What are the best countries in Europe for international students?

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By Euronews
What are the best countries in Europe for international students?

Germany is the most attractive country for international students, followed by the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

That is according to a newly published study entitled EU Country Ranking 2017.

This year’s report ranks 30 European countries based on the scores (up to 100 points) they received in three different dimensions : education; cost; life and career.

The “reality” in the study: meeting students around Europe

Euronews interviewed four international students who are currently studying outside their countries.

What is it like to be a foreign student in the United Kingdom?

Video by Christina Bucher

Johan Bark from Sweden chose a drama school in the United Kingdom. The high quality of education, the career opportunities and the cheap beer played a significant role in his decision to study in the country. However, the overall cost of living and the tuition fees led to a university loan of 40,000 pounds.

What is it like to be a foreign student in the Netherlands

Video by Dimitris Meletis

Despite the fact that Germany, her country of origin, has the highest score in the report, Nura is studying for her master’s degree in the Netherlands. The international character of the country and the maximum number of English-taught programmes among the non-English-speaking countries attract a lot of foreign students. The 25-year-old German finds the cost of living in the Netherlands quite expensive. However, she considers the complaints about the Dutch weather exaggerated, as the sun shines a lot!

What is it like to be a foreign student in Slovenia?

Video by Maja Žiberna

Greece and Slovenia are located at the bottom (21-30) of the study. However, there are some who decided to give these countries a chance. In our two examples below, both say that the good quality of study and the low cost of living are enough to overcome the language barrier.

Javier Sanchez Castro from Spain is studying at the Faculty for Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana. He is very satisfied with the overall experience so far, especially for the so- called “students boni” which means that you can have food for a very reasonable students’ price.

Canadian Natalie Ryan is very impressed with the level of the International MBA programme of the Athens University of Economics and Business, one of the few English-taught programmes in Greece. “I’ve been able to meet a lot of really nice people being here,” says the 34-year-old student, who is determined to learn the Greek language.

What is it like to be a foreign student in Greece?

Video by Ira Nikoletopoulou

The survey

In the study, education is considered the most important dimension as this score makes up half of the total. It takes into account the presence of a country’s universities in established international university rankings, indicators of teaching quality and general availability of English-taught-programmes. The top 10 countries in the education ranking are very similar to the overall top 10, while the first three are exactly the same.

On the contrary, only Germany and France out of the overall top 10 show up among the countries that received a higher score (up to 30 points) for cost. The most affordable countries, considering the average cost of living in a country, plus tuition fees for EU/EEA citizens, as well as for non-European students, are mainly in Eastern Europe. Hungary and Poland are ranked higher while the United Kingdom is the most expensive country in the sample.

The United Kingdom grabs the top spot in the “life and career” ranking, followed by Norway and Iceland.

The final score (up to 20 points) for each country was estimated considering the ranking in the UN’s World Happiness Report, the local unemployment rate among the tertiary educated and the overall quality of life.

Ira Nikoletopoulou for euronews