When I decided to go to grad school, I very quickly decided to go abroad. Although I looked all around the world, I narrowed my search to Europe. However, even though it’s the smallest continent, Europe has a ton of different countries, each with their own school system and customs. The search can be extremely overwhelming at first, but once you’ve narrowed down the countries you want to look in it, you’ll find your perfect program in no time!
Because I was so overwhelmed with the search process, I created this guide to help fellow students find their perfect program in Europe.
Questions to Consider
There are important questions to consider when researching European graduate schools. Unless you’re open to going to graduate school in every single country in Europe, using these questions will help narrow down your search by country.
These questions should include:
- Does the language matter to me?
- Although most countries have programs offered entirely in English, not all countries speak English in everyday life. If you want a country where most people have a working understanding of English, then your options will be more limited. If you’re willing to learn another language (or already know one), then you will have more choices available to you.
- Am I looking for tuition-free programs?
- There are countries that don’t charge tuition for graduate school or certain graduate programs. If one of the reasons you want to do your postgrad in Europe is the cost effectiveness, then looking at countries that tend to be tuition-free might be the best for you.
- Do I want to take the GRE? Or, if I’ve already taken the GRE, do I want to submit my score?
- Not all programs in Europe require the GRE! If you don’t feel like studying, or have already taken it and weren’t pleased with your score, then you may want to focus on programs without a GRE requirement.
- Does the length of the program matter to me?
- In some countries, such as the UK and Ireland, most graduate programs only last one, full calendar year. In other countries, graduate programs are two years long.
- Do I want to have a chance at getting a job in this country after I graduate?
- In some countries, finding a job after graduating will be much easier than others. This will depend on your level of proficiency in the local language, the ease of getting a work visa, and more.
It might take some research to answer these questions, but answering them should narrow down your search!
There may also be some trade-offs. If you want a tuition-free program located in an English-speaking country, you will be hard pressed to find one. But if you’re willing to look at Germany, where most people speak English very well, you can probably find a tuition free program.
Some websites have great information about lots of countries and lots of programs. These sites can be great for researching what countries you might want to study in or finding out more general information. However, once you’ve decided on a country or even a school, I recommend checking out our country specific resources, as these are updated by organizations within the country itself, not an outside company.
These websites have good, general information:
- mastersportal.com is focused on international masters degrees. There are tests to help you match a country with your personality, or you can search all masters programs by country. There’s also information on taking the IELTS.
- topuniversities.com ranks universities all around the world and can help you find the best programs in your field. You can search for any school or program that you’re interested in for more information.
- gooverseas.com is another great site that focuses on international programs of all levels. They have information on scholarships and information on all programs abroad.
- gradschools.com is an American-run website that has some international programs, but is mostly focused on US graduate programs. You may still find it helpful.
Country Specific Resources
If you’ve already decided on a country, I’ve included this list of country-specific resources to help narrow down programs. These sites will help you find English-taught programs in some of the most popular countries and provide you with country-specific information. If you have resources beyond what is included in this list, comment and I’d be happy to add them to help out your fellow students!
Studyfinder.nl is a database of all the English-taught programs in Holland. You can filter by location, field of study, qualifications and more!
Studyinholland.nl also has lots of information about the Dutch grading system, tuition and fees and the Dutch school system. It’s a great place to find out more information to decide if the Netherlands might be the country for you. There are also information about scholarships and areas to connect with fellow students.
Studyinsweden.se will be your go-to if you’re looking at studying in Sweden. This is where you can find information about Sweden, resources on scholarships and tuition and fees. It also includes a list of programs where you can search for your program.
If you decide to apply to a program, you’ll do it through universityadmissions.se. You can also find information about the application process here. Almost all universities in Sweden use this site, so you only have to enter in your information once.
Even in France you can find English-taught graduate programs! Campus France is run by the French Embassy and has information on the application process, the visa process and life in France. There is also a database of English-taught programs in France so you can find one that suits you.
The German Academic Exchange Service or DAAD has information on studying in Germany, and an area to search for programs.
study-in.de is a great site that includes information on visas, part-time jobs and accommodation in Germany.
Finally, studying-in-germany.org is another great resource that provides information on visas, the application process and more. It is also available in several languages other than English.
studyindenmark.com is the official, government run site with information about studying in Denmark. The site has resources on scholarships, planning your studies and living and working in Denmark. There’s also a program-finder page where you can search for English-taught programs.
Because the UK speaks English, there is not one, central site meant to help English-speakers find programs. However, studyin-uk.com has some excellent information on the application process, universities and programs and scholarships. masters
You may also find this list of universities in the UK to be helpful. If one sounds interesting to you, go to their website and find out information about their programs!
Educationinireland.com provides information about education in Ireland, from how to apply to information about living in Ireland.
Like the UK, Ireland is an English speaking country, so I found it useful to go directly to the various universities’ websites and search for programs. You can find a list of universities in Ireland here.
studyinaustria.at is a great resource for general information about studying in Austria. It includes information on living in Austria, studying in Austria and scholarships. If you’re looking for a study finder that can help you find programs, then check out studienwahl.at.
Information about the higher education system in Norway can be found at studyinnorway.no. This site includes information about tuition and scholarships, part-time work and more! There is also a study finder on the site, as well.
Things to Keep in Mind
Not all countries and programs are the same! Make sure to pay very close attention to deadlines for your chosen country and program. Visa requirements can vary wildly, as well, so make sure you fully understand the requirements before you accept your offer.
In addition, the program start and end date might be different than what you are used to. For example, I found that most programs in Germany started in October when I was doing my research. Be prepared to be flexible with your dates and have a very long summer if you’re coming straight from undergrad.
If you keep an open mind, and give your self plenty of time to search and apply, you’ll be able to find your perfect program. Hopefully, you’ll soon be studying in Europe!