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Expand Your Horizons – Study Abroad

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 8:17
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Interested in studying abroad? There are so many locations all around the world to select from, each with great educational offerings as well as a rich cultural environment surrounding you.

This article will focus on some of the choices to be found in Europe.

Munich, in the German state of Bavaria, is a favorite choice among international students. The third largest city in Germany, with a population of approximately 1.5 million, it is home to a number of educational institutions including the Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) and the Technische Universität München (TU or TUM). Both of these schools carry the title of elite university, given to them by a selection committee composed of academics and members of the Ministries of Education and Research of the Federation and the German states. 

Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU)

Technische Universität München (TU or TUM)

Starting in October 2014, the German public universities no longer have tuition fees for their undergraduate programs, just nominal charges like student union and basic semester ticket fees. The no tuition applies to all those attending the universities, even foreign students.

Students will still need to have money for personal expenses including a residence, transportation and attending activities, so a part-time job should be considered. Some of the typical student jobs available include office work, hostess work during celebration fairs, winter street cleaning, bar work and as a courier. Foreign students can do the same, and are not required to get a work permit.

Still, some German students will decide not to seek part-time employment so they can focus of their studies or not be able to locate a job opening to fit their study schedule, but they will still need spending money. Often the German student will decide to seek a loan to cover expenses during their time at university. 


Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland, where German is the native language. This global city is among the world’s largest financial centers despite having a relatively small population, and famous for being prosperous and immaculately kept. Nestled at the edge of a lake which bears the same name and having the Alps for a backdrop, the city just sparkles.

There are a total of twenty universities, colleges and institutions of higher education in Zürich, with two of Switzerland’s most distinguished universities located there. 

The globally ranked leading university ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics university located in Zürich. This Institue has garnered Twenty-one Nobel Prizes awarded to students or professors, the most famous of whom Albert Einstein.

The University of Zürich is under the direction of the canton of Zurich, and consider the largest in Switzerland, offering the widest range of subjects and courses available at any Swiss higher education institution.

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

University of Zürich


The capital of England is London, the most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. A vibrant location embracing both the old and the new in an ever moving collage.

London’s universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in all of Europe. As reported for 2015/2016, the international student population was around 110,000, making it larger than any other city in the world.

Additionally, there are three international universities in London, five medical schools with teaching hospital affiliations, a number of business schools and many smaller institutions with specialized focus on the arts, languages, economics, music and drama plus so many other programs.
As each institution has their own admissions requirements and procedures along with fees and even their own degrees, an international student will need to contact them directly for current information.

City, University of London

King’s College London Bush House Building

 London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)


The French capital of Paris combines iconic architecture with cultural heritages and gives the international student an impressive selection of internationally ranked universities. Most will offer low tuition fees but keep in mind the high cost of high living in this world class city.

The University of Paris, often called the Sorbonne after one of the original medieval colleges, was broken up into thirteen autonomous universities in 1970, following the student demonstrations in 1968. Today, most of the campuses are located in the Latin Quarter where the old university was originally located, while others are scattered around the city and the Paris suburbs.

Paris hosts France’s highest concentration of the grandes écoles. There are fifty-five specialized centers of higher-education outside the public university structure, with most located in the Paris suburbs. 

The prestigious public universities are usually considered grands établissements, with several colleges around the city. 

University of Paris (French: Université de Paris), known as the Sorbonne 


Amsterdam is the capital and most populous municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is considered one of the top financial centers in Europe and a cultural capital in the Netherlands.

There are two universities located in Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam (Universiteit van Amsterdam), and the VU University Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit or “VU”). 

The University of Amsterdam (Universiteit van Amsterdam) is a public university, and one of the largest research universities in Europe.The university is organised into seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Science, Law, Medicine, and Dentistry, and has produced six Nobel Laureates and five prime ministers of the Netherlands.

The VU University Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit or “VU”) is a publicly funded research university which over recent decades has transformed from a small institution into a broad, research-intensive university attended by a wide variety of students of diverse backgrounds.

University of Amsterdam (Universiteit van Amsterdam)

Two images of VU University Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit or “VU”) 

Other institutions for higher education include an art school – Gerrit Rietveld Academie, a university of applied sciences – the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, and the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. Amsterdam’s International Institute of Social History is one of the world’s largest documentary and research institutions concerning social history, and especially the history of the labour movement. 

The international student has a wide number of possibilities to choose from when selecting a school in Amsterdam.


The city of Madrid is home to numerous public and private universities. Some of these institutions are among the oldest in the world, with many the most prestigious in Spain.

The only university run by the central government of Spain, the The “National Distance Education University”, in Spanish Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), has as its mission the public service of higher education through the method of distance education. They are a leader of cutting edge technologies applied to learning, with the largest offer of virtual courses in Spain.

The Complutense University of Madrid (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) is the second largest university in Spain, and one of the oldest universities in the world. Located on two campuses, Complutense serves the population of students who select Madrid as their residency during their study abroad period. For example, students from the United States might go to Madrid on a program like API (Academic Programs International) and study at Complutense for an intense immersion into the Spanish Language. The beautiful setting of the campus allows students living temporarily in Madrid to have access to all of the city’s public features including Retiro Park, El Prado Museum and more.

Complutense University of Madrid (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

Other institutions include the Technical University of Madrid (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid), the top technical university in Spain, the Autonomous University of Madrid (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) recognized for its research strengths in theoretical physics and the Charles III University of Madrid (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid) whose Business Administration, Economics degree is ranked top among those offered by public or private universities in Spain.

The list goes on, giving the international student many educational options to select from in a world rich in opportunities.

Suggest using Wikipedia to inquire about any of these world cities and universities. 

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