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Could studying in Europe be an answer to college affordability?

Image via Die Freie Universität Berlin Photo Archive.

Image via Die Freie Universität Berlin Photo Archive.

To avoid the debt levels of American higher education, some students have opted out.

While state elected officials and presidential candidates seek to find a way to make college more affordable, Bloomberg points to another option, where students obtain their degree in Europe.

The article begins by featuring Michael Ferrante, a 21-year-old senior at Johns Hopkins who had studied in Berlin for a year. “Ferrante said he paid $500 for two semesters at Humboldt and Die Freie Universität in Berlin and spent roughly $27,000, with financial aid, for the same amount of time at Hopkins.”

Many students are studying abroad, as American students abroad have increased by 72 percent compared to 2000-2001. And, students enrolling in colleges abroad rose 463 percent from 1975 to 2012. Many students like Ferrante, whose one regret was not applying to college in Germany in the first place, look beyond studying abroad for semester or two.

Jennifer Viemont is the co-founder of Beyond The States, a database of 350 colleges in 30 countries where students can earn degrees in English. She notes that 40 public and private colleges in Europe offer degrees in English for free, and 98 more offer degrees for less than $4,000 a year. European colleges want Americans because they can charge them more than non-Europeans, and it’s still cheaper than an American degree.

There are other factors to consider, of course. While students may save on tuition, they have to consider living situations not like an American dormitory, and the cost of traveling home. Viemont also notes there isn’t much information. “I was shocked that there isn’t the European equivalent of a Princeton Review or a Fiske Guide because there’s so much information [in the U.S.],” she wrote.

As more students find out about opportunities abroad, they might flock to any chance at an affordable college degree. Especially if it’s in Europe, with another language and culture to experience.

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