During the 2011–2012 academic year, more than 250,000 students took part in ERASMUS, the European exchange programme. This figure indicates how popular studying abroad is among European students.
‘But study abroad involves high tuition fees, doesn’t it?’ you might ask yourself. The answer is: not necessarily. It depends on the country you choose.
In order to make a final decision about study abroad, you have to know exactly what studying in your desired country costs. In Europe, tuition fees vary widely from country to country. Danish students, for example, don’t have to pay anything for attending university. Germany has mostly abolished the tuition fees introduced only a few years ago. UK universities, by contrast, are still very costly. With fees of about € 11,000 per year, the UK is the most expensive place to study in Europe. The European Commission provides an overview of European tuition fees and financial aid opportunities for each member country. The overview is available in a study run by Eurydice. When looking at Masters programmes outside of Europe, keep in mind that US universities are definitely the most expensive places to study: tuition fees start at approximately € 4,000 per semester.
The idea of the European Union is to facilitate cooperation among its Member States, also including the field of education. This means that European students are entitled to take up a study course in any other EU country. Moreover, EU students studying in another EU country pay the same tuition fee as domestic students. Conversely, non-EU students will be charged higher fees than domestic or EU students. In the Netherlands, for example, a student from Belgium has to pay €1,906 (as of 2014) for one academic year, whereas a student from Russia pays at least €5,000, depending on the study course.