This section is for students, and those, who are thinking of taking up studies in another EU country.
GEnerally, each EU country has its own set of rules regarding foreign students, and although we cannot list all information here, we can give you some hints as to where you may inform yourself further.
The options we find most interesting and attractive are described broadly below in chapters:
Ploteus (Portal on Learning Opportunities throughout the European Space) is an European portal dedicated to education issues. Ploteus should be your first source of information in the field of education.
To name just a few options, in Ploteus, you can find information on learning opportunities and training possibilities available throughout the European Union. This section contains a lot of links to web sites of universities and higher education institutions, databases of schools and vocational training and adult education courses. You can learn and compare European education and training systems. Moreover, you ca gain the precious knowledge about exchange programmes and grants (Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates, Tempus) available in European countries.
Apart from that, it provides you with all the necessary knowledge you need when moving abroad.
Check out europa.eu.int/ploteus/portal/home.jsp for its precious tips.
The idea of Socrates programme has already been described on the occasion of professional training. In this chapter, however, we will focus on educational approach.
Socrates targets are forums of learning, ranging from nursery school to university. This includes adult education, which often involves more informal pathways.
A couple of parts of the programme are of our interest here - Comenius and ERASMUS.
1. Socrates Comenius (school education)
There are two types of initiatives involved. The first one so-called "school projects"; enabling schools (at least three schools from three participating countries) to work on a theme or project of common interest. Projects run for up to three years, with one of the partners acting as a co-ordinator. These are usually international exchanges. Pupils, together with their teachers go to another country to prepare a project with European thematic. The second one is "language projects" involves two schools from two European countries and focus on the learning of foreign languages. The main concept is the same as that of ‘school projects’, although students must be at least 14-years-old to be eligible for this exchange.
You will find more details about the programme at: europa.eu.int/comm/education/programmes/socrates/comenius/index_en.html oasis.gov.ie/education/european_education_programmes/comenius.html
2. Socrates ERASMUS (higher education)
Socrates Erasmus is a programme that principally enables the exchange of students between different European institutions of higher education (generally universities). To be taken for the Erasmus programme you must be enrolled in formal higher education which will lead to a degree, and you must have completed at least the first year of your studies. Your university International Relations Office should have more information, and if your university is already participating in the programme, the project coordinator will have more information.
For more details consult following websites:
The German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) is one of the world's largest and most respected organisations in its field. The DAAD supports and promotes all areas relating to science, research, language, teaching and much more.
Its programmes range from short-term exchanges for research or teaching purposes through to doctoral scholarships lasting several years for graduates from developing countries; from information visits by delegations of foreign university vice chancellors through to the long-term regional programmes conceived to establish efficient higher education systems in the Third World.
On Daad’s web page: daad.de/deutschland/index.en.html you will find various tools, that may be of your interest. You can search a course for yourself with „Studien- & Berufswahl" and choose a university from the guide provided; check-out the ranking of German educational institutions; get to know adequate admissions’ conditions; search a scholarship in a special database. Finally, read about living and studying in Germany. Generally speaking, a highly professional web page full of extremely useful hints. Surely, the top information source if you are planning to study in Germany.
Eurydice is an information network on education in Europe. Its tasks are gathering, monitoring, processing and circulating reliable and comparable information on education systems and policies throughout Europe. It covers the education systems of the UE, EFTA, and the EU candidate countries involved in the Socrates Programme. The network offers to its users Eurybase. It is a highly detailed database – the only one of its kind – on all education systems within the network. It covers all stages of education: from pre-primary education to higher education and life-long development possibilities, together with theoretical background and evaluation. Additionally, it contains a very useful compact guide of political, social and economic background and trends of each country.
The information is available in English, French and German.
Find out more about the region of your interest under: www.eurydice.org
Outside the recognised EU programmes, there are various ways in which you can finance your education. Nowadays most universities co-operate on an international level and provide various scholarships. Contact a proper department at your university and check the possibilities.
It is also a good idea to make an effort and search for private sponsors. Some of big, international companies include scholarship funds in their budgets (e.g. YAMAHA Music Foundation of Europe (YMFE) awards outstanding young musicians; Goldman Sachs launches GS Scholars for promising young students from historically underrepresented groups to introduce them to the world of business and finance; The Robert Bosch Foundation’s yearly grants are counted in tens of millions of euros). You can also try your luck in applying for memorial scholarships, although this is rather an American speciality. These are usually smaller, and mostly one-time grants.
Of course, you are encouraged to make a broad internet research. There are various scholarship databases available through the internet. Apart from a very popular Daad’s resource, that has already been mentioned, you will also find databases of different universities or national education agencies.
If you do not have any luck in applying for a Socrates project or getting a scholarship, you can always try to finance your education by means of a students' loan.
These loans (supported by a state) are different, some are offered by banks. They have low interest rate and comfortable repayment conditions. The detailed terms vary from country to country, but in general the condition remains the same: you can study peacefully, not worry that interests will eat you and you start paying back, when your incomes allow you to.
Check the rules applicable for your country at your university.