One of the most exciting (and sometimes overwhelming) things about going to grad school abroad is actually finding the right program. Europe is a big continent of about 50 countries, each offering dozens, if not hundreds, of graduate programs. So where do you start?
Before you begin, ask yourself what your ultimate goal is. What is is that you want to get out of the experience? Answering this question will help you guide as you begin eliminating programs from the massive list.
Next, set aside enough time to thoughtfully and intentionally narrow down your options until you reach your Top 5 programs (these are the programs you’ll likely end up applying to). Follow the 3 steps outlined below to begin the process:
STEP 1 | Choose a focus. The first round of eliminations relates to the curriculum. At this point, you’ll want to think about what you want to study. Specifically, do you want to gain expertise in a specific country/region or discipline?
STEP 2 | Investigate your options. In other words, start Googling and see what’s out there. I recommend starting out by identifying the top programs in your subject area (either by discipline or a specific country/region). You can easily do this by viewing university rankings websites like this one and this one. Choose 10-15 top programs to start your list. You can always add more later if you feel the top 10-15 programs don’t quite fit what you’re looking for.
STEP 3 | Dig deeper. Once you’ve identified the top programs, refine your list by eliminating programs based on: language of instruction; cost; curriculum; program Structure (part-time, full-time, online); etc. This is the most important part of choosing the right program because it is in this phase YOU have to decide what’s a ‘need to have’ versus a ‘nice to have’. in a program. Is is critical that you have an internship component to your grad school experience? Are you energized at the thought of study abroad? (← Yes, this is possible!) This is when you have to get real, put in the time and search for your golden ticket.
When following these steps, think about your answer to the question ‘what is your ultimate goal and make your decisions based on that answer. Just like going to grad school in the USA, you’ll want to think long and hard about what you want your experience to be like and choose a program that best aligns with your goals and expectations. The more you research now, the more likely you are to enjoy the experience once abroad.
I go into detail about how to evaluate your options (Chapter 5) and many other topics in my FREE Grad School in Europe ebook. Click on the image below to download your copy today and get clarity on navigating this exciting, yet complex process: