Why being a student in the EU is awesome

As a UK citizen studying in the EU, the thought of a possible Brexit is terrifying.

I’ve been able to experience incredible opportunities that only come from studying abroad in another EU country. If all of that was taken away on June 23rd it would have a massive impact on my studies and my future career ambitions, not to mention the aspirations of thousands of other British students studying in the EU.

The free movement of citizens doesn’t just mean access to work opportunities across 28 countries; it also gives young people the chance to access education in plenty of exciting places across Europe.

EU students also pay the same tuition fees as nationals in any EU country and are able to participate in the lucrative Erasmus+ scheme, a programme that gives training and work experience to young minds.

For my university, the University of Kent, being in the EU has also allowed the university to expand and set up campuses abroad.

For me, I’ve greatly benefited from my Masters education in Brussels. Not only am I able to enjoy lectures from some of Europe’s best experts, I’ve been able to meet people from all walks of life and benefit from cheap travel across Europe. Upon graduation, I hope to work in Brussels – and with the huge amount of trainee and graduate opportunities available here I’m certainly in a great position.

But don’t just take my word for it. My colleagues at the Brussels School of International Studies have all benefited too from studying in the EU. Here’s what they had to say on why studying in the EU is so awesome:

Alex White (from Peterborough, UK): “I have had overwhelmingly positive experiences of the EU – in 2012 I went to Spain as part of the EU’s Erasmus scheme and I carried out an internship that was really useful for my professional development. I also learnt Spanish and made friends with people from all over Europe – the best thing was the confidence that moving to a foreign country alone gave me.”

Megan Beneat-Donald (Edinburgh, UK): “Being afforded the flexibility to choose to live in one country and commute to another for school day-to-day is an amazing advantage when living in the EU – the feeling of freedom is incredible.”

Camilla Jensen (Denmark): “Studying with people from other countries and backgrounds, gives students the opportunity to learn from people’s different perspectives and experiences.”

Ayhan Unlu (Turkey): “My purpose for choosing Brussels was to be close to the NATO headquarter and the EU institutions. And there are many conferences and workshops, including experts from NATO, EU etc.”

Mary-ann Uvieghara (Luton, UK): “I enjoy studying in Brussels because you get to meet a lot of people from diverse backgrounds and diverse experiences. Coming from the University of Kent in Canterbury, which also had its own share of diversity, studying in Brussels seems a richer and more intense version of that.”

Felicia Holmgren Moell (Sweden): “My parents did not have the choice or option to study abroad but thanks to the EU, I do. This leads to personal and general development, as ones understanding of foreign countries and others’ opinions expand, so does ones understanding of the world.”

Shivangi Borah (India): “For me, the best thing about studying in the heart of the EU is the sheer diversity you get exposure to. Be it language, clothing, food, or beverage; in Brussels, cultural diversity is a way of life that is celebrated rather than tolerated.”

Benni Machajdik (Austria): “What inspires me most in Brussels is the international atmosphere. You can meet people from several countries around the globe. That is what I like most abour Brussels.”

Candace Young (USA): “I like living in Brussels because of its cheap transport. It’s cheaper than most European cities.”

Laura May Skillen (Australia): “I chose to come from Australia to Brussels to study because of the amazing benefits of living and studying somewhere with such diversity. One of my favourite things is the mixture of languages, cultures, and cuisines that we get to encounter on a daily basis.”

Twitter: @kieranwatkins

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