studies. Through the search on the official DAAD portal 117 programs came up. The application deadline to public universities with a free education is usually by mid June, but check each university’s website separately.

With a nearly free tuition and so many choices in various cities all across the country it is a destination to consider. Also, due to low tuition costs Germany is becoming more and more popular. Berlin and Munich are also listed as the best global cities for students to live in.

Study.eu survey shows that after Brexit Germany is emerging as the first European destination for English speaking studies (there are lots of choices on Master’s level and a possibility to remain for a work experience after your studies, which is a very attractive option for international students). Some UK universities hurried up to open a campus branch on European side. Lancaster university in Leipzig offers several business related Bachelor’s degrees for those willing to get UK degree while living in Europe at a better price, though their costs are still higher compared to free or nearly free education in German public universities.

Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic. Picture from pixabay.com

Prague is considered to be one of the most romantic and beautiful cities. Living and studying there could be a real dream come true as it is very international and student friendly destination.

Charles University in Prague is one of the oldest universities in Europe, established in 1348, continuously modernizing and highly ranked internationally. Studying in Czech is for free, while the cost of studies in English varies depending on what you’d like to study. The most expensive is their prestigious and rigorous medical program in English.

It is important to check carefully the application procedure. Application deadlines for degree programmes taught in English can be different for each faculty (it can vary from February to June/August). For example, their BA programme in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) is modeled on the Oxford PPE and is taught in English with application deadline of 31th of August (or the early deadline of 30th June), and start of studies on the 1st of October. Check each time the Central database of all study programmes.

University of New York in Prague (UNYP) offers six bachelor’s programs taught in English while studying in Europe. Some programs maybe taken as a dual degree, leading to the award of a Czech degree from UNYP and an American-accredited Bachelor’s degree from State University of New York, Empire State College. The rolling admissions mean a flexible entrance timing, though if you wish to have some financial discount (based on math or English excellent marks) you should apply before the 30th April. In any way, the cost is made to be affordable to European standards and is much lower than studying in the USA.

Here is a video with the top 10 reasons to study in Prague, developed for the New York University (NYU) students. The video aims to promote NYU global campus, but it presents well the advantages of studying in Prague. (Be careful: NYU and UNY are two different institutions).

Canada

Montreal, Canada. Picture from pixabay.com

Have you ever thought about studying in the USA, but it always turned out to be too expensive or too complicated due to additional SAT or ACT tests? Then you might consider Canada: the tuition is much lower, Canadian dollar conversion rate is different and there is no extra testing.

In fact, one of the top global universities, McGill, is well aware about the European Baccalaureate system and is welcoming prospective applicants who have as the minimum 75% or more positive pass marks (7.5 or more out of 10; some highly demanding programmes require students to have higher average). If you are an outstanding student with very good grades and recommendations from teachers, then when applying you are also considered for the merit scholarship which makes this choice even more affordable.

Enjoy the lively student city of Montreal (see the video)!

The Netherlands

Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Picture from pixabay.com

The Netherlands recently boomed as a new destination for English speaking students. The admission procedure starts in October and decisions are usually made on the rolling base, which means that you will hear the response rather quickly. The Dutch admission policy is “give a chance to everyone”, so you may be sure that you will get a place (unless you apply to one of the programmes with a limited number of places or those that have special selection criteria and interviews).

The first year will be therefore as a “natural selection” and really hard for many. Statistically, about half of students drop off. To help you to make the best choice, the Dutch universities launched a “matching policy”: they test your interest, so that you would choose what’s right for you. Try online experiences and join information webinars to check if you really like the subject, professors and style.

Several Dutch universities have adopted the new Core-Econ, a revised economics curriculum to meet the new global challenges (the team of global scholars and international prize winners have revamped the basic economics course into the new curriculum following the financial crisis of 2007; it is now used by many universities world wide). When searching, look if the program is mentioning The Core Team or core-econ.

The tuition fees are at about 2000 Euros per year, and the first year is half the price. But due to recent increase of international student arrivals, the housing is becoming an issue and prices have gone up. The tip would be: apply early and if accepted, start looking for the living option right away. Also mind the rental contract conditions: many are for 2 years and if you drop off and would like to leave, you still have to pay as if for the 2 years. Some other contracts are more flexible but the rental price maybe higher. Check these details!

Application period is from October till May, and you have to create an account in Studielink. Check the SudyFinder to see what you can study and where in Holland.

Malta

City of Malta, Malta. Photo by pixabay.com

Do you prefer a mild Mediterranean climate? Then why not to consider studying in Malta?

Application period at Malta University starts in November, with the second shorter admissions round in February. You can choose from wide range of different Bachelor programmes in English, which is also the main language of the country.

Studies are free to EU nationals and the European School Baccalaureate is well known (see here the equivalence and the minimum requirements).

If you wish to study medicine, then you should apply to the faculty of medicine and surgery and check their specific requirements.

Spain

Barcelona. Photo from pixabay.com

Another destination for the sunshine lovers is Barcelona: you will find that there are five different business schools based there that offer teaching in English:

  • EU Business Schools Barcelona
  • ESEI International Business School Barcelona
  • UIBS United International School Barcelona
  • ESADE Business School Barcelona

You will find two USA universities in Spain:

  • Suffolk University (main campus is in Boston, the USA)
  • Saint Louis University (the Spanish branch of Saint Louis University in Missouri, the USA).

Ireland

Dublin, Trinity College. Photo by pixabay.com

There are eight universities in Ireland, four of them are based in Dublin. The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions.

If you like breath taking surroundings, beautiful nature, historic places, friendly people and active social life, then Dublin should be on your study list. The city is ranked among the top global cities for students to live in and it is home to four main universities. The Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is ranked 108th and University College Dublin (UCD) is ranked 185th in the World in the QS World University Ranking 2020. You may also consider Dublin City University (DCU) and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

The tuition fees to EU students in Ireland are about half the price of that of the UK, making it a more affordable destination. To apply check the websites of each university directly.

Italy

Milan, Italy. Photo by pixabay.com

To study in Italy you must check directly the website of each university. Many of them start offering also Bachelor’s degrees in English to which many international students apply.

For example, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore has several seats in Italy (Milan, Brescia, Cremona, Piacenza and Rome). During the last years it became a leading university in Italy for student employment after graduation which is because of their internship and training partnership agreements with companies. 12 of its disciplines are ranked within 250 highest in the World. It has 8 undergraduate degrees entirely in English. The admission procedure starts in May through online application and is based on your S6 grades. Students from the European Schools with average 7.5 -10 grade marks in S6 are welcome to apply (check online for special mentions for the European School students).

Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland. Picture from pixabay.com

Very often we think about Switzerland as an expensive country, but the education is of high quality and quite affordable (usually about 500-600 CHF per semester) because of government subsidies. Application deadline is usually before the end of April, but check the website for each university.

Several Swiss universities are in the world’s top 100 list – like well known ETH Zurich, EPFL, the University of Zurich and the University of Geneva. The studies on Bachelor’s level are usually in the language of the region, with some courses offered also in English. There will be much more Master’s degrees in English to choose later on.

So first of all you will have to check your L1 and L2 languages before deciding where to apply, as it will depend on German, French or Italian region of Switzerland. Swiss universities accept the European Baccalaureate and most likely you will not have to do any language tests to be accepted.

ETH Zurich is focused on technology and is ranked among the top 10 global universities in the World for its cutting-edge research and its wide selection of courses in different areas of science and technology. As it is in Zurich, for studies on Bachelor’s level you will have to demonstrate knowledge of German.

At the University of Zurich you can choose from a selection of courses in science, law, philosophy, theology, medicine. Again, for studies on Bachelor’s level you will have to demonstrate the knowledge of German, but there are many Master’s degree programmes in English.

At the highly ranked École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) the majority of courses are offered in French and you will have to present your European Baccalaureate L1 or L2 in French (or externally recognized international French test, like Delf), but there are many Masters and Doctorate programmes offered in English.

Founded in 1559, the University of Geneva is the third oldest university in Switzerland, with around 16,000 students and 40% of its students are international. To study on Bachelor’s level, you will have to demonstrate the knowledge of French on L1 or L2 level (or to take their special language exams), though some courses or lectures can be taken in English. Many Master’s level courses are offered in English.

USI Università della Svizzera Italiana is a young university, founded in 1996, with about 3000 students and located in Lugano. European School Baccalaureate is fully accepted and from international students it is required to prove the knowledge of Italian of at least B2 level.

Belgium

Brussels. Picture from Pixabay.com

In Belgium Bachelor’s studies are primarily in French or Dutch. But you may still find few Bachelor’s programmes in English and even more so on Master’s level.

Check out offers at KU Leuven (ranked in the top 50 in the World) or Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Enrollment deadline for EU nationals is the 1st June and the cost is just above 900 Euros per year.

Poland

Warsaw. Picture from pixabay.com

An increasing number of international students are choosing to study medicine in Poland in English. There are entry exams, and you may choose to study at one of the following universities (check directly their website for details):

  • Medical University of Warsaw
  • The Medical University of Lublin in cooperation with the Wenzhou Medical University in China
  • Pomeranian Medical University
  • Medical University of Gdansk
  • Poznan University of Medical Sciences
  • Medical University of Białystok
  • Jagiellonian University Medical College
  • Wroclaw Medical University
  • The University of Varmia and Masuria Medical School
  • Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University

The USA

You maybe surprised, but the European Baccalaureate is known also among several universities in the USA. The New York University (NYU), ranked in the top 30 global universities, is considered to be a popular choice by international students because (1) it has a number of global campuses in different countries and (2) it has probably the most test flexible admissions policies. It means that in order to be admitted, you may decide which tests and grades you wish to send them for admission (SAT, or ACT, or IB, or AP, or.. European Baccalaureate!). Their qualification tool shows which international high school diplomas are accepted. Which means that as a European Baccalaureate holder you will not need any SAT or ACT, and the EB diploma will be perfectly sufficient. You just will have to prove your English language skills. The University offers a unique opportunity to start the first year abroad, in one of their global campuses, before moving to New York city for the second year. If interested in such an option, you may choose to start your first year in London (the UK), Paris (France), Madrid (Spain), Florence (Italy) or Washington D.C. Explore more through virtual tours and information sessions before applying. The University offers some financial aid, based on family’s annual income, though be prepared to cover one part on your own in anyway, or search for scholarships. If you are applying through the Common App, once submitting the application, check the new “financial aid” tab: there is a matching tool which will match you with the right scholarships depending on the information provided in your university application (this is valid if you apply to any university through the Common App).

Media from Wix

However, the university or college choice is so unique, and what may be a good option for one may not suit another person. The College Board created an online tool to find a perfect fit college just for you based on your situation. On their website you may create a free account and by using available filters you can create your own college list: do you want to go to a small college or a big university, located in a town or a suburb, what is your grade point average, do you have any clubs that you absolutely wish to attend, are you ready to pay yourself or you would need financial aid, how much (%) of financial aid you may need, and so on. Each time you enter your criteria, your choices are being narrowed down, and the list will feature colleges of a potential perfect fit just for you.

Have we missed something? Do you know a destination worth to consider which many tend to forget? Then please send us an email and we will update this article with your suggestion!


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