If you are interested in studying in Europe you will need to do your research. The first step is to identify your objectives for further study abroad.
You might want to learn another language, experience another culture or gain valuable international exposure to boost your employment prospects and open up the European job market.
Pinning down your reasons for further study will allow you to make informed decisions about both the type of course and country you choose to study in. It may be that you already have a particular postgraduate programme or country in mind.
A good place to start is the European country profiles within the international section. Each country has a dedicated postgraduate study page where you can find out more about the educational system in that country, the courses available and how and when to apply. Each profile also contains details of scholarships and exchange schemes in operation.
One possibility is to apply for an Erasmus Mundus Masters Course (EMMCs) or Joint Doctorate (EMJD). Often lasting two years (for Masters programmes) these courses are run by partnerships of universities and allow you to study towards a Masters or Doctorate at two different European institutions.The Erasmus Mundus wesbite provides a full list of Erasmus Mundus Masters offering scholarships starting in the Academic Year 2010/11.
The European Commission’s Study in Europe website also provides useful resources for living and studying in different European countries.
Refining your search
Another way to approach your search is to draw up a list of potential courses. Public education is heavily subsidised in much of Europe and as an EU citizen you should pay no more than students from that country. However, postgraduate study is expensive and you will need to choose wisely to ensure that the course meets your needs.
The quality of courses and institutions can vary considerably so it is vitally important to research courses thoroughly. Consider how well the qualification you choose will translate to employers in your home country. If you are considering a permanent move, you will also need to look into any specific qualifications required by your profession in that country.
Points to consider
Language requirements play an essential role in the decision-making process. Many European institutions offer Masters programmes taught in English, but you will require some grasp of the local language to get by outside of the university setting.
Leave plenty of time for the research and application process which can take anywhere between 12 months and a year, see the information about applying in the study abroad section of this site.
If you are coming from outside of the European Union make sure you pay close attention to the visa requirements and working restrictions in place in your chosen country