Design Your Life

Save Money & Study in Europe

By Travel Noire

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Are you thinking about getting a master’s degree? Do you love to travel? Do you dream of spending a year abroad? Have you ever considered combining your educational and travel pursuits?

If the answer is yes to any of the above then you are probably aware that each of these endeavors impose serious financial implications, but before you write off those ideas as unaffordable or impractical, I have some questions..

What if you could travel around Europe and complete a masters at the same time, all for the same price as a year of your undergraduate studies? (or for less than the price of one semester if you went to a private school like myself). Even better, what if you were able to get help with funding from the US to do it? Because it’s definitely possible!

Why go to graduate school at all? Aside from the fact that learning is fun, we are living in a world where the singular worth of undergraduate degrees is decreasing and as such, a master’s degree looks really good on paper and can make you stand out from the crowd. In fact, in today’s job market, masters degrees are often a prerequisite for many jobs. Of course, one of the main reasons that deters people from furthering their education after college is that graduate school (especially in the United States) is so expensive.

So, why not do a Master’s Degree in Europe?

In general, education in Europe is much cheaper than the United States, and can mean that the combined cost including international tuition fees, airfare, and accommodation to and from Europe can often work out cheaper than studying in the United States.


If you’re thinking this sounds too good to be true, you should know that I’ve already lived it. I did my master’s in the UK and my tuition was around £9,500, that’s the equivalent of about $15,600! After taking into account airfare, course materials, living expenses and extra travel for the 15 months that I lived in the UK I spent around $25,000 upon completion of my masters! My undergraduate tuition per year was half of that.

Unfortunately, since I completed my master’s in 2012, tuition fees for international students in the UK has gone up to around £12,500. This is still not bad at all in comparison with study in the US, but what if I told you it is possible to take an even more cost-effective route?

What I didn’t know until after I finished my studies is that most of mainland Europe provides even more affordable education and has an insane amount of master’s degrees in the English language, some of which are at the most prestigious universities in Europe!

At Vrije Universiteit Brussels in Brussels, Belgium, international tuition fees for master’s degrees are €3,770 a year,  that’s roughly the equivalent of roughly around $5,425! International fees for a master’s degree at the Université du Luxembourg are just €400 per year!

Are you interested in doing a Masters of Public Health Program?

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tuition costs $15,531 a semester so by the time you’ve finished your degree, you will have spent around $62,124 on tuition alone. However, if you are an EEA national –a member or the EU or the European Economic Area (or if you are married to an EEA national like I am) and interested in doing an MPH in Sweden, tuition costs are absolutely free of charge and international students will pay only €16,750 per year which works out at a total cost of $45,432 on tuition.

And finally, anyone completing an MBA in the US at a public institution will likely spend around $107,992 on tuition before adding those three letters to the back of their name, whereas international tuition fees for an MBA at the University of Amsterdam costs just €12,000 in total, that’s 19,704 USD!

As you can see from these examples, studying outside of the United States often works out to be much more affordable, so why not make it an adventure? During my studies I was able to get some valuable international work experience that allowed me to travel around Europe for next to nothing. I visited 7 countries over the course of 10 months and even fell in love, so if you ask me, doing my Master’s degree abroad was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, hands down.

If you would like more information, I recommend checking out https://www.mastersportal.eu/, this is an excellent starting point that helps you explore the possibilities of masters degrees, PHDs and even Bachelor degrees abroad.

This story was curated by Erica Bailey

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