Public universities in Europe

More and more it is becoming popular to forgo the pricy North American continuing education degree and opt for the cheaper alternative by enrolling directly in one of the public universities in Europe. Some students limp out of their 4-year degree, swearing to never undergo the same financial atrocity in graduate school and begin searching for cheaper options. Other students skip the traditional route all together and go abroad straight away.

There are loads of public universities throughout Europe that offer degrees to even international students for little over the equivalent of $2000. Certain countries are rife with public institutions to choose from, like France and the Netherlands, for example. France even has its own Wikipedia page of public schools to get you started on your search. There are even a host of tuition free schools in Sweden and across greater Scandinavia.

Sure these degrees and credentials earned largely do not translate upon returning back to North America. Many students return to find that the Masters Degree that they have from a foreign institution will require at least an additional year of study to be valid at home. Some diplomas and degrees may not be recognized at all. However, many of the students who choose to enroll directly in public universities abroad do so in the hopes that it will be a stepping-stone to a permanent life abroad. Many of them remain in school, holding down only enough study hours to maintain legal residency and work their allotted 20 hours or so. It keeps them in the country legally while working out greater employment options, completing a local degree and pursuing the local job market.

Have you enrolled directly in one of these public universities abroad? Did it help you find work overseas? Share your experience in the comments.

Posted by | Comments (6)  | September 27, 2010
Category: Europe, Working Abroad

6 Responses to “Public universities in Europe”

  1. Ana Says:

    Hi, I’m a Portuguese marine biologist. I graduated in Portugal, enrolled in a training program in Scotland (4 months) within the frame of an European mobility exchange program, made my master in Portugal and finished it Belgium and now I am finishing my PhD in Belgium. My universities so far have always been public or semi-public, and I’ve payed always very little to complete my studies comparing to other countries.

    During my PhD I’ve worked in great places like Chile (Punta Arenas) and Croatia and attended a few conferences (Tasmania, Sevilla, Monaco, etc). Next year I hope to find a Post-Doc somewhere else, not sure yet where.

    I’ve this strange feeling of bellowing nowhere, but I know that I can adjust to everywhere. Definitely that all these jumps have allowed me to meet a lot of people and I hope this networking will help in future applications. And most of all, I’m not afraid of change and so far I’ve been having a really great time. 🙂


  2. Ana Says:

    Brian: I have the idea that it is not really difficult to have a foreigner diploma recognized in the US, if you come from certain countries or specific research fields. Currently I have at least 10 close friends/colleagues doing their post-docs in different American states. Probably the way this equivalences are given are based in a system of preference (of certain friendly countries). This is not only true for the US, but it can happen even in close related countries and is strongly depend on political will (which is a pity). VISA application can also be a nightmare according to the student background. Still, as you said, one should make the best of his/her qualifications. If the academic system does not allow new entries, a person can try the private sector, NGOs, etc… Mobility is always a good vehicle to grab new opportunities!