Natascha Schmitz

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Education in Europe

Studying abroad in Europe

by Natascha Schmitz, 2010

Each year thousands of graduates consider studying abroad. This experience allows them to improve their language skills and learn about other cultures. If someone has studied e.g. in Italy, he or she may start his career in any other EU country, because since 1992 EU higher education degrees are accepted throughout the Union.
Now I present you a comparison of two countries to study abroad: Britain and Belgium. 

General facts

Great Britain
At the universities of Britain a total of 1.9 million students are enrolled. The maximum class size is around 40 people, unlike in Germany, where up to 500 students are in the auditorium.

Currently, approximately 302 000 students are registered Belgium.

Study System

Great Britain
The study in the UK consists of the general undergraduate and the postgraduate section depth, both study sections can be completed with their own academic titles.

In Belgium there are two types of institutions: the university sector is responsible for scientific training, while scientific knowledge is taught by the non-university institutions.
Requirement for studying in the Flemish part is to speak Dutch and French in the Walloon part.

Applications to universities

Great Britain
Prerequisite for admission is a graduation from school (A-levels).
The application consists of tests to verify the knowledge of English and the interviews, a kind of interview.

In Belgium the prerequisite for going to university is the Abitur, too.
In addition, students in the Walloon part must be able to speak French and students in the Flemish part must be able to speak Dutch.

Costs and Financing

Great Britain
Studying in the UK is generally more expensive than in Germany and the costs of living isn´t cheap. Fortunately there are many financial assistances: foreign-student loans, education loans or scholarships.
The average cost of £ 3,000 can be expected a year.

EU members are similar to Belgian citizens: € 500 per semester must be paid. In addition, the same possibilities exist with which one can fund the stay, as in GB.


Visa and Health Insurance

Great Britain  

EU citizens may stay up to 90 days in another European country without registration (you must be in possession of a passport or identity card when required). For longer stays, you have to get a residence permit. As soon as an EU citizen registers in time, he is automatically insured by the State Institution (National Health Service).


For longer stays you must sign in with the local government, in order to be registered as an alien. The students are still insured by the health insurance of their country. You can also benefit from Belgium's health insurance.

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