College students longing to immerse themselves in another culture are the perfect candidates to study abroad. There are factors to consider when making such a faraway move, however. Here are five European cities with high marks for students seeking a foreign education experience.
Uppsala, the capital of Uppsala County, has about 210,000 residents. It is the fourth largest city in Sweden and is less than 50 miles from Sweden’s capital of Stockholm.
Uppsala is home to Uppsala University, Sweden’s first university. It is the second highest ranking institution in the country and is known for its medical research. Founded in 1477, it has rich traditions with the annual Walpurgis Eve being the largest event for students.
One tradition is the Flogsta roar, where students in Uppsala’s residential area of Flogsta open their windows at 10 p.m. and scream.
Students can easily bike around Uppsala and the atmosphere is of a reserved, quiet life.
The 13 student nations are active in keeping Swedish traditions including gasques, which are formal dinners, theatre clubs and spring balls.
Uppsala students are given a Mercenat card, which allows discounts on many necessary items. It can be combined with a nation membership to gain entry into nation events.
Poland jumped into growth in the 1990s after the Soviet Union collapsed. It is the most affordable European city for foreign students and has really cheap beer.
It is extremely traditional. Politeness is highly valued. Most Poles are Roman Catholic, but there are a number of minority groups including Germans and Roma, commonly known as Gypsies.
The University of Warsaw is Poland’s largest university and offers 37 courses of study. It has a strong Erasmus Program, which brings students from all over Europe to study.
The university has a yearly festival, Juwenalia, held before summer exams. Classes are canceled for students to take a break to party.
Heidelberg University was founded in 1386. The city boasts of architecture, as its historical buildings didn’t suffer the destruction during World War II like other German cities.
Heidelberg University regularly makes news for its biology, cancer research and its astronomy findings. It is close, one to three hours away, from major German cities so day trips are easy.
Students can visit Philosopher’s Walk, located in the southern part of the city. The area is known to be a place where professors go to ponder.
Heidelberg was an inspiration to people like writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, British landscape artist William Turner and American humorist Mark Twain.
Bologna, Italy is the site of the first university in the world with the University of Bolgna founded in 1088. Great thinkers such as Dante, Petrarca, Umberto Eco all studied there.
Bologna is a metropolitan city with nearly 400,000 residents. Students can walk or bike to the city center and there are bus and trains available. The city is accessible to areas throughout northern Italy.
Local traditions include the Passeggiata in the evening, where everyone strolls city streets to window shop or socialize. There is also aperitivo hour around 7 p.m. For the cost of a drink, people can also get unlimited food.
Speaking Italian and phone features for information are necessary to live there. People will not jump in and help with directions or information. You must ask questions and make notes.
This city is college friendly with the University of Amsterdam at the center of life. Higher learning dates back to 1632. The university has 66 master’s programs, 21 research master’s programs, and 30,000 students.
Most ride bikes. There are plenty of things to do including museums like Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House. There are night clubs offering weekly club nights and dance music festivals.
With Belgium and France only a few hours away by train, students have great opportunities to expand cultural experiences.
English is spoken in Amsterdam, but there is a language barrier. Entertainment and restaurants are expensive. Crime is moderate, compared to the U.S.
Picking the right city for foreign studies depends largely on objectives. The university’s curriculum and social life, along with weather, cost, culture and opportunities all play important roles in the decision. In the end, it will be the experience of a lifetime.
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Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. She was rummaging through her grandma’s clothes before it was cool and she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, but delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88