To have a good education is always great, but today in the globalized world it is even important to be educated with an international twist. The big question is then: Where and how to get it? And many will add one more key question: How much does it cost?
Well, it can be expensive. But there are ways to study at universities abroad for free! And because I believe that access to education is a human right, then in this article I will give guidance to where and how to get free university education. I will also inform about how to get an European Union visa.
Things You Will NeedOf course you have to decide which education you want, and in which of the European countries?
One of the barriers for most international students is the language. This barrier could make it obvious for many to focus upon UK because of the English language. However, good education in UK is not cheap, unless it is arranged as part of a student exchange program.
Step 1My advice is therefore to take a close look at the Scandinavian countries. They have a long practice of free education; in fact they even pay their own citizens a salary for studying instead of charging tuition fees. Many of the study programs in Denmark and Sweden are in English, and there are many international students (An extreme example is BTH, a technical university in Blekinge, Sweden where more than 50% of the students are foreigners).
Step 2Of the Scandinavian countries I recommend Sweden as the first priority. There are several reasons for this: A) It is extremely easy to search at a public (governmental) website www.studera.nu At this website all the higher educational institutions are represented with detailed information about each course, and with clear guidance about how to apply. B) The application can be made quite easily on the website and it is possible to apply (with a priority list) at several universities at the same time. C) It is free of charge to apply.
Step 3It is possible to study in Sweden at many different levels. But the best deals are the one year masters degrees courses. At the website www.studera.nu it is clearly indicated which bachelor degrees are the prerequisite for a specific program.
Step 4It is important to apply in good time before the program begins, in particular in order to get a visa (It will most often take more than one month). Information about visa to Sweden can be found at the (governmental) website www.migrationsverket.se but let me here give you some important information: A student visa to Sweden is at the same time a work permit in Sweden, and also a tourist visa to the Schengen countries (i.e. most of the countries within the European Union)
Step 5So how is the visa granted and where to apply?
A) The application has to be submitted at an Swedish embassy or consulate. B) The applicant must enclose the admittance papers from the educational institution. C) Copies of academic papers, such as Bachelor Degree Diploma. D) Proof of being able to self-support the cost of living expenses (This is most often done by a bank certificate or a statement that has to show cash-assets of a little more than $1,000 per month of the expected period of study) It is important to notice that Sweden do not accept that the money is merely covered by some kind of sponsorship; however, if the student lives with friends or family then the total amount will be reduced.
Tips & WarningsTo study at a Swedish university is very much different than to study in the USA or in Asia. The study atmosphere is extremely relaxed and friendly, the students will most likely be on first names with the professors. However, even though the study itself might be relaxed too, then do not be mistaken, because the students are expected to do more independent study and research, rather than just being instructed.
In addition to get a masters degree from some of the classic universities (such as Lund University) then maybe the most important experience is the intercultural knowledge one gets from living and studying for one year in a foreign country.