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Higher education in state colleges or universities is shrouded in mystery. The people who are already studying, avoid describing the details about the application and admission process, making up the following excuses: it happened one year ago, they do not remember which papers they submitted, there are a lot of different situations, so their experience might not help another person. But those who do share their experiences tend to do more harm than good because they ignore such details as a year, country, the name of a university or college, or give inaccurate information.


Especially mysterious are free education, scholarships and visa extension after the studies. It is quite obvious because most countries set quotas for foreigners, the number of scholarships is limited, and all the applicants become competitors.


For several years my company "" has been preparing documents for applying to state colleges and universities of 14 EU countries (11 of which provide non-EU citizens with free education). While talking to you, I encounter typical myths that are caused by the lack of accurate information and prevent studying in Europe.


Let us consider them one by one:


1. It is quite expensive to study in Europe. It is true about England, Cyprus and private colleges and universities. But the education in the state institutions of 11 EU countries (Austria, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Norway, Poland, Finland, France, the Czech Republic) costs foreigners from 0 to 870 Euros per year. But it is private EU institutions that are promoted in Russia, on the Internet, at exhibitions and in magazines. Most Russian companies are representatives of private colleges and universities as it is easier. They need a contract with an institution and 10% for each applicant; they even don't have to charge you for their services or process papers. Besides, the school can pay for arranging an exhibition in Russia or Ukraine. But it is, of course, you who have TO PAY for the education in those private institutions which will cost you 7,000 - 18, 000 Euros and give a limited number of rights (for example, no right to work). State colleges and institutions have an issue with papers, they won't pay for applicants or promotion in a magazine, nor will they give money for presentations or exhibitions. But the prices make the difference, for example, you can see the following advertisements: "affordable higher education in Greece from 8,000 Euros (higher education in state Greek institutions will cost you 400 Euros per year) or "to study design in an Italian college or university only for 9,000 Euros per year" (state higher education in Italy will cost people on middle incomes 0-700 Euros per year).


2. Only immigrants go to study in Europe. Yes, studies in the countries that provide free education remain a convenient way to immigrate, since it enables students to live in a country for several years, to get a diploma recognized in this country, and then to apply for a work permit. On the other hand, a European diploma and a proficient knowledge of one or two foreign languages often meet the requirements of many international companies in Russia and Europe that offer their applicants senior positions.


3. European education is poorer than Russian or Ukrainian education. Post-soviet education is based on the principle: the more a specialist knows, the more efficient this specialist is. In Europe the emphasis is placed on practice rather than only theory. Thus, in such spheres as applied mathematics or nuclear physics our specialists are in high demand. But European diplomas give more practical skills on most applied subjects, therefore more opportunities to find a job.


4. In EU countries subjects are taught in a native language. Yes, it would be weird, if a country did not provide higher education in its mother tongue. Nevertheless, EU Master's programmes afford studies in English, the tuition depends on a country. Anyway, even in this case you will faster acquire the conversational language of the country you are going to.


5. It is incredibly difficult to enter an EU state college or university. The requirements strongly depend on a country. In some countries you need to have several years of studies in your native country, to be proficient in language and take entrance tests, while in other countries you can be admitted without any tests or exams on the basis of your average score of your school leaving certificate.


6. It is not possible to be admitted to a state institution with my Russian school leaving certificate or diploma.The requirements vary. What is really impossible is to transfer from a Russian institute or university to a European one without losing years of studies. To become a first-year student is possible for everyone.


7. I won't receive a visa. Yes, if you apply for a visa to study at language courses or a private school, there is a possibility of refusal. Because the visa centre is aware that if you have paid - you are admitted. But if you have gone through the procedure of entering a state institution and you have a letter of acceptance from the Ministry, your application can be rejected in case you did not submit a complete pack of documents. Besides, this rejection would not be commented on by 'without giving a reason', which means you are using the excuse 'studies' for a different purpose.


8. I cannot work during my studies. Students who do a Bachelor's or Master's degrees at state colleges and universities are entitled to working in most EU countries or to getting paid for in-company training. But if you study or do a programme at a private institution, this right may not be given.


9. I am to come back to my native country after my studies. If you do a Bachelor's or Master's degrees at state institutions, you can stay to work. If you do a different programme, including an exchange programme, there might be a provision that you should return.


10. Nobody needs us in Europe. It is too general. The EU has a shortage of highly qualified specialists who are ready to work and pay taxes. As the deputy minister of migration noted: 'We do not need potential dependents who will be using beneficial social programmes financed by the taxpayers of Denmark'. Any EU country can say the same.


To conclude, free education is accessible to everyone, but nobody will tell you about it at an exhibition on European education in an expensive hotel in Russia or Ukraine or write about it in a popular magazine, because this education benefits only YOU, while the institutions already have a huge number of students. We consult and prepare documents for applying to state colleges and universities of the EU countries that provide free education: Austria, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Norway, Poland, Finland, France, the Czech Republic.


Further queries and details:
Skype: HannaShumska
Office: +302288021124 (9.00-15.00 Moscow Time)
Mobile: +306980703826 (Eng, Rus, Gr)


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