American Students Are Moving To Europe To Afford College

By Kayla Meyertons

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With even UT’s recent tuition increase, it’s no wonder that college students are now searching for cheaper academic alternatives through trade schools and community colleges.

But Hannah Remo, Hunter Newsome and Chelsea Workman, have discovered a place where student loans and high tuition costs are a thing of the past.

And that place is right across the pond in Europe.

After a year-and-a-half of student loans and public school tuition that Chelsea Workman dropped out of Ohio State University and took the next flight to Germany.

Hunter Newsome, from California, also decided to go to college in Europe. He chose college in Estonia over the University of California, Davis and saved more than $10,000 a year on tuition. He plans to earn his bachelor’s degree in International Relations in three years.

Hannah Remo took the leap across the pond, as well, and told CNN, “I 100 percent have my heart set on staying in Europe. I disagree with the way a lot of things are run at home. It blows my mind that college is so expensive in the U.S. It makes me think that I don’t want to raise a family there.”

According to CNN Money, all public colleges in Germany, Iceland, Norway and Finland are free for residents and international students. Some private schools in the European Union don’t charge for tuition either, and in an attempt to attract more foreign students, many European schools include academic programs available entirely in English.

In addition, there are at least 44 schools across Europe where Americans can earn their bachelor’s degree for free, according to Jennifer Viemont, the founder of an advising service called Beyond The States.

Compared to the U.S., these rates are phenomenal. The average cost of American tuition excluding room and board is $9,410 at public colleges and $32,405 at private colleges.

The majority of programs in Europe charge less than $2,225 a year, according to Viemont. Some of the highest tuition for international students is in the Netherlands, but it still does not cross the $10,000 threshold.

Scholarships certainly make quite a difference for some American college students. Public schools end up costing an average of $4,000 when scholarships and grants are taken into account. But still, that’s $4,000 more than free.

Free tuition is not the only plus to going to college in Europe. Students receive the benefits of learning a new language, travel opportunities and working in a global economy from a very young age. Moreover, average room and board in America costs around $10,000, but students studying abroad only pay a couple hundred dollars a month. Room and board are not provided by the university.

Students, however, may find less employment opportunities back in the States after their time in Europe, and there are limited dining halls for meals. Students must also apply for a residency permit or visa and in some countries and have health insurance as well.

Overall, getting a college degree in Europe seems like a pretty sweet deal. What UT student would turn down free tuition?

Well, unless that meant leaving the Forty Acres, of course.