The ROI on European Grad School: Why Grads Opted for European Graduate Programs

By Brittany Trilford

NYU Abu Dhabi alumni are increasingly pursuing graduate school in Europe. In fact, 44 percent of those in graduate school sought out Western Europe for their future education, which is 33 percent more than last year. The diversification of locations for further study beyond North America is becoming more common as student loans in the US rise and European universities invest in English language Masters programs. Graduate schools in Europe can carry a very ‘Veni, vidi, vici’ reality. In Europe, students come, see and conquer their top graduate programs without the high tuition, living costs, and volatile visa policies of the North American market.

The majority of masters programs in Europe take one year, cost significantly less in tuition, and offer very different standards of living and support for students, including financial aid structures and government subsidies. With 70 percent of NYUAD grads in graduate school awarded scholarships and funding, NYUAD graduates are eager to invest in programs that invest in their potential.

Bence Almasi, Class of 2019.

Ahmed Meshref became fascinated with Europe through the Europe In Crisis course in his final year, which he regards as a highlight of his four years at NYUAD. He had the opportunity to engage personally with key policymakers around Europe about Brexit as decisions were being made. Now, he studies International Economic Policy at Sciences Po and is invested in adjusting to European life himself. European campuses offer students a robust network and context for their learning. From the eclectic urban cafes of Paris, to Southampton’s typical seaside town, graduate schools in Europe are steeped in history.

Bence Almasi, a native of Hungary, reflects on the familiarity of Europe — he appreciates living in a European city. He credits his time in Abu Dhabi as rich with “many events, people, and classes that were meaningful and changed me.” Student life in Europe offers the opportunity to extend learning beyond the classroom into different languages and cultures while still being able to study in English.

European programs emphasize self-motivation and independence in learning, which builds on the project based integrated learning they experience at NYUAD. Curriculum structures are fluid, with the onus of education being on developing personal paths and specialisations through more course choices. This aligns with a liberal arts undergraduate program very well, as Nela Noll explains, “At NYUAD I was able to do more than simply understand knowledge from textbooks or lectures. I learned how to analyze and process knowledge alongside knowledge systems of other disciples. This helped me understand the material in a broader, more global and holistic way”.

I was extremely privileged to receive my formal training by world-class economists and political scientists, interact with them on a personal level, and do research under their tutelage.

Ahmed Meshref, Class of 2019

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