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Moving to a new country is among the most exciting steps in anyone's life. You change your home, immerse yourself in a new culture and language, cross out your comfort zone and grow—literally and figuratively. If the reason for your move is education and you are among the enthusiasts planning to study in a foreign city on the Old Continent, then hopefully the following lines will help you make an informed and well-thought-out decision on where to go. Let's dive into our list of the ten best cities to study abroad in Europe. Whichever you choose, Movega Removals will be your trusted relocation partner!

The best cities to study abroad in Europe: Different aspects to consider

The dilemma of whether to break away from their hometown and continue their education abroad excites many high school students. For some, the answer is definitely yes. These are the adventurous extroverts, looking for new friendships, the opportunity for independence, and the chance to make their dreams come true. We are sure there are those among you who want to become experienced professionals, and above all are looking for quality when it comes to higher education. Here are the different aspects to consider when choosing the best city to study in Europe:

Quality of education: A factor largely linked to a successful career and a job in a dream company or position. There are standout leaders among European cities in terms of the quality of higher education, the practices in place, and the priorities of students: from the ability to preserve your mental health, to prioritising teamwork and extracurricular employment options to support yourself.

Diversity of institutions (or curricula): Having a variety of institutions concentrated in one city (or country) ensures adaptability if you decide to change your original field of study. It is also linked to the wealth of study programmes tailored to your interests.

Affordability: For many prospective students, affordability is a top priority when choosing a city in which to study. Are there free programs available? Does the country encourage international students? Does it alleviate some of their costs through scholarships, for example? These are all questions you should ask yourself when researching alternatives for university.

Affordability of life: A criterion that is linked to the previous point. Indeed, higher education is a time-consuming task that requires dedication. Many students find it difficult to combine it with work, and hence paying the bills becomes unmanageable. In this regard, we are going to tell you more about the most affordable European cities to upgrade your education.

Socialization opportunities: If social interaction is your priority, we will certainly offer different alternatives for cities with distinct communities of students. Student years are some of the sweetest in life, and accompanied by the right friends, they become an unforgettable memory.

Multilingual opportunities: Want to continue your education in English or another language you feel confident in? Don't worry! We've researched the topic, and our ranking includes the best cities to study abroad in Europe in this aspect too.

Our list: The best cities to study abroad in Europe

Based on the criteria listed above and on individual characteristics, we have selected ten of the most promising cities, prominent leaders in terms of higher education in Europe. Here's which they are:

Madrid: A hub of academic excellence in Europe

Famous for its so-called "intercambios" or exchange programmes for students, Madrid attracts young people from all over the world, with the most pronounced communities of American students. The standard of living in the city is high. Although not among the most affordable options in terms of rent prices and student program fees (ranging between 1,000 and 3,500 euros per year at public universities), the Spanish capital offers plenty of opportunities related to youth socialization and Spanish language improvement. It is Europe's leading economic and cultural centre. Among the most famous universities in Madrid are The Autonomous University of Madrid (identified as the best for studying subjects such as Law, Chemistry, Biology, and Medicine), Charles III University of Madrid (known for its business focus), and Complutense University of Madrid: one of the oldest universities offering over 200 individual programmes in fields such as Media and Communications, Computer science, and Pedagogy. In addition to a wealth of educational programs, Madrid offers unique architecture, favourable weather, and centuries of cultural heritage. And when it comes to higher education in Spain, regarded as one of the highest qualities in Europe, Valencia, Barcelona, and Seville also rank among the most popular educational destinations.

Lisbon: Where tradition meets innovation

Portugal is a country that ranks at the top in indicators such as safety of life, economy, business opportunities, and quality of education. Lisbon boasts as many as 32 universities and nearly 700 education programmes. Among the most common majors are Management, Sociology, Engineering, Technology, Psychology, and Economics. The universities with the highest quality education in Lisbon include two public universities: the University of Lisbon and New University of Lisbon, as well as the private Catholic University of Portugal. The Portuguese capital is considered as one of the most affordable student destinations, and the cost of tuition is estimated to be around 4500 euros per year. Like Madrid, Lisbon also offers ancient architecture, a rich cultural heritage and pleasant weather.

Berlin: The epicentre of learning and creativity in Europe

Among the ten best cities for studying in Europe is Berlin. This cosmopolitan city boasts over 40 universities and colleges. The largest among them are the Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University, and the Technical University of Berlin. The German capital is characterised by high academic standards, and the job market favours the technology industry and the development of start-ups. Living standards are high and prices are affordable. A distinctive feature of higher education in Berlin is that most undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are free (only an administration fee is paid) and students enjoy preferential fares on public transport, for example. There are also many programmes conducted entirely in English in the German capital. With a multicultural community of young people and a highly developed art industry, Berlin also attracts many international artists. Opportunities for leisure activities are many and definitely help students to adapt and make new contacts and friends.

Munich: A blend of tradition and cutting-edge education in Europe

Munich is home to two of the world's top-ranked German universities: LMU Munich, and the Technical University of Munich. LMU Munich is the oldest educational institution in Bavaria with high-quality teaching and research activities. The university offers double-degree programs and has many highly qualified professors. Graduates of the Technical University of Munich described as an "entrepreneurial university", have gone on to engineering positions at companies such as Audi, BMW, and Siemens. Both universities have programmes conducted in English (although a knowledge of German at least at a beginning level is recommended). At the beginning of each semester, only a so-called 'semester-enrolment' fee of 100 to 300 euros is paid. Programmes in Applied sciences, Business, Art, and Biology are also available in Munich. In terms of quality of life, Munich is among the 10 cities with the highest standard of living, with high rents and high food prices.

a young woman posing for a photo in a European city where she studies

Amsterdam: A place with cultural diversity

Next in this ranking of the ten best cities to study in Europe is Amsterdam. The city attracts many international students, with the oldest university, the University of Amsterdam, having over 30 000 international students. The university offers over 170 programmes in English in the Humanities and Sciences, Law, Economics, and more. The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences is the largest higher education institution in the city, offering practical English programmes in areas such as Fashion, Design, and Business. Another alternative for higher education in Amsterdam is the VU University Amsterdam, known for its numerous master's programs. University fees for those coming from EU and European Economic Area member states are €2,000. As far as student life in the city is concerned, there is a large community of international students, the locals are known for their hospitality and calmness, and the city is compared to Venice for its beauty and romantic atmosphere. The costs of rent, food, transport, and leisure activities are among the most affordable in Europe.

Copenhagen: A leader in progressive education in Europe

Described as one of the happiest countries, Denmark has an excellent education system that offers many financial benefits for both local and international students. Not only does the state not charge fees for higher education, but it also pays for locals to study. Those coming from EU member states, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland can benefit from free education. The capital of Denmark has ten universities (and over 140 programmes), the most famous of which are the University of Copenhagen, the IT University of Copenhagen, the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, and the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Among the highest ranked majors are Anthropology, Public administration, and Biotechnology. As for the most thriving industries, these are technology and sustainability-related activities.

Prague: Excellent conditions for adapting to life in a new place

In this ranking of the top 10 cities to study in Europe, Prague is also among them. Higher education in the Czech Republic is free, both for locals and those coming from abroad. The only condition is to study in Czech. Although seemingly intimidating, this condition would greatly facilitate your social adaptation by teaching you a new foreign language. Programmes in English, German, and French are also available for students coming from abroad. Among the most prestigious universities in Prague are Charles University, the University of Life Sciences, and the Czech Technical University in Prague. Some of the greatest strengths of living and studying in Prague are its affordability, friendly locals, and rich historical heritage.

Geneva: Intersection between diplomacy and education

The University of Geneva is the most popular public university in the Swiss capital. It is renowned for its master's programmes in fields such as Art, Business, Natural and Social sciences. Other prestigious universities are the private IFM Business School, and the EU Business School. Although with a high standard of living (including high prices of necessities and rents), Geneva offers excellent career opportunities in many international companies.

Ghent: A hub for students of all nationalities

The Belgian city charms with its cosiness, unique architecture, and large student community. It is also known for its variety of programmes aimed at international students. Universities in Ghent include:

  • Ghent University
  • Artevelde University of Applied Sciences
  • KU Leuven
  • University College Odisee
  • LUCA School of Arts

Another advantage of the city is the excellent transport links, which provide fast and seamless connections to the surrounding cities and the capital Brussels. Ghent is also an enticing tourist destination.

Lund: Where 50% of the population is made up of students

Lund University ranks among the leaders in Europe in terms of quality of education, research, and career opportunities. In addition, there are excellent accommodation options available on the university campus (for those moving into smaller spaces, we've also picked up some storage ideas). The city is a leader in terms of higher education in Sweden, and interestingly, students make up half of its population—a statistic supporting Lund's presence among our top 10 cities to study abroad in Europe. You won't be bored during your free time either, as there are a variety of activities available, including outdoor activities and places to have fun.

If you've already chosen your dream education destination, you'll need to take care of the details of your move. In this regard, the experienced team at Movega Removals, a company with experience in as many as 33 countries, is ready to advise you. You can direct your questions straight to us via the available online contact form and chatbot function.

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