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Study Abroad in Europe

Discover the True Meaning of Diversity in Europe

Europe is the birthplace of some of the oldest civilizations that have directly influenced everything you see in your day-to-day life in the United States. Europe is the Beatles of rock-and-roll-often imitated, never duplicated, and the foundation of so much of the music we have in our iPods today.

In fact, music is a great metaphor for Europe's place in the world-you can still enjoy the classical, tribal and traditional music of centuries past, listen to icons like the Rolling Stones, or rock out to Franz Ferdinand-Europe has it all!

If you enjoyed your childhood trip to Epcot Center, traveling from "country to country," tasting the food, shopping the products, listening to the music, then a study abroad program in Europe may be for you. And because European colleges often cost less than American ones, the high cost of the Euro may not even be a factor.

So read the rest of this article, gather some helpful information and choose the program in the country that works best for you.

 A Continent of Choices

Since nearly 50 countries make up the world region of Europe, it's easiest to break it into eastern and western halves. There are obviously too many countries to go into detail about each, so here's a snapshot of what you have to choose from when you study abroad in Europe:

 Study abroad destinations in Eastern Europe include:

Study abroad destinations in Western Europe include:

All you have to do is simply look at a map to realize just how many study abroad opportunities Europe has to offer.

Design Your Own European Experience

One thing you'll find that all European countries have in common is the difference in higher education in comparison to the good old US-of-A:

  • European countries are trying to streamline their system of higher ed with the Bologna Declaration, which will include quality assurance, comparable degrees and a common credit system
  • The styles of courses and teaching will vary with each country, but luckily for you, you'll find plenty of programs that are taught in English
  • Whether learning a foreign language or studying any other discipline, you'll get a multicultural take on all that you learn

Europe is so stuffed with international students that you will make new friends from all over the world. Take that chance and step out of your potentially limited, American outlook on the world and study abroad in one of the many countries in Eastern or Western Europe. Sure, study abroad programs in London and study abroad programs in Paris are obvious choices, but if you want a destination that's less played-out, you'll find it in countries like Malta and Portugal, or even just other cities like Lyon (right outside Paris).

  • Visit the homeland of Bjork-Iceland-where geography students can study the rocky landscapes and steaming sulphur springs
  • Students of religion can study in Malta, with its many churches-but those Mediterranean beaches and hot nightlife will keep them busy as well
  • Travel to Portugal and learn the language, and students of history will be charmed by the historic villages with ancient buildings and fortresses
  • Lyon, France is almost as internationalized as Paris, but is also strictly French; or if you want to study French but don't want to go to France, consider Senegal, Africa
  • But some students who study abroad in Europe would rather travel to one of the "rock stars" of Europe, countries like England, France, Italy and Greece. Who doesn't want to walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, climb the Eiffel Tower, taste the best pasta in the world or see mythology in real life?

East vs. West

Just as we in the U.S. distinguish the right and left coasts when it comes to culture, landscape and society, you've got a decision to make: Study abroad in Eastern Europe or study abroad in Western Europe? Whichever side of the coin you choose, you'll face even more decisions!

A study abroad program in Eastern Europe could have you:

  • Exploring the Czech Republic's capital of Prague, a medieval-style city that architecture students will drool over, with a modern nightlife that has helped it become a favorite study abroad destination
  • Sweating in a sauna up in Santa's home country of Finland
  • Studying ecology or environmental science in the bustling Polish city of Krakow

A study abroad program in Western Europe could have you:

  • Catching a bullfight or learning flamenco dance in Madrid
  • Raging the after-hours scene or buckling down for some earth science study in Denmark's Copenhagen
  • Following ancient footsteps in a walk back in time through the streets of Rome

No matter what, studying abroad in Europe will offer a stellar education and enough excitement to keep you from playing video games or watching YouTube videos all day!

So, You Want to Explore Europe?

Just because you decide to study abroad in one specific European country doesn't mean you're stuck there. When you think about Europe, think about it in these terms: while Europe is just over 200,000 miles larger in area than the United States, it has about the same number of countries as the U.S. has states. So what's it to you? Well, for starters, it's an invitation to adventure. Consider how long it would take to drive from the famous bagels of New York City, to the baked beans of Boston, which is about 200 miles. You can travel from the crème brules of Paris, to the fish and chips of London in roughly the same amount of time! And it doesn't have to cost you a whole lot! You can take a bus, train or airplane at discounted student rates:

  • EasyJet and Ryanair offer discounted flights to students
  • Get a little closer to the locals and travel cheaper than by air or rail with a Busabout pass
  • Travel Europe the most popular way-by train, with passes from Eurolines or Eurail

So many students hop on the rails when they study abroad in Europe that a ride is truly an international experience. You can score different deals depending on how long you want a pass for, the number of countries you want to visit and the flexibility of travel days.

For example, Eurail passes can get you to and from up to 22 countries, and you can buy single or multi-country passes, or a pass for as little as a few days. Students and European residents love the rails because trains are known to be on time and they are more comfortable than buses-you can even get a sleeping car for some extra cash!

With all you know now, there's really no reason not to consider a study abroad program in Europe. Come on, leave your comfort zone and get out into the world. With the way the world's cultures continue to spread and mix, you're going to behind the times if you don't.