Studying abroad in Europe vs studying in the US

If you are lucky enough to get the option to study abroad for a year during your degree – go for it! If this is something you know you want to do then make sure you apply to a university that offers this as part of the course.

When it comes to deciding your location, there are a few things you might want to take into consideration. America is a big winner when picking a locations alongside different cities in Europe. So, to make your choice you will want to look at all the differences and see which suits you best!

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The main differences

There are many differences when it comes to choosing to take your studies to Europe to the US. The main differences include the cost of the course, the type of degree and campus life.

Cost of the course

It is mostly the case that universities in Europe offer cheaper fees. It is possibly cheaper to do your whole degree in a different European city rather than sticking to your home country. All English-taught bachelor’s programmes in continental Europe cost an average of $7000 per year (an average of £5600 – dependant on exchange rates [date: 19.01.2023]). The cost of an undergraduate degree for an international student sits between £11,000 and £60,000 depending on the type of course and college.

Of course, as an international student, you will incur additional costs in travelling to and from home during holidays and for possible visits. Despite this, the savings from lower tuition combined with completing a degree in three years rather than four (which would be the cost in the US) would more than outweigh this.

Cost of living

Be sure to research the cost of living in the different cities you are offered to do your year abroad at. Some European cities can be much more expensive than others.


Additionally, universities will offer different types of accommodation. Dorm life is an important aspect of the student experience in the US. Students frequently share a dorm with at least one roommate. You will see this in lots of US films and TV series’ that freshmen are frequently housed in dormitories.

Comparing this to European universities, living in a dorm is not very common. Lots of students tend to live in houses and flats owned by private landlords. Some universities will have a hall of residence like the UK does. So, it just depends what sort of living situation interests you the most.

Life outside your course

Sports, sports and more sports! US universities have a huge sports presence,  particularly football. Sports games form a bit part of life outside of your course, college football games are massive social events at the majority of large campuses. The US has many great opportunities to get involved and join lots of different sports including football, cheerleading, softball and lots more. The US often offers scholarships in sports. So, if this is a bit of you then the US is the way to go!

Sports in European universities is a lot less of a thing. Universities in England have the BUCS league and some universities take part in varsity. But the events are nowhere near the scale of sports events in the US. Colleges and universities in Europe are viewed more commonly as centres for learning with sport as something on the side. Football is extremely popular in Spain and Italy, but not many of them take part in any leagues.

Type of degree

Undoubtedly, for some people, choosing a certain field of study right out of high school might be intimidating. Both the United States and Europe have long-standing higher education institutions. The United States, for example, has hundreds of liberal arts institutions, but Europe just has a handful. Many students considering a university course in the US are drawn to the large variety of schools available compared to the lack of these options. If you go to study in the UK, you can study at big public research schools or smaller private liberal arts colleges.

Campus living

A lot more universities and colleges in Europe have their buildings spread across cities and towns. Compared to the US that most have campuses. So, it really depends what you are looking for! As well as this, in the US there are sometimes more requirements of the course such as general education that mean you have to spend time in different buildings.

Using Jamworks whilst studying abroad

Wherever you attend university in your study year, or if you choose a university abroad to go to full time, don’t forget Jamworks! You can use Jamworks anywhere in the world. Make sure to use it to re-watch your lectures and download a transcript to aid your revision and study sessions. Studying aboard can offer lots of opportunities so use Jamworks to make the most of your time there!

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